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find your way…from darkness to light

I can’t remember the man I wanted to be…
The only way out is in……

These lines from Terrance Malicks film, Knight of Cups, has stuck with me the last few months. As I get older I find that I am both learning so much about who I am while at the same time feeling immense loss from the man I wanted to be. It’s a strange thing growing up and having pieces of yourself fall away, other parts fuse more concretely and some new pieces gained from various new people and experiences that enter your life.

(Photo shoot of our new Spring Ubuntu Made collection coming out in March)

It’s been a journey the last few years. Some very difficult and uncertain roads…divorce, loss, immense pain, fresh love, fighting and holding tightly for what I believe even when it no longer makes sense, almost losing my company, letting go of parts that we were as CTC International, discovering deeper realities of our identity as we refined ourselves and rebranded to Ubuntu & Ubuntu Made, becoming an uncle, losing myself and discovering it again….

These photos capture much of the change and rediscovery that has taken place this past year. Two key people stand out that are new to my life that have helped me along the way…Amal Safdar and Jude Howard Wilemon. I’ve learned so much from them both…one talks much more than the other, but the learning has been immense from both! 🙂

Above is one of the cool things I’ve done with Amal recently which is my first attempt at a collaborative vision board. Above is the vision board in process. The idea started by writing out what makes us most happy…fly fishing, croissants, running, spending time in quiet, etc. This then moved us to sharing about the people that energize us vs those that drain us. “Let’s dedicate ourselves to only spending time with those people who energize us!” A commitment we are sticking to in 2017. We then transitioned all of this info into taking it to the next level through a vision board so that we could see those images and words that reflect what we desire to manifest into our lives. It’s been an incredibly growing process.

(The one who talks more!)

(Sporting some of the latest Ubuntu Made gear at JFK Airport)

Then there was New York this past month…attending the (RED) Partner Summit, some killer meetings in the city and then having my first Facebook Live interview with Entrepreneur Magazine’s, The Business of Good series. Definitely nervous knowing that 17,000 people were watching the interview, but decided beforehand to just be myself…nerves and all. The latest book the Ubuntu team read, Presence by Amy Cuddy helped tremendously by giving simple key tools to expand your body, take up more space and let yourself be seen by just being you. I find this to be great advice, but also extremely intimidating when being interviewed by Entrepreneur Magazine thinking that I’m an expert on the matter, but truly just an expert and trying my ass off, getting it wrong A LOT and finding some windows of opportunities that bail us out most of the time. Regardless it was an awesome nerve wracking experience that went great and was a boost to share transparently who we are as the Ubuntu team discovering our way together.

(going Live via Facebook on Entrepreneur Magazine’s, The Business of Good series)

Learning to love again…no easy journey when your heart has learned the skill of self preservation. Loving Amal is taking me to my edge and it often scares the shit out of me. I am growing daily and she has been instrumental in patiently encouraging me to trust again. It’s an odd thing when you know you want to be more loving, more trusting, but at the same time you know you’re a fool to do so because you’re only opening yourself back up to more pain. Why do we want to love and be loved so badly even at the risk of being hurt? Perhaps that is a question to be explored in a dedicated blog post??

Then there’s my main man Jude the Dude who is teaching me so much as I begin to “remember the man I wanted to be” and start to go within. Looking at him and seeing so much of who my older brother, Rance and I were is opening windows into my soul…tender places that have grown hard while adulting. Jude’s simple, bold, loving presence is doing an interesting thing to my inner person. He is both opening a tenderness that has grown dormant while at the same time pushing the man within to be more bold, to protect and to be bigger than I sometimes think I can be. Jude reminds me that he is going to need examples of men who are willing to take risks, to demonstrate responsibility, to show ways of being loving, playing and simply being. I am loving this little dude so damn much!

(The one who talks less!)

Big love!

Z

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About the Author

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Zane Wilemon is the Founder and Executive Director of Ubuntu. Zane discovered his life’s calling after purchasing a one-way ticket to Kenya in 2000. After living in Kenya for a year, Zane’s life was changed as he recognized that our lives are inextricably tied to God and one another. UBUNTU’s core value is to create opportunities that empower each other to lift ourselves beyond our perceived limitations. Zane is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his Masters in Divinity from the Seminary of the Southwest.

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