Today was/is a pretty special day and as I had a day to work at home, I spent most of it in complete silence, doing my thing on the computer typing up things and watching some Dexter and doing a bit of colouring and just general reflecting stuff – all in all, pretty productive.
3 years ago today this little munchkin made her way into my heart and stole it forever. Her name is Pi.
2 years ago today we opened the doors at D-Toxd for our very first ever guests – the culmination of years of hard work, commitment and dedication to just being a generally healthy guy and working with my best friend to make a small difference in the world.
Not a day goes by where I don’t wake up and look around me and see how fortunate and lucky I am to be where I am right now and, if the truth be told, I often have nightmares that its all just a crazy dream and none of it is real and I wake up crying and its all still there.
Things like this only used to happen to other people – they were the ones who did the crazy big things, they were the ones who got things off paper and into reality, they were the ones who were clever enough to do it because all that stuff was WAY out of my league.
I still doubt myself every day. I still think “who am I to do this?” but now, the difference is, I have some pretty special people around me who tell me it’s OK when I feel like that and yes, it is all real – realer than real.
In 2006 when I spoke about this for the first time to someone, they looked at me and literally laughed – I walked away and in my heart, did my best to keep the flame burning. The next day, I made the decision to leave Zimbabwe and started slowly building the dream back up again. That’s 10 bloody frikkin years ago !!!
Here’s my BIGGEST lessons of the last 10 years, in a nutshell, short and sweet: –
1) Never work towards your dreams alone – find someone crazy enough to think they can change the world too and get to know them. And then be brave enough to tell them your crazy dreams too. Jeroen is my best friend and Business Partner and Brother-From-Another-Mother and without him, none of this would ever have happened I don’t think.
2) Miracles walk on 4 legs and so does unconditional love. Dogs know exactly what to do and when and love you for YOU ! They see you naked and in the bath and when you sleep too and when you’re alone and think nobody is watching so they know YOU and still love YOU !
3) Making your dreams a reality is hard work. Very hard work. Very very very very hard work. But so deeply and truly humbling as well. You’ll have more stress than you’ve ever had and you’ll work harder than you’ve ever worked but you know what? None of that matters when you sit back and see how far you have come.
4) LISTEN to other people and really hear what they have to say – their bravery and courage and willingness to LIVE inspires me every single day. We have literally had the chance to listen to thousands of people since we got into this line of work and every single one of them has something truly special – they are all so different and unique and inspiring so thank you to each and every one of you.
5) NEVER take anything for granted – and this is probably been the toughest and most painful lesson to learn. You just NEVER know what is around the next corner so just make the most of right now, don’t put off the little things – smile, cry, scream, talk, say hello, just do it. We have ALL heard it before but people, life is a precious gift.
6) I’m Doing OK ! And that’s a big thing for me to say. Watching Dexter helped me with this one. Some people in the world go through some pretty tough stuff in their lives and they just do their best to get by. And just because they’ve been through that, it doesn’t mean they’re “broken” or “bad” or anything else. I saw (and went through) some pretty horrible things in the first 5 years of my life – stuff that still comes to visit me in my dreams every now and then. It got less after that but it still carried on. And it made me “OK” – simples ! Oh yes, and sometimes, those “OK” people do some pretty cool things in the world too.
7) If you want something in your life, never let anyone tell you that you can’t have it or can’t do it. EVER ! Never ever ever !! Just GO FOR IT. There is no “there” and there is no “when this or that happens then I will . . . .” – you keep going. And going if you have to.
8) JUST BE YOU !! Don’t worry about impressing anyone. Don’t think about saying the right things or doing the right actions. Have good intentions. Make a difference in the world by being YOU. Be nice to other people. Be kind. Be honest. Be emotional. Be sad. Be Happy. Be outrageous and funny and crazy and mad. Wear exercise clothes that make people smile. JUST BE YOU !!!
9) You don’t have to look like a cover model to be healthy and happy – but we’ll go into that one another day. Let’s just say, it’s a learning in progress.
I’ll end off now – this started out as a post on Facebook and I decided it deserved a place right here – that way, the people who want to read it will read it and it’ll be recorded for me because I don’t feel like writing in my journal tonight.
Just in case you’re wondering who “I” am – my name is Gareth – I am one half of D-Toxd, a pretty cool Health Retreat in Sunny Spain.