O R I G I N S
A Story of Pain, Perseverance, and Purpose
Before you read this story
You can prepare yourself to not make the same mistakes I did.
Life threw me into the Hero's Journey (diagram to the right) without my consent. However, you can walk the Conscious Journey (also right) by thoughtfully preparing and asking yourself the hard questions now.
You hold all the answers within you. The Life Canvas can help you draw them out and organize them to prepare for your own journey.
Leverage your truths to create the career and life you truly desire.
CRISIS / DESTRUCTION
Three years ago, I realized:
I have no idea what I'm doing with this whole 'life' thing - unfulfilling career, failed relationships, and an unshakeable sense of uneasiness - is this all there is to life?
After years of confusion, jobs in multiple roles and multiple verticals, and my own quarter-life crises, I finally gave up. On the outside, it looked like I had everything together, but I had no idea what I wanted and even less of an idea why I was doing what I did.
This culminated in a moment where I left my startup in Beijing, broke up with a man I loved, and ended up back in San Francisco loveless, jobless, and homeless.
Any semblance of an ego was gone. I was no one. I failed at life.
EVOLUTION / REBIRTH
Yet . . . I was free.
I was free of identity, of structure, of expectations. I was a lump of consciousness waiting to take form. I was nothing. And I was everything. Infinite possibilities lay ahead, but I couldn't see them yet.
I did the only thing a lump of consciousness could do: I existed and I listened. I listened to the leaves rustling outside my friend's living room (where I slept), I listened to the world, and I listened to myself.
At first, I heard nothing.
Then a question began to form.
Who am I? . . . Who am I? . . . Who am I?
The question became more specific.
Who am I to the leaves? Who am I to the world? Who am I to myself?
The more I listened, the more I realized how little I knew about the leaves, about the world, and about myself. I had no answers.
Nonetheless, I continued to exist and I continued to listen.
Finally, I began to sense - beyond mental comprehension - who I was. Like a chunk of clay, I was slowly molded by the universe's architect until I started to take some form.
What I saw was that I wasn't my history or my future, I wasn't my name or my body, I definitely wasn't my career, age, ethnicity, or gender. I was untapped potential - limitless energy - waiting to be directed towards the creation of a life and a world of my choosing.
The architect was never outside, she/he/they were always inside.
REWARD / INTEGRATION
I began a new journey, one of conscious choice and aligned intention, to stand in my power and to choose who I want to be.
No more hiding (though I choose when to step back).
No more suffering (though my pain is inevitable).
No more confusion (though chaos remains a close friend).
Today, I still do not have the answers. The answers constantly change as I change. What I do have is a strong link to my inner-architect and my limitless potential.
I created a map, a guidebook, and a starting point to support others on their inner journey and to begin speaking with their inner-architect. I also created a framework that provides a thin veil of structure for an otherwise chaotic and every-changing existence.
This is The Life Canvas. This is what I give to you.
Leveraging the learning from my own journey, along with the knowledge from clients, experts, books, and education, The Life Canvas was created to track and guide the elements that are most critical to a Life Strategy.
It is inspired by Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas and Ash Maurya's Lean Canvas, which are frameworks corporations and startups utilize to understand their business model and organize their business strategy, methods, and goals.