Thanks for all of the lovely stories of praise and pranks. So many of them have been so profoundly moving and have brought something positive to the lives of many. Please keep them coming. A couple of notes: Your story will not post right away. Instead, it will go into a queue for posting on a weekend day. That said, there is no need to submit twice. Also, both the Erik Encounters and the Erik Testimonials are not set up for answering questions. I mention this because some of you have asked questions about loved one, future topics, or about whether an encounter was real or not. Enjoy today’s post!
Me: I know this is a very trivial subject but I’m going to ask it anyway. Erik, how do we find happiness and joy?
Jamie: That’s trivial?
Me: Nah, just kidding. I’m being sarcastic.
Erik: Well you might find it under your pillowcase.
Me: What? The tooth fairy leaves you something?
Erik: That tooth fairy never left me enough money. Hint hint.
Me: I know. Too late now. You don’t have teeth.
Erik: Um, how to find it?
Jamie: He’s being funny and picking up his shirt and picking at his belly button. He’s talking quietly to his belly button like his happiness is stuck inside his belly. “Hey belly. Is happiness in there?”
Jamie and I laugh.
Erik: Really, it’s inside of us.
Jamie: You forget how long his legs are. He doesn’t always look lanky to me but there are times when he looks like Bambi where he has the long arms, the long legs.
Me (in a sappy tome): Aw, Bambi. You’re so cute, Erik.
Jamie: Sorry, Erik. I had to. But you could just see it when he pulled his shirt up.
Erik: Happiness is inside of us, and you’re not going to find it externally, but our whole fucking culture tells us to look outside to find out who we are in the inside. You can buy it here, and you can buy it over there, and if you do this, you might find it. That’s just a crock of shit. You know what? We’ve talked about this before, Mom, but I still get—
Jamie: He’s up and pacing now.
Erik: I still get really bothered by it. I think that every child, when they’re born, and when they go off to school they need to learn nonviolent communication. They need to learn ho to communicate with emotions and not logical thoughts.
Me: I’ve read that book, Nonviolent Communication. I recommend that everybody read it.
Erik: Me too. I’m so happy that you like it.
Jamie: He really likes it. I’m going to have to read it. Anyway, go ahead.
Erik: As well as, um, every kid should have their own life coach or therapist.
Erik: I’m not talking about major psychotherapy. They just that coach person who talks about how they pay attention to themselves cuz a lot of times, parents can’t be there for them like that. Our culture is set up in a way that both parents go to work now, and it’s acceptable to put your child in groups, in teams and spirits and music and they’re busy and they’re busy and then they feed them and they go to bed. You don’t get to have that single person that the child can report to who can say, “Hey, did you remember how to feed yourself? Did it feel good when you ate the pizza or the popcorn? Did it feel good when you ate the apple” That way, you can get them to acknowledge the strengths in their physical body. These are the key elements in finding the happiness inside of us. Our culture doesn’t provide us that when we’re younger so when we get to adulthood, we know that there’s deep happiness somewhere, but we can’t touch it. We can’t reach it because we’ve been trained to look away from it. I think we need to start young.
Me: That sounds perfect, but not everybody, in fact most people can’t afford a life coach or some kind of therapist to help them find their own happiness.
Erik: We’re talking about the adults, right?
Me: Well no, I mean both. I think you said that every kid should have a life coach.
Erik: I think it should be part of the public school curriculum—the whole education system. That’s my two cents. I know they have school counselors, but it’s only the troubled kids who are sent there. What the fuck, why can’t the happy kids go there? It’s so stupid. You’re missing out on a great opportunity of laying anchors of thoughts and emotions somewhere and having a third person analysis so they can be stronger on the inside. So if you can’t do that for yourself for lack of money or whatever excuses you want–
Jamie (laughing): He just started laughing at himself.
Erik: Because then—
Jamie: Yeah, but how?
Erik: Internet. YouTube.
Jamie: But that world is big, Erik, and we don’t know what we’re looking at sometimes.
Erik: There are several places. Even the Omega Institute.
Jamie: Yeah I know what you’re talking about.
Erik: They have free videos. They have a library of free interviews, videos. Sounds True.
Jamie: Sounds true?
Erik: No, no. That’s the company. Sounds True. It has a library of audio interviews and visual images as well. These are approved people who are talking about these core values that I’m discussing now like nonviolent communication, knowing how you feel, what’s on the inside of you. These are free. You just have to dedicate it into your schedule to learning something. I think many people, once they don’t have happiness—they know it exists but they can’t touch it—use that “poor me” energy to help them survive in their life. A lot of them don’t know how to drop—
Jamie: He does it like he’s dropping a mike.
Erik: They don’t know how to drop that energy cycle and grab onto something new. So—
Me: Are you talking about possessions?
Erik: No, that victim energy like, “Oh, I’m struggling and things are kind of hard.” And people are like, “Oh, come here baby. Give me a hug.” So they don’t know how drop that to learn or discover something new. I’d like you to think, “I’m going to do one new thing a week.” A weekly challenge.
Jamie: Drum roll? I don’t have a drum roll.
Jamie tries to make a drum roll sound.
Erik: Look at your calendar and pick a day and write down, “Do something new.” And that something new will be to watch an interview, to listen to a podcast. There are a lot of approved, very knowledgeable good, grounded sources, and if you’re very, very religious: Unity, Presbyterian, Catholic, Judaism, I don’t care if it’s great for you—I want you to find lecture, teachers, podcasts that step out of your religion. Not into somebody else’s. Just kind of non-secular. I don’t want it to feed your belief system. I want it to feed you in a way that your can learn outside your comfort zone. So, I’m not putting down your religion or anything. I’m just saying, “Hey. It’s okay to accept the non-secular crew. They got something to say.”
Jamie (chuckling): He’s teasing them.
Erik: Put it on your calendar, “Do something new.”
Jamie: Yeah, you already said that.
Jamie (laughing): He just lost himself.
Me: Okay, what about possessions? Kids—well adults too—think a new cell phone is going to make them feel better. A new computer. Erik, you did that a lot to find happiness.
Erik: Yeah. I did. It’s funny the way you started that question off, Mom. Kids were the possessions.
Erik: In some cases they are, right? If the marriage isn’t happy, “Let’s have another kid. Maybe that would bring us happiness. Maybe that would make us whole.” It ain’t going to work. You gotta be good with yourself. Yes, people will look externally and say, “My business isn’t working well. It’ s obviously because I don’t have a new computer.” They look for the fault to be in their world and not within themselves. For those people who do that possession thing, hoarding even, it’s not about being right or wrong. A lot of times it’s hard to admit that you don’t know what’s going on.
Jamie (laughing): He’s talking about growing balls.
Erik: It’s okay to grow balls and say, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know why the business isn’t working.” Then you go learn something new instead of getting a the computer. But in the process of letting go of possessions, not reaching out to possessions to have fulfillment like with food or things of that nature, you have to acknowledge how you’re really feeling. You have to identify what the emotion is that’s throwing you so violently into your environment to grab onto other things. Some people can’t identify that, so they have to have a third party. Most of the time, you can’t find that on podcasts, YouTubes, the things I was talking about before. You’re going to have to have a third person to help you. There is free counseling available for those who can’t afford it. You just have to look into your community and city for what they can provide for you. Then that person can help you identify what you’re feeling. Then you go from there where you’re going to discover how to identify how you’re feeling and how do don’t know how to manage it, and you don’t know the answer. Then all of a sudden you gain a power and a confidence because you’re working with being honest and authentic.
Me: Yeah, that’s really empowering, being honest with yourself.
Erik: Yes. Then you’re not thrown into the environment to grab and grasp to cover your feelings.
A fig leaf for our emotions!
Me: Well, one thing about having a life coach and counselors at school—what are you going to get rid of? There’s no time for that. They have so many activities in school. Do you give up PE? I guess you could do that and the parents can get the kids to run around in circles in the cul-de-sac.
Erik: Damn, Mom. Most people have given up on PE.
Me: Yeah, I know. True.
Erik: No, there should be a once a week check in with a handful of life coaches, really grounded people who can help the children learn about themselves. They can meet for thirty minutes a week.
Me: That sounds great!
Of course it’d be impossible to have this happen one on one. It would have to be designed as a group therapy thing.
Erik: This isn’t an hourly thing per day. This is just an individual check in. so the class regimen can stay the same, but you can have that 30 to 60 minutes of whatever that class is for that time.
Me: Sorry, PE teachers.
Me: I’m not saying PE’s bad.
I’ll be going on a trip with my sister and brother-in-law in Arkansas tomorrow, but will try to keep posting! I found two posts that for some reason got stuck in draft mode, so I’ll post them tomorrow and Wednesday. I hope it’s not a duplicate. I searched and couldn’t find it among the published posts.