Man Of The Week – Light Watkins

Trust is one of the most critical, yet fragile, facets in every relationship we have. It can often be the deciding factor that determines how relationships unfold and how much we choose to invest. This weeks Man Of The Week, Light Watkins, learned this lesson from the very young age of seven, when he felt heavy discouragement because his coach did not trust him.
Today, Light is a meditation expert, a published author, blogger and TEDx speaker that teaches meditation as a way to trigger happiness, one that is rooted in the trust and love we have for ourselves. He has personally taught over 2,000 people to meditate and is currently inviting people to join him on a meditation retreat in Costa Rica New Years 2016, or learn meditation in LA, NYC and Chicago

Age: 42

What do you do?
I’m an author, teacher, and founder of The Shine Movement.
Why do you do it?
When I was 29, I made a vow to follow my heart relentlessly. I knew that if I could do that, all of my other needs would be met.
How do you make a difference in the world?
I feel that it’s my responsibility to have blind trust in life — and in the moments when I’m able to do that, everything and everyone that I come into contact with benefits.
What are 3 defining moments in your life?
1) When I was 7, my little league baseball coach instructed me not to swing, because he was afraid I would strike out. That experience taught me what discouragement feels like, and I vowed to never be that person who discourages people from taking a chance.
2) Discovering the Conversation with God books when I was 26 — it was my gateway into becoming a spiritual seeker.
3) Meeting my meditation teacher when I was 29.
What is your life purpose?
To continue following my heart and trusting in life.
How did you tap into it?
I believe it’s inherent within each of us. What I’ve found is that daily meditation refines my ability to detect heart messages with greater accuracy.
Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
My father, an attorney, is my role model. He’s always been a hard worker, sharp as a whip, and one of the most insightful people I’ve ever met. He’s never lost a case.
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
Daily meditation. Exercise. Laughing.
When do you know your work/life balance is off?
When I’m reluctant to receive — it means I haven’t been giving enough.
Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
The process of accepting a new name, “Light,” and deciding to go through with changing it ten years ago.
What did you learn from it?
I learned that Westerners are the only culture to keep the name they were given at birth, and I received further confirmation that when you follow through with what’s in your heart, you always end up in a better position than you imagined for yourself.
If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
Always leave a situation or relationship better than you found it, including your own body and life.
How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
When the going gets tough, remember that women communicate very differently from men (and often have different priorities as well), so instead of resisting those differences, learn to appreciate and honor them.
Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
I started The Shine Movement in Los Angeles as a community of micro-philanthropy. In other words, inspire a lot of people to use what they have now to make a difference on a local level.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Still teaching and writing, and hopefully being a father
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
The truth about happiness — that it comes from within
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
My book, The Inner Gym: A 30-Day Workout for Strengthening Happiness. It’s a practical how-to guide for anyone who wants to stabilize happiness from the inside-out.
If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]

Recapping An Incredible Night! – ManTalks Role Models and Mentors

Well, we did it again… another epic, inspiring and sold out ManTalks Monday at our new event space at HOOTSUITE HQ! 
First off BIG thanks and appreciation to the team at Hootsuite, who opened up their space, helped us set up/take down and stayed off the clock to help make this all happen for our community!
If you missed the evening, read on for a quick recap of the night, and if you were there, we’ve highlighted our favourite moments and would love to hear yours.
9d098739-2cc8-4231-9da5-90a15963c68aManTalks Role Models and Mentors kicked off with a wonderful introduction by our founder Connor Beaton.
This month we brought four local speakers to our stage to share their journeys of mentorship, role models, and the impact fatherhood has had on their ability to lead, inspire and connect to purpose.
It was a night filled with laughter, deep insights and inspiration from each speaker and wonderful engagement from the community.
81feb756-2167-4db6-8699-9b0b46fc0b72Andy Zaremba
The first speaker to take our stage on Monday was Andy Zaremba from Float House.
Our four biggest takeaways from Andy:

  • Before you can become a role model, you have first to take care of yourself, deal with your “stuff” and learn how to become accountable to yourself.
  • Challenges are along your path for you to move THROUGH. It is in the darkest times that you are lead towards and through exactly what you need to face to become your greatest version of yourself.
  • Becoming a father while unexpected and filled with many unanticipated challenges has become Andy’s biggest access to experiencing unconditional love.
  • Being vulnerable takes great courage and strength. By doing so, you create the space for others to follow your lead, drop into their hearts, get real with themselves and have experiences that truly matter.

808f334c-bd48-4c25-9bc3-06266680d15bRicky Shetty
Our second speaker was Ricky Shetty from Daddy Blogger
Our four biggest takeaways from Ricky:

  • The best quality in a mentor is their ability to truly listen.
  • We always run the risk of repeating the patterns of our parents and early childhood role models and the ability to change patterns of dysfunctional behavior reside 100% in your willingness to freely choose to become someone different.
  • One of the keys to healing these past patterns is forgiveness.
  • Mentors have the capacity and responsibility of believing in you. They see things in you that you currently can’t. Their ability to see these qualities in you and remind you regularly leads to a life-changing tipping point where their belief in you helps you to begin believing in yourself.

5f0b240d-3474-4fb7-a644-f7dba8f49e36Horrasias Balabyekkubo
Our third speaker of the night was Horrasias Balabyekkubo Philanthropist and Inspirational Speaker.
Our four biggest takeaways from Horrasias:

  • The role of the masculine is to Protect, Provide and Preserve the love and innocence of the ones who look up to you for your guidance and leadership.
  • Becoming a father is one of the greatest ways in which he could directly give back to the world by loving extraordinarily.
  • We are so fearful of being excellent but you are born for great things and it is up to you to guide your purpose from within and not let anything or anyone take away what you are destined to become. Challenges and hardships have the potential to completely erode your positive life view any by remaining congruent with who you really are in those great times of challenge, you become an example of purpose, love and truth in action.
  • The importance of giving freely. To truly understand the nature of giving and unconditional love you have to be willing to be part of the experience. There is a difference between intellectualizing and experiencing. To become legendary you must be willing to dive into the experience of love fully and completely.

 69510dcb-324b-44b2-b164-801e98caccf7Dai Manual
Our final speaker of the evening was Dai Manual COO of Fitness Town Inc.
Our four biggest takeaways from Dai:

  • Making promises to others has no real significant impact until you learn how to make and keep promises to yourself.
  • Mentors truly want to know who you are and are equipped in asking the right questions to understand who you really are behind all the smoke and mirrors of your life.
  • The pain of living a dual life provides you with the opportunity to become more compassionate and a better listener- two fundamental qualities in role models and mentors who have the potential to make a profound positive difference in the lives of future generations.
  • Nothing is finite or determined. No matter what choices you have made in the past every moment is an opportunity to change something and in his words “become the type of man you would want your daughters to spend the rest of their lives with.”

Our final takeaway of the night was a question posed to the audience from our founder:

“Who do you want to have a deeper relationship with? What is stopping you?”

We want to hear from YOU!
Share your insights, takeaways and breakthroughs with us! Using the hashtag #mantalks on all social media forums will help us find you and keep the inspired conversations going!
Next ManTalks Monday will take place on May 25th at Hootsuite, where we’ll be diving into the theme: Masculinity and Purpose. Tickets go on sale soon so keep an eye on your inbox!
Team ManTalks

Why Mentoring is Important for Life and Business Success

Paul Ratsoy, Corey Porter, & Gary Bizzo…
Those names might not mean anything to you, however, to me, these three individuals have changed my life. Why…you ask? Because Paul, Corey, and Gary are my mentors. They have given me guidance in life, in marriage, in fatherhood, and in business.
We all NEED mentors to succeed.
Growing up, I didn’t have a healthy family foundation. My parents were always fighting, we never ate dinner around the dining table together as a family and we never went on camping or road trips. Eventually, my parents had a divorce. Not having a strong father figure, I would look up to Hockey Players as my mentors and role models. I would send them Hockey Cards in the mail asking for autographs, I would line-up for hours outside the Pacific Coliseum to meet my Canucks Mentors, and I would seek guidance from these sports heroes.
However, they weren’t really mentors…they were more like idols. What I needed was not someone distant to look up to but someone close who would look into me, guide and shape me, and help me form my core identity.
It was only in my early 20s that I got my first mentor: Paul Ratsoy. For the first time in my life, someone believe in me, someone invested time in me, someone loved and cared for me in a way that I never found with my parents, my dad, or my hockey heroes.
Week after week after week for several years, Paul Ratsoy invested quality time with me at Bread Garden at Park and Tilford Mall in North Vancouver to make me the man I am today. He listened as I shared my personal struggles regarding my faith, my family, my school, my career, and my life. He never judged, never questioned, never doubted…he just listened, just guided, just shared his insights, experiences, and inner wisdom.
After Paul, it was Corey Porter who spend lunch hour after lunch hour guiding me and forming me while I was an undergrad at UBC. Corey helped me form my spiritual identity and my passion for people. Corey sincerely loved and cared for people, and he imparted this love for people in me too. And now, it’s Gary Bizzo who invests one hour of his time each week on the phone giving me Business Mentorship through the Futurepreneur Program. After years of running multiple successful businesses, Gary is willing and able to invest the time needed to make my businesses a success.
I am eternally grateful for Paul, Corey, and Gary. Thank you.
I can’t really pay them back. However, I can pay it forward…by mentoring others. So, that’s what I have done. I have mentored a little brother Stuart through the Big Brothers Program. I have mentored new immigrants Phil and Ali through the Mosaic Immigrant Services. I have mentored disabled people through the Kudos Experience. And, most importantly, of all, I now am able to mentor my two young kids Rianne and Ryan by giving them a strong family foundation, by eating meals around the dining table, and by taking them on road trips and being the father I never had.
Mentorship is important for many reasons:
1) Guidance – having an experienced friend to learn from and to guide you
2) Accountability – being fully accountable to someone to reach your goals
3) Support – knowing that there is someone who deeply loves and cares for you
This Monday, April 13, 2015 join myself and other dads who will share the importance of having and being mentors and role models at ManTalks!
Ricky Shetty - Photobin PhotographyRicky Shetty is the owner and operator of the family-friendly website which gives a father’s perspective into parenting! In addition, Ricky runs several events, workshops, and conferences in Vancouver. His next big conference is
Ricky’s greatest passion is fatherhood and his two wonderful kids Rianne and Ryan.You can find out more about Ricky on his Daddy Blogger website:


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