My entire life has been more about dreams, than reality. That’s why one of the most inspiring groups of humans I discovered as a teenager were the Senoi. For that indigenous tribe of Malaysia, the awake life is just a necessity in order to experience dream life. For the Senoi, the dream world is real life. As a child, most awake reality I experienced was very uninteresting. I remember spending as much of my time as possible dreaming. I dreamed in many ways: I read books that made me dream new possible futures. I played with legos, dreaming a parallel universe. I drew and painted dreamlike visions. I played video games in which I dreamed myself as a different being. Falling asleep was the moment to bring all my dreams together into an exciting, magical and unpredictable experience.
Everything I was being taught by my family, school, psychologist, and activity teachers (judo, art, acting, photography, etc), was about control. I was first taught to control my body, its movements and abilities. Then I was taught to control my emotions. I was taught to control my thinking, the way I learn and the way I behave in public. It is no surprise that when I went to university, I continued seeking more control. As much as I had learned to master myself, people around me didn’t do what I wanted. When the dean of my university refused to allow me to do a year abroad in Japan, I dropped out to pursue a new quest. I now wanted to learn how to get people to do what I want. To achieve that, I learned to control the way I communicate at a deep and unconscious level. I learned to control the way I listened to people’s subconscious. I learned to control conversations. I learned about social influence, and how to control groups of people.
The first 27 years of my life were all about control, therefore when I dreamed my first coaching program it was called “from dream to reality”. For 12 years, I’ve helped people transform their dreams into reality. I taught people to control their own minds, so that they could control reality and shape it for themselves. It felt incredibly inspiring, which boosted my confidence, and my clients confidence. It gave me a feeling of safety: I felt like I was in control of reality. I loved it because It made me feel like I could do anything. For the first time I could dream something and create it. I could make happen in reality what happened in my mind. I felt like I was on top of the world because reality had become a playing field for my dreams. I wanted everyone else to feel the same so I shared this knowledge, techniques and tools with everyone. The result was fantastic. Despite a strong and persistent imposter syndrome, I somehow managed to write 3 books. I gave 2 TED talks. I was invited to speak at over 80 international conferences. For the first time in my life people didn’t dismiss my ideas because I was a tree hugging hippie and I felt highly respected.
To achieve any kind of control, the brain goes into beta wavelength. As a result, our mind and vision are sharp and focused. Our body becomes full of energy as our brain increases the production of adrenaline, and sends the blood from our living organs to our arms and legs. In that state we can do more and faster. I was addicted to that exhilarating feeling. Eventually, I started discovering the cost of this amazing surge of performance. Because I was trying so hard to control everything, I was exhausting both my mind and body. As a result, at the age of 25, I could hardly move my neck because it was so tensed. My back felt like a painful sheet of rocks and I felt like I had the body of a 90 year old man. Abraham Maslow said “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. As my entire life had been about control, my solution to “control = exhausting” was of course more control. If I could control my environment and surroundings, THEN, I could make it easier to control everything.
I moved to Costa Rica where my environment was perfectly suited to maximize my performance. Everything was going perfectly. I had achieved control over my environment, and I was ready for more. I remembered lucid dreaming as a teenager, and I wanted to regain control of the dream world. Since starting university, I had mostly stopped dreaming at night, so I asked Chris Morris to teach me about lucid dreaming. He taught me to look at the world like a dream, and explained to me that the worst gift one can receive is to learn to control one’s dreams: if you control your dreams, then you want to control everything. He told me about getting lost in dreams. As I practiced seeing my awake life as a dream, I understood that there was another way to live my life. I wanted to feel a flow that wasn’t manufactured by me. I wanted to feel like I wasn’t constantly fighting with reality. I wanted to be able to sit and breathe. I wanted to exist without the need to control and plan everything. I wanted to be effortlessly.
Eighteen months ago, someone I had met at a conference reached out to me. I invited him to a coaching conversation to explore his masterpiece. Through our conversation, he said “I want to know what I don’t know I don’t know”. That got me very excited and I offered him a one year coaching program. This was extremely interesting for me, because it was in line with my explorations of being without control. As a result, he discovered life in a way he had never known before, and I got to guide someone without control. He had spent over 50 years controlling who he was to fit in society and life a good life. Through our working together, he said that for the first time he’s really happy to be. He discovered that he loves cross-dressing and fell in love with a woman who he said would have scared him away before we had started working together.
Yesterday, I received a call from a guy who wants to be coached by me. When I asked what he wants to achieve if we start a coaching program together, he said that what he likes most about my online presence is flow. We spoke about our work together being focused on enjoying the journey rather than the destination. He’s a successful entrepreneur who knows very well how to “do” and create reality as he wants to. What he wants today is to “be” without having to worry about the end goal. He wants to discover what it’s like to let himself be here and now, and observe how every day who he can be.
Learning to control and letting go of control are both important skills to create a magical life.
Be letting myself be a new me every day, I got to experience life without struggle. Today I love being able to both transform my dreams into reality, and my reality into dreams. Having the ability to control gives one the ability to let go of control. Learning to let go of control is the best way to learn control. By integrating these opposites, “being” and “doing”, “controlling” and “letting go”, “making dreams reality” and “making reality a dream”, we get to experience life within a wider spectrum of its rainbow, even the colors our eyes can’t see.
If you’re anything like me, and you want to play in the world, creating and experiencing life as magical, send me a private message and I look forward to talking about who you’ll be when you let go of who you are.
Who are you?
Who are you being today?
Who are all the you that you can be?
Explore, unfold and shine,