Friday, November 2, 2007

My new life, my new way to CHANGE THE WORLD!

This is the result of the month I took to put myself together, evaluate my AIESEC Experience and define my next steps in life.

While finishing my term in AI, I was looking for my new path in life, something meaningful that drives that awesome purpose I believe makes me perform in a way that I cannot understand. That purpose of changing the world to become a better place feeds me with the energy I need to fully experience life.

Two things came into my mind...

The first one was my eternal vision of the Soul Spa...

The ‘Soul Spa’ is a recognized center for re-creating the connection with yourself, the purpose of your life and the world around you.

It is located near the beach and you can go to the sea by walking.

The house is on a hill, covering it like a crown. Five different environments emerge out of the five pointed star layout of the building, creating the perfect corners to re-create the environments that have been impacted my life the most.

There is a whole mentoring system in place since you arrive there for your stay of one week.

In the ‘Soul Spa’ you will need nothing, no mobile, no expensive clothes, neither complication. Rules are simple and you follow them with excitement.

The whole place is a sanctuary of peace and renaissance. The land around the ‘star’ house has plantations of diverse fruits and vegetables. You walk barefoot in the ground, feeling the power and the energy of the earth, collecting the fruits of someone else’s efforts. You walk into the big house, to the kitchen, a big room with a bar in the middle. You seat at the bar and put the tomatoes you collected on the table.

There are others at the bar; each one has brought something to the table. And there I am, instructing them how to wash the vegetables, how to cut them.

I tell them a beautiful story about Cote D’Ivoire (or any other of the countries I have had the pleasure to visit and experience) whilst we prepare one of the most traditional roasted chicken of that country. The process of cooking connects you with the basics in life, and the conversation turns into that…


…The last day you walk out of the house, we are meeting in front of a part of the land that is not planted, we will plant the tomatoes that a future groups will eat, and we feed the circle forward.

Five years alter the first Soul Spa has been opened, already some franchises are already working in other countries around the globe!

Thanks to my long years in AIESEC, today I have a network of people that want to work with me there. Potential customers, more and more contacts and more knowledge of how to turn my dream into bricks and plants, into cash and feelings.

AIESEC gave me the push I needed to get out of the circle of what my life was supposed to be. AIESEC challenged my paradigms and enabled me to set myself free of the expectation of others.

Throughout the day-to-day work in AIESEC I have developed part of my dream, and my dream has become a path, not a destination. Everything started the moment that I discovered that cooking is what I love doing the most. I discovered this at NALDS 1998 in Germany. The rest has been added after I have seen things thanks to the trip where AIESEC has been taking me in the last years.

I am in my highway to my dream.

Thanks to something that started as an opportunity to go on an AIESEC traineeship to Lisbon working in the development of a new enterprise, today I am the Project Manager of a Global Start Up in Social Tourism, I will be finding places around the world that have similar visions to my Soul Spa, I will be connecting them together and connecting them to people. I will be making sure they do contribute back to the local communities, I will be making sure visitors engage in local activities, visit the houses of local people and have the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate local life.

Today I know that my dream is getting closer.

The second thing that came to my mind when trying to change the world and finding purpose for my life was related to being gay...

Being gay has been a crucial part of who I am and who I have became.

The eternal fight to hide my way of loving from the world evolved into a point in which I started to feel proud of myself when I developed the courage to face the world and accept who I am and how I love without being ashamed for it.

The path have not been easy. As PAI I decided to keep my sexual orientation under low profile to respect those cultures present on the network that are definitely not open to the possibility.

Today I am free of that responsibility and I owe my time and efforts to myself and to those who I can serve and help. So, in parallel with my work in tourism I will be developing a new organization called "Gay People, Great People".

As you can see in the parallel column of my blog, gay teenagers lack the role models they need to believe they can become somebody great, somebody who can make a difference.

The purpose of GPGP is to collect those stories, the stories of great gay people and make them available for education. I want to give to young gay people access to the role models they can relate to in order to set their own expectations for life.

I am so excited about this initiative that I cannot believe it!

I have started the whole process of research and I will be meeting awesome people. There are tons of things to do, website, registration of brand, creation of the long term plan, membership into international organizations, funding, global networks of volunteers, global launch awards by the end of 2008 and so on...

As you can see AIESEC definitely gave me the platform to discover and develop my potential to make a positive impact on society.

Life goes on, and I feel more powerful to make a difference...



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1 comment:

Oriana Torres said...

Excelente Edyson! ... cuando estes listo para franquiciar o para abrir filiales de las dos organizaciones, no mas es que e digas!