There are times when resilience is simply not enough to carry you through situations that the universe throws at you. Producer, writer, and director William Arntz believes that during these times flexibility, alongside resilience, can be a powerful tool. In this episode, William Arntz joins Adam Markel to share his spiritual and filmmaking journey. He also provides his perspective on the role of suffering in evolution, especially with the Coronavirus pandemic being on a different scale from what the world has seen before. Learn how you can use flexibility and resilience as the keys to mastering your environment and moving through the unknown.

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Flexibility And Resilience: Keys To Mastering The Unknown

I am feeling blessed to be sitting in my seat, podcasting on a beautiful day. Lots going on in our world and lots going on as always, but as much as that has become the new normal, the things are changing constantly. I don’t know that any of us expected the changes that we’re experiencing at this moment. I’m not at great risk to say that but I feel nonetheless, fantastic. Not only that, I get to be here and I am still sitting on a chair in a house standing on a hillside in Southern California, which is on top of this beautiful Mother Earth of ours that’s nothing more than a speck of dirt spinning in infinite space. The realization of perspective for me and how seriously we always take everything that’s going on in our lives and in the world. There’s nothing wrong with that. In that other perspective of things, how much we obsess, worry and suffer with things that are going on is a point of interest. I have an incredible guest on the show, somebody that will bring a wonderful new perspective to the question of whether suffering is truly optional or not.

William Arntz started his professional career as a Research Laser Physicist working on Star Wars high energy lasers. He then moved on to software writing AutoSys and automated job control systems in use by Fortune 500 companies. He sold that company, retired but then decided to make a film that many of you have heard of. He created, produced and directed, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, an exploration of spirituality, quantum physics, neurology and outrageous possibilities. The film and the companion book with additions in over twenty languages have been huge international hits. His book, How to Suffer … In 10 Easy Steps, is a different take in the genre of self-help. I am happy to have you on the show. It’s great to have you be a guest with us. Welcome.

Thank you. It’s good to be here. Like you, I’m grateful I’m sitting on a chair and up here at 8,300 feet in Colorado. Everything is still and quiet. You’d never know by looking out of the window that our world is in chaos.

The bio is a fraction of a lot of the things that you’ve done in the world. I’d love for our people to know what’s not in that bio that you would love for people to know about you?

I spent about twenty years with two different spiritual teachers and both of those programs were intense. The first teacher, Rama Frederick Lenz, got everyone into computers. That computer program that you mentioned was given to all his student’s essay spiritual tasks. “Go write some software and turn it into a product. Turn it into a company and sell it.”

As soon as you think you’re a victim, you disempower yourself. Click To Tweet

That was a spiritual undertaking?

Yeah. There was a lot of teaching behind it. It wasn’t just, “Go do it and get rich.” In meditating, one of the things you do is you’re clearing your mind. He said, “If your mind is clear, you’ll know that because when you write code, it won’t be buggy and it won’t break. If your mind is cluttered, it’s going to be buggy and it’s going to break.” It’s a great reflection of that. The other reason to do it is he said, “In the West, if you’re in spiritual study, people look down on you. They think you’re a freak, and they ask you when you’re going to start drinking the Kool-Aid. It was bad.” This was back in the ‘80s and ‘90s and this was not so much now. He said, “You’re not going to get any respect. In fact, you’ll get disrespect. However, if you pull up to the meeting in a Mercedes, you’ve got instant respect. They pay you well to do computers. It’s the wave of the future.” He was a seer and he would see the future. There were a lot of reasons for doing it. That’s one little fact that is not in the bio.

This was a mentor of yours. What is his name?

Frederick Lenz was his given name given by the parents. The name given to him by the universe was Rama.

I imagine people are going to go look them up and see what his books and things are. What year was this approximately?

I signed up in ‘82 and then I was around until ‘95 when I sold my product and then headed out to the other worlds.

Forgive me for not knowing his work and life. Does he still walk on the planet?

No, he passed away in ‘97. Most people don’t because he didn’t have a huge following. For most of that time, it was just 200 students. He would move around the country all the time. He got another batch of about 200 students and that was it. It wasn’t a big thing. He didn’t do a lot of big events and he flew under the radar.

Not a modern-day guru but clearly had foresight. That’s remarkable.

PR William | Flexible Resilience

Flexible Resilience: What people are experiencing during the Coronavirus pandemic has never happened in the history of humanity.

 

Back in the early ‘90s, he broke his students up into groups and said, “I want you all writing game software because games are going to be different.” At that point, I was like, “You’re crazy, Rama. The computers aren’t fast enough to do what you’re saying to do.” He kept saying, “No, you guys got to do games.” Fifteen years later, it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry. He was quite a seer.

Like a Steve Jobs of the meditation space or something. You sell your company and do well enough to retire at a certain point. Even though I know we’re going to take a different trajectory with this, I would be remiss for sure if I did not cover What the Bleep Do We Know!? and the inspiration for that because it had such a huge impact on many people. It’s a wonderful thing to have created, to sit where you’re sitting now and know that it had a good impact that you intended and probably quite a bit more. Let’s cover the inspiration for it and anything else you wanted to share about what that journey was like because you certainly didn’t come from that background.

The background I came from was science and then I did the twenty plus years of intense spiritual practice. That’s the science and spirits part. The idea of bringing them together in some form was always kicking around in my mind. The Tao of Physics came out by Capra and that was starting to unite these ideas. I thought, “It would be great to make a movie.” When I was younger in high school and college, what my friends and I did for fun was make movies but it wasn’t professional. Back in tenth grade, I’m sitting at the dining room table with a glue slicer, gluing together eight-millimeter movies that we were making. I always wanted to do it but when it finally came time to go to LA and do it, if I was going to do it, I couldn’t deal with LA and that was that. I figured, “I’ll never make movies but I wanted to.”

Meanwhile, back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, if you were in spiritual practice, people would roll their eyes and you got a lot of bad vibes. Let’s face it. From that, there was no respect and quite honestly, that pissed me off. I had a chip on my shoulder and I’m like, “Most of the people I know that are into spiritual practice are not a bunch of spacey flake balls.” You’re reading, studying, self-examining and turning your world upside down to evolve. It’s a serious practice. I wanted to put something out there that reflected that serious practice and that’s where I said, “I’m going to make a movie. I’m going to use the language of science because that gives it instant respectability, but it’s going to be about science and spirituality.” That was another reason to make it. The third reason was once I started it, I got this sense that there were millions of people around the planet waiting for it. I usually don’t get those messages but that was one that came and wouldn’t go away that there were millions waiting for this crazy movie. I’m like, “Here we go.” The rest is history.

William, are you a seer? I know you described your mentor in that way. Do you figure that this movie project was a bit of seeing?

Another thing is I had a notion that a door is opening. There is a moment where it’s the perfect time for this film to land. When you look back at it, the fact that it was when email and the internet were becoming widespread, which is how it got out there. It was a moment where there’s a falling out of this bias against spirituality and nothing had been done like it then. I had the sense this was a time and we had to get it out in 2004, which we did. That’s it. There’s another aspect of being a seer and that has to do with this book that my wife, Deirdre, and I put together several years ago. It’s called The (not so) Little Book of Surprises. After we did the book, she had a vision and I ditto that we are entering the age of surprise. In fact, we have been going around doing our little mystic and physicists show, telling people we’re entering the age of surprises. We kept telling people that. If you don’t think we’re in the age of surprises, I don’t know where you’ve been. The surprises rolling in are a tidal wave.

I want to track back to What the Bleep Do We Know!? because it’s something that is instructional. People will learn something from the process you used to take to get the title. What would you guys used to call it?

All suffering is a result of the misapprehension of the nature of reality. Click To Tweet

We would have bad idea days and there were three of us who put this together, myself, Mark Vicente and Betsy Chasse. We all had our fingers deep in the pie. We would have all these meetings trying to figure out how we do it. We’re always trying to come up with the best idea. Someone floated the idea, “I’m sick of trying so hard to come up with the best idea. Let’s come up with the worst idea we can.” We put a cheeseometer up on the wall where you say how cheesy the idea was the idea. You’d come up with a bad idea that would be tacky and cheesy that everyone would groan. It relieves the pressure of always trying to be so smart and intuitive and everything else.

The pressure to have the answers and be smart all the time is exhausting to have. To release that, what ends up happening at some point is you come up with this title.

One of the things that happened is we started doing this and we would throw these out. Every once in a while, one would come out and we’d all start to laugh and then stop and go, “That’s good.” We had been doing this. Meanwhile, Betsy who had come on never had any previous reading or studying and all the spiritual stuff so Mark and I would go on this metaphysical stuff. She’d stop and she goes, “I don’t know what you guys are going on about but what the fudge do I know?” She was always saying that. After about a year of trying to figure this film out, Mark and I started saying, “What do the fudge I know?” At one point, we were once more trying to figure out how to tell a dramatic story within a documentary. Someone said, “What do the fudge I know?”

Someone else we can’t remember said, “What do the fudge we know?” Someone else said, “Let’s call the movie that.” We all had a big laugh. That was our bad idea for the day and it stuck. We had to change fudge to bleep. That was how that came about. It’s a nice ambiguous term because on the one hand, it’s like, “What the fudge do we know?” We didn’t want to come across as the gurus or as the people. We have it all figured out and you don’t. We’re just presenting ideas. The other side of that is, “What the fudge do we know?” We have uncovered some stuff and we’ve talked to some people who do so what do we know? I also enjoy the ambiguity of the title.

I’m sure it’s not the 100th time that you’ve told that story over the years but I appreciate the passion that you gave to that one. What I’d love to do is to triangulate three things. The first being, what’s on your heart? I have not asked guests in the 170 episodes yet. I also want to talk about resilience and your book, How to Suffer … In 10 Easy Steps. If we can figure out a way to triangulate those three things, that would be fun and interesting for me personally. Hopefully, it will be interesting for others who are reading. What’s on your heart?

Quite honestly, the big thing on my heart is something personal. I’m up here in the mountains of Colorado. It’s March 16. 2020. Any day they may slap down a thing where people can’t travel. My dear wife, Deirdre, is at our other house in California. What’s on my heart is getting out of here before they shut down the airways and seeing her. It’s not a big grandiose save the world. That’s what’s up for me. Wrap it up here, get out there and get with my sweetheart.

That’s what everybody is on some level thinking about the safety of people they care about and wanting to be with those people as well not be separated. I know there are people who have kids that were studying abroad in various places around the world and some of those kids are still over there. Some are not going to make it back and some have already come back. There’re many things that many of us can relate to. I know we’re hunkering down in our self-quarantine in a beautiful place. Nonetheless, we’re also concerned about what other people are concerned about. There’s a run on the toilet paper. There’s no toilet paper to be seen or had. We went out early to get eggs and there are things that we would never have thought of. We wouldn’t have been thinking about any of these things being an issue and how quickly things can change in a global environment.

You’re little more my senior, a little older than I am and you’ve seen a little bit more than I’ve seen but I can track back in my mind the things not long ago. The Great Recession started in 2008, which many of us saw signs of that happening earlier than that. The 9/11, the banking crisis of the early ‘90s, the dot-com boom and bust of 2000, and the Y2K Scare. When information about AIDS was first being made public and a lot of the paranoia and misinformation around AIDS time. There’re many things in our lives and this is another one of those things. What’s your take on the big picture, if there is something over time that you’ve learned about events like this? Maybe you could even share some looking at it through the lens of resilience, if that’s possible. I want to turn that over to you and look for your elder wisdom on some of what we’re seeing and what’s happening.

The big thing, and I’ve been meditating on this, is this is another one of those things. On the one hand, that’s true but there’s something about this. What we’re experiencing has never ever happened in the history of humanity. There have been catastrophes. Maybe the flood that happened 12,000 years ago apparently affected the whole planet. There’ve been all those other crises like 9/11. Everyone on the planet was aware of it but it was the people in America that were affected. This is something where everyone on the planet is being potentially affected by this, number one. Number two, because of the growth of the internet and communications, everyone’s aware of it at the same time.

PR William | Flexible Resilience

Flexible Resilience: The only easy thing is suffering because no one wants to do it but everyone’s doing it.

 

There were other things in the past like when they did the moon launch where you see old pictures of people lining up outside of TV stores and there was a TV watching it. There was a lot of worldwide awareness about a single event but never has there been worldwide awareness around a single event that is affecting everyone at the same time. We are all connected and there’s a collective unconsciousness. When you think about the immensity of that, the collective unconscious is going haywire. I was walking through the house and I suddenly got overtaken by this sense of dread. I was like, “Whoa.”

It wasn’t like I was thinking about anything. I was just going to make a cup of tea and I suddenly got hit by dread. I stopped for about 3 or 4 minutes and I’m like, “What is with this?” I realized, “I picked up from the collective unconscious, what this is,” because as soon as I named it, the dread went away. Which tells me I’m just picking it up. It’s nothing personal. It’s something that’s in the environment. It’s something in the astral fear or wherever you want to peg it in the collective unconscious. There’s something about this event that we’re all going through that’s unique. Because of that, we don’t know what’s going to shake out of it. That sense of unknowingness about it, fuels the dread and fuels everything.

It’s interesting because you said we’re connected and we’re connected in many ways. That’s another part of the depth at which we can look at this. We are connected. Smallpox and other plagues or other pandemics have been a part of the global experience before. This is not the first time for that. The fact that we’re all aware of it at the same exact moment and we’re feeling it because we’re given access to so much information about what’s happening elsewhere in the world. We’re able to do what is most human, which is to have empathy and have compassion for others. That’s never been the case before when we were all going through something so this is an interesting point of connection. I don’t know what ultimately that looks like and what it leads to.

Perhaps it leads, and it would be my prayer and my hope, to more empathy, understanding and peace on our planet because we’re having such a shared experience that is difficult. What’s been your method of dealing with an unexpected challenge in your life? Because that’s a part of what you brought up, which is that this is something we didn’t see coming and it has taken us by storm and has changed people’s lives already and will for a long time to come, it seems. You’ve had events in your life that caught you off guard and you had to do something with them. Ultimately, you’re here, doing well and still creating things to make a difference in the world. You’ve been resilient. I look at you and I go, “There’s another model of resilience.” I see them everywhere and you’re one of them. What’s that been like for you? Are there some keys that you would call out of that experience to share with us?

We’re all being hit by this at the same time. There have always been those science fiction things, War of the Worlds, where the only way this planet will ever come together is if we get attacked by some alien coming in. We all have to come together to fight it in order to survive. Although it’s not a Martian coming in a spaceship, it’s a virus, but it is that. Who knows what’s going to be the outcome of this? As far as, what do I do? The first thing about resilience is you can’t be a victim. You can’t go into victimization. You can’t go into that, “Poor me. It’s unfair. The universe is unfair. God is unfair,” or whatever because as soon as you go into that, you disempower yourself.

Pain is unavoidable. Suffering is optional. Click To Tweet

You’re saying, “I didn’t have anything to do with this for me. The world is dumping on me.” “What can I do? I got squished. Roadkill. Just my luck. Can you believe what happened to me? Let me tell you. If you’re sitting down, it’s going to take a while.” You go into that. The thing is you talk about resilience, the ability to get up, the ability to turn and go a different direction or the ability to change your thinking about stuff that takes energy and power. As soon as you’ve gone into victimization and told everyone your sad story, you’ve disempowered yourself, so you don’t have the juice to get up and spin on your heels and go in a different direction to see the world differently.

Has there been something that either you learned when you were a kid or someone who influenced you and helped you to do that? I know you don’t mean this and I’m just being tongue in cheek with it. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, puts their feet on the floor and goes, “Today, I’m going to be the greatest victim there ever was. Whatever my past history of victimness is, I’m going to take it to a new level today.” Nobody does that, yet by noon you ask him that one question, that there are people you should never ask this question. The question is, “How are you doing?” I grew up in New York, so everything was, “How are you doing?” Nobody ever answered the question. Everybody just goes, “How are you doing?” The answer to the question is the same question. If you asked somebody, “How are you doing?” They go into their diatribe of every error or anything that’s gone wrong. That’s a learned behavior. It’s something we learn from the people that model it in our lives, whether it’s family or whoever. Where did you learn to not do that?

There is a certain role model that my father did and my father was one of these guys who could build and make anything. He had a big shop at the house and he could make anything. He seemed to be able to figure anything out, so there was never this, “I can’t do it.” There was always a sense of like, “You’re going to figure it out and do it.” For me, that came into play when I did my first software company. I had never done a business before and I don’t have a natural inclination towards it, but it was like, “Given the task, I’m going to do it.” When I did the film, I messed around with films, but it’s not like, “I’m going to film school,” or anything. It’s like, “We’ll figure it out and do it.” That ability to throw myself into something I don’t know with the assumption that I’ll figure it out was something I got from my dad. Luckily, it’s worked out well for me.

You shared something, Will, that we’ve seen in our research about resilient people. Often, they are improvisational and they can figure things out because that’s what they have to do. There’s that old cliché that necessity is the mother of invention. There’s this concept of improvisation that is embedded in a lot of the people that have had to endure, come through and make something out of harsh experiences. In fact, it’s Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, that incubated the meaning therapy that Frankl became known for was birthed out of his experience of surviving the concentration camps in World War II. Here’s a guy that goes through one of the most horrific experiences that we can imagine.

While he’s enduring and dealing with it, his mind is less on all those things you said about, “What was me? I’m probably going to die tomorrow,” and everything else that must have been prevalent, and more on, “What am I going to do with this? Who will I be able to share this with? How will the world be different? What will the meaning be ultimately to something that has apparently no meaning?” It changes many lives as a result of that. Your dad gave you quite a tool there. That is to know and to trust that you will figure stuff out. I want to talk about the book because it’s got such a cheeky title. I could say a lot of things else about it. How to Suffer … In 10 Easy Steps has a little sarcasm I’m sensing there. Tell us about this book. Tell us about the title. What are you getting out there?

PR William | Flexible Resilience

Flexible Resilience: As humans, we need time off. That’s why sleep exists.

 

I’m describing the first chapter. It came about as a roast of self-help books. I was talking to Deirdre one evening and we got into this idea. I’m like, “All these self-help books have promised you the world and say it’s going to be easy in X number of steps.” I said, “The only thing easy is suffering because no one wants to do it and everyone’s doing it so it must be easy.” It came about as a humorous look at that but also that in the back of my mind was like, “Here’s the easy way to suffer. If you do the opposite, you won’t suffer.” That’s how the whole thing started but once I got into it, I realized, “This is a huge subject that people tend not to talk about directly.” “How are you doing?” “I’m suffering today.” When you people start suffering, they usually just suffer.

What I realized is bringing awareness to it and you have a certain amount of choice. There are other things, too. The example you gave of Frankl and the book, one of the fundamental concepts is that suffering is a key to evolving. There’s a lesson to be learned in all of it. There’s a great line from the Vedanta teachings and it’s called a Klesha. It says, “All suffering is a result of the misapprehension of the nature of reality.” Anytime you’re suffering is because you’re not perceiving reality as it is. If you have a fear of death and you’re suffering because of that, they would say that. Death is an illusion. It’s just a passage. It’s like going into another room. Would you suffer because you’re going to leave the dining room and go to the living room? No. It’s the same thing. You’re not perceiving reality properly.

There’s all this learning that is hooked up to it. Also, there’s the idea that there are strategies you can employ. Once you get to a stay, you say, “I’m suffering.” What are you going to do about it? Are you going to do nothing? Are you going to just look at it straight on and experience it to get bored and move on? Are you going to use some of the other techniques and practice non-attachment? There are other things you can do but how are you going to react to it? Are you going to react stoically? Some people are like, “I’m going to take everyone down with me. If I’m suffering, you’re going to suffer, too.” It’s looking at the way each of us reacts to it and putting some awareness and consciousness on it.

The book pokes a little fun at this idea of easy shiny objects or shiny solutions to intractable challenges in life, such as suffering. It offers some genuine perspective on that. We’ve all heard through self-help teaching that suffering is optional. Do you believe that?

Yeah, it’s a Buddhist version of saying, “Pain is unavoidable. Suffering is optional.” People in the guru in the self-help world say that but unless you’re Buddha, you’re just quoting something that you don’t experience. You can say that all you want and then suddenly, your child gets killed in a car accident. Let’s get real here. When you say that, there is some truth to that. You do have options there but there are times when it is immense. Theoretically, Buddha said you can get completely past all your suffering but that’s an elevated state of consciousness. One in a trillion people can pull that off. By saying that quote, what you’re doing is you make people feel guilty. “If I was more enlightened, I wouldn’t be suffering but I am.” That saying is good because there is some suffering that you get into out of habit and you’re choosing to go into a visual response. Choice does figure in but one of the things about the self-help thing. People crank out these things will always be positive and never look at the negative.

I’m thinking maybe there’s a word that’s missing. This whole concept of suffering is optional. Maybe there’s a word before suffering that puts that into perspective. Maybe it’s unnecessary or habitual. If there’s a word that goes before suffering is optional, what word might give that more tangible relevance to people?

Suffering is at times optional or suffering is sometimes optional.

Concrete doesn’t stop a tree from growing its roots. Click To Tweet

This may be a circular reasoning thing. When I was a lawyer, they stressed the word, “Watch out for circular reasoning.” Unnecessary suffering is optional and then it begs the question, “What is unnecessary suffering?” Which is good because the more we can question, the less we are held in place by habitual patterns of thinking. That’s a challenge for me and for all of us that we habitually think in certain patterns and certain ways, and make meaning of things based on habits, what we’re used to or what we’re comfortable with. We miss the grand opportunities. I know that in the midst of all of what’s going on in this world that is challenging and difficult, there are wonderful, amazing, incredible, operative and credible opportunities that are present. The ability to see those things in the midst of all the suffering and other things that are happening, that is going to be the gift for a few and hopefully, more than just a few.

I’m wondering what’s going to happen because part of the reason that society and the world has been screwed up for the last several years is the pace at which everyone’s going. People to 7 by 24, boom, check the cell phone, check this and check the news. They got an Instagram. How many followers do you have? That whole jag that everyone’s on. No one takes weekends off anymore.

There’s no such thing as the end of the week. There is no weekend for most people. Certainly, no entrepreneurs know what a weekend is.

I’m wondering what’s going to happen now that a lot of that is out the window. People are going to have to deal with not having that constant jag. I’m hoping people rediscover the fact, “I needed a weekend off.” It’s even in the good book. On the seventh day, God chilled out. “I created everything. Beer’s on the list so here we go.” Humans need time off. That’s why sleep exists. We need this time off. This thing is an opportunity because our normal patterns or habits are all disrupted. There’s a line that keeps going through my head. This was my first software company. The first guy hired had been a nuclear warfare officer on a nuclear B-52. At one point, I was saying, “David, you may go here. You may go there. We may have to send you there but I won’t know until tomorrow. I hope that’s okay.”

He said, “You know what they say in the Airforce, don’t you?” I said, “What David?” He goes, “They always say flexibility is the key to air supremacy.” That’s true of life. Flexibility is the key to your supremacy in your environment being able to deal with things and being flexible. This goes back to your resilience. To pivot and to be flexible. You’re heading east. You stop now, you’re heading west, just like that. “This isn’t working this way. What can I do to change it?” That flexibility being able to move in and through the unknown, that’s something that we’re all experiencing and hopefully, we’re going to get better at.

It’s not a far-flung concept from improvisation from what you said your dad gave you, which was this I’ll figure it out mentality. That’s flexibility as well. Concrete doesn’t stop a tree from growing its roots. That doesn’t happen. Some knucklehead decides to build a walkway right where a tree is standing and then the roots happen to grow right up. That tree keeps growing. We’ve all seen grass growing up in busy places, streets and in the city, etc. Flexibility is a big deal and when it comes to resilience, it’s less about endurance. This is what we researched when we do quite a bit of keynote speaking to corporate audiences and consulting in that space as well. Often, when we go into an organization, we’re talking about what are their resilience traits? Not just the state of resilience, but the trait that’s been established over time.

PR William | Flexible Resilience

Flexible Resilience: When the universe sends you something big, always ask what the greatest message is that you need to look at.

 

One of those traits of resilient organizations or resilient people is this recognition that you have to recharge, like your phone. Leave your phone unplugged for a day. Most people are compulsive and obsessive about plugging in their phone or plugging in their laptop because they know if they don’t or they leave it alone and they keep using it, eventually, they get a black screen and the thing is toast. We run ourselves endlessly thinking somehow that we’ve got this battery supply that will never ever run out. It’s an interesting thing when the universe sends something or when this shows up, something like a global pandemic, what is the greater message to take away from this to look at? Yes, people are going to become reacquainted with themselves and their families, for better or for worse and are going to spend maybe more time hopefully, in doing things that nurture and are enriching to themselves.

With everything else going on, people constantly compare through social media and other places, thinking that somebody else is doing it faster, better and more successfully at that. You’ve got to keep up. When we grew up, keeping up with the Joneses meant that somebody in the house next door or the apartment next door got a new car. That’s what it meant to keep up with the Joneses. The list is too long of what people are trying to keep up with. Everybody is exhausted. With that, I would love to ask you one final question. What’s one thing that you do on a ritual basis to maintain your resilience? It could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

Every morning, I have about 25 to 30 minutes of stretches I do. That’s resilience in a specific physical way. When I am moving around in this world, it’s comfortable, fun and it feels good. That’s something I know that when I don’t do it, everything starts not to work well and it gets to the point like, “These physical bodies.” That’s something that I have to be religious about and do it every day.

That would play into that whole idea of flexibility is the key to supremacy. My wife, Randi, and I do yoga every day. We started doing Chi Gang as well and these are not lengthy practices. Every one of us can have a practice that lasts 10, 15 or 20 minutes that is beneficial to the flexibility of your body and then other practices that help you to create a flexible mind. For people who are reading this episode, hopefully, this is one of those practices that helps you to maintain a flexible mindset. What you read on these shows, whether it’s mine or others, will be differing views, divergent viewpoints, which only make you question whether what you believe is so.

PR William | Flexible Resilience

The (not so) Little Book of Surprises

I’m always questioning how attached I am to being right and where does that all lead. With that, I will remind myself and remind all of our readers that tomorrow is truly a gift and a blessing that we’re not guaranteed today. We’re not promised that we’re going to all wake up tomorrow, so when we do get to wake up again tomorrow, we can feel gratitude at that moment. A part of my waking ritual or practice is to wake up, number one. That’s a good practice to have. Let’s do that. Two, to feel grateful for it and appreciative in that moment of waking. Third, to say something out loud that I want to experience myself being in a state for the day and beyond. The words that I use to convey that message to myself and into the universe are our four simple words. I love my life. Will, I’m going to ask you the question. Do you love your life?

Most of the time. I’m being honest. There are times when it’s like, “This sucks.” It’s a human condition but luckily, I’m not a guru. It’s okay for me to have those moments.

Somebody said it’s a sign of genius or higher intelligence to be able to entertain conflicting thoughts and conflicting ideas at the same time. I agree with you. I get to points in my day where I go, “This sucks.” My restorative is to take ten seconds and simply to say those words out loud again and again. I feel the energy of it. What does it mean? What would it be like to love your life no matter what? What a concept. Will, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for being on the show.

It’s been a lot of fun.

Everybody, please leave your comments at AdamMarkel.com/podcasts. Let us know your thoughts and your questions. The reviews are great and if you haven’t subscribed to the show, please do that. Tell your friends. Ciao for now, everyone.

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About William Arntz

PR William | Flexible ResilienceWilliam Arntz started his professional career as a research laser physicist, working on “Star Wars” high energy lasers. He then moved on to software, writing “AutoSys”–an automated job control system currently in use by most Fortune 500 companies. He sold that company, retired, but then decided to make a film: creating, producing and directing What the BLEEP Do We Know!?, an exploration of spirituality, quantum physics, neurology and outrageous possibilities. The film and the companion book, with editions in over twenty languages, were international hits. William and his wife, mystic visionary Deirdre Hade, have collaborated on the new coffee table art book The (not so) Little Book of Surprises. As the Mystic and the Physicist, they are touring the country speaking on the power of surprise as an undiscovered key to awakening in this, the Age of Surprise. His most recent book How to Suffer: in ten easy steps takes on the self-help genre with the only “How To” book that actually delivers: No one wants to suffer, but everyone does, so it MUST be easy to do.