Yaumny House LLC, CEO & Vision Journaling™ Originator
On August 18, 1966, I was born in Corinth, Mississippi. My mother was aided with the full-breech birth by a drunk doctor, called in direct from the golf course, and a disinterested nurse, but as Mother would say, the two of us "made it by the grace of God." I grew up a young boy in the American deep south surrounded by the love of the most conservative of Christian families and societies in general, although society for me consisted of the people who went to our church. Appropriately enough, the world outside of "churchdom" was referred to as "worldly," and thus exceedingly sinful. I harbor no ill will toward my beginnings or the steep traditions in which I was formed. If not for them, I would be someone else. I'm very pleased to be me and profoundly grateful for what I've gained from the start I was given in life.
Through the years, I've leaned heavily upon the teachings of my mother, about Jesus and the Bible, and to my abundant delight, have since found the philosophies of so many of the world's masters to be in harmony with her own. It's been an ever-expanding journey of discovery thus far. As a young man, all I dreamed of was finding some way to be of service to those less fortunate than myself. My family made frequent trips to Memphis, Tennessee. I can still recall, in rich detail, how my heart first began to ache at the sight of the forgotten homeless there. My first memories of passion and desire were to do something to help, yet I had no idea what that would be. Upon graduating high school, I skipped out on college and went straight to work as an intern for a Memphis nonprofit (Bridge Over Troubled Water), fundraising to build a shelter for runaway youth. For the first two years out of high school, that was my track. Then, suddenly and completely, I became lost in the world of boy-meets-girl, and things took a dramatic turn in a different direction.
I now often refer to the next twenty years or so as the "wondering-in-the-wilderness chapter." That said, let it be noted that there are luxurious treasures to be unearthed in the wilderness, if we don't lie down and die there – I did not. Now married with children, still a boy in so many ways, and given a new responsibility that no self-respecting southerner shys from, I was drawn to the business world, where I would eventually flourish. For the duration of my wandering years, I wanted for very little, in a material sense. Financial success seemed to come easily, without effort, but inside I was falling apart, little by little and at times in great chunks.
I felt no passion, no desire for life, and no purpose for waking up day after endless day. I possessed no vision, no direction, no hope for a brighter tomorrow. I was disconnected from myself, all relationships and anything of a spiritual nature to guide me home. I had become a successful disappointment to myself and to my mother. She never said that, but I felt it in my bones, every day, in every moment of awakeness. So, I put myself to sleep for twenty years. It was here in the valley of shadows – the wilderness years – that I slowly began to realize what the wise king, Soloman, meant when he said, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
I would eventually lose everything – financial security, toys, companies, employees, wife, children, and freedom. Traveling a winding road, in the dark, at high speeds, with no vision, is the way that leads down into hell – straight to the bottom of the barrel. In the end, I would spend a full year in a court-ordered intensive residential treatment unit, where I was not free to leave at my own whim. Unknown to me at the time, this was the beginning of my path to freedom, my way back home, and when I recognized it, I grabbed it and have not let go! That was a decade ago.
In this, the last decade of my time on earth, I trekked my way back to center. In the isolation, I had discovered the ancient practice of vipassana (insight) meditation and re-discovered the still small voice of the divine presence, with which I'd once been so familiar. Its fragrant sweetness rose up from somewhere within my own being, bathed a broken heart with love, soothed a shattered mind, and reminded me of its never-lapsing presence.
As time passed in treatment, I found myself being gently guided back home to the vision of my youth. Over the course of the next few years, in little bits and pieces and the occasional "big-picture-download" during meditation, I was given a method, not found in books, that I now wish to share with all those who seek more light upon their path, more joy within their being, more purpose for which to live, and a connection to the creative genius, latent within their own being – the power that Jesus referred to as "the kingdom of heaven ... within you." For some, the objective will be to become the greatest sales director in the history of a certain organization, while others may hunger only for freedom from the devastating grip of addiction. Whatever the case may be, the power of which I speak can and will deliver every desire of the heart ... if only we can see it.
It is my great joy, the highest honor, and my deepest gratitude to have been given this amazing life through which to deliver something beneficial for all people. I am thoroughly humbled recalling the events that have led me to this place, at this time. It is in these moments that I fully realize the depth of meaning in my mother's words, so often spoken: "By the grace of God..." I give thanks to the creative force of infinite intelligence for its constance, to my mother for first making me aware of it, and to each of you who travel with me on this wonderful voyage of discovery. I'll close this brief bio with a recitation of great significance from a personal teacher of my own, whose words of light have been a guide for me along the way.
"I believe that you're great, that there's something magnificent about you. Regardless of what has happened to you in your life, regardless of how young or how old you think you might be, the moment you begin to think properly, there's something that is within you, there's power within you, that's greater than the world. It will begin to emerge. It will take over your life. It will feed you. It will clothe you. It will guide you, protect you, direct you, sustain your very existence ... if you let it. Now, that's what I know for sure."
~ Michael Bernard Beckwith
This is a dialog that I repeat regularly to those with whom I am gifted to share. It is my hope that each person reading this finds their way home, through their own valley of shadows, through whatever wilderness they may encounter, and that my own life and gifts may in some way contribute in a positive way to their journey.
Peace and Freedom,
Dwayne Vandervoort, CEO
Originator, Vision Journaling Live™
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Yaumny House LLC, CEO & Vision Journaling™ Originator