Rodolfo Young: Years in Silence, the Burden of Choice & Responsibilities, and Inspiring Others

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Rodolfo Young: Years in Silence, the Burden of Choice & Responsibilities, and Inspiring Others
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Rodolfo Young Podcast CoverRodolfo Young spent two years in silent practice.  He wasn’t sitting in some ashram somewhere. He was out in the world – and chose not to speak.  We talk about what he learned during those two years, and why he decided to do this.

In addition, we go into some fascinating mental models such as understanding the ego as an ice block, cultivating curiosity, and how true choice carries with it the burden of responsibility (and why that’s actually a good thing).

Favorite Quote:

“In life we’re going to always have a diversity of wants, the real power comes in where we decide to choose one out of all the different wants. That power isn’t just in the thing that gets chosen, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing or the thing that is going to be forever, it just means that you had the empowered choice. The ability to say, ‘Hey, I’m choosing this. I chose it.’ And that’s where the power is, is that you get to choose. And also it comes with so much more sincerity, authenticity, and also vulnerability, because if you were the one to choose it means that you’re also the one to own the responsibility of that choice.”

Rodolfo’s Links:

Other Relevant Links:

Transcript:

Brian Crane 0:30
So I’m sitting here today with a new friend of mine here in Ubud, Indonesia, named Rodolfo Young. And he is someone that I’ve seen around Ubud quite a bit over the past couple years and we happen to start talking recently at Alchemy, one of the restaurants that’s local to both of us, and he’s got a fascinating story, and he’s someone who has gone to the edge in a couple different ways, particularly when it comes to silence and it comes to introspection that we’re going to talk about today and has gone probably further than just about anybody else. I know he’s a motivational speaker. He’s a fellow American like me, but also an expat; fell in love with the European woman, and also lives here. So, Rodolfo. Thanks for coming in.

Rodolfo Young 1:16
A pleasure. Thanks for having me, Bryan.

Brian Crane 1:17
Yeah. So for people listening, give me kind of an idea of how you actually wound up here in Bali, and a little bit of your background.

Rodolfo Young 1:24
Sure. So, Bali… Well, I’ve got to trace back quite a bit, actually. Back in San Diego, California – that’s where I grew up – I was born in Mexico, but left when I was like nine months old. I grew up in San Diego and at some point, as I start developing along this personal development journey, and you know, all sorts of different modalities of healing and bodywork and energy work and shamanic work and all these things, I had opened a center and it was a nonprofit center. And I really lived by that idea of nonprofit meaning there was no profit at all. And I went into debt!

Brian Crane 2:01
Unintentionally, or intentionally. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 2:04
I went about 40 or 50 grand in debt, putting this out into the community and having a great center and a great service to the community, but it was killing me. And so I did what you know anybody in great debt does, they leave the country quickly. Yeah, no, I actually did try. I tried to do it the right way. I called a bankruptcy lawyer. And at some point the debt was building up and then all my credit cards’ like interest rates had fluctuated, and all my credit cards all of a sudden shifted from like zero percent intro APR as in this net, to 20 to 25% interest rates. And that was gonna be the next month that I was gonna have to pay those in. I- there was no way. I had no ability to do that. So I called a bankruptcy lawyer and I said, “Look, I’ve been paying well, but next month, I can’t pay anything. It’s just not gonna happen. I’d like to file for bankruptcy.” And he kind of sighed on the phone, and he goes, “Well, that’s not how it works.” “What do you mean? Like I’m trying to be proactive responsible here to, you know, do this in a good fashion that either I can make a deal with the credit cards or something.” Then he goes, “No, no, we can’t even process anything or do any paperwork until you’re at least three months in default.” So I responded to him, I said, “So you’re saying, until I’ve irresponsibly stopped paying? Then you can give me the bail up and you can help me out, then I can do it the proper way.” He’s like, “Yeah, you have to have not paid. And from what I’m looking at. You have excellent credit right now. So yeah, there’s no way we could give this to you.” “Huh. So you’re saying don’t pay?” He goes, “No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying take a second job. Do this, do that.” And I’m like, No, I don’t want to do that. So cool. I won’t pay. Thank you.” Hung up the phone and took off. About two or three months later. I had actually taken whatever the rest of the balance was that I had in credit cards and did an attempt do one last push on a book I had just written. I think it was my third book at the time… thinking this is gonna be my masterpiece and finding after I did a soft launch, that people didn’t get more than like halfway through. It was a personal development book based in the idea of actually taking you through the journey of real growth. And normally, the first step is discomfort. So people would get to that step and put the book down. And so I had taken probably about 9 or 10 grand out to do this book launch. It was the last that I had as credit I had nothing in the bank of assets and said, “Okay, this didn’t work. I have about nine grand left in the bank. I’m just going to take off.” And so I did, I went on a world tour with the intention to learn from different cultures and traditions, more skills and tools to put on my belt and also to teach as I went along.

Brian Crane 4:53
And make it hard to find you for these payments.

Rodolfo Young 4:55
Exactly. Ended up here in Bali, intending to be here to speak two weeks, and it’s been about 11 years now. So I think that’s a common story here in Bali, Indonesia, you just find yourself and you stay.

Brian Crane 5:10
Hmm. So how does that play in then with a little bit of the story that I’d heard from you previously, which was you were in the military in the States. And you were deployed to Iraq for at least a part of time during…

Rodolfo Young 5:23
The war.

Brian Crane 5:23
Yeah. And from 2004 whatnot. And so, your ex military ex Special Operations?

Rodolfo Young 5:33
Yeah.

Brian Crane 5:33
Yeah. And then you were in university. And when did you decide to do this nonprofit. That was post-school?

Rodolfo Young 5:40
So that was… yeah, that was post-school. Essentially, what happened was I joined the military in 1998. As a reservist, my thought was, “Oh, you know, the reserves. They’re in reserve, they stay at home.” I was very wrong about that. The real way that it works is you have active duty personnel that are strategically placed in different places around the world at bases that we already have a presence in that country. If we don’t have a presence in a country that we intend to go into, which is often called an invasion, then the reserves go. They call up the reserves, they activate them, and you go, so I ended up in the Middle East doing quite a bit.

Brian Crane 6:21
Post 9/11.

Rodolfo Young 6:22
Post 9/11, about nine months, I guess, afterwards. Pretty much, whatever the official wartime was, which really only lasted about two months. I was there two weeks before and two weeks after that, and during, and that’ll happen, I guess, in 2000… Totally terrible with timelines, but I think 2007-ish, somewhere around that time. And before then, I had already started training in massage therapy and bodywork and things like that. And so I was already a little bit on this path. It was a good balance for me.

Brian Crane 7:01
Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 7:02
And I was also in University at the same time because I was a reservist, which meant I could stay at home, study, do my real life and then had weekend stuff with the military until I got activated. Once I got activated, when I came back, I had a choice to make. I still had two years on my contract. But when you’re reservist, your last two years, you have an option to go into what’s called IRR, which is Individual Ready Reserve. And what it does is, you’re essentially on call, but you’re not part of a team. Which actually makes you a little bit more likely to get called up because it means anywhere they need your specific skill sets or training or even security clearance, that they can pull you in and send you somewhere.

Brian Crane 7:44
Like a free agent in a pool.

Rodolfo Young 7:46
Pretty much. Yeah. Now, everybody, when we came back from this deployment, everybody was telling me that’s a bad idea. Don’t go into IRR right now. You’re safe in this moment, because you just came back with your team with your unit. By law, at that time, they weren’t allowed to redeploy a unit until a year after. Like, you were supposed to have time to reintegrate into the real world and society and then they could send you. Well, my gut, my intuition, whatever you want to call it, just kind of said, “No, it’s time I need to get out of this.” And I made the choice, regardless of the fact that I had top secret clearance. I had a training or skill set that is very, very rare in the military. And so it’s a high commodity. I had field experience having been already in the war zone. And everybody was like, “Yeah, you’re gonna get picked up like that. The second you go freelance, essentially, you’re, you’re gonna get called up.” So I didn’t answer the phone for a year. No, I’m joking. I had a duffel bag packed, ready at my door for two years. I never got the phone call. Somehow I lucked out. But the funny thing is my unit left two months later, and was redeployed because the laws changed.

Brian Crane 8:58
And they went back to Iraq?

Rodolfo Young 8:59
They went right back.

Brian Crane 9:00
Wow.

Rodolfo Young 9:01
And so if I had stayed, I would have been sent.

Brian Crane 9:03
Wow. They went back for the surge probably, then if that was the…

Rodolfo Young 9:07
It was for the peacekeeping mission part of it, which is actually the more dangerous part. Because at that point, you’re yeant to just be protecting an area and by Geneva codes and laws, you’re not supposed to be shooting at people. But most of the other countries don’t follow that same thing, especially if it’s their own country they’re trying to take it back. And so it’s a much more dangerous situation. And I feel very lucky that I wasn’t involved in that part. Most of what I did when I was overseas was surrender appeals. And so creating through the psyop as you said, I was in special ops specifically psychological operations, was creating designs and influential marketing, really, that we would then drop through print media or radio or some video and online stuff into the audiences there and mostly into the military there saying “Look, we’re coming by tomorrow, we’re gonna bomb this area. We don’t want to have to kill you. Please just leave. Put your your weapons down and leave.” So there were these surrender appeals and what you won’t see in most news media is that, I’d say about 78-82% of the Iraqi regime put their weapons down and left before the official war ever happened. That’s why we were there two weeks before.

Brian Crane 10:21
Interesting, almost like a Radio Free Europe. Where they’re broadcasting out behind the Iron Curtain telling people what was actually happening. It’s sort of a tangent away. Okay. So then…?

Rodolfo Young 10:34
So then the training and all these other things that I was doing. There was a military and school. I came back from all of that. And then I think it was when I finished my university time, so that would have been about 2004. That’s when I opened my center, I had a holistic Community Center in San Diego and I had those for – two of them – for about a year and a half. And that’s about when these nonprofit, holistic centers kind of went under on me and my debt was too big.

Brian Crane 11:08
And at the holistic centers, what were you…? What was it like treatment recovery? What kind of stuff were you doing?

Rodolfo Young 11:13
There’s a few different things. The main idea they were called The Center for Connection, and the idea was, and this game a lot out of my military time, actually, I had seen so much separation consciousness, had seen the effects and the damage and destruction it creates, both between just individuals and then between countries and worldwide. And so I created a center with the idea of “Okay, how can we show the unifying elements and traits and spirit of humanity?” And my whole intention with everything was to bring people together. And so it was a community center where people could come, even if it was during the day, they could just come and chill out. There was residences there, there was holistic therapies like massage and stuff like that, workshops, classes, but half the time people would come, especially couples, it was really funny. If they were having fights, they would leave their homes that they weren’t fighting and putting negativity in their home and they’d come to this really positively charged center. And they’d sit in one of the rooms and just have a conversation. And they’d remedy their stuff. Because of having that center and so many couples coming through, I think I officiated two or three weddings.Because people got far enough in the relationship from having a space to actually communicate. So communication, connection, unity, collaboration, these were the main ideas of the center.

Brian Crane 12:32
And was there any tie-in with… like, with the military, with folks coming back where there was… How do I say this? You know, you had this…

Rodolfo Young 12:40
Like a recovery?

Brian Crane 12:41
Yeah, there’s people that reintegrated post an act of deployment?

Rodolfo Young 12:46
Not too much at that center. Well, San Diego was actually a big military town. There wasn’t too much of that. The thing when it comes with military… they don’t often know that it’s okay to go get help. And if they do they go through the VA, which at that time didn’t have very good resources, especially for mental health and stress related things. Today, I’m actually quite surprised and very impressed by the fact that there’s so much meditation, mindfulness, even yoga and things like that, that’s being presented through the channels of the military, to try to offset a lot of this kind of traumatic stress that the people are coming back with, including myself, like I’m having to work with a lot of things from my own history.

Brian Crane 13:28
Interesting. Isn’t there a term for that? Because a lot of the guys who get deployed, they talk about actually coming back as the more difficult part because they’ve, and I remember seeing it in American Sniper and it’s obviously fictionalized, but that was the reason a lot of them kept redeploying was they actually felt much more sane with their buddies overseas in a war zone, as opposed to being back in plain vanilla San Diego, where there’s not even a talk of the war or talk of what’s going on overseas. Right?

Rodolfo Young 13:54
Yeah, I mean, it partly it’s gonna be the adrenaline rush. So once you have so much, surging through your system and all of a sudden your in this calm environment, but you’re ready to react, right? And this even ties in with some of the traumatic stress stuff PTSD and things like that; your body at a sensation level is still responding, reacting. But if the environment doesn’t match, then you end up, you know, having episodes and reacting in not very good social ways. And so then you feel out of place.

Brian Crane 14:27
And just being deeply disconnected from your wife from your friends, from the people around you. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 14:31
Exactly.

Brian Crane 14:32
Okay, so then getting to… if you’ve been in Bali for 11 years, what happened in that period post shutting down these…

Rodolfo Young 14:41
Centers?

Brian Crane 14:42
Post shutting down the centers, you go on this sort of world tour to go teach and go out and explore these different modalities. How far into the tour or how far into the trip were you before you wound up in Bali?

Rodolfo Young 14:52
It was probably… would be seven months? Seven, eight months in, came to Bali for two weeks. Some friends had suggested I visit. I was actually in Thailand, never had Bali on my radar. Came in, loved it, ended up staying for two months, that time my mom actually came out and joined me for the second month. And then we went to India together for a month. And that was too intense. And so she went back home. And I went to Berlin, and then back to San Diego. And I had the thought of when I was returning to San Diego, I’m gonna reopen a center now I’ve got all these new teachings and learnings and I want to share. And I looked at the financial side of it. And obviously by this point, you know, I’ve kind of ignored this massive debt, but I’m looking to see okay, how can I restart this vision of what I want to give in the world? And I looked and I said, “Wow, it would take me this much money in order to restart, get a new venue, do the promotion, build the audience, build a community. I could take that same amount go back to Bali live like a king for a year and actually really do my own personal healing that was necessary and ome back with with the strength to actually make something successful.” And that was the choice that I made. I ended up coming back to Bali with a one way ticket and didn’t actually return to the States until five years later.

Brian Crane 16:12
Wow. Okay.

Rodolfo Young 16:13
Yeah, I stayed out in Southeast Asia the whole time.

Brian Crane 16:15
Wow. Okay. So, which is an interesting segue because I want to ask you about the changes that you’ve seen in Ubud. In Bali in general, but in Ubud in particular, and to frame that question, friend of mine has often said that when he first got here, it was way more new age. And that now it’s way more digital nomad centric, that as the Internet has gotten better the mix of people has definitely changed. It went from being very new age. Yeah. But people were- no one was working online because the internet was horrible here, right?

Rodolfo Young 16:48
Infrastructure wasn’t here yet.

Brian Crane 16:49
Yeah. So how has it changed? Is that a fair assessment of…?

Rodolfo Young 16:52
Yeah, that’s a big piece. My assessment was when I first got here, you had… you had some very new agey, hippie, crunchy… People who I think are more into the nature and like, will walk around barefoot and this and that. I call them the crunchies.

Brian Crane 17:06
Grounding 24/7.

Rodolfo Young 17:08
Yes, exactly. They were the prevalent community that was here. At the same time, there was a big fashion industry. So a lot of festival fashion kind of people that are doing more of the natural wear and organic t-shirts and things like that. And you know, you get more of this bohemian kind of style. A lot of them were here, we called them the leather feather crowd. And that was because the production costs are so low, but the quality of what the Balinese people create artistically is amazing. And so there was a huge amount of people like that here. So that’s kind of the mix and then you had people that were coming here for healing or just escape or just to be in a vibrant environment. And that was probably more where where I fit in. Over time, as infrastructure started to come in, you start to see both digital nomads coming in, but also, I guess people that had a little bit more money that weren’t coming specifically to heal, but were coming to set up shop. And so you got more entrepreneurs, more people, not just digitally but also people who are building businesses here. Also the legalities around doing that were shifting and becoming easier or at least more clear, and so more and more businesses were coming. And then eventually you have a community where there’s, you know, kind of an entire expat bubble community that has the Balinese involved but isn’t really involved in the Balinese culture.

Brian Crane 18:35
Yeah. Sits on top of it in a way.

Rodolfo Young 18:37
Exactly, yeah. You get more of the digital nomads coming in with a lot more money. And so then there was kind of a shift that happened where people had more money and less desire to be doing, we’ll say, the inner work and more desire to be having fun. And so now I think it’s shifted a lot to being that Bali and Ubud especially isn’t really a place of healing anymore. In my mind. It’s more a place of play. Which can be healing!

Brian Crane 19:06
Yeah, almost hedonistic in a way.

Rodolfo Young 19:09
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It’s become more of a place of distraction. Only because there’s so many things to do. There are still a lot of healing modalities and workshops and retreats and things and they’re powerful. But there’s so many and then there’s so many activities. And the community has grown so large that you can’t really deeply connect with anybody. And it’s so transient that I think the what the impact has been is that now we have this amazing diversity. But at the same time, it’s almost like if you were to pour out some water, if you had a deep container, the water would go deep. But now we have this very wide container, which means the water stays shallow.

Brian Crane 19:47
Interesting, good analogy. Okay. Good analogy. I mean, I’ve often told people that Ubud in one sense is like living at a festival and your Villa is your tent. The difference is that you can go back and take a shower at night and sleep in a bed. But it very much has that festival atmosphere of you get on a bike you go out, you just see what’s happening. And but it can be quite shallow, like you said. Yeah, yeah. And almost as a victim of its own success, and I think as people come and have a positive experience, probably even magnified more by social media that they tell everybody else about it, it creates a self fulfilling cycle of… Yeah, it’s just the victim of its own success in a way,

Rodolfo Young 20:31
You start getting only one facet of the experiences. So it’s almost like an Instagram photo where you see it, but you don’t see that, you know, dozen other photos that it took to get to that. And so you only see these massive, you know, parties or events or experiences that people are having at these peak moments, but not the depth of what it took to get to that or to build it or to create it and all that.

Brian Crane 20:53
Yeah, yeah. All the sitting in traffic, just an example. I mean, just sending traffic, the power goes out, whatever.

Rodolfo Young 21:01
Balances of life.

Brian Crane 21:02
That is? Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 21:03
Yeah.

Brian Crane 21:03
Yeah. Okay, so let’s pivot then because one thing that I find really interesting about you is your time in silence, but it’s started doing the passanas or vipassanas I should call it. So explain what those are and then explain how you actually went into like a much broader, a larger experience of silence.

Rodolfo Young 21:24
Yeah, so part of my personal development journey was going and doing these vipassana courses which are 10 day silent retreats. I wouldn’t even call them retreats. It’s really a course because you’re not retreating. You’re going in and you you’re silent, noble silence for those 10, technically 11 days, and you’re meditating around 11 hours a day.

Brian Crane 21:45
Sitting. Like it’s…

Rodolfo Young 21:46
Sitting, you’re there, you’re like, like you have a break every hour or so for five minutes and then right back to go in. See the thoughts, feel the sensations, and move with it. And so, I already knew the benefits of silence and I knew obviously the benefits of meditation and other forms of self awareness and self introspection. In 2011, I was already here settled in pretty well in Bali, my life was going great. That’s the year that I did my my TEDx talk. I was actually in conversations with the governor of Bali and talking about setting up myself and a group of us setting up this big Ico project to make Bali like the example for the world of what could be done organically in Ico and as, you know, just a project or prototype for a system. And then, my partner at the time, brought the cherry on the top of the cake and she came and she said, I’m pregnant. And I remember thinking for all the experiences I’ve had, from, you know, the levels of military stuff to the levels of all my personal development and workshops and achievements and everything. none of it mattered compared to this feeling and anticipation to be a father. I was very ready at that time. I was like, Yes. Now, this is like the perfect next step for me.

Brian Crane 23:09
Now the stars have aligned. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 23:11
And super excited and I put all my energy, all my attention into it. And I often say when I’m sharing this and talks and things that, you know, life is about ups and downs, we live in a duality in this this reality. And so, we have to learn how to fall with grace. And I had not. So in 2011, at the end of it, she miscarried. Just almost shy of like three months in the first trimester. And it really devastated us, you know, having put so much of our energy and attention and we’ll call it our value, like our significance. You know, people are always looking for what’s my purpose in life and for me at that moment, I was like, Yes, this is my purpose. I was born for this. To be a father. And when it didn’t happen, it just crushed me. It ended up making me lose the relationship. But mostly it made me lose my confidence. And so I plummeted. I went from like the top of the mountain and just went somersaulting down and I think there was a couple cliffs in between where I was just like, Ahhh. And I know human nature. Human nature is normally to go outward try to distract ourselves to fill in the cracks with different things. And I didn’t want to do that. I had experienced silence in its benefit and thought, Okay, let me go in. Let me see if I can heal this heart that felt like it was shattered into a million tiny pieces and no matter which way I stepped, I was stepping on shattered heart. And so I went in for 365 days and that’s why I chose to be silent for a full year.

And this was here in Bali and so…

Here in Bali, I did travel a little bit during that time, but yeah, the primarily was here in Ubud. And yeah, it was an intense period. Obviously, it wasn’t just the practice of silence, but it was deep introspection, reflection, looking at what I was feeling, why I was feeling it. But mostly what I noticed then, and I came almost to the very end of that year, I probably had one more week left. And I looked in I thought, Okay, let me see is my heart, you know, complete, do I feel good again. There had been a story in my mind that said, you know, my heart will be healed. And by the time I come out of silence, I will have found a new partner and I’ll be on my way to fatherhood again. That wasn’t the case.

Brian Crane 25:36
High expectations.

Rodolfo Young 25:37
Very high expectations. Yeah, that wasn’t the case. My heart’s still hurt. And I was shoot, I failed, again. And it was in that again, that something became clear to me. That there had been a story before failure. And it was a failure of not being worthy to be a father and that’s why this had all happened.

Brian Crane 25:57
So you somehow cosmically brought this down upon yourself?

Rodolfo Young 25:59
Yeah. Like there was, all just story. And then looking back further into my history and going, Oh, and in this moment, I thought I failed. And in this moment, I thought I failed. And I carried as an identity, a sense of failure. That was what was being held on to. When I could let that go, suddenly, I realized, well, my heart isn’t broken. There was a moment that it felt broken. And that was an experience that then passed in the same moment that it happened. But the story I kept carrying with me.

Brian Crane 26:08
Of it still being broken.

Rodolfo Young 26:30
Exactly. The story of it being broken, the story of being a failure, the story of not being enough the story that if I go and I try this again, it’s too risky because it could happen again. All this is just story. So my greatest lesson coming out of that first year in silence, was that our wholeness, our purpose, our completion, our happiness, our joy doesn’t come ever from something we’re going to discover outside of us. Because that’s just adding layers. But rather it comes from uncovering the stories, the emotions, the protections, uncovering all the stuff that we’ve placed on top of who we already are. And that piece of us never changes. It stays whole, it stays potent, it stays pure all the time, we just covered up with stuff.

Brian Crane 27:14
It’s somewhat similar to that phrase that Landmark teaches, which is that we’re meaning making machines, that we take what happens to us and we assign a meaning that can go in any number of directions. And what you just talked about was essentially, as I understood it, kind of unwrapping the onion. Pulling back the layers. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 27:35
And then even taking it from where landmark would say we’re meaning making machines of what we see and experience externally, we’re also doing that about making our identity a meaning. Like, I am this because it means this, I am this because it means this, but that meaning was a story. If we can let go of that, then we actually find that at our core, we’re technically emptiness. We’re a potential possibility in every moment. Then we have the power of choice as to which direction we point that.

Brian Crane 28:04
It’s powerful. Okay. It’s powerful. It’s gonna take me a minute to kind of sort through that.

Rodolfo Young 28:11
This is my lifetime of what I’ve learned and distilled into something. Take your time.

Brian Crane 28:18
Yeah, yeah, I mean… it’s… Yeah, let me chew on that, I mean… But this first year silence was not your only your silence.

Rodolfo Young 28:33
No, so I came out of that silence and…

Brian Crane 28:37
Before you say that, before you speak that, I just have this mental image of Anthony Hopkins from Legends of the Fall! At the end of Legends of the Fall, there’s a scene where he’s had a… I think he’s had a partial stroke and he carries a chalkboard around around his neck in order to write messages on it, in order to be able to communicate with everyone else. So if you’re not talking, but yet you still need to operate in the world and interact. Yeah. How? What was the logistics of how that happened? How did you do that?

Rodolfo Young 29:11
It’s so funny. This is such a common question. And I think it’s because we kind of pigeonhole ourselves into perspective of what we’ve experienced ourselves. And we think, well, if you’re not doing this, then I mean, how can you do anything? But imagine the millions of deaf people who are mute, and can’t speak not by choice, but literally they just can’t, and they get by fine. We also look at the fact that communication is probably 10-12% the words that we use, another 12-14%, the tonality, and the rest is body language. We really actually express and communicate through our bodies not through our words, the words often get in the way. We can choose certain words with a meaning we’ve assigned it and the person hearing it has a different meaning.

Brian Crane 29:59
Mm hmm. Very true.

Rodolfo Young 30:00
And so, yeah, it’s it’s funny because that is the question I’m always asked. And it’s because most of us haven’t had the experience of being in silence for a long duration. And so it’s just outside the possibility of things. And it’s an interesting concept. Because what if we took that into everything in life and we thought, wow, this thing that I think is impossible for me or that I just don’t see as a possibility, as a project, or business, or as something I’m creating, what if I looked at it differently and thought, Okay, this has been done at some point by somebody. Or maybe it’s never been done, but there’s the… what would the possibility be? And the moment we open to that, all of a sudden, the possible solutions start coming. But as long as we’re in the no mindset saying, according to my perspective, my history and what I’ve experienced, that possibly be done, then it will stay that way.

Brian Crane 30:06
Hmm, there’s a there’s a thread there. Reminds me of the book, The Magic Of Thinking Big, which is to get yourself- Yeah, you’re nodding along. So I assume you’re familiar with the book, but the idea of getting yourself out of… I don’t remember how he phrases it. But it’s effectively like getting yourself up and out of your existing paradigm. And I think that’s… the way I interpret the silence is almost like doing something that really scares you to kind of flex the courage muscle in a way because it also says, I didn’t think I could do that. And now I realized that I can. And so what else is there in my life that I’ve been told, either mentally or by others that I can’t do, and now I’m going to try doing it? Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 31:31
And even on an even simpler level, it just opens up to creativity in life instead of trying to just select from what’s being given or what’s being… what’s been done and trying to just do it better. But rather, we can look at stuff and go wow, could this be done differently? And that’s a whole other perspective to take. When… I think it was in my first year in silence… people start challenging me to things. They’re like, well, how would you do this? Well, let me find out. And I would go do it. Like I went to a drive thru once to order food. It’s just a funny experience. Like…

Brian Crane 32:04
How did it work?

Rodolfo Young 32:06
I just skipped over the machine part, I went straight to the window!

Brian Crane 32:09
And handed them a piece of paper with order?

Rodolfo Young 32:10
Yeah! I mean, it’s so simple, sometimes, the solution around stuff. But we have to give ourselves that permission first to say there is the permission for me to do it differently, or for it to be different.

Brian Crane 32:23
Hmm. Powerful message. Okay. So let me ask you, if we go to the TEDx talk, there was a couple things in the TEDx talk that you spoke about that I thought were really interesting. And one of them was your description of… almost call it the ego. That’s not the phrasing that you use, but it was this three part stack. When you start from body then you go to mind then you go to soul. Can you talk about that for a little bit and how those three layers all fit together?

Rodolfo Young 32:55
I think as human beings, as people interacting with one another, we have three different layers. And the first layer is essentially the mask. It’s the roles that we play. It’s the identities that we have. And we have many masks, like we have a treasure chest of masks that we can pull from. And we can change them instantaneously. You know, you’ll have somebody, you know, maybe you’re in a heated debate with somebody and you’re like, “Ahh!”, and then the phone rings. “Ahhh! Hello? Yeah, yeah, hold on. I’m, yeah, I’m just talking with someone.” We can split these things like crazy. So the mask is just that: it’s the rolls and will be different with our family as we are with our friends as we are with a partner. As we are with a businessperson. We’re going to be different in all these ways. That’s the mask. Then we go beneath the mask, and we get to what I call the story. And the story is the way that we see ourselves and the way we think other people see us as well. And how often do you see people that are so hard on themselves? And finally they vulnerably say, “Well, I know you will think that I’m this.” People go, “I think you’re the most brilliant, amazing, like, radiant person.” And the story is really strong. The story is where all our conditioning, everything we’ve ever been told, heard, perceived, thought about ourselves, believed. All of it’s in there and it’s constantly in flux. You know, this is where a lot of healing modalities or therapies or experiences or workshops, they deal at this level because they’re saying, okay, you felt that you were this, let’s replace that with this story. And you know, even NLP and things like that work this way. But then you get even deeper. So you had to mask your story, and then what I call the essence or your spirit or your soul, however you want to define it.

Brian Crane 34:42
Harvey, I think is how you said it in the TED Talk. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 34:44
Oh, yeah! Yeah. Give it a name: Harvey. Whatever it is, that’s at the deepest level. And for me, it’s potential. And that’s what I was mentioning earlier. It’s actually an emptiness. There is no story assigned to it yet. There is no meaning assigned to it yet. But you can choose in any moment the same way you can with your story, the same way that you can with your mask, you can choose that at this deep potential level, today I’m going to be this or even – And I love the way Tony Robbins talks about this, and it’s also a big NLP thing – It’s just the state change. I’m really angry because you did this and you did this. Or now I can choose because I know that my deepest level, I am not anger, I am not this feeling. But that is something on top of my potential. I could potentially be happy too, I could potentially be forgiving, I could potentially be excited. I’m gonna choose to change that right now. And you have this powerful to state change.

Brian Crane 35:38
Interesting. Okay. And so when… Because one of the critiques of Tony Robbins is that the state change doesn’t stick sometimes, right? So somebody goes to the state change, they’re familiar with his work, they implement the state change, and then it doesn’t… Yeah, it doesn’t last. Yeah. So what do you think about that?

Rodolfo Young 35:59
I think it’s a cultivation period. You go to events like what Tony would do. And you know, he’s a motivational speaker, I also do a lot of motivational speaking. And the whole purpose of that is to hype people up as powerfully as possible, get them in their emotions in their body. And then in that moment, implant a new story of whatever they’re choosing, and maybe that’s that their great success or you know, find love or whatever it is. And the reason it doesn’t stick is because you’ve been pumped up. And so in that moment, it feels good, and you get it. But everything in life takes cultivation. You know, there’s a book by a guy named Jeff Olson called The Slight Edge. Amazing book. He talks about the very powerful and so obvious, but not obvious compounding effect of time. That with time, everything compounds, so if if every morning, you choose to hit the snooze button, within after a few years, you’re probably going to have gotten a lot less done. If every day you said you know what, this is one little piece of chalk. It’s not gonna do me bad or this one cigarette’s not so bad. After a time compounding those small things has a huge effect. What if you could consciously choose which way you want to do it? So now you look at at this state change, if you can constantly be practicing a state change, it’s not about the one moment peak experience where you were so high and laughing like, yes, yes, I’m a success. I’m a success. Because that’s not going to stick.

Brian Crane 37:29
Well, because then what happens is you get addicted to going to the Tony Robbins events, right?

Rodolfo Young 37:33
Exactly.

Brian Crane 37:34
It’s the hook of like, I gotta get back to this place, because that’s where I was at the peak.

Rodolfo Young 37:37
Exactly. Whereas the reality is, every single day, even if it’s not as effective, let’s say you go, okay, Tony taught me or whoever taught me to make the state change. And so I’m feeling sad, okay, I’m gonna choose to be happy. But you’re like, oh, it doesn’t feel as happy as it was that one time when I did it. Doesn’t matter. Do it and then do it again the next day and do it again next and the next time that you’re feeling something you don’t want to, choose that because it’s not actually the fact that you can change it. It’s the fact that you’re cultivating the quality and the skill of choosing.

Brian Crane 38:13
Yeah, it’s building the muscle. It’s a habit building activity. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 38:17
And so in the same way that you look at agriculture, you plant the seed. And, you know, in today’s day and age, we have this instant gratification attitude. You plant a seed, and they’re like, “Okay, can I harvest?” No… you have a season.

Brian Crane 38:28
Yeah, at least one season.

Rodolfo Young 38:30
At least one season. Yeah, cultivate that seed, nourish that seed, nurture it, let it grow. And then you can harvest. And that’s the same with anything, you know, we practice things to develop the qualities so that at some point, not only does it become easier, but it even becomes unconscious. And so something that might have triggered a sad state that we would have consciously had to change into a happy state never triggers the sad state. It actually triggers the happy state instead.

Brian Crane 38:37
Hmm. So what are some of the habits that you recommend to people to cultivate on a day to day basis? And let me interject and just say one of them that I have picked up several years ago was daily journaling that has stuck that I absolutely… I cherish that one and I also make my bed first thing in the mornings and kind of those two. Yeah. So what are some of them? Somebody comes to you and says, “Rodolfo, I want to start.” Where do they start? Where do they start in the daily the daily habit?

Rodolfo Young 39:32
Yeah, similar, daily journaling. I also make my bed first thing in the morning. I don’t know if that’s just a military thing, but…

Brian Crane 39:38
It’s a good way to start the day to feel like you got something done.

Rodolfo Young 39:40
Yeah, like a first thing. You were productive already. Check it off. Feel good about it. Gratitude is a big one. And so that’s, you know, whether you journal it, you list it out. A new one that I’ve actually started practicing with my partner is writing down whether it’s at the beginning of the day or the end – better, probably, at end – all the ways that you were of value that day,

Brian Crane 40:03
To that other person or just in general?

Rodolfo Young 40:05
In general, in general, because I think a big thing that is happening in society is we’re, as we become more and more in terms of being self reflective, there’s a thought or a belief that comes up of going, “Well, not really significant. I’m not really doing anything, I don’t have a value, I’m not worthy.” Or “I’m not enough for this or for this person, or for this promotion or for happiness, even.” And the only way to start to build that in the same way of cultivating is to start noticing where you are significant, where you are having value. Because we’ll seek those things and often we’ll do them in distortion. So somebody seeking significance, will, you know, try to be the life of the party, even though they’re exhausted. Or Tony Robbins, actually another good example from him, he talks about this idea of significance and you know, somebody who might go and do an armed robbery or kill somebody else… It’s not even that they wanted to kill them. They just wanted to know that in that moment, they were saying they’ve got a gun to your head. They’re the most significant person in your life.

Brian Crane 41:09
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I’ve heard him talk about this somebody, somebody who you don’t you walk by on the street and look at, and don’t pay any sort of attention to them, they walk up, they put a gun to your head, they become from a zero to a 10 in terms of significance in your life.

Rodolfo Young 41:22
Yes, exactly. And so when we think that finding that significance or that value is going to be just a sudden thing or one act, then it’s very distorted and can be dangerous. But if we know that in looking at even the small things. You know, my partner, you know, she often makes breakfast for us, or sometimes she’ll just set up the space for me when I’m going to do a session and I’m coming home with a client or something, that those little things are super valuable and significant, but we often look over them. We don’t think “that didn’t make me significant,” but of course it did. And so that’s the big practice is at the end of the day, write at least 10 things, even if you think they’re super small, where you were significant that day. In your own life, or in another person’s life, or in a project, in whatever way, and it’s a beautiful practice, because over time you start noticing, you know, whatever we’re focused on is what we start to take more note of. Yeah. And so we start perceiving it more and noticing it more. And then all of a sudden it starts growing, and all of a sudden you’re sitting there going, “I’m pretty damn significant. Like, I don’t know how people get through the day without me.”

Brian Crane 41:22
Yeah. But it’s interesting as well, because then it becomes that the focus is almost on the acts of service for other people. And that is where, yeah, as you’re nodding along. Yeah, that’s, yeah. And you feel like that’s where true significance lies, I think in kind of like a meta framework.

Rodolfo Young 42:48
Yeah. Yeah. Like in the same way that when we’re looking for significance in a distorted way, it’s often I want you to need me rather than I want you to appreciate me.

Brian Crane 43:01
Interesting distinction, okay… I want you to need me as opposed to I want you to appreciate me.

Rodolfo Young 43:07
So we look for the significance by saying, look, if I wasn’t here, like, you would fall apart. But what if that’s not true? Then we freak out because like, “Oh my god, they don’t actually need me.” But the thing is needs versus wants and wants is where appreciation can come in. A need is about survival. It’s like life or death. So if in that moment, not doing it or not being there is gonna cause death, okay, yeah, you’re needed. But most of the time, that’s not the case. It’s only about once. And so we have to shift that and go, okay, it’s okay, not to be needed. But let me do things where it becomes a positive impact and influence something that somebody would want.

Brian Crane 43:48
Mm hmm. Clever. I like it. Yeah. It’s something that I’ve run into quite a bit. I wouldn’t say recently, but I just have noticed where people will say this is a need of mine and it’s actually a want. And there’s a lot of confusion around that language. And I found it to be a very difficult discussion to have. Because first you have to get the definitions right and getting the definitions right then entails you need to be able to split these two things up and have to be like, yes, this actually isn’t a need. It’s just a want, just as- I don’t mean to minimize it, but… it’s like Little Bo Peep, right? You don’t want to always be crying wolf. Yeah, the way that people just go, that’s not really a need, right. And they just start to discount what you’re asking for. Yeah. Okay. So, try to bring us back at least a little bit more on the topic. So there was another analogy that I had written down from your TEDx talk about… I’ll just call it the umbrella. So could you explain that one?

Rodolfo Young 44:47
Yeah. So and this wasn’t even in… No, this was after my first vipassana. I had this incredible epiphany moment where you know, they talk about those moments of you union with the universe. Literally was like that, like, I think I set outside of myself and I was watching myself interacting. I was on the phone with my sister at the time. I was having a bit of an identity… not crisis, but a deep inquiry. I was trying to figure out who I really was that wasn’t based off the roles and masks, but was I below that. And funny enough, it goes back to this idea of needs and wants. I ended up telling my sister, said, “Oh, I think I just figured out why I’ve been having trouble with this. Who I really am, who I am at my core and where I would feel fulfilled and happy, doesn’t need you. Doesn’t need you or mom or dad or anybody.” And she hung up on me. And…

Brian Crane 45:49
Challenging conversation.

Rodolfo Young 45:50
Very challenging conversation. You know, it comes back to what we were just saying, People have this deep feeling that they want to be needed, but what they really want is to be wanted, or to be appreciated, to be recognized, acknowledged, and seen. That’s really where it comes down to. But we get confused and we think no, if I’m not needed, then what’s my worth? And so of course, that was why that conversation was difficult. But what it was is I had this epiphany moment, and I had the smile on my face. I couldn’t wipe it away. And it was funny. My sister’s like crying and shouting at me on the other line. I’m just sitting there with a goofy smile.

Brian Crane 46:26
Like, I found it.

Rodolfo Young 46:27
Yeah, like, freedom. Right? And here’s where I made a mistake. I felt this immense wisdom or truth that that I was seeing. And I thought this is the truth. And that’s… a lot of people make the same mistake, right?

Brian Crane 46:44
Yeah. I found the one thing.

Rodolfo Young 46:46
Yes, exactly. Like this is what everybody should know and follow. And so I started running around trying to tell people and I made this metaphor about it being kind of like an umbrella society, you know, when it rains. What do most people do?

Brian Crane 47:01
Grab their umbrella.

Rodolfo Young 47:02
They grab their umbrella, they cover up, they don’t want to get wet. But all the rain does is it washes away the facade. It takes all the dirt, the mud, the stuff that’s on top, and it it reveals what’s beneath it, it reveals the truth. And so everybody’s got their umbrellas. And this is essentially our conditioning. It’s our comfort zones. It’s a reality we paint around ourselves. And having had my umbrella just tossed out of my hand, you know, good gust of wind of real world, checking me. I’m seeing this sea of umbrellas. I’m going “oh, I need to help them take their umbrellas down.” But can you imagine if your entire reality is whatever you’ve defined in this umbrella and some crazy guy comes running over trying to take that from you? No way. It doesn’t work. And you freak out.

And that person is going to be very tiresome as well.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Brian Crane 47:54
Cuz people are gonna… they’re gonna just basically be like, I want my umbrella, I don’t want you to take it away. I want…

Rodolfo Young 48:00
This is my reality, my existence.

Brian Crane 48:02
Well, I didn’t ask you to intrude.

Rodolfo Young 48:03
Exactly, this is not invited. And so I learned very quickly Okay, that’s not working. And as I dropped in more to it and realize that it wasn’t the truth, it was a truth. And maybe there’s a whole bunch of other truths. Maybe every single person has a truth that is significant to them. And then that dropped me into what’s another great habit or mindset to have daily and as a way of life: curiosity, to be curious about what another person’s truth is. And so in that same umbrella analogy, the trick is, first you put down your umbrella, that’s your identity, your ego, your mass, you say, “Okay, let me be open to somebody else’s and put this down.” And then you walk over and you step underneath somebody’s umbrella, you don’t try to take it you don’t have any agenda of change, only curiosity. And in that same way, coming kind of full circle around, if the main thing that people are looking for isn’t really a need, but is to be recognized for the choices that they’re making, that’s exactly what happens. When you go and you’re interested in somebody, curiously, not because you’re trying to find the edge to trick them into a change because you think…

Brian Crane 49:14
Or to grab their umbrella. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 49:15
Or to grab their umbrella, or to change… to do any agenda. But you just want to know more about how they’ve chosen to live life. They will welcome you most of the time, because finally they’re being recognized, they’re being seen. And so that, for me, develops much more sincere and deep connections with one another, much deeper learning. You grow in the process when you get to experience another person’s truth and reality.

Brian Crane 49:42
Great analogy. Great analogy. And so how would that tie in? Like, how do you, basically when I say how does that tie in, like how do you deal with people who they have just come out of… Let’s say they’ve just come out of their first vipassana, and they are convinced that this is the thing that everyone else should do, and they walk up to you. You’ve already done a vipassana, but picture you hadn’t, and they say, “Rodolfo, I found it. You need to do have a vipassana.” There… Yeah. And you’re smiling. And I, because I see a lot of that in Ubud, where you find somebody who’s had an epiphany. And they are so keen to tell other people that this is the way and I mean, The Way with a capital T and a capital W, right? Yeah. So how do you handle that dance?

Rodolfo Young 50:26
There’s two ways I look at it. The first is to find- rather than reject it, like, somebody’s coming to you, and they have something that’s significant to them.

Brian Crane 50:35
Yeah. And they’re on fire. They are lit.

Rodolfo Young 50:37
They’re on fire. They’re like, really, really excited. And they’re probably coming with a good intention, thinking that if this is the best thing, the right thing, I want it for everybody. Right? And so they believe their story. If you combat that, then you’re actually telling them that their truth is wrong, in the same way that they’re telling you your truth is wrong. So somebody has to drop their own umbrella and say, let me be open to just hearing you. And again, this comes back to this idea of permission, you know, I have these three pillars, acceptance, permission and expression. Acceptance is simply the awareness of what’s happening in this moment. It’s recognizing the reality, not being in denial, not wanting to avoid it, but just looking at it for what it is. And then permission is to allow for change. It’s the open mindedness to expand, to grow, to see other perspectives. And that’s where that kind of conversation would happen if somebody’s coming and really like, “Oh, this and this.” Great. Why is that important to you?

What’s the payoff?

It’s such a simple question. Why is that important to you? And then they have to self reflect, and then they can share actually more vulnerably why they’re coming to you with it. Oh, okay. I get… that’s actually valuable to me. Let me take a look at that

Brian Crane 51:48
And you’ll get to see into a more… as well, right?

Rodolfo Young 51:50
Exactly.

Brian Crane 51:50
There’s that. Yeah. Like you touched on the vulnerability.

Rodolfo Young 51:52
Yeah, yeah. And then on another note, if you were coming a little more combative to it. A question I have asked people sometimes is, I’ll say okay, great, if I will sit with you for five minutes and listen to all you have to say about this and be very open minded, can I tell you about my truth? And will you listen to mine? If they say no, then it means they’re probably not going to listen to anything else either about what you want to hold on to have your own truth or they’re on a mission. If they say yes, it means that whatever their truth is, they are actually solidly standing in it through experience, cultivation, enough that they’re not afraid that hearing another perspective can shatter. Exactly, it’s just gonna add to instead of destroy, and I think that’s a big element is in conversations, can we know that we’re just adding to each other’s lives, not trying to change them?

Brian Crane 52:47
Mm… mm… Interesting. Yeah. I you touched on one thread there. Which it struck me because you use the phrase around that person speaking their truth. And it’s maybe the final question that we’ll get to here. But there is… when you’re talking to someone else, and they say, this is my truth, and they use it almost as a way of silencing you… Do you know what I’m referring to? Yeah, they say, this is my truth. And if you don’t honor my truth, that means you’re somehow invalidating me, right? And maybe it ties back full circle with this the wants versus needs, because it’s a similar dynamic of this is a need of mine. No, actually, it’s a want. And so the speaking of one’s truth, in doing that, how, yeah, how do you navigate that when… I think that’s a very good framework is saying, like, if I listen to you for five minutes and listen to your truth, are you willing to listen to me for five minutes and, you know, at least consider my truth? Is that the way that you’re then able to effectively find a middle ground with people?

Rodolfo Young 53:59
Either middle ground or at least the recognition. Like I said, I think in the end, everybody just wants to be seen. But if somebody’s truth is something that they’ve simply adopted, and the power for them in it is that everybody else agrees, then it’s not actually serving them or other people. And that’s what often is the case when people are pushing it on somebody else is, it’s almost like, if I don’t have enough people meeting my quota today that validate this for me, I might have to doubt it. And then I might have to do even deeper work and look at stuff that I don’t want to look at about myself. And that’s where I think that kind of conflict happens, when people will be like, listen my truth and, you know, obviously, if you don’t get it, then we shouldn’t be connecting. It’s because there’s a fear that what’s beneath that is empty.

Brian Crane 54:46
So it’s interesting, because to me, the dynamic that you just described is almost like a missionary. Like if you picture the Mormons – the Mormons are maybe the easiest example – but any kind of missionary goes out and says “I need to convert x number of people; 10, 20, 100, in a certain period of time, and that if I don’t do it, either there’s something wrong with my message or it invalidates my existence.”

Rodolfo Young 55:09
Yeah.

Brian Crane 55:10
So if you want to get away from that, then how do you still… How do you still get up in the morning and effect change? Does that question Make sense?

Rodolfo Young 55:22
Yeah, a little bit.

Brian Crane 55:23
Okay. I don’t know, I might be reaching for two strands that are too far apart, like you have one hand, which is you do want to get out and spread your message. The other hand, you don’t want your belief in that message being valid only as far as other people accepting it, maybe as a way to phrase that question.

Rodolfo Young 55:38
And that’s where we come back to those three layers, right? The masks, the story, the essence. The essence, in my belief, is the same for everybody. It’s this potentiality. It’s the ability of power of choice to choose how you want to live, the truth that you want to have, the reality that you’re going to see. That’s literally the focus of emotion, the focus of feeling, the focus of perspective. Like, if somebody’s always focusing on the negative of their life then the reality is always negative. If they focus on the positive, it’s positive. That’s the power of choice that comes from this deepest essence. When we look at it from the fact that all three of those things exists at the same time, right? So you can have your story, you can have the way that you interact as an identity in the world, and you can share your story. But if you’re…

Brian Crane 55:39
Can you say those three again?

Rodolfo Young 56:31
Yeah, masks, story, and essence.

Brian Crane 56:34
Okay, yeah.

Rodolfo Young 56:35
So you can have your story and you can have your mask, and that’s how you’re interacting in the world. But if you forget that beneath all of that, there’s this very similar resonance that everybody has of potential, then you’re going to be stuck in the idea that you also are only your story and your mask. And the problem with that is those are in flux. They’re changing all the time based off of who’s agreeing, validating, or recognizing it. Whereas the potential, your power of choice, doesn’t. That’s always yours and yours alone. That’s where the stability is. The other stuff is just the expressions that we choose on top of it.

Brian Crane 57:14
Interesting. Okay. Interesting. If you had to describe your, your meta worldview, it would be… how would you describe it? Like it would be drawing from what? From kind of like the best of the East and the best of the West? In a way? Because some of its personal growth-based, which is very much a Western concept in a way, and then some of its eastern and almost like a non dual… Sort of philosophical

Rodolfo Young 57:42
Yeah, yeah. I’d say that, regardless of where it’s coming from, or what traditions and philosophies, ultimately, for me, my worldview is coming from direct experience. And so if I hear a new philosophy, if I am told about some new experience, a new possibility. I’m always open minded to it. So I have a, I call it the yes mindset. And it doesn’t mean saying yes to the thing or immediately agreeing. It just means saying yes, that’s possible. That’s a potential. Everything is. And then having enough curiosity to go experience it. So for instance, like here in Ubud we have ecstatic dance. And a lot of people would be like, I don’t know how to I don’t dance. I don’t know. No way. No way would I do that. But what if you just went and you experienced it? To find out and that takes curiosity. And so yeah, really my worldview is curious experience. Very openly looking to see “okay, what does this have for me? What can I experience?” And maybe I experience nothing out of it, but now I know. But if I try to say I know because I experienced it, that’s false.

Brian Crane 58:52
And what about if somebody says that you should mainline heroin or something that you think is… Maybe you haven’t had that experience, so you don’t think it’s going to be the profound change that you’re looking for.

Rodolfo Young 59:05
Yeah, I think it would probably… That’s a great question, because there would be things that would probably… there would be no curiosity in or no attraction to. And so like, for me, like substances and things like that, not that attracted to it. But even in that, over my lifetime, I’ve been curious enough to say, “Okay, well, let me let me have a little puff of some marijuana. I’m curious.” Nothing happened. “Let me try a little bit of this,” and meh. And that was enough experience for me to kind of be like, I don’t need to really, like I’m not seeking any value from that side of things, or asking people then about it. So again, it would be…

Brian Crane 59:07
Who have had a multitude of experiences?

Rodolfo Young 59:21
Exactly. So it would be like, sometimes the direct experience doesn’t have to be direct direct, but it can be by actually asking the curious questions. So maybe you go to somebody who’s done a lot of psychedelics and go “Tell me about it. Like what have you learned from it? What has it affected you? What’s been the impact?” Rather than judging it, right?

Brian Crane 1:00:04
It’s a good way to do it, yeah. That’s a good way to do it. Okay, so I do have one final question. One final set of questions, let’s just say. So part of your theme or your message out in the world is to touch a Million Hearts. Yeah? Can you share a little bit about that? And kind of where it comes from? And when I was on your website, you’re, like, two thirds of the way or three quarters of the way to doing that, right?

Rodolfo Young 1:00:27
Yeah, yeah. It’s like 700,000 something. And that’s a very rough estimate. I’m actually pretty sure I’m way past the million and…

Brian Crane 1:00:35
You just haven’t pressed the button.

Rodolfo Young 1:00:36
Exactly. Essentially, when I came out of my first year in silence, somebody asked me, you know, what are you going to do next? In my mind, I was thinking, I just did a year in silence. Let me take a break. But what actually came out of my mouth was, I want to reach 100,000 hearts. And I didn’t even know at the time what that meant, why I said it, nothing. And so I sat with it. And what started to come through for me was that in that same process of uncovering that I’ve done for myself over that year of kind of releasing layers of the onion or just releasing stories and coming back to this beginner’s heart, you know, we have the philosophy of a beginner’s mind in like Zen Buddhism and things, and it’s essentially a curious mind. It’s the same with the heart. And what would happen if we could come into the world with a curious heart that hasn’t made up its mind about somebody, hasn’t decided, oh, love is too romantic or is painful or this, that but it’s just curious. And so in every interaction, actually comes in with that curiosity, that compassion, and that willingness to explore. That for me is what I mean when I say to reach a Million Hearts and it moved to a million after 100,000 because that happened pretty quick.

Brian Crane 1:01:55
Blew through that early number.

Rodolfo Young 1:01:56
Yeah. Was coming out of the silence. I had some popularity, so…

Brian Crane 1:02:01
It’s a cool, I mean, as a side note, I remember seeing around Ubud and somebody said “that guy’s been in silence for I think it was a year and a half” at the point when I saw you. And I was like, “really?” And I kind of watched you for a while. How does he navigate? And I remember people coming up and talking to you and you sitting there nodding along and yeah. Yeah. Very, like almost like a mime in a way. You know? Expressing yourself.

Rodolfo Young 1:02:24
Yeah, full conversations. It was fun. Yeah, that’s the idea, is to inspire 1 Million Hearts. The idea isn’t to give them any certain belief system or anything like that. But it’s more so to say, hey, what would happen if we could look at this moment now? Create a safe enough space for your own authentic expression and vulnerability and truth to come forward? And then just share that with each other? That’s the crux of it right there. Just that, is… what would happen if people could be 100% who they truly are in that moment, and it changes in every moment, and allow for that as a permission within society in balance.

Brian Crane 1:03:03
And with with that message, when you talk to people, and when you speak publicly and do one on one sessions, is that a message that lands with people? Is that something that like when, you get to the essence of it, they go, boom, like it hits or is it something that? Yeah, does it land? Does it have the punch that you want it to, effectively?

Rodolfo Young 1:03:28
It depends. And when I’m giving public talks, for instance, a lot of it’s going to be philosophical and mental. And so the experience which I believe to experience comes from some form of emotion or feeling, like there’s a sensation to it. It’s again, why people like Tony Robbins and other large motivational speakers get you excited, they get you in the feeling state. So if I do a one on one session with somebody, I normally mix that with bodywork and energy work because that way, they’re actually in their bodies. Feeling sensations and the other half of that and, this is where even in conversation or kind of coaching or in talks, the other half is to create a safe enough environment and space of acceptance, of openness, of curiosity, that people feel free and safe to actually express what their truth is or what their questions are, what their insecurities are, fears are.

Brian Crane 1:04:23
Okay. Because sometimes they just feel blocked around doing that?

Rodolfo Young 1:04:25
Yeah, they feel blocked or they think oh, I’m gonna look stupid or this isn’t gonna be welcomed.

Brian Crane 1:04:32
It’s physiological and also, I don’t know, therapeutic in a way right? It’s truly a holistic means of approaching someone. Interesting, okay. We were just talking about choice, the consequences of choice, and sort of the desire for choice but the desire also to not bear the burden of choice? Yeah. And so, and it was related to specifically in relationships. So, Rodolfo, if you want to go back and kind of say what you’d said previously, when the mics were off about you and your fiance. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 1:05:16
Sure. So when my fiance and I first started dating, we went through three different stages of… we’ll call it attraction or how we related, and I think the first one that almost everybody has is you see somebody attractive, we see some one at a party or, you know, at a park or wherever, at work. And there’s a sense inside you, especially if you haven’t even connected, like half the time you’ll lust after somebody and not know their name for a year. That’s when you have a sense of “I need that person.” Right?

Brian Crane 1:05:51
If only I was with them, things would be so much better. Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 1:05:55
You know, or if you see even a friend and they’re super happy like I need a relationship like that. And so we have this sense of need. And hopefully you get to a point where you go, you know what, I actually don’t need that to be happy. But I would like that. I want somebody to travel with, I want somebody to have these experiences with, I want to be in a relationship.

Brian Crane 1:05:55
Cuddle…

Rodolfo Young 1:05:55
Yeah, exactly, right? And, for instance, with with my partner and I, we had that need, and then quickly, we’re like, okay, I don’t really need you. But I do want you. I would like to experience a connection with you. But here’s the thing, I maybe I also want that connection over there. And maybe I want a connection over there, too. And in life, we’re going to always have this diversity of wants. The real power comes in where we decide to choose one out of all the different wants, that power’s not just in the thing that gets chosen and it doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing. It doesn’t mean that it’s the thing that’s gonna be forever either. It just means that you had the empowered choice, and the ability to say, “Hey, I’m choosing this.”

Brian Crane 1:07:07
Out of everything I know right now.

Rodolfo Young 1:07:08
Exactly.

Brian Crane 1:07:09
And to the best of my abilities, this is what I’m choosing.

Rodolfo Young 1:07:11
Exactly, and it’s not that I was obligated to, it’s not that I was expected to, it’s not that I’ve been told that was the right thing to choose. But I chose it. And that’s where the power, is that you get to choose. And all of sudden, it comes with so much more sincerity. So much more authenticity, and also vulnerability, because if you were the one to choose, it means that you’re also the one to own the responsibility of that choice. So for my partner and I, for probably the first year, two years or so of our relationship, we made a practice of every month, coming together, sitting down and reaffirming that we were choosing each other, but always with the real freedom not to. And I think for most people that’s a really scary thought, to either think well “But doesn’t that just give somebody the carte blanche” to at any time renege on a commitment? Maybe, but would you want somebody to stay if they weren’t choosing to? Would you want somebody to stay because they were afraid of losing something out of FOMO, expectation, obligation? Or would you want somebody there because they, in that moment, again chose to stay?

Brian Crane 1:07:19
I think it’s an important distinction to say it’s not that they are not choosing you, there’s a way that it was phrased, basically like, that maybe you realize that the value of the relationship… there’s an intrinsic value in the relationship and that’s what you’re choosing as opposed to choosing to be with someone else or choosing another experience. Right? And so what I had asked you when we were talking off recording was how that sequentially works in a relationship where now you and her are engaged and you’ve said, I’m committed, like you’ve made a public commitment to one another, you put a ring on her finger. And then you ask that question subsequent to that, do you choose to be with me or… I don’t know how you phrase it. If the answer that she gives, at that point is no, I don’t choose to be with you, how does that impact the commitment that was made previously? That’s where I was going with that line of question, yeah?And you’re…

Rodolfo Young 1:09:32
Ultimately I would say… and this is difficult one to put out there. You know, I say that our history doesn’t make us who we are. It’s it brings us to where we are. And there’s a very big difference in saying that. You know, we often say, let’s say for instance, if the choices that I made in my past and the commitments that I make, that’s who I am, then that would say that if by choose otherwise, all of a sudden, then that makes Somebody who breaks that commitment. But those choices brought me to the place of making this choice. An easier example than a relationship.

Brian Crane 1:10:10
Those choices brought me to the place of making this choice.

Rodolfo Young 1:10:13
Yeah. Relationships, obviously, have so many other dynamics to be looked at. I’ll give you a different example. Several years back, I was asked to housesit for somebody here in Bali. And I didn’t know at the time that it included dog sitting. It was a very large dog. Nor did I know it was in a villa that was so… a lot of the villas here are open plan. But this is open plan, looking over a ravine, very jungle-y, a lot of monkeys would come up, things like this, and just a spooky feeling at night.

Brian Crane 1:10:46
Yeah, not safe.

Rodolfo Young 1:10:48
No. But I made a commitment. I said, “Yes. Okay. I’d be happy to,” you know, I think it was for a week and a half or something. So I go in, I spent the first two or three nights there incredibly uncomfortable. And I thought, you know what? My choice right now is I don’t want to be here. This is not fitting. Now, we say that choice comes with ownership and responsibility. And responsibility to me doesn’t mean being committed to your duties that you’ve said, I’m going to do this. That’s obligation. That’s not commitment. Nor is it responsibility to me as responsibilities, the ability to respond, which means in every moment it could change, depending on what you’re responding to. My responsibility in that moment wasm this is not comfortable. This doesn’t work. But my ownership of what I had committed to was to say that, well, let me make sure though, that what I was supposed to be doing still gets taken care of.

Brian Crane 1:11:44
Yep. That’s the second part to it.

Rodolfo Young 1:11:46
That’s the piece. It’s owning what you have committed to or owning the choice you’ve made. And either communicating, arranging, doing what is necessary to make sure that your choice isn’t a…

Brian Crane 1:12:02
Doesn’t cause a negative for the other person who’s basically premised certain decisions in their life.

Rodolfo Young 1:12:07
Exactly. And also, that’s not an abandonment, like there’s… I think one of the reasons in relationship that this is a funky one and a scary one to give somebody else the choice to stay or not, is because it’s too easy. If the other person is just looking for convenience, rather than real choice, then yeah, as soon as something gets difficult or challenging, which all relationships do, that’s actually how you grow stronger. They’ve made the choice to leave, but that’s not a convenience. So they’re actually still not even making the choice. They’re just being guided by their own distraction, their own lack of responsibility and ownership of something. So how then do we make choices but really own the reason, really understand the clarity of why we want to make that choice, and then are responsible, meaning, we’re responding with an ability that actually has hopefully a net positive or a win win situation for everybody. And that always happens just mostly through the communication. We talked earlier about the fact that when you do make a choice, it’s a choice that you’ve made. And even if it’s between things, or people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re saying one is better than the other. You’re simply saying, right now I choose this one. It’s kind of like, if you have a box of chocolates, and they’re all the same exact chocolate, is the fact that you reach for the one third in from the second row mean anything about the rest of them? No, it just meant that that was the one you chose in that moment. So our choices don’t necessarily reflect on the thing that we’re not choosing. It simply reflects on the thing that we did.

Brian Crane 1:13:54
Hmm. What do you think of the phrase “There are no solutions, only compromises.”

Rodolfo Young 1:14:05
Off the cuff and immediately I would say I disagree with it. I believe there are not so much compromises, there are choices. And there’s a difference. You can look at it and say, “Okay, how can I still try to get a little bit of all of this? And maybe I just have to give away the fullness of what I wanted from it?” But that’d be kind of like saying, you know, I want to…

Brian Crane 1:14:37
And that would be approaching it from a position of “there are no solutions, there are only compromises,” that basically…

Rodolfo Young 1:14:43
If I was if I was to adopt the idea that I have to make a compromise, then it would be like, if I’m going to make a cake… er, I have a choice. I can make a cake or I can make a muffin and for the cake I need certain ingredients, for the muffin, I need certain ingredients. I have enough ingredients for the muffin, but I really want the cake. And so I say, Okay, I’m gonna compromise and I’ll make the cake. But I just won’t put that ingredient in. That, to me is a compromise. Whereas the choice is I have the capacity and the ability to respond in this moment to this choice. And I can do that wholly, fully, as opposed to doing this only half ass. That makes sense?

Brian Crane 1:14:46
Yeah.

Rodolfo Young 1:14:50
And so we we don’t make our choices just out of convenience. We don’t make our choices just out of what we think is the shinier object or anything. We make our choices out of “what can I actually show up to?”

Brian Crane 1:15:46
And honor, effectively.

Rodolfo Young 1:15:47
And honor. Exactly.

Brian Crane 1:15:48
Yeah. And honor in the true sense of the word of like actually fulfill, right

Rodolfo Young 1:15:51
Yeah, yeah.

Brian Crane 1:15:52
So then that would then lead into something else we talked about, which is that you and I agree to some degree, I think that a lot of people don’t actually want choices, because choices necessitate taking responsibility or taking ownership or honoring a particular choice, right?

Rodolfo Young 1:16:17
Yeah, very true. I mean, we see it in society all the time that we delegate our possibilities and decision making and choice making, to authority figures all the time. In politics, in, you know, spirituality, in even education, all these things. And it’s almost actually punished if you don’t like you get a child in a classroom, who challenges the teacher because they want to see something from a different perspective. And they’re punished. They’re shamed for it. And so it’s almost like, oh, sorry, I shouldn’t have my own feeling my own truth about this. I just need to follow yours. So yeah, I think a lot of times, not only from conditioning, but also from a laziness of ownership. We don’t want to have to make the choice. Easier way even to look at this is when you are in a relationship, and both parties know that the relationship probably should have ended like three months before, nobody wants to be the one to say it though. Nobody wants to be the one that to make the choice. That’s a good example. It’s like, well, but the choice was already made. And you’re just, you know, combating what the truth is. Somebody has to take responsibility, and in a relationship has to be both parties.

Brian Crane 1:17:36
And have that difficult conversation which surfaces the things that have been beneath the surface.

Rodolfo Young 1:17:41
Yeah. Which may actually even save the relationship.

Brian Crane 1:17:43
Yeah, a lot of times because you actually get to what is on each person’s heart and mind.

Rodolfo Young 1:17:49
Yeah, and I often talk about this and I’m curious how it’s gonna work into everything we just said about choice. I often say that there’s actually only one choice we can make in life. And there’s a lot of decisions we can make amongst the diversity of options, and we’ll call them like, you make a choice to buy a T shirt, but you might have a plethora of types of T shirts. The one choice that we have in life is to surrender or to resist. That’s it. Either we surrender to what’s in this moment are the choices we’ve made or the decisions or the commitments we have. Or we resist it. Either we surrender to the reality of something or we resist it. This is always it. Every single time. You think of an Eastern philosophy, the idea of non attachment, you know, trying to control a situation is resisting change. Surrender is accepting and knowing that no change is happening. Maybe let me orient myself to move with the wave towards where I want. But if you’re just resisting it, you just get hit with the wave. So the real choice that there is ever in life is to surrender or to resist.

Brian Crane 1:18:58
And so then, if I think about this from an architectural standpoint of surrender/resist at kind of a meta level and then out of that flow certain decisions. So using the wave analogy, you might choose to surrender to the wave, but the wave might be taking you to shore, but then you have decisions in which you can orient.

Rodolfo Young 1:19:19
You can point the board in the direction that you want to go.

Brian Crane 1:19:22
Yeah, yeah, reminds me of a really useful analogy that I heard once for describing fate versus free will. And the way that it was described to me was, if you picture a dog on a chain of behind a bicycle, and the dog can run to a certain degree as fast or as slow as it wants, and it can run to a certain degree to the left to the right of the bicycle, but at the end of the day, it still has to run with the bicycle. It can’t choose to stop. It can’t choose to just lay down and so you have a certain amount of free will. It’s not absolute. There’s also… I think there is some free will. And so saying that, like, it’s all left up to fate. I don’t know, there’s a tie-in there with the choice, and then the decisions that come out of it because I think that using the dog analogy with behind the rider on the bicycle, that dog has some decisions about how fast he wants to run, or not run, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t really have a choice and that he still needs to follow the bicycle. So maybe that’s the surrender part of the unit. Yeah,

Rodolfo Young 1:20:30
I think of it in very practical terms that life is always moving forward and up. Like, that’s the natural capacity of life. If you’re resisting it, then you’re normally moving or facing backwards but still going forward. Or holding on downward while being pulled up. And so what would happen if we actually surrendered?

Brian Crane 1:20:54
What’s an example of holding on downward and being pulled up? And what’s an example of…

Rodolfo Young 1:20:58
Yeah, think of it like a plant. Right? Easiest analogy is to nature, a plant roots down. And so it finds stability from its history or from its roots. Its, you know, whatever it holds to, but then it grows upward. And it doesn’t, like grow halfway and think, “Oh, wait, let me, let me just hold on to this. And because I’m putting all my nutrients down into my roots, now, I can’t grow further.” Instead it goes, “Let me keep going, let me keep going. And then if I need to grow more roots, fine.”

Brian Crane 1:21:33
But it will happen in parallel.

Rodolfo Young 1:21:34
Exactly. It’s the two. Whereas if we’re not doing that, then what we do instead is we’re just holding on, controlling, trying to keep something as the status quo, even if it’s miserable. People do it all the time. They’re like, but at least I know it’s familiar. So let me hold on to it. Whereas surrendering to something and allowing that to be the choice is to say, Okay, I don’t know exactly where this is gonna go, but I know I’m moving forward and I know life is moving me forward?

Brian Crane 1:22:02
Yeah. My friend Chad often says the universe has my back. Yeah, that’s his phrase. Yeah, the universe has my back. When he when he feels like he’s moving up and forward. So, if people want to learn more about you, are you still doing speeches at yoga barn?

Rodolfo Young 1:22:19
Yep!

Brian Crane 1:22:21
Like how do they find you online? And what are they looking for? What do you want them to find you for?

Rodolfo Young 1:22:27
Yeah. Online if you look under Heart Coach or Rodolfo Young, my website’s rodolfoyoung.com, also my name for almost any social media. You can find me most active on Instagram at the moment. And I do…

Brian Crane 1:22:42
Gotta go where the fishes are.

Rodolfo Young 1:22:43
Yeah, exactly.

Brian Crane 1:22:44
Get your hook in the water.

Rodolfo Young 1:22:45
Exactly. Like “I’m big on Facebook- wait, you guys are over there?” Well, I’m still here in Bali. I’ll continue doing weekly talks whether that’s at Yoga Barn or Sayuri’s cafe, some of the public forums, it’s pretty easy to find out where I’m at just looking online at events and things like that, that are here. And otherwise one on one sessions people can book with me through my site if they look under rodolfoyoung.com/almaflow. I’ve developed my own style of coaching healing bodywork and it’s called Almaflow or spirit dance, essentially.

Brian Crane 1:23:27
Alma’s like soul?

Rodolfo Young 1:23:29
Exactly, and flow, just like flowing with that soul.

Brian Crane 1:23:32
Yeah. Beautiful. Okay.

Rodolfo Young 1:23:34
And those are the primary ways, I have books that are out there. Look under Rodolfo Young and you can find Who Are You and some of the other ones are only in print and not actually on Amazon yet.

Brian Crane 1:23:44
I’ve seen them around Ubud, a couple places. And then you’re going to D-Camp in the future and heading to Germany and start a family. Right?

Rodolfo Young 1:23:51
Yes, yeah, that’s the plan. In April, my fiance and I will be moving to Berlin. And so we’ll be basing out there and I’ll travel around Europe and continue sharing what I share and learning from the people around there.

Brian Crane 1:24:03
Beautiful. Good luck to you.

Rodolfo Young 1:24:05
Thank you.

Brian Crane 1:24:05
Thanks for coming in.

Rodolfo Young 1:24:06
My pleasure.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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