YouTuber and coach

Below is our interview with YouTuber FreddyFairhair, formerly known for his pranks on YouTube, who turned to serious meditation practice in the last years. Fred also coaches people, both in meditation as well as in trying to gain social confidence.

CytoLED: Hi Fred, could you introduce yourself, how you came to be known online, and what you do now?

Fred: I am a 32 year old Norwegian guy. 10 years ago I started making humorous prank videos on Youtube with two friends. It was first for a channel called Whatever, and then I started my own channel, FreddyFairhair. For the past five years I have made less prank videos and more vlog videos. I help guys overcome social fear and increase social confidence, while also giving guidance to people on the meditative path.

CytoLED: What kind of pranks were you most known for back in the day?

Fred: It was mostly awkward social experiments and various ways of asking out women and getting their phone numbers. One of them is called “How to Ask Out a Girl (using her own advice)". The most sensational video is definitely ”Naked Guy Picking Up Girls”. You have to see it to believe it.

CytoLED: What made you decide to start moving away from prank content?

Fred: There was not really a point when I decided to make different videos, but I gradually felt more inclined towards making more educational and inspirational content. There were several factors involved. I was not as motivated to keep going with the pranks. Moreover, I saw a decline in viewership. There were more and more people making pranks. More people were also staging pranks with fake sensational reactions, which made real reactions look less sensational. Another reason why I changed course was that my interest changed. I went from being mainly interested in my entertainment career into becoming obsessed with the meditative path.

CytoLED: You've described yourself as somewhat of a social stuntman, who previously had social phobia, can you share what kind of things made a big difference in your ability to engage with people freely? What things have you found make the biggest difference for those you work with?

Fred: The fastest way to turn around social anxiety for me was to embarrass myself in public on purpose. I wore a sign saying “world’s greatest idiot” and a pair of underwear outside of my pants. That was a huge milestone. I was 19 then. In my early 20s I started talking to girls I thought were cute. The prank videos also trained my social confidence. Social exposure is scary but it builds confidence very fast. This is also the case for the people I have seen and have coached. When they start introducing themselves and talking to strangers, they take big leaps in confidence.

But this type of confidence needs constant exposure to be maintained and improved, otherwise it kind of gets forgotten. That’s why I emphasise the inner self-esteem and healing work, as well as meditative practice. If a person wants lasting changes in their well-being, they need to work out their psychological luggage. I also see that when someone is doing things they really want to do with their lives, such as pursuing goals that matter to them, their confidence grows as a natural by-product of that. They bring more energy into their interactions and are more inspiring people to be around.

In the end I’ll say, when you do things that calm the mind, you’ll start to perceive less boundaries between you and others. Science explains that meditation suspends the Default Mode Network in the brain, which is responsible for the experience of being separate, creating the projection of an inner and outside world. When you tone down this mechanism you perceive less and less boundaries between you and others. Since you’ll experience less separation from others you’ll naturally experience more connection with others. You will then likely be more present, attentive and empathic, and less anxious and self-conscious. Consequently, since others also generally sense what you are feeling, they will also experience more connection with you.

CytoLED: How did you first get into meditation practice?

Fred: In 2010 I got into new age spirituality. Among many interesting and weird teachings, I came across "The Secret" and "The Law Of Attraction", which got me into visualisation. Around the same time I read Eckart Tolle’s "The Power of Now". That did something to my appetite for sitting and appreciating my moment-to-moment experience. In 2012 I incorporated a 20-minute meditation routine. My motive was to build my capacity to be present in social interactions. I kept that 20-minute routine on and off in periods for two years before I immersed more deeply into the world of meditation.

CytoLED: What sort of meditation practice(s) do you engage in these days?

Fred: It’s mostly non-duality (“neo-adveita”), self-enquiry and insight meditation. The aim is to see through the “I”, and the concept of the one who seems to be me. It’s a tricky but interesting thing.

CytoLED: What sort of goals do you hope to eventually achieve with your meditation practice?

Fred: To be free from the grip of the mind. To liberate from the identification with the mind/ego/self concept. Then spread the good news.  

Fred using the CytoLED Triplex device

CytoLED: Had you heard of red light therapy before we approached you for our collaboration?

Fred: I may have heard about it, but not considered it seriously.

CytoLED: How have you incorporated red light therapy into your daily routine?

Fred: I have my Triplex device up on the table alongside my couch. I set the timer on 25-30 minutes, lay down alongside the device. During the session I listen to either a loving kindness meditation tape or a guided therapeutic healing tape.  

For a more in-depth look at Fred's routine, here's a video he did with his CytoLED Triplex device.

CytoLED: Have you found red light therapy to benefit your meditation practice? If so, in what sort of ways have you noticed this?

Fred: Yes. Often during sessions with red light therapy my awareness has slipped into meditation states that have been healing and insightful.

Red light therapy is kind of the “dessert” of my meditation routine. Most of my meditation practice is dry insight meditation, which means the aim of my meditation is to see the emptiness of all phenomena in my experience. I love how that is freeing up the grip of the mind. On the other hand this practice can be experienced as a bit dry and maybe even dull. Sometimes I can hit a wall where it’s hard to get further with insight practice. Usually it’s because repressed emotions need to come up in order to continue. This is when I change the practice to a more heart-warming healing practice. That’s where the red light therapy comes in.

Right now I’m so used to insight practice that I need a bit assistance when switching to emotion-focused, heart-opening meditation. So I find listening to guided meditation tapes while using red light therapy to be helpful tools to bring me into the proper state for that type of work.

Red light therapy is also benefitting my insight meditation. But I started using it for heart-opening and healing practices, and now that’s where I have momentum, so I just keep going with that.

CytoLED: What other effects have you noticed?

Fred: My penis enlargened by 5 centimeters.

Jokes aside, for the few weeks after I started using the device I noticed that my body had a bit more energy. I felt a bubbly sensation of joy. I’ve used the device for 5 months now, and I think my energy and joy have kept rising since the first weeks. But I don’t know how much of that is due to the red light therapy, and how much is caused by other features I’ve added to my routine, such as martial arts, and other life choices I’ve made.

CytoLED: If there is any piece of advice you could give to yourself 10 years ago, what would it be?

Fred: As you progress with your meditation practice, don’t quit making cool videos. Make a solid foundation you can live on, even if you need to get a job. Don’t isolate yourself or go celibate for too long, and maybe try out a relationship.

I don’t really regret anything, but I think this should say a lot about some of those years. :) 

To find out more about Fred, check out his website and YouTube channel.