So I just got back from a bunch of beautiful places: Berlin, Barcelona and Chicago. I had the chance to connect with friends, introduce friends to new friends and meet new friends – it was amazing.
A couple of months ago, I heard about this event called “Alive in Berlin” and since I wanted to go a conference this year anyway, it seemed like the perfect fit (very like-minded people, great city in Europe and good dates). I jumped on the opportunity and booked my flights, bought a ticket and looked for a place to stay. I was so excited that I wanted to get to know the Alive organizers directly, so I contacted Jana for an interview. When I asked her about the preparation for the conference, she told me about all the stress and prep work that goes into an event like this. Little did I know what she was really going through, because the event, was a full-fledged success. And there is no way that you could organize an event like this if you didn’t work super hard for it.*
The speakers blew me away, every. single. one.
An embarrassing moment at first though: So I walked in the Alive registration room, handled the admin stuff and wanted to walk to the big room where everybody was chilling and having a good time. “Hey, I’m Carl” said the guy in front of me after turning to me. The only thing I could say was “Fuck!” (I actually knew who Carl Paoli, which was why I was speechless in that moment). Shouts to Rakesh, for making me comfortable in that moment, since he had a similar thought when he met Carl.
After a quick drink and some chatting we were invited to join the big presentation room.
It started with Greg Hartle and him talking about living fully to die empty. It was a pretty harsh start, since we were confronted with mortality, but at the same time the importance of doing what you love, serving others and doing it now versus putting it off to a later stage. Definitely a reality check (Greg, if you’re reading this: I appreciate your talk, our short conversation and I won’t let you down, as promised.)!
Then we had a break to let the message sink in and connect with other people. All these greats in one place!
Before going back to listen to Pamela Slim and her presentation on “The Body of Work” I walked across a gentleman I knew I’ve seen before: Oh look, it’s Chris Guillebeau, best-selling author and visitor of all 193 countries of the world before his 35th birthday, yeah no biggie, all good. He complimented me on my shirt (shout-out to Benny Hsu for that one!) and we had a little talk about jetlag (his secret superpower, true story.).
Pamela’s presentation was a mix of ups and downs in terms of emotions, we learned about the body of work, her family and other exciting things – very cool!
After Pam’s presentation we were off to lunch break and I joined the Swiss group to grab something to eat (What up Harry and Lea?!). The highlight there was definitely Michael Gebben and his story. See Michael was just a hustler with a video production company two years ago. Now? He’s filming for Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss and met Richard Branson. Yeah, no biggie.
But how did he do it? What was so different in his path? How can I learn from him? I asked him all these questions and then just listened. If you know Michael, he’s a great guy, always excited (& smiling) and very happy to share his story. I, more or less, got the lots of his talk before the talk in the afternoon and I was super excited. He did very similar things that I did (and I’m still doing) giving value to people whenever, wherever he can.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, separates the successful people from the non-successful people (more on this later).
We were late for workshop time (sorry Dave!) but I got the most important thing from his workshop which was titled: Creative for Life: How to Write Whatever You Want, However You Want, Now and Forever.
Environment is actually the reason why Dave moved from the City to outer New York – definitely understandable. And this is also super important for me when I’m working on bitehype. The wrong environment and I can’t get shit done.
Next up was Ben Austin and “Masculine Presence & Feminine Radiance”
It was really interesting stuff and definitely stuff that Elliott Hulse often talks about. If you want to read a book on this topic: The Way of the Superior Man will be your new bible. When I talked to Ben and asked him for additional book recommendations, he told me that the only book on this topic would be Deida’s book. Especially his tip on reading a chapter a week and implementing, meditating, writing on it, before moving on, really resonated.
Next up was the Gebbs, who talked about Childlike Happiness and his path in this world. It was really interesting to hear, especially since I heard parts of the story during lunch break already. It definitely helped connect the dots. Rock’n’Roll Gebbs!
After we heard some Gebbs Juice, Carl took over the stage and basically talked about his life. For one hour. And it felt like 5mins! The storytelling skills of Carl were incredible, a very fun and interesting talk.
I had to approach Carl and talk to him about Ido Portal, another teacher of mine. Turns out Carl was very familiar with his principles and I knew that Ido was in Berlin, so I had to make a meeting happen.
I asked Carl whether he were down with eating lunch or grabbing coffee with Ido, to talk movement and life. He was super excited and I wrote Ido.
Movement and being on the move
Before attending the Alive party in the evening, I went to an dance performance choreographed by Shai Faran, together with Ido. It was so different and exciting! That coupled with an interesting conversation with Ido left me super pumped for the meeting with Carl next day.
See, I made an extra effort to see this performance and quickly talk with Ido before attending the party. I didn’t even eat proper dinner, but I knew that talking to Ido and watching that performance would be another highlight of my Berlin trip so I decided to hustle to the location and then hustle back to the Alive party, to get the best of both worlds. Sometimes, comfort needs to take the backseat on the way to greatness.
The great movers and dancers: Aya Steigman, Nitzan Lederman, Naama Ityel, Tea Harryson and Shai Faran
Although I’m a nobody in this world of greats, I knew that I could provide value to both Carl and Ido, by organizing a meeting. So I did.
After a quick stop at the party, talking to interesting people (met the radiant Henrika) I was beat! So many interesting people and experiences in one day. Incredible.
The next morning I got up at 7am, because I was too excited (oh and also because the room I stayed in, didn’t have blinds – thank you sun!) to get this day started. Took a quick shower and went directly to the Kalkscheune.
The morning started with an interesting talk by Ben Austin. He talked about male and female energy, very in-depth about the stuff he talked about in the workshop.
After Ben’s talk, John Whittle surprised us with a great poem. This guy is such a great speaker! I’d love to see him talk at a poetry slam or so, he’d kill it.
Dr. Carolyn Eddleston was next up with a talk on combining Western and Eastern medicine. I loved the topic, but felt like it was way too short! I’d have loved to hear about this topic about more in-depth! Still Doc, you did a great job 🙂
So lunch break came up and (to me) one of the highlights of this weekend was about to come to existence: the lunch with Ido Portal and Carl Paoli, two great movement teachers.
I can’t say much about that lunch, except that it was great: Great people, amazing food and an interesting conversation. “Better than this, is only twice this” (heard this from Ido in the Movement Camp, last year; so fitting!)
“In order to achieve big things, you sometimes have to let the bad things happen” – something along these lines goes a quote from Tim Ferriss and it was exactly what happened. I missed Michael’s workshop on starting a profitable blog, one of my absolute highlights of the weekend. Michael, I’m sorry I missed that one (that’s why I had to apologize in advance!) but I’m grateful, that you shared those slides!
After the workshops, Lea did a talk on making the most of your life, which was a great reminder for me to create EVERY SINGLE DAY. Thanks Lea!
Chris Guillebeau did the finishing talk and the Q&A in the end was also super interesting, especially since it was like an organic conversation.
After some cool conversations it was over and I have to say, I felt pretty sad. Going from so much energy around you to nothing is a weird feeling. But I definitely got the motivation to achieve even greater things together with these amazing people and friends I had the chance of meeting.
My Berlin trip was finished by eating at the Paleo Restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg and lunch with Sabina (another Alive attendee) the next day.
I’m so grateful for all these people and experiences – without you, this weekend wouldn’t have been the same for me – thank you all.
*Thanks Jana, and the Alive team what you did was amazing and I think I speak for all attendees if I say, I’m forever grateful!