Good question. Every time I get asked that (which isn’t very often) I give the same answer but always with different words. So I get to surprise even myself. Let’s see what comes out today.
I am just a guy on a journey to free himself from the bondage of cultural conditioning, race consciousness, herd mentality, all the early conditioning which reduced me to a sleeping participant in the matrix.
What fascinates me is the process of re-membering, of gradually reclaiming the freedom and the liberty I had when I was a small child – before I was locked in a box, made believe that I don’t have the key to get out.
By the way, that’s what you are dealing with, too (I’m quite convinced). And, maybe you are on a similar journey. Maybe you know that you are. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you call your journey differently. It doesn’t really matter. I appreciate your unique journey as much as I appreciate mine.
Ultimately, what I’m after is full ownership of who and what I am coupled with my best attempts at self-authorship, accessible to me at my current level of remembering.
So, there you have it. If it was a bit confusing I get it. I get confused sometimes too at what I’m trying to say.
Ah, ok. Hmmm. I just do my best (most times but not always) at not taking myself too seriously.
But, if you mean what I do to keep a roof over my head and to be able to eat, this is what I do:
I help amazing souls who are still asleep free themselves from the bondage of the past so that they can live the lives they were meant to live, not the lives they are living.
I also work with men (I am a man, so that definitely helps my marketing).
I help men in their 30’s skyrocket their confidence regardless of how they currently look, how much money they have or make, or how outgoing (extroverted) they are so that they can take their relationships, their careers, and their lives to the next level.
Oh, yes. I was born and grew up in Bulgaria. The first 16 years of my life – in Communism. I immigrated to the United States in 2002 when I was 28. I spent 16 years in the States in Tampa, Florida, and Austin, Texas. I became a US citizen in 2015.
I’m also a former competitive natural bodybuilder. My highest achievement is 3rd in the world in the welterweight class in the Musclemania brand of contests in 2003 and an overall title winner at the NPC Tampa Bay Classic in 2004. My last contest was in 2008.
Around that time I also tried my hand (body really) at fitness modeling but got paid very little or nothing most of the time. So I got out of that.
The good thing is this effort landed me an extra role in a movie – the Manchurian Candidate. Just don’t try to find me there. I appear for less than 30 sec… which took a whole day to record. And, there were so many other extras in this final scene… even I’m not sure which black dot on the screen is me.
I had a life partner in the States – also Bulgarian. I was married for 13 years. I no longer am. I left the States in 2018.
Currently, I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and work for an EdTech company called Mindvalley.
Honestly, I never really cared to list titles in front or back of my name. I subscribe to the philosophy “Nothing to hide, nothing to prove”. And, I do my best to live that philosophy – sometimes even successfully.
But, since you asked, here are a few of my diverse qualifications (my ego feels good now) proving nothing more than that I am a generalist – and a proud one at that:
Master of Science in Industrial Management
ABNLP Certified NLP Master Coach
ABNLP Hypnotherapy Certification
ABNLP Applied NLP in Business Communication Certification
Mindvalley Certified Facilitator
SOMA Awakening Breathwork Instructor
Handgun Instructor (yes, firearms instructor)
MovNat Natural Movement Level 1 Instructor
I believe, at the highest level, my only purpose is to experience life profoundly. I strongly believe that this is your ultimate purpose, too. Nothing more, nothing less.
But, just in case, to have something that gives meaning to my little human existence I recently put down this. I’m here to:
Live life as a Self-authorized and fully Self-actualized individual
Help provide experiences to the people I love
Free the human spirit in as many other people as I can
I can. And, I’d love to. Why? Because it will help you decide immediately whether you want to stick around for a bit longer or you’ll want to scoot as far away from my page as you can. I’m totally cool with either, of course.
So, here are these few “bullets” of sorts that form – and inform – my personal philosophy. I get to look at these bullets quite often so as to not forget who and what I am and also to keep up with the latest iteration of Ivan.
I accept, appreciate, and love myself
I have nothing to hide and nothing to prove
I am radically honest and unapologetically me
I teach people how to treat me (I set boundaries)
I am a Lighthouse
I openly receive and gain without resistance
I fill up my own cup first (I give to myself first)
I generously and graciously give from the overflow
I don’t nourish expectations. I nourish intentions
I control for strong attachments
I constantly strive to raise my standards
I constantly grow while knowing that I am enough
I “see” opportunities
I am in touch with my feelings and needs, and I openly express them
I take care of my body temple
I nourish my spirit daily
I invest in experiences
I take inspired action
I create only win-win situations
Freedom – spiritual, financial, lifestyle, location, voice, purpose
Authenticity, Congruence, Integrity, Realness, Rawnesty, Being unapologetically me
Self-authorship – independent thought and action, free-thinking
Wellness/Health/Body temple care
Focus, Complete thoughts
Aligned inspired downstream action / flow action vs forceful action
Appreciation, Gratitude as a baseline energy
Presence, Awareness, and Deep respect for others in a conversation
Continuously letting go, Non-attachment
Being able to say NO
Deep listening, Under-standing
Meaningful relationships and conversations
Messing up, Risking, Embracing change
Keeping my word – I always show up, I always stay (until it no longer makes sense to stay)
Distraction, Fractured Focus, Incomplete Thoughts
Staying in resistance (consciously or unconsciously)
Mediocrity / Complacency / Ignorance
Inauthenticity, People-pleasing, Agreeableness
Ignoring the body temple/health
Being uncommitted, “thinking about it” and not taking action
Herd mentality, Collective beliefs
Resisting Change, latching onto Certainty
People not showing up or not being punctual / canceling
I do actually. One of my main hobbies is sitting and staring at a wall. Well… I actually prefer staring outside through a window. I call this sitting in silence, stillness.
Ok, this is tight-ass, too. And, I don’t think that’s what you were interested in knowing.
Recently, I’ve been trying my luck at dancing. The dance style that really resonates with me is called Kizomba.
I’m also a progressive calisthenics enthusiast and practitioner.
Hell yes. As much as any other person or even more. I’ve just learned over time to process what most people call “fear” differently. I use this collection of bodily sensations to my advantage… most of the time but not always. I’m working towards always.
By facing this collection of bodily sensations head-on and dealing with what’s coming. I’ve gone through quite a few experiences. Some call them “challenges”. And, I continue to challenge myself every day just to make sure this “muscle” stays exercised and strong.
Here are a few “challenges” that come to mind (… there are many more):
I once gave a Starbucks speech – walked into a Starbucks, stepped on a chair, clapped my hands to attract everyone’s attention, and gave a 3-min speech. Then I got off the chair and left the place. My confidence grew immensely after that.
Around that time, I once plopped myself down on my back at an airport, at the baggage claim and stayed laying there for 15 min. The first 2-3 min – scared shitless. The rest – enjoying the view of the world from this horizontal place, as my ego got the message: we aren’t going to die today.
I killed and processed a large animal. I had never killed an animal before that but I’ve eaten many. So, eventually, I had to face my ways of being out of integrity with Mother Nature and the cycle of life. I had to face my fear of confronting death in an intelligent animal (a hog) death which I had caused. It was all done in the most humane way, by the way.
There are many other ways I’ve challenged myself, but these are a few.
Oh, ok. I haven’t scared you enough and you ended up still wanting to connect. Respect!
Yes, I’d love to connect. Here’s my “connect” page listing all the ways my digital footprint can be found in the world of zeroes and ones.
When you stop being afraid of dying you will stop being afraid of truly living. This is my current personal work.