By Mark Eisenhart
I am a survivor…I am also proof that your whole life can change in an instant. On October 7th of 2009 I watched my father, Bud Eisenhart, beat cancer only to die of liver disease. My Dad was more than an extraordinary man. He was my best friend, my greatest teacher, my hero, and my TRUE NORTH. Watching him become a wraith right before my eyes almost killed me. In fact, I believe a piece of me did die along with him.
On November 28th, having completed the services for the deceased and feeling totally distraught, I screamed out for help. I turned to my dad, the one man who did not let me down ONE TIME in 40 years, and did something that I had not done in 11 years. I said a prayer. What happened next was extraordinary.
I took a leap of faith.
I literally jumped trusting that the net would appear. Lucky for me, it did. I am not only proof that your whole life can change in an instant I am proof of the power of free will. The crux of my journey lies in the fact that I did one simple thing above all else. I made a choice. I vowed to not only take control of my well-being and livelihood but to restore myself to the kind of vibrant health that I enjoyed during the prime of my life.
I was told that what I intended to do was impossible. I did it anyway. I made a commitment to myself and to the spirit of my deceased father. I vowed to keep this pledge or to die trying. At that time I was prepared for either possibility. That’s right. I looked death in the face. Up close and personal. What I saw was indescribable. Ghastly. Terrifying.
I had already succeeded in burning myself out. At 455 pounds with 20 verifiable states of disease including anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, high blood pressure, and many other co-morbid disorders.
I had stopped living and started dying. Then I poured gasoline on a diesel fire. I started abusing drugs and alcohol and the accelerant was PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This caused a chain reaction resulting in a flashover. My situation quickly burned out of control. I landed, after falling to the depths of the fiery abyss that I had created, squarely at DEATH’S DOOR. Ironically in that stillness, enveloped in total darkness, completely and totally alone in a place where light goes to die, I found myself. In a moment of great strength, courage, and determination I made the most important decision of my entire life.
I dug deep within the stores of my constitution and resolve and started to rise from the ashes. I was still on fire, but this time it was different. At first it was a slow burn that I eventually got under control. Once I learned how to manipulate the burning energy that was working against me and make it work for me—it started to build. To grow. And to spread to all the other areas of my life.
What was born from this conflagration was the man I had always known myself to be. My true and authentic self.
I was able to drop 215lbs and eradicate all 20 states of disease in one year without surgery.
Integral to that transformation was a partly raw, plant based, whole foods diet, meditation, affirmative prayer, lifestyle changes, energy work, exercise, affirmative living, faith, patience, and hard work.
The Journey to Health
Change is never easy, and what most people do not grasp in the beginning of a physical transformation process such as mine is that all things external are reflections of the internal. Our world is actually holographic, and without understanding and actually experiencing the true nature of reality through our core being, maintaining any exterior physical change is destined to become a life-long battle. The forces in opposition are the heart (the seat of our true and authentic self) and the brain, the latter of which has been conditioned by the external forces and illusions of our society.
This realization did not come quickly or without spiritual exploration, trial and error and, most importantly, practice. At first, I was a prisoner in my own body and fighting desperately to get out. I was first enrolled in a partial hospitalization program, which I quickly outgrew. I also participated in recovery for a short time, but found that the Twelve Step model did not serve me. Meditation then became and continues to be an INTEGRAL part of my healing and transformation process and my ongoing successful lifestyle.
I have mastered meditation to the point where I live in a state of continuous meditation, or in what some would call “NO MIND”—the emptiness between thoughts. It is truly a wonderful place to be. On this path, I have worked with many different styles of meditation and studied under Master Teachers including His Holiness Shri Shri Ravi Shankar at The Art Of Living Institute. During my healing journey, which spanned an entire year, I studied Buddhism and Taoism extensively, and these two belief systems best reflect who I am now at the core of my true and authentic self.
My reading list during this period included works such as The Four Noble Truths, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, and the Tao Te Tzing, among others. I truly absorbed and practiced their teachings. Alongside this work, I studied the philosophy of Charles and Myrtle Filmore of the Unity Church, the work of Ernest Holmes and The Science of Mind, and The Spiritualist Church. These sources were an integral part my healing and transformation, and they also gave rise to the core tenants of my belief system and personal model of the world. Additionally, Kriya and other yoga practices have become an important part of my healing and spiritual practices.
I became a Reiki Master early on in my journey, and then studied under a Kundalini Teacher. Reiki is a large part of my life now, and I also have experimented with Quantum Touch, Pranic Healing, Emotional Freedom Technique, Cranio Sacral Therapy, and many other similar modalities.
I mention all of these efforts because I believe that the combination of shelling myself with so many different types of stimuli over time and forcing my mind and my body to adapt is the reason that I was and continue to be successful. I have learned to be adaptable, flexible and dynamic in relationship to whatever is happening to me and in my opinion, that demonstrates a level of mastery that defines the metric for what it truly means to be healthy.
Paying It Forward:
I am now committed to sharing my transformation with others so that they might benefit from my experience and be both inspired and empowered to make sustainable, positive changes in their lives as I did mine. I also believe that in doing so spiritual growth will follow and what will emerge is the true and authentic self—that which we really are. Our true form is not limited to the constructs of the egoic mind inherent in the presence of limiting and/or distortional beliefs. In my view of things, everything is a reflection of something else. The journey that I have embarked upon is being constructed so that my exterior matches my interior. This is really what I want for everyone: the experience of being vibrantly alive, disease free, and as healthy as humanly possible.
So who is my true, authentic self? I am now a Sponsored Multi-Sport Athlete, Warrior Force™ Spokesperson, Transformational Speaker, Actor, and Gaiam TV Brand Ambassador. I have appeared on over 90 TV and radio shows including The Doctors on CBS, American Ninja Warrior on G4, The Jeff Probst Show, True Life and Real World on MTV, local and national TV News Networks, Sports Radio Shows, and in numerous Print and Digital media platforms. My acting credits include bit parts on programs like NBC’s Grimm, TNT’s Leverage, a national commercial, music videos, voice over work, and principle roles in two independent films. I also write for Oregon Sports News, Inspiyr.com, Even Minds, and The Acquiring Man. And I am just getting started!
Having recently embarked on a second transformation, I have aligned myself with a team of expert professionals including Achievement Mentor Tom Terwilliger (a former Mr. America and two time Mr. Olympia contender), Coach Eric Broser (Ironman Magazine Cover Model and author of four books on rapid and substantial physique transformation), Personal Trainer Traci Lynn Cowan (a Canadian National Figure Competitor), Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nakayama (recently featured in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine), Peak Performance Specialist Dino Paris, a Raw Foods Chef (to be decided) and many other experts in their respective fields.
I am dropping from my current weight of 250lbs down to 210lbs and shredding to 7 percent body fat. I am pushing for the cover of Men’s Health Magazine to show people how far one person can go once they invest in their own health and fitness. This next evolution also will include a climb of Aconcagua, a 7, 000 meter-peak in Argentina, which is the springboard for my exploits as a mountaineer. Climbing exemplifies the courage, determination, fortitude and the boundlessness of the human spirit that makes up the foundation upon which I am built.
A Fire Rising
An uncontrolled burn is a hazard to everyone around it, and one of the most destructive forces in nature. However, a fire that can be contained, harnessed, manipulated, and transmuted into something more, something useful, something positive, something inspiring and something empowering is the most unstoppable force in the entire universe. I am now that force. A WARRIOR FORCE TM. A Man on Fire, Redefining Possible, and Rattling the Cages along the way.
In my heart I know I am a whole being, and now is my chance to prove it. Three years ago I burned out and it nearly killed me. Now I am in control of the flames, and I am using that energy to set every aspect of my life, my career, and my soul’s purpose on fire. I am doing it, above all else, to honor the memory of my father, Bud Eisenhart. He is the one man who did not let me down ONE TIME in 40 years.
To learn more about Mark Eisenhart’s journey visit: www.getimpowerednow.com.