Hi.

My name is Alyonka Larionov. 

I am a Host, Producer, Storyteller + Podcaster.

I practice Social Engineering by Creating Community + Gatherings where I facilitate Safe Spaces to Moderate Conversations on Authenticity, Transparency, Empathy, Vulnerability, Compassion, Story/Truth/Flaws, and the Human Condition.

I believe in empowering Emotional Intelligence.

LIVE.IN.LOVE

MY TONY ROBBINS FAIL

MY TONY ROBBINS FAIL

YOU GUESSED IT. THIS IS THE POST YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE I ANNOUNCED ON MY INSTAGRAM THAT I'LL BE SHARING MY EXPERIENCE of THE TONY ROBBINS UNLEASH THE POWER WITHIN WEEKEND.

HERE YOU'LL FIND MY TAKEAWAYS. MY EPIPHANIES. MY A-HA MOMENTS. THE WAYS IN WHICH HE'S CHANGED MY LIFE. ALL THE HYPE WILL BE CONFIRMED! IT'S NOT A HOAX! HE TRULY IS ONE OF A KIND!

AS A JOURNALIST - ALTHOUGH I'VE NEVER REALLY BEEN ONE, NOR HAVE I GONE TO SCHOOL FOR IT - I WAS TOLD TO BE UNBIASED. SO I HAVE TO TELL YOU RIGHT NOW: HE MIGHT BE BRILLIANT OR HE MIGHT NOT BE. I TELL YOU THAT BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW.

I COULDN'T GO. 


HERE'S WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN:

My Mom and I arrive in Newark, New Jersey. We get to our hotel. Drop our bags. Change. Hop a cab to the city. Head up to the Upper West Side to visit friends and their new baby. After our visit. We walk around town. I show her my favorite steps of the Lincoln Center. We stop by Central Park. We take the Subway to Union Square. Unbeknownst to her, I take her to my favorite place of solace, The Strand. We browse through books. I show her the interior design section. She is impressed. We stop in for lunch at ABC's new vegan restaurant. We walk through their store and look at beautiful items together. We leave to surprise-visit my best friend. We ask her bossman to let her leave early. We grab some tea. After a proper catch-up we head to the location where I've asked all my friends to gather. I hug every single one for more than what is considered kosher or comfortable. I rejoice. I'm drunk on love. We head home to get up early for Registration and then, our first day of Tony Robbins begins.

HERE'S WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED:

My Mom and I arrived in Newark. We got to our hotel. Dropped our bags. Changed. Hopped a cab to the city. We headed up to the Upper West Side to visit friends and their new baby. Halfway through our time together, I started to feel sensitivity towards the light. I started to panic and chugged down my Vitamin Water. It didn't help. I had to cut our time short. I told them that I needed to get some food quickly, therefore we had to leave. We left. I told my Mom I needed to stop and get a snack. We walked into the local Trader Joe's. I bought a banana so we could bide the time walking to lunch. We started walking. She asked where we were going. In my panic, I wasn't sure what was around, although I know this city like the back of my hand. I started feeling disoriented. The humidity and the heat, overwhelming me. We chose a cafe. I sat down. I could hear every sound pounding on my ear drums. The silverware. The moving chairs. Mouths chattering and chewing. The register closing. The doors opening. The flush of the bathroom. The speakers incredibly loud. I put on my sunglasses. It's starting to get hard for me to see. Things are becoming blurry. The sunlight cutting through my corneas. I look to my Mom in fear, letting her know subtly that I'm not going to be okay. We get our food. I eat quickly but i'm too late. My mind starts racing, thinking, what should we do? Newark is far and I am already nauseous from the pain that is my oncoming migraine. I am disoriented. My motor and speech skills start to slow. I'm not making sense. She doesn't understand me. Suddenly, I feel so small. My Mom throws me into a cab to head home. A near three hours of total blackout go by. I wake to calls from my best friend. She asks if I've made people aware that I'm sick. I wasn't going to make it. There are thirty minutes to go until the start of our get together. I try to send an email but my head is spinning and my vision 3/4 of what it used to be. I type something out and press send, but it doesn't get to anyone. People start arriving, asking 'where are you?' 'hi we're here' 'on my way can't wait to see you'. I begin to answer slowly 'i'm sorry. i'm sick. i'm not there.' I doze back into slumber to wake in the morning to an unbearable pang of embarrassment, shame, regret and utter disappointment. Embarrassed for looking weak to so many people. Ashamed of standing up my friends. Regret in my lapse of judgement - I could have prevented this! Disappointed that my body has failed me once again.

We book a flight home. Tony Robbins no more. As I get into the car, I feel my body flushing over with pain - here it comes again. I sit in my airplane seat thinking my head is going to explode. If you touch my hand, your fingers will glide, skin tight from the dehydration. My veins are completely gone. Collapsed into the what little meat is left in each arm. This is just like last time and the time before and the time before that. C'mon body, please, don't fail me again. Somehow I make it home. 

I sit in my chair uncontrollably sobbing. I ruined everything once again. It's my fault. Nothing I do is good enough. Devastated I climb into my bed. It was just last week that I was finally feeling like myself again. I had TWO really good weeks in Los Angeles - a HUGE win. No pain. No discomfort. I could walk for longer than twenty minutes. I could sit out in the sun, again. I started listening to my favorite music in my favorite headphones. I began to watch films which stirred up emotion in me. I stayed out past 9pm. Saw friends. I could stay engaged - albeit hard - when in a group of people. I even felt my heart flutter again - something so surprising, I had forgotten the feeling all together. I was starting to feel like I was safe. Like I was coming 'round the bend. Done with the old, ready for the new. Goodbye, old identity; mean, terrorizing, consuming. Hello, the FREED me! Boy, was I wrong.


THERE'S SOMETHING I HAVEN'T TOLD YOU. SOMETHING THAT I'VE BEEN KEEPING TO MYSELF. SPEAKYOURTRUTH SPEAKYOURTRUTH SPEAKYOURTRUTH - finally, i feel READY TO.


p.s. tony and your people. if you read this. we haven't heard from your reps and would love to be able to transfer our tickets over to your next event in November. please let us know if this is a possibility. i was very much looking forward to experiencing whatever it is that people experience, and sharing it with my readers + followers.


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