Take Me On A Journey. An Interview with David Bernstein, Founder Of The Life Force Project.
By Autumn Feldmeier
"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again." Joseph Campbell
When I was first introduced to David Bernstein, founder of the Life Force Project, I was told "David completely transformed his life. He will inspire you!" And after this interview, I was definitely inspired.
The Life Force Project combines captivating global destinations with a team of the world's most beloved and innovative holistic experts, spiritual leaders, eco-adventure specialists, yoga teachers, cultural guides, and business game-changers to transform your experience of wellness, travel and life.
David, a man who once worked in the finance industry. He had been seduced by the high-profile image, the dollar signs and the sexy lifestyle. However, after the market crashed, that was all taken away. "All I had identified with as a young man in my 20's (career, marriage and attaining success) had been shattered." Said David.
This is when David began to travel. He spent many days walking on empty stretches of beaches in Costa Rica. He went to the Sacred Valley of Peru and he spent time trekking in the rain forests of Columbia and the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada's. It was through traveling that he found peace. David also found the bravery to forge a different path.
David said that "bravery is a function of necessity sometimes. And to be honest, I was in such a fearful and hurt place in my life. For me, the pain was so great that I had no choice but to confront it, work through it and transmute it. I had a lot of support from the universe. It was my time."
The Life Force Project reminds me of Joseph Campbell's, and so I asked David if he had read any of Joseph Campbell's work. "Since the start of the Life Force Project, many people have asked if I've read Joseph Campbell's work. I actually have not read any of his books. It was my 're-discovery' of what it feels like to connect to the moment that inspired me to name this venture Life Force. When you are completely present, whether it's a special moment you have on a starry remote beach, deep in a yoga posture, or engaged in heart felt conversation with another, the full potential of 'life force' is activated."
Like any venture, the path wasn't always easy and David had to overcome obstacles. His secret he said was surrender. "Or maybe one can see it as Truth. When everything seemed pointless, when there was no light at the end of the tunnel so to speak, surrender and trust were my saving graces. Allowing the flow of life to happen, trusting the process, despite what point of the process I was experiencing (and there were painful parts for sure) enabled me to move through each moment, each day. In this conscious state we can embrace all of it. Even those moments that seem unbearable, in knowing that this will not only pass but that we can learn from it."
Nowadays it seems there are so many yoga retreats out there, the market can seem diluted. David is keeping his retreats relevant and fresh by setting the intention to allow for every guest to have their own experience, however it presents itself. David's team also knows the places where the retreats are held. "We only travel to places where there is connection. We have built local relationships and we have created very special spaces in all of the destinations we explore. We want all of our retreats to be a perfect combination of a local connection and a dedicated staff that allows space for a life changing experience. Our facilities and itineraries are completely customized and authentic. We create trips that cannot be reproduced by a travel agent or even savvy googling and research:)."
David said, "we are one big family at Life Force and we all share the same vision of creating environments conducive to a transformational experience. We also love to keep it exciting, tapping into destinations that are off the beaten path (like Cuba!) and creating offerings with exotic practices such as tantra, shamanism, unique styles of yoga and meditation and so much more. There really is something for everyone."
The Life Force Project realizes that transformation also results from giving back. "SEVA is probably one of the most rewarding parts of a retreat. We always work with small organizations, often times personal connections where we can make an impact. I am all about people enjoying their service, so we often times work with kids or on positive and fun projects. We don't need to necessarily suffer through challenging service experiences to feel the benefits to giving. One of our favorite organizations is the Ninos Del Sol in Peru."
"As I read through the news and connect with friends in the US from my retreats abroad, I have come to a powerful realization: stepping outside of the heavy collective energy we are experiencing in the US can be a potent way to re-calibrate, clarify and perhaps find new purpose relative to our contributions to our social and economic issues. I plan to continue to encourage and lead others in travel (for a day, a week or more) to step aside for a moment, find a fresh perspective away from the overwhelming emotion, information, and to be honest, distraction back in the US, and then return home rejuvenated and ready to act."
For more on the Life Force project visit lifeforceproject.com.
And to learn more about the author Autumn's upcoming retreat click here>>>>