The 'ah-ha' that changed it all
A comical account of what drives my belief that humans are, indeed good and SO good that I'll devote my whole life to the pursuit of reminding people of this.
Executive Director, Humans are Good Foundation
The 'ah-ha' that changed it all
Have you ever had a really profound ‘ah-ha’ moment? The kind of simple perspective change that transforms things for you indefinitely? Me too. And this one is the reason I am committed to the Humans Are Good Foundation.
Let me set the context: It was a few years back and my life was quite frankly running amuck.
- I had just started a new job at Amazon in a role I was convinced was going to change the world.
- I moved cross-country after living in the same city for 10 years.
- I was at the turning point in a 4 year relationship.
- And despite my very nice looking Instagram account, I felt like a hot freaking mess.
But, on this chilly evening in late October I was back home in my friend’s basement about to partake in a psychedelic ceremony. I had been doing various self-development things for over a decade but was fairly new to the wide world of plants. For those new to the set up of a journey, picture 20ish people coming together and opening up their hearts so wide you can play and grow and connect in an unprecedented way. I can’t recall my exact intention for the ‘journey’ we were embarking on but mostly I wanted the comfort of the familiar. With so much changing, I just knew I needed to be around people I loved and I knew I could truly be myself around.
For most of the ceremony, I landed myself in the upstairs den sitting silently next to a friend of mine. As we sat and looked out at the living space in front of us, we watched nearly every participant pass through. Some were full of joy, cracking jokes with us and sharing their greatest revelations and smiles. Some were in deep meditation, growing their own resilience. Some had teams of helpers supporting them through deep grief, physical pain, and transforming old stories. It was incredible. It was madness. It was messy. It was life.
I watched as one woman was being encouraged by a man to scream ‘no!’ in his face after a history of abuse. I saw a friend nourished with water and encouragement as they worked through a physical pain and deep purge. I witnessed dozens of humans all working towards their own growth, their own freedom, selflessly helping each other, spreading joy, offering love and giving kindness without any repayment needed. At some point in the magical madness of it all I started to cry from the beauty of it all.
As soon as the tears started to fall, my friend reached out and grabbed my hand and we sat there in awe of the wonder of life. It was perfect. It was profound.
It was that moment that I realized that despite all the crap. All the thing that may make me feel sad or depressed about our state in the world, or the people in life, that humans are worth fighting for. Our capacity to be messy and funny and happy and sad and to fight for life above all else, is pure freaking magic.
It’s safe to say we’re in a bit of a critical moment in our history as humans. We’ve faced critical moments before, but nonetheless this is significant. Our lives are shifting rapidly and we’re in what I consider a ‘go-time’. Where we get the chance to dig deep, explore our growth, and push through to something magical.
What I know for sure, what this experience showed me, is that we cannot do it alone. We need support, we need community, we need a team of people rooting for us every step of the way.
When I sit back and think about the world and the heaviness that we all feel, I remember that moment. It reminds me how special and unique every single human is and how so many different paths exist with the same constant of change, growth, and evolution. This foundation exists to help humans in any way we can as they grow, evolve and change in their messy beautiful ways. To give them support, to give them love, to help us all wake up to ourselves so that we can keep thriving and our planet can continue to support us in doing just that.
As for me, well my relationship ended, I quit my big time job, and decided that the most successful way I could change the world was to change myself first and find the thing that lit me up. It led me to running a foundation devoted to understanding and catalyzing human potential, living in a beach town in Costa Rica, and finding a partner just as excited about human evolution as I am.