Fifteen years ago, when I owned a prosperous telecom company, I found myself wondering, Why am I doing what I’m doing? I loved the business, but I didn’t feel it had any real purpose for me, so I sold it. Soon after, I started a successful investment property company, but over time, I let it take over my life. I was such a type A personality, I thought it was a weakness to not always be working and being productive. I blew through several assistants because I was always working so hard and moved so quickly that no one could keep up with me. I was on the proverbial treadmill and I wanted off.
When my dear friends Doug and Sabrina recommended the Spiritual Psychology Program they had attended at USM, I knew I wanted to enroll. The issue was that I did not feel like I had any “white space” in my life, meaning, I was so focused on my business that there wasn’t much time left for anything else. Once I was finally in the classroom, my intention was to engage in a healthy relationship with myself and find more meaning in my life.
During one of the weekends at USM, I went through a process in which I was able to heal some memories and beliefs I had formed in the past. I remembered as a young boy that I already knew I had a purpose in the world, had the sense that we were all One, and even had a vision that it was time to heal the planet. However, my upbringing started teaching me limiting beliefs that became part of my “operating system.” They included misperceptions such as: I have no value if I am not productive. If I am not successful, I am not lovable and acceptable. I have to make everybody happy and then I will be happy. No wonder I was often overwhelmed. My drive for money and success was fear-based. I believed that hard work would ensure my safety and survival.
During classroom trios, when students worked in groups of three to experientially apply the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology, I gained many powerful insights. At some point, it became very clear that, although I was financially “free,” I was not free inside of myself. I was trying to find harmony, peace, and love through the pursuit of material success. That realization was a huge paradigm shift—I finally knew in my heart that success did not define who I was. At that point, I became very curious. If I was not what I did and achieved, then I wanted to know, who was I really?
By letting go of judgments of myself and others, I discovered that both love and happiness had resided within me the whole time. I didn’t have to go after them or do anything to get them. As I practiced Self-Forgiveness of these misunderstandings, inner peace started to show up in my life. I shifted from the feeling that I had to be “doing” all the time into experiences of simply Being and trusting my inner knowing. And by slowing down and living in the present moment without fear of the future, I began to experience true joy.
As my consciousness transformed, so did my life. Now that I had cleared away all of the misunderstandings about my worth and my need to please others, I was ready to focus on what was truly meaningful to me—collaborating with others to heal the planet. I was now in a place to realize my heartfelt dreams of more than 30 years.
Today, Heal the Planet provides resources, education, and leadership to individuals and organizations working to heal the planet. The Sustainable Energy Education (SEED) Project is one of our core programs and educates children from pre-K to sixth grade about healthy food and the power of their daily choices. So far, parent and teacher surveys show a 99 percent rate of modifying their eating habits.
We are also helping fund Lean and Green Kids and work with them toward nutrition education that emphasizes plant-based eating. Our team is dedicated to teaching healthy life skills to the next generation. USM gave me the tools and skills to realize this vision.
I am living into the purpose and fulfillment that I used to aspire to and admire in others. The richness of my life now comes forward in the synergy of being of service to others, and I envision continuing my work to support others in standing forward in their greatness—as I was supported at USM.