The following lines represent the second part of the most recent interview with Elliott Hulse as of May 2017. The interview was conducted by 4yourSELF, a group of 4 young men from Germany who run 4yourSELF as an online coaching business focused on the aspects of holistic health.
This was also the first full length interview where both Elliott Hulse and his wife Colleen Hulse answered questions together.
The questions from 4yourSELF are marked with “4YS:”, Elliott Hulse’s answers with “EH:” and Colleen Hulse’s answers with “CH:”.
This is the second part of the interview. To read the first one click here.
You can find the full video and audio of the original interview at the bottom of this blog page.
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EH: …in the same way that proceeding in life from our hearts requires us to be soft and open to the physical and our physicality of our hearts. I tell people and this is where you know part of why I’ve had to I had to stop making so many videos because I’ve said things so many times over and over and over again without actually giving the tools for people to do it.
I say “follow your heart” “listen to your heart” “listen to your heart”. You can’t listen to your heart and follow your heart if you’re not silent enough, relaxed enough, open enough to receive it. So most of the time when people think they’re following their hearts they’re still trapped in their heads you know. I know for a fact that a big part of the choices I made like I said were a byproduct of fear.
I got to where I am at that particular phase of my life following my heart but really fighting the system. I wanted to prove myself! I wanted to… that was a lot of it. A big portion of it was I want to prove that I can do it. I want to prove myself. No one can tell me I can’t do it. I’m gonna make this happen. Very warrior, a phallic narcissist attitude. As I began really diving deep into bioenergetics and particularly bioenergetics and active meditation and my body started opening up I started getting more insights into the next things I should do. Where I really belong.
To this day right now if I don’t spend time… Let me reverse it: When I spend time meditating my insights are like stars in the sky they just gleam gleam gleam. Whenever I have a problem it is paramount for me to just meditate. By going to that still space without thinking about it. In fact oftentimes answers to problems I didn’t even ask begin to arise because I’m relaxing the body. I’m relaxing the nervousness. I’m relaxing my mind so that insights can come up.
So if you’re looking for what to do – David Deida speaks about this tremendously in a lot of his work “The way of the superior man” but he says that to be a man and to follow himself means to be silent and listen for the voice. So the most masculine thing you can do is stay still. That’s when you’ll begin to hear the language of your body. That’s when we’ll begin to honor the language of our body and that’s when we begin to get out of our heads.
4YS: So the answer to your problem is not given to you by thinking about it but by listening to yourself.
EH: It has everything to do with shutting the brain off. You’re not going to be able to solve it because the brain is a container. The brain can only recall events and project based on past events. There’s nothing creative about the brain. The brain is a computer, the head brain I’m talking about. All brilliance all true intelligence comes from spontaneity. It just arises. So we have got to be ready willing and available for that spontaneous arising to come about.
4YS: The keywords Baha’i faith. Would you want to share something about it? Just a bit of insight to the Baha’i faith. What does it mean?
EH: Well how about I ask you guys a few questions first? What do you believe about unity? All human beings are of equal value. Do you believe that to be a true thing? Is there any race or culture or creed that is more important than or more valuable but than any of the others? How about sex? Are women and men somehow of different value? Do women hold a lower station than men?
How about religion? Would it be nice to imagine that all religions are actually one and that although they’re fighting with each other over the surface implications that if they really would just stop and listen to one another that they really are all honoring the same God within? And that if each one of those religions actually listened to and followed the teachings of their prophet or their teacher or their manifestation that people would probably start teaching being nice to each other?
Yeah people would probably actually follow the Golden Rule all the time for everyone. Another question: What about science and religion? Today we find ourselves in a place where quantum physics is a brand new field of physics of science that if you spend some time speaking to a quantum physicist he’s going to say a lot of things that sound like a mystic. It’s omnipotent, it’s omnipresent, it’s here, it’s there, it’s timeless, it’s beyond space, it’s beyond time. These are all truths.
When I began reading the Baha’i faith’s texts all I could read was pure truth because everything that I’m saying to you right now that we all nod our head and agree to are the principles of the Baha’i faith. The oneness of humanity, the elimination of prejudice and racism of all kinds, the oneness of religion and the end of religious strife. Let’s stop the shit. The equality of men and women, the harmony between science and religion, the equality of opportunity for abundance.
We live in a time where there’s some people that have such disgusting wealth so much so that it sickens them. They’re sick with wealth and there are people don’t even have clean water to drink. These are all the truths of how we are to proceed into the next phase of humanity. It is very clear that we are living at the end of times and at the beginning of a new time. With each cycle or dispensation God gives us a teacher: Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses. These are all teachers that come and show us what is required for humankind to go into its next level of maturity.
Bahá’u’lláh is the manifestation or the teacher for the golden age for the age we are moving into now. In 1844 Bahá’u’lláh came with his message of world unity and universal peace. It is a promise. World peace is a promise made by Bahá’u’lláh. It’s been made by Jesus Christ: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” That is not just a nice idea it’s a promise.
The thing is that we are going through the stages of that evolution. Today we find ourselves in a time that looks dark but when I ask you questions like the equality of men and women the equality of races. If we were living just a hundred years ago maybe even 50 years ago there may be some “I’m not so sure”. We’re evolving. We’re moving forward. And there are really good resourceful principles for how to operate in our new stage. And that’s what the Baha’i faith is all about.
4YS: It’s so valuable isn’t it?
EH: It’s so logical. It’s the first faith that I that I’ve studied and went into that was like it appealed not just to my mystical self right? Because I’m a feeler, I’m emotional, I’m up in the clouds sometimes. I like poetry, I like art. But at the same time very rational. It has to make sense. When it boils down to brass tacks it’s got to make sense. And a lot of what is taught by the religions…
Here’s another principle of the Baha’i faith that I love just so much. There’s no more clergy. We don’t need someone translating what the teacher told us because most of the time and in our experience those translators fuck it up. When the priest you know you look at the Catholic Church and then the Pope is there surrounded by wealth and riches. He is the teacher? He’s what’s going to tell me about God? Meanwhile there are people that are hungry.
So one of the principles of the Bahá’í faith is independent investigation of the truth. No one, no clergy, no priest, no imam. Everybody is the priest, right? In the Bahá’í faith the individual holds the highest station. You read the books. You search your heart. It is incumbent upon Bahais to meditate. Reflect. Don’t just take anybody’s word for it.
Abdul Baha who was one of the central figures in the Bahai faith says: “If religion causes discord then it is better we do without it.” He who promulgates to promote who was the son of Baha’u’llah says: “You know what? If you guys can’t get along with religion then just get rid of it.” It’s for us.
4YS: I have got to think about that. It is so valuable.
EH: If it doesn’t match up for you logically then let it go. Let it go completely.
4YS: No it does. I was just thinking about the start of my day because I missed the train because it was delayed and then I thought to myself: “What can I do?” So I went to the church and I was in the Holy Mess. Sitting there and listening to the priest preaching. Thinking about what it really means. And now you just said something that relates to that so much and it’s quite interesting. I`ve got to read that book for sure.
EH: Well Bahá’u’lláh has produced over one hundred volumes of work. The Bahá’í faith has tons of writing. In his short period of time here on earth Bahá’u’lláh produced over 100 volumes of work. Abdul Baha who was his son is the only translator. He and Shoghi Effendi, his children, his grandchildren. You can really spend a lifetime just studying these words and for me most of what I’ve read, all of what I read obviously rings true to me.
Anytime there’s skepticism you should be skeptical. Anytime you read something that doesn’t make sense to you you should ask questions. As opposed to what we’re taught, I was at least taught as a Catholic it’s. You don’t ask those questions. Or there are actually some questions that are off-limits. We live in the Internet age. If you’re not asking questions you’re dying. You’re gonna be extinct. We live in the age of questions.
4YS: So after Bahai and all the stuff… I remember listening to 10 commandments or spirituality by Paul Chek. And it was amazing and it remembered me a lot of that what you said about Bahai. Speaking of Paul Chek: How has he influenced you? Or how was he as a mentor?
EH: You know the first time I heard Paul Chek it was like: Truth. It was like someone turned on the light and it all had everything to do with exercise, the biomechanics and you know I studied his scientific core, scientific back programs. I was a personal trainer. I’m a personal trainer. And never before did I hear anybody describe biomechanics and true functional training the way he did.
It almost seemed like we were talking before about hearing the priest tell us something and then actually hearing the truth or going right to the source. Interestingly enough Amsterdam was one of the first places to print books and it was the Bible because they were tired of hearing with the priest had to say.
Paul not being a university professor not even having a university degree but speaking the truth was just so profound to me. So I began studying his work. I took his classes and I mean that you know the guy is brilliant but then when he got into spirituality and he started describing the various aspects of the body as it relates to the mind… Again it was like a light went off. This man is speaking truth.
You know when you hear truth you just get excited. You don’t have to rationalize truth because when you hear it lights up in your body. When I hear Paul talk it does that to me.
4YS: So you resonate with him?
EH: Deeply yeah.
4YS: It starts vibrating on the same frequency inside right? And did it change the stuff you said on YouTube back then or was it before YouTube?
EH: I studied Paul way before we were even married. I mean I was probably about 22 when I started working at a personal training studio with a guy named Jon de Florio who was a level three Chek practitioner. And Jon taught me a lot of what he was learning from Paul and then he had the videos there. I’d watch the videos at the gym in between clients.
4YS: Okay. He’s been a very big mentor for us too. That’s why we called us like four layers of strength “4yourSELF”. Four Doctors…
EH: That number “4”: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover… That 4 shows up everywhere. It’s balance. It represents balance.
4YS: It’s interesting also in our combination, Clemens is also there. Everyone has his own style of working together and being the “diet guy”. It’s that the personalities come together before one unity. And that’s pretty cool. It’s challenging always because you have to get the ego out of the way and really be humble and tell what you are really feeling. And that’s always practice.
We’re always having our little WhatsApp group and skyping every week. It’s just that there are some things where you are feeling not that good and if you can tell it, how you feel, I believe there’s a lot of growth happening.
EH: Yeah it’s a holistic approach. And that was the other thing: When I first started studying Paul’s work… It was C.H.E.K. Corrective High-performance Exercise Kinesiology. Well then he changed it to Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology. And that’s when he really started talking about physiology and spirituality. And once again that holistic approach resonated so deeply with me. I am a big picture person. I understand things better from a broad perspective then a narrow perspective. And when I recognized the versatility of his knowledge, his application and the use of that word holistic – right away it was a truth to me.
4YS: Still back then it was very unconventional right?
EH: That was like 2002 right? 2002 2003… and that was when he just… I think the first program where he began introducing aspects of physiology into the equation was with a program called, at least for me, “flatten your abs forever”. And I bought the DVD and I’m thinking “Okay flatten your abs forever. I’m going to learn some new ab exercises.” Especially after watching his advanced core training like: It’s going to be good ab exercises cause this guy knows his stuff.
But then he starts talking about the digestive system. And he goes so much deeper. Viscerosomatic inhibition and how the foods that we eat might cause inflammation within our organs that shut down muscles. And to me it was like: “Wooooah this guy is magic!” And it made perfect sense.
4YS: You had to you have to shift your way of thinking right? Because you were a bodybuilder. You were a powerlifter and you are thinking about being the strongest version of yourself at that point. But isn’t it hard to shift that way of thinking?
EH: Oh man when you encounter truth you don’t have to try. When you encounter the truth it just lights up. So there was no shift. It was just flipping on switches. Flipping on lights. It was there already you see. For us to receive truth means that it has to have already been in there. Speaking about that before with regard to the message that I share in my videos: If it wasn’t already in you, if it wasn’t already your truth I’m not going to convince you.
So when I started hearing Paul speak it was enlightening. It was making things brighter instead of shifting things.
4YS: I just wanted to throw a question in there because I was asking it Colleen. And I think the woman behind a man I believe she takes a lot of the credit also. Or like to be thankful for the strength the man has. I heard a talk, an interview with Teiko Reindorf back then. And I just listened to the stuff so many times. And also that supporting and like unconditionally being there. “You know what’s right.” And we think: “No I don’t know what’s right!” And then the woman is there.
So with that said, we talked about vaccinations and home birth. Can you give us your take on that? You don’t vaccinate your children right? No you don’t. And the home birthing? Was it hard for you at first to be courageous enough?
EH: I’ve never given birth!
CH: Elliott always comes up with the crazy ideas. And then I usually just listen to him until I am in line with him 100%. So yeah he came up with the crazy idea and shared resources upon resources. We have a Hulse family manual that we created in 2002. And there was like different sections and one was like natural family and there would be breastfeeding articles and natural birth articles and Bahai prayers that we would say when I was pregnant.
And so that was before we were even getting pregnant we had all these things lined up. So you know he comes up with the idea and as long as I’m in line with it I’m like “Let’s go do it!” And I’m pretty much like him: Once I set my mind to it you’re not going to steer me otherwise. So family and friends are like: “You’re crazy! There’s no way to baby without medication!”
Or you know with the second third and fourth: “There’s no way to do it at home! That’s crazy! That’s dangerous! You’re risking your baby’s life!” But we had already decided.
EH: Those are the same fools that say breastfeeding doesn’t make sense. It’s like: It’s human food! It’s the only actual food humans make. It’s logical. The thing that makes it funny is when people refuse what is completely logical.
4YS: And the main problem is I think with all the birth and that stuff that people really think it’s normal to go into the hospital and give birth there. It’s just normal. We go there “Okay go to the hospital and give birth.” You know we have to prepare our girlfriends.
CH: It seems like here it’s a lot more commonplace. At least in the Netherlands. I was reading that only six percent of women have epidurals. Where in the United States it’s like ninety-five percent of women have epidurals and thirty-five percent of women have C-sections in the United States. It’s crazy! Where you know we chose to do something totally different and now I’m able to speak to young women who are in that stage considering what they should do. And just maybe share my experience gives them the courage to do the same when their families are telling them that they’re crazy.
4YS: Did you know that you would marry and be forever together when you started dating?
CH: I don’t think we knew but we just did go with it. It always felt right it. You know in high school and college… Getting married… And it just keeps getting better.
EH: We just fall deeper and deeper in love with each other every year. It’s a little strange. I didn’t think it could happen because we’ve been together for so long but this morning we had a very loving moment. And I was like: “Man… can I love you any more? And I’m pretty sure at some point I’m going to ask the same question five years from now. We just keep going baby.
CH: But I think it’s really important we really put our marriage… it’s paramount to us. So you know like: I feel like we put ourselves first. Take care of yourself, nurture yourself, love yourself, know yourself and then we put our marriage. So like people would say: “Oh how do you leave your kids for so long? Why do you go out every single Friday?”
Every Friday night we have date night. Every Friday night. And if our babysitter can’t be there we find somebody else. And it’s because we value our marriage so much. We have done that for eight years? Simone was little right? And when people ask us like what’s the secret? You need to keep dating each other!
EH: These are the same people who fall out of love. You’re letting yourself fall! I mean we do the thing to have the power once again. We do love. We’re doing the thing. We date each other, we hug each other, we enjoy each other’s presence. Not because love is binding us. It’s because we choose to act love with one another.
Dating… we have so many friends that haven’t dated each other. They’ve been married. They have children but like: “When have you gone out like you used to?” When you stop doing those things is when you start falling out of love.
4YS: So it’s like dying slowly. People think it just comes to them magically.
EH: Yeah and it just sticks around like a cloud. Just follows you and then it’s gone. Oh yeah there it went.
4YS: You have to work for it right? A lot of people were also sending you questions like getting friend-zoned and the basic thing that they don’t get the girl they love. Which also happened to me quite some time and also watched videos from you “Don’t let the vagina fool you”. I remember that one. I don’t know how it is for Aaron and Matthias.
I am in a relationship since June and it’s the first that I really… there wasn’t any question or doubt at the very beginning. There wasn’t the question: “Are we in a relationship?” There wasn’t this uncomfortable feeling you look them straight in the eyes and you see the truth, you see love. And the funny thing is: To Matthias happened the same thing two months later. And before that I always struggled with finding the girl, finding the woman I really love.
It was always like there was an imbalance so one love more and one wanted to have more and that’s what changed. And it was pretty much giving up to force it to getting the relationship. “I need to have the girlfriend! I need to have this partner!” And that’s basically what happened for me and then – over the internet of course discovered me – it’s… You can’t explain it. It is just right.
Every day I stand up and I try to honor my girlfriend. I try to make her day wonderful. And since I do that our relationship is perfect. It’s not easy every day. So there are some good days, some bad days but on the bad days I’m like: “I’m going to make it better tomorrow.”
EH: It’s a commitment man and when you have those challenges like we’ve said numerous times during this conversation: Those are great! Challenges are great because it forces you or gives you the opportunity to grow through it and grow stronger because of it.
4YS: I listened to like probably ten interviews beforehand before we even met. And there was one like “Candid conversations with Elliott Hulse” and you talked about what makes that marriage so special. You said “We don’t own each other. Would you want to add anything to that? What makes it flowing so easily? I see you and it is a Yin and Yang harmony. It’s a beautiful harmony.
EH: Look my motto is “Be the strongest version of yourself and empower one another”. That’s a nice slogan for YouTube videos. It’s a nice idea for a book. It’s nice to say. But when you’re being that you be it with the people closest to you. For me to be the strongest version of myself and to empower my best friend, my wife, my lover, the person who is closest to me, it looks everything like: I’m going to give her the room, the support, the encouragement, the inspiration to be the strongest version of herself.
And it’s a part of the equation: I can’t be the strongest me while holding someone in prison. I recently listened to a program that reflected on the slavery, African slavery in America, and how the slave owners were just as confined. They were just as much slaves because they had to keep the slaves in slavery.
I can’t be free if I’m constantly worried about keeping her in a box, keeping her small. Shit like I want to be so free that I could let her go and be as free as she wants to be you see. But the minute I’m thinking about holding her back I become a slave to that. So the motto has everything to do with blossoming and allowing the blossoming, supporting the blossoming in everyone around you.
4YS: Was it always that way when you started dating? Was it always like letting the blossoming happen?
CH: We were kids. We were so young. We were 14 so I mean I think we were just going through struggles of being teenagers and then struggles of being in college. Like we were apart for college about an hour and a half away. So I mean we fought like cats and dogs during college but I think it was normal and natural what you do when you’re 18, 19, 20 years old. We got engaged the weekend before we graduated college.
And it was like from that point we learned, we moved in together. And we kind of learned each other spaces and patterns. It’s not always easy to give the person the space they need. It’s not always… you might want them to do something that you want them to do but when you really look at it and you say: “What is it that they want? What space do they need?” It’s so much more valuable to give them that space where they can grow.
And you watch them flourish and you know if you would have tried to hold them they would have been resentful towards you and they would have felt stifled. So you know just giving them the freedom and space is ultimately that rest for gold.
4YS: Elliott, what was your biggest struggle in your life?
EH: Biggest struggle in my life? Man that’s a hard question because I relate struggle to grow you know. Lifting 700 pounds was quite a struggle but I’m glad I did it. Becoming a pro strongman was quite a struggle. Becoming a partner in a marriage it’s quite a struggle. Being a father is quite a struggle. Building a business is quite a struggle. They’re all struggles because they’re all opportunities for growth so I mean I wouldn’t single one out in terms of it being a negative experience.
4YS: Was it always that it gives you growth or a positive sign?
EH: It’s a part of the deal. It’s almost like you know the chick coming out of the egg. Like is the chick gonna complain: “Boy it was such a struggle trying to get that shell off of me! Man let me tell you about it!” He’s gonna lament over that? No! It’s a beautiful struggle and that’s really what each one of our struggles is. It’s a matter of us breaking out of the cocoon and growing new wings so I am grateful for the struggles. Without the struggles there is no growth.
4YS: Before you were talking about information constipation. I think in one video you said that you got rid of all your books or a lot of your books.
EH: Yeah about ninety percent.
4YS: Are there like special books that you kept because of the value of the content and if there are, which one?
EH: That’s a very good question and I’m sure a lot of people would know.
4YS: You posted it?
EH: I haven’t yet one day I might. But a strange thing happens to all of us but men in particular and it’s been my experience and the experience of many many many many others, books have been written on it, when we become middle aged: When you reach that place where you’ve gone through the stage of triumph…
You know when you’re in your 20s and you’re you’re trying to figure it out, you’re trying to make it happen, you’re really engaging fully with that sword and being a warrior, and you achieve, you’re going to achieve. And you will achieve, you guys I’m saying in particular, but all of us who are working to become stronger versions of ourselves…
We get to the top of the mountain. And we stop at that moment and look around and say – if we’re honest with ourselves and we’re not sociopaths who need more – look around and say: “Damn! I’ve done it! I’ve done quite a bit.” But at the same time you have to ask yourself: “What matters most now? Now that I’m here…”
You look around and you see the armor on you. You see the sword. You see all the dead bodies that you had to slay on your way up there. You’re tougher here. You got this whole battle beaten mentality. And you realize that you’re only halfway there and the rest of your life is in front of you: “What am I gonna let go of? What am I gonna drop? What doesn’t serve me anymore because I’m going into the second stage of my life? I got here I’m happy.”
The trap is when you become personally identified with that and you don’t let go because then you never become a king. To go from warrior to king it’s a matter of letting go of things. I got to take that armor off I gotta drop the sword. I don’t let go of my courage. I don’t let go of my strength but I don’t need these tools anymore. Books were tool. Books were weapons. You arm yourself with information to get where you want to get. When you get to a particular point it becomes heavy. You don’t need it anymore.
And the priorities, the things that matter the most, in particular the ideas that matter the most, start to take center stage. I was a Bahai since we were 24 but while I had that sword in hand and while I was slaying my way up that mountain I forgot. I got to the top of the mountain and I realized that there were things that I left down there that I really really wanted. So I had to let go of certain things and pick up those things that actually do matter to me the most.
So you could imagine that a good percentage of the books I kept were Bahai books. A good percentage of the books that I let go of were books that that were useful and helpful but I don’t need anymore because they’re on the periphery, just like the armor, just like the tool. It’s in your hand, it’s on the periphery. Let go of the periphery and go back to the core. I kept all of Alexander Lowen’s books. I kept all of Osho’s books. I kept all of Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha’s books. I kept some poetry and that’s really the bulk of it. Those things speak to my core to my heart. Everything else was armor.
4YS: Guys have we got any questions left? No more questions. A million and no more.
EH: Well that’s cool because I’m getting tired. That was fun.
4YS: It’s been a long interview. So is there anything you want to say?
EH: No I’m done. That’s it. We’ll start just like we finished: I’m well.
4YS: Wonderful thank you very much.
EH: Yeah my pleasure guys. Thank you guys. You’re doing great work. Thanks.
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