In the Spring of 2014, after a year of tinkering with oK in the safety of my friend group, I took the leap and publicly shared my work with the Burlington, Vermont community. 🥳 But before I tell you about the opportunities this gave life to in the Fall, let me tell you about the most epic Summer ever.
Eric, my co-presenter, fellow entrepreneur, and oK practitioner, moved into my apartment for the summer. At the time, I was living with my aunt. I had two rooms in her house and Eric took one. You might imagine we’d have raucously good time living across the hall from each other, but my aunt had strict house rules and so did I.
We were to be quiet, keep the kitchen immaculate, and ideally not have more than one guest over at a time. Not exactly the dream setup for college kids but I loved it because it was the perfect environment for my monastic lifestyle at the time. Eric sought the same rigor and enthusiastically joined in. Thus, the best summer ever began.
🌞 We woke up at the same time each day 6:30am. 🧘 We would meditate for 20 minutes, morning and evening. 🏋️ We stretched and worked out in our rooms. 🧗 We rock climbed at least 3 times a week, often walking or biking the 2 miles to the gym. 🥗 We ate simple, healthy, home cooked food - even making our own post-workout protein balls. 🤝 Together we created and co-facilitated an in depth, 8 hour workshop focused on Flow. ✍️ We journaled and set intentions every night. 🎤 In our downtime, we walked, hiked, learned, and did creative work like our cringy YouTube series “Bus Stop Beat Box” where we freestyled at bus stops around town as our friend Wes beatboxed - no I'm not posting a link. 🙈
I talked to Eric recently about this summer and he said it was like he was “flying”. He had an uninteresting internship but floated through it, operating on a completely different level then those around him.
I can’t say I felt the same way. 😔 At times I was flying along side him but often I was stuck in jealousy, insecurity, and resentment.
I wasn’t ready for a collaborator. I had been working on oK for just over a year and I didn’t feel ready to share control with someone else. I regretted giving up my extra room where I made music, did yoga and meditated. Most of all, I felt like he was better at all of it then me - he was a better climber, a better meditator, and so on.
I nitpicked and found things wrong with what he was doing and pushed him even as I fell short myself and found ways to cheat at my own rules.
So while Eric was flying, I was climbing slowly below him, admiring his ability to do the work, stay focused, and stay confident. He had wanted to live with me to adopt my lifestyle, learn from me - and mostly have a cheap place to stay. I wasn’t clear on what I wanted from the start and my lack of intentions led me to struggle.
Still, struggle begets learning too, and I now understood I had work to do that couldn’t be accomplished with a daily routine: I had to learn to let go of my ego, be patient with others and myself, and genuinely be of service rather than act like I was.
That Fall, I had an opportunity to join a new community and continue practicing what Eric had started to teach me.