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Body, mind, happiness: the urbangay way

I had no reason to be unhappy: everything was fine.
But I had a nagging feeling that everything could be amazing.

The idea for urbangay didn’t start as an idea to create a specific program or even a specific approach… In fact, it all started as a personal growth project … and grew from there. How?

A few years ago things didn’t really go well for me: not that there was anything specific wrong that needed fixing. I had a stable job at as a university lecturer, traveled a lot, owned a nice apartment with an amazing view over the Thames and the skyline of London, had a lot of friends, did lots of voluntary work and generally everything was just the way a movie writer would love things to be at the end of a kitsch romance movie. But there was a little problem, and that was I just wasn’t really feeling happy. Not really unhappy either… just not really happy. (If you want to find out a little more about me, click here)

the urbangay idea brings together lots of different tools,
for your body, mind and happiness

The issue I had wasn’t really that new to me: Part of my work and almost all of my voluntary work experience over the last two decades included different forms of counselling: listening to people and their issues and helping them to find solutions, coaching people or helping people cope with set backs in their lives. And while specific issues could often be fairly easily addressed, many people I have met over this time didn’t really have a specific issue. In fact, one could say, many had “it all”, just like me – yet they were unhappy.

As part of that work and because of personal interest, I used all kinds of different techniques to help people: From coaching models to counselling techniques, from meditation to tantra. Hence, I assumed that if anyone should have enough experience in the field to resolve this riddle, it should be me. After all I had spoken to literally thousands of people. I managed to make them feel better, surely I should be able to “help” myself.

the urbangay way is affirmative, sex positive
and as individual as you are

My first step was to start to look around to find a solution to feel happier and more content. I came across lots of different solutions: I checked out everything from trying out minimalism to reading how changing the food I eat would change my life forever. The problem was, that all involved some really big life changes – and a lot of commitment, usually immediately up front. And I just wasn’t prepared to throw away all my stuff overnight, or commit to never eating a burger ever again. So while these techniques clearly worked for many people, they were just not right for me – at least not for the longer term.

Other approaches meant signing up to a bunch of spiritual or philosophical beliefs. Often I agreed happily with many of the principles or some of the outcomes, but I just didn’t want to tie myself down too much. For example, I vividly recall how I attended a tantra training. It was really great, and I loved the techniques and the way it felt. There was no doubt, tantra was something I liked. After the workshop I went out with the trainer, and he told me how tantra saved him quite literally from the brink. The story was good, and I could see how a completely tantric lifestyle could do that – but the problem for me was that, while I really liked tantric sessions, I also loved traditional sex. I didn’t want to give up on all other forms of sex. Committing my life to only tantric practice was something I simply wasn’t prepared to do. In short, I wanted something that combined the best of all the things I worked with, but without the dogma!

the urbangay way combines ancient techniques, brand new research
and things that really work – without the dogma

The result was that I started to revisit my experiences working with others: Often, I concluded, that these  dogmatic measures were really good at helping people who had a particular big issue. But what helped people who didn’t have such a specific issue was not a dogmatic application of some form of life principle, but a collection of different techniques borrowed from different methodologies or philosophies. A dip in and dip out approach if you want: something like a smorgasbord of small nibbles or a big buffet of tapas: something where one could try different things, and that once all the small portions are eaten, actually leave you really satisfied. That in mind I started to experiment around.

Eventually more and more friends and people I met or worked with became interested in what I was doing.  They encouraged me to write up the tools and make them available to others. The result is the collection of different workshops, “30 Day programs” and books available here. All of them building happiness by doing something for a healthier body and mind. And encouraging you to discover more and become a happier you.

I really hope the all the different workshops inspire you, too. I know change is often hard and difficult… but it is worth it.

It’s great if you can say everything is fine.
And a hundred times better when you can say it’s amazing!

stephan