Having my best friend here this past weekend came right on time. I mean, I call him every single day and he pretty much knows every detail of what is going on in my life, but actually having him here to talk to was incredibly uplifting and healing. There are only a few people who really believe in me like him – speaking of someone who has deeply seen me. I guess, according to others, the deep relationship I have with him is incredibly rare almost to the point of unheard of. I guess that continues the list of reasons why I am incredibly lucky.
There’s a storm coming. Over this past month I’ve found something inside of myself that has started to manifest itself in something that the entire world can see. Years and years of work, frustration, anticipation and learning are all coming to a single point when I turn everything on and bring out my deepest purpose. This storm, if I do what I need to do correctly, could not just encourage thousands, but millions. Tens to hundreds of millions. I can feel that massive wave behind me pushing my every single day, and yet I am trying my best to stay in my little boat – focused, calm, and breathing as I keep ahead of it into unknown waters. I have absolutely no idea how I came across the picture above, but there isn’t a more accurate representation of how I am feeling right now.
There’s a way. There’s always a way.
I can do this. I know I can. I’ve had to keep telling myself that for a month straight no matter what has been going on in my life. I would be completely lying to you if I told you I haven’t been challenged…in fact it seems like the ending of all of the past few years are starting something new…incredibly new, exciting, magnificent, and with all of that comes a massive amount of responsibility.
I am not a perfect man…I will never ever present myself to be one. I have my demons that I have to fight every single day. I make mistakes. I screw up consistently. I am far from perfect. I never want to be actually. But despite the fact that I am deeply flawed man, I really do love deeply as well. I love my heart out. I throw my heart into people and do my best to lift them when they can’t make footsteps themselves. This density of my emotions are sometimes to much for others to handle, but I sometimes if I was built that way by the hands that hold the stars to not just only love one, but to love crowds…massive crowds of people in a way they have never felt before.
Maybe the structure and reason why I have been fashioned isn’t for any simple reason. I don’t know? All I know is that I feel very different at times – not in an egotistical way, but just…different. Odd, a little bit nuts, a whole bucketload of loving and often goofy as hell. Maybe I just never lost the little kid who dances and plays inside of me.
These past few years have been quiet has I have learned to discover the magic inside of me. I’ve tried massive adventures and failed miserably, been stripped of people I love, been pounded – what it felt like at times – by the hammer of the heavens itself, and had the world around me quiet down so I could start to hear the little voice inside that only whispers – never shouts.
All of this time spent listening instead of speaking has led me to this point, a point where I know that everything is about to change. There’s a strange tension in me that almost feels like torque to be honest. I don’t know why torque came to mind, but it’s a twisting motion. That feeling has changed my body, has changed my soul, and has changed my heart on many different things. As much as I have been tested lately, there have been dramatic shifts in how I have been viewing these situations. Despite any amount of pain, there is an overwhelming amount of love and support that flows from me. There’s no bitterness. There’s no regret. These negative attitudes have dripped from me as if they were never going to come back. That’s a pretty interesting feeling when you can experience yourself oozing out old feelings and at the same time filling up with new positive emotions.
My life is an absolute representation of the calm before the storm right now. Whenever you are about to be in a big storm, there’s this tension in the sky and earth. It’s something that’s very hard to describe but oh you can feel it in your bones. I have this feeling in mine…and the weather is beautiful right now. But the weather of my soul is on the brink of change, and I get the feeling of unleashing something. Something that has been waiting to come out for a very, very long time.
A couple more weeks and I will arrive.
A couple more weeks…and everything changes.
– Evan Sanders
I’ve written a couple of books if you are interested. Check them out below :)
i’ll never forget this moment for the rest of my life. There we were, sitting across from each other in school practicing something that made everyone incredibly uncomfortable at the start – for 5-10 minutes, while a specific passage was being read, looking deeply into someones eyes non stop.
So there we sat, and when I finally relaxed, I was able to feel into this person I’ve never met before. Breathing…tensions releasing…feeling.
The most interesting part out of this whole experience came when the exercise ended. She looked at me and said something I will never forget. “There’s a depth to you thousands of feet deep…and there’s the playfulness of a young child, and at the exact same time, I could feel just how much pain you are in.”
I choked on these words. Those moments make something inside you quiver and shake…and I have to be honest with you, those words bring some tears to my eyes as I write them now – exactly the same ones as I had when she told me what she felt. But why?
For the first time, I felt like I was deeply seen by someone. We didn’t have to have lengthy conversations about my life, the past and the future, or anything else. No, she just had to stare me in the eyes and saw straight into me. She tapped into my life in ways that no one else has, and forever I will have a friend and a connection who has done something in 10 minutes in which most people haven’t been able to do in years.
To be deeply seen, how precious, and yet how incredibly scary that is.
I don’t know exactly when it all started for me, but I somewhere along the line learned to turn of my sight and my ears and really lean into people and what they are feeling inside. Now, especially with all of these things I have tapped into lately I can access this now more than ever. I know that I have deeply seen a handful of people around me…and the thing is, they know it just as well. In almost every case, when I am with these people, they turn off “the show” and they allow themselves to come to me completely open and honest. Truth is, I love them for exactly who they are and exactly who they aren’t. These relationships in my life are by far the most meaningful ones I have – ones that you can literally sit next to someone in pure silence and be completely comfortable. There’s no need to speak…that energy, those vibrations, well…they sometimes speak far more than simple words.
If we could take our masks off – if we could end “the show” and allow ourselves to be deeply seen by those around us, we would all bloom. But it’s the person we think we need to be around others that disguises ourselves from even our greatest ability to love and act out of kindness. “The show”…you know, pretending like everything is always amazing, great, wonderful, couldn’t be happier. We could also call it the “great lie of the ego.”
Most peoples egos are so insecure that they feign positive qualities because they couldn’t possibly contemplate what would happen if another person really knew what was going on with them. This fear, I am completely convinced, is a massive fear! What would happen if we really admitted to those around us that we were weak, insecure about things, completely and utterly unhappy with our current situation and afraid? What would happen if we allowed ourselves to melt in someone else’s arms and literally just let loose – I’m not talking about little weeping, no, I’m talking about soul shaking sobbing…what would the world think of us?
Truth is, you can sense it when someone has been strong for too long. This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way. For the longest of times I had put of a front and actually built a chasm between me and others + my audience because I didn’t want to be deeply seen or really let them know how much pain I was actually in at times. Is it that way all the time? No of course not. But do I have absolutely horrible moments that take it out of me – you bet. If you look hard enough, you can tell. Honestly, especially if you know this feeling yourself, no one can fake it for long.
It’s incredibly scary to be deeply seen…but that moment is precious. There are people out there who will love you for everything that you are and everything that you aren’t. There are people out there who will want you on your good days and your bad days – when you are ugly and when you are pretty – when you are off and on – when you are everything and nothing. They will want to be there for you in your victories and they will hold you when you are defeated. I have a few people like that in my life, and I count myself to be one of the luckiest people on this earth to have a handful…and me, I know I am that person for a few others. I will go to the ends of the earth for those who I love and who need me, despite any circumstance, despite any distance, despite any time in between us…because I know one thing – life is incredibly complicated, people are very messy, and nothing is black and white. Life is a fully array of every color imaginable and if you begin to open up to the idea of “anything could happen”…it actually does happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen 5 minutes from now. I actually really don’t. But I am open to the uncertainty of it – in fact, I’ve fallen in love with now knowing what the hell is about to happen.
Don’t grip things to tight or else the cyclical nature of everything will remove itself from you. And here’s the thing, it’s time to drop the mask. My writing is my best effort at revealing more and more layers and my attempt to take off my mask. It’s scary. It’s anxiety inducing. It’s painful at times. But you will bring more authentic relationships into your life if people can see the real you. They want to know you are weak. They want to know that you struggle. They want to know you suffer and experience everything that can make you a little less strong than normal. They want to know those things because when they do know them, they will love you all the same. Strength…mighty strength…does not always come from being the strongest. They are many many different ways of being strong. There is great power in the movement of water just as much as there is great power in the mountain. Life comes in many different varieties – don’t limit yourself to simple resistance. Maybe it’s time things flowed a little and you brought your heart out – the depths of your heart – to play.
– Evan Sanders
I don’t think it’s any mistake that 4 people today have talked to me about their desire to be more present. I thought, since apparently that energy is flowing around, I would write about it. Presence has been a major practice for me lately…and finding that presence? Oh man, a major struggle at times. Most people want help with finding presence when sh*t hits the fan. That makes sense – those feelings of anxiety, fear, doubt and worry because you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you is an all to familiar feeling. In all of this chaos, how do you stay here? How can you be in the right now. Even more…how can you be the person you have always wanted to be…now.
There are extraordinary amounts of energy and powers you can’t possibly (me neither) comprehend when you start tapping into them – the feeling of solidity (being the mountain) or the lightheartedness of a happy heart when things don’t go your way. How can you tap into these things? How can you start to experience what the possibilities of life are when you detach yourself from your attachments?
We all have access to something that I think is not really dug into that much. Maybe it has always been this way, or maybe there are only few that understand how valuable this next word is…but kindness has really started to become underrated. There is tremendous value in smiling at others, taking the time out of your day to meet people, to encourage and to uplift those around you and to genuinely and specifically praise those for their achievements and improvements. These actions, are not to be overlooked. These actions, have started to morph my life in ways I couldn’t have predicted. People flood into your life – smiles beam – hearts lift – and you are able to bring about one of the most valuable traits (I am completely convinced) that exists – the ability to arouse enthusiasm and the sense of will in others.
Your failures are never defined from the big actions you missed – assuming you have those big actions under control. Usually, your failure to accomplish something comes from the little things. Those little momentum makers. They come from forgetting to say you are sorry – from not being loving to those around you – from not taking the chances you were meant to take. We can all take big chances – there seems to be a massive amount of focus on the quantum leap or the big risk. But what we forget to focus on is all the little things. There’s a saying that says “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I blatantly disagree. Because it’s the small actions that we take every single day that allow us to climb mountains. The quantum leap is a romantic obsession that we have with changing our whole entire lives in one go. It’s a lie. Sure some people do it once in a great while, but for the mass majority – stay away from this nonsense.
Why do you think so many peoples resolutions are completely failed by February? The quantum leap. However, be determined to begin and allow yourself to change little by little every single day and your life will look drastically different that what it once was. Sure it takes longer. But you are on a trek for life, not just for a year.
If you want to be someone…be that person now. If you want to bring love into your life, you are going to have to give it. If you want happiness, you are going to have to flood the room with it. If you want to be more charismatic or open yourself up to others, you have to put yourself out there and do those things. Life, from what I have read over and over and experienced myself, is a process of GIVING as much of yourself away to others…and then what you need comes back to you in the right form.
There’s a specific reason why actions are incredibly profound. We can post whatever we want about ourselves…we can find a quote that says something that supports our agenda…we can read an article that ticks off every single point about who we believe we are…but when the rubber meets the road – who are you really? Are you doing those things? Are you that person when no one else is looking? Are you afraid that someone is going to find you out. If you want love, are you loving others – everyone – and giving yourself? Are you following through with your commitments when no one else is holding you accountable but yourself? What’s behind the mask?”
The hardest thing I had to do was look myself in the mirror – 4 years ago – dead in the eyes and say, ” Evan, you are full of shit. It’s time to get your act together.” It’s been said by psychologists that 99/100 people will do anything to defend, deflect, or deny any amount of responsibility for something going wrong. People are naturally self preserving creatures and to even expect someone to claim responsibility for something without softening the blow is one of the rarest things there is around. If you can do this to yourself…to completely destroy your ego and have honest eyes…calling yourself out for being fake, immature, unreasonable, selfish, and every other thing in the book…that’s an amazing moment. You can build from there. But you have to get there to be able to go anywhere.
You have to really be all of those things. This massive infatuation with persona and who we present ourselves to be to the outside world, and the hiding that goes on when we close our doors is dangerous. The constant rowing towards a place of “where it all turns out” is the greatest lie we can ever tell ourselves. Yes, it’s important to be excited about the future and what you can give to the world. Start looking at things in a way of what you can take, who you can conquer, what you can strip from the world and you have a size 18 boot of karma waiting for you…and trust me – it never misses its mark.
I want to end on a different note today. See the positive in everything. It’s really difficult I know. But if you take the time to really dig into something…to a situation…you will always be able to pull something from it. Your ability to stay positive even when negative things happen isn’t a sign of living in some fantasy land – that’s called leadership. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution. If you spend too much time looking at what is all screwed up how can you possible get yourself into a place of “Ok, this is what I am going to do to fix the situation – at least giving it my best shot.” If you focus on the negative, watch what it does to your body language and to your life. That body language…as much as we can fake everything with our words and our faces…sings volumes.
So if you are in a rut…it’s time to say “I am full of shit…let’s build something new.”
There are these little remnants, flickers of memories and moments of something beyond happiness, that float through my mind like flashes in the sky during a thunderstorm. I love these moments. These moments, despite anything else that may arise throughout my days, keep me focused on a reality that is far beyond any doubt, sadness, or pain. That reality is this – love deeply.
Endings always make you think of beginnings – how things began, where they climaxed and the start of the denouement. I know I myself in the past used to get wrapped up in the endings, but that’s changed for me as I have written page after page throughout the years. I’ve come across something that has soothed everything inside of me no matter the circumstance…
How incredibly lucky I am to have had something which makes saying goodbye so hard.
A long time ago, I wrote something about the attractiveness of beautiful white pages ready to be filled with new adventures and stories. It really is true, we have that opportunity every single day. But in order to write on fresh pages, we must end our old story. As hard as this can be it’s the only way you can start fresh and sit down to passionately write tales of dragons and adventures, heroic deeds and tragic downfalls, and capturing the hearts of those around you. These stories for me have been hard to write, but I am feeling up for the task lately.
Resolve to begin before you are ready. Am I ready at this moment to pack everything and go? Really, the answer maybe just as hidden to me as it is to you. Maybe that’s an answer in of itself. But is the thirst for a new adventure there – yes. That itself tells me it’s time to go. If we always look back at the home we have now, we never really are able to see the land in front of us – the mountains, the valleys and rivers that track the upcoming landscape. Looking back, while bringing forward great times of old, only ends up holding us back from what we can do now. Let those moments arise when they do – forget the bad times and give praise to the good. At least, for me, this is what helps me run through my days.
At times I feel like I am being directly challenged in the toughest of ways. I take a minute to look up into the sky and with a little bit of a laugh and a splash of seriousness I ask “really?!” This seems to be a weekly occurrence where I have conversations with the heavens wondering what the hell they are up to. But there’s a lot of faith there as well. I don’t try to change what is happening, instead, I just let it happen.
There’s an interesting balancing act between being open to the possibilities of life and trying to manufacture what your future is going to look like. Recently, I have learned quite profoundly that the danger of goals and ambitions is living forward too much. You end up not appreciating where you are at this moment because you always want to be a week ahead of a month ahead of where you are. Love where you are at now. Love who you are right now. Honestly, that’s the only way true everlasting development and deepening begins to occur. The now must be appreciated in great detail before the future.
You can get yourself stuck in the past. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve lived there many times through many years. Thankfully I was able to yank myself out of that. But I can honestly still see it in peoples eyes. I can see the pain welling despite any smile or indication of a different life. You can’t call these things out really – you just have to learn how to be there for people and they will come to you when they wish.
I’ve recognized that a lot of people come to me when they are at their worst and need support. A while ago I didn’t understand this, and in fact I was quite confused by it because when they became happy again they would leave. it took me a while to finally realize that I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing – to help people see the stars when they were at their darkest. That is something I am willing to take on, even if it means people exiting my life on their own journeys when they are ready.
Hold the people you love with open palms…in time, if it’s right, they will come back to you.
That sentence above, is something I actually understand about how life works. It’s happened to me time and time again, and the cyclical nature of everything has continued to prove it to be true. All you can be, when it comes down to it, is as open, truthful, and loving as you can possibly be. People will exit. Sometimes they will exit despite everything you ever wish for. But they always, in one way or another, come back if you lovingly let go. It’s the hardest and most dense lesson I have ever learned in my entire life. Sometimes it feels like something is ripping straight out of your heart – like velcro detaching itself. It stings, it hurts, you suffer…but if you can love people through all of that – well, you are bound to not only do amazing things…but to love yourself just as deeply.
– Evan Sanders
Today was a pretty interesting day to be honest. Blasted through the morning routine, started working, and then around noon I was hit by a pretty old feeling – one that I haven’t had in years. It was the need for catharsis – the cleansing of oneself. So naturally, I did what I always would do when that feeling hit me back in the day – I went and destroyed my legs at the gym.
It has been a long time since I’ve done this, but it brought me back to a time and place when I was just starting out and learning. I had no idea what I was doing, but the feeling I had after starting to build myself back after I felt like I was broken…well, that feeling delivered me a little dose of pride every single day. I know a handful of people who use the gym as a therapy session, and whenever they tell me their stories about why it really makes sense. There’s something about being stable through the resistance of it all. Maybe it’s finding the solidity that escapes us every single time we feel like we have had the rug ripped out from underneath us. That moment where you are solid in yourself and you are constructing yourself as the sculptor and the clay.
I really respect people who use this place for their mind…because a long time I myself was burnt to ashes and came to the weights as a way of remaking myself. Those days were full of pain, and yet, the gym was a place for me to unload everything that was heavy in my heart and burdening my mind. It still is really. For a while, I didn’t have the healthiest of relationships with it because I would go 2 times a day nonstop. Whenever sh*t hit the fan I would overdo it and that’s what started a pretty wicked bad cycle of bad eating as well. I am a different man now – with the help of an amazing trainer – who bought into my philosophy and desire to create the strongest mind we possibly could together – and see what the hell the body would look like after we did that.
Almost 5 months into training with him, and I have made the best decision of my life to head down that path. It’s one thing when you believe in yourself…it’s another thing when someone else really believes in you as well.
It’s critically important to hold onto people who believe in you, love you, and support you through anything no matter what. Sometimes you don’t feel like it makes sense logically, but the matters of the heart hardly do. We can de-prioritize, disengage, and even shun away things that are great for us simply because we don’t feel like we are functioning at full capacity or offering our best selves. I…have been incredibly guilty at that. My all or nothing mentality absolutely destroyed my capabilities of developing strong relationships with family, friends, and significant others for years because I felt like I always had to be the best version of my self around them. Thing is, once you find the confidants in your life – those who really believe in you and love you through your best and your worst days, they will accept every single version of you that shows up with grace, love, compassion and excitement. In fact, those confidants lift you.
If you are being lifted by someone, elevated…and their energy urges you to simply be more – you are lucky as hell. People like that don’t come along that often, and I feel like one of the luckiest men in the world because I have a family and 3 amazing friends who drive me, celebrate with me, and grieve with me when I fail. What more could I ask for?
You have to tear down the walls that you’ve put up to protect yourself. It is one of the greatest fallacies we are told…that in order to be strong we must protect ourselves. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s a practice I am engaged in every single day, but the strongest of people on this earth, I have seen it with my own eyes, expose themselves vividly and have no walls. They are there – naked, vulnerable, and powerful in that state because they are accepting of everything on the outside, which gives them the ability to accept themselves.
Those people inspire me deeply. Those people make me want to be a man who can exhibit this type of behavior.
So tear down the walls. Easier said than done? Absolutely. Hard as hell? Oh yes. But worth it – mhmm. You will never know the absolute beauty of the person that exists within you with all these walls up. Walls against others, walls against yourself…they constrict you. Will you accomplish things? Yes, but you will always fall short of what you could have been. Courage is not the absence of fear – courage is being scared to death and continuing on anyways.
Being in that type of state is exciting, anxiety inducing, and everything else in between. It’s a state that I have been in for around a month now. It has challenged me beyond belief and at the same time ripped insecurity and doubt out of my like kids grabbing candy out of bucket on Halloween.
Let them crumble…let those walls crumble.
– Evan Sanders
There was this extraordinary feeling, like the moment your fingers slip out of someones hands for the last time. He was about to leave this place. Leave this moment. He was about to crack and shed a skin years in the making. In that moment, he knew nothing would ever be the same. In that moment, he fell in love with the uncertainty of it all.
There have been deep tectonic forces at play, shifting the sands of my foundation, pouring in the concrete as they settle and forming this density within me that has choked the air out of me a few times, and yet, dropped roots so deep into the ground I cannot accurately describe the feeling to you. If I had to take a shot at it, it’s that while I can bend and flex in the wind, there isn’t anything on this earth that can uproot me anymore. I’m too dug in.
These shifts, these changes, are not small. They are fundamental…meaningful…and they disrupt my life every single day in the finest of ways. The have shaken me to my core and started to bleed any insecurity or doubt from my veins. These changes have given me access to something I only understood before, but now i feel – the true power of being naked, vulnerable, and open to all things.
Does fear creep in…as well as every single thought and emotion available. Yes. However, I have been far from acting out of these places for a little while now, and today, I felt an indescribable tension release. It wasn’t a snap…just a slipping away.
I’m about to leave this place. It’s a feeling I don’t think anyone could really understand because they aren’t going through it specifically, but everything is about to change. My gut, which has always held me to the truth despite my best efforts to combat its wisdom, knows something. It knows mountains are about to move. It knows that I first had to have that feeling of the density of whatever there is in me…and then, shifting would change. Massive amounts of shifting.
I feel myself turning inside.
I feel myself detaching from things.
I feel myself seeing…even though I have my eyes closed. I’ve never been able to do this before, but I can feel the room now. I can close my eyes and peer into everything because I can feel this energy. Sounds a little bit funny, but I do this at my gym in the mornings where I will sit down on my legs and just breathe. That massive gap between me and others has quickly closed, as I have crossed the chasm and reached out to those around me with genuine love, interest, and compassion. To keep it simple, there are now 40 new people in my life. I can only imagine what the next few months will bring.
(I got pretty distracted right here for about 15 minutes – and these are the next thoughts that poured into my head)
My fascination and love for fishing (I told you this was going to be out of left field) began when I was very little and has continued to this day. Some of the best times of my life are when I go out into the mountains on my own or with a close friend and get to “the hole” where I excitedly set up my gear and cast my line into the water.
There’s this feeling that is understandable amongst fisherman and might be slightly mysterious to those who haven’t never experienced this…but there are these moments where you simply can feel where fish are in the water and when something is about to strike. You don’t feel a tapping on the hook or line…but it’s this stillness in the water – despite its currents – in which you can feel something change.
That feeling stays in your hands for the moments before you feel the strike, you set the hook hard and fast and the game is on. Then, the entire would could be burning down around you, but with a fish on the line, nothing else matters.
That feeling, the feeling of the “change in the waters”…the almost tingling in your hands…is in my hands right now. I’ve been trying to figure out for days what the hell was going on with my hands…but that 15 minute distraction brought it right to the front of my mind.
The tides are changing. Mountains are moving. What an extraordinary experience this all is.
– Evan Sanders