From corporate consultant to traveling health coach.
I believe that fulfilling lives are built on a foundation of well-being and self-discovery. I was able to discover this at a young age, thanks to some early struggles, my loving parents, and some brilliant teachers. My journey has immersed me in the practices of movement and mindfulness, allowing me to evolve and thrive at a rate that would not have been possible without the support of everyone I’ve been lucky enough to share my life with.
In my youth, I watched my father sacrifice his mental rest and time with family to grow his career and provide for my brother and I. He taught me to lift weights when I was 12, which is how I discovered my passion for movement. I would often get up at 5 am to spend more time with him and workout together in our basement.
As an early teen, I struggled with anxiety. I thought that if I were to become as successful as my father, I would have to sacrifice my mental rest as he had. When the panic attacks set in, my parents got me help from a mental health professional. He taught me breathing and meditation techniques. Eventually, the panic attacks subsided, and I discovered my 2nd passion; mindfulness.
As the years went on my physical and mental practices began to merge. I began feeling the damage I had done to my body and mind through ego-driven workouts, emotional attachments, and overthinking. I began practicing yoga postures to open my body for meditation and regain the mobility I had lost from constant computer work and excessive weight lifting (and improper form). I became more and more aware of myself, in body, mind, and spirit, as my practice deepened.
I continued practicing through my university degree at OCAD University and eventually landed a great job at a large consulting firm. I worked as a Business Technology Consultant, a fancy way of saying I designed apps, websites, and digital products for corporate clients. It paid very well, promised opportunities for professional growth, and financial security. It was everything that I had been told I should strive for after university and more. I did an internship, which led to full-time work, and eventually, my first official promotion, which I when I began feeling utterly empty and lost.
It became a constant struggle to maintain my physical and mental practices outside of 9-5 hours and still have the focus and energy to deliver great work. I lost focus on my well-being and began to notice the onset signs of burnout. Worst of all, I couldn’t find a compelling reason to go to work in the morning. I felt like I had no real purpose, that I was only helping the rich get richer, and that I was chasing someone else’s dreams instead of my own. All of this made me very confused about my direction in life, eventually driving me to leave my job and plan a trip around the world.
There were countless reasons not to leave my job and many fears that nearly stopped me from traveling. The thought of being alone, possibly getting into dangerous situations on the other side of the world, losing all my savings and going broke, throwing away years of professional progress, and so much more. But I stayed mindful. I reminded myself that our fears rarely play-out in real life and that I choose to be someone who acts out of love and optimism, not cowardice. My intuition told me I was on the wrong path. A month after quitting I got on a plane to Koh Samui, Thailand.
“The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.”
- John Muir
I quickly discovered a deep sense of confidence when I got to Thailand. I was making new friends, discovering new places, and learning new things about myself and the world. I trained mindfully in the mornings, spent time considering what I wanted to do with my new life through the day, and socialized consciously in the evenings. After a month there, I knew it was time to dive deeper into my 2 great passions; movement and mindfulness. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my new life yet, but I knew it had something to do with wellness and sharing these two life-changing practices.
From Thailand, I flew to India to train as a yoga teacher. I studied Hatha and Ashtanga yoga at a school in Rishikesh (The Rishikesh Yoga Teacher Training Center), a holy city in the foothills of the Himalayas. My practice deepened as I discovered the real connection and the sense of true Self that traditional yoga practice reveals. The people I studied with, the teachers that guided us, and India itself, connected the dots in my head. My intuition had told me there was something there... but until my yoga teacher training, I had not yet fully understood the holistic nature of wellness and the connection between movement and mindfulness practices.
After completing my training I continued traveling. I visited several other locations in South-East Asia, eventually returning to Koh Samui, the only other place I’ve ever called home outside my home country, Canada. There I spent my days studying for my personal trainer's license by the beach. I begin teaching a variety of classes and coaching one-to-one clients at my favourite gym called Koh Fit. I also spent some time studying Buddhist philosophy at a meditation retreat called Dipabhavan. It was in Samui I began to solidify a vision for myself. I discovered my unique combination of skills as a movement and mindfulness coach, plus the value of my background in business technology and digital design.
I decided to make a few more stops in South East Asia and some random visits in the Americas to reunite with family. After visiting California, Nassau, Southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, I arrived in Bali, where I joined a business program for wellness entrepreneurs called FOUND. I was able to return to a business-based mindset, but this time, integrated with well-being, self-care, and empathy. My vision solidified, I built a personal and professional roadmap for myself, revised my brand, and launched my new coaching business - EvolvewithJared.com.
It was more than a year-long journey of Self-discovery that took me to 9 countries around the globe. Looking back at the person I was prior... well... this might seem an odd thing to say, but I was no different. The journey didn’t change who I was but allowed me to better understand and fully accept every part of me: my body, my mind, and my personality. The difference is that I no longer choose to identify with the things that make up my ego. Now, I choose to identify with the connection between this body, this mind, this particular space and time, and all others. We may have personalities, we may have unique experiences, wants, fears, desires, and attachments... but those things are not what make us feel truly alive and at ease. The practice of movement and mindfulness has taught me that the only thing we need to feel bliss... the only thing we need to rid suffering from out lives, is to be aware of the purity and grace of our consciousness.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of observing my body, mind, and lifestyle evolve as they have been molded by these amazing practices. They have permeated into every aspect of my life, keeping me healthy, happy, and giving me a deep sense of purpose. It is my mission to be a catalyst for collective evolution by sharing the practices of movement, mindfulness, and Self-discovery.
Now, I continue learning more about my 2 great passions everyday. Most days, I practice mindfulness in the morning. I work happily (or more accurately, play happily) with my business and clients throughout the day. In the evenings I practice movement and teach my body new skills. I offer a variety of personal coaching services to those who want to balance their bodies, clear their minds, and make self-care fit their lifestyle. Using movement and mindfulness we can make health accessible to all and evolve collectively to reveal the true Self.
Thanks for reading. Wishing you well,