Arroyo Auténtico :: Philipe Miguel

The sound of the cool water rushing over the rocks drew our attention from the very moment we arrived at our unassuming cabin for the weekend. There we were. Seven men who gathered with one intention—celebrate our beloved friend's recent engagement. Without cell reception, we did what any millennial would do. We built stronger friendships.

Friendships that span over extended times apart prove there is more goodness in this life than vain pursuits of careers and success. I'm grateful for the place where time isn't a restraint, but a playground to explore friendships. These are the places and people worth investing in.

Each morning began with fresh-pressed coffee and sustenance for the day. After a few hours of learning to be still in our own bodies, we assembled teams to play ultimate with the dusty frisbee someone left before us. It wasn't long before the swarm of gnats started invading our personal space. With Jesse leading the way, curiosity led each of us to the rushing water that echoed through the cabin the night before.

Each person approached the water in their own time. Some were unashamed in their immersion in the fresh water, still others were a bit timid. With time and encouragement, each person made their way up the river. As new territory was explored, the river invited us forward to embrace its authenticity.

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The only thing that gave us confidence that we arrived at our destination was the accomplishment that we felt internally. Much like life, rivers continue moving forward and walking upstream can be wearisome. Regardless of the destination, each moment is worth celebrating the journey behind you and the adventure before you. So we stopped on this little rock to celebrate this proverbial journey and the authenticity of doing life together. 

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After spending more and more time with Philipe Miguel Oscar Bryant, I am convinced of this: better for a man to be foreign to a thousand lands, than the depths of his own heart. A weekend spent with seven guys like this rearranges the items on your Bucket List. Instead of a continual search for more and more experiences, what if we were compelled by a desire to know the depths of our own hearts.

It's a relief to no longer be driven by an insatiable desire to experience the world in all its vastness. Instead, we pursue the achievable goal of exploring the deepest, truest parts of who we are. And from this place of vulnerability, we allow the world an opportunity to experience the extraordinary heart that is held within our ribs.

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