Welcome back to Tuff Love with Rob Kandell. The guest this week is Antesa Jensen. Antesa is the founder and visionary leading Adventure Awake, as well as co-founder of The Proteus Group. She recently left a 12-year career in the investment banking industry to scale and expand Adventure Awake, launch The Proteus Group and fully grow herself into a full-time entrepreneur.
Rob and Antesa discuss the Adventure Awake experiences:
- Adventure Awake is a hybrid of coaching and travel, a retreat on the go.
- Some retreats remove you from reality of the world in order for you to do the growth that you need to do, however Antesa finds it makes integration a lot harder when you get home. You’ll have an amazing experience with a massive amount of transformation, and afterwards you’re back to the same person you were before because there isn’t ownership in your daily life.
- Adventure Awake involves travel and some intense coaching while on the road, as well as a month of integration work afterwards. The trips are 10-12 days in really off-the-beaten-path places that are not easy to navigate.
- Everyone inevitably shifts a lot and they do group coaching afterwards to say, ‘How does this thing that you discovered about yourself while in Siberia fit into your relationship with your Mom?’
- This allows everyone to start to piece together and take ownership of transformation that has occurred and move forward with that as the launching pad for more growth.
- Antesa offers the location first and a lot of times, a lot of people who want to go to a certain place are working through a lot of the same issues.
- The trips are always to places Antesa hasn’t been, and never standard travel destinations. She finds it important to be in the unknown herself when teaching people how to be leaders in their own life and navigate in the unknown.
- For Antesa, her version of adventure awake would be to go on a cruise. She would have to figure out how to make an adventure out of sitting on a boat for 7 days and eating at a buffet. The idea is about what there is to learn and grow from being in an environment outside your comfort zone.
- The experiences also have to have access to nature because it helps bring people back to themselves, and hear their own inner voices. It’s too easy to tune out that inner voice with the noise of life. As the they usually go off-grid, there is a digital detox element as well.
- The focus with the clients is around the questions, “What does it mean to take up space in a group of people you don’t know? What does it mean to be a leader when you have no fucking clue what’s happening?” It’s always very profound. You learn a lot about yourself when you get intimate with other people, especially a bunch of strangers you are sharing a tent with.
- Antesa feels very passionately that the internet and Facebook are a false representation of what connection actually is. Human touch and interaction is what makes us human. This is particularly important given the rise of artificial intelligence in all of its forms.
- There’s a tendency to move away and isolate ourselves. There’s a fear of loneliness but not actually going out and connecting with the people who will teach us how to not feel lonely. True, profound, satiating connection, which only comes from vulnerability and intimacy.
- Within 2 days of the trips everyone is very close. It’s amazing to watch how close people become in such a short period of time. By the end of the 10-12 day trip they’ve experienced something together and they’re besties for life.
- Inevitably, on every trip there is someone who is on the verge of a thing. The focus of each trip is supposed to be your own growth. On the trip to Jordan, there was a couple, and the guy wanted to focus on his own growth, but the woman wanted his focus to be on her.
- They both went into a space where neither of them were getting what they were wanting and they were very frustrated. What happens in these groups when someone is not saying a thing that is clearly working them really hard is that everyone gets really tired. The fatigue is not fatigue, it is spiritual exhaustion from being in fight mode. This happened multiple times on that trip.
- On that trip, they discovered that every single person had an absent Dad. When you have an absent Dad in your life, a lot of the issues related to bonding with your masculine are unconscious, because you don’t know what you’re missing.
- They ended up starting a reconciliation process with everyone’s fathers through a writing exercise and doing some deeper work about what reactive feelings come up when thinking about the relationship with Dad, and how is that playing out for us in our lives today.
- Jordan is a place with a really strong masculine dynamic, and the culture treats women and men very differently to our Western culture. It was fitting that it was in Jordan where the transformations were all about the relationship to the masculine.
- In Mongolia, they did a 90 km horseback ride into the mountains, and that was planned around the people who signed up who were very outdoorsy and fit.
- Antesa is the inward guide. She helps you work with what’s happening for you on the inside that is being reflected out here and helping bridge that gap so people start to have agency in their lives. The world is a mirror for them and she helps them use it, not be at the mercy of it.
- The pragmatic first steps to change your life when you’re not ready to go on a retreat like this different for each person. People who have never travelled before or have never done personal growth need smaller steps. They can start to own their move towards living a life where they are making every single choice for their day. They don’t HAVE to do this, they GET to. That’s a huge shift for a lot of people.
- A lot of people live their lives at the mercy of their job, their kids, their husband etc. So the first step is awareness around how we are actually at all times making choices and some of our choices we make out of fear.
- There are people farther along who have done personal growth but never travelled, so they don’t know what it’s like to truly be outside their comfort zone. There will be growth but you don’t necessarily get to be in the outer realms of the growth by staying comfortable.
Rob and Antesa coach Britney, who resonated with the absent father point:
- Britney feels incapable of being the masculine parent to herself. It shows up in a general lack of being responsible for herself. She feels incapable of being financially independent, of doing what feels like is oppressive heavy lifting in terms of tasks and organization, having energy or motivation, or anything that feels like an effort.
- She feel paralyzed in that place right now. She’d like to take a nap forever. She would say she was unconsciously waiting to be rescued, but she’s aware of it, so it’s not unconscious.
- What comes before the paralysis is overwhelm. She cries, she shuts down, she over eats, gets tight in the stomach, has a feeling of panic and dread. She feels thick and heavy and achey and challenging. What she tells herself when she feels all those things is that she should be able to do it.
- For Antesa, that word ‘should’ is a big one. Britney is not the only one who tells herself, ‘I should be doing this differently.’ The moment we go into a ‘should’ we are actually in the process of rejecting the experience we’re having in the moment, which makes it more painful, makes it last longer and makes the sensation get higher.
- Ultimately what really wants to happen is to feel the overwhelm. If we don’t feel the overwhelm, we don’t move through it and recognize how it’s serving us.
- Britney’s ‘should’ says, ‘There’s something wrong with me. I should be able to do it. Everyone else has these productive lives and I do not. I should get my shit together. It should just be easy because other people can do it.’ Britney feels herself go into little girl mode. Even though she’s 42 years old, she feels 2 years old in this moment.
- Antesa points out this could exist prior to 2 years old, prior to even being born, in the form of generational belief systems. Britney made a family tree and she gets a sense of the men being oppressive and absent to women. The ‘should’ voice is Britney’s oppressive, absent masculine.
- Antesa shares, “If you can not acknowledge your physical and emotional experience, you’ll do everything in your power to unconsciously suppress the sensations. Then it will paralyze you. That’s what happens for a lot of people. Slowing down in that experience of the sensation of overwhelm is essential in order for you to not get paralyzed.”
- Britney has done a lot of childhood wound and regression work. The core wound is ‘I don’t matter.’
- In Antesa’s experience, it goes in stages. Learning how to nurture oneself is an essential one. If her Mom was the breadwinner, she might not have been nurturing herself, so Britney didn’t have a model for what that could look like.
- Underneath, Britney doesn’t truly deserve that she deserves to be happy. She feels like she’s trying to pioneer a new path that is different from her entire family and it’s a lot of emotional lifting.
- We can intellectually know that we deserve to be happy, but if at any point below the neck we don’t believe it, that will be a battle. There’s a muscle of self-worth to build. It never stops, you’re always building this muscle. You have to start small, and not everybody starts in the same place.
- The challenge of looking into childhood experiences is that a lot of experiences from before 4 years old exist pre-verbally, so all you’ve got is the physical sensation. This is where somatic intelligence comes into play because emotional intelligence doesn’t quite cover it.
- Antesa recommends Britney drop off the story, drop off the ‘should’, and even drop off the particular emotion. Tune in to, “Where within me do I feel fuzzy, constricted, hot, sharp pain, numbness?” Relax your attention onto that place for 2-3 minutes. The inner muscles that are really small are usually where we’re saving a lot of our trauma. If you put your attention to that spot, usually things will start to move.
Where to find Antesa Jenson:
You can find more about Antesa and the next Adventurer Awake Trip to Greenland in February 2018 at www.adventureawake.com or follow her on Facebook and join her free 30-day meditation event https://www.facebook.com/antesa