Humble Lessons and Inspired Visions: New Years Reflections!
New Years marks a moment to reflect on lessons learned and visions sparked. And as I said last year in my 2013 New Years blog, what I value most is an ever deepening connection to one’s true source of inner power, brought forward through deliberate choices and committed behavior.
The League of Awesomeness is built on the reality that we each have massive untapped potential to live truly meaningful, impactful and inspired lives, yet this potential must be actualized through deliberate work and cultivation.
In order to assess if any given action is really producing the transformation that we are intending, we must be honest with ourselves, with our process–what worked and what didn’t work. So as 2013 comes to a close, I reflect on where I have been, what has worked and not worked, and where I desire to go from here.
I share this transparently with you to support and encourage your own authentic journey of transformation and empowerment. The five areas I focus on today are:
- My main intentions for this past year
- My 2013 breakthroughs (where I stepped into greater empowerment)
- My 2013 personal power-ups (what I drew from in times of need)
- My 2013 ‘humbling blocks’ (where I still stumble)
- My evolving 2014 visions
I offer these reflections from a few different perspectives:
- As an entrepreneur
- As a human making mistakes along the way
- As an awakening man, partnered to a radiant woman
- As a visionary
- As as student of honored mentors
It is important that I am vulnerable in these sharings. My transparency is meant to serve a few purposes:
- You have more examples of the non-linear, nitty gritty process of life empowerment
- You see my successes as normal, human and possible
- You see my failures as normal, human and survivable
- You become inspired to reflect on your own year in this way
- You become inspired to step forward into the new year informed by your personal reflections
I am keeping this review to the top five reflections in each category; please know that this year has been immeasurably full of all the things that make human life so rich. I leave it to your imagination to fill in the gaps =)
- To unveil the League 2.0 and bring our services up to a new level of quality and impact
- To launch the Awesome Academy as a multifaceted, interdisciplinary school for committed real-life Superheroes
- To evolve the Superhero Bootcamp around greater measurable impact, more well-rounded development, and greater community cohesion
- To expand my ‘Network of Inspiration’ through growing the League community, making more connections with real change-makers, and by visiting inspiring content (books, videos, websites) more regularly
- To stay open to spontaneous inspiration by allowing myself to actively stand in a space of ‘not knowing’ and see what comes; this is an important balance to having so much structure in my life
One of the many great benefits of doing this reflection annually is that you can look back over several years to more clearly see the larger arc of your journey. So I include here my 2012 intentions to give you a better sense of my arc.
- To build a successful brand that excites and inspires me, as well as others
- To co-create a completely blame-free and victim-free relationship with my partner
- To take myself to the next level of holistic wellness and personal empowerment
- To give myself 100% to my clients’ fulfillment and transformation (to become a bad-ass super-coach and trainer)
- To create a high integrity and healthy relationship with financial and legal aspects of my personal life and business
Far from egotistical, declaring and standing strongly in one’s breakthroughs and achievements is a critical part of healthy personal evolution. To do so is to announce what is alive in you, to honor it, and to make room for its continued unfolding. So when you claim your breakthroughs, do so with gladness and appreciation in your heart.
This one sits at the top of the list as it has touched all parts of my life. As you may know, I was with an amazing woman for 3 1/2 years, engaged with wedding fully planned and organized. 6 months before the wedding, we called it off and went separate ways.
Now obviously there is an incredible amount of texture and subtlety that contributed to this radical shift of trajectory; for the purpose of this article, it is enough to say that we each in our own way saw that taking this next definitive step in relationship was unwise and unhealthy.
A year and four months later, after much internal reflection and personal transformation, life graced me to cross paths with a powerful and radiant woman, and I realized I was ready to open my heart again.
A note on real love: real love is a place you put yourself into again and again, and if you are lucky, you find another being that is capable and willing to go there with you. Real love is scary, testing you down to your foundations; real love is challenging, calling forth all you have. Real love–whether alone or with another–is allowing life to be lived fully through the container of oneself. I am honored to be in partnership with a woman that understands this definition of real love, and I am watching as all parts of my life thrive from this shared willingness to go to that place of real love.
Some time in April, I came down with the fever of the two-wheeled land rocket. I had never in my life had a desire to ride motorcycles, and then all that changed. By my birthday (July 12th), I was sitting on my very own bike, tall and proud.
Though the superficial focal point of this experience is the motorcycle, it was actually a very archetypal journey of personal manifestation that I want to enumerate for your own training.
First and foremost, I was setting my sights on a goal that I had no experience in, didn’t know if I would like, and didn’t even know if I would be any good at. All I had was the ‘inner yes’ bouncing around in my chest. This is often how deeper intuitive guidance comes to us.
To acquire said goal, I had to go through many steps of classic manifestation:
- Creating a clear and measurable goal: becoming a motorcycle rider and having my own bike
- Continual reapplication to the goal: staying on track with action plans, continuing to envision myself as a rider and finding the empowering emotions within that, believing in myself
- Gathering resources and mobilize allies: immersing myself in the world of motorcycles, researching different types of bikes, seeking out guidance through friends and family members, researching and buying my riding gear
- Overcoming obstacles and setbacks: facing the fear inherent in riding a motorcycle, going through motorcycle safety school, being turned down for a loan and having to generate the funds personally
By staying with my vision and the challenge of facing the unknown, I now have a whole new facet to my life that is deeply satisfying and that brings joy to me on a daily basis. Huzzah!
Completing CTI’s Leadership Program
Talk about being melted down and reconstituted! I am very proud of this accomplishment, considering how it challenged me in every way, shaking me to my depths and raising me to my heights.
Undergoing a 17 month journey with a committed group of 25 others to discover what it truly is to live in leadership–to take response-ability for your world–showed me many places where I was living within my own fears, and where I was not yet actualizing my full and unique potential. The price tag on this one was $12,000, but its benefits are worth this many times over, no question.
If you are interested to find out more about this program, here ya go: CTI Leadership Program
I have had a habit of eating richly, too much, too quickly, late at night, while doing work…basically all the ways to take eating from self-enhancing ritual to self-indulging habit.
Now, I have a strong metabolism, so I can ‘get away with it’ in some respects; but ultimately this is the area where I most often needlessly squander my invaluable stores of personal energy (the stuff I use to fulfill my ideal life).
So it is a big deal when I now share with you that I am 6 months into a major nutritional shift, including a hired nutritional coach, a long-term nutrition plan and natural supplements (tinctures, superfoods, juicing).
I am taking small steps consistently over time, and am proud to say I am currently gluten-free, deep-fried free, refined sugar free, with more substantial doses of high quality meats, veggies, fruits and nuts/seeds (strongly informed by the Paleo approach). Onward and upward!
Transformational Coaching and Training for Organizations
Like individual humans, organizations also contain vast stores of untapped potential. Teams, companies, communities…often these groups are operating far below their true potential, and because such groups tend to have greater overall impact than individuals, their lack is felt all the more.
For these reasons, I have had my sights on organizational work for some time, and am super excited and honored to say that the end of 2013 saw the League beginning to do transformational and empowerment work with organizations. This was a big edge for me as a professional, as it requires me firing on all pistons with not just one, but many complex human beings at once! I look forward to even more of this in 2014!
Sometimes we Heroes find ourselves not at our best, and just struggling to keep pace with our commitments. In times like these, I have learned to reach for my personal power-ups. Sometimes a power-up is what makes the difference between a downward spiral and a tempering life lesson.
My Amazing Co-Heroes
There is nothing as valuable as a good friend…so the saying goes. A steady friend in a moment of personal chaos is beyond value, and I feel blessed to say I have several such friends to call on at need. As someone who is essentially more solitary, this power-up is especially potent in shifting a funk I might be experiencing. Thanks team!
The amazingness of the elements cannot be overstated: clean water, fresh air, warming sunlight. When I am starting to feel a bit out of step with myself and my life, I reach for a healthy dose of the magical elements. I get myself into the open air and breathe deep; I find a patch of sunlight and drink it in through my skin; I quench my dehydrated brain and body in the freshest water I can find. And I’m still amazed at how much just this can do; a testament to
As I mentioned in my 2013 Breakthroughs section, tinctures have become a super helpful part of my life. I have a few go-to plants and mushrooms that I use preventatively and/or responsively when I am feeling depleted or struggling. I have also found that they are an excellent compliment to my mind/breath/body trainings.
Therapy Dogs! (and cats and cows and horses…)
Animals are where it’s at. Whether watching from afar or playing up close, bringing my attention to care-free animals helps to reset something in me–brings a proper perspective back to things. And not just ‘humanized’ animals (the cute, cuddly ones that we see ourselves in), but also insects, birds, flowers…anything living that helps me get out of an all-to-often all-consuming ‘Eka-centric’ view. Which leads me to…
The Deep Green
An ultimate reset for our many of our modern maladies, Nature is queen healer. When I feel neurologically frayed from too much human buzz (computers, phones, traffic, buying, talking…), the Deep Green is my refuge. Even finding 30 minutes to spend simply in the all-around living complex that is nature can create a deep reset, settling and catharsis in me.
Through my previous and current relationships, I am shown in painful detail where I stand as a man, and where I crumple as a kid. I still work with neurological ‘flooding’ when my emotions get too ramped up, so this is a constant training ground for me.
Failing My People
For as many philanthropic visions and urges that arise in me, it seems I have nearly as many petty, self-serving ideas and impulses. My most painful moments are when I watch myself deliberately turn away from taking action on a potential moment of collective good, to satisfy some self-indulgent urge of immediate gratification. In these moments, I know the painful truth: that I am depriving others of gifts and services that are meant to come through me into the world.
Judgement Eclipsing Appreciation
The double edge of a quick and clear mind is the lightning-fast judgements that can so easily sneak in. With only two or three pieces of evidence of another person or situation, my mind–thinking it is helping–forms a immediate judgement, and if I am not mindful, I will start to take that judgement as real, responding to it more than to the actual person. The mind smugly says, ‘I know what’s going on here’.
As a second piece to this, when I enter this judgement mode, I also really fall out of my state of appreciation. Gratitude state is one of the most potent I have found for wellness, focus and performance, so the judgement approach is really a lose-lose situation.
It often is a surprise for people–except my truly close loved ones–to hear about the wall I can put up between my heart and the world. Though I make it a point and a practice to meet the world with my empathetic self, I can quickly go into a ‘lockdown’ mode, especially if I start taking things too personally. I have learned over time that my heart is very tender, especially when it is being sincere; much of my empathy practice is balancing between being emotionally available and being self-stable.
Flash Forward: New Years Visions!
The League’s Growing Inner Circle
It brings me immeasurable great joy when I take a risk and put out into the world a new idea–or a new presentation of a very old idea–and then watch as this idea ignites the hearts and minds of other people.
Since the launch of the League almost four years ago (!!), its mythos and archetypes have steadily drawn forth other people that resonate with it’s message of vitality, empowerment and leadership.
Among these people, a select few have stepped forward to take on a greater defining role in the League’s development. Though I will wait to introduce them by name (they will do this later on in their own introductory articles), suffice it to say that they each bring a unique and rich perspective and approach to the League, and I am deeply grateful to watch this inner circle grow. In 2014, I look forward to more budding Heroes stepping up to add their unique flavor to the League.
Advanced Superhero Bootcamp
Ohhhh, this one has been a long time coming. Since almost the beginning of the Superhero Bootcamp launch, I’ve had visions of what is possible with a group of committed humans that are already deeply rooted in the bootcamp training. And finally, the League’s Inner Circle (mentioned above) has begun the process of crafting an advanced bootcamp offering, to be launched in the early spring.
Currently in a gestational phase, we are focused on taking our time and doing this right. This is not just a new service we are bringing to you all, but a modality of aliveness that we have big plans for. And as always, these big plans involve you!
Hero Quests and Power-Up Guides
A part of last year’s vision, the Hero Quests and Power-Up Guides are a critical part of the League 2.0. And though we didn’t get to launch these parts of the League last year, I am fiercely committed to bringing the first wave of content online in the first part of this new year.
The Nexus will be the place for Heroes to go and undertake real-life quests of personal development and global leadership, while the Power-Up Guides will be mini-training programs in specific Heroic abilities and situations. We plan to have a lot of fun with this one this year, so keep your cape on-hand.
When I was much younger, I practiced hard-style martial arts. My teachers said I was a natural, and I was even allowed to skip whole belts early on. It has been too long since my last real martial training, and I have been feeling the hunger for it (and dreaming about it) for a few years now.
Well, 2014 is the year–my new partner and I have committed to taking on a martial art together, and I feel so ready for this. I am excited to be challenged, to be humbled, to be ‘good sore’…to feel my natural vitality reach ever stronger levels.
Yoga Teacher Training in Hawai’i
A first for me and the League, I have been invited to Oahu in April of this year to contribute to a yoga teacher training. Specifically I will be teaching eager yogis and yoginis about meditation, prayanama (yogic breathing), and shatkarma (yogic cleanses).
I feel super honored to be a part of this training, as I started practicing yoga with my mom almost 13 years ago, and she now lives on Oahu and will be attending this part of the training. Oh the circles of life…
I put this challenge to you Hero: block out focused space and time to reflect on your 2013, where you shined and where you fell; receive, appreciate, learn. Then, boldly vision your 2014: where will your aliveness take you this year? Be clear, be courageous, be inspired. Then share it here, and with your own fellowship of Heroes.
Remember, if the human world changes, it does so on the fuel of vision, on the backs of action, and on the investment of the community.
In ever growing awesomeness,
Eka, aka SuperSpark
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