Have you ever noticed that when we assume something is going to turn out a certain way, it often does?
It’s sort of a blessing and a curse, really. Because more than not, when we are anxious about something, that anxiety makes it damn near impossible to enjoy the experience.
But if we use this concept to our advantage, then it can not only turn seemingly terrifying situations into more enjoyable ones, but it can even transmute the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Let me give you an example…
I’m currently living in Bali for a couple of months and I have a friend here, Andrew, who decided to try Kambo, or “Tree Frog Medicine."
A month ago, I had no idea what that even was, so in case you’re in the same boat, here’s a brief background:
Kambo is known for its medicinal and psycho-spiritual effects. The medicine (poison) is obtained from the skin of frogs found in the Amazon, and it’s absorbed into the body by first burning holes into the skin with an incense stick, then applying the poisonous secretion to these holes so that it can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the medicine can then cause swelling in the face, and repetitive purging to cleanse the body.
After discovering this modality last month, I went down an obligatory research rabbit hole and decided pretty quickly this wasn’t for me.
My friend, however, felt called to “the toad” and committed to doing a ceremony here. As the day got closer and closer, his anxiety increased. While some people report massive shifts in health, there are also severe risks involved with Kambo.
Every time I saw him, he was journaling, or lost in thought, trying to clarify why he was doing this. What was his intention?
Then he realized that if he was going to go through with it, he might as well try and embrace the experience as much as possible. Instead of focusing on the inevitable discomfort and the permanent scars as a bad thing, he decided that these were part of his “initiation.”
This very tribal ceremony would be part of his journey in tapping into his masculinity, and this new perspective actually created a new-found level of excitement! The communities he was raised in didn’t have any manhood initiation ceremonies to speak of, so this would be his.
Cleansing the past, cleansing his body. There would be life pre-Kambo, and life after.
Simply by reframing the experience, he was able to enter into it with a radically different emotion. He alchemized anxiety into excitement and it resulted in a beautiful ceremony that he will never forget.
I used this same reframing tactic when I was preparing for my TEDx talk. Whenever people asked me if I was nervous, I would say, “No, I’m so excited! It’s going to be so fun!” And you know what? It was! It’s the only public speaking event I can recall where I didn’t have an ounce of nerves. I re-programmed myself to think it was going to be fun, instead of focusing on the potential “nerves” that would be a totally normal response.
Here in Bali, I applied this principle yet again when I tried Durian for the first time.
Durian is a fruit commonly seen in South East Asia, and most known for its distinct and pungent odor. It’s so fragrant that many hotels and modes of public transport have banned it.
I’ve successfully avoided the infamous fruit since first moving to Vietnam back in 2013.
Until this past week.
I was attending a potluck at a friend’s villa and noticed a group of people gathered in a circle on the floor. My friend Eric had a large knife and was cutting open what looked like a funky pineapple. As I got closer, the smell clued me into the fact that this was no pineapple. The group was moaning with delight over durian.
I couldn’t understand it.
But I’m open minded…most of the time… so I decided this was my moment. Despite my body's resistance, I was finally going to try Durian.
My friend Dan said, “Forget everything you think you know about Durian, and just observe the flavor. Try not to label it.” And so I did. Instead of labeling the scent as “rancid” I just let be “complex.” The flavor was dynamic, and the texture unique. It was like a fleshy custard, and I was actually able to see how people would enjoy the taste.
“I don’t hate it…” I said. “I might even like it….I think I like it!” It was such a simple, but illuminating moment for me, and a great reminder that if we let go of the pre-judgments we have for things we might actually enjoy them.
No matter how strong the scent, how scary the experience, how challenging the obstacle, when we change how we look at something, the thing we’re looking at changes.
This concept has proved fruitful (pun-intended) in so many phases of the journey to creating a fulfilling life.
I’m so passionate about helping you to see the world in a way that works FOR you, not against you, that I’m releasing a new training this week to help you create life on YOUR terms.
Join my inner circle to get first access:
I’ll be releasing this new Free Training + All New Episodes of The Bold Life Movement Podcast (a special Bali Edition).
COMING THIS WEEK:
Stay tuned for these upcoming goodies!
Big Bali Hugs,