10/10 Venice Meetup – The Value of Pain #worldmentalhealthday

Last week I traveled from beautiful Medellin to equally beautiful Los Angeles. I originally bought my ticket to attend Sam Ovens Quantum Mastermind, but decided to extend my stay to kick it with the homies.

A few weeks before the trip I suggested to my good friend Jon Maxim that we co-host an event to bring some of our friends together and to get content for a film I’m working on.

We were both pretty busy so it wasn’t until 1 week before our event that we booked a venue. Classic AF. We put together a loose agenda and concept for the event and started sending out invites.

After sharing the agenda of a few panel discussions with influencer friends / business connections with my business partner Apoorva, I could tell he wasn’t too impressed. “I hate panel discussions,” he said.

He was right. The last thing I wanted was to bring a bunch of people together to listen to some “influencer” ramble on about the latest growth hack or “how to build your personal brand”.

Gag me. I had to go deeper. Naturally, I thought about Ian. Ian was my friend and business partner of two years had tragically passed away one month before my wedding. Both Jon and I had worked closely with him for years.

Losing Ian forced me to start asking the questions that really mattered. And I realized that the answers to those questions were exactly what I needed to share with the audience. Specifically, Jon and I decided to educate the audience about the value of pain.

I opened the event by sharing my personal story losing my close friend plus this shocking statistic to reframe how we approach pain…

There is a medical condition called Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA) which is a nervous system disorder that prevents patients from feeling pain.

For many of us, this may sound desirable (Oh hell ya, no pain!), but upon closer inspection, this condition is devastating. Because of their inability to feel pain, individuals with CIPA rarely live past the age of 25 years old.

Despite what most of us are taught from an early age – pain is never the enemy, in fact, it is our greatest teacher and the key to personal evolution.

That’s right, your anxiety, stress, overwhelm and depression are not only valuable, but essential, to your personal evolution. In the words of Aristotle – we can not learn without pain.

In between breaks I was overwhelmed with event attendees who came up, hugging and thanking me for my vulnerability and courage to open up about the passing of my friend, and talking about typically “taboo” topics.

I knew the last minute adjustment Jon and I made was the right one. Depression, overwhelm, anxiety and the like are not the enemy. Our avoidance and numbing of pain is the source of our suffering.

This event serendipitously happened to fall on #worldmentalhealthday and marked the beginning of my personal commitment to publicly share some of my darkest, most painful moments – so everyone knows they are never alone and each friend we have lost has a legacy that will never die.

We can no longer live in a world where we stigmatize the most painful elements of our human experience. There is no shame, only courage in seeking help.

In our darkest hour, we must feel love and connection, not alienation, in order to self-correct and not self-destruct. We are one human family experiencing the world together.

I am blessed to have amazing support systems in my life but we are not all as lucky. The least we can do is provide that love and support to another.

To my friends who supported me in this event with their presence I am forever grateful. Jon, Maca, Nathanael, Apoorva, Jessica and all the attendees – thank you for helping me shine light in the dark and keeping Ian’s impact and legacy alive – I love you.

Beyond the social media highlight reels and BS panel discussions – we are all perfectly imperfect. At the end of the day, we are all just mirrors of one another. Let’s reflect love and unity at all times, without judgment.

Click here to download the one-pager shared with event attendees.

 

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This won’t be your normal social media post – Last week I traveled from beautiful Medellin to equally beautiful Los Angeles. I originally bought my ticket to attend Sam Ovens Quantum Mastermind, but decided to extend my stay to kick it with the homies. A few weeks before the trip I suggested to my good friend Jon Maxim that we co-host an event to bring some of our friends together and to get content for a film I’m working on. We were both pretty busy so it wasn’t until 1 week before our event that we booked a venue. Classic AF. We put together a loose agenda and concept for the event and started sending out invites. After sharing the agenda of a few panel discussions with influencer friends / business connections with my business partner Apoorva, I could tell he wasn’t too impressed. “I hate panel discussions,” he said. He was right. The last thing I wanted was to bring a bunch of people together to listen to some “influencer” ramble on about the latest growth hack or “how to build your personal brand”. Gag me. I had to go deeper. Naturally, I thought about Ian. Ian was my friend and business partner of two years had tragically passed away one month before my wedding. Both Jon and I had worked closely with him for years. Losing Ian forced me to start asking the questions that really mattered. And I realized that the answers to those questions were exactly what I needed to share with the audience. Specifically, Jon and I decided to educate the audience about the value of pain. I opened the event by sharing my personal story losing my close friend plus this shocking statistic to reframe how we approach pain… There is a medical condition called Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA) which is a nervous system disorder that prevents patients from feeling pain. For many of us, this may sound desirable (Oh hell ya, no pain!), but upon closer inspection, this condition is devastating. Because of their inability to feel pain, individuals with CIPA rarely live past the age of 25 years old. Despite what most of us are taught from an early age – pain is never the enemy, in fact, it is our greatest teacher. [post 1/2]

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[post 2 of 2] Despite what most of us are taught from an early age – pain is never the enemy, in fact, it is our greatest teacher and the key to personal evolution. That’s right, your anxiety, stress, overwhelm and depression are not only valuable, but essential, to your personal evolution. In the words of Aristotle – we can not learn without pain. In between breaks I was overwhelmed with event attendees who came up, hugging and thanking me for my vulnerability and courage to open up about the passing of my friend, and talking about typically “taboo” topics. I knew the last minute adjustment Jon and I made was the right one. Depression, overwhelm, anxiety and the like are not the enemy. Our avoidance and numbing of pain is the source of our suffering. This event serendipitously happened to fall on #worldmentalhealthday and marked the beginning of my personal commitment to publicly share some of my darkest, most painful moments – so everyone knows they are never alone and each friend we have lost has a legacy that will never die. We can no longer live in a world where we stigmatize the most painful elements of our human experience. There is no shame, only courage in seeking help. In our darkest hour, we must feel love and connection, not alienation, in order to self-correct and not self-destruct. We are one human family experiencing the world together. I am blessed to have amazing support systems in my life but we are not all as lucky. The least we can do is provide that love and support to another. To my friends who supported me in this event with their presence I am forever grateful. Jon, Maca, Nathanael, Apoorva, Jessica and all the attendees – thank you for helping me shine light in the dark and keeping Ian’s impact and legacy alive – I love you. Beyond the social media highlight reels and BS panel discussions – we are all perfectly imperfect. At the end of the day, we are all just mirrors of one another. Let’s reflect love and unity at all times, without judgment.

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