The music was blaring and people were dancing on their chairs as I walked into the convention center. I had been given a gift by an amazing friend to attend Tony Robbins’ UPW: Unleash the Power Within event. I could never predict what was going to transpire at that event. I had only seen him speak on a TED talk and knew that many Fortune 500 companies send their employees to him for motivation, so I figured he was outstanding at what he did. Recently, a Robbins' event is available for all to experience in his new Netflix documentary I Am Not Your Guru. It truly captures the essence of the event and its effect on so many. Like those followed in the documentary, my experience was pretty magical and truthfully, transformational. It was interesting for me, a psychotherapist, to be in the audience since I was experiencing the event as a participant, but also as a professional; my takeaway was empowering. What I got from him was a certainty that my work is valid not only because of the personal fears I examined, but also because of the information he shared with the group that I know to the core.
He spoke about everyone's “blueprint.” He defined "blueprint" as the values, standards, beliefs and rules that we carry along that have been given to us by somebody else. Throughout the conference, he went back to the blueprint idea and asked everyone to wonder; what are your rules? What are somebody else's rules? He encouraged the audience to make new rules and new belief systems for themselves because then you won’t be afraid of not being lovable or sufficient.
I smiled as I listened to him speak because I tell parents that it is important to understand that the rules and the values they are setting help build and organize their children. I also let them now that the how, why and what they say to their children also helps them organize a response to if they are lovable and good enough. So what Robbins was doing for a room full of adults, I do at my parenting center for parents to help their children. It was a full circle for me and empowering.
In the end, the most powerful moment was when he asked, “What do you want?” and the crowd shouted: “Love, love, love,” and I began to cry. In that moment I knew that everything I believe in and everything I strive for in my work is what a group of 5000 wants most in their world. I am grateful to Tony Robbins for reminding me that this work that I do at my parenting center is exactly right.