It starts, as these stories often do, with pain. A harsh breakup a few months before I turned 30 seeded me with an enormous amount of anger that needed to get burned off. So on September 1, 2010, I started walking south from Vancouver towards the border between California and Mexico to attempt a journey on my own that the two of us had dreamed up together.
Anger is a wily emotion. Just when you think you’ve got it squashed, it takes you somewhere new, somewhere deeper. Each step on my walk brought me more deeply into myself. At first, the immensity of my anger terrified me. Yes, of course, I was angry with my ex-girlfriend. But the list of other people I was angry with stretched back decades. And not just people! The society, the government, the celebrities, the advertisers, the corporations: all those forces that give rise to disempowerment, that make us feel less than perfect, that treat the world with contempt and a mentality of scarcity.
But beneath all of that, I was furiously angry with myself for not being perfect. That abrasive grain of sand drove me further and further: across the Columbia River, down the Oregon Coast, through the Redwood forest, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and down through Big Sur towards Southern California. 3,000 km later, when I reached the border just south of San Diego on Day 316, like inside an oyster, that grain of sand had turned into a pearl.
Here’s what I’d learned: that if we wait for permission to be great, it’ll never come. If we lust for someone else to validate us, we’ll never be good enough. If we surrender our authority, we’ll never find our bliss.
Permission. Validation. Authority. The components of power. To gain that power in our lives, we need to reclaim our own sense of self. We need to give ourselves these gifts.
My walk taught me that the route to power was through my heart, through a path of self-love. If I really wanted to change the world and find love, the person I needed to begin with was me.
Ever since I finished the journey, last September, I’ve been thinking about how to share that lesson widely. That’s the responsibility of journeying into adulthood, I think: what we learn, we must teach.
I’ve been seeking for a way to teach that merges the old ways and the new ways, the traditional with the technological, the instructive with the interactive, the spiritual and the grounded (and the East and the West). I’ve come up with something really cool: a mobile app that will take you on a kind of interactive scavenger hunt. The idea is to invite you to walk a metaphoric mile with me and to allow our stories to connect together the old fashioned way – through our hearts.
If we both get out of our heads and into our bodies, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn something new about one another, to see the world a little differently, and to appreciate the beauty that lies in the spaces in between. There, in the real world, beyond our comfort zone, we learn to trust the wisdom of our hearts, the genius of our intuition; we prove that creativity and faith lie far beyond the cold, harsh logic of our trickster minds.
Getting back in our body helps remind us about the abundance of things, and that creative possibilities and opportunities to grow are truly limitless. When that lesson sinks in, both of us will be better off. Both of us will learn to be in power. And not by sharing power. By finding our own power and becoming truly empowered.
After all, 1+1 really equals 11.
That’s what we need most of all, I think: to share a message of positivity and empowerment at a time so focused on fear. To rebuild our communities around honesty and heartfelt connections. To become 11. That’s why I’m sharing my story with you today. That’s what I hope to help do.
But to do it, I need your help.
Right now, I’m fundraising for this next phase of my project on the website indiegogo.com
. Here’s the short video that tells my story.
If you’re inspired and able, I’d love your support. Even if you don’t feel you can, I’d love your help spreading the word. My goal is to contribute towards that important move towards empowerment and stability. I think we can do it, and I’m dedicating myself to discovering (and showing) how.
I really hope you’ll come along this next phase of the adventure with me. I’ve got a great story to share, and I’d love to do it together
Best wishes and have a great day.