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Ben Decker: Taking Control of Anxiety

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(helicopter motor) – I worked a lot with Playboy. – Uh huh. (laughs) Okay. – So it was a lot of sex,
drugs, and rock-and-roll. (both laugh) – As much as some of these women felt very comfortable in
it, more often than not I was finding that they weren’t. So many people didn’t like me. I’m supposed to be the publicist that’s coaxing her into doing it, and I was like, “Look, if this is
uncomfortable, I don’t think you need to do it at all.” My relationships to the
entertainment industry first and foremost started
to weaken when I started to experience all the sex,
drugs, and rock-and-roll. That was the catalyst
for me not feeling safe in the environment. (bell rings) (seagulls) – Growing up I remember
seeing something on TV that said, “City of
Angels” and I was like, “Angels! That’s where I want to go.” The journey was really about
becoming materially successful. I saw heartbreak and sadness and addiction and suicidal thoughts. – Hollywood is mourning a monumental loss. – She’s not in a good place at all. – Following her overdose… – Where can you go from
here? I mean, only up, right? – No, you can go down. (slow music) – One of my dear friends died by suicide. He was super successful, beautiful home, beautiful wife, beautiful collection of
very impressive cars. Traveled all over the world. But still, experienced the emptiness. On the way to my friend’s funeral, my phone was blowing up because I was a publicist at the time. I started to receive phone calls from celebrity entertainment
industry outlets wanting a statement. (slow music) – I knew while I was making
that phone call that I was never going to be doing
something like that again. Our friend died, and so there’s the grief
of losing a friend. But we all felt complicit
in his unhappiness and in his depression. It brought all of my own darkness and all of my own fears
up to the forefront. I became so aware that I was
shallow in my relationship to myself. I was letting
my fears and my anxieties create the goals for me.
And that was the impetus for me to say, “You know what?
I’m not doing this anymore.” And I started to find myself just going inward and trying
to go find places where I could go connect with other
people in a deeper way. I kept feeling myself
called to meditation. And so, in meditation, I
began to see the difference between the meaningless thoughts and the meaningful thoughts. I found myself really studying a lot. And reading a lot of books. I was really inspired by a
new relationship to the Bible and new relationship
to the Book of Mormon. I love the Bhagavad Gita. And so I started my own field of study, within my own mind and my
own heart and my own space. And I called it, internally,
Collaborative Religion. And so I started to see
what everyone agreed on, because I felt like that’s
where I was going to find the truth. I started to find that
some version of meditation existed in all the different
world religions and traditions, which let me know that
meditation is beyond religion it’s inherent. It’s inherent to humanity. I felt really called to
allowing my own intuitive relationship to spirituality be seen and exposed and revealed
in all of my relationships. And synchronistically, about
that time, I made a friend who had just acquired the lease for this 7,000 square foot historic
church in Venice Beach. And pretty much right away,
I started to do a meditation community event there every Sunday. Other meditation centers
started to open up that weren’t connected to
any particular religion. Unplugged Meditation was
the first secular meditation studio that actually had
classes all day, every day. So my relationship with Unplugged
was more about developing a languaging that was even
more inclusive so people who were turned off by spiritual words, or spiritual language, or maybe
had negative experience at church or at temple or at synagogue or whatever it looked like for them, that they could feel
really safe in that space. We can choose to meditate
or we can continue living the way that we’re
living and allow our crises to increase, become
more and more dramatic. More and more intense. More and more dire. And then be forced into
contemplative practices: meditation…you know. I struggle with the same things that everyone struggles with. That’s how I become a good
teacher is that I learn things and overcome them
internally and then help you learn and overcome those exact things. I see the meditation work I do
with executives, celebrities, and high-level influential people, as a contribution to the world at large. These influential people
have their hearts changed, and that changes the art that they create, it changes the words they speak, it changes the life that they write. If there were one message
that I could give the world, that could be heard and received, it’s that you matter, that you are loved, that this is a world that was made for you to be happy in… to be abundant in. And it’s
all totally available for you. There’s never been a moment in your life where you weren’t seen,
where you weren’t loved. Even if that’s not what
you’ve experienced. (slow music)

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1 thought on “Ben Decker: Taking Control of Anxiety”

  1. Kathleen Yorke says:

    Thank you!

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