I’m having a hard time putting into words what’s going on with me lately. Not in a bad way. It’s just tricky. In fact, life is a bit tricky right now.

I remember about a year ago when I graduated one of my mentors told me that we must meet life’s messiness with precision and harmony.

I think at times in the past, I’ve met that chaos of life with more chaos. Maybe I felt that the tornado of my life could overpower the crashing of the ocean? That didn’t really work out very well. In fact, it was probably a complete lack of awareness that there was “another way” that made me act like that.

Yet as life has shown up in the way it is right now, there have been a handful of tricky situations that I’ve needed to navigate before I take off again.

If I’m being completely honest, some of those situations I can feel building but haven’t really shown up yet. Intuition is speaking here again. It’s the feeling that something is going to happen with a few different people and things but I have no real evidence for that showing up.

All there is…is that feeling that has always guided me in the right direction.

I don’t wonder that much about it anymore. I just trust it.

So there’s that piece of my life.

The next piece is a lot more profound.

I’m leaving for Europe in almost 3 weeks and saying goodbye to a place that has been my home for almost all of my life.

I think the first time I left, I really thought that I was going to come back. But something in me changed over this past 5 months being here. Not only did I build by dream from the ground up just the way I wanted it to be, but I realized that a lot of the “story” that existed in reasons why I should come back weren’t really rooted in much depth at all.

I challenged those ideas with my heart and in the end I realized that I actually belong “out there” with everyone and everything.

What else has shifted?

I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into my studies and my practices and have learned things that have really changed the way I look at life. One of the books I’ve been reading is “A Path With Heart” by Jack Kornfield. He is a Buddhist teacher and I’ve started to come into contact with some lessons and teachings that have really expanded my mind.

I’ve realized that I’ve developed and grown with the fears and insecurities that I have because of the cards that I’ve been dealt throughout my life…

…and, my deepest sense of belongingness and joy is going to continue to come from my reclamation of my heart and dissolving any sense that there really is this sense of separateness between me and others.

Jumping back to over a year ago…I had told one of my other mentors that I desperately wanted to close the gap between me and other people because I felt that I was lacking this deeply rooted sense of community. After doing lots of work on vulnerability, things really began to change.

But as I see it now, it’s actually my childlike nature that still is kicking hard inside of me that really is the key.

Me, as a child, was one of the most mischievous, adventurous, joyous kids around. Sure I was stubborn as all hell, but that’s besides the point.

The point is, it’s that nature of being absolutely curious about everything that really makes me the healthiest version of myself.

That’s what I’m bringing to my trip this time.

Curiosity. Wonder. Exploration.

I felt that in Italy, it retracted slightly in Spain, opened up wildly in Portugal and then when I separated my rib surfing I had to settle into a mode of really nursing a terrible injury.

But I know I have more joy and wonder in me. I also know that I have a deep deep sense of wanting to connect with other people. It’s not that I’m shy around others…it’s that at times the fear crawls in and gets worried about letting new people in.

I have to work with that.

I have to work with opening myself up because I can contact around people at times. I don’t show who I really am. I show up as a more reserved version.

But in all truth, the person who I really am…my true self…is a loving, caring, compassionate, laughing, joyous man

The only thing that gets in the way of that are the wounds of the past. And trust me, I’m doing what I can to heal those.

I’ll end with this. Today, while I was reading, I came across a sentence where the author said that true spiritual practice is not about improving upon ourselves but rather allowing for ourselves to come into deeper and deeper contact with what already exists.

For me, I know that’s joy and curiosity about the great mystery of life.

It just so happens that my coach told me a couple of years ago…”What if it was The Deeper Man Project instead of The Better Man Project.”

Now I truly understand his point.

While it is just a name, that name has changed for me in many ways.

Now, I see it as an unfolding of my life.

I’m not trying to tack things on.

I’m not trying to increase efficiency.

I’m going back. Way back. Back to that young boy running through the forrest ready for anything.

That’s who I am.

That’s me.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project