It happens every so often
He loses himself
He hooks up on a beast
And for whatever reason
The line snaps
Leaving him with having to set up again
Repair his gear
Sharpen the hook
And throw it all back in

What seems like moments
In the face of it all
He can lose his center
His direction
And his confidence
But just for a moment
Because at his core
He needs no affirmation
No false praise
And does not build himself on compliments
Or let’s himself be destroyed by insults
Despite his moments of weakness
Of vulnerability
He always returns back to the mountain within
With a fire to head back out the next morning
To put his oars in the water and try again.

His love affair is in the “knowing” of the looming strike
As he heads back out
Day after day after day
The time he spends is endless
With his line in the water
Sometimes bringing nothing back
And yet every single day
He is out there
Patiently waiting
Line in
For that first strike
Unwaveringly confident
Powerfully patient
A man in his boat
In the midst of the vast ocean
With the power to change the tides

It really hasn’t even been a week, but I have to say, it’s been one of the most transformational, exciting, amazing, heart-breaking, and all around special weeks of my life. How can all of those things possibly exist in one? Well, let me explain.

Throughout the course of my life, there have been a few fundamental moments that have defined the direction I have taken with my life. They were all part of the path, but they each had  their own unique mark on how things would begin to pan out for me. I would say that losing baseball was one of those moments, losing myself a year later would be another, and then starting The Better Man Project would be the 3 primary moments in my life that had significant impact on me.

Walking through the doors of my Integral Coaching school one month ago, I already know, is one of those moments. In the most positive way possible, I have been stretched, turned inside out, and the seeds of change were planted in my body, heart, and soul. Coming out of my first session of school, I already knew that things were shifting inside of me. The things that they had examined in me during my first week were pretty interest – feeling like I was holding things back, not rooted, without a home, wanting to learn how to be vulnerable, and many other pretty significant topics that would challenge me to my core. In all honesty, I felt like I had my tree shaken a bit and all of this made me really wonder where I stood with my purpose in the world, drove some insecurities out, and naturally I lost a bit of my edge and confidence because there were so many moving parts going on at once. I wouldn’t say that I was struggling, but I would say that I was a bit lost in knowing exactly where I was and what I wanted to set out to do.

Naturally, this had some consequences. I lost a bit of my footing, my foundation became a little more fluid (for good reason actually and I will get into why) and all different types of energy flowed from me – masculine and feminine. Things swirled. I’m glad they did.

Over these past few days, something snapped in me. Not in a bad way – trust me, I’ve had that feeling before. But in a good way. Here’s what I had to say about it today.

With another match
The test came
Haystacks engulfed in flames
Like a distant memory
The ashes of old
Choking the air

But this time
It was different
The flames came from within
And off started to fall
The shingles of his fears
Like tiles being stripped from a roof

Broken wide open
The demons came out to play
And yet there danced deep joy…
Finally realizing, the cracks his heart displayed
Were places the light could shine through

As he connected to the mat
Death came to him
His final excuse
And amidst the chaos
There was humor
A bit of a grin… “I will take you”
‘I know’…“And you grin?”
“Why so?”
‘I now know what to die for’

Powerful, true, and vulnerable
A naked warrior’s bleeding heart
Taught by many Oracles
To love through chaos
Darkness and light
To court his death
With desire and a smile
They were lessons he never knew
But they were within him
Seeping out at times
Muddied by loneliness and doubt
But always present
Always ready

And out they roared
The Two Wolves howled
Finding their place
Nourished him
Home at last
Home at last

My greatest challenge this year, the question that I am supposed to consider all year, is “what if heartbreak was my greatest healer.” When they asked me that question in front of the class and asked if I would consider it for my yearlong study, something inside me quivered. Pain. Loss. Loneliness. They all shook within me. That was the biggest challenge, and the hardest question they could have possibly asked me to undertake…but I’m glad they did.

This year, I’ve surrendered fully to my purpose, and to giving this world every gift I have.

I wrote that poem above because this past week has been one of the more interesting weeks, as I have already been challenged with my yearlong question…and all sorts of experiences came out to play that I have never really appreciated or gone through at all. In all honesty, my practice of meditating for the first couple of weeks suffered on and off because of doubt that it was for me, but this week I have fully thrown myself into the practice, and out came everything. Out came my true feelings, my true wisdom, my true pain, my true anguish, the demons at work, the happiness, the joy…everything, in full. Nothing was held back. One minute I would be crying my eyes out on the meditation mat and the next minute I would be at peace. This is meditation at it’s finest. Connecting with the true core of yourself and holding nothing back, just being with it.

This, is something…I’ve never been good at.

When I felt anxiety, I tried to fix it. When I had a bad experience, I would run from it or try to cover it up with a good experience. But as soon as I just sat there…and let everything flow through me, I felt things I haven’t felt in years come back, evoke all sorts of emotions in me, and then exit out through my breath.

Our greatest fears, our fear of death, our fear of lost lost, any fear you can possibly imagine, will attack you from within…but all you have to do is be able to see it for what it is and let it out.

There’s been tremendous growth, connection, beauty, and happiness despite times of chaos. This week has been one of the most wonderful weeks of my life. This week opened me…cracked me wide open, and allowed me to dig into teachings, lessons, experiences, openness, and truly finding my passion – helping others build their best lives. That’s why I am going to do my coaching. That’s why I am on a mission to build this amazing network and framework for my own personal brand. That’s why I am determined, passionate, and energized about creating what I am setting out to create…because I want to help people get to a place of opportunity that I have. I feel so lucky. Yeah there are obstacles and challenges, but they are not nuisances.

I have finally begun to train myself as a warrior.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project