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Fear.less nov2010

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  • 1. ‘‘doing nothing is aLmost never the ‘‘ smart thing. 05 seth godin 11 “Live a Life that is truLy your own.” 29 NOV “to Change the worLd, first Change yourseLf.” 2010
  • 2. contents tips 5 A pAssion to produce 23 Beyond suffering Best if viewed in Acrobat Reader. Click here to download. Seth Godin Robert A.F. Thurman 11 listen to your life 29 ViVA lA (connection) reVolution Best viewed full screen. Click above icon to go full screen. Parker J. Palmer Kyeli + Pace
  • 3. feAr.less Ishita Gupta Publisher Ishita Gupta Executive Editor advertising [at] fearlessstories [dot] com Advertising Matt Atkinson Deputy Editor Katie Byrne Copy Editor Jason Ramirez Senior Designer fearlessstories.com aCknowLedgments scribd.com/fearlessstories fear.less would not exist without our contributors. we thank them for their time, generosity, and wisdom. twitter.com/fearlessstories facebook.com/fearlessstories You’re given the unlimited right to print and distribute this magazine and we encourage you to share it. You may not alter this in any way though, and you may not charge for it or for any of the content. The copyright in this work belongs to the publishers, who are solely responsible for the content. All images used with permission of contributors. Please send feedback or questions to info@fearlessstories.com. To subscribe to the magazine for free, go to http://www.fearlessstories.com.
  • 4. The very greatest things - great thoughts, discoveries, inventions - have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty. Samuel Smiles
  • 5. 5 “The hardest part of it all is just to start.” A PASSION TO PRODUCE SETh GoDIn visions of a Bank teLLer a t the beginning of my career, I was afraid I’d have to get a regular job as a bank teller or in corporate finance and that I’d never recover from that choice. That once I got in, I wouldn’t be able to get out. So I spent my first years working really hard and investing enough time and energy to be able to have a blog that now lets me talk about what I want and a book-publishing contract emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 6. 6 “ I lISTEnED To ZIG ZIGlAR’S AuDIo TAPES on MoTIvATIon FoR FouR houRS A DAY JuST To MAKE IT ThRouGh MY AnxIETY. ” that allows me to write what I want tional route, and there was noth- to write. But it wasn’t easy. I did ing I could do but listen to Zig for so many different things to make hours, just to see what it might feel sure enough money was coming like on the other side. back on. I wasn’t going to be I worked as hard and ran as fast in - packaged books, managed unemployed. It was the promise as I could. artists, started in sales - because I made to these people that I fo- I was so scared of not being able i ran as fast cused on. There were an infinite to stick it out another day. When I first started out in sales, I listened as i CouLd number of things I did because I the Beginning to Zig Ziglar’s audio tapes on mo- didn’t want to fail, like waking up at 4 o’clock every morning every is the hardest tivation for four hours a day just to When I ran Yoyodyne, I lived with intense fear, because there were day to come into work. once, make it through my anxiety. The The work is the hard part, the art, 70 people depending on me, I pitched for funding in three cit- alternative - giving up - was too the effort that leads to useful cre- and if I screwed up, they went ies in three states in six hours. frightening. If everything depend- ativity, and the hardest part of it home with nothing. no job, no It was insane. You don’t do that ed on one sales call, and some- all is just to start. The beginning is equity, nothing. I held myself ac- unless you’re really afraid. I was one hung up on you, that was a always the hardest. At first, you’re countable to every single person, afraid that we’d run out of money scary thing. Society was telling paralyzed by anxiety, but then it because I knew that if something before the world figured out we me to stop, everyone was telling gets easier and easier as you went wrong, I had things to fall were doing something good, so me to stop and go the conven- continue. I won’t start a project emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 7. 7 unless I’m prepared to see it all my resistance is kicking in and challenge is always that I could that’s what I do. I’m not doing this the way through. I’m afraid to start?” be doing more, that I could be to make money. I do it to make a taking more risks, pushing things point. I do it because I’m afraid The challenge is to understand harder than I am. It’s almost a that if I didn’t, I’d be wasting the that the thing that is the scari- est, the thing that should cause a moraL moral obligation I feel, so I think - how dare I write something trivial? opportunity I have. the most anxiety, you’ve already oBLigation Right now, what drives me is the It’s oK if I’m not popular, and done - it was deciding whether to Be CLear fear that I’m not doing the work. it’s fine with me if people say, “I you were going to do the project There are plenty of people who never want to read anything you at all. now it’s just about complet- I’ve worked so hard to achieve have been as fortunate as I have write again.” It doesn’t matter if I ing it. You need to train yourself to a certain leverage that I fear the in business who’ve made the write something that doesn’t reso- be aware and to say, “Wait, is the work I’m doing isn’t worthy of that. choice not to do anything pro- nate with people. I’m not trying to reason I didn’t stay up two more When I read my work, I look at it ductive. It’s risky to put your repu- please everyone. I’m just trying to hours to launch this because I’m and say, “Is that enough?” The tation on the line every day, but be clear. really that tired? or is it because emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 8. 8 our fears are fake Fear is there for a reason. In the old days, there was no time for anxiety because we were so scared all the time - of saber-toothed tigers and ma- laria and running out of food. Those were legitimate fears that changed our behavior. I couldn’t happily sleep out in the jungle in Tanzania, because that’s real fear. Today, almost all the fear in our lives is fake. If you’re at a computer and you can read this, and if you live in a country where the police don’t shoot people randomly, what exactly are you afraid of? You’re not going to be struck by lightning. The man isn’t go- ing to come and take you away. We invent all these absurd fears, “I won’t be employed in a month,” “I won’t get a good parking space,” “I won’t get my picture on a plaque next to the cash register.” That’s not fear, that’s anxiety - they’re different. Anxiety is a side effect. Anxiety is paralyzing be- cause we believe that hiding will keep the anxiety from getting worse. Do- ing nothing is almost never the smart thing. emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 9. 9 “ ThE ChAllEnGE IS AlWAYS ThAT I CoulD BE DoInG MoRE ” a Bias for aCtion As the amount of real fear in life goes down, we should recog- nize that although we might still have similar feelings, those are just anxieties that get in the way of us doing what we’re supposed to do. “Why bother raising your hand because something bad could happen?” “Why write an op-ed piece for The new York Times because someone might come after you?” If you talk to people who are actually creating worthwhile art, they’ve figured out how to separate their fear from their anxiety. Winners have a bias emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 10. 10 for action, a posture that says, of not making a living on my own When I look back to my past anx- “oK, I’m aware that I’m afraid, terms, is that I’ve forced myself to iety that’s now gone, I easily real- but I have to fix this right now, be- either quit right away or create a ize how stupid it was. cause tomorrow is too late.” Then passion to produce. That’s what they do it because it has to get continues to keep me moving, al- done. What I’ve done, and I got though the anxiety went away a lucky because I was so scared while ago. SETH After working as a software brand manager in the mid-1980s, seth godin founded Yoyodyne, one of the first online direct-marketing firms that redefined how companies reached their custom- ers. Yahoo! acquired Yoyodyne in 1998, and now Seth writes the most popular BLog in the world and lectures on marketing, new media, and the way ideas spread. he is founder of squidoo.Com a popular recommendation website that raises money for charity. he’s the author of 12 Best- seLLing Books, including Purple Cow, Tribes, The Dip, and his latest, LinChpin: are you indispensaBLe? emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 11. 11 “I’ve come to think of fear as a school of the spirit.” lISTEN TO yOUR lIfE PARKER J. PAlMER Q: You’ve had a diverse professional life, and Your path wasn’t set when You started Your writing ca- reer. did You have periods of uncertaintY on the search for Your vocation? A: I went from getting a Ph.D at Berkeley thinking I would go into ac- ademic life, to finding myself becoming a community organizer in Washington, D.C. in the late ‘60s working on social issues. I’ve al- emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 12. 12 ways seen myself as an activist in risks and not being understood - not being understood or not mak- biggest is to get cross-wise with education and broadly understood yet there was something inside me ing money - the loss of my own our own truths and our own deep- issues of justice. Five years later I that just kept saying this your path, identity and integrity. est callings. I also had a practical moved to a Quaker community of this is what you need to do. I had thought about the money issue, 70 people near Philadelphia where dim apprehensions that if I didn’t Getting cross-wise with myself is which I know is a big one for a lot I lived for 11 years doing adult follow the inner-leading, I’d walk one way I end up saying it. I think of young people who feel called to education, and from there transi- into something a lot tougher than of all the risks we take in life, the an unconventional vocation or ca- tioned to an independent career as a writer and traveling teacher. It’s been an unconventional path, but looking back on it at age 70, I see how it connects, and perhaps how it makes sense. But I felt fear during many passages of my vocational journey. To be specific, it was the fear that came from no one else understanding why I was doing this. At the time, everyone had me slated as a young college presi- dent or institutional leader of some sort, but my personal path took me farther outside of institutions. I was married with three small chil- dren, and my work didn’t make me nearly as much money as conven- tional jobs would have, so the only answer I’ve been able to come up with as to what sustained me dur- ing those periods of uncertainty and economic anxiety was that I somehow I couldn’t not do it. It’s a strange double negative, I guess, that you couldn’t not do something, but it shows that I was not crazy about doing these things - taking emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 13. 13 reer track. As I said, I had three decided to do something differ- Your soul that didn’t is to be a teacher. I learned over young children, and from time ent, I would be angry and bitter tell You anYthing di- time that you didn’t have to be in to time people would say to me, for spending all those years de- rectlY, but that told a conventional classroom to be a “Don’t you think you should get a fying my own truth for the sake of You a thousand differ- teacher. The five years I spent as job that earns good money in or- something my children now didn’t ent things at once? a community organizer in D.C., I der to provide those children with want to do. I thought, that’s not a sometimes it’s hard to was a a teacher. At Pendle hill, a college education?” I wrestled good way to live, and the most make out exactlY what an adult study center and living/ with that because I have always important thing I can model for it’s trYing to tell You. learning community, I was the tried to be responsible. My par- my children is vocational integrity, dean of studies, so I was an ad- ents were a great model of that being true to your own guidance A: Yes. It can be said that I followed ministrative leader, but I was also and gave me help along the way. rather than an easy path. So I a fair number of those thousand a teacher. When you listen care- What I finally came to understand found a variety of ways to reason different things. But looking back, fully enough to yourself, there are was that if I worked in my twen- through that, but the fear was cer- that there was some consistent red threads of continuity that con- ties, thirties and forties simply to tainly there the whole time. thread running through all that. nect what look like tremendous support my vision of what my It’s hard to name what that was, disparities on the surface. children’s future ought to be, by Q: during those times, but I think, for example, that one the time they got to be 18 and did You get pangs from of the closest callings to my heart In my own life two things have emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 14. 14 been vital to separating truth from Q: i fear what i’m not go- think those are wonderful images learning in their own solitude. So falsety. one is: solitude. I don’t ing to find. for what’s inside of us. I think there are practical ways to mean staring out the window for sort that out. I think the problem a five minutes. I mean getting your- A: That’s right. We are gold mines The second thing is a trustwor- lot of us have when we try to read self into a place where for a day, inside, but there’s other stuff too. thy community of people. That ourselves is that we sit alone and or weekend, you’re alone. You’re There’s a wonderful poem by Wil- doesn’t mean a big group, it recycle it within our own heads, maybe walking, or journaling, try- liam Stafford about Indians and could mean two or three folks and then get terminally confused, ing to sort things out not by bust- the gold mine. It’s called “Decid- who understand their job is not to and are more likely to come out ing your head, but by letting your- ing”. let me just take a minute to advise you about what to do, but with the wrong discernment that self quiet down. read it to you. I think it is a beauti- to listen deeply to what you say way. It’s an experiential learning ful, beautiful poem. and ask you honest, open ques- that simply requires you to keep Q: it can be frightening tions about it. under the ques- coming back to these questions to be Quiet for a little tions of other people, you start to about your life and reading your while... be able to hear more clearly the own responses to situations and deCiding truth in you. We obviously have trying to figure out how accurate A: If a person is serious about both true and false voices inside wanting to sort this stuff out, then one mine the Indians worked ourselves and the art of asking he simply must do it. But you’re absolutely right: We don’t do had gold so good they left it there for God to keep. honest, open questions - I wrote about this in “The hidden Whole- “ onE these things. In fact, we do the opposite, don’t we? We busy At night sometimes you think your ness” - is a demanding one. “have you thought about see- oF ThE ourselves with non-essentials, we distract ourselves with overwork way that far, that deep, or almost. ing a therapist?” is not an open question - that’s really a recom- BIGGEST or radio or Tv or the computer in order to keep our minds off what You hold all things or not, de- pending not on greed but whether mendation in disguise. But if a friend says x makes me angry, FEARS is really troubling us. one of the biggest fears people have is sim- they suit what life begins to mean. and you ask simple questions like: “What do you mean by ‘an- PEoPlE ply going inside. They fear what they’ll find if they take that inner like those workers you study what moves, what stays. You bow, and gry’? under what circumstances do you get angry? What do you hAvE IS SIMPlY journey. But when you want to then like them, you know- do when you’re angry?” These understand yourself and your What’s God, what’s world, what’s are open questions because you GoInG impulses better, you just have to gold. can’t possibly ask them under have to spend some quality time the impression you already know InSIDE.” with yourself. The final line means that death the answer. These allow your is sorted out by thinking deep. I friends to explore what they’re emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 15. 15 they are. I like to use a phrase: the position that God was not on hold those forces in the nation to- a definitive answer for how to how life-giving are your thoughts either side here; God wept about gether as a whole. solve the problem, all you have and choices? I increasingly think the whole thing. leadership like to do is let each other know that that there are so many of these that can help heal what would I do think fear is endemic, and you’re not alone. That in itself is inner choices we make in life otherwise be an impossible situ- that there is no cure for any psy- some mysterious and magical about what to trust and what kind of solution. People find to rely on, that the most basic empowerment in that. I’ve question we could be asking had so many people thank is: Is this a life-giving choice me for going public with this I’m making or not? thing called depression that so many people treat as Also, sometimes it’s help- shameful and try to hide. ful to actually sit down with When you ask someone how someone we really admire they are, they’re supposed and ask the simple question: to say, “I’m fine.” We’re not how do you do this? And see supposed to say we’re afraid what you can learn and ask or we’re depressed. When them, “Would you be willing you’re in a place where you to spend some time asking can say those things and me questions to help me hear that other people know learn to do it?” It’s the kind of exactly what you’re talking leadership we have, not only about, there’s a deep reas- on the national level, but in surance that comes from the workplace, in the family, knowing that you’re not in the civic community, that alone. I think that one of the makes a big difference in hardest things about life is whether the collectivism sug- the double-whammy carry- gests a fearful mentality or ing these discouraging feel- mutual encouragement and ings with us and also feeling support. I always think of Abra- ation. It’s also interesting that lin- chological or spiritual human that we’re alone with them. ham lincoln in this regard. As the coln, incidentally, had a profound pathology that is more powerful Civil War began to break out, he struggle with depression his en- than people sitting together and Q: how do You separate appealed to the “better angels” tire adult life, and had to integrate learning that they are not in this the deeper threads of of our nature, and throughout the within himself the shadow and the alone. The amazing thing is that continuitY running in Civil War he held very strong to light, and thus was better able to you don’t have to come up with Your life from what emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 16. 16 “ ThE You think is “good” for their rightful seat at the front of the Yourself? bus? That kind of punishment is ThInG what keeps many of us from liv- A: I have a favorite definition of ing our best. I’ve discovered vocation that is simple but needs that these people transform this thought to be understood. It comes from Frederick Buechner, WE MoST question of fear after coming to a deep realization that no punish- who wrote that “vocation is the place where your deep gladness WAnT IS ment anyone can lay upon you can possibly be greater than the meets the world’s deep need.” So I believe that, sure, there are sur- To lIvE A kind of punishment you lay upon yourself by conspiring in your face desires. I’d like, for example, a BMW or an expensive house to lIFE ThAT own diminishment. That’s exact- ly what we do when we disob- IS TRulY live in. We all have grandiose de- tial?” I think the other questions eye those deep instincts. That’s sires that relate to money. But the fade away, and fear gets trans- what leads to people dying with thing we most want is to live a life formed. a sense that they blew it. not be- that is truly ours, and that fulfills our true nature and utilizes our true ouRS, one of the things I’ve done in my cause they didn’t have the BMW, but because they didn’t live into gifts. When we do that, we find the gladness that Buechner is talking AnD ThAT life is study the great social move- ments that have changed the their own truth. about. In his definition, gladness comes not necessarily from what FulFIllS world: the civil rights movement in this country, the apartheid move- Q: in let Your life speak You saY that at times, makes you giddy all the time, but is soul-satisfying in that you’re ouR TRuE ment in South Africa, the women’s movement around the world and aspiring to live up to similar values in a nATuRE happy inhabiting your own skin. liberation in latin America and “hero” actuallY makes one dramatic but true way to Eastern Europe. All of these were it harder to live. i some- sparked by people who took times think of someone AnD put it is that most people, when they’re drawing their last breath courageous action. I call them i admire and ask mYself and reflecting on their life, don’t the Rosa Parks people. They if there’s a part of mY ask “Did I make enough money? Did I get famous enough? Did I uTIlIZES made the Rosa Parks decision. In doing so they helped trigger a character that can be developed in a similar drive a nice enough car?” I think they ask, “Did I show up as my- ouR TRuE vast process of change. I’ve of- ten asked the question: how do waY. self in the time given to me? Did I live fully and to my best poten- GIFTS. ” these people overcome the fear of being crushed when they take A: When I was young, I did what a lot of younger people do. I emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 17. 17 “ I’vE had heroes and I wanted to be that that they don’t have. one of those times, can You like them. I think when you’re my favorite teaching stories is a recall what helped You CoME To young, there’s a certain place for hasidic tale in which the disciple move through it, tangi- that, if you choose. It’s like put- Zushia, comes to the great Rabbi blY or intangiblY? ThInK oF ting on a mask. If you choose and asks: “Rabbi, Rabbi, before a good mask, it helps you grow I die, how can I become more like A: It’s a wonderful question. In FEAR AS A into something maybe a little bet- Moses?” The Rabbi replies, “Ah, let Your life Speak I write about ter than what’s around you. But Zushia, when you die and go to a number of those times because SChool ultimately, the whole purpose of heaven they will not ask you why I had many of them. I think fear personal growth is to be able to you were not more like Moses, has been a constant in my life. shed any mask and appear in they will ask you why you were oF ThE I’m not quite sure why, because the world with your own face. The not more like Zushia.” I just love I am at the same time, paradoxi- effort to emulate heroes can often that story. cally, fairly confident with a de- lead us far astray from our own truth and perhaps produce some Q: in let Your life speak cent sense of self-worth and self- esteem. I don’t think you can be a SPIRIT.” grotesque results. I’ve heard You talk about Your de- public person the way an author I’ve come to think of fear as a preachers who try to preach pression and the fear- is without having some of that or school of the spirit, an interesting like Martin luther King Jr. and it ful periods of time in else you’ll fall apart. way to think about the hard things doesn’t work. he had a gift for Your life. remembering in life. Keats said that the world is “a vale of soul-making.” he meant that our hard experiences in the world help shape our souls. We have opportunity after op- portunity in life to listen to the soul and form it more fully in our lives. For me, maybe the two ends of my continuum of fear would be my long journey to discern my true vocation and my experi- ences with clinical depression. I don’t think I ultimately got to un- derstanding my true vocation until I was in my fifties, so when peo- ple in their twenties and thirties sit emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 18. 18 “ I WAS lEARnInG totally disconnected you are from What I don’t understand is why the world. You can barely get out some people come through it ABouT ThE SITuATIon of bed. no matter how good you and thrive on the other side, and are at your work, it’s like Sisyphus have richer, better lives, and oth- ThAT hAD TRIGGERED pushing a rock up a hill. When I ers don’t. For me, I just tried to felt this way, I just couldn’t do my put one foot in front of the other. I ThE DEPRESSIon.” work. Just getting up in the morn- kept a little journal where I tried to ing and accomplishing one bike record my accomplishments. A ride was all I could manage. So full day of accomplishment might down with me and say, “I’m so creative or live-giving way. You it’s a fearful state of being but not have been: I got out of bed before frustrated I haven’t figured it out start sinking into the darkness. in the conventional sense. De- 10 o’clock, ate two meals rather yet,” my response is “Well, wel- Three times in my life I’ve dealt pression is sometimes accom- than one and took a 20-min- come to the human race.” I’m still with months of that devastating panied by out-of-control anxiety ute bike ride this afternoon. That working on it in certain respects. darkness. I really, really couldn’t like shaking and not being able would be it: a whole day of ac- The other area, clinical depres- see a reason for living. What’s in- to focus, but it’s not necessarily a complishments. But I found that sion, has been a deeper and teresting about depression is that feeling of fear. just by recording those things, darker source of fear in my life. I it is a fearful place to be, but be- I became aware as the weeks wrote about it in a chapter called cause your feelings are so dead, When I’m asked, “how do you went by that I would eat three “All the Way Down” in let Your you don’t feel the kind of fear you get through that?” I think the only meals and maybe get out of bed life Speak. I always make it clear would feel if you tried to fight a respectful answer is: I don’t know. at nine and go out for a longer that there are different kinds of bull or fly a fighter jet without any Some people will give glib an- bike ride, or two bike rides. This depressions. Some are genetic training. There’s a numbness that swers to the question - you have progress became encouraging or related to brain chemistry, and in itself is terrifying. to have faith, or pray, etc., but to me. obviously, I talked to a medication is important in those none of that had any meaning for therapist for a period of time and cases and perhaps other cases A simpler example of that is when me at all when I was depressed. took medications - I did the sen- too. So I’m not an anti-medication someone comes to you when I understand why people commit sible things. As I began to con- person. But there are varieties on you’re depressed and says “oh, suicide when they’re depressed. valesce from situational depres- the other end from the genetic why don’t you get outside? It’s kind, what I call situational de- such a beautiful day. Feel the “ WE FInD ouRSElvES pressions. These are where you sunshine, get some fresh air, en- have gotten into a tight place in joy the flowers.” You see that it’s a WonDERInG IF lIFE IS life even when you’ve been fol- beautiful day, but you cannot feel lowing your calling or living fully one ounce of that in your body or SuRvIvABlE. ” and something happens, and mind or heart. It becomes even you lose your grip on living in a more depressing to realize how emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 19. 19 well. It’s embarrassing to admit that, but I think that’s how the ego works when you succeed. When I mess up on a piece of writing and I get hammered for it, or my students in a class are bored, or a deeper darkness comes, that’s when I really have to and do learn. I don’t wish that upon anybody, but since it comes to almost everybody anyway, then we should talk with each other about how to learn from things like fear and failure. Q: i like to look at it like life is school, that sometimes the experi- ences we have come to teach us something - though somehow, i don’t learn unless mY lessons come during hard times. A: I have immense respect for sions, I started to do some deep doing or the way I was doing it. been given grants and things that that. like I said, I feel my deepest and difficult learning about myself What I find interesting about my the world counts as success, and and truest role is that of teacher, and my relation to the world. In life is that I’ve learned more signif- I’m glad for that. I don’t sneeze at and you can’t separate that from other words, I was learning about icant and numerous things from that, and I feel like I worked hard learner. Teaching is just another the situation that had triggered failure than success. The truth is for it. But when something like that form of learning, because you the depression. I was challenged that I have had a fair number of happens, I don’t learn anything. I learn so much better when you then to make changes in my life successes in the sense that my just congratulate myself and think, have to have another person un- - some of those were vocational books have sold well, I’ve won at some level, that I don’t have derstand it. changes, either in the work I was awards for teaching, and I’ve much to learn because I did this emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 20. 20 Q: how do You recon- ful means and real knowledge. A raise a crop, and there it is stand- your soul, skill and knowledge on cile the continuum be- good farmer or gardener knows ing in the field, ready for harvest, one hand, and on the other hand tween difficult periods a lot of good stuff you don’t: dif- and here comes a hailstorm that being vulnerable to and ultimate- of time and the point ferent plants and climactic zones wipes it out. There’s nothing you ly trusting of processes that you at which You begin to and seasons, the way they inter- could have done. There was no can’t control. That’s a powerful transition to a better act, what kind of soil chemistry skill that could have avoided that image for me. I’ve come to think place? they need for this crop, how much catastrophe. now you’re in a of my discouragements, and to water it requires versus how much place where you have to assure some extent, my depressions, A: I think it’s a question a lot of as weather. We have this weather people ask themselves. here’s a that moves through us that we metaphor that has proven helpful to me (and again, I have no idea if “ I’vE CoME To ThInK oF have to understand changes. Maybe disaster will strike again these things ever work for anyone else, but I do know it’s valuable lIFE noT AS A PRoBlEM next year but at that point maybe we’ll have confidence knowing to share them with each other be- cause they might). I’ve come to In MAnAGEMEnT WhICh that since we survived the hail- storm once, we can do it again. think of life not as a problem in management which is the typical IS ThE TYPICAl AMERI- That’s how I handle this complex mix of stuff - a new metaphor over American idea, but as a process like farming or gardening. The CAn IDEA, BuT AS A PRo- this control-management meta- phor that’s so instinctive to West- control or management model is this: We make our lives, we make CESS lIKE FARMInG oR erners. If you look at the stories or teachings from the leaders of GARDEnInG. ” our mark, our careers, we make the great spiritual traditions, that’s our reputations, we make money, what they were doing. They were we make love. Americans feel offering people metaphors that like they can make anything they work in life. want. It’s fascinating to listen for water will kill it, etc. It’s not about yourself that what you did was that word and realize how often going with the flow, right? They worth doing as an end of itself. It Because my beliefs about these we use it as if we were actually have to need to keep educating was a learning process and now things have evolved so slowly, making these things, when in truth themselves about that. But at the your faith is being tested because through so much life experience we’re not and we can’t. It’s huge- same time, there’s a tremendous you have to decide, if you can and just from trying to pay atten- ly arrogant and self-delusional. amount that’s outside of their repeat the process knowing that tion, it’s hard to name a transition now, what’s interesting about control, for example, the weath- another hailstorm might come. from one state to the other. But I farming or gardening is on one er. You can work very hard with Farming and gardening have to think that this image of life as gar- hand it does require some skill- all your knowledge and skills to do with the ability to hold together dening and emotions as weather emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 21. 21 is a metaphor that’s helped me from a more mechanical attitude that life is survivable. I would even en that allows you to live it fully frame a lot of experience I’ve had on life, laden with ego traps. I put that more positively by saying and make it not only survivable, is a good candidate. I’ve been think some of us live intense lives life is a huge gift. It comes with all but wonderful as well. working with the gardening image and sometimes we find ourselves the stuff we’ve talked about, like for probably 20 years, and I’ve wondering if life is survivable. I fear, but there’s something about found it helpful in liberating myself guess a recent learning for me is accepting the gift that’s been giv- PARKER A writer, teacher, and activist, parker J. paLmer is senior associate of the American Association for higher Education and senior advisor to the fetzer institute. In 1998, he was named one of the thir- ty most influential senior leaders in higher education. he has published dozens of poems, more than a hundred essays and seven books, including several best-selling titles as: the Courage to teaCh, Let your Life speak, and A hidden Wholeness. he holds a Ph.D. from the university of Cali- fornia at Berkeley and founded the Center for Courage & renewaL, which helps foster personal and professional renewal. Parker oversees the “Courage to Teach” program for educators across the country and lectures on spirituality, balance, and work. he’s been featured on media programs as “Speaking of Faith” and Bill Moyer’s. he states that “the opposite of faith is not doubt, it is fear - fear of abandoning illusions because of our comfort level with them.” Parker is the recipient of the William Rainey harper Award for outstanding leadership and impact in religious education from the Religious Education Association. emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 22. 22 Our STORY In 2001, ten young adults took to the rivers of Colorado in whitewater kayaks. For seven days, they learned the basics of the sport, eventually conquering Class III rapids before the week’s end. They were there to prove themselves and to prove a point: cancer, no matter how aggressive, dormant, advanced or invasive would never be stronger than they were. Nine years later, the program has grown to ac- commodate over 225 participants in four states through 15 week-long programs with a goal of serving 1,000 participants per year by 2015. Our MISSION First Descents, is committed to curing young adults of the emotional effects of cancer and empowering them to regain control of their lives by experiencing whitewater kayaking and other challenging adventure sports in a safe, fun and supportive environment. First Descents is an experience that every young adult cancer patient and survivor should have the opportu- nity to participate in. I truly believe that FD enriches lives. It certainly has mine. It’s a cliche, but FD has re- ally changed my life. -Zach, 2009 FirstDescents.org emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 23. 23 “To live each day as it could be our last, is the extreme understanding of what makes one fearless.” BEyOND SUffERING RoBERT A.F. ThuRMAn the root of fear e don’t want to totally avoid fear, because it is a w healthy attempt to avoid suffering, which everyone has. In the Buddhist classification of the 51 negative mental functions, they never list fear as a bad one. It’s only when fear becomes free-flowing paranoia and obsessive anxiety that it’s destructive and para- lyzes you. When a truck is bearing down at you and you look up to see it, fear will make you jump further than you could normally jump, emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 24. 24 “ WE Don’T WAnT To ToTAllY AvoID FEAR, BECAuSE IT IS A hEAlThY ATTEMPT To AvoID SuF- FERInG. ” an adrenaline surge. But if you The more one is aware of the im- become paralyzed by fear, like permanence of things, the more a deer in the headlights, then it vital it is in the moment that one is cripples you. So fear is not totally living. It’s very important to con- negative. front those deep fears and real- ize that death is not the thing that But this second, more irrational one should be afraid of, it is how fear, the root of that is usually the one is living that one should be that they’ll be nothing and fall into ous and kind and careful about fear of death that’s buried in peo- afraid of. If one is living meanly, oblivion. of course if you look at not harming anything or anyone ple’s consciousness, which they or angrily, painfully and so on, it at a deeper level, it really goes as much as you can while you think is the fear of something else. that’s much more frightening. The back to people’s fear of suffering live. In our culture, we have a severe healthy fear in there gives one en- and pain. It’s a rational fear. none denial and avoidance of death, ergy to avoid living in that way. of us want that. People who have as if somehow if we didn’t think When we look at our fears and this “nothingness” conviction think about it, it wouldn’t happen. Every make sure that we’re afraid of of themselves as scientific, but re- separateness culture has that to some degree, the right things and not the wrong ally it’s an irrational fear. Refusing but we have it to an inordinate de- things, we become more calm, to believe in the continuity of life The illusion of having an absolute gree, so it’s very important for us and fear becomes useful. after death, they become afraid of separate self is the core illusion to become more aware of death. the bad existences out there. But that the Buddha identified as a To live each day and each mo- People who reject life after death believing in life after death is valu- psychologist, not as a religious ment as it could be our last, is and who have a strong denial of able because it forces people or person. Buddhist psychology the extreme understanding of that that possibility, have the convic- gives them an incentive to live in has taught people how to heal which makes one very fearless. tion that they’ll be exterminated - a beautiful manner - to be gener- from that disorder for thousands emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 25. 25 of years. This feeling of a sepa- reality of who I am. Maybe who but you’re no longer afraid of the Buddhist never teaches that. That rate self makes you afraid be- I am is totally interconnected with entire universe, so to speak, and is, in fact, another type of bad cause if you’re separate from everything.” It takes time to do everything violating your sense image people start to apply to and unfamiliar with the entire uni- that, and you have to gradually of absolute separateness. You’re themselves. We do exist, just not verse, struggling with its vastness erode this feeling of the absolute more relaxed actually and you’re as an absolutely separate entity. will wear you down. And when you consider You’re going to the Buddhist perspec- be very frightened tive, this acceptance the more separate does not mean, “I ac- you feel from the cept that I don’t exist,” universe. The only but an understanding of way to conquer that the relation of yourself to sense of separa- the universe. The deep- tion is to investigate est insight that a Bud- it deeply. It doesn’t dhist has is the realiza- help much for you to tion of the relativity of the intellectually state, self. That realization is “I’m one with the the root of compassion, universe.” What you and leads one to fear- have to do is look lessness. critically at what gives you the ba- A person who feels sis of believing that separate from and in you’re this abso- battle mode against the lutely separate self. universe is doomed to Investigate inside lose. If one was some yourself and see completely distinct thing if you can find this in the infinite vast uni- absolute separate verse then an antago- self that you think you are. When separatist that people are condi- only careful of what is clearly nistic relationship with it could you experience not being able to tioned to have. Then you begin to harmful. only end in defeat. Connecting find a solid core in yourself, you feel less alienated from the uni- and allying yourself with the uni- then begin to change your think- verse and much more at ease Buddhism is often misunderstood verse is the only way out. ing, “Well, maybe that’s just an with the world. You’re still afraid as teaching “You don’t exist.” That idea I have and it isn’t really the of some things coming at you, solution is absolutely wrong. A our culture, especially people emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 26. 26 who live in their head all the time, beings, is to find a has a severe problem with being condition beyond disconnected from life, as evi- suffering and a denced by how destructive it is to way of being in the “ AS the environment. That disconnec- world without suf- tion is reinforced by the idea that fering through en- DIFFICulT ultimately you’ll be disconnected lightenment. As dif- anyway and you’ll just cease to ficult and long of an AnD lonG exist no matter how you live and evolutionary project how you behave. From the Bud- it might be, it’s nev- dhist point of view, believing in ertheless our birth- continuity after death is not a non- rational mystical faith, it’s actually oF An right. The unique need of the planet a sensible scientific attitude. Evolu- is that we really need these ancient TIonARY inner sciences to the power of go along with our Buddhism PRoJECT powerful outer sci- ences, to help us Buddhism is evolving nicely IT MIGhT in this moment of crisis and uncer- in the West because it’s been here for only a couple of centu- BE, IT’S his view that religions have deep roots in psychology and philoso- tainty, when we’re on the brink of destroying life on earth really. ries; therefore it hasn’t become warped into a belief system. nEvERThE- phy, so the great offering today is the psychological wisdom and There’s an urgency to Buddhism spreading now that is unique in Rather, people are adopting it as a useful therapy, discipline, and lESS ouR learning of how to cultivate com- passion, how to change your seeing the human being as an integral inner being and not some BIRTh- scientific method of internal self- behavior, and how to help other kind of mechanism. investigation that reaches people religions understand each other. RIGhT ” wherever they are. It’s great be- What will help to change this be- cause of its relevance in the West to philosophy and psychology, havior is the recovery of the inner avoid monday to politics and ethics, rather than sciences from the eastern tradi- tions in India and China, where heart attaCks in its promotion of itself as a re- Buddhism played a major role. Personally, on a practical level, ligion. I follow the Dalai lama in The birthright of us, of all living I try to sleep between eight and emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 27. 27 “ I FoRE- ten hours a night. You can barely too much. Then in the evening I writer, teaching about Buddhism function if you are sleep-de- focus more on the wisdom, en- to people through writing, I get WARn prived. In this country we some- how manage to start watching visioning a positive world, and hopefully some deep spiritual to think about it a lot myself. In a way, I can be practicing spiritual MYSElF television in the afternoon and ride it late into the night. We tend insights. I’m always working on the thought experiment of proving insight while doing my profes- sional work. That’s a real privi- ABouT to do this because of electricity. We don’t go to sleep with the sun, that I am not a distinct being from the universe. This relaxes the feel- lege. There isn’t a large split be- tween what I love to do and what GETTInG which is healthier and a better concept. Then I try to meditate in ing of inner rigidity. I always try to work on that whenever I can. I have to do. I try to unify those as much as possible. CARRIED the morning and in the evening, on the deeper things in life - in the I have to admit that I’m often very In psychology, there are health AWAY Too morning, I focus on compassion and doing my work positively with busy and I write a lot. however, I’m very lucky in that my profes- studies about the health dangers for people who are too hyperac- MuCh ” a good motivation. I forewarn my- self about getting carried away sion, as an academic teacher of Buddhist studies and as a book tive or too busy and so on. What they’ve discovered is that the real emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 28. 28 danger is not necessarily being actually doing it is strenuous and ing back to work after taking the busy and energetic, which can unpleasant. That’s perilous and weekend off. My thinking is, unify be healthy. The real danger is you’re likely to have that stroke your work with your avocation. or, being energetic and active in do- or heart attack on Monday morn- as Joseph Campbell famously ing work that you don’t really like ing. Monday heart attacks tend to said, “Follow your bliss.” to do, which you’re only doing to afflict people who are too active get money or fame, but you feel in an unpleasant activity. They unhappy doing it. The process of experience a sort of shock com- ROBERT roBert a.f. thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia university, and co-founder and President of tiBet house us. he writes and lectures frequently on Buddhism, Asian history, and critical philosophy. A personal friend of the Dalai lama for over 40 years, his latest book is why the daLai Lama matters: his aCt of truth as the soLution for China, tiBet and the worLd. emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 29. 29 VIVA lA “ ThERE’S no (CONNECTION) PoInT In TRYInG REVOlUTION To MAKE A DIFFEREnCE unlESS You’vE GoT KYElI + PACE YouR oWn ShIT ToGEThER. ” an interview with kYeli and pace, world changers on the move. emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 30. 30 what are the connec- around that. We want to spread helping with communication and for us. We value our family time a tion revolution and revolutionary ideas and teach relationships. lot and we’re not really those work Your business based and empower others to spread hard, play hard kind of people. on? their own revolutionary ideas. We P: In essence, we were feeding don’t claim that our way is the our hearts, but we needed to feed K: We work soft, play soft. P: We do personal development only right way, but we want to give our souls too. for funky people. our goal is no people the skills they need to start P: We are too soft and squishy less than to change the world, but their own mini-revolutions. i’m similar - i need align- so when we feel fear, we listen to there’s no point in going out there ment between what i do it, and we try to find a way that and trying to make a difference K: We originally started out as for mY self/soul and we can have the comfort that we unless you’ve got your own shit communication coaches be- what i do for moneY. but need. I skipped ahead from fear together in the first place. That’s cause we spent a huge amount it can be scarY figuring to comfort but there’s a gap there. step one of our master plan and of our time talking about our re- out exactlY how to do Some part of me says, “oh my the focus of the current phase of lationship and ourselves and do- that! gosh. Everything’s going to be our business. one of the main ing self/relationship work. We put horrible.” What I do is I honor that ways that we do this is with an together a workshop for a local P: oh yeah, definitely. I think part of me by responding, “It’s e-course called 52 Weeks to convention on communication, that we have a different attitude going to be okay. I will find a way Awesome that helps people...be- and everyone loved it. We started toward fear from the typical en- for all the parts of me to get what come awesome. teaching that course online and trepreneur. Most other entrepre- I need.” I’m not going to kick that built our business around it and neurs or fear-facers that you talk fearful inner child in the knees K: It actually helps you become wrote a book called The usual to have a very hardcore attitude. and break her down. I’m going to more awesome, because we Error about it. They say, “Kick fear’s ass!” or comfort her and say, “It’s going to think everybody starts off at a “Break its knees and beat it to the be all right. We can take the day pretty good place. P: We finally decided to write the ground!” or “Face your fear and off. We can push the deadline book after we took a few hundred conquer it,” which, when you get back a bit. We can have a nice P: Right. We’re not the gatekeep- stumbles over the issue! right down to it, are pretty similar. easy time and then we can relax ers of awesomeness by any But we don’t do that. We value our together and do fun things.” As means. We’ve got a writing work- K: We started there, but we had comfort very highly so we take a for the part of me that says, “We shop to teach aspiring writers the a dissonance between what we slow, gentle path toward fixing the need to do grand things,” well, skills they need to change peo- were doing and what our hearts world, rather than the “let’s grab we can make a plan that makes ple’s minds by writing. That’s the were telling us to do, so we start- this bull by the horns and finish all parts of me happy. We can way we think the world’s going to ed really thinking about expand- this as quickly as we can and develop a reasonable schedule be changed, not by politics or vi- ing our vision. our friend naomi burn out in a blaze of glory” ap- that isn’t too tight. We can nego- olence, but by spreading revolu- helped us realize that we needed proach. The hardcore path might tiate for a little wiggle room and tionary ideas. Everything revolves a bigger, grander vision than just work for other people, but it is not make sure that we accomplish all emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 31. 31 of our goals by working smarter progress. i love that So, we want to align all three of P: We actually have two polar rather than harder. You also mentioned those facets of ourselves in order opposite stories. I attained text- the grand ambitions of to be the kind of people we want book success - had a high-pay- a lot of us skip over Yourself, which often- to be. The primal self is where that gap You felt com- times we forget about fear originates and the higher self pelled to explain. i skip in the claustrophobia is where that sense of alignment it internallY much of the time, which leaves of fear. and calling comes from. “ ThE WAY K: Where your grand purpose comes from, your connection to ThAT WE spirit. ARRAnGE P: The talking self is where the other two meet, so you can make ouR lIvES plans and schedules and dead- lines, etc. So the way that we ar- IS So ThAT range our lives so that we can meet the needs of all three parts WE CAn of ourselves is such that the high- er self can accomplish its grand MEET ThE plans and goals, but with enough wiggle room and downtime to nEEDS oF nourish the primal self. All ThREE PARTS oF plans are critical, and in the larger scheme, ouR- a huge opening for fear P: Yes, in the spiritual tradition we all have plans for to enter. the gap is re- that we’ve learned a lot of things how we want to struc- allY where we live our ture our lives. what SElvES. ” from, Feri, we talk about the triple lives, not at either ex- soul. The triple soul has three was Your initial plan? treme of total fear or parts: the primal self, which is like did You set out to be comfort. it’s the graY your id or your base instincts. The partners in business areas that matter talking self is the bit that has rea- and life, and to run the most, and the transi- son and words. The higher self is business You currentlY ing job doing what I ostensibly tions where we make the part of ourselves that is divine. do? loved. I went to college and got emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 32. 32 a normal job and made tons of or business crisis we get even money and then I gave it all up. harder on ourselves. “oh, I need to just suck it up,” or “oh, I really K: And I’ve had kind of a gyp- have to work today,” or what- sy life. I moved all around and ever. But you can’t change the was really poor, had a child very world, and I don’t mean the whole young and dropped out of high world but even just your own “ IT’S school with no formal education world, if you’re in crisis mode. whatsoever. So, we really were You just can’t. You can’t function very opposite. if your basic survival needs aren’t P: And then somehow, we came hARD To met. So a lot of times people say, “Well, I’m not doing any world- to the same place. ChAnGE changing work,” but if they look at what’s happening in their lives, sometimes we live in the talking zone and ThE they see they couldn’t possibly be doing that. Maybe they don’t get mired in structur- ing and scheduling, so WoRlD have a job, so their bills aren’t be- ing met, or maybe their parents that even when we’re creating, we’re in sur- WhEn are really sick and they’re re- ally stressed out about it. Maybe vival mode. i loved when You wrote, “it’s hard to You’RE there’s something else going on, a personal inner storm. change the world when You’ve got so much JuST TRY- That’s where the connection rev- crap in the waY.” where did that come from? InG To olution starts: how to make your own personal world better and K: For me, “It’s hard to change SuRvIvE ” more stable so with your personal life secure, you can then step up the world when you’re just trying and start making changes in rela- to survive” is so powerful and fun- tionships and in your community. damental. We, as a culture, as I lived a lot of my life in that state a society, tend to be really really of epic crisis, where I couldn’t do hard on ourselves, all the time, even the simplest of self-work be- and when we’re going through cause my life sucked really hard any kind of spiritual or personal and it was crazy all of the time. It emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 33. 33 “ MAKE wasn’t until I started learning the my son. or a good partner, even on the rock bottom of this deep, stuff that we teach now, that I im- in the perfect healthy relationship. dark well. YouR oWn proved my own life and then was or anything for that matter. Be- able to start helping other people. cause if I’m not okay then I can’t do You think we all need PERSonAl interact with anyone in an okay to experience rock bot- what was the self-care way. tom before there’s in- WoRlD work You did which sight onto the need for helped You start heal- So it took a massive physical self-care? i wonder if BETTER ing Yourself? and emotional crisis to show me we have to get that far that without self-care, I was just in order to recognize K: I accepted self-care as a ba- completely lost all the time. I think our need to help our- sic need only about five years ago. Prior to that, I was in a bad AnD MoRE that happens to a lot of people. once we’re lying on the bottom, selves. relationship and my partner at the time was emotionally and men- STABlE. ” we realize we can’t do anything for anyone but us. I remember P: You have hit rock bottom. You already have and if you think tally abusive. I spent a lot of time talking to my mom not long after you haven’t, then you’re either far being manipulated and unable to I miscarried, thinking how can more enlightened than 99% of the think about myself because I was I even get up in the morning to population, or you’re just not lis- too busy thinking about my part- make sure my five-year-old son tening to your heart. In this soci- ner. It was a long relationship and has breakfast? I can’t even get out ety we are taught that we have to I was young when I got into it, and of bed to feed him. Because we live a certain way or be a certain I grew up learning to focus on this un-schooled him, he was always way. We are taught that the way person instead of on myself, so it home, so it wasn’t like I could to relax is to sit in front of a Tv and didn’t even cross my mind to take send him to kindergarten and numb yourself so you can’t hear care of myself. then nap all morning. We started that there is something more. But discussing ways that I could take there is. This is a society of the My perspective started to shift care of him without sacrificing my talking self and we are so in- when I had a miscarriage and own demanding physical needs. grained in that, we’ve lost touch lost a baby I was really attached So I grew to see self-care as vital. with two-thirds of ourselves and to about six years ago. I realized don’t even know it. then that I could no longer take P: We’re trying to teach this to care of my son if I didn’t take care people so that they don’t have to We weren’t meant to live us a cut- of myself first. If I was sick, and learn the hard way. off automaton that sits in a cubi- all I could do was lay around, cle 9 to 5 and does what it’s told. clearly I could not be a mother to K: So they don’t have to be sitting Even if your personal life hasn’t emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 34. 34 “ I CoulD needs are met. Why aren’t you happy?” The very people that no lon- start asking themselves those kinds of questions are who we GER TAKE want to inspire. Everyone accepts this paradigm they’re entrenched CARE oF in. “oh, well that’s just the way things are.” The reason that we’re MY Son the connection revolution and not just some arbitrary other revolu- tion is because we don’t believe IF I DIDn’T there’s a way things are and we’ll question that and we’ll say, “What TAKE if we could make things be a dif- ferent way?” CARE oF what is it about our MYSElF culture that saYs it’s okaY to work ourselves FIRST. ” to the bone, but then throw around words like balance and burn- out? how do You man- had enough drama to send you age Your “working life- into, “Whoa, I need to change stYle” with having time something,” if you listen closely to nurture Yourself? More abstractly, do I know what about jobs because our parents enough, there will be something a job is? I know what a job is be- have jobs. that the faint stirrings of your long P: Well, Ishita, to answer your cause I look around me and I see neglected soul are telling you. question I must first explain the other people that have jobs. oth- P: once a change happens, it We want to fan those flames and nature of the universe. er people tell me and I see what doesn’t need anything to sustain help bring that to life. That’s where they do and I read about jobs itself. unlike a desk, which has the oomph comes in. A common Yes, please. enlighten and I learn about jobs. to be made out of wood or met- response is, “Well, what’s your us. al or something, a job, which is problem? You have a successful K: Particularly when we’re grow- just a concept, only needs to be life. Everything is fine. Your basic P: Do I know what a desk is? ing up, we hear jobs and we learn perpetuated by people that say emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 35. 35 “ onCE A it exists. You can come up with with no social skills, she started and moving into a new just about any crazy idea and if to change her perspective. She paradigm? let’s relate ChAnGE enough people buy into it, then it said to me that she wished she this to feeling particu- seems reasonable. But it’s kind of had known about home school- larlY stuck. hAPPEnS, like a mass hallucination. ing when I was little, because she would have kept me at home. K: The first thing you do is prob- IT DoESn’T K: like school. School didn’t ably sit around and be sad a lot. originally happen - kids were ap- P: That’s the power of a para- Most of us go, “Well, shit.” That’s nEED AnY- prentices at 10 or 11 and they digm. And the job culture is an- certainly what I did. You can’t go went and apprenticed at some- other paradigm that everyone back. It’s like waking up. once thing and then grew up and be- buys into. It sustains itself when ThInG To you’re awake, you can’t forget came adults. It’s only because people work forty hours a week, the things that you’ve seen and we’re used to keeping our kids fifty hours a week, sixty hours a learned even if you want to, and it in school that we do. It was just the way it was. Then at some SuSTAIn week, eighty hours a week. It’s not going to end until someone stirs something in you. point we thought, “huh, if we put these kids in an institution all day ITSElF. ” starts a revolution and says, “let’s get with it!” For me, this point was when I went to work for a friend who owned a long…” local temp agency for indepen- P: We work twenty hours a dent contractors. She helped me P: They’ll make better factory week each and we’re doing get a job as a vA for a local guy workers. just fine. We’re making a good and I was working my own hours, amount of money and helping mostly from my own house and I K: That is literally why schools a lot of people and making the thought, “oK. I hate my job and happened. The first person who world a better place. my boss, but I can’t get another said, “I’m not sending my kid to day job.” I was really stuck. school,” was a freak because world-changing in 20 that wasn’t how it was done, right? hours. that’s Your new A very good thing to do, and I did When I decided not to send my ebook. this a lot, is to read. Find books kid to school, my mom freaked or blogs that talk about being out. She was really not okay with K: It is on our list of things to do. stuck. If I notice that I’m in a bad it. “Well you dropped out of high mood or feel crappy I start read- school, you can’t teach your kid so how do You know ing books about depression and anything.” Then as he got a little when You go from one about moods. Start experiment- older and she noticed that he was point to another, when ing. well-adjusted and not a shut-in You start unraveling emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 36. 36 P: Talk about it with people. eryday and how it makes you chunks a child (and adult) can ferent, then negativity will just re- feel. one thing I found really help- retain. As children we learn to re- peat itself. You’ll keep feeling the K: Start trying things. Maybe you ful for me, advice from The Sound tain things in various ways, but as same things over and over again, don’t like working in one way, but of Paper by Julia Cameron, is to adults we narrow them down. I re- until your behavior changes. maybe you would like to work read children’s books when you member things visually, but Pace from home in your pajamas or want to learn about something can listen to somebody talk for maybe you want to take three new. I studied child psychology an hour and remember what they years off and travel the world. We for four years and reading a chil- said, but I won’t be able to recall can’t figure it out unless we just try dren’s book is fantastic. They’re anything. things. Write things down. Keep a written as basic as can be and log. Figure out what you do ev- teach valuable information in P: If you never try something dif- A NOTE fROM KylIE + PACE The two of us, being both girls and lesbians, found ourselves with a mutually favorite pastime of talking. one afternoon, we were blinded by science the overwhelming desire to take what we love and find a way to make it into a living. Pace Loves to expLain things and Kyeli loves telling stories, so by our powers combined, we created Captain Planet! Wait, wrong show. We created our Business, wrote a Book on CommuniCation for interpersonaL reLationships, started pouring out produCts in aLignment with our hearts, and are ridiculously excited about our journey to help people – wherever it may lead. And that’s the amazing thing: the more we grow, the more we learn, and the more we connect with ourselves, the more we want to change the world. So we took all this knowledge and all these passions, mushed everything together, and started the Connection Revolu- tion. Together, we’re bringing love and change and connection to the world, one step at a time. We hope you join us – we certainly can’t do it alone. emAil fAceBook fAceBook shAre twitter
  • 37. If you want to be happy, put your effort into controlling the sail, not the wind. Anonymous