Devin Fredericksen is devoted to helping people reconnect to themselves, each other, and Mother Earth. He specialises in sacred connection and conscious sexuality, permaculture, and is also an ecstatic chef and regenerative farmer. Devin facilitates local and international retreats, workshops and nature-based immersion’s on sacred masculinity and brotherhood.
He is inspired in helping people integrate intimacy into every moment. By weaving these elements together, Devin offers a unique perspective that will truly create the opportunity to live in harmonious relationship with ourselves. The remembering that we are all stewards of our beautiful Earth Mother is essential for a thriving future. Devin is also a child of Mother Earth, a son to a mother, and a brother to a sister. He believes that how we treat Mother Earth is how we ultimately treat and respect women. Devin is unable to sit back complacent anymore and supports the rising feminine to be fully met by the regenerating masculine. He believes that shifting our relationship towards sexuality will help to heal and repair our relationship with Mother Earth.
Hey Devin, can you introduce yourself to us?
First off, I want to thank you both for having me here. I’m beyond honoured to share and connect with you. My name is Devin Aksel Mailand Fredericksen. I am a passionate human living life on purpose, cultivating inner resiliency, and co-creating resilient systems.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I am born and raised on the beautiful island of Maui in Hawaii. The gorgeous island, nature, and community of Maui helped instil the importance of connection and family at a very young age.
Following the social norm, I attended college in northern California at Humboldt State University. Two years into my environmental resources engineering degree, I encountered two life-altering experiences that utterly transformed my life. After wanting to drop out of college to actually be a part of the solution, I decided to finish my degree to have a semblance of the flexibility of how I create my career. One change was to switch my major from engineering to environmental science. This prompt stemmed from wanting to be involved on the ground level of projects, not sitting behind a computer and calculating mathematical equations.
Thankfully the major shift helped me to discover permaculture, and I felt so at home within this realm of study that I passionately devoted my studies to permaculture in every way. I luckily got a job after graduation with my friend’s start up mycology and mycoremediation business. I then choose a 10-month permaculture certification program because of its prolonged nature and increased learning capacity of the course skills and information.
I dedicated my focus to become the best community member I can be. Diving into conscious communication, self-love, meditation, yoga retreats, conscious loving and relationship retreats, and workshops, I wanted to enhance and sharpen all qualities within me. After spending 4 years in northern California, I decided it was time for a change of pace and life. From there, I went to New Zealand for almost a year visiting different intentional communities and farms. Amazing friends and connections were really the results of the journey. I deeply expanded my knowledge of successional food forests. That sparked my interest and profound passion for trees and the amazing ecosystem services they provide.
Returning to Maui in 2015, I created a permaculture and regenerative land stewardship consultation business. I also approached the new head of school at my alma mater and go the go-ahead to start the School Gardening Program. The following year in September of 2016, I ventured into the wild with 14 men for a vision quest that forever changed my life. Completing the vision quest was exhilarating, inspirational, and transcendental, however returning back to society brought about anxiety and fear within my being. I knew that I had to return to help others because of my previous concept of myself and how I was showing up personally.
In September 2018, I co-taught permaculture and mycology at the Jump Suit Record Family Gathering in Taos, New Mexico, followed by cooking for a group of 200 people at Collective Legacy, a mastermind retreat focusing on the collective legacy we are all participating in. During this trip, I heard an urgent calling within my being, asking me if I was being true to what I want to pursue in this life. After this service journey, I returned to Maui on the Fall Equinox and received the most potent message from Maui ever. I literally felt like Mother Maui was giving her child a strong, gentle nudge to leave the nest, to spread my wings, trust, and fly into the unknown. In 10 days I did my best to wrap up my life with the uncertainty of returning or not. However, I knew with a fervent certainty that I was leaving Maui to place one foot after the other, consistency married with simplicity, guiding my every action to follow my dreams.
Departing from Maui, I had my eyes focused on stepping more fully into men’s work. The first week after leaving, I led a men’s workshop at OM Rising yoga festival. I then cooked for 70 men at the Sacred Son’s first men’s convergence in San Diego. The next weekend, I helped facilitate another men’s circle with Sacred Sons for about 50 men at the Community Healing event in East LA. I then led another successful workshop with a good brother, Gabriel Francisco, in San Francisco. I was then scheduled to lead 7 workshops in Guatemala when my entire life had a drastic shift occur. I was evacuated during the Woolsey Fire recently and somehow got exposed to cesiums, barium, and thallium, all of which are toxic elements. Intense symptoms of crazy headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, joint pain, fatigue, confusion, foggy mind, and vertigo became common. After a life of great health, I was hit hard, harder than ever before.
And now I’m speaking with you today. 4 months after the exposure to these toxic elements, still experiencing all these intense symptoms, but with a deeper sense of self-worth and connection. Everything in life is my choice of how I will synthesise intention and action. I am fully capable of enacting my own authority — to be the author of my own story. I’m ready for what life has in store. I know I will heal, and as I increase my aptitude for empathy, I can support and help others that much more.
What is a day in the life of you like?
I’m grateful to live the life I do. I typically rise with Grandfather Sun, greeting the day and slowly waking up with life. Following my morning greeting, I take a cold shower to fully activate my sacred vessel. I then sit down to meditate, connecting with Mother Earth and all relations around me. After meditating, I pray over a large mason jar of water, infusing my intentions and prayers into the water. I then have another jar of warm lemon water. Next, I engage in some sort of dynamic movement routine, further waking up my body and embracing the day. After my morning routine, I am ready for the day. If I’m in work mode, I will focus for 3 hours on content creation, writing articles, planning the next retreat or workshop, having meetings, and anything helping continually supports regenerative, patient, forward momentum.
If I’m in self-care mode, I will go out to be in nature and play! Whatever route I pursue that day, by this time, it’s around 11:30am. I will head home to cook myself nourishing, whole food, plant-based meal. After lunch, I like to rest for a bit to digest and receive the day. Continuing in work mode, I will normally focus my attention for another 2 to 3 hours on work until about 5 o’clock. If I’m in the non-work mode, I’ll enjoy further nature time or connect with my fellow humans. Just as I greet the day and Rising Sun, I honour the setting of a day and Sun and greet the night and rising Moon. I love to relax outside to greet the Star nations and Grandmother Moon. After dinner, I love to check in and be present with my beloved partner. Whether we massage each other, share about the day, enjoy dinner together, eye gaze and connect, dance together, or ]embrace each other, we always share gratitude and overwhelming joy to be with each other. I then slowly wind down for the evening, stretching my body, reflecting on the day. As I lay down for bed, breathing deeply into my body, I relax and give thanks for the day and the blessing of another miracle: the gift of life.
What was the concept behind launching your business?
As a culture of humans, rites of passages and initiations were paramount in supporting both women and men through transitions in life. For the most part, at least in western cultures, these rites have diminished and fallen away, silently forgotten with much dismay. When I got invited to participate in my first vision quest, I was both passionately excited and curiously overwhelmed. Why had nothing like this been offered to me before? Where were the cultural systems of support to uplift, encourage, and inspire myself and fellow comrades in our personal and collective journeys? The impact penetrated my soul from this experience and continues to imprint its beneficial remembering in all that I give back today.
When the vision quest finally concluded, I knew with profound clarity that experiences like these need to be brought back to our culture. Our men need the support of other men, sitting in circle and council with each other, witnessing their fellow brothers, relating to each other as we share our joys, sorrows, challenges, and successes with each other in a safe, vulnerable, and authentic container. This bond created with all those men on that vision quest invoked the ancient brotherhood within me. I felt the transmuting shift palpably birthing deep in my bones, a seed sprouting yet not ready to breach the surface.
Witnessing the enormous amount of support and inspiration garnered in each man from that vision quest spoke to my spirit. I knew that I was being called forth to show up in a new way. To bridge my experience with regenerative farming, permaculture, love for Mother Earth, community building, and all my life’s learnings, I was gifted with the task if transforming this into an offering for both my fellow brothers and myself. I gather and curate opportunities of connection for men, but also for myself because I know I so deeply I need my brothers in these confusing yet fertile times. It was from this place the concept of a men’s empowerment and immersive experience business was born.
How is your business funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded ect?
My men’s empowerment business is both bootstrapped and self-funded. I am grateful for my paternal grandfather who taught me to always pay attention to the amount of money I make, and ensure I continually save some money for whatever I may need someday. Ever since I was a little boy, I would save money I’d receive for birthday or Christmas gifts. Starting in high school when I began working professionally and continuing up till this moment, I saved money and stored it for some special moment in time. Most of these savings I have invested in my men’s empowerment business. I also direct much of my earnings from permaculture consulting and private cheffing work into the men’s platform as it is birthing itself. Thankfully the platform is starting to grow and I see the business being self-funded by next year.
Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos within your brand and how you are using it to connect to Mother Earth?
Connection and community are at the core of my business. Humans are innately social beings. We can self-source water, food, shelter, but if you isolate an individual from a group, village, community, or society, this banishment can easily be their downfall and disappearance.
Today, my observations have lead me to the conclusion that most of us are living lives separated, disconnected from each other, and deeply yearning for deeper relations and bonds. And as men, we are especially confused because we haven’t been raised with the full skill set to navigate life fully connected, at ease within our own bodies and selves. Most men have been taught to “man up” and be emotionally closed off, yet still feeling all that moves through them. We, humans, are one cell of life here on Mother Earth, one small part of the entire whole. By helping men to reconnect with Nature and remember they are one with Nature, we can return to a restful place inside knowing that we have been here all along.
Men also crucially need their brothers. As men, we have predominantly been brought up around competition and always looking for the upper hand. Jealousy, fear, making fun of others for self-validation, men largely have an outlook towards life that everyone is against them and they have to fight their way through everything. When men reunite and stoke the ancient brotherhood inside, I’ve witnessed the drastic shift of self-love and acceptance flood back into their hearts, minds, body, and soul.
I am exceptionally passionate in helping men cultivate their creative life force, also known as sexual energy, and reclaiming a healthy relationship to sexuality. We all originate from this place of sexual creation, sacred creation. Yet shame, humility, disregard, and many other toxic viewpoints cloud the collective relationship around sex and sexuality. Many men carry so much shame, guilt, embarrassment, regret, and remorse when it comes to sexual relations or interactions. For both men and women, I’m here to help heal this relationship with our sexual creative life force so we can enjoy pleasure, in all of its forms, every day and truly celebrate this gift of being in our body.
As we start to see ourselves as a part of Nature and not separate, our perception of Mother Earth embraces her as both are provided and a Sacred protector. But, I witness many corporations and industries taking from Mother Earth, seeing Her simply as a resource that can be extracted and taken from. I deeply know within my being that when we shift our relationship to our sexual energy and remember how sacred this energy is, I know we will shift how we view Mother Earth and how we interact with all of Her. We will integrate ourselves back together within Nature, and design systems that respect all beings and not just Humans.
Can you tell us why you chose to stay celibate for a year and a half and what you took away from that experience?
This all started in my sophomore year of college. I was playing rugby, partying and drinking 5 nights out of the week, going to the bars before I was 21, working out and lifting weights more than I ever had before. I suddenly got hit hard by an unknown injury. I couldn’t bend at my waist, even a foot forward. For weeks, I couldn’t lay down on my bed, sit in a chair, nor find any position that was comfortable enough to remain in for more than 3 minutes.
My body and spirit were speaking to me, asking for a deeply transformative change in my life. One day a good friend suggested I accompany her to yoga and pilates class, and that choice to join her was a pivotal shift in my journey. My life was gifted with an entire makeover. I changed the food I ate entirely, starting to visit the farmer’s market, shop only at the local co-op, began cooking my own food and meditating every day before school. During this shift, I was then introduced to the concept of brahmacharya in yoga class. At that time, I was told brahmacharya is the practice of celibacy or abstinence of engaging in sexual pleasure. Because I was so deeply moved by specific life-altering experiences at the time, I was very open to different aspects of self-reflection and introspection.
I wanted to be the best human I could be, so why not see how much discipline I was capable of being 19 years young? I had also recently transitioned out of a 3-year relationship, in which I was not proud of with my personal actions at times. I reflected on jealousy, fear, anger, controlling limitations, and toxic relational patterns that I had a very hard time accepting about myself. Celibacy seemed to be an appropriate path for the growth of my self in many ways. During this time, I was shown so much about human interaction. I also was introduced to the Taoist Sexual Cultivation practices which help both man and woman cultivate their own creative life force/sexual energy. So while being celibate and cultivating my sexual energy, I was able to witness many new, expansive feelings in my body. Interactions with women shifted because I did not have any alternative motives I wasn’t speaking.
I developed healthy friendships with women where I could be myself without any expectation about how to be or getting anything. My focus in school increased as I had more energy to invest in studying and learning rather than always looking at the beautiful attraction all around me at school and the gym. The few remaining drunken parties that I attended were huge eye-openers for me.
I personally observed how the interactions of men and women at these parties were so centered around sex, however, obvert the intention was. And not just sex, really the desire amongst these people was for connection and real, authentic interaction. there seems to be an underlying current of disconnection from ourselves and this creates an outlook of trying to prove oneself to others or seek validation from a place of lack. And so we seek instant gratification, one-night sexual encounters, drunken parties, for the sake of hiding from our deeper desire and calling for true community. The most valuable lesson I learned during this bout of celibacy was my connection to my self, my fellow humans and Mother Earth.
This is where I found the truest celebration of life, the most intimate connections I had been desiring my whole life. And this stemmed from my internal cultivation and connection with my self and Great Spirit, God, or whatever you want to call “It.” As I returned home to my self, I am able to show up for everyone.
Can you highlight 3 tips for helping us to live in a harmonious relationship with ourselves?
- My first suggestion is to know your foundation. Our feet stand upon the ground, Mother Earth’s skin, every day. This connection to our provider is one facet we can relax into and build trust with. Our breath is deeply connected to our foundation. A daily practice of breathing work is part of a critical foundation for success in my opinion. We breathe every day and this choice to consciously breathe guides our actions in support of our intentions and dreams. The breath constantly appears as the foundational connection across all areas of philosophy, religion, and spirituality. Even if you are not a practiced or consistent meditator, start by giving yourself time to breathe with intention every day. Even if its 5, 10, or 15 minutes of only breathe work, by starting with any time and practicing consistently, you build momentum through your commitment. This commitment to the moment and microfocus on success establish your foundation.
- Second, give to yourself. We have 24 hours in one day. Typically, 8 of those hours are spent sleeping giving us 16 hours to choose how we live our lives. If you give yourself at least one hour every day for self-care, attention directed towards loving yourself, and accepting you for exactly who you are, we reprogram our subconscious to know we are already enough. We realise that our existence is proof of the miraculous nature of the universe and remember the concept of self is connected to all other beings, we can live with more ease and grace because we emanate from celebrating this gift of life. Like I said earlier, our self is one cell of the organism of Mother Earth. And Mother Earth is one cell in the Milky Way organism. We are all part of the same cycle of life, so when we speak about the self, we are referring to the entire whole as well. So give to yourself, and do so with fervent love, because in the end, you are supporting all of us by being your best self.
- Lastly, relax…and I mean really relax and enjoy this life!! We are alive here in this moment, all of our biological systems operating for me to be speaking with you now. And to have people read this later, how fascinating is that? We are all breathing from the same air source across the Earth, at all times. Our hearts are pumping our blood every day, our livers cleaning, kidneys filtering, with so many other cycles and functions being carried out within our bodies and all around us everywhere. We all may have dreams, and we need to dream while being ok with none of those dreams manifesting. By relaxing and meeting whatever arises, living with the understanding that we are students of life and the universe our experiences are lessons and opportunities for growth. It’s very challenging for me to say that even now because I know of how many times I’ve doubted that phrase before. But now after going through this experience of heavy metal and/or radioactive elemental toxicity, I have been reminded of how important one’s mindset is to the actual moulding of one’s reality.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Whatever you are dwelling upon is the reality you are creating. Use your concentration wisely because your only limitation is your imagination.” Janine “Jah9” Cunningham
Who does the team involve behind you?
Right now, I am mostly one human operation. There are times when I am cooking for retreats, or hosting events that I co-create with others, however, most of my current operations are handled by myself. I have a couple of specific key players who I call upon their services when needed. I also enjoy the opportunity to create collaborations and teams to accomplish larger visions.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
First and foremost, I see myself growing into my own self with deeper integrity, self-love, and understanding of “who” I am. Really, I want to be having fun and enjoying life. Why so serious all the time?
I see myself being a father during this time period of growth and experience. Saving and gathering the specific resources needed to support my family and dreams, I will have acquired a piece of sacred land to begin creating an intentional community, retreat centre, educational remembrance academy, and place to build a home for my partner and family.
I will have at least two books written by then. Continually developing multiple programs that I’m incubating currently, launching them, and having trained others to be leading these programs at other locations in the world. I will be hosting 4 personally-facilitated retreats a year and offering multiple online programs, all of which will be sold out and fantastically filled with passionate people ready to live the lives of their dreams and heart’s desire. Collaborations of the highest caliber will be creating food sovereignty across the world, rebuilding global community meridians to enhance community and connection across the planet.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of your business?
I continually look for collaborations to work on new projects with people, because I see collaborations far more impactful than a singular pursuit. Learning how to establish consistent structures of support for online platforms is an area I’m actively researching and investing in. Also, I’m in the process of creating fractals of the organisation to establish hubs around the world. Partnering with specific organisations that work with the youth to create larger impact projects is an area I’m expanding into.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
I’ve had most of my challenges arise around to follow through professionally. I go through hot and cold spurts of investing my time in the men’s empowerment business and this affects its capacity to be more fully providing and supported financially for my self. The biggest struggle is with my personal relationship than any professional aspect. Following through in the professional world translates to how I follow through in all other areas of my world. Growing up, I was slightly lazy because I thankfully had the skills to thrive and get by without too much effort. Sports and school came pretty naturally to me, and having fun was a huge prerogative of mine, so massive loads of additional effort to barely do any better didn’t make so much sense to me.
How that has translated over into professional life is that being an entrepreneur requires consistency and more follow through than the traditional education system. I’m not working for another individual or company, and that means I get to create my schedule and follow through on it.
Additionally, I have become reclusive when times got tough recently. I retreated inwardly and blocked out the outside world. I was going through so much pain and difficulty, I thought that by sharing what was going on, I would be a burden on others. In regards to working in the coaching and online world, if one disappears and isn’t showing up for their community and clients, continuous work and referrals drastically reduce. Learning how to fully regenerate one’s own energy and navigate internal opportunistic obstacles, I have come to embrace the value within the valley and not hide anymore. I will remain vulnerable and share my experience. People receive so much more support when they know it’s not just them going through the hard times.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
When I was introduced to the Taoist Cultivation practices I had a mentor at that time, Patrick Harestad. He was also my yoga teacher and structural integration therapist. He guided me in my practice physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. This was everything I needed at that time in my life, being a 19-year young man. I was allowed the space to express myself without judgement, and receive guidance if I solicited the help. At the same time, I had another mentor Marina Pierce. She helped me in regards to spiritual and human relations. I learned all about honouring my self-connection, my own energy field or aura, and how to access the support that is always around us. The relational advice and skills I learned through working with Marina helped me to establish my own personal boundaries, communicate my truth respectfully and compassionately in each moment, pray and ask for help from unseen realms and energies, and trust in the support of Mother Earth.
What outlets do use to market your workshops and teaching sessions?
I currently use my website, social media outlets of Facebook and Instagram, an email list, local advertising, and word of mouth wireless.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
I am constantly listening to the current stream of information being released. Anyone who is supportive of our constantly evolving culture, I like to help share their information too. Being able to network at convergences proves to be a wonderful connection place. Mostly through authentic connection with people I meet, I like to plant seeds of ideas about collaborations. By building real relations with people, we establish communal resiliency and strengthen our networks.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about Taoist Sexual Cultivation Practices and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
The first misconception I’d say is that there isn’t too much of a misconception about these practices. The Taoist Cultivation practices aren’t spoken about much because this information is not widely shared nor known about. I am altering this misconception by sharing about these practices both men and women can enact in their own lives to cultivate their creative life force energy.
The second misconception around these practices pertains to the concept of sexual energy. When people hear the word sexual, they often think of sex. I’m here to help people remember that sex is creation, and not only in a biological sexual way. When we make art, we are creating. Building a house or cooking food, that is creation. In essence, we are making love with the Universe and all life, thus creating all the time. How we then engage with every moment mindfully, and with deep integration of this intimate connection, dictates how life responds to co-create with us. Raising the awareness of our connection to our creative or sexual energy transforms our relationship to sex. Sex then becomes a celebratory manifestation of creation, whether procreation, connection, or another focus be the intention.
The third misconception is that these practices are a road map guide of how-to on sex. But really, they are meant to help you have better sex, experience more pleasure, learn to differentiate from and choose ejaculation or orgasm. Taoist Sexual cultivation practices develop one’s own creative life force energy. By cultivating one’s own creative life force, anyone can direct this sexual energy to assist in whatever creation they desire. When we access this internal inertia, we can enhance our physical strength and endurance. We begin to massage our internal organs, releasing toxins, and helping our body to detox and relax easier.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I wish for millennials to be focused on impact rather than profit. We have inherited a legacy from past generations, and it’s our responsibility to leave an even brighter legacy for those to come after us. I want millennials to have hope for a better world. A desire to engage with impactful, regenerative, resilient projects that integrate cities and communities back together with nature, build safe and fun gathering places for humans to connect deeper and provide nutrient-rich, clean, safe foods for all our people.
I’d like to see the business, political, and legal system undergo an entire system makeover. Focusing our efforts on investing in our people, trusting in fellow brothers and sisters around the world, and remembering that business and innovation help drive the economy. I want the ecology to be considered in the economy, and I want to see an egalitarian effort to support the environment, economy, and community.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Allow for simplicity and consistency to get married. Plan, organise, show up and follow through.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Stay true to your vision and dreams. Manifest these visions and dreams with consistent daily action. You may not arrive at your visions or dreams in the manner you thought or even complete them. However through focus and commitment every day to showing up and following through, you will realize that everything you’ve ever needed has always been presented to you at the moment.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
This is a personal choice I’ve come to learn. The perception that balance is static darkly clouds the reality of the situation. Every choice in life is my own to make, so if I want to balance my work and personal life, I have to plan and organise for what I want. I ensure to plan free time in my schedule, as well as creative exploration time, nature time, personal time, and my beloved time. I also have the amazing support of my partner, Megan Schaefer, and she helps to support me in all that I am. We both are passionately dedicated to being of service and helping out our fellow humans, and because we are this way already in our own lives, we naturally support the other in being that way as well.
A seminal point in your career so far?
I was attending this training program on facilitating authentic relating. The timing of the entire event flawlessly appear in my life and I was hooked because of the synchronicity of events. While attending this training, I witnessed my internal self feel exceptionally at ease within the workshop space while being capable of even supporting and expanding upon the facilitator’s sharing. By detaching from my judgement of the training, I was able to fully experience the training from an innocent, receptive state rather than projecting onto the situation. And from there, I could see what I had to offer as an individual supporting their community. Up to that point, I was skeptical of myself to really support a group or offer the space to everyone for their own process, and truly facilitate a safe, successful retreat experience. After completing the training, I was more fully equipped to start leading my own workshops and events.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing humans thrive, living in the community, actively supporting each other, and enjoying life give me an internal gift so grand it’s hard for me to receive. When I witness men break down because they have never been in a group where they were listened to nor honoured for their own presence, and then rise like a phoenix with the inspiration and passion birthed from feeling the brotherhood support, I gain motivation beyond measure. Any acts of service, whether planting a food forest for a community, gathering a group of men together to support each other, or cooking a meal for loving clients, I receive so much when I give. Regenerating embodied resilience in humans, our ecology, and economy gives me ultimate joy.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
One of the biggest challenges has been to release the need to please everyone. At first, I wanted to maintain a certain image of being “the nice guy”. Because I have stepped into the realm of speaking, projecting about, and supporting healthy masculinity, I have been very cautious when talking about specific triggering topics. I did not want to be perceived as someone faking their words, not being true to what they talk about. I got to face myself and look directly into my being, confronting my own self with love and witnessing how I viewed my own self. This exercise was fascinating because little voices of doubt and judgement started to get louder as I went deeper. I finally got to welcome home the perfectionist in me that wouldn’t ever be satisfied with anything I would do. That voice was no longer being given permission by myself to exist inside me. They were simply programming that I no longer wanted installed. I ended their subscription. When I was able to shift my internal dialogue and world to one of loving support, I saw the only limitation was myself. Anything I wanted to help co-create would happen as long as I remained true to the commitment to self-love.
Another challenge has been learning to ask for help. As men, we are taught that we need to tough it out, strain, push against all odds, and even force something to happen for us to be validated and recognized as a man. Transforming the paradigm to one of acknowledging the strength in asking for help projects new timelines for men to be allowed the space to rewrite this story. As time has progressed, I’ve been able to witness the powerful cohesion of a community that actually shows up for each other and receives another’s plea for help. We are all on this journey together and its time we rise as one.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
My good brother and friend Graedon Parker is an amazing inspiration to me. As an entrepreneur, co-founder of an epic kombucha and health conscious company in New Zealand, hemp supporter, great friend to many and engaged humans, he reminds me that our passions get to be our commitments. By living our lives to our fullest and focusing our attention on the areas we feel compelled to protect, we get to live a life of joyful service that is both rewarding and on the front lines of an impactful domino effect.
Shems Heartwell is both a man and a human who is truly a motivational catalyst. I aspire to show up in the ways I witness Shems living and walking through life. His balanced life of surfing, playing music, growing food, caring for the land, and helping men and women live life through love incites such earnest passion in me to be the best man and human I can be.
Jason Wilson is a fellow man, brother, father, and human who stands for justice and is helping men remember that men can cry and its actually healthy for us to express this vulnerability. He is helping young boys address the challenges of being a male and brought up during these balancing times. His determination of helping fellow men rise and grow into being humans rather than limited by only masculinity brings me to hope that we are creating the places for men to gather and remember how to live holistic and fully encompassing lives.
Mark Groves is another game changer who I’m inspired by every day. I love the way he speaks because I feel and see a part of myself in him and the way he expresses his words. Anyone who is working towards helping others loves themselves is already aligned with me because I work to do the same thing. When I help people cultivate inner resilience, the foundation of this work is self-love and unwavering self-support. Mark is already deep on this path of supporting others and I hope to make ripples like he does.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The Value in the Valley by Iyanla Vanzant is an amazing book. The quality of experience and depth of presentation by Vanzant helps another to remember to never give up, that life is happening for us. And we are fully capable of writing our own story, no matter how many times we have fallen down.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘Men On Purpose Podcast’ by Emerald GreenForest.
- ‘The Permaculture Podcast’ with Scott Mann.
- ‘The Rising Man Podcast’ with Jeddy Azuma.
How do you define success?
Success is the legacy we leave behind. Have we impacted others in a way where we have empowered them to be their best selves for the entire world?
Success is also being here now, capable of embracing the concept that if I were to die right now, I would be fully content and excited for the next phase of the journey, knowing I did my best. Success is enjoying life, celebrating every moment, and finding meaning in everything. A deep knowing that every single interaction is far beyond the conceptualisation of my mind, and showing up with an open heart, loving intention, and aligned action will guide my every step. Success is also connected to building resilient systems inside and out, establishing diverse foodscapes for generations to come, and ensuring there is clean air, water, and soil for the future.
What does #BEYOUROWNMAN mean to you?
To me, #BEYOUROWNMAN is about embracing all that I am. Loving every single part of me, accepting myself in every aspect, and allowing others to be completely themselves. This quote reminds me of the Great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He said, “everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
#BEYOUROWN is serving every moment, focusing with all your heart and soul to give all that you can. More than the possessive pronoun “your”, like I’ve referenced multiple times in this interview, “our self” is connected to everything and everyone else. When we embody our own uniqueness, we support the web of life by encouraging all other connections to be the same, their own uniqueness. I am not advocating extraneous expression to differentiate one’s self from the rest. Rather I’m highlighting the fact that we are all unique and different in our own special way. The divergent polarity we all experience and witness in each other features the one common thread woven into the entire Universe: because we are all different, we are all the same.
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
I’m launching my first online program! I’m very excited to be offering this program as it has been nearly two years in the making and I’m more ready than ever to step further into service. It will be out March 21st, so stay tuned!
I’m starting an online men’s support group: The Brotherhood Council. This is a free platform for men to join in, be supported, empower, speak their hearts, and inspire motivation in each other.
I’ll be offering my first retreat this upcoming summer and have another special convergence I’m planning back home in Maui. Right now, I’m developing a year-long immersion program that works with the 4 seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter to help people connected deeper to their own cycles by connecting more with Nature and Mother Earth.
Stay on the lookout for a co-ed retreat where men and women go on their own respective retreats and then reunite for the celebration of the divine feminine and masculine within all of us. I’m super excited about this offering as I have had so many men and women ask to witness what men and women do in their respective circles. And now is the time to open up that door, regenerate our personal relations with the masculine and feminine within, and then extend this to our brothers and sisters.