Star Spotlight 27: Ari

Ari. Wow. What a man.

I feel a strong kinship with Ari. We are both born under an Aries sun, which grants each of us a fierce and fiery side. However, it’s not just this fire that we share — it’s also a connected and soulful sense of being; a playfulness and generosity; a deep capacity for care and connection. Ari is a loyal friend, and has provided me physical and emotional support on many occasions. He is everyday forging a path in life that is committed to self-betterment, world-betterment, and speaking out from his authentic voice. I am so inspired by Ari continually evolving into a person with more and more wisdom.

Ari is deeply passionate. There are many causes he cares strongly about, and he advocates for them through clear and decisive words and actions. He stands up for what he believes in with resolve and dogged focus. I have long been amazed by Ari’s knowledge about many topics relevant and important to the world we live in today; his ability to acquire a database of information, digest and understand it, allow it to assimilate, and then incorporate it to regular conversation, is mind-boggling/ extraordinary. Suffice it to say, Ari is capable of a tremendously high level of conceptualizing.

Conceptualizing, yes. And also, discerning. Once Ari has gleaned information, he doesn’t just accept it at face value. He’s able to piece it apart, peer with curiosity from many different angles, and then decide what is true for HIM. Once he’s determined his opinions, they are added to his “fleet of smarts;” they become an integral part of who Ari is, and he’s able to inform and teach accordingly. He’s helped shed light on many issues that felt out of my grasp, and I am so grateful for his gift in sharing with, and educating, those around him. He “schools” us, in the best way possible! 🙂

Ari is kind, sensitive, intuitive, and so, so brave. It has taken unbelievable courage to be the person that Ari is today. He has experienced serious setbacks, challenges, heartbreak and heartache and physical and emotional wounding. He’s a survivor of Lyme disease — just one of the areas he uses his past pain to help many others who are still struggling. He speaks candidly and openly about the illness, posts pictures of his process, and is deeply humble and honest about how far he’s come in recovery, and how much pushback he received from the traditional medicine community when trying to receive care. He had to fight hard for treatment, battle aggressively for insurance coverage, and actively reach out for support and allies. The fact that he’s made it so far, in a comparatively short amount of time, feels miraculous to me — but I know it has much (most) to do with Ari’s resilience, Ari’s unwillingness to give up, Ari’s internal strength and conviction and fire, even when his physical body was weak and suffering. I am in awe, Ari, of the man you are, and the person you are becoming.

Ari is incredibly talented with his hands. “Crafty” doesn’t do justice what this guy is able to whip out — he’s a wizard with wood, a genius with refurbishment and redesign. He’s made pieces that leave me breathless with their beauty, simply by shaping and carving and infusing his love into the wood. He’s also a god in the garden, and the plants he feeds grow some of the most beautiful flowers and fruits and I’ve seen emerge from a modest backyard undertaking. That greenery? That magnificent roughage?! Forget about it. Swoon-worthy.

And I can’t help but mention his adorable puppydog, Oscar. I often think that dogs are a reflection of their owners, and Oscar is one of the most loveable pups I’ve ever met. An irresistible ball of sweetness, devotion, excitement, and sincere affection. His adoration is infectious! I credit Ari and Oscar both for forming such an unwavering partnership, and for complementing each other’s lives so sweetly 😉

Ari is an elegant dresser, an excellent conversationalist, an enthusiastic friend and inquisitive learner. He’s worked extensively in the service industry (a line of work that I truly believe to be one of the most physically and emotionally taxing, in the vast sea of careers. To all my brothers and sisters who play waiter, night after night: I salute you), and is excellent at putting people at ease, making them feel comfortable and supported and safe. This ability extends far beyond the walls of a restaurant, too — Ari is a loyal, caring, nurturing friend. When he’s got your back, he’s got it good. He throws a killer dinner party, and a versatile skill-set that makes him an irresistible host: he can make a house look stunning while still feeling cozy and inviting, he can cook a dinner that’s gourmet while still tasting utterly comforting, he can make sure everyone has enough food and wine (or kombucha, depending on the crowd) without hovering or feeling oppressive, he can readily clean up and guide the evening to a natural close while still being generous with his time, and never being pushy. How miraculous!

Ari is currently in the midst of many significant life transitions; the most notable of which is his journey of stepping into his manhood in a whole new and very exciting way. I see Ari embarking upon this journey with unbelievable bravery and fortitude… and a healthy dose of fear and angst and anger thrown in there, too. In all of this, I feel Ari’s aliveness. I feel his spirit rejoicing to finally be coming into alignment in a way it has always been longing to. I feel his spirit also boiling with anger, for all of the pain that’s been inflicted on it, all of the doubt and mistrust and anguish and hatred. In the rejoicing and the anger alike, there is a vitality and vibrancy that’s unmistakeable. The boil sometimes rolls furiously, and sometimes resembles more of a soft simmer, but it’s always there on the back burner. There’s no putting the fire in this man out. There’s no stuffing him into a box that he’s outgrown. There’s no dulling down of his stunning, ferocious, beautiful life force. Ready or not, world, Ari’s a-comin’. I couldn’t be more proud to be a witness and supporter on this journey.

I love you, Ari! Please choose an organization for me to make a donation to, on your behalf.

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