The steps we take are ours and ours to take alone.

I’ve been quiet. I’ve been reflecting. A wave came over me these past few days and washed many things away. That’s always a lot for me to take in. There have been heartbreaking moments and I’ve felt ever so deeply through them.

But I don’t show that to many people. Those are my moments. My personal moments. I always keep those to myself because if I share everything I am just a projector putting all of me out there into the world. No many things I keep very close to the heart and no one will ever know about.

In fact, it’s probably most things.

Birthdays have always been hard for me. For one reason or another, they bring up a lot about what has happened throughout my life and I seem to dive into a deeper mode of reflection that normal. I think it’s because I look back onto the past year and really feel into how everything has been going.

I look at the people who have come and gone.

I look at the events that took place, the mistakes I’ve made, the moments of bravery where I really went for it and what I can do to improve.

This year was different in the sense that there was no big adventure right around the corner to distract me from doing this. This year, I really sat in it. I started to ask the tough questions. I admitted my mistakes fully and knew that they were moments where I was out of alignment with my deepest sense of who I am.

So I vowed to never do them again.

All of this, it’s never been about being perfect. From time to time when I get in that mode I remind myself of the intention of why I started everything – I wanted to become a better person every single day.

That’s it.

No perfection.

No impossible standards.

Just raising the bar daily on who I could be, learning as much as I could, and bringing out the best in myself.

So when I make a mistake, it can sometimes bring out this extraordinarily harsh version that loves to absolutely try to tear me apart and bring me down. If I really look at it though, it seems that this side of me has softened over the past few years and now I’m much more compassionate.

But that’s not to say I don’t have my moments.

I’ve thought a lot about the end.

When I say the end I really mean the end. 

When I reach the end of my life, what do I want to see when I look back? Truly, the answer lies in the image of footsteps on a beach. I wanted to see steps taken with courage, love, honesty, compassion and joy. I know there will be times when I tremble and those imprints may be quite shallow in the sand. That’s understandable. But most of the time, I want to show up in the way I know I can.

With love.

The thing that has changed everything for me has been a mindful look at what’s happening in the moment.

These feelings…these thoughts…these energies…are they serving me?

If I act upon them…how will this path go? What can I see? Is making this choice align with the deepest version of who I am?

So I’ve been going slower. I’ve been listening more. I’ve been closing my eyes more and more and seeing as far down the road as I can. That’s made me change my mind a lot about what I’m doing with my life. That’s made me adjust plans and start over and go back to the drawing board again and again and again.

And while others may not be able to keep up with those changes, none of that matters anyways.

Because this is about what I see in my mind. This is not about chasing dreams amongst the stars and fantasizing about what life could be.

This is about visions…

And visions hold something far deeper.

So here’s to courage dear heart.

And to vision.

To everything I could be and all that I am now. I honor that. We are just getting started.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project