Back in February of 2012, my wife and I watched the episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter where Oprah attended a Tony Robbins seminar. As we watched, I told my wife that I have always wanted to attend one of the seminars… and being the supportive person she is, she encouraged me to find out more about it.
The next day, I did some research on the web and found out that the next seminar was being held at the end of March, in Secaucus, New Jersey… only a few hours drive for me. After contacting the Tony Robbins sales rep, and mulling it over for a couple of days, I decided to go for it. I booked my hotel and was ready to go!
Day 1 – Turning fear into power
I arrived at the Meadowlands Expo Center for Day 1 of UPW (Unleash the Power Within) at around 11:00 a.m. After I registered, I was asked to fill out a short questionnaire, listing a couple of things that I thought were limiting me in my life. Once filled out, I was led outside to a fire pit, where I threw my questionnaire into the fire – an important step in the process is to identify limiting beliefs and then eliminate them. This fire, I was told, would be part of the firewalk experience later in the day.
A couple of hours later, I was inside the room with 6,000 other people. The energy in the room was electric before the event, and it honestly went through the roof when Tony Robbins arrived on stage.
One thing I’ve got to say about Tony Robbins is he’s got energy… lots and lots of energy!! He had us up and jumping around throughout the day. He’d talk for a while, then he’d get us up to jump around again. We didn’t stop for 12 hours! And it felt great!
On day 1, we learned about the 6 human needs, but really the focus of the day was on getting into a peak state; something we’d need for the firewalk. Sometime around 11 p.m., Tony started prepping us to walk on fire. The firewalk, he explained, is not about walking on fire; it’s really a metaphor for facing our fears and taking the necessary steps to move beyond those fears.
Let me tell you, Tony whipped us into a state of absolute certainty that we could not fail. Take a look at this video I found on YouTube.
At around 1 a.m., we headed outside for the firewalk experience.
I guess I was well prepared in my mind, because I wasn’t at all worried. After about 20 minutes, it was my turn to walk. I got myself into peak state by doing the trigger move that Tony had taught us earlier in the day, and I took the first step.
For me, I could feel warmth under my feet; the coals didn’t feel all that hot. When I made it to the other side – a total of maybe 8-10 steps – I celebrated like I had just won the lottery. The feeling of accomplishment in that moment was exhilarating.
Here’s a shot of what my feet looked like after the walk.
Day 2 – Turning dreams into reality
The second day of UPW was a little bit lower energy, perhaps due to the fact that we had finished the firewalk at 2 a.m., but also because the day was led by Joseph McClendon III, not Tony Robbins. Not to take anything away from Joseph, he’s great, but the energy is different without Tony in the room.On Day 2, Joseph presented a lot of concepts – the ultimate success formula, creating rapport, closing the gap from where you are and where you want to be, etc. – and then introduced videos of Tony Robbins. For me, it was the video portions that brought the energy level down. I found Joseph to be a compelling speaker, and I thought it would have been better had he spoke the whole day rather than getting us to watch Tony’s videos.
The focus on Day 2 was clarity – getting clear about what you want and putting together a plan to make it happen.
The highlight of the day, for me, was when Joseph took us through what I’d best describe as a meditation session, where we envisioned our dreams and lived them in our minds, feeling the emotions we would feel if those dreams were to come true. It was an incredibly moving experience for me; I had tears of joy rolling down my face when it was done.
Day 3 – Transformation Day
Tony was back for Day 3, and so was the energy level.
There’s so much material covered during Day 3, but what stood out most for me what’s called the Dickens Process. Most of us know the story behind Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’; Scrooge is visited by the spirits of Christmas, who show him what life will be like if he does not change his current behaviour. In the story, Scrooge feels so much pain in seeing these visions that he changes his life for the better.
What Tony took us through was a truly emotional journey. We identified two limiting beliefs that we felt were holding us back. Then, with the room darkened and our eyes closed, we began the Dickens process…
- We identified what our limiting beliefs had cost us in our lives so far – emotionally, physically and financially. .. and we felt the weight of disappointment in ourselves.
- Then, we imagined our life five years from now without making any changes. What have these beliefs cost us?
- We went 10 years into the future… who is no longer in our lives? What has our inability to change cost us now? We still can’t change.
- Then we went 20 years into the future and feel the feeling of utter despair at what our lives had become, simply because we couldn’t change.
- But now, we can change.
- We rolled back time and made the changed we need to make. We conquered our mind’s limiting beliefs.
- We moved forward again. 5 years, 10 years, 20 years and felt the feelings of joy and accomplishment of what our lives would now become.
I realize that my description doesn’t do the Dickens process any justice. But believe me when I tell you that people were crying, literally sobbing, all around me as we went through the process. For myself, quite honestly, it was one of the most emotionally moving experiences of my life. At one point, during the gratitude portion, with tears rolling down my face, I felt so spiritually lifted that it felt like God’s arms were wrapped around me, giving me a hug.
An extraordinary experience that I know many of my UPW friends will agree is the highlight of the entire weekend.
Another of the day’s highlights for me, was going up and shaking Tony’s hand and having a little chat with him.
And for anyone who’s wondering? Yes, Tony’s huge! I’m a small guy at about 5’4” and Tony’s hand totally enveloped mine when I spoke to him!! LOL
Day 4 – The power of pure energy
Coming off an emotionally charged Transformation Day, Day 4 was bound to be a little bit of a letdown. As on Day 2, we were led by Joseph McClendon who introduced Tony Robbins videos focused on how to experience life with an abundance of energy. The video presentations targeted the principles of vital health – breath, water, essential oils, an alkaline diet, nourishing foods, etc.- and spoke about the foods that poison our bodies (processed foods, animal flesh, dairy products and acid addictions like coffee).
For me, who was already on the path of finding a diet that works best for me, I thought it was all very interesting. And in my own dietary experience, I tend to agree with what Tony Robbins is teaching. I have felt much healthier on a whole foods, mostly vegan, gluten-free and dairy free diet.
That said, I found that the energy level in the room definitely dropped on Day 4. Probably for a couple of reasons. The first being that what Tony was teaching probably threw most people’s diets out the window!! So, I think a lot of the attendees kind of checked out. Secondly, it was the over reliance on video presentations. Again, I felt it was better when Joseph McClendon presented the material rather than the videos.
My overall experience
In one word… AWESOME!! I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I met so may incredible people when I was there, including Brenda and Nic, a couple of New Jersey locals who I sat with during the entire weekend event. We’ve even kept in touch by phone and email since then.
My recommendation? If you can afford it – it costs between $795 and $2,595, depending where you sit – go and do it. You won’t regret it and you may experience a breakthrough.