A Journey Towards Compassionate Eco-Leadership

”And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Nelson Mandela

27th October 2016, Budapest, Hungary – 00:30am

The taxi finally drops me off from the airport in front of my flat at Baross utca 30. I grab my suitcase, half heartedly greet the driver a pale goodbye, take the elevator upstairs, enter home, and instantly collapse in my bed. I feel burned out, exhausted, and purposeless. And I wonder who I really am? And I pass out of emotional drainage and fatigue. 

I have just returned from a 7 week business trip across 3 continents that took me from the inspiring mist of the Lisbon hills, to the warm sea shore of Mallorca, through the northern lights of Kajaani, Finland onto the chaotic and loud streets of  Shanghai. Passing through the heights of Bogota, cruising in altitude the scenic fjords of Bergen, entering the hedonistic darkness in Poznan, and welcoming 50 people at a networking dinner in Paris. 

From an outside perspective, I appear as living the dream. Working for a successful Scandinavian conference as Director of Business Development while also advising for another strong Asian business events network in China. Financially I am viable, and working up the ladder of my career in the games industry. My natural sales and business development networking skills open new doors, my personal charm breeds connections, and there does not seem to be an end to where business relations and growth can occur. 

But personally, I feel suffocating and lost. I have not read a book in years, I am addicted to meaningless social media conversations, alcohol, drugs, and superficial sexual encounters while my romantic relationships are a catastrophe. Yet nobody knows this. Not even myself. Someone told me in Paris during a networking event that “I can see now that even you Teddy, you are mortal”. I look into his eyes, and nod slowly showing him the sign that I would be anywhere else but at this dinner. I feel my body asking me kindly to stop. To stop running. To pause. To breathe. To feel presence. To finally start a journey into loving myself. 


In today’s world, and especially in the highly paced tech and games industry context, we are asked to run. We are asked to deliver. Financial growth becomes the ultimate goal, witnessing way too many scenarios in which the form takes precedence over the content so the means to reach the end become commonly accepted. In the presence of a toxic climate it is only natural that many of us succumb towards distractions to avoid feeling the pain of chaos, the grief of not knowing who we are, and what we really want. Such distractions range from workaholism to alcoholism, sex addictions or other numbing tendencies associated with drugs, and other forms of self-medicating ourselves in trying to feel somehow alive. Our ADHD tendencies which in a benevolent context can be a blessing and a real skill, grow against ourselves facing an overflow of information arising from social media and other brainless attention grabbing activities. 

However, in the midst of chaos and fear, there is always a solution. And mine came in slowly. I call it “the Journey towards Compassionate Eco-Leadership”. 

Such a healing journey is not an instant shift. It is a lifelong adventure into discovering and embracing one’s soul as a “finally coming home scenario”. It requires pausing, breathing, taking a break (including from society) to be able to understand who we really are. It allows us to understand the importance of self-leadership and how self-awareness can lead to compassion and finally to engagement as a slow road towards serenity and happiness. 

It is initially a very personal process, a trip into consciousness or a very first step into our own Hero’s Journey. In this mystical experience, we do first face our own demons. We succumb into our own darkness, and counterintuitively, we do not flee or flight as our instincts would tell us. Far from it, we do the opposite… We hug our dark side – we embrace it, we send love to it, and as a consequence, we slowly heal it. And as we build awareness of who we really are, we finally start walking slowly towards our own mission and vision in life. We understand why we were born, and what we are here to bring alight. We grasp our own gift to humanity. And we start acting towards it. Courageously and authentically trusting that our own energy will connect us to those with whom we need to connect as to bond into a mutual learning and healing process. 

And here the social element comes into place. The most important predictor of mortality higher than even tobacco usage is the personal network of friends and close persons surrounding you. To put it bluntly, loneliness kills while friendship heals. And as the Hero starts healing her/his journey, the need for sharing the progress and for further support arises further. This happens both within the soul finding experience itself through carefully designed retreats surrounded by a fellow cohort of inner beauty seekers; and furthermore as the Hero returns to society having done the ground deep work so the rebirth, transformation, and guidance come alight out of their own compassionate self-leadership acquired engine. 

So what does Compassionate Eco-Leadership actually mean? 

We, Soul Dreamers, call it the felt presence of living sustainably, caringly and lovingly, in a symbiotic relationship with nature, the planet and all living beings, and especially with one-self. Embracing self-love, self-compassion, and self-learning onto heartfelt connections. Bringing awareness into purposeful relational actions savoring freedom in connection with one’s own self induced social responsibility. Learning, grasping and supporting local eco-communities’ traditional way of life while embodying their healing wisdom into action. 

A compassionate eco-leader thus brings into picture two major qualities: the affective ones directly related to compassion, empathy, and connection, and the social-entrepreneurial side of taking direct action of support towards their local context and relations. The latter can range from newly created eco-projects to simple volunteering tasks, donations or even outwards investments supporting vulnerable collectives and social causes one finds themselves connected with. 

So how can one enter the transformation process leading onto compassionate eco-leadership? What type of methods can be used in feeling inner growth, and raising one’s energy onto self-love, support, and trust while taking the new felt energy to social responsibility and connective heights?

While my own journey has been lengthy and still ongoing having tried a myriad of techniques ranging from mindfulness, books, authentic men circles, holotropic breathing techniques, meditation, tantra, silent retreats, plant ceremonies, psychotherapy, and many others, what I have discovered as a vital trigger of an awakened awareness is the simple immersion into nature. The silence of solitude corroborated with the symphony of nature’s own sounds is divine medicine by itself. I felt the strong uplifting energy of the Amazonian Forest when opening my gaze from the hammock and watching the trees moving softly under the presence of the morning breeze, seeing hens with their cubs swirling around looking for seeds on the freshly moisturized ground or in the eyes of a beautiful dog (Pakita) looking at me protectively. I felt that the solution to my own grief is understanding that nature heals, and as I am myself nature I have my own power to self-heal understanding that each obstacle in our life journey is a necessary milestone of waking us up further towards beauty, and onto the mystery of the creation we are part of. Everything becomes less complex, more symmetric, and in line with the cohesive perfection that life is. Awareness is curative, and healing ensues.


6 years later, I do not claim to be cured. But I do claim I am more present. I make better decisions in creating a nurturing context. I allow myself to choose my environment, I allow my energy to attract similar minded courageous persons seeking their own inner beauty to come alight. I bring in more compassion, and I develop a higher sense of connecting to someone else’s feelings through curiosity, empathy, and support. I understand the key role of nature in creating and sustaining life, and I grasp that the real healing happens when witnessing and internalizing the absolute perfection through which our environment constantly teaches us through life. I see altruism as a virtue and hold a large smile when witnessing acts of kindness and sharing among people. 


The Journey towards Compassionate Eco-Leadership is a lengthy process, and does not occur via one’s revelation or by joining a retreat. However, the seeds towards change may start when such a-ha moments occur.

As a solution, we are creating the Soul Dreamers Retreats and subsequent community network to allow for inspiration to uplift your own journey. We provide an online preparation and awareness program by establishing the needed trust, hope, and excitement to join authentic communities in the heart of Colombia and connect to one’s cohort as sisters and brothers leading the way towards trauma healing, acceptance, forgiveness, and engagement onto new beautiful personal and collective heights. We provide a post-integration program onto the Soul Dreamers Compassionate Eco-Leadership community where we can all learn from each other how to better and support ourselves. The fear of intimacy thus gradually dissolves.

Soul Dreamers Retreat 2nd-8th March 2023 – Ambi Comunidad, Antioquia, Colombia

Contact us to schedule a call with our facilitators and join the waiting list before our official launch in October.

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