The Mesa Mission
Educating and empowering individuals through eco consulting, art and yoga to create a kinder and healthier future.
The Story of Mesa
I arrived on planet Earth as an ugly baby (except through the eyes of my mother), sad but true. As a young child I spoke with an unexplainable accent, strange but true. Growing up it became apparent that I was home to two conflicting energies, that I refer to as the bunny and the bull. The bunny: gentle, content, with an easeful disposition, kind heart and free spirit. The bull: fierce, stubborn, with a no pain no gain mentality and a fierce competitive drive. Throughout my early years I struggled with traditional education until I began to feed the bunny through art, and the bull through athletics. These two energies independently excelled but were not at peace. The bull continued to intimidate the bunny. Feeling continuously conflicted, I was being pulled in two opposing directions.
At age 14 an unexpected gift was brought into my life, the birth of my niece Kayla. I became an aunt, friend, father-figure andmentor to this amazing child who named me Mesa. Kayla taught me true love and the importance of maintaining a light, open, playful heart. This was yet another opportunity for the bunny and the bull to meet. This love taught me how to soften and nurture and relentlessly protect. The bunny began to shine but the bull was still the boss.
Through college I continued to pursue art and rode the wave of competition as a scholarship athlete. Day after day my life was driven by competition, fear of perceived failure and need to be the best. My value was tied to my performance against others. I was growing physically and mentally exhausted. My body was suffering from injury and abuse — not only was I training hard, but I was partying hard to mask pain. I could not acknowledge the pain because I was perceiving it as weakness. My mind was beat up and the conflict between the bunny and the bull was coming to a head. I confided my struggles to my most respected professor, and she advised I attend a Yoga class with her. I was introduced to a realm I had no idea existed. I had grown so intense that I had no idea that I could rest without sleeping. And Yoga is where I began learning about true self-care and that I could give the bull permission to rest.
After much internal anguish I choose to step away from the world of athletics for the first time in my life. Here I found myself struggling to find my identity. I felt lost and ready for change. I knew I had to do something radically different so I took flight on my first solo adventure, across the world to New Zealand. Here I discovered an epically diverse and beautiful land with culture rooted in respect for nature. This experience lightened my heart, opened my mind and awakened my desire to honor, preserve and protect the natural world. The bunny was very much here and no longer intimidated by the bull. With butterflies in my stomach and warmth in my heart, I knew I was evolving.
I returned home from abroad a different version of myself. I finished college and immediately started a small art-based company, Mesa Enterprises and returned to New Zealand where I lived for the better part of the year, feeling on top of the world. When I returned home and began to integrate all of my growth and teachings, and then a distinct eruption occurred. Within a matter of weeks I lost my live-in grandfather, along with my dog, I shattered my knee, split with my partner, and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was grieving while undergoing two reconstructive knee surgeries, unable to walk for 5 months and trying to learn how to live with a so called chronic autoimmune disease. Struggling to get my symptoms under control, I made the bold choice to dive deeper inward into my suffering in an effort to explore their underlying teachings. What I found was that pain is not weakness. My ability to face the pain and hold it with compassion is perhaps my greatest demonstration of courage and strength. And this was the union of the bunny and the bull.
I accepted this as my path and with practice I learn to recognize my challenges as my teachers. I understand now that when I am in my power I am a calm bull, the steadfast bunny, no longer needing to display my strength through force or ignore my pain. The matador can not conquer the calm bull and the hunter can not defeat the steadfast bunny. I acknowledging the waves of aggression and lapses of equanimity are the only moments I can be separated from my peace and my power. May we honor our inner teachers, find our freedom and spread joy and peace for all living beings.