For the past 15 years, I’ve lived a rather wild and magical life straddling the worlds of business and spirituality. Working with amazing teachers from all over the world has allowed me to experience a completely new way of thinking; which has subsequently allowed me to experience a new way of living. But without a doubt, the two most transformational experiences of the last 15 years came from meditation and entheogens.
After many years of therapy, yoga, and recovery I had acquired a very deep understanding of how my mind worked but I struggled to let go of the thoughts and habits that made my life less enjoyable. In 2015, after realizing I had hit a wall, I found myself sitting with a Peruvian shaman in a small hut, deep in the Amazon jungle, drinking the rather odd tasting “tea” known as ayahuasca. The many life-changing experiences that followed as a result of working with sacred medicine have dramatically changed my life for the better. I can attest that Michael Pollan’s book, “How to Change Your Mind,” is very appropriately named.
Fast forward to August 2020, I embarked on a cosmically “coincidental” cross-country drive and landed myself in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho to sit in silent meditation for ten days. No talking, no music, no reading, not even direct eye contact with other humans. Quite possibly seven of the most difficult days of my adult life. I realized that my mind is a dangerous neighborhood into which I should rarely go alone. But on the third and eighth days, I had life-altering experiences where my thoughts simply stopped. Where everything became still to the point I could experience one thought arise then fade away. For the first time in my life, I was able to experience my “self” without judgment or expectation. Everything is perfect in the present moment.
What I’ve since come to understand is that each of these experiences (and others before and after) were opportunities to let go of a belief that I was, in some way, incomplete or broken. For most of my life, I felt like I must have been sick the day they handed out the rule book to life. The consistent “you don’t belong” and “you’re not good enough” voice in my head kept convincing me I needed something outside of me to be happy. Today, that voice is much softer – not completely gone – but more like a whisper than the alarm clock that used to wake me up every morning.
While it’s impossible to replicate the Amazon jungle or 10 days of Vipassana meditation, these are just a few of the types of experiences I’ve built into the upcoming Founders Thriving retreat. An opportunity to be present and begin shifting your locus of happiness from external to internal. Think of it as a “self-care camp for business owners.” No note-taking required because it isn’t about “adding” something new but rather an opportunity to let go of what no longer serves you. My hope is that participants will leave lighter than when they arrived; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
If either of these types of experiences sound interesting to you, grab a spot on my calendar to learn more.