Man Of The Week – Jordan Bower

While life started decades ago, his real life adventure and the path to his purpose began in 2010 when he walked by himself from Canada to Mexico. Jordan Bower begun his 316-day journey most would only dream off doing. Over the 316 days he spent on his feet — first crossing Washington State, before heading down the Oregon Coast into the redwoods of Northern California, and all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge and making his way down to the white sandy beaches in Southern California — Jordan learned his story was my most valuable possession. By the time Jordan reached the Mexican border, he learned his experience gave him a story, one that would help shape his reality, as a life story does to most. Jordan also learned that storytellers were made, not born and that he had a unique ability to help people share their stories. Storytelling sets the framework for the way we engage with one another, and by changing how we tell our story, we set the foundation for meaningful and innovative work, authentic communication and mutually beneficial relationships.
In 2015, Jordan moved to the small city of Victoria, BC, where he started a communications business,  offering story-telling services professionally to clients. His hard work was honoured with an invitation to teach at the Future of Storytelling Summit — an annual event in New York City that also included teachers like Al Gore, Margaret Atwood and Edward Snowden. Today, Jordan has the good fortune of working with dozens of interesting and inspired clients around the world. Each day, he learns more about integrating what he has learned on the road to benefit my clients and community.
As Jordan humbly once said, “I’m one of those lucky people who does meaningful work I love that engages my creativity. I feel privileged for what I’ve experienced, and excited for the road ahead.”
Age – 35
What do you do? (Work)
I’m a Strategic Storyteller. In my work, I help leaders, teams and brands find a more dynamic, purposeful and inclusive way to frame what they do, and to connect it with others.
Why do you do it?
We live in a time that pundits are calling the Age of Loneliness — a time when more of us spend more of our lives isolated and online. I think storytelling is the antidote. By making sense of our own stories and by listening to the stories of others, we become more conscious of who we are — and more conscious of the mystery that surrounds and fills us.
For me, it’s really fulfilling to help my clients put language around ideas they didn’t feel confident expressing before, and to restore authentic storytelling to the business world, which had rejected it. I love what I am lucky enough to do.
How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
This is a loaded question — we all make a difference in the world. The world isn’t static; it changes with us, with every conversation we have and every step we take. I don’t believe that anything I will ever do will meaningfully change what I think is bad about the world. I think that’s self-aggrandizing. Instead, I make choices that are fun, personally challenging and in integrity with my inner self. It’s an honour when those choices affect other people positively.
What are 3 defining moments in your life?
In 2010, I came home one day to find a note on my kitchen table from my girlfriend. Her closet and wardrobe were empty; she’d left me for another man. I panicked. Within weeks, I had launched a Kickstarter project, raising more than $8,000 to walk from Canada to Mexico — it was an idea that we’d had together; by launching the project, I wanted to show her how committed I was to the relationship in order to win her back.
But I couldn’t convince her. At the end of the summer, with nothing more than a backpack on my back, I left Vancouver, Canada, with the intention of walking the length of the West Coast.
That trip was full of defining moments. In the early days, I was convinced that my now ex-girlfriend would “come to her senses” and show up at my tent the next morning. It took about three weeks and 200 miles for me to realize that, probably, she wasn’t showing up. Soon, the doubt and shame I felt about having “driven her away” started transforming into deeper inquiry into myself: like, how did I end up in a relationship with someone who would leave me like that? That was a Pandora’s Box of emotional self-examination, forcing me to dive deeper into my upbringing, my past relationships, my parent’s divorce and my own sense of self-pity, helplessness and pessimism about what it would mean to actually grow up.
As I made my way south — through Washington and Oregon, and into the Redwoods of Northern California, heading for the Golden Gate Bridge — I was faced with obstacle after obstacle — opportunities, I realized for me to “take the blue pill” and stop digging deeper into myself. There were cold nights on isolated beaches; couches surfed in the meth-ridden grow ops of Northern California; sad, intimate encounters with so many strangers met along the way. I cried often — for myself, for my lost relationship, and for the people I was meeting, who were forcing me to become less judgemental of others and more compassionate — more real, I think.
It’s still hard for me to dive deep into that experience. The emotions I experienced on the way were so powerful, and so intense.
What is your life purpose?
I think, at my age, that answering this question would be inappropriate. Ask me again in 35 years.
Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
I have an increasingly intimate relationship with my own inner wisdom that I am learning to trust beyond whatever doubt arises in my head. I am incredibly indebted to a counsellor I have in Los Angeles, who has spent the last 9 years helping me better understand my spirituality — and through it, myself.
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
Most of my habits are things that I criticize myself for — “unspiritual” things like watching sports and Facebook. I love the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors in a way that I still don’t completely understand. One of the things I do every day is check in with last night’s sports scores, and get excited about the game ahead.
When do you know your work/life balance is off?
My body is screaming for movement, but my head is shouting for more time at the computer. My body is always right.
Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
It’s very vulnerable to be answering the questions for this blog post. My favourite form of storytelling is intimate, in person, and it’s very difficult to answer a series of questions using just my fingertips. To you, the reader, I’d love to be able to connect and share something emotionally meaningful that gets us both out of our heads. I know that you’re looking for something inspirational, like everyone else killing time on the Internet. It feels really vulnerable to try and inspire you, without knowing whether I’ll have ever been successful.
What did you learn from it?
To get out of my head, get into the flow, and to stop worrying about the consequences.
If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
There’s a great book called Iron John, which anyone who’s done some men’s work will know well. The book’s a modern re-interpretation of the old Grimm Brothers fairy tale called Iron John, which is more or less the story of a young prince learning how to be a king.
The book is great for a number of reasons — as the author says, fairy tales are humanity’s most deeply entrenched wisdom, because oral stories passed from generation to generation are like heavily filtered water — only pure truth remains. But the most important detail in the book is in the first 25 pages, when the young boy discovers the hiding place for the key to his inner man — his wildness, sexual power, creativity, confidence. Where is the key? It’s hiding underneath his mother’s pillow. The boy’s task is to take the key — not ask for the key — take the key.
The one piece of advice I have for another man is to read Iron John. If you can’t read the whole thing, read just the first 75 or so pages. And take the damn key.
How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
Stop worrying about being the best partner. Instead, in my relationship, I focus on expressing my feelings appropriately, telling the truth and being intentional in the way I choose to act. For a long time, I was very concerned with “doing things the right way”, and that obsession with being perfect spilled over to all aspects of my relationships — conversation, future planning, sex. In the past few years, I’ve focused on being real instead, and trusting my partner’s ability to communicate clearly — and, occasionally, to accept or forgive my flaws. My relationship has been much, much stronger ever since.
Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
I don’t actively support any charities. In the last few years, my focus has been on building my business, and all my available time and money has gone into that. One ambition for the future is to sit on the board of a non-profit. I think I’m still a few years away from that.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, by Paul Simon. Graceland was the album I listened to most while I was walking.
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
More entrenched in the global business community, delivering storytelling services that are world class. Travelling widely to deliver trainings and workshops. Advising large scale clients. Staying grounded. Practicing yoga 4 times a week. Rooting into a comfortable home. Anticipating life with children. Feeling happy, loving and connected with my highest self.
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
Honestly, I have never thought about this. I hope that I never do.
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
Besides Iron John (recommended above), Gary Snyder’s “The Practice of the Wild. Beautiful, insightful, wise and freeing essays written by one of America’s greatest poets. A true modern masterpiece.


Which Statement Best Applies To You?

Click the button below.