Hey my friends, here’s my story:
As long as I can remember, I had the distinct feeling I was going to die at age 33. I have no idea why I had this feeling, but I created my whole life around it, determined to achieve all of my goals and everything on my bucket list by that time. In my younger years, it didn’t affect me as much. I was a pretty average kid, and a little rebellious as a teenager, but nothing too serious. When I turned nineteen, I served an LDS service mission in Argentina for two years, where I learned a ton about culture, service and belief systems. After that, I came back, got married to the woman of my dreams and started college. I was 22 and realized I only had 11 more years to live. It was time to get it all done. Within a couple of years, we had our first baby. Before I even graduated in marketing, I had a job in international sales, where I was able to earn good money and travel the world. I went skydiving, scuba diving, and sailing. I got my pilot’s license and bought a small airplane. I bought the nice house and cars and everything that went along with that. I lived in Switzerland and Singapore. By the time I was 33, I had achieved almost all I had set out to do.
Then, one evening after work in the spring of 2000, I took my new motorcycle up the canyon for a quick ride before dinner. It was five minutes away from the house, so I figured I’d be home about half an hour. I drove up the winding road slowly, getting a feel for my new bike. It was heaven. The weather was sunny and cool. A motorcycle is best experienced on a windy canyon road, as you gently lean from side to side.
I road to the top of the mountain pass and then turned around so I could make it down for dinner. On the way down the canyon, about halfway down, something happened and I crashed the motorcycle into the mountain on a sharp curve. To this day, I don’t remember what happened that caused the crash. I thought I was gone. The first memory I had after that was waking to white light and a whirring noise. I thought “This is it”. What I shortly realized was that I was in an MRI machine being examined. I was still here.
So, if my life didn’t end, what was I to do? I hadn’t planned for this contingency. I no longer feared death, but what the hell was I supposed to do for the rest of my life, however long that was? For a while, I struggled. I had no idea what to do with myself. You would think that I would have been elated since I was still here. Not so. I went to a dark place. I started drinking. I got divorced. I left a job that I had been at for thirteen years. I struggled.
I realized that my whole life, I had made things happen. I was driven. I had set goals and achieved them. What I soon realized is that it felt like my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. I had climbed and climbed, not realizing that the destination was not really where I wanted to go. It was where society was telling me I should go. This was the beginning of my journey.
Then, I started thinking…. a lot… and studying… and researching. I wondered what this life was really for, and if I even had any idea. I realized that what I had spent the last 33 years doing didn’t really fulfill me. On the outside, it looked perfect, with the perfect wife and family, perfect job, house and amenities. So, I started my spiritual quest. I studied all kinds of spiritual practices. I had been raised Christian, and had also studied the Hindu texts. I also resonated with the Asian philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, as well as Native American tradition. I even spent time in Peru learning from shamans. As I studied, I realized that they nearly all beliefs had a core set of common principles. These were to become staples in who I would become up to this point.
I opened myself to the Divine. Call it God, Source, or whatever you’d like, and I realized that there was a moving Force in the universe that was happy to provide assistance and direction. I realized that if I got out of my own way, and released the ego, I could accomplish much more, and make a dramatic difference in the lives of others. It was at this time that I chose to be a vessel.
The dictionary defines a vessel as an empty container, such as a glass or bowl. What is valuable is what’s inside the vessel, like water or soup, but the vessel is an integral part in getting nourishment. I realized that if I let myself be filled with the Divine, I could nourish others and be a tool for service. This is the path I chose.
I soon realized that there were things that made the vessel less effective, things like fear, attachment, judgment, and labeling. I learned the principles of love, respect, honor, trust, service were the filters that could best serve.
So, here I am today, and I’ve had many people ask me about my philosophy, what I believe in, and how I’ve come to where I am in my path. I’ve used this book as an outlet of my thoughts and learnings along this journey. Today, I am freer, more powerful, more authentic, and happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I am able to create heaven, here and now. That is why I wish to share these gems.