Hello internet and anyone reading this post. This is the inaugural post for my new Holistic Lifestyle business. For anyone who knows me, you know I’ve had a personal training business before, but you probably don’t know that I’ve been struggling for the past few years in getting things started again. The main reason behind this struggle has been my own need to grow, learn, and develop myself as a person. Long story short, I felt that starting a brand new training business, essentially being a carbon-copy or my first business, would ultimately fail again because (like the first time) my heart wouldn’t actually be in it.
For the past few years I’ve been on a journey of self discovery that’s ultimately led to the realization that my calling is indeed to help people, but solely focusing on fitness and nutrition feels too limiting, doesn’t excite me, and ultimately wouldn’t produce my desired impact. I’m now beginning the path to become certified in holistic lifestyle coaching, which will allow me to help people make all of the positive changes they need to reach their overall goals.
While I could spend an entire post talking about positive life change and the changes I’ve made in my own life (this will most likely be a future post or video), I decided to write this post on the primary philosophical belief that I’ve adopted fairly recently. This belief has really led to the bulk of my evolution as a person, and it’s become the main driver in my motivation to start training and coaching others again.
Without going too in-depth with where I first came across this stuff (because frankly, that would be a super long post with too much unnecessary detail...plus this info is literally everywhere and has had various sources throughout the years), the underlying principle shaping who I’m becoming is oneness. It’s the idea that underneath it all, we all are one. We’re unified. We’re whole.
Unfortunately we live in a world that seeks to separate us. In fact, most of us buy into this and celebrate this “separateness.” Phrases like “God bless America,” and “Proud to be Irish (or whatever other nationality you can think of),” continue to be commonplace. What about the starving children in Africa born with HIV? Shouldn’t God bless them? Why is He only supposed to bless America? What makes America (and by extension Americans) more worthy of Gods love and blessing? Why are you proud to be Irish? Pride is an emotion associated with achievement. Having ancestors that were born in a country called Ireland in the past is not an achievement...it’s a genetic accident. Have pride for accomplishing something, not for just being something (shout out to the late George Carlin for inspiring that rant).
National pride is just one way we as a society (for whatever reason) try to cause separation. Within countries there are territories, states, cities, towns, races and ethnicities, and religions. All of these levels, again for whatever reason, seek separation. There are also separations in politics, but I’m not going to go there because that’ll end up being just me ranting about the corruption that exists in our current political system. All of this separation does one thing: lead to judgement.
Judgment leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding leads to frustration. Frustration leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Nobody wins when hate prevails.
Rather than focusing on differences we as a society need to focus on our connection. I’m a white American male who lives in Durham, NC. I went to Penn State University, love the Green Bay packers and the Philadelphia flyers.
(Warning: here’s where it gets real deep folks :-P)
Underneath all of those characteristics I used to define me, I’m a man/member of the human species. I am a primate, a mammal, and part of the food chain (thankfully at the top...hooray prefrontal cortex). As an animal I’m intimately connected to the earth as part of an ever-evolving ecosystem, and as such, all of my actions impact the way the entire world works.
Underlying everything is the fact that I am alive and I have consciousness. Guess what...all of that is true about you too (although you may note be a white male who went to Penn State :-P ).
You’re as equally connected to this world as I am. Your individual actions, while they may seem small, impact the entire world. What separates us keeps us small. By celebrating your separation, you continue saying that you don’t care about the bigger picture...or you’re just unaware of it. That was me as little as 1 year ago.
I felt small, I felt that my actions didn’t matter in this world because the world is so big and I’m tiny in comparison. As part of my evolution (or enlightenment if you will), I’ve learned that while I’m small, I’m connected to everything and everyone. As such, my actions do matter. My thoughts, my beliefs, they all have the power to impact the entire world. This new business is my way of trying to do just that. By helping others improve their lives, I’ll be able to help spread this idea of connection. Rather than separation and hate being spread, I can help spread connection. Connection leads to compassion. Compassion leads to love.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this so far. There’s so much more that I could’ve dove into, but I really tried to keep it reigned-in. For those of you familiar with me (my family and friends), you may have been expecting a post about my latest workout routine or the various diets I’ve experimented with over the past few years. Those posts are coming, and some of those topics will be in videos. I plan on using this blog to cover large topics, so I can feel free to expand on them in more of a coherent way (rather than just rambling in 20+ minute videos). Smaller topics will be posted as part of a new YouTube channel I’ll be starting (link coming soon...once I actually start the channel).
Overall, you can expect a lot from this new venture of mine. I’ll be covering your typical fitness and nutrition topics, but I’ll also be diving into topics of spirituality, relationships, politics (potentially...although I might break my computer/phone writing about it), and anything else I feel is relevant to aid in peoples' growth.
Again, I’m starting a holistic lifestyle business. If you’re super happy already with your life, you probably won’t find much value here other than potentially being entertained by the ramblings of some weird new-aged hippy. If there’s an area of your life where you’re unhappy or unfulfilled, then stick around. I’ll probably get around to posting about it. Who know...it just might help! :-)
Mike Schappell is an interesting guy. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology, a Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences (with a Neuroscience concentration), and has been an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer for over 5 years. His growth as a trainer and fitness professional has lead him more toward the fields of nutrition and overall lifestyle change. He is currently working on expanding his fitness knowledge through continued research and further certifications, and is actively working toward a certification in Holistic Lifestyle Coaching through the CHEK Institute.