Anthony’s story exemplifies a life altering personal transformation and one that inspires us to a kinder, gentler and more compassionate way of living. It is a powerful story where we are able to see the magnificence of the human potential and the awe of life in its entirety.
My journey of awakening and personal expansion
When I was young, I was emotionally lost, aimless and careening to what, I believe, would have been an untimely death. In my early years, I experienced physical and sexual abuse, family divorce and disintegration, dark and traumatizing family secrets and the unexpected death of my father. I was a high school dropout, had been in and out of the Army, and following that, became a drug addict and an alcoholic, living in a car, estranged from family or friends. I was without work, money or any real loving relationship. I was alone. I had come to a place of seriously considering ending my life. I was 18 years old.
Through a series of miraculous events, which in large part were initiated by my best friend’s mother Marsha, I entered a treatment facility to deal with the wide array of complex issues, emotionally and physically, that I needed desperately to confront, if I was going to live. It was during this challenging time that I experienced a life-changing event during a group session. I had a spiritual awakening – an intimate and life-affirming experiential dialogue. It was not a religious event, but rather a shift from the previous fog to a new-found clarity – a knowing that there is a power greater than myself and that I was not alone. I had been at the precipice of being forever lost, yet in the brilliant flash of that timeless moment I was forever changed. For the first time that I could remember I felt love, nurturance and hope. It provided the impetus that I needed to propel my life forward with renewed sense of understanding and purpose. From that day, I have been committed to a new path – which I humbly term, an evolution of self.
Since that life-altering moment nearly thirty years ago, I have been committed to a life of sobriety, consciousness, health, wellness and personal growth. I have immersed myself in multitudes of AA and Al-Anon meetings, personal growth workshops, and intensive therapy sessions. I have read countless inspirational books, put many pens to paper, and enjoyed numerous mind and soul-expanding conversations with friends and strangers.
All of this, is part of my personal process of deepening the understanding of myself, others and the world around me. All of this is a way to help me to continually discover myself anew. An enduring rebirth if you will, exhibited as a sincere and thorough commitment to a life of quality and substance. It allows me to process the past with a commitment to my present and my future. Without this gift of a renewing life and the necessary choices I have made throughout the years to support and nurture it, I am convinced, I would surely wither and die. To honor my life and the multiple gifts I have been given, I am committed to live in integrity and marry myself to the moment.
My Inspirations and Influences
My strategy is simple. When interacting with the world, I endeavor to be open to being open. Open to possibilities. Open to opportunities. Open to co-creation. Open to Love. I have found that being open creates an environment where anything can and usually does happen.
If I am not open, I am closed off to the infinite possibilities of life. I believe that the process of personal growth and evolution is about reflection, change and openness. I am not the same man I was thirty years ago when I faced that life-threatening crisis. Nor, am I that lost and lonely child of my youth or the man of ten or even five years ago. I am grateful for change and maturity that comes with age and experience.
The ebb and flow of my life creates unique opportunities for continual growth and learning. I truly LOVE to learn and to share. I am real sponge of life-soaking in all that I can from multiple sources and share what I glean where and when I can.
So many people in my life have inspired me and still do – authors, musicians, artists, poets, philosophers, scientists and so many more. Many friends, such as Marsha, whom I referenced earlier, have been my heroes and champions. But I have also found that I needed to look for inspiration within my own self. I also needed to surround myself with individuals who reflect my values and inspirations back to me. The dance of mutual respect and love is an important one. I find I am surrounded by brilliance – I must embrace my own brilliance as well as that of others.
I also believe, that we each need to take risks in life. Many people see risk as foolhardy. However, risk taking can be appropriate when it is deliberate, focused and passionate. Risk can release us from the shackles of fear and deliver us into the freedom of our true selves. It can help us make that paradigm shift to a new way of being. That is essential to creating a life we want, and more important, a life we richly deserve.
Metaphorically speaking, I jump into the deep end of the pool on a regular basis. Some days I can swim and splash about with wild abandon for hours, other days I am paddling at light-speed for the refuge of the side of the pool. But, regardless of the circumstances, I jump, eyes and heart wide open, ready and willing to experience all that life has to offer. In my experience, there is glorious freedom to be discovered by diving into the deep. This is one of the principles I live by and one I share with many of my clients.
My Positive Life Changes
I am clear that I am not alone, that I am supported by the universe. I have gained a healthy understanding of who I am, my morals, my desires, my intention, my purpose in life – a true sense of who I am and what I stand for. If not for the hard work of challenging myself to face my fears, as well the insights and assistance of my support system, I would not be who I am today. I need to do whatever I can to heal. I surround myself with healthy people who mirror the best in me. In my experience, regardless of what I tell myself, I am never given more than I can handle. By virtue of being here, I have survived my personal “dark nights of the soul.” We are all capable of bringing light to the dark places in our lives. Embracing this has been transformational for me-empowering and life-enriching.
As a way to bring and share happiness to all areas of my life, I named my company—INJOI—www.injoimusic.com, which represents a state of joyful grace that permeates all that I do. It is a simple name which has a slight global spelling twist that represents being in-joy. The name is a real touchstone for me and honestly reflects who I am and how I endeavor to walk this world.
My Next Steps as an Evolving Being
As I referenced earlier my path is one of the evolution of self.
Chogyam Trungpa said, “When you experience your wisdom and the power of things as they are, together as one, then you have access to tremendous vision and power in the world. You find that you are inherently connected to your own being. That is discovering magic.”
I yearn to always discover the magic in life. I commit myself to being of service where and when I can be, both personally and professionally.
As a creative business strategist, I work with creative people and their businesses. I repeatedly see a common theme: self-doubt and a lack of self-love. This poisonous combination keeps many people at, a seemingly unreachable distance from their dreams and aspirations – professionally and personally. In response to this reality, I recently joined forces with my dear friend, client and business partner, author Cyndi Dale (www.cyndidale.com) to create a new service-based business, called dreams made manifest (www.dreamsmademanifest.com). We created this company to help people achieve their ultimate dreams. We serve as mentors to individuals on the path to self-realized personal and professional growth, success and fulfillment.
Together, we have over fifty collective years of experience and expertise in self – and co-created success representing many areas of interests. As Henry David Thoreau profoundly stated, “ Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.” In the very near future, in support of this notion and via direct one-on-one work, online programs and tele-conferences, Cyndi and I will be shepherding individuals on a new path, teaching each and all how to achieve new levels of success in ways only before imagined. I am excited about this new venture and about being of service to those who need the support and guidance – the energetic nudge so to speak – to help bring their creative ideas to fruition.
My Advice to Others
I believe shame is one of our biggest enemies in life. It is insidious-like a hidden ambush on the path to our success. Shame can keep us imprisoned, like trudging through an never-ending tar pit of unhappiness. It is a type of bondage that limits our freedom to live a life that we deserve-one that is free of fear, embarrassment, unworthiness, loneliness, isolation and incessant pain.
I maintain that one’s personal growth depends on the degree to which we love ourselves, release the shame and fear and accept responsibility for our choices. We need to release judgment of ourselves and others, and not be victims of our pasts or behavior.
Often one must break the cycle and CHOOSE to live one’s life differently than we were taught by our parents, families, social circle or habits. We must always remember anything is possible. We can rewrite our own script on a daily basis. Miracles really do abound. We must embrace the idea that belief is the key to opening the door of possibilities, and that on a daily basis more shall be revealed.
I also feel strongly that it is important to revel in the process of life. We cannot change the past and we cannot control the future. We are only responsible for the effort, not the outcome. We are only able to put our energy into what we do – there are incalculable variables that are involved with any choice, or behavior. We cannot control all of these variables – it is impossible and a set up to feel defeated and frustrated. I maintain it is easier to concentrate on what we can control – ourselves, our personal choices and our behavior. This awareness can make life a little easier – freeing ourselves of a tiring burden of self-imposed, unnecessary responsibility.
I’ll give an example. When I serve as a music producer in the creation of an album for a client, my role, like a director of a film, is not only to hold the vision, but to help my client articulate their vision by bringing my input, expertise and creativity to the process. However, I cannot control all the elements.
At some point, I have to let go and let all the chosen components come together as they will. Therein lies the magic. The less I try to control the process, the better the outcome. I aspire to work smarter not harder. Letting go is the foundation of accomplishing this. That is the real gift of the creative process in business and in life contribution, not control.