WHEN IT ALL BEGAN
We first met on a park bench in the afternoon sunshine in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. I’d been enjoying my own company as memories passed before my mind’s eye. I saw my parents, who’ve always loved me and believed in me, even when I’d lost hope and belief in myself; my brother, who made lots of sacrifices in support of my demanding tennis career; my wife and our two little angels, whom I cherish as my most precious gifts; the many countries I’ve visited, the different cultures that have opened my eyes, and all the wonderful people who’ve enriched my journey in so many ways. But I also was reminded of the emotional scars left by intense bullying during my childhood, the major challenges in my business venture, and the many everyday struggles so common in people’s lives. Times when I stopped believing in miracles and sacrificed my soul. Times when I lost faith and just couldn’t see the beautiful anymore.
It was in this reflective state that I noticed the man who was to teach me the most profound insights anyone had ever shared with me. He was to remind me of who I am by helping me unveil my purpose, see the lessons I had to learn, and recognize the gifts I had to offer. When I first saw him, he didn’t look like the typical gurus I’d seen during my travels to India and Nepal, who had shabby clothes, long beards, and red dots on their foreheads as a sign of wisdom. He surely hadn’t lived in poverty for years, denying earthly pleasures like an ascetic. No, he was well-dressed, looked healthy, and radiated a vibrant energy. Although he appeared to be in the later stages of life, there was a sense of youth and joy about him, as if the burdens of life had barely touched him. As he slowly approached the bench, I immediately felt we’d met before. With a warm and kind voice, he asked if I would mind him sitting next to me. That was the moment it all started, and I had no clue whatsoever just how much our forthcoming conversations were to change my perspective on life.
There was a calmness about him and he spoke in simple words, even when talking about the deepest mysteries of the universe. And yet, many times the meaning of his words eluded me, leaving me confused and frustrated. My inner struggles didn’t seem to bother him one bit, as he enjoyed challenging many of my preconceived assumptions and convictions, while breaking down the walls of my carefully designed mental fortress.
For the greater part of my life I was a very rational and skeptical guy with his critical mind as his main compass. I knew what I could understand and believed what I could see. Not until after many of our intriguing conversations could I see the light inside through his eyes, hear the wisdom inside through his words, and feel the love inside through his heart. More and more my head and heart started to perform their magical dance in wordless harmony. I knew I was on my way back home.
I’ve always been someone who is not easily satisfied only by words or a few popular one-liners. I’m a soul-searcher, a deep digger of truth, and I need to see some kind of evidence if people try to convince me of their ideas. Today more and more people write and lecture about how to walk a so-called proven path toward success and happiness, if we follow the guidelines they lay out for us. However, over the years I’ve seen so many getting frustrated and discouraged because the road didn’t lead them through doors to unlimited wealth, health, and all the other good things they were promised. I’ve also come to know those who claim they’ve found the magical key and teach others how to find it. But there’s something missing. What I don’t see is the sparkle of true discovery in their eyes. I don’t hear their hearts singing. I don’t feel the flame of passion burning inside. It’s easy to talk and dream about all the wonderful things in life, but actually living your dreams is a different story. It’s tempting to tell others what to think, feel, and do, but true teachers refrain from preaching and simply live by example.
This book is the story of my life, the travels I’ve been on, the detours I’ve taken, the many thorns and roses along the road, and, ultimately, my return home. It’s the story of learning that each experience was a necessary link in the chain of events, where everything had its place, and every place turned out to be a good one in the end. But this book is not only about me. It’s also the story of your life.
Dear reader, you’re about to go on the journey of a lifetime. And I trust that in your sacred, silent space you’ll meet your own teacher. Maybe you’ve been lost in your inner world. Maybe you’ve been drowning in the turmoil of your thoughts and emotions. Or maybe you’ve believed the many distractions in the world would bring you the lasting happiness you’ve always searched for. It doesn’t matter what has happened so far, for the only moment in which transformation takes place is the present moment.
Take my hand now and let’s walk together. Open the door to your heart, so I can walk through and we can build a bridge between our souls. The journey back home starts here. And I’ll be right beside you, not far from your path, even in moments when you’ve lost sight of me. I promise.
This book is a treasure for every truth seeker, and I believe our shared love of this quest has brought us here. There is so much we don’t yet know, but our curiosity and wonder urge us to go further and not settle for easy conclusions and convictions. We ponder the deep questions of existence and the meaning of it all, even asking if there is a purpose to life. This book takes us on a unique journey into the heart of our innermost being. We start this adventure by recognizing that only through the soul experience can we come to know who we truly are and, in doing so, unravel the secrets of life. As we walk together, I’ll tell you what I see from my perspective, and you’ll see what unfolds before your inner eyes. Step by step, we’ll develop a mutual understanding and a deeper love of truth, as the darkness that clouds the mind and confuses the intuition gradually gives way to the light of consciousness. Through the eyes of the heart, we’ll catch a glimpse of the eternal nameless one who never dies. And when we feel the light of our truth, we’ll be reunited with our true essence; and through this sacred marriage, a little piece of heaven will come to Earth.
About the Author
Angelo Meijers was born in the Netherlands in 1967, and he has been a lifelong seeker of meaning through challenges. As a young tennis champion, he learned lessons that later served him well as an entrepreneur and CEO of a successful company. At the age of forty-five, eager to explore, he left the business world behind and moved his family to Canada, where his life took a completely fresh turn. After a few months of settling into his new home country, he embraced change again when he began writing this book, a journey that connected him to a deep place within, where unexpected insights came to light. During this time, Angelo expanded further and became a life and business coach, through which he draws on his life experiences to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential. In addition, he is an inspirational speaker and teacher leading workshops on personal and spiritual development. Angelo currently lives with his wife and two daughters in West Kelowna, British Columbia, where he tries to live and breathe his words: one mind, one heart, one story, at a time. Feel free to visit Angelo at www.angelomeijers.com.