Crime and Punishment: April 3, 2013

Justice isn’t the first thing we think about when we talk about love.  Inevitably though, crime happens and our government is confronted with the burden of dealing with it.  In an enlightened society there may be no need for justice, but in the mean time, how can we treat our criminals in an enlightened way?

Modern justice traditionally treats the symptom and not the cause.  We don’t ask, why did this person become violent or why did this person start stealing?  We focus on a binary version of good and bad, guilty or not.  Compassion, forgiveness, and understanding don’t really have a place in the judicial system and the question is – should they?  Can punishment come from a place of love and what does that mean?

In this meet up we’ll explore the meaning of true justice and it’s place in our society.

To register, please click here.

Free Your Mind

“Peace begins when expectation ends” – Sri Chinmoy, author, poet, artist, spiritual teacher

Sometimes I have long philosophical conversations with my mother. We talk about the nature of love and she often challenges my perspective. I’ve had similar conversations with other people debating the notion that love and acceptance mean giving people a license to walk all over you.

This is not what acceptance means.

Acceptance is how we free our mind. Through acceptance we find liberation. We are not captive to the past, to the future, or to anything that anyone has done. We free ourselves from all emotional shackles. That is acceptance.

From that place of freedom we find remarkable clarity.

Acceptance is the bedrock of inner strength. Whether it’s a challenging business predicament or a personal conflict, we can examine our expectations and accept the situation exactly as it is. From this position of clarity, we are free to engage fully in the constructive pursuit of change.

We spend so much of our energy caught up in expectations. We expect things from others, we expect things from ourselves. Frustration is a product of expectations not being met. It stems from our desire for things to be different than the way they are. We become emotionally bound by our circumstances. When we respond from this state, we do so from a position of weakness because we’re not operating at our full capacity.

I’m not saying it’s easy. Acceptance can feel impossible and downright unjust at times. But acceptance isn’t an ethical judgement. It’s the internal process of reclaiming our identity. When we don’t accept a situation, it owns us. Our energy is consumed by an external factor outside of our control.

Liberation happens when we identify the underlying expectation in each moment. Why does it exist and why is it not being met? Love offers the recognition that our energy and peace of mind are far more important than any external circumstance. It is through acceptance that we find the fruition of our full potential as human beings. The hardest part might be accepting ourselves.

The Wisdom of Love Social: March 24, 2013

It’s amazing how as a group of strangers from all over New York City, we come together every two weeks and have very deep discussions, sharing intimate stories of personal journeys. This time we would like to do a social meetup where we can get together over food and drinks and just have a good time getting to know each other a little bit more.

We ask that you please RSVP and let us know what you can bring to share with everyone.

To register, please click here.

The Virtue of Vulnerability

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
― Criss Jami, author, poet, songwriter

I love personal development literature. I’ve got a library full of books from Tony Robbins to Eckhart Tolle and dozens of other authors. I’ve spent a good portion of my life striving to be the kind of person I want to be. Yet as I lay in bed the other night, I had an epiphany. What if being better is less about chasing some ideal version of me and more about just being myself?

Human beings are by nature very different from one another. Each person strong and weak in their own unique way. Though we may aspire to some popular notion of perfection, it is through our weaknesses that we build character and craft personality. By embracing our weaknesses we fully harness our strengths.

Our willingness to be vulnerable conveys the greatest respect for ourselves and others. It is through that fullness of personality that we truly connect with another. Authenticity happens when we are unapologetic about who we are while being open and receptive at the same time. This allows us to see ourselves through the eyes of others and grow from that insight.

Vulnerability makes us coachable. A coach can be a specific person or it can be every person we meet. Each interaction offers the potential to learn something new. But that growth is only available when we are open to it and notice the opportunity to do so.

If I could send one message back to myself in the past, it would be this: open up, get to know my strengths, be comfortable with my weaknesses, and just be me. Throughout my personal friendships, my family, and my business, a willingness to be vulnerable has provided me with more meaningful relationships and deeper personal growth.

Being the best we can be doesn’t happen in the future, it happens right now. Truly opening ourselves up to the people we engage with is a choice we can make at any moment. Start with someone you love and then maybe try it in a business meeting or two. Who knows, you might even end up crying on stage as you conclude a TED talk.

The Power of Faith: March 14, 2013

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

In my personal experience as an entrepreneur, I have found faith to be the single most powerful capability that I have.  In the face of massive uncertainty, faith has been the driving force that has seen me through.

Faith gives us certainty in the most ambiguous of circumstances.  Faith empowers us to follow our heart, even if we have no idea what the outcome might look like.  Faith keeps us going even in the face of insurmountable odds.

But what is faith and how does one cultivate it?  How does our absolute belief in something shape our experience and define our reality?  Certainly there is religious faith, but what about faith in yourself, others, and the universe?  Is faith just blind belief or a powerful way of overcoming limitations?

This discussion will revolve around our personal experience of faith and understanding the impact that it has on our lives.

To register, please click here.

The Power of Choice

Over the last two years I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what I want out of my life. I’ve been doing startups since 2004. It’s been a tough road, both insanely challenging and deeply fulfilling. As I’ve grown, my values have evolved. I went from “I want to build a company so I can sell it for a lot of money” to “I want to help people live healthier lives” to “I want to live in a peaceful world.” That’s a big shift.

Consequently, I’ve come to realize that everyday I have a choice. I can choose to be guided by fear or I can choose to be guided by love. Fear is when I don’t do stuff that I want to because I’m afraid of how people might respond or that it won’t be good enough. Love is when I’m true to myself and follow my heart.

Fear creeps into our lives in small ways and limits our choices. It keeps us from connecting with other people. It prevents us from having freedom. We’re all familiar with fear of failure or rejection, but what about fear of success? As long as we’re not successful, there’s a lot less expectation and judgement, a lot less pressure. Fear comes in many shapes and sizes.

There’s nothing wrong with fear. Fear helps us see ourselves. The important thing is to not let ourselves be guided by fear. To love ourselves so much that we’re not willing to let fear hold us back from being the best that we can be. In that sense, fear is actually doing us a favor. When we can identify where fear is holding us back, we know exactly what we need to do to overcome fear: engage with it.

As a business owner, I encounter this all the time in the form of things that I should be doing but never get around to. Sure, I’m busy. But the truth is there’s a lot of stuff I could be doing to put myself out there. Like writing a newsletter. What I want most out of life is to help others be the best they can be. Of course, what that means is that I have to be the best that I can be. And in order to do that I need to be willing to confront my fears and overcome them.

That’s the power of choice that all of us have everyday. We have the power to choose to do what we want to do despite our fears. We have the power to choose to be who we want to be despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

The greatest gift we have is the power of choice. I’m not saying it’s easy. In fact, it can be really hard to acknowledge fear and then actually overcome it. But it’s possible. And it’s not as hard as you might think. Most importantly, it’s the only way to be the best that you can be.

Today, as you come face to face with the incredible power of your choice, what will you choose to do?

The Wisdom of Love


The Wisdom of Love is a five part series exploring the practical side of love as a philosophy for happy and peaceful living.

There is a philosophy which needs no scripture and no handbook. It does not require an expert’s opinion nor a guru’s teaching. It is a philosophy so basic that it is embedded in the heart of every human being. Its practice has the power to change the relationship we have with ourselves, each other, and the planet. This philosophy is called love.

PART I: Loving Ourselves

Loving ourselves means cultivating consciousness around our actions, realizing that the most valuable asset we have is our time and energy. In order to become mindful of how we spend our time we must become conscious of what we do with it and why.

In our day to day life, we make small decisions that shape the life we lead in a big way. We make thousands of decisions without a second thought and if things don’t work out the way we planed, we wonder what happened. Whether we get in arguments with loved ones, wish we were healthier, feel unhappy with our job, want more time to do the things we enjoy, or just get frustrated with ourselves, we can begin to change our lives by cultivating more love around our decisions.

If we’re trying to lose weight, we might find that cultivating love towards ourselves offers the positive reinforcement we need to stick to our diet. If we’re working on something, love can mean valuing our time so much that we’re not willing to let ourselves get distracted or discouraged. It can also mean that when we do inevitably get distracted or discouraged, we accept that that’s a normal part of being human and keep going.

Our time is the most valuable thing we have. Loving ourselves means caring about how we spend it. Simply by asking, what would I do if I truly loved myself, we can begin to change our life. Would I eat this food? How would I treat my body? Would I buy these things? How would I spend my time? What career would I choose? How would I treat other people? How would I treat the planet?

It takes practice to start asking these questions and digging deep to explore the answers. The point is that love, although difficult to describe, offers a certain compass that is readily felt in the heart. We may not always have a perfectly clear answer, but life is rarely black and white like that. What love offers is the opportunity to explore how a decision we’re considering can serve the highest good for both ourselves and others.

Each of us is unique and worthy of dignity. No other person has gone through the same life experiences that brought us to where we are today. If we consider that out of over six billion people, we are the only person that has experienced life the way we have, we might appreciate how truly amazing we are. Our unique perspective is the incredible value that we deliver to any given moment. Love gives us the reason to be the best we can be. Conscious action gives us the means.

Living and Loving an Inspired Life: February 28, 2012

This week we have a special guest presentation from Rodrigo Imana focusing on a new way of defining love as a universal need to attain balance. We’ll examine love through the lens of physics and chemistry and explore practical applications in every aspect of our lives: social, family, work, financial, physical, spiritual, and mental. Rodrigo will include exercises that he’s developed to help you to discover your values in life and balance your emotions.

We’ll follow up with an open discussion exploring how to live an inspired life.

About Rodrigo Imana

Born an raised in La Paz, Bolivia, Rodrigo has spent his life exploring the intersection between human potential and the physical body. He’s been a personal trainer at top gyms like Equinox and graduated from the Life Chiropractic College West in 2012.  Rodrigo’s research has included Teology, Axiology as well as human potential as it relates to the nervous system, the human frame and our perception of love and life. In March, Rodrigo is having the grand opening for his new business, Human Potential Chiropractic (, here in NYC.

To register, please click here.



Love is in the Air: February 13, 2013

Most of our meetups have focused on a non-conventional understanding of love.  Valentine’s day might be good time to explore good old romantic love.

How is it that this thing called love can both sooth the soul and drive us into the deepest despair.  People will die for love, sometimes they’ll kill for it, and almost all of us have cried because of it.

As human beings we yearn for companionship.  Love fills our lives with beauty and fulfillment.  Yet what does it mean to truly love another person?  How does one pursue a healthy relationship?  Why does romantic love sometimes get so twisted and dark?  How can we avoid the pitfalls of expectation and jealousy?

In this meetup we’ll explore the ins and outs of romantic love.

To register, please click here.

The Value of Choice: January 24, 2012

Every day we have the power of choice.  We choose how we respond to and feel about any given situation.  We choose the people in our lives.  We choose the things we own.  We choose what we do with our time and energy.

Our values guide our choices.  Clearly articulated values provide a framework within which to make decisions.  Understanding the things that we value makes it easier to make better choices.  Staying true to the things that we value makes it easier to be happy.

Despite this, many people don’t take the time to clearly identify their values.  To complicate things, our values are constantly changing as we grow and evolve.  And how do we we keep ourselves from judging and imposing our values on others?

In this meetup we’ll explore the relationship between value and choice.  What does the freedom to choose really mean?  How do we become more conscious in our choices so that we can align our actions with our values?  Can you consciously change your values?

To register, please click here.