Coach Sam Falsafi welcomes Phil, Angela, and Zach Nordgren to the podcast this week as they have an in-depth and honest conversation about the dark times they have each experienced, and the role Warrior has played in leading them out of their Pits and into a new life of healing, building, creating, and new possibilities.
Parable #1: Family Turmoil
- Phil: Angela and I had done a lot of work individually and together to rebuild our marriage from a very dark and painful place. Our rebuilding was going well, but I personally felt stalled. I felt that doing what I was doing wasn’t going to get me to where I wanted to go, nor get us to where we wanted and needed to go in our marriage and with our family. At age 48, I felt stuck.
- Zach: The way I remember reacting to the turmoil and conflict in our family was through fear and confusion. I began wondering if this is what every family experiences, and I wished at times that I had different parents or no parents at all. These experiences led to detachment in my behavior and shoving my feelings down. It manifested itself by me experiencing detachment, disassociation and wanting to escape.
- Angela: During the time Phil describes himself as feeling stuck, if he got bored with something, he would burn it down. Our relationship was terrible. Things were so bad I didn’t know if we were going to make it. I decided the best thing I could do was to fall back in love with myself. I ended up spending a lot of time by myself because that’s where I figured I would be.
How are your children reacting and responding to the turmoil you and your spouse are creating in your family?
Parable #2: Mid-Life Crisis Fallacy
- Phil: This mid-life crisis story was strong within me, that it was somehow natural and expected to reach this age and suddenly not know what the fuck I wanted or where I was going. And in that place of being unhappy where I am causing all of this pain all around me, it’s just part of the discovery process of who I am fucking becoming; that sedating with drugs or alcohol is just part of this.
- Zach: I don’t know how I know this, but I know that I’m expected to go through a midlife crisis. It’s all around us in the media that this is just what happens. It’s coming and you’re not going to know why the fuck you made any of the decisions you’ve made up to that point in your life, you’re going to hate your job, and you’re going to want to blow your brains out. And it’s portrayed as a normal rite of passage in a man’s life.
- Sam: Enter a Warrior video that smashes that mid-life crisis window for you. Garrett comes in and throws a rock in your fucking window from which you’re watching the world, and slightly changes your perspective by creating a fucking hole inside of the window via the videos you watched and the new possibilities you saw for yourself.
How has Warrior changed your perspective around the story that all men can expect to experience a mid-life crisis?
Parable #3: Pain
- Angela: The worst pain I felt was uncertainty about what we were going to do moving forward. We were stuck. I was also experiencing the pain of the uncertainty of our children’s mental health, and I was living in complete guilt and shame. I finally let Phil inside and help me once I got to a place where I was going to explode and couldn’t maintain it anymore.
- Phil: You kept these feelings inside of you. By the time you let them out, it was so bad that it would create an eruption of emotion, pain, and chaos. This resulted in us having arguments and altercations. You were so fucking raw that whatever happened while you were in that state would just explode.
How do you help your spouse work through their pain?
Parable #4: Miss Rhonda
- Zach: Miss Rhonda represents that kind of opposition that I was dealing with and the pinnacle of traditional therapy, tradition treatment, traditional “what do we do with a depressed teenager that doesn’t want to be on this planet when we’re legally obliged to throw him somewhere,” when we don’t know what to do with him.
- This led to a conversation on the telephone with Sam where he had me imagine the worst possible vision of her. “You’re eating her ass; her butthole is engulfing your nose right now. Do you want to move forward, build and create, or do you want to be inside of her asshole? He had me scream out loud, “I’m eating Ronda’s asshole!” That lit a spark of change within me.
Recall a turning point in your life. What led to it?
Parable #5: The Illusion of Freedom
- Zach: During Warrior Week 37, we ran into a group of 18-year-olds driving a Land Rover, smoking blunts and listening to shitty music. This is what people my age think is cool; this is people riding the wave of the illusion of freedom, perceiving they have the power to do whatever the fuck they want.
- Before Warrior Week, I would have thought those guys were cool. I would have rolled with them and would have talked shit on the group of Warrior guys. I hated myself to some degree, and I also had this inflated ego, thinking I was something that I wasn’t.
What illusion of freedom are you operating under?
Parables from the Pit:
“Whenever Zach feels stuck, he has the way and the path; he has the blueprint of how to get out of those fucking stories and find the courage to tell them to fuck off because he knows that it’s a fucking story.”
— Coach Sam Falsafi
“For the first time in years, I’m open to the idea that I believe in the Source, the Voice, the Universe. It doesn’t mean that the stories of another man in a book are all true to me; rather, that I am in touch with a higher power that is coming through me.”
“Because there is integrity and honesty in what ’s unfolding, being a witness to this has helped heal the wounds of the past. The Stack has the power because it’s the reaction, the turning around, and the conversation with yourself that is bringing all of us a sense of clarity and freedom to have discussions without raised voices or judgment.”
“I’m still learning to support myself and manifest that into fruition, to get closer to that white light, that sensation of power; that sensation of being who I really am.”