Michael Sanders: Forgetting Who You Are to Remember What You Are

Michael Sanders is a man of many qualities. As soon as we began speaking, I was struck by his inherent kindness and warmth, a likeness which echoed through his soft-spoken voice as he began to share his story with me.

As someone who transitioned out of a corporate role to pursue my greater passions not long ago, this story deeply resonated with me. A corporate executive turned author and speaker, Michael is committed to fostering human connection, travel, improving the world, helping you unlock your potential and bringing love and play into your every day life.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a partner at SunMoon Energy, a clean energy startup developing power generation technologies to make the future cleaner. I am also a partner at Lovelution: The Evolution of Love on the Dance Floor, where they combine shamanic sound therapy with the world’s grooviest dance music. Lastly, I am the Author of Ayahuasca: An Executive’s Enlightenment, a book that will inspire you to unlock your potential.

How did you get to where you are today?

Back in 2013, I was going through some extreme fatigue and darkness. I was working as Vice President of advertisement agency, the co-founder of gaming company start up and I was training 10-14 times per week. Essentially, I was never relaxing or meditating, didn’t allow for rest days and was very obsessed with my goals. That is, until I hit my breaking point.

I became so tired, all the time, that I was sleeping 10-12 hours each night. Every morning my alarm felt like a sick joke, because I just never felt rested. I could barely hang out with friends because I would want to go home early, so that I could wake up to train the next morning. I was only 25 and I would go into the ad agency around noon and leave at 4 PM due to exhaustion, my libido was shot and I felt like I had lost control.

At this point, I consulted with a naturopath who got me to focus on meditation and ‘play’. For the last 4 1/2 years now, I’ve been meditating every day and refocusing my life around the concept of play and free-flowing energy and movement. This shift in the focus of my life finally allowed me to feel like myself again.

What was the most pivotal moment for you, that you can recall?

After I began work with my naturopath, I went to Burning Man. The experience was life changing, and arriving there felt like arriving home. I discovered a level of being that I had always been seeking but never consciously knew I was looking for.

Upon returning, my friend asked about New Years plans, and he suggested we go down to the Amazon jungle and drink Ayahuasca. That Boxing Day in 2013, 3 of us traveled down to Peru and met up with another friend who organizes expeditions, and then we trekked through the Amazon for a week. This was a deeply grounding and connecting experience, and then on New Years Eve we had our first Ayahuasca ceremony.

The ceremony shattered my previous paradigm of reality. It was so profoundly impactful, I was telepathically communicating with other dimensional beings and learned that love truly is the creative force behind all things in the world. This understanding and deep knowing beyond any doubt was so deeply reassuring, it’s been with me ever since.

It was this experience that made me into an Author, as I wrote Ayahuasca: An Executive’s Enlightenment upon my return. The book later became an Amazon best seller, and allowed people from around the world reach out to me and share their stories.

Did you ever imagine you would become an author?

Honestly, growing up, the only goal I really had was to write a book that I felt was awesome. My experience in the Amazon showed me that we always have a choice. We aren’t forced to do anything. The greatest thing anyone can do is follow their passion and do what they love most. After all, we are on this planet, if you aren’t enjoying it… what’s the point?

How did you get into working with SunMoon energy?

As soon as I returned from the jungle, I walked away from the start-up I had founded. I realized how deep my bond with Mother Nature was, and recognized that my professional path had changed. In the month of May in 2014, four months after my trip to the Amazon, I saw the sun and the moon out at the same time for a 3 week period. I knew this seemed astronomically impossible, so I kept making notes in my phone to describe what I was seeing. Following this, my friend called me about an environmental start-up opportunity he thought I might want to get involved with. Then he told me that the company was called SunMoon Energy. If that isn’t a sign from the Universe, what is?

Working with this company has been an incredibly rewarding journey, as we get closer to distributing their clean technologies to the world. And this transition I experienced just goes to show, you have to trust the Universe. If you follow your heart, things have a way of working out.

Okay, so what’s next for you?

I’m giving a talk this weekend at Camp Summerdaze called “Forgetting Who You Are, To Remember What You Are”. I’ve known the Summerdaze creators since 2015 and I’m so thrilled to be asked to speak at the festival, with all of the incredible people involved. The festival takes place July 28th – 30th. 

I’m also in the process of co-authoring a men’s book (title not yet determined) about evolving masculinity. This will include a group of 15 men sharing their experiences.

What is your take on psychedelics?

I think they are an amazing tool to explore consciousness and step outside our identity, to pull you back from your past and observe possibilities from a bird’s eye view and re-evaluate from a peaceful place. That kind of experience just provides you with an understanding that there are so many things that you can do, and at any given moment you can change your life.

What are some habits you make sure you make time for every day, with no exceptions?

As a mover and an athlete, I take time to play every day. Whether it’s dance, handstands, strength training, gymnastics, squash, snowboarding, or hiking, there is so much value in taking time to just flow, play and get into your body. I also meditate each morning, going inward to connect with peace, joy, gratitude, love, stillness and infinity. This practice has radically improved my relationship with life.