Leo Gura

Tell Us How You Got Into Personal Development

184 posts in this topic

Name: Steve
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
Occupation: Office Administration
Marital Status: Married
Kids: 1
Hobbies / Joys: enlightenment, meditation, personal development, reading, learning, nature, healthy eating, religious studies, scientific studies, on and on...

I got into personal development in the early 90's as a matter of literal life or death. I was a 25 year old alcoholic with depression, combat and military stress, looking to spending my nights under a bridge, or jumping off of it.

Personal challenges I've overcome:



A fear based suicidal outlook and lifestyle.

My initial relief came from AA. After several attempts, I was able to stay sober long enough to get a recovery program going. From 1993 -1996, my whole life completely changed. I still live life with the basic blocks of what I learned through the 12 steps: introspection and moral inventory, and meditation. I will always be grateful for all the great help and friendships that came from AA. I continue to encourage anyone with alcohol problems to seek out AA.

I was able to save my military career (actually, it took someone else to save it for me), and I ended up giving our country my very best for over 20 years. This was a huge goal in my life; and a big part of my making amends.


What I'm working on now:

Working on enlightenment: more love, kindness, peace, and happiness; a more true and meaningful Buddhist in actual practice ( I don't tell people I am "a Buddhist").

This must include my being a better father, husband, coworker, etc.

Working on improving my health & diet ( I was VERY rough on myself).

Helping the younger, less experienced; subtly, and gently, whenever I can.

Fully experiencing my amazing days for the rest of my amazing life.


One side note: I was surfing YouTube and happened to see one of Leo's vids; and I have watched a bunch of them now. I think they are great! That is why I am in the forum. I plan to save these videos for my son, and buy the course for him when he is ready in a couple of years.

@Leo Gura Outstanding work, Leo!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/23/2016 at 8:51 PM, Leo Gura said:

Awesome guys! Keep the bios coming.

I like reading them all so that I better understand where you're coming from and what kind of issues you need videos/courses for.

Leo, thanks so much for reading the bios! Thank you so much for teaching me about self-actualization. I find it so fascinating! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Zane said:

If i could re-write "Alice" my version would transform Alice into a deep character who is discovering her own identity and uses Wonderland to discover her creativity and passion. I've always seen Alice as being pressured to conform to Victorian society's standards by her parents while she is much more of a free spirit. I love exploring these characters in great depth! To me, Wonderland represents re-capturing nostalgia and imagination. "Alice in Wonderland" is truly a multifaceted story with so many meanings. I feel like I'm a fusion of both Alice and the Mad Hatter. I can strongly identify with Alice because i'm highly imaginative and childlike. Like the Mad Hatter, I'm highly eccentric and I embrace my eccentricity. I have a great friend in college who is the Alice to my Mad Hatter.

I love it. :D  I like being the entire cast. Hahahahahahaha 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Rami Haidar
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Location: I am Lebanese residing in Qatar
Occupation: Creative Director
Marital Status: married
Kids: Girl & a boy
Hobbies: Soccer, traveling, music, Latin culture, creativity and design, spending time in tranquility, spirituality

It was a dream I had a couple of month ago or so when I started my personal development. I dreamed of my ex creative director who was a genuine asshole & a narcissist. That he was giving me great advices in how to develop my personality and creativity then he took me for  a drive around
a  beautifully designed city, talking about how I can accomplish my dreams in this city. In the dream I was confused because this man never cared about anyone but himself. When I woke up I was asking myself, what's behind this dream?  why this guy?. During the day at work, I was reading an article online about spirituality and on the side of the page there was a video for Leo but I can't recall what it was about, so after reading the article I played Leo's video for few minutes the subject was interesting but I couldn't be fully focused, so I left the tab open to check the video when I am back at home. The whole day the 2 questions were always popping up in my mind non- stop. when I got home, I played Leo's video and after few minutes of watching I started to interpret the dream I had a night before that Leo and my ex creative director both have the same: accent, hand gestures, tone of voice and the bald head. The way Leo was talking in the video was exactly the same way my ex CD was talking in the dream. So I felt it was a sign to buy Leo's course, specially that I have been unmotivated at work, thinking of career change, lack of money to start a business in a new country and all the confused stressing package that comes with a neutral lifestyle.  


Personal challenges I've overcome:

Way less stressed 

I am enjoying my work and more focused 

I have a clearer vision for my future

planning with confidence and belief

Detached from money issues

Smiling a lot more  (according to my wife)

Disciplined  with finding my life purpose

I have more belief in my creativity

Take decisions faster without being afraid

Eating healthier 

More motivated and positive in life

less sleeping and more energy

What I'm working on now:

On completing the course

Daily meditation

Working on starting a new business which I believe now it could be my life purpose

Losing weight

Stop smoking

Improving my Spanish

Taking new design courses 

To use my free time in learning 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Crystal
Age: 21
Gender: Female
Location: Sydney Australia
Occupation: Student & Sales Representative
Marital Status: Dating
Kids: No
Hobbies: personal development, reading, blogging, art, walking in nature, healthy food, games

I got into personal development after experiencing severe depression and anxiety that came a lot from self-judgement. My self-judgement was a result from a toxic relationship that I once had where I tolerated a lot of verbal insults/abuse - I believed them to be true. The black dog (depression) took over my mind and isolated me from the rest of the world. I was determined to get my life back so I started actively looking for help online and through counselling, which is when I stumbled across Leo's video of 'how to stop caring what others think' in 2013. My life is back on track now, with some fallouts here and there, but overall I've grown a lot and seen great improvement in my life. I am working towards finding my life purpose and contributing my life to improving our society and the world.

Personal challenges I've overcome:

  • Toxic relationship
  • Toxic friendships
  • My parents' divorce (which had bothered me for a long time)
  • Addiction to TV shows
  • Addiction to Smoking
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Negative thinking
  • Isolation

What I'm working on now:

  • Finding my life purpose
  • Enlightenment
  • Stopping my game addiction
  • Eliminating procrastination
  • Reading more books
  • Mindfulness
  • Awareness
  • Meditation
  • Improving my self-image
  • Self-inquiry
  • Learning Japanese
  • Finding and connecting with real non-toxic people


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Justin Song
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Currently work part-time delivering disgusting food (Postmates). Personal Development Full Time
Marital Status: Single
Kids: No
Hobbies: Personal Development, Enlightenment, Meditation, Spouting Seeds, Gardening, Nature, and Meeting Like Minded Folks, Plant Medicine, Raw Food Eating, 

I spent 4 years studying Civil Engineering at a Uni when one day I had a quarter life crisis realizing that this career had nothing to do with my life purpose but of my peers. I paused the program and dove full on into personal development and getting my own issues straight before starting out anything in my life. Had a past of horrible anxiety and panic attacks due to severe acne in highschool. I was assisted out of that hole with the assist of magic mushrooms (as it reminded me to love and accept myself fully and unconditionally), from there I have been some sort of self help addict and I'm quite in Love with Life. Being able to feel more free as I get more into enlightenment and nonduality is a feeling like no other. Fears of death, failure, and disappointing anybody on this planet is not an issue to even consider anymore (as there are no selves and never were). 

Personal challenges I've overcome:

Reducing heavy social anxiety and awkwardness 

Juicing every morning 

Healthier diet (almost Raw and Vegetarian) 

More exercise

Hesitating taking this path (Now full on and excited :D)

Deeper connection with other individuals with ease

To Live up to my values

Meditating everyday for an hour

To Be more and Do less

What I'm working on now:

Mastering awareness and more self inquiry

Applying to a Life Coaching Program

Learn more about business and entrepreneurship

To Work Smarter and not Harder


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting question, and some years ago while i was functioning as the identity that I as consciousness had created, I could have come up with a lot of great answers for this question, but now those ideas are worthless, because now i know it wasn't me as the identity at all that was causing this personal growth work, I was just the actor carrying out the actions of an awakening consciousness, and i was pretending as the identity, that it was the physical me that was doing all this work, and it seemed as though i as the identity was putting forth a lot of effort and energy,  until i awoke from the dream, and now i can reflect on the steps that I as consciousness went through to awaken from that dream,  and i remember the day very vividly when a transition happened, that i began to function from and as consciousness,  rather than the identity, and then the identity with its ego and desires of the flesh was no longer the driving, controlling force in my life.  And now the identity means nothing other than just this physical body that the real me is using to remain here until i tire of wearing it and then i will step out of it, as a being of consciousness.  The great thing about this is, I wont still be in a dream where the real me is trapped in the identity, functioning as an unconscious human when the body drops dead.  Leaving the body in a liberated state of being means everything.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: khalifa
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Location: Bahrain
Occupation: University student
Marital Status: Single
Kids: None
Hobbies: enlightenment, meditation, mindfulness, personal development, learning, nature, watching scientific progress on various fields, engineering, binging on the internet for new/weird entertainment(cutting it down lately), some slight video gaming done here and there, I have a big interest in astronomy/futurology (they always fascinates me). I watch a lot work from michio kaku / ray kurzweil / neil de grasse tyson / lawerence krauss.

I got into personal development just 2 weeks ago, Accidentally found one of leo's videos when i google'd some personal issue. Ever since then i was binging on his videos 8 hours a day for a week straight. I'm still in my self development/practicing mindfulness phase hoping I'd reach true enlightenment someday. ( I'm really happy to have found leo, I've always felt like our lives are programmed with a typical algorithm of life where we never really had any free choice of our own. And finally finding a deeper manner of it that resonates with it keeps me at ease as this is the path i should take.)

Personal challenges I've overcome:

Was fat my whole life until age 17

I'm pretty much an underachiever at this point.


What I'm working on now:

Working on enlightenment.

Working on University (mecha/elec engineering degree)

Working on being more healthy.

Working on improving my self-esteem, since it's i felt worthless through out most of my life.

Working on being consistent and improving my self discipline in life, since those were the main reasons why i haven't done much in life. + Victimized filter perspective which I've finally gotten rid off lately.

Maybe i'd like to work on being an entrepreneur the future, As money isn't really a high priority for me or rather i feel like i can't make it which is probably why I'm giving up the idea of it.


Edited by khalifa

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Gabriel Antonio
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Occupation: Student
Marital Status: Single
Kids: No
Hobbies: meditation, yoga, jogging, watching self-development videos, and helping people learn Portuguese

I have been interested in improving myself since I was 12 after going to a talk about Cabalistic Numerology. I had found something quite remarkable in the speaker's way of saying things, as if his third eye was opened. I started to go more and more to his lectures, and it was crazy how I was another person when I was there. Let me explain: I was a supposedly a shy person, but when I was talking with people about topics such as "What was your favorite lecture of him?" I was able to have a very natural conversation. I kind of concluded that I was an old soul because of the ease with which I talked with those older folks as opposed to people my age.

After that, I experimented with NLP, hypnosis, and tapping. And finally in August of 2014 I discovered lucid dreaming and finally meditation. After a few weeks I saw how much I could get if I invested time and energy meditating. I had always wanted "the magic pill" for overcoming my fears, and meditation looked as the perfect tool, the tool that I had been searching for years.

Personal challenges I've overcome:

  • Insane guilt (I wouldn't allow myself to "fall off track;" everything had to be perfect, otherwise my "evil" side was taking control of myself)
  • Insane perfectionism (I like the quote: "Everything that's beautiful is imperfect") 
  • Social Anxiety (I don't really have the need to interact a lot with people, but I used to think: "Gotta talk, gotta talk")

What I'm working on now:

  • My future
  • Meditation
  • Being OK with the imperfection of my actions

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Leo Gura

Leo, it all started because you mentioned seeing "a few hairs of the ox" in one of your enlightenment clips when you were at a retreat. :) Of course, I had to look it up to see what that meant. I found Shinzen Young's clips and he described footprints to ox's tail to Riding the Ox Backwards. When I found out about Riding the Ox Backwards, it reminded me of a "dream" I had when I was 1 yr old.  Basically, to make the story short, I was the no-self ( nothingness ). Then, I became a sphere with stars all around me in blackness. Then, it was space. Then, I went through a black hole facing backwards into my 1 yr old body. I was this massive, massive light going into my body. I felt the divine love - extreme bliss - after I awokeLong story though...

I always wondered why I was facing backwards and not forwards. Then, I thought, we are only embodied throughout life, either in a human body or a soul or whatever. What we actually are is nothing/everything = the peace consciousness. :) That's why I realized that our ego (emotions) are all fiction.

I lost a brother when he was 18 - died of brain cancer. I saw him again in a "dream" a few days later. I thought he came back to life. I talked to him and said that I was going to see him again.

Of course, there are a lot more details in all of these.

But, the thing I noticed in these two experiences is that I was also the observing self.  When I was the sphere in space, I was observing myself as the no-self ( not embodied in anything ) at a different angle. I was the observing self when witnessing the massive, massive light going into my body. And, I was also the observing self when talking to my Bro. I witnessed myself talking to him. 

There were a lot of ah-ha moments (and little experiences) after seeing all your enlightenment clips. Thanks for being very articulate and clear in your clips, Leo. I find that these experiences also interconnect with my life purpose. (Karma)

Note: Before, I thought the sky is the limit when working on my startup. Now, it's a life purpose toward world peace due to your world peace clip, enlightenment clips, etc. Those are the best ones!

Best of luck in your enlightenment journey, esp when it comes to taking substances. And, I'm not here to judge, but please stay safe.

Edited by Key Elements

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Siim Land

Age: 22

Gender: Male

Location: Estonia

Occupation: writer, blogger, BA in Anthropology, being self-empowered

Marital status: Single, gaming

Kids: None

Hobbies: writing, reading, meditation, self-actualization, self-empowerment, fitness, nutrition, YouTube, storytelling

If I were to investigate when I started personal development, then I would say that I've been motivated to always improve myself. As a child I valued hard work and dedication. My parents also taught me to be myself and follow my passion over everything else. Thanks mom and dad! Albeit I consider myself extremely lucky and raised well, my childhood wasn't a breeze all the time. There were periods where we struggled financially, emotionally and socially. We've gone through hardships, stress and resentment, but we were also bestowed with a lot of happiness and bliss.

In school I experienced a semi-downfall. Nothing too serious but I must admit that I fell victim to social conditioning and some bad habits. Luckily, I didn't fall in neck deep and managed to stay aware enough to pull myself out. After graduation I apotheosized in my hero's journey and got on a path of self-empowerment which I've followed ever since. Momentum is definitely on my side and I've never been happier nor more successful. At the moment, everything is moving in the right direction and I'm experiencing growth both physical, mental and spiritual. What's more important for me is the fact that my purposeful pursuit is reflecting onto other people around me as well. I'm working harder and giving more than ever before but at the same time I'm more fulfilled as well. Life is amazing.

Personal challenges overcome

  • Managed to get back on track with my hero's journey, which I accepted as a child, but refused in my teens. 
  • Reclaimed my self-confidence and predator instinct, which had been made dormant due to social conditioning.
  • Created an abundant source of passive income around my passion and purpose. Growing.
  • Thanks to homesickness experienced in the military, I set aside some of my egotistic traits and realized how much I love my family.

What I'm working on now:

  • My craft, my brand, my purpose http://siimland.com/ 
  • Getting my YouTube channel off ground
  • Dating and making more female connections
  • Last year of my BA in anthropology. The theme of my dissetation: Consciousness and Transcendental Meditation
  • Creating more meaningful experiences for my family and friends
  • Practicing public speaking
  • Kaizen self-actualization and empowerment


Body Mind Empowerment 
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAohrrjG-3gEp5QF1WlM9_w

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got into it cause I wanted chicks hahahah. oh boy, little did I know where it would take me


"I gently pushed my hand into my pocket and pulled the last one out, it trembled at first and clung to my hand. "Go on, it will be ok," I whispered. Encouraged, it flexed its wings and I knew the time was right. It flew up towards the blue, blue sky and I looked proudly as it's made its way to freedom. The last of my fucks was finally given."

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Ermo Egberts
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Location: the Netherlands, 
Occupation: Audio visual media, ( on the moment no job )
Marital Status: In a relationship
Kids: No
Hobbies: self development / spirituality /  traveling / meditation / yoga / nutrition / photography / listening to people


My life started of as a young little boy who always smiled and saw life as the usual kid. Happy, play full and passionate curious about life.
Then things changed, if i think now back to the time I realize that i never saw real love in between my parents. They got divorced when i was 12 

Around 13 years old I was kinda a fatty boy, I got diabetes and learned to be hard and keep on going without showing my weakness. The years went past and I formed myself into a shy farmer boy who liked to drink enjoy but not showing my weakness.  

I grow older and my study was away from my hometown where i did Audiovisual media. (camerawork) Had fun but never was really good student because my concentration was not very good. 

2012, 12 of AUG.    My dad was a truck driver and worked a lot for us since my parents got divorced. We were his everything and he will do everything for us to keep us happy. He's the kinda guy who never will show his emotions and will fight untill he will drop down. (dont have it from a stranger) 
Because he worked so much and I grow older I realized that i wanted to move back home too help in the house with cooking, cleaning etc. 

But then this date 12 Aug 7:30 in the morning he came to my door and showed for the first time his real weakness. But this time it was a weakness what every person could see. He was in pain...   that morning he passed away in my arms with a hearth attack. 

After this i became a robot and didn't really know what i wanted anymore. We needed to sell the house and i needed to live with my sister (she moved out when she was 16)  Quick i picked myself up and started working and even created my own company (ermo egberts media)
I think because i saw how life can end so quick. 

After that i gave up my company and started to travel.. I told everybody i'll be back in a half a year. but this became of travelling 4 years..  it was the time of my life

Now i'm since 1 month back home from India. Everything here is different in the Netherlands. People live more on there own, more rules, no emotions, etc.   

And here the time bomb exploded...      I run away all this time.

This is it. I tell all of this to you guys because of one reason: I want to play open card to everybody and  specially to my family. Show my emotions when ever I feel them. And not become like my dad who didn't show is weakness.

And, I want to make the best of myself! Starting from today :)  

I do already meditation, yoga and self-development for a bit but fall often back. This time i'll go for it!

Personal challenges I've overcome:

- Shyness for everybody
- Loss weight and exercise
- Have a knowledge about good food for diabetes
- Not being scared of meeting people 
- Becoming ok with girls (girlfriend)
- Learn English
- Learn a bit of German

What I'm Working On Now:

- My past and my emotions
- Show real love to the people i love
- Creating a routine and follow it every morning
- Not pleasing everybody
- Saying what is on my hearth and have pure honesty
- Not falling back into a negative spiral
- Letting go 
- Making the best of myself  
- Overthinking / not judging
- Become really funny

Yesterday i wrote down that I would like to become a  creative singing einstein clown batman.  

(Sing, Photography/video, Learn every day, become funny, and strong)

Lets see where this is going to bring me!  

Namaste! Leo & people 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Share your story, how you discovered personal dev, and what struggles you've overcome.


Name: Carrie
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Location: Virginia, USA
Occupation: Hypnotherapist, Reiki Practitioner, Life Coach
Marital Status: Single, taking a break from the dating scene to focus on self love
Kids: No
Hobbies:  hypnosis, reiki, meditation, angel meditations, reading, arts and crafts, healing jewelry/stones, Kundalini yoga, walking, nature, personal development, enlightenment, aromatherapy, being child like, living in the present moment, spirituality, becoming a sage, My life Purpose- helping other people along their life journey,  being compassionate, video games (in very limited quantities to promote relaxation), Seeking the Truth, Learning

I've dabbled on and off with personal development the last several years but I started to make it a commitment to myself two years ago after finding Leo's actualized.org website.   I had suffered a mental break down under the hands of abusive room mates and over working myself in the adult entertainment industry.  I decided to come home to live with my parents because my dad had stage 4 cancer.  We didn't know how long he was going to live, and I wanted to support my mother.  I also knew it was time for a career change and to do a complete over haul of my life.  I needed new values, new meaning and new focus.   I went back to school to find myself and understand my emotions so I studied hypnosis.  Later on I discovered Reiki by accident through a student who was also studying hypnosis.  Through Leo's life purpose course I realized that I had made the right career choice, and the combination of hypnosis and reiki together was apart of my life purpose of helping other people along  in their life journey.

Personal challenges I've overcome:

Depression, and excessive negative thinking
Severe food allergies that were causing me depression
Changing my diet to reverse my ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, and thyroid problems
Eliminated all prescription medications
Overcame my addictions to food and alcohol for comfort and as a coping mechanism for stress
Learned how to be and feel attractive, how to take care of my body
Started my own business
Learning compassion for other people
Understanding Spirituality and where religion plays a role in my life
Building a connection/relationship with GOD/ Absolute Infinity
I found my life purpose
Seeking the TRUTH
I learned how to understand other people and feel compassion.
I learned to let go of my negative abusive past.  I've learned to forgive other people.
Overcame my phobia of dogs
I've learned to spot red flags and abusive relationships before they enter my life.

What I'm working on now:

Self Love - realizing that romantic relationships can not be functional unless you have self love, and that I don't need anyone to be happy except myself and God (absolute Infinity). Realizing that God is my soul mate., realizing that looking within is the answer to all happiness
Working on myself, and not to overly focused on other people
Working on Self Love so I can have a long term relationship
Making my business full time and self sustainable
Healing from my dad's passing
Over coming my phobia of being in front of a video camera
Becoming more focused with my goals and due-diligence
Becoming more motivated and passionate, having more gumption
Enlightenment, Personal development, Spiritual healing
Continued Dietary Changes to promote health
Continued Learning in my field- Reiki Master Certification, hypnosis, life coaching, etc.
Learning to Balance my life- that we all need fun and play, as well as work and a life purpose.
Learning to be more comfortable with my Life purpose- a lot of people don't  understand what I do with Reiki and they think it's odd, fake, or voo doo.
Becoming a SAGE
Seeking the TRUTH



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Name- Vaishnavi gupta
  • Age- 17
  • Gender- female
  • Location- mumbai, India
  • Occupation- student
  • Martial status- single
  • Hobbies- reading, YouTube,  writing down my thoughts and experiences, personal development, spending quality time with my family

It's quite funny how I was introduced to conscious personal development since when i first came across Leo's video I at once dismissed it cause of my short attention span. I was a complete people pleaser and I came across Leo's video titled How to stop giving a shit about people. But because it was a 1 hour long video I didn't bother to check. But the other channels couldn't provide me the depth I was looking for. I was lookin for depth in a 2 minute video. It was weeks later that I tumbled upon the same video again. Because I had nothing special to do, I decided to check the video and that moment changed my life and I don't mean to exaggerate but for the next few days I was only listening to him and it blew my mind. This happened about 2 years ago and since then I've been reading a  lot of books and have seen some growth. 

Challenges I've overcome-

  • From being a complete people pleaser to someone who now doesn't care about people's opinion at all. although I do have a hard time saying no
  • Got over my internet and tv addiction. From 7-8 hours a day to an hour
  • Got a meditation habit in place
  • Have become more calm and peaceful
  • Overcame my victim mentality 
  • Have become less judgemental 
  • Started reading more books. Earlier i used to hate books
  • Found my life purpose. 
  • Have become more mindful and aware and this is probably one of the things which have generated maximum results

These results aren't great but they've set me on the right track

Things I'm working on now

  • I have to work in every area you can possibly think but the ones reserved for this year are-
  • Emotional mastery
  • Intellect
  • Understanding myself
  • Diet
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Time management

P.S. Thanks leo. You changed my life

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Name: Emerald Wilkins
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Florida
Occupation: Substitute Teacher
Marital Status: Married
Kids: Two
Hobbies: contemplation, personal development, reading, health, and (previously) painting, playing the guitar, and writing. 

I got into personal development when I was 16 in high school. I was always very interested in growing myself as a person. I thought of my life as an art piece, and I had a huge grand-master plan for how I would bring that to fruition. I developed my skills in painting and other creative endeavors and was constantly seeking to add more value to myself by developing new skill-sets, learning more, and refining my personality and habits. I got into a good college completely paid for through scholarship after graduating Summa Cum Laude from high school. Then, when I was 20, I decided to try Ayahuasca and experienced ego transcendence. I realized that the masterpiece identity that I had been creating through various types of personal development was just a huge bandaid to cover over the deep wounds of my childhood. In fact, my refined identity and all the unwritten rules that I had for myself were causing me great suffering. So, I began repressing my drives for personal development, because I thought they were wrong. They were the thing keeping me from the liberation that I only ever felt through letting go of my identity. I started specifically trying to undermine my identity by ruining my self-image. I did a lot of crazy, destructive things during that time. My grades dropped, I became promiscuous, I repressed my logic, I repressed my drives for social acceptance, I repressed my drives for having boundaries, and I let go of all my moral values that I cherished so much. For a few months, my life situation became very unstable. I had no home so I was couch surfing and making money through playing my guitar on the street. I would wonder around in the middle of the night by myself, just contemplating. I had some traumas occur during this time. But then I met my now-husband, and I settled with him. I said 'never again' to the crazy, unsafe lifestyle that I was in the middle of. I sought to vanillify myself through adorning a very restrictive form of traditional femininity in combination with a solid career as a teacher. No major aspirations. No striving for higher values. Just existing in the most forgettable way possible. And it was hell. Then a couple years ago, I found Leo's videos just by chance. I was looking for a way to spice up my bedroom life. But then I saw that he had videos on enlightenment. I did not actually know what enlightenment was, at the time. I had always just been trying to undermine my identity to get "back" to what I had experienced when I was 20. So, I watched his first video on enlightenment and I was like "Holy ^!%@^%^!!!! That's what I'm looking for!!!!" And I was like "Ya know what. If this dude can pursue enlightenment and personal development in tandem with one another, maybe they aren't as mutually exclusive as I had assumed. I'm going to do it to." So, I just started personal development back up 2 years ago, though I still have many negative voices about how I shouldn't be doing it. But I'm working through it. 

Personal challenges I've overcome:

Extremely sheltered as a child, I always felt I was behind everyone else in terms of social development and practical competence. I was also made fun of a lot because of this, which gave me a lot of issues with self esteem. So, this gave me the desire in the first place to be competent. As a teenager, I realized that I was capable of becoming competent and even excellent at most undertakings if I really put in the effort. This was incredibly liberating. 

My older sister is mentally challenged, so I realized when I was about 8 years old or so that I would one day have to care for her when my mother passes away. So I had a lot of fear and mental blocks about not being able to have time to go to college, get married, have a social life, or do things that I wanted to do as an adult. Thoughts like "What's the point in pursuing these things anyway if I'm just going to be my sister's care-taker for the vast majority of the rest of my life?" So, this awareness added a sense of urgency to my desires for personal success.

I come from a working class background, and I've been under the poverty line many times in my life. There were times when I was in art school that I had to choose between art supplies and food. I lost 30 lbs when I was in college, just because I had little access to food during that period. Finances have been a pretty constant stumbling block to all of my aspirations, though it's much better now than it ever has been.

I haven't lived with either of my parents since I was 16. I lived with my dad until I was 16, but only lived with my mom until I was 12. She and I have always had a distance. She has spent a total of 5 years of my life not speaking to me. Then, I moved in with my boyfriend who was 18, so I really had to learn many things on my own without a safety net. This contributed to my ability to be independent and self-motivated. 

Due to issues with my mother and general social attitudes regarding femininity, as a child I developed a deep sense of misogyny and identification with masculinity. This caused a lot of self-esteem issues, and always felt like I was trapped by being female. Not in a trans-gendered kind of way, but in a self-loathing kind of way. So, even after I became a teenager and no longer hated women as a whole group, I was still never content with being a woman. Because through personal development I wanted power and to be on top the whole world... I was very megalomaniacal in many way ways prior to my awakenings. But there was always this feeling that even if I had the whole world in the palm of my hand, I'm still a woman and no one would take it seriously. Then when I age, I would lose my attractiveness, and all of my power that I had earned through work ethic and personal development would just be ripped away from me. None of it would matter, I would still be powerless and worthless. But now I recognize that power and worth as illusory concepts, so this isn't as much of a stumbling block anymore. I'm more okay with being born as a woman than I have ever been before. 

I was in an unhealthy relationship from age 16 to age 20. So, this was a big drain on my personal development efforts, as I would often feel obligated use the money that I saved to pay for college related expenses on bailing him out of jail. He was also very impulsive and angry, and used these tendencies to intimidate me and manipulate me. It was a difficult relationship to leave, but doing so has made my life exponentially better.

I used personal development as a means to escape from a great many issues, and accomplishment for me was the best emotion that I was capable of back then. Then, I had my ego-transcendence experiences, and suddenly that emotion became wrong to feel. So, I slipped away into my own inner hell completely for a few months, experiencing the dark night of the soul. I had really fallen down a rabbit hole. But over the years, I was slowly able to pick myself up out of it and rebuild my inner world in such a way that it is conducive to psychological health and wisdom. It all had to be torn down, then it took years to build back up again the right way. I finally have stable footing in my own psychology and I can relate to a lot of people's issues, which allows me to help others. 

What I'm working on now:

- The ability to just be without some struggle to overcome or some end-state to get to

but also :D

-healthy diet


-being a good mom


-growing my YouTube channel

-being able to enjoy life

-breaking bad habits (internet, too much thinking)

-shifting my focus more toward others instead to self

Edited by Emerald Wilkins

Enrollment now open for my Shadow Work Group Class! Limited spots available. 

Click here to learn more!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

it was leo, I admit. hehe! actually at first I thought he was some joker. but he grew on me :)


although, upon further reflection, I would say that it was reading that one book in high school. Siddhartha or something. And really actually - I was already looking for ways to grow myself, almost an automatic habit, since high school. I guess - the first memory I have of what could be called self actualization - was that time in high school where I called my one friend the nickname he'd call himself, thinking it was affectionate - but when I noticed that he was not liking me anymore a few weeks later, I realized that there was no affection in the nickname. and I stopped. but it was too late - he was no longer my friend. and that was the first time in my memory in which I was self-aware.

no wait actually I'd say the first time that I was self-aware on the right level for natural self-actualization, was that time where my teach scolded me in 6th grade for hitting every bookbag on the hall cubbies. and I was like "no I didn't! what?" I really was unaware of it. and I was like - but teach wasn't lying - so how is it that I didn't notice? 


maybe there were smaller events before that led up to my self-actualization habit. But those are the earlier memories I have which are strong memories for me. and, I'd been looking for ways to get past a spike in anxiety that threw me into depression for over a year not too many years ago - and was looking for self-help videos on youtube for about half a year, before I first found leo's, so in a way it wasn't really leo who made the biggest difference, even though watching his videos seems to have made the most impact - because I had to set up the ground work first, on my own, to be able to get as much inspiration from his videos as I do now. I am not trying to discount him tho - just, I wish to own up to my own growth. not out of pride I don't think - more so out of, well, out of self-awareness.  This is a post about how I got into personal development - and the story started a long time ago - and it's a story that I live every day. 

Edited by aryberry

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Aldrich said:

@Emerald Wilkins

I see that you've gone through a lot. Just wondering if in you journey you came across pranic healing. And if yes was it helpful?

I have a basic foundational knowledge of the chakras and how prana is said to move through the chakras and the various nadis. But my knowledge is more academic than experiential. I do occasionally do chakra meditation. I have crystals and incense around my house. I also got Reiki done once. But this is the extent of my experiences with pranic healing. What I can say is that the little I have done of it seemed to be effective.

Enrollment now open for my Shadow Work Group Class! Limited spots available. 

Click here to learn more!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now