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4 Steps to Live Your Best Life

By | General

Last week I attended the TMRW TDAY Culture Fest in Jamaica where I was invited to share a 15-minute talk. I wanted to use this time to share some valuable information that I’ve learned along my personal transformational journey that would help others to “live their best life”

I’m happy to say it was very well received and several guests told me that it resonated with them. I’ve had a few people reach out to ask if it was recorded and if I could share it with them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so I’ve decided to share the notes from my talk with the intention that this information will continue to help others.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Andrew and Stacy from TMRW TDAY for creating such a special event. If you’d like to learn more about the festival visit www.tmrwtday.com

Thanks, Zark

TMRW TDAY Talk

What does “living your best life” mean to you? Is it traveling around the world, finding your soulmate and getting married, having a successful career, or is it living a life of fulfillment?

Everyone has their own version of what living their best life means to them.

I’d like to know who here feels that they are living their best life?

Who would like to live their best life?

I’m happy to say that I’m currently living my best life. I live in Costa Rica, in a small beach town called Nosara. I start my days with early morning beach walks with my dog. I work where I want when I want with who I want. I can honestly say that I have my dream job, I own a transformational travel company where I get to host people on amazing trips around the world and teach them about wellness, adventure, connection, and self-development.

It sounds pretty awesome right. I have to admit that it is and many friends who know me say I’m living the dream, however, I had to wake up and create this life for myself.

What I’d like to share with you today is what I have learned over the past 5 years and how I was able to create a new lifestyle and career for myself and walk away from the things that were holding me back so I can truly live my best life.

Before I share this with you, I’d like to tell you about how this journey started for me.

I’m an entrepreneur from Toronto, and over the past 20 years, I have opened over 12 successful businesses. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a spa, hair salon, music festivals… I’ve lived a fascinating, dynamic, luxurious life and many would tell me that I was living “the life” then. Fancy cars, famous friends, beautiful women…

However, despite all of my superficial success, I woke up on August 17, 2015, my 40th birthday and faced the harsh reality that I was not where I wanted to be personally, professionally or financially.

See I thought by 40 I’d be married with kids, and I was still single, no girlfriend and never been in love.

By 40 I thought I would be out of the nightlife business and doing something more fulfilling. I didn’t love my career anymore and felt stuck and didn’t know what else to do.

By 40 I thought I would be well on my way to financial freedom, but I was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. No matter how much money I made, I always spent more than I was earning.

So on that day, I knew that I had to change things up if I wanted to create different results for my life. I made a commitment to myself that by 45 I will not be in the same place, feeling the same way.

So began my journey of self-discovery and self-development.

I consider myself an authority on transformation because I have done a full 180-degree shift in my life professionally, mentally, physically, energetically, spiritually and even geographically.

I’ve spent the past 5 years learning from some of the most brilliant minds, attending courses, forums, and summits. Like workshops that Peter Oppermann leads.

It’s vital for me to share what I’ve learned because I believe that you are here at TMRW TDAY to learn, grow and expand. I know some of you are going through your own transformation and are looking for answers to the questions you have.

My intention to share this with you is what I’ve learned along my journey because I believe it can help you manifest your best life.

I was at the Archangel event in Toronto last year, and I heard the modern day guru Dandapani shared something so simple yet profound that I wish I had learned this sooner.

He shared how to create the life of your dreams, and it resonated with me so profoundly because the process he explained is precisely the journey that I have been on

Dandapani broke it down in a 4 step process and hope that you also benefit from these simple yet powerful lessons.

These are 4 critical steps to manifesting your best life:

Purpose – What does Purpose mean to you? One’s Purpose is a personal thing, and everyone has their own interpretation of what defines Purpose to them. There is no right or wrong answer.

What Purpose means to me is having a cause or a goal that you genuinely believe in and stand for. Having something important to you, that’s bigger than just you. Tapping into your Purpose and living in alignment with what you stand for gives you a tremendous amount of fulfillment. It also gives you direction and boundaries.

If you’re in a place where you may not yet know what your Purpose is, I invite you to start thinking about what impact do you want to make in the world, what change would you like to happen and how can you support that change.

When I discovered my Purpose of sharing my journey with other people that I can help them find out what’s possible for their lives, my priorities in life completed shifted.

When you are living on Purpose you are living intentionally, you are working towards a goal that is personally significant and rewarding. Living and being from this context is a game changer and is the first step to living your best life.

Now once you have discovered your Purpose or are on the path of creating this for yourself, step 2 is crucial.

Focus – Energy flows where attention goes.

If you want to manifest your best life, you must be fully committed and focused on your goal. You have to wake up thinking about it and when you fall asleep, dream about it.

When you begin your path of Purpose, you need to continually check yourself to make sure you are making decisions that are aligned with that vision you have for your life. An idea without a plan is just a dream. Maintaining this focus will be the key to achieving the results you want for your life.

There are so many distractions life that we waste our time on. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, it’s up to you to use these hours to create what you wish to achieve.

It is imperative that you cut out the unnecessary things in your life so you can optimize your focus on the things that support your Purpose and the life you want to create. What you can do to increase your focus is Simplify.

Simplify your life is step #3

You have to cut the distractions out of your life. Get rid of the things that do not serve that higher Purpose that you are committed to.

Take a look at your life and ask yourself what is no longer necessary, what can I get rid of to make my life less complicated.

For me, part of it was getting rid of my luxury car and my designer clothing. When I took a hard look at my life and where I was spending the most money, I realized that some of my most significant expenses weren’t important to me anymore. Because I’m committed to something bigger than my image and ego, I was able to let go of the things that didn’t support what I am creating for my life.

Now I know some of you may think that’s a crazy idea, I know many of my friends did, but I have to tell you that it feels so good to have so much less stuff to worry about anymore.

The ironic part about all these things we purchase and collect is the objects we own end up owning us. When you can let go of the items that actually are useless to you, you will have more time, mental energy and money to focus on what’s really important.

I can personally share that I have never felt so free, fulfilled and happy in my life and I own less than I ever have before.

Now simplifying and letting go of things can be very hard. Because some of these things really mean a lot to our present identity and this is where the 4th and final step is required.

Sacrifice – Now, this last step is the hardest because it is going to require you to make some tough decisions in your life.

There are things in your life right now that you believe to be very important. And some of these things are actually in the way of you living your best life.

It could be your career, your friends and even where you live. For me, it was all 3 of these.

See when I realized that my Purpose is to inspire, educate and empower people to live truly fulfilled lives, and I chose to make this my top priority, I had to make some significant changes in my life.

I knew that I couldn’t own the companies I did and focus 100% on my transformational travel company, so I chose to close down my restaurant Blowfish after 15 years and walk away from $1 million of my own money. I also said no to some new business ventures so I can say yes to what was aligned with the life I want to live.

I also chose to start spending time with people who inspired me that I could learn from and let go of my friendships with the people in my life who are living at a low vibration. Sometimes we outgrow certain people and these relationships, and it’s okay to let go and move on.

I also knew that to create what I want for myself and others that I need to live in an environment where I felt like my best self, so I left my hometown of Toronto to live in Costa Rica where I can be surrounded by nature and high vibrational humans who support me in what I’m creating.

These were not easy choices, and it was painful at times, but the outcome has all been so worth it.

So what is it that you will need to sacrifice, give up, walk away from? Maybe you know the answer already but have been holding on out of loyalty or fear of what might happen if you let go.

If you are fully committed to what you want to create for your life, just trust that now is the time to let go of what doesn’t serve you any longer.

Purpose, focus, simplify and sacrifice. This process may take years to implement, and it will be hard as hell, and the reward is you will enjoy the rest of your life as your absolute best years in life.

Now you may be thinking, that this sounds like a lot of hard work. Why do I really want to live my best life? My life may not be the best, it’s pretty okay.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to live an ordinary life. “Living my okay life” sounds like a lame hashtag if you ask me.

Why is it important to live your best life?

Living your best life isn’t just about your own life. It means being the best version of yourself, so you can be happy and ALIVE and be a contribution to others to help them rise up.

It’s important to live your best life because I believe that the more people who are living their best lives means we have, the higher chance to have the best Earth for all of us.

I believe that this is our collective Purpose, to help our fellow humans, our beautiful animals, and our planet.

I hope what I have shared has been valuable to you, and you have learned something that will help you on your journey to living your best life.

If any of you have any questions about my journey or would like to know more about the trips I run with the ALIVE Experience I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.

What a year!

By | General

This March will be 1 year since I launched this transformational travel company. Starting a new business is never easy, especially when it also involves a complete shift in mindset and lifestyle. Of all the businesses I’ve created, this has been by far the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever done.

We will be hosting our 5th transformation vacation March 9th – 16th and I am confident to say that this will be the best experience yet! Each trip gets better and better as I learn from each experience and develop myself to lead at a higher level.

These trips would not have the impact they do if it were not for the incredible coaches and teachers who support me and share their knowledge and personal genius with my guests. I am humbled by their generosity and I am truly grateful for their contributions to my guests.

I am proud to share the line up of awesome humans who will be leading powerful workshops during the next ALIVE Experience as well as the full itinerary. 

 

talking on the beach at transformational vacation

Live the Blue Zone life

By | General

For thousands of years, humans have longed to live a longer life. With medical science advancing, this dream is becoming a reality thanks to new biological and nutritional information as well as the latest “bio-hacks” available. The idea of living a healthy, long life to 100 seems unimaginable, however there are “Centenarians” who are alive and kicking in several places in the world known as Blue Zones.
Maybe you’ve heard of these special places? Not many have so I’d like to share what I know about them as I happen to be lucky enough to live in one, the Nicoya Peninsula here in Costa Rica.

What’s a Blue Zone?

Blue Zones are areas of the world in which people live exceptionally long lives (100+ years). These regions are home to some of the oldest and healthiest people in the world. The 5 designated Blue Zones in the world are:

  • Okinawa (Japan)
  • Sardinia (Italy)
  • Loma Linda (USA)
  • Nicoya (Costa Rica)
  • Icaria (Greek Islands)

Residents of these places produce a high rate of Centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more years of good health than the rest of the population.

So what’s their secret and what are they doing or not doing that the rest of us could learn from?

Studies have found that genetics only play a 20–30% role in longevity so clearly there are some key lifestyle factors that are contributing to their long, healthy lives.
The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. The Venn diagram below highlights the following six shared characteristics among the people of the Blue Zones.

Although their lifestyles differ slightly, they mostly eat a plant-based diet, exercise regularly, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, get enough sleep and have good spiritual, family and social networks. Here’s the full list of the most common lifestyle practices found in Blue Zones.

  1. Regular physical activity
  2. Life purpose
  3. Stress reduction
  4. Moderate caloric intake
  5. Plant-based diet
  6. Moderate alcohol intake
  7. Engagement in spirituality or religion
  8. Engagement in family life
  9. Engagement in social life

How many of these 9 practices do you implement into your lifestyle? Implementing these key lifestyle factors into your life is easier than you think once you have the knowledge and structure.

Understanding and appreciating the importance of these, we have designed and structured our programs at the ALIVE Experience around these important lifestyle practices. During our transformational trips we share information and coaching so that our guests can learn to live the Blue Zone life when they return home.

If you’d like to know more about the program that we offer at the ALIVE Experience please email us at travel@thealiveexperience.com

zark - Transformational vacation organizer

ALIVE Experience Founder Interview

By | Alive Costa Rica, General

Last month Vibe Tribe Wellness interviewed Zark Fatah for their podcast. He shared his journey and why he walked away from $1,000,000 to move to Costa Rica.
During this interview, Zark shares information on:

– The importance of hustle
– Not letting financial situations define us
– Why you should invest in mentorships
– Leadership conferences for personal growth & development
– Why it’s OK to follow your heart and change course later in life
– Why he created the Alive Experience

Click the link https://vibetribewellness.org/podcast-zark-fatah/ to listen to the podcast.

team up for transformational experience

Transformed by Travel: Transformational Travel Takes Off

By | General

In the last couple of years, there’s been an increasing amount of buzz about something called “transformational travel.” Take last year’s buzz about experiential travel and then take it deeper, to a place where you can return with a changed world view following self-reflection and interaction with a new culture and nature. At least, that’s how I see it. It’s loosely based on the teaching of the thinker and writer Joseph Campbell and I first encountered it in the Seattle area with a young guy named Jake Haupert, the Founder of Explorer-X, which offer small group and private tours in the Western US, Canada and Alaska. Haupert is also the Co-Founder of The Transformational Travel Council (TTC) , along with Michael Bennett of Muddy Shoe Adventures, Kurt Kutay of Wildland Adventures and Don Mankin of Adventure Transformations. In short, he’s the ideal person to shed some light on this movement.

Interview with Jake Haupert

What exactly is transformational travel?

The Transformational Travel Council defines Transformational Travel (or TT) as any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life.

We’ve conceived a book/journal, HERO “A Seeker’s Guide to Travel” that guides the work and reflection travelers can do from pre-departure, during the journey, and through the weeks after their return. This includes a framework for travelers to process their experiences and turn their thoughts into purposeful action, by Traveling like a HERO. A Hero “Travels With Heart, Fully Engaged, Practicing Resolve, And Wide Open To The Unknown Within Every Journey.”

So how did you get involved with it?

Thanks to my globetrotting grandparents, nurturing dad, and Reiki master-mom, I’ve always sought out the unknown. That’s resulted in an inside/out approach to my travel practice where the mystery of travel satisfies my curiosity and the inner journey feeds my soul.

A few years ago, when faced with an extremely challenging time in my business and life, there were a series of events, eye-opening experiences that forced some introspection. With that reflection, I realized that had lost connection with my inner compass, my soul’s purpose. My business was no longer fully aligned with what I care most deeply about or why I fell in love with travel in the first place. That led to a climb up Kilimanjaro and a safari in the Serengeti that ultimately reconnected me to my purpose.

And then something magical happened. Along with my best pals, upon reaching the summit, we broke down crying, and that crying turned into an inconsolable sob. We couldn’t quite understand why it was happening, but it was, and we rolled with it, and it just went viral in the group, one after the other. For whatever reason, we all released. After reflecting on that moment, the clarity I was seeking came shining through. It was a glimpse into why we travel and what we’re ultimately seeking when we embark on a journey. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s work to facilitate and support seekers in discovering, unlocking, and living the transformational power of travel.

What is the role of the teachings of Joseph Campbell?

More than anything, Campbell’s book, “The Hero’s Journey, is about growth and passage. The journey requires a separation from the comfortable, known world, followed by an initiation into a new level of awareness, skill, and responsibility and then a return home. Each stage of the journey must be passed successfully if the initiate is to become a HERO. To turn back at any stage is to reject the need to grow and mature.

At TTC, we believe in and embrace The Hero’s Journey as the path and process that we all go through when we choose to break out of our comfort zones and travel the world. We feel called to adventure. We set forth into the unknown, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. We experience challenges and trials and tribulations. We learn and grow and shift our perspectives as a result of our travels. As a result, we transform who we are and how we are living.

But isn’t all travel transformational to one degree or another?

No, travel is not transformational. Just by relocating yourself from one point to another doesn’t transform you. You’ll have experiences, you may or may not learn something new, but until you’ve applied meaning and taken action, you have not changed.

Transformation requires that we explore ourselves even as we explore the world. When we recognize that our perspective defines our experience, our participation matters, and by setting intention, being mindful, reflecting, and applying the benefits back home, travel becomes transformational.

Give me an example of a transformational travel trip.

The transformational travel experiences that we covet cannot be designed or sold as such. It’s not something that can be planned for or contrived, it’s an intensely personal experience, one that often surprises us. That’s what makes it so transcendent.

That said, based on the research and framework provided by the TTC and Evergreen Escapes, our new brand, Explorer-X, is the first travel company on the planet to be entirely built to support travelers in their pursuit of transformation. We’re integrating the TTC Guiding Principles, engaging clients more holistically, providing them with a HERO Guidebook, and ‘consciously-designing’ itineraries by slowing the pace. We’re giving time and space for unplanned exploration, integrating timely peak experiences, restorative wellness activities, and ceremonial or celebratory beginnings and ends to the journey. It’s our expectation that by committing to this framework, our custom-crafted trips will amplify the possibility of transformation.

We created an itinerary called “Life in the Bush – An Immersion into the Communities and Conservation of Zimbabwe’s National Parks.” It really embodies what we’re trying to achieve with our transformational trips: deep cultural experiences, active & remote excursions, and thought-provoking interactions.

But the itinerary is only one part of our transformational travel process. We strive to inspire transformational experiences by engaging our clients before, during, and after their actual trip. This includes helping them set intentions for their journey, challenging them to get out of their comfort zone, and guiding reflection after they return, so that they can integrate their discoveries into their everyday life.

We also incorporate “Calls to Adventure” into each of our custom itineraries. These “Call to Adventures” or CTAs, are designed to encourage our clients to explore their destination in novel ways or to provoke deeper thought about the places they’re experiencing. For example, here is a CTA we included for a recent client’s trip to New Zealand’s Mt. Aspiring National Park: “Challenge yourself to learn and be able to identify three new plants, and three new birds in your destination. Knowledge can be the key to understanding, and understanding the gateway to connection. Once you connect with a place, a little piece of it stays with you. For a more tangible souvenir keep a journal list of regional flora & fauna. You can draw, take photos, or maybe press a leaf or flower if the park rules allow it. Please remember to be courteous to the land and leave it as you left it or hopefully better.”

Where do you see this fledgling transformational travel movement heading?

We sense a fundamental shift in how we travel and we’re daring to disrupt, game change and revolutionize travel. Travel, at its purest, shifts perspectives, unleashes imagination, inspires understanding and cultivates empathy, which in turn promises peace. These traits are what the world needs today and by bringing travel to life we will shift, and empathy, understanding and enlightenment will sweep across the planet, one HERO at a time. We’re not inventing anything new, we’re just reclaiming travel and that means we need to look back to look forward, learn from the indigenous, the mystics, the explorers that blazed the trail before us, dare to look inside/out, find new meaning, bring back the mystery, guide and support our travellers in their journey of self-discovery and reveal how personal transformation results in global transformation.