Don’t Forget to Leap
In 2009 I had 30 days to fire my employees, let go of my clients and shut down my business to get ready for an 11 hour surgery. It ended one life, the life everyone else wanted me to live, and opened a door to a new one.
While recovering for six months, I discovered what my ‘simple truth’ was and started a company by that name. Today I work with executives and entire companies, teaching them to use Modern Meditation to change their lives and their businesses. I spend my days turning my dreams into my reality. I put together events that support my ideas and help others do the same.
In 1992 I had my first brain tumor which devastated me. After the surgery I recovered and had to figure out how to get back what I thought was important. I took six months off then had my second brain tumor a year and a half later. In the past 22 years, I’ve had 20 tumors removed.
What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?
It was time to take up another path and pursue that dream I once had. I was ready to open up a school and teach meditation.
When I got rid of the agency, all my stress problems went away. I was amazed that all of a sudden my high blood pressure and acid reflux went away. Now my blood pressure is so low that we have to get the blood pressure back up.
I now try to deliver to people a healthy way to create a healthy life that’s true to themselves.
What were the specific obstacles that you faced?
The meditation community pushed back on the idea of creating a different type of meditation.
I started talking to doctors, neuroscientists and studying neuro biology. There had to be a better way to do this, to weave traditional meditation practices with modern meditation that works for today’s world. Meditation is a 3000 year old practice. It’s time to upgrade and update. We need to help it make better than the times now.
One of the biggest hurdles was balancing the finances and maintain the sense of integrity with the business. I needed to make sure that I maintained a sense of integrity to meditation by continuing to pay appropriate homage to traditional mediation practices. We are not living the way we were 3000 years ago, we live in a modern world and I need to make a certain amount of money to maintain all of the things we need as human beings.
What helped you get through them?
People: I tell people to get rid of all the people that don’t support you. Keep only positive people around you. One negative thought or voice of doubt can completely undermine whatever it is you want to do.
Meditation: Meditation will help you get rid of all the distractions in your life. It helps you think clearer so that you are more focused on what you really want to do. It’s energy and focused calm. You’re able to keep your eyes on your objective and not lose it on the distractions around you.
Were there people that tried to discourage you?
I had tremendous support from my family which came from the idea that, ‘Jeff has had seven brain tumor surgeries. He deserves to be happy.’ My wife told me that if this is my dream, then pursue it. She said, ‘It’s your path, your journey. If this is what you need to do…then do it. I will be there to help in any way I can. I will not live with a miserable person who says, coulda, woulda, shoulda. I didn’t marry someone who was not going to pursue their dreams.’ That was a huge relief.
How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?
It feels fabulous. It feels positive. I recently helped a client through issues he was having. He turned to me and said, ‘This is one of the important things I do for myself. Thank you.’ I got chills, my hair tingled. It was an Ah Ha moment.
This is why I do this. There is no other feeling like it. It’s like mountain climbing, skydiving or surfing. All those adrenaline rushes are great. It made me realize that this is why I do what I do.
What advice would you give to others that are contemplating finally living their dream?
Don’t wait for a brain tumor to start pursuing it. Take your time, plan ahead. Line up the things you need to actually take the leap…and then don’t forget to leap.
Some people line up and find excuses. There is never going to be a perfect time. That’s when you should actually jump.
To learn more about Jeff and his book, Simple Truth: Meditation and Mindfulness for a Modern World, visit his page.