The Visionary’s Manifesto in association with Heart of Cool Presents Julian Butler “Julian’s journey in Black and White”
This week’s visionary is a young man who by all accounts has become very centered through a series of events in his life that has compelled him to explore the subtle nuances of acceptance, race, perseverance, healing, spirituality and the evolution of the human mind and body. In speaking with this heartfelt young man I found myself in awe of how life can take us all on what seems like a challenging journey only to allow us to look back in hindsight and realize that all of those mistakes give the destination true meaning. Usually I conduct an interview in the format of Q&A’s but this time I think it more important to let our candidate speak his mind first. His story is familiar to anybody on a journey to discover their own self-worth.
HoC: Julian, on behalf of The Visionary’s Manifesto and Heart of Cool we honor your perspective and narrative in the highest of vibrations. Please take us on “Julian’s journey in black and white.”
JB: I strive to be the most transparent person that I can be to avoid my narrative being misunderstood and I have no issues utilizing social media to show my journey. I hope that perhaps some people that have been down a similar path can gain some type of strength or motivation from seeing where I have been. My family is from Kalamazoo Michigan which is more of an urban area but I was born in New Jersey, my mom had moved to NJ for a job but afterwards my family then decided to move back to Michigan but instead of going back to Kalamazoo my parents decided to raise my brother and me in a more Caucasian populated area of Michigan called Paw Paw which had safer neighborhoods and better schools. The idea was to set us up for a chance at success. My brother and I played sports which was strongly encouraged by my father and to stay competitive we would attend our school sponsored programs in Paw Paw Michigan but during the summers we would go back to our urban neighborhood in Kalamazoo a.k.a the hood and play basketball and other sports. One of the biggest challenges was learning where to fit in because when I went to my old neighborhood during the summer I would get comments like, “Why do you talk white?” and when I would go back home to Paw Paw I would be judged because of the color of my skin in a predominantly white school system. Looking back on that scenario I can see how I learned how to adapt and to understand different racial backgrounds. There were times when I actually felt like two different people, one versed in white culture and the other my black heritage. t wasn’t until I was a bit older that I got comfortable being in my own skin and to stop trying to fit in all the time. My brother was the first one to get out of the house by joining the Air Force and I saw how that expanded his horizons with the opportunity to travel but I made the choice after high school to enroll in college. Almost a year later I knew it wasn’t the right choice because I was in a reckless state of mind. My relationship with my parents was stressful along with how I felt about myself and my belief system, I needed an escape so I followed in my brother’s footsteps and joined the military. I was recruited and while I was in boot camp the Presidential Honor Guard would encourage the recruits to apply. I did because I saw the prestige of their unit but I also wanted to make my parents proud. I was one of ten recruits accepted out of my graduating class of about twenty-five hundred into the National Honor Guard.
Even though I had accomplished a great deal with regard to my position in the military I still had not learned the value of living a conscious life and living in harmony with my spirituality. It was only a matter of time before God would send out that wakeup call. When I went home on leave from the military, I had a motorcycle back home and I went out one night with my friends. While I was moving my bike from one part of the parking lot to the other my bike slipped on a patch ground that wet from some sprinklers spraying water. The back end of my bike went out from under me as I was coming around a curve and my head hit the concrete whereby I incurred head trauma from a blood clot between my brain and my skull due to me not wearing my helmet. I was rushed to the ER and I woke up about two days later with no recollection of what had happened, I was on so many different drugs for the pain that while I was recovering at home my mind was in such a flux that I barely remembered my parents caring for me or any interactions from that brief period. That was probably one of the most darkest moments of my life but God is so amazing that even though I had that accident which could have changed everything for the worse the military gave me the option to move onto a different job title or separate with an honorable discharge. I wanted to spread my wings to see what I could do on the outside and of course those choices included going back to my small town in Michigan and rejoin those old pathways which included the known culture of friends and family or I could take a chance and follow a different path that would allow me to enjoy life. The opportunity opened up via my cousin who relocated to Miami and who was a personal trainer doing very well for himself. So I took the leap of faith and I was able with his help to refocus and reset those things in my life that were out of alignment by way of regaining my belief in myself and strengthening my relationship with God.
I became versed in physical fitness, which shifted my life and mental aptitude in general due to the concentrated effort of rebuilding myself from a global health driven platform. It was a sense of the collective that allowed me to regain my life and focus to include all the details in-between.
HoC: How do you see yourself and your vision evolving in the next few years?
JB: I think it’s about touching more people given the direction of where my life is going in respect to my past and present state of existence to reach out and help someone else to navigate their own journey. It is my sincere hope to engage people not only through fitness training but also on a more human level of interaction where I deeply communicate with them as to how they are feeling on the inside. As I’m writing on my vision board one of the four questions that I ask myself when I’m committing to anything is number one does it bring me closer to God, number two does it make me happy, number three does it help others and number four does it provide an income which is something of a test for me because I’m not as inclined to operate on such a capitalistic level but it’s a necessity as it relates to me growing my reach. I still have trials and tribulations that I go through but it’s definitely less isolating when I can rely on the strength of supportive people in my life.
HoC: What is your belief system regarding your strong sense of spirituality?
JB: I believe that we do have a higher power and that we are all inter-connected. The energy is real and whatever you attract is directly related to what you give. We don’t just send out our good intentions in a vacuum but that there is a definite reciprocation within the universal meaning of love and intention. I look for the God in everything which is not just some mystical man or human figure but a powerful spiritual energy source guiding us towards our highest selves.
HoC: What advice would you give to others who are facing challenges and trying to find their purpose in this life?
JB: I would recommend they quiet the outside noise and allow themselves to go within to a place of peace to connect with the all-knowing spiritual energy and look at how God is using that moment to teach, evolve and move them along in a purpose driven direction. Allow yourself to simply receive what the universe is bestowing upon you hence knowing that all things are designed in ways seen and unseen to work for your ultimate good.
To learn more about Julian Butler and his amazing life’s journey please follow him on Instagram at trainerjofficial