Name: Ben Zapchenk
Where are you from/where do you live now?
Im from Woodstock, Illinois but I live in Morocco now.
What is your family like?
My dad and my mom are both very blue collar in the sense that they worked their way up to get where they are now and they tried to instill that in both my brother and I. My parents have always been supportive of us, long as we were happy and working toward something that was good for us. Yeah, they are good about getting behind us, even if it’s hard for them. My mom is really goofy and my dad takes himself too seriously sometimes; I think that I am a weird blend of both of them. I think I look like my mom but people say that I look just like my dad. Overall they are really good people.
I grew up not really knowing my brother. I think a lot of my personality stems from me trying to be the opposite of him, but in the past few years we have gotten closer and I think that’s the first time I could actually say that I knew him. He has a heart of gold but has a hard time elevating himself from the people around him. Despite all his personal struggles, and run-ins with the law I know that he’s going to figure it out one day and its going to be really beautiful to watch.
How do you spend most of your days?
Typically by engaging in two contradictory activities. Pushing myself to advance in my self/spiritual growth and who I am as a person while simultaneously trying to remain in the present. I try to spread lightness and love with everyone I meet. I struggle between my inner and outer worlds, but I know that when I keep my inner world in order the outer world just flows.
Can you describe your favorite day?
I think my favorite day came after several months of heartache and heartbreak. I was really depressed for a long time, and I had struggled with depression for a while when I was younger. Then, one day I decided to start practicing self-love and that day changed my life, it changed everything. It sounds vague, but thats it.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of my ability to continually redefine what I thought was possible for myself.
What are your hopes and dreams for you and your family?
For me, my hopes and dreams are to progress spiritually in these facets: to lose my ego, to gain solidarity in my solar plexus, to meditate daily, to be forever present in the now, and to continually develop my voice of love. For my brother, I hope he lets his inner light out and that he realizes how much he can give to himself instead of other people. For my dad, I hope he learns how to stop judging himself and to recognize that there are no boundaries to what he can achieve. For my mom, I hope she can stop giving to everyone else and direct some of that love back to herself.
What do you spend the most time worrying about?
I worry that past pain bodies and my bad habits will prevent me from being the person I aspire to be. And in the same breath, I worry that I’ll never be good enough for myself.
What would you like to say to the world?
Choose to break the cycles of negativity and hatred that has been passed down through the ages. Walk your own path and create your own light and never give up the fight to be better. Choose to be a creator of positive vibes. And to paraphrase from someone much smarter than I, the world needs less successful people and more teachers, healers, storytellers, and free spirits.