Hello! My name is Rob, and I’ve decided to start a personal blog and put it out there on the internet for everyone to read, seems like a wild thing to do right?!
I intend to make this a space of inspiration to support us to look inwards, transform, and walk a life path in accordance with our deepest values.
Think of me as a friend sharing my journey with you – walking together as we climb mountains, plunge into storms, meander across sunlit fields, descend into deep valleys, and travel back again. I'll explore and reflect on books, articles, videos, podcasts, mindfulness practices, and anything else that is supporting me in continually arriving home in my life.
As we get started on this journey together, let’s investigate a couple of the keywords from above.
Think of the intention for this blog is something fluid. It will change and evolve, but I do think that the intention to create a space for others has been at the heart of me since my teen years. I don’t think it’s going to go away anytime soon, but how that intention manifests is definitely always evolving!
As you learn more about me, you’ll find out that I’ve been inspired to work with people in coming home to themselves for a long time. I might not have used that language all the way, but as I look back, I think it’s accurate.
I went to film school to study cinematography and was inspired to do this because I wanted to create films that helped others learn, process, and engage with their thoughts and feelings, just like movies had done for me as a kid. Making a movie feels to me like a way for an artist to process life in some way that also helps others to do the same. I think this idea of creating to process something within you that can then be a source of inspiration for others can apply to so many creative fields (maybe all of them??), including writing.
After about 8 or 9 years of working in the film industry in Toronto, Canada, I went back to school to study physiotherapy as a way to directly work with people through their rehab process. This was in part inspired by my own rehab process with low back pain. Since graduating, I started to integrate mindfulness into my physiotherapy work – more on that in later blog posts.
Writing this blog feels like a continuation of the journey to connect with others as they connect with themselves that I’ve been on for most of my life.
My mindfulness practice is based in the tradition of Plum Village and Thich Nhat Hanh. Thay, which means teacher in Vietnamese and is the affectionate name we use for Thich Nhat Hanh, has a teaching that is central to my conceptualization of this idea of looking inwards – it’s summarized by these words:
These five words inspire me to practice looking into and caring for my inner world (which might not be as separate from my outer world as I sometimes think), which supports me to express myself out in the world in a way that aligns with my deepest values. This is all about finding and living meaning in life. Sounds simple right? Maybe not so easy…and that’s what this is all about.
Over the last few years, I have had the experience that when I look inwards, I transform. It can be a bit like the sun shining on a snowy field, sometimes I don't notice the change, but over time it is clear. I start to see myself and the world around me differently and this shifts my views, thoughts, and actions. It’s definitely a journey, and one that I hope to walk with you.
In my life, especially during moments of big transition, it’s been helpful to reflect on what I value. Sometimes I try to narrow it down to one or two things to really help me get to the roots of me. From these reflections, I’ve clarified why I do certain things and pursue certain careers. Looking at my values, for example the value of helping others in the ways I have been helped, creates direction in my life. With direction and clarity, I can make choices about what the heck to do with my time. Sounds simple and easy…right?
I see this whole process as a journey, as a path that I walk down without ever really expecting to reach a destination. In a way, walking the path is the destination. More on that later.
See you next time
That’s it for now, if this content speaks to you, feel free to subscribe and comment, I’d love to connect with you.
p.s. I highly recomend checking out the podcast The Way Out Is In co-hosted by Brother Phap Huu, Thich Nhat Hanh’s personal attendant for 17 years and the abbot of Plum Village’s Upper Hamlet, and Jo Confino, a lay Plum Village friend who works at the intersection of personal transformation and systems change.