My name is Jellis Vaes and I am a mental health coach, adventurer, and the founder of The IPS Project.
I thought it would be good to tell you a bit more about myself and why I created The IPS Project, because my story is also the story of The IPS Project.
We all have the gift of a voice inside our heart with which to speak. And we all have something worth saying, even if we don’t always realize it. For a long period in my life, I thought I had no voice at all.
For 6 years I went through high school consumed by suicidal thoughts, spending most of my time between the 4 walls of my bedroom – locked away from the world. I was overcome by feelings I had no words for.
Feelings caused by the grief of the death of my father; caused by loneliness; by not knowing my purpose. But most of all, caused by a lack of insights about my own mind and what there was to be seen in the world.
Those 6 years left me with deep scars inside of me.
As years passed by and I turned 18, I was legally able to leave school. I knew that if I didn’t do something about my current situation – that if I didn’t take a chance, my life would have been lost.
In the summer of 2011 I gathered up all the courage I could find inside of me, and I took that chance. I told my mom I was going to quit school and that I was going to travel. She let me – which is the greatest thing I could ever thank her for.
By allowing me to make my choice and by supporting me, she pathed the way for me to save myself. From the moment I picked up my bags and left my room – the moment that I took control of my own life, my journey had begun.
What started as a 2-month journey to South Africa ended in a 3-year journey around the world. A journey of self-healing and one of rediscovering myself, while traveling through countless countries and discovering what an absolutely magnificent world we live in.
I was being educated through my journey, through the world and all the people I met along that journey. After those 3 years of traveling, I returned home, renewed and reborn.
We get absolutely nothing at all taught in schools, or indeed from our parents in many cases, about some of the most fundamental principles of life; the beauty of this world; what opportunities it holds beyond the walls of society, and how to understand and cope with feelings and emotions.
I almost fell through the thin line that separates life and death.
Sadly, many people – and I fully understand why and how it does happen – do fall through it, simply because they don’t know those greater truths, exactly as I didn’t back then.
Having experienced the pure darkness that can seep into your whole being, and then gone through the transformation into the person I am today, who sees life as an absolute blessing, I created The IPS Project, an educational platform on life to help fill in those gaps, schools and society just don’t provide for us.
My overriding hope is that it helps others – you, to witness and understand those greater truths of life, ones that I was so close to never seeing for myself. There is immeasurable beauty in this life that we have been given, a beauty that anyone can find, and everyone deserves.
I very much appreciate your visit to The IPS Project. Thank you, and please feel at home.
This is where the journey begins.