5 years ago on a fateful summer day, I found myself in an emergency room standing over my brother’s lifeless body, and the stark thought that popped into my mind was “I hadn’t spoken to him in some time…boy was I jerk…”
These words echoed in my soul over the next few months as I began a sabbatical and deep introspective journey into my inner-consciousness, akin to Carl Jung when he left his career during a peak in order to go into what he referred to as his “inner laboratory” — I quickly found a truth that shook my core: I used to be a jerk & didn’t even know it!
Quickly realizing that my brilliant mind had shut my heart down & blocked my greatest trove of treasure I was searching for — the proverbial Holy Grail of Happiness & Fulfillment.
While my “mind” thought I had it all together, everything had actually fallen apart: on the professional front, I was providing successful resolutions to clients & guiding them to fulfilling outcomes, as well as leading community organizations, only to find myself lacking motivation & satisfaction within; on the health front, my body was burned-out & eventually began attacking / “eating” itself through necrosis, creating a hole in my head coupled with a latent body infection; on the personal front, I found my relationships emotionally lacking & was pushing away those closest to me.
Shockingly, I began to see that I truly couldn’t remember the last time I was sincerely happy without vices to escape or cope with my inner lack of clarity, discord, turmoil & unhappiness.
Up until this point, I had excelled at everything I put my attention towards & despite numerous accomplishments (cancer research at 17, successful business attorney by 25, established thought-leader by 30, etc), I didn’t become more lovable, fulfilled or inspired, because I fell into the old paradigm of mind-oriented & material values, without considering my emotional realm, health impacts and genuine happiness — the darkest forces within me of shame, doubt, guilt & fear had left my consciousness shackled and potentiality limited.
How could this be? I was following the precedent set before me: work hard, achieve outcomes, make sacrifices, and emotions only get in the way of logic — all that I mistakenly presumed would lead me to success, happiness, fulfillment & peace, only to find myself dissatisfied, unhappy & unclear!
I found there was another way, the Heart-Centered Path, for the doors to true perception doesn’t open with the keys of intellect. This was not anything new I had stumbled upon, it was a way of living & leading that humanity had strayed from over the past centuries.
Where others may have cringed and frozen in terror, I forged ahead fueled by my desire to grasp what I later began to dub “Quantum Mastery:”
This required carefully dismantling and dissolving aspects of the “Self/I/Me/My” the mind & Ego had constructed, thereby finding my “True Self.” Before starting this deep process, I presumed & “thought” I was fine (the egoic mind sees what it wants to see), quickly realizing that at my core, even my pain had developed pain, so I began peeling back these layers & veils — a full cup can hold no new water, so I “emptied myself” & got out of my own way, thereby optimizing my energy, clarity, inspiration & performance.
I faced & made peace with the demons & monsters we all can relate to — shame, disgust, guilt, depression, doubt & fear!
Along this process, I met some of the world’s foremost sages, healers, coaches, teachers, and scientists, imparting their wisdom. I began practicing the “inner-alchemy” of transforming the dross, polarized, and blocked energies to create inner fulfillment, clarity of purpose, optimal performance, increased abundance, health vitality and a radiant happiness. Ultimately, accessing true power within, optimizing my potentiality, allowing me to hone & wield this power fully and consciously.
During this exploration it appeared that there must be other powerful leaders who were misunderstood, inadvertently reactive with their power, stuck in their head, unhappy & unfulfilled within, lacking clarity and inspiration, causing chaos in their lives or resentfully showing up as jerks — and so it was that Relational Alchemist was born into this realm. I step forward with a renewed Calling: to share the tools of Heart-Centered Leadership with the intention of other powerful leaders learning and being inspired by my insightful missteps and painful lessons.
To sum it up, I came to realize the key to happiness is how we shape our relationships; in other words, our relationship with our Self, others & the outside world shapes our reality (perspective is everything, reality is nothing); my eldest brother always says, “The issue isn’t the issue, its how we relate to the issue that is everything!”
I’ve come to find immense power in having a clear & aligned relationship with my Self at the core level, then harmony & alignment with others in teams & ecosystems.
This is even truer in a business or organization because they are entities comprised of and built-upon individual relationships and collective teamwork. Thus, the relationship quality & bonds in an organization correlate to the strength of performance & output, so in reality, fixing the “people problems” or qualitative issues will transform and move an organization forward practically & in a sustainable way.
Join me, as I invite you to follow Relational Alchemist & be on the lookout later this year for my first book, “How I Used to Be a Jerk and Didn’t Even Know It: My Journey to Heart-Centered Leadership,” wherein I’ll share my journey and leadership treasures uncovered along the path.
For now, I ask you to reflect about what your relationship is to your Self, your business, your family, your friends, your lover, and life in general?