From the desk of Luke Iorio, President of One Idea Away and iPEC

Just about 5 years ago, I went through one of the most difficult times of my life.

Ironically, part of this upheaval began because the notion of freedom—being truly free—was bubbling up once again in my heart and my soul.

The goal of being free (specifically being free within) allowed the universe to have a series of really good laughs at what felt like my expense. But more on that another time . . .

The specifics of what unfolded were a bit more challenging. Within about a ten month period, I attended four funerals. Two were largely expected (but nonetheless affecting), one was not at all anticipated and a complete shock to his family, and one, while not abrupt, was a young father and it was heart-wrenching.

The last funeral that occurred during these ten months was for a role model and a sort of unofficial mentor of mine, and that brought things to their breaking point. Who he knew himself to be and the clarity of how that shone through in his life was unmistakable.

Through more tears than I had ever shed in my life, I came face-to-face with the reality that I was not happy, that I did not feel like I was being genuinely true to myself, and that I was anything but free—clinging to old ambitions, clamoring for life to match desires, and resisting what life was so obviously trying to show me.

Two Different Worlds

The road ahead then felt as if I was living in two different worlds—the world of expectation and responsibility and the world of what was emerging from deep within me. No matter where I stood, I didn’t feel like I belonged there.

I doubted and judged myself. I struggled and stressed. I grew frustrated and disappointed. I lost hope and surrendered.

. . . it was beautiful.

No, seriously, it really was for me.

Wake Down

You see, I have lived so much of my life in my head, allowing my mind and intellect to measure my responses and set my course to what would “be best.” And instead, I was starting to wake down into my experience, into what I was feeling, and into my heart. I began showing what had been beneath my mask as well as guarding my heart.

At this point in my life, I had so much to be thankful for and so much to be proud of in my achievements, too. And yet, that was just barely scratching the surface of what this life could offer.

Myths & Masks

It was only when I grew in awareness of both my mind AND my heart that I could see, experience, foster, and bring compassion and acceptance into my journey. This awareness grew from developing a presence practice to truly be in touch with the unfolding of life. It was when these pieces started to fall together—quite slowly at first but then more progressively—that I gained greater insight into the myths and masks that I still bought into and was wearing. These insights helped me to further chip away at all the things that truly were not me, to release them, and touch the experience of what freedom can truly be.

It was amazing to connect to an even deeper part of myself that I had barely understood or even grasped, despite more than a decade of focus on personal and spiritual growth. But then again, our journeys are ever unfolding and our true nature is ever emerging, so is it any surprise that freedom and the bliss that comes with it are a lifetime adventure?

5 Pathways

These 5 pathways that I’ve explored, that Bruce D Schneider, founder of iPEC, has experienced and spent the better part of his life playing with, are at the core of what we will be sharing at the Uncover Retreat. Each pathway—awareness, acceptance, knowing, presence, and freedom—goes deep in understanding and reflection as well as practice and reflection.

The Uncover Retreat will offer you the chance to connect with and explore each of these 5 pathways as they relate to and can support the unfolding of your own journey and greatness.

We’ll share the practices, explorations, questions, and reflections that we’ve used to navigate this journey more deeply and consciously. And we will offer you, the conscious group that gathers, all the support we can for you to further uncover and show the world your whole self.  

It’ll be our honor to serve and connect with each of you at the Uncover Retreat.

Photo Credit: A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ,