MEND Season 3 - Episode 52

Seeding the Light to Come with adrienne maree brown

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If you’ve listened long enough, you’ve heard this show go through various incarnations and iterations.

Moving into some interesting rabbit trails and seeking to find it’s footing in the larger world.

And as this new year begins - and I anchor more deeply into what I want my own work and legacy and path and service to be and become - I get a clearer sense of what this tiny platform is and can be.

A tiny light.

A way to cast hope, clarity, direction, inspiration, information & guidance into an often dark & deeply distracted age.

A way to call us back to ourselves - as wise, compassionate and brilliant beings.

Resilient and connected beyond measure.

THIS is the gift of this work and this platform and the conversations herein.

So, it is with this heart in mind - that I am beyond pleased to bring you the first conversation of 2019  - an interview with adrienne maree brown.

adrienne is the author of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds and the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements. She is a writer, social justice facilitator, pleasure activist, healer and doula living in Detroit.

She also, along with her sister Autumn Brown, creates a podcast of her own, How to Survive the End of the World - which I highly reccomend.

At the end of last year, adrienne and i sat down to talk about her work inside Emergent Strategy - and dipped a bit into the work ofher upcoming book - Pleasure Activism.

We discussed the many roles and duties she carries out in service of this larger work and the non-linear way her career and callings have iterated over the years to bring to where she is today.

We dropped into conversation about mushrooms and birch trees - and gaining insight & direction from the natural world - on things like reclaiming our earthworm nature, our fungal nature & underground nature, as well.

We talked about call-out culture and whether or not it’s really getting us to where we ultimately want to be.

A bit about what it means to be a WOE - in adrienne’s vernacular - and the mechanics of real, transformative relationship in real tim

We talked about  what it actually takes to create long-term, systematic change - just a hint -  it’s not what you think.

A spiritual practice to engage on - of all places - social media.

And lastly, this white woman got schooled on the sacred being-ness of Beyonce.  


As with all things she does, this conversation with adrienne was deep, wide-ranging, hugely pleasurable and insightful on a grand scale.

To find out more about adrienne and her work, please make sure to check the show notes.

To connect with me - your host - Amy Day - a bit more - ask questions, spark up a conversation, and let me know how this lands in your world - feel free to drop me a line - either via a review in itunes, or over at mendpodcast@gmail.com


Thank you for listening.

Thank you for doing your own great work in this world, holding fast your own great THREAD.

We need you so.

MEND Season 3 - Episode 51

Undoing Consumer Spirituality with Kat Kim

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If you are anything like me, you grew up thoroughly steeped in the religious and spiritual lineage your parents subscribed to during this time of year.  

You sang the hymns, read the stories, recited the verses and enacted the little play each year with cardboard cutout sheep and nose-picking wise men and usually a well-swaddled Baby Alive doll to stand for the Christ child.

Maybe, like me, at a certain point, you absconded with the cultural, religious and spiritual narrative you inherited.  Rejected this anglo, narrow-minded Savior. And yearned for a way to connect with this season in your own rite. Enact rituals, stories and songs that spoke to your own heart, your own values and carried forth a wisdom tradition you could solidly support.

Cuz after all, in the absence of the sacred, what exactly are we left with?  Santa Claus?

In an effort to replace the consumer narrative, I came upon the great work of  Kat Kim. Kat is a spiritual teacher and coach who is here to serve the Spiritual Nonconformist, the misfit, & the misunderstood.

In other words, a changemaker.

For over ten years she’s applied what she knows about behavioral change and spiritual transformation to help her clients create radical, nonconformist change in their lives.

With an approach  based on Hermetic Philosophy, New Thought teachings, and the wisdom passed down through the ages by Buddha, Jesus Christ, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(And Chomsky. Can't forget Chomsky.), she helps dreamers and doers who find themselves holding back or playing small reclaim an unshakeable faith  - both in who they are and what they’re here to do.

I spoke to Kat, in particular, about her deep analysis around what she has come to call “Consumer Spirituality - The New Cultural Addiction”.  

Over the course of our chat, Kat did a brilliant job of breaking down the different parts and components of this thread - and also, and perhaps, more importantly - helped to illuminate the ways in which we - as individuals, consumers and creators of ritual and culture and tradition in this world - can do our own work to disrupt this current trend.  

How we can re-attach to the sacred  - in a way that holds meaning and vitality to us.

How we can disrupt the scarcity and lack model that rampant consumerism thrives upon.

And how we can reclaim our birthright - as sentient, conscious and divinely creative beings - in an age that would have us believe we are only as bright or brilliant as the items we flash and carry.

One of the great gifts of this podcast is that it provides me the excuse to seek out conversations with strong, wise women.  I spend an hour or so in their presence and feel my heart, mind and spirit elevated for days after, as a result.

And I press record.  

And get to share the experience with you all, hopefully, as well.

May these words empower you to drop the stories that no longer serve.

To abandon the traditions that empty your wallet - and worse - bankrupt your heart.  

May they empower you to step more deeply into your own work, analysis and culture re-construction.   Pick up the thread. Set it to to motion. In the way that You - alone - are called to do.


Thanks for being here.

You can find out more about Kat at her website - katkim.com

Make sure to click on her blog to read the full, brilliant piece on consumer spiritaulity.

And be srue to leave a rating and review in iTunes if these words have stirred something in you.

Or drop me a line at mendpodcast@gmail.com and share your story.

We are living in a moment where almost everyting now has been broken open.

How will you tend to the mending - step in - and do the work that is needed at this time?

MEND Season 3 - Episode 50

The Ashes & The Phoenix with Heather Heintz

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I hope the holidays went well for you.  I hope the conversations were life-affirming.  The food and rituals, too.

And if not… perhaps the holiday hangover left you with just enough “ick” to help seed a new way of doing things differently next year.  

A new way of crafting ritual and meaning and conjuring celebration.  

I think it’s important to remember as we move into the staid rhythm of the holidays that the traditions our mainstream, consumer-driven culture are steeped in… are only suggestions… not written in stone templates that we must follow.  

So, if the over-eating and the over-spending and the numbing out with too much booze and shopping and sugar - doesn’t really sit with you - let this be an invitation - to create something that DOES.  
…………………

But that’s not what I want to talk about with you today.

Today, I am deeply excited and honored to bring you a conversation that actually got recorded nearly a year ago.  

At the time, I was offering a small online course around the different faces of the Goddess.  Each month, we worked with the energy and mythology of a different archetype. Using each as a way to cozy up to a different aspect of our own divinity, our own depth, our own shadow.  Our own Light.

The month this talk was recorded, we were channeling the energy of the goddess Dhumavati.  A crone goddess who looks anything but. In pictures we see her seated among the ashes, her face and hands covered in soot.  We see her leaning on a delapidated, old wooden cart that has no horse. No bull. Nothing to carry it forward. We see her in rags, her face deeply lined and wearing the full marks of her age.  

What is her boon, you ask?  

Why did we choose to sit inside the metaphorical ashes with her?

What did we hope to learn?

To answer this, I invited my teacher - Heather Heintz - to come on the call.  

Heather is a long-time yogi, mama & Buddhist Chaplain, living and working on the Big Island of Hawaii.  

I first met her a decade and a half ago when I started going to her little home-built studio - Balancing Monkey - on Mohouli St - and fell in love with the practice in earnest.  

Whatever this woman had to teach I wanted to learn.

Years after I had left the Big Island, I continued to read Heather’s words and keep up with her story.  

I watched agape, when, in 2011, she set up a blog called High Five Max.

The mission?

To create a space where she could communicate with and parent her son.   - Max - who, after 8 days in the world, left his body.

Here, Heather recounts the journey she took inside that space with her firstborn son.  The fallout and process of being in and learning from and allowing her Grief - the Ashes - to teach her what they had come to impart.

She talks about the journey this took her on and the work that it has called her to now inside this world.

And , yeah, there’s some yoga chit-chat in there, as well.  

I learned so much rolling out my little sticky mat those happy years in Heather’s studio.

I want to say, I learned immeasurably more, reading her words - her heart - her journey through profound and unfathomable LOSS.  And watching her sift through and clothe herself in those ashes. And emerge - the phoenix - heart burst wide open to hold the whole damn world - and to carry others through those same dark places.  She gave - and continues to give me - and I hope you, as well - a picture of the type of person I want to grow into being and offering this darkened world.

MEND Season 3 - Episode 49

Conversations with My Sister

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Welcome to one of the most stripped-down episodes yet here on the podcast.

No formal introductions.

No poetry at the end.

No calls to rate or review or join us in some other little pocket of the inter webs.

Just a conversation between two women who are infinitely grateful to have each other.

To share some blood and history and vision of the type of world we want to inhabit.

As come into the holidays, with all the drama that can ensue….

At a moment where we, as a nation, are deeply divided and losing the ability to engage meaningfully and compassionately with those outside our ideological comfort zones…

Where the larger tumult operating in the world seems endless and far beyond the scope of ordinary human beings…

Sometimes, it is best to sit down across the table with someone whom you love.

To break bread.

Put on the kettle.

Un-cork the bottle.

Shut the damn devices down and remember what it is to share in something basic & beautiful with another soul.

To move inside the cadence of Ease & Delight for a moment.

Soak in the energy of kindness and enjoyment for a bit.

I see you.

I delight in you.

I honor what is best and brightest and good in you.

I pledge my ears, my hands, my heart, my body to you when you have need.

My love for you is free and it is comes in the form of Actions, never just words.

My life is bound up in yours. My joys and sorrows, as well.

This holiday, may we each be granted the chance to commune with those for whom these truths unfurl freely.

Where this type of love overflows in great abundance and to whom we can say these things without pause or objection.

May we practice Loving Deeply where it is Easy this week.

So that, moving forward, we may flex this Love Muscle with the times, places & people - where it is hard.

I wish you a beautiful week with those you love.

May it anchor you inside that energy for the time to come.

MEND Season 3 - Episode 48

Yoga for the Revolution with Carrie Ingoglia

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Happy Voting Day!!!!!

If you’ve listened long enough to this show, you know I am a semi-proud member of the woo club.

I’ve drunk the wheat-grass-flavored koolaid and donned the galaxy-themed stretchy pants and played joyous, studious & deeply-driven rounds of solo Twister on my little sticky mat.  


For better or worse, I am a self-identified yogi.

But, as you also may know, I tend to want to throw up some caveats and barriers between me and that crowd.  

Yogis as white, affluent, cis-gendered folks who achieve enlightenment through bettering their handstands.  

Nope.  Not it.

Yogis who, when confronted with the atrocity of gun-violence or police brutality or the proposed erasure of non-binary peoples, prefer to do a little slow-motion disco on their sticky mats, send light & love, and let some other, less spiritual being do the dirty work of confronting this icky bit of humanity.  

Please don’t toss me in this bin.

Yogis who think it’s enough just to concentrate on elevating their own vibration as a way to make the world a better place.

Yogis who use practice as a way to retreat from the world and it’s problems rather than a way to arm ourselves to confront them.

Yogis who use spirituality as just one more consumer product they can buy, soak up, and then toss by the wayside as it suits them, spraying themselves in its’ ephermal mist and never letting its’ harder teachings penetrate the skin.

As you can see, I’ve got some beef with the current mainstream yoga culture, as it were.  

So, it’s always a delight and a surprise when I come across someone who is using the practice to move counter to the culture.

Who is not so fixated on the perfect handstand, but, rather on using the physical practice to perfect their character, learn how to sit with the uncomfortable and confront injustice both inside themselves and in the world.

These are the types of conversations I love to have.

So, I was thrilled to have this talk with Carrie Ingoglia, an Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher, who is the writer and producer of the podcast Yoga For the Revolution. I say more about this inside the intro of the talk, so listen up for more details about that.

Carrie and I talked about carrying the practice beyond the mat, learning how to be uncomfortable and some of the people we look to in this world of the spiritual who are also doing real-world good, as well.  

Far from a conversation with two polished, lifelong devotees & activists, what you are about to listen to is a real-life chat between two, heartfelt, imperfect women who are wanting to do better.  Who are not always certain of what the next step is, but are willing to move into the gap, nonetheless.

Like the physical practice, it is always an invitation.  To get quiet. To see where we are moving out of alignment - with our hearts, our beliefs and our calling.  And to take steps - humble, daily, faltering ones - to move out into a better way forward.

For more on Carrie, her podcast and the other great work that she does, make sure to check the show notes.  And, as always, if this chat has touched you in any way, and you want to add to the conversation, please make sure to leave a rating and review in iTunes.  

And, of course, if you haven’t already, get out there and cast your ballot.  

It’s not the be-all-end-all, of course for righting the wrongs of our culture.  

Voting doesn’t buy us a free pass to go back to whatever-ing the other 364 days of the year, right?

But it’s a start.

MEND Season 3 - Episode 47

Taking Poetic Action with Leslie Castellano

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“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ”

William S. Burroughs

When it comes to leading lives of passion & creativity, we tend to believe in a set binary.

There are those of us - so we say - that are meant to write, paint, dance, create - make the world a bit more vivid and beautiful by our voice, our touch, our presence.

It is the work to which we are called to in this life.

Then, the same story goes - there are those who are meant to engage in matters of policy.  Civic discourse and dialogue. Who can best affect change at the structural, boardroom, nuts-and-bolts, dare I say, utterly artless side of cultural exchange.  

There are the artists.  

And then there are the policy makers.  

And ne’er shall the two entwine.  

They are made for such entirely different things in this life.
My guest today is someone who tosses this limited theory out on it’s head.

Leslie Castellano is a local performance artist, teacher, dancer & businesswoman - who also happens to be running for City Council - Ward 1, in Eureka, to be precise - this year.  

In this talk, we discuss her decision to venture out of her long-tenure as contributing artist to her local community to a person who is striving to affect policy, as well.

We talk about the intersection of Art & Politics.  

About shifting out of our individual and collective comfort zones to lobby on behalf of the type of world we want to live in - which sometimes means canvassing, making phone calls, and going door-to-door, rather than simply writing a song or creating a dance piece.  

At the heart of each of these impulses, Leslie states,  is a driving desire to care for people and build community.

Through her efforts as an activist, artist & community organizer, she longs to build a society where all people are valued.

We talk about where this impulse has taken her thus far and the places she’s venturing into just now.

I hope you’ll be inspired, as I am, by the work and presence of this wonderful woman.

She’s a reminder to me that even though we all have our designated comfort zones - we can step out of them.  

We can take on new roles, new languages & new possibilities to begin to mend the culture where we live.  

There is a place for ART.  For beauty & symbolism & delight.

And there is a place for re-writing laws and by-laws.  For upending the current structure and mapping out an entirely different system than the one we’ve known.

And there is a way to synthesize the two - so that together they - we - all of us - can THRIVE.

MEND Season 3 - Episode 46

Re-Making the Culture with Kelly Diels

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Several years ago, you may have heard me mention here or there - I made the decision to step more fully into the online space.  

I came to the realization that if I was going to eke out a living for myself as an herbalist & yoga teacher, I was going to have to connect with a larger community than the one I had access to inside my small, college town.

So I started the work of learning the basics of online presence.  Marketing.  Messaging. 

Learning how to build an audience and a following so that you have some folks to share your work and services with.  

 But I ran into some issues.  

 

From what I could see - and still see by and large - is there’s a working model out there.  

For yogis, in particular, this model appears to be - thin, able-bodied, white-presenting, cis-gendered folks, scantily-clad in gorgeous sunlit studios, or dreamy Costa Rican beaches - doing super-duper advanced bendy things, tossing a few hashtag-blessed, hashtag-YogaEveryDamnDay type things into the mix - and then making mention of their upcoming workshop or teacher training.  

 The message embedded into the medium was - and continues to be…

“Don’t you wanna be like me?…  I’m perpetually smiling and conventionally beautiful and I live a life of opulence and ease…. Oh yeah - and I’m deeply spiritual too - you can tell this by the amazing arm-balances I do and the sanskrit terms I use.  

Sign up for my thing and find out how you can be glowy and enlightened too!!!  

Link in bio.  “

 

I tried to emulate this approach a for awhile.  

Take some well--constructed photographs of me in a handstand.  Me doing something nifty and bendy 

Me looking happy and smiley while hoisting my leg up past my shoulders.  

This is how you share your yoga stuff right?

 

But the trouble was - this stuff is just So Not Me.  

I’m not thin.  

I can’t do a vast array of incredible acrobatics with my body.

Furthermore, my own experience of yoga and long-term practice has taught me - that the true work of transformation - be it personal or collective - looks very different than a simple outward pose.  

 I wanted to tlak about the work of healing that I had experienced and that I wanted others to experience as well.

I wanted to engage a conversastion about spirituality and practice that has absolutely nothing to do with shiny, happy, people on Central American beaches.  

I wanted to extend the invitation of this practice I so loved out beyond the confines of the rich & white & bendy. 

I wanted to find a way to make the messaging about Spirituality as a way to more deeply engage with the world and it’s problems and it’s inhabitants. 

Not simply retreat from it. 

 But where was there a model I could follow there?

 Enter Kelly Diels.

Kelly is a writer & feminist marketing consultant.

Over the course of a years-long, in-depth analysis of what she saw happening in social media, she came to coin the term “Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand” & it was through this work that I first came across her.

 

Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand.

Sounds like a good thing right?

 

Turns out, as Kelly puts it, it is rather... ,

“An archetype women must comply with and embody in order to be deserving of rights and resources

AND

A marketing strategy that leverages social status and white privilege to create authority over other women.”

 

In other words, the current model operating out there - not just in the yoga and wellness game - but across multiple levels of entrepreneurship - is a predatory model.  That replicates and sustains the very systems and practices that we as healers, creatives and feminists - want to take down. 

 So what’s the solution?

 Over the last year, I’ve had the great privilege of learning from Kelly and some of the other wonderful people who are a part of her community and work.  

 

We sat down to talk about what it looks like to move into and inhabit the online space with the same integrity and grit we bring to other areas or our work and life.  

On taking the long view - and on the power of being a continual Disruptor - saying and doing the uncomfortable things - even when it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere.  

 

We talked about money and vulnerability and how we create access to our work - that of healing and culture-making and transformation - to those who need it most - while still staying solvent and buoyant ourselves.

 Through my own tutelage with Kelly, I have learned that there is indeed something very wrong with the existing model.  I now have language around how to unpack it.  And furthermore - my own vision and language of a better way forward. 

 

It’s possible to do good, healing, transformative work in the world.

It’s possible to make a living too - and avoid the gross, predatory marketing models that we’ve absorbed.  

 The culture may be deeply broken - but we can continue to step in - and in so doing, gradually create a counter-culture of our own.  

 

Together  - as Ms. Diels tells us – we can thrive

 

A note: At the end of our conversation, Kelly mentions some upcoming offerings she has lined up - one of them being her fabulous “Little Birds & Layer Cakes” social media workshop.  I want to make mention that the date listed here inside the podcast is wrong. 

The new, revised date for this workshop will be this upcoming Saturday, October 20th.  And a little shout-out I’ve taken this workshop myself and it’s grand.  HIghly recomend.  

 

Take a peek at the show notes to find out more about Kelly and the work that she does and where you can find her and her culture-making work and words.  

 

As always, if you’ve enjoyed this talk, please take hte time to leave a review or rating in iTunes so that others can find us, as well.  

 

I hope you enjoy this talk.  

May it uplift and fortify you in the ways you are striving to heal and mend the world around you, too.

MEND Season 3 - Episode 45

Mama Bear

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Hello.  

Welcome back.  

You may notice a couple changes around here

For starters, you may have logged how it’s only 1 voice you’re now hearing at the beginning of this show - instead of two.  


Yes, this means what you think it means, my friends.


My beloved friend & co-creator Anne Fricke is temporarily stepping down from her work on this show.  

She is in a season of her life - as you will hear inside this chat I ahd with her a week back - where there is much calling for her attention and her care.

And so, after much talk back and forth, she has decided to step back for a season of this podcast.  

Doing that amazing thing that women have been taught never to do - of saying No - for this moment in time - to this tiny tributary - so that she can dive deep into the other currents, maybe even Oceans of possiblity that are waiting for her to explore.  


But I’ll let her tell you more about those.


You may have noticed that there’s a slightly different through-line for the stories we’re collecting this season.  


If I had to strip it down to one enduring thought moving forward for ths show - it would be -

What do you believe?

What truths do you hold in your innermost heart?

And what actions are you taking out there in the world - to see those truths take form?


As I’ll be doing in many of the interviews to come - I asked Anne where she feels herself called to work and serve and mend right now - and in answer, as she often does, she presented us with a beautiful poem - which I hope you’ll listen through to the end to hear - it’s - as always - a full-fledged treat.  


She references the Mama Bear - & the Mama Bobcat - and which one She feels called to be at this place and time.


Preparing to share this chat with you - which you’ll find I’ve left mostly raw & unfiltered - come as you are and take what you need - I pulled a card from my favorite deck - the Animal Medicine Cards from Jamie Sams & David Carson - and it is these words I wanted to share with you….


”This can be a very difficult power totem for you to have….

It involved lessons on the use of power in leadership.

It is the ability to lead without insisting that others follow.

It is the understanding that all beings are potential leaders in their own ways.

The use and abuse of power in a postioin of influence are part of this medicine.


If she has come to you in dreams… it is a time to stand on your convictions and lead yourself where you heart takes you.  

Others may choose to follow, and the lessons will multiply.  

The pitfalls are many, but the rewards are great.”


It is with this spirit in mind, that I am pleased and tickled and honored to present to you - this - our maiden voyage of MEND Season 3.  

Thank you for sharing the journey with us.  

As always, if you resonate with what we’re sharing here and owuld like to let us know, leave us a comment or rating in iTunes.  It boosts our visibility and lets others know.


If you have thoughts or dreams or ideas or living breathing examples of people out there in the world - doing marvelous things - drop us a line and hip us to them!  You can reach us @ mendpodcast@gmail.com


And keep showing up.

Keep listening.

Keep speaking

Keep roaring, moving & doing the work that is needed in this world.


We are so happy you are here.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 44

Season Finale & Wrap-Up with Amy & Anne

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It was a season begun with tea.

Sitting down to enjoy the art of conversation and contemplating what it might be like to move inside a world where we begin to value one another, this earth, beauty, thoughts, feelings, creative expression & simple self-determination - over the stingy value of a paycheck?

What would it look like to live inside a world that values it's people above it’s property?

That values it’s heart above it’s hierarchical standing in the larger world?

That values Nature above the supposed resources which it can provide us?

What would it look like to inhabit, move into, and begin to imagine a world like that?

Can we make it?

Can we find it?

Can we begin to converse & thereby imagine it into being?

These were some of the questions we set out to explore on this past season of MEND.

And so, we sat down - once more - teacups in hand - to reflect back on the conversations we’ve had.

To see what we’ve learned - how we’ve shifted - and how we can continue to move toward a future that is altogether different than the past - the present we now know.

What would it look like for two ordinary, inexpert people to begin to live differently - to uplift and inspire others to do so as well?

What if we believed these imperfect hearts and hands held some piece of the great MENDING that is needed in the world right now?

What if you belived it too?

What if we all jumped on board and rode that train to it’s completion?

Where would it lead?

Join us as we sit with these - and a few other questions - besides.

Here’s to the cups of tea we’ve shared inside this space.

And the conversations - visions - and movements - they’ve inspired - along the way

Cheers.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 43

Spiritual Capital

with Carolyn Baker

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Everyday we are faced with the evidence of global collapse…ecosystems around the world are dying or shifting rapidly, the number of people in the world far outnumbers what the earth can support, extreme weather is becoming a regular occurrence, ice caps are melting faster than previously feared, animal and plant species are dying off daily and we humans are becoming more insistent on our technologies, our machines, our tearing away at the flesh of the earth.  

Many of us feel the pain and anguish of this deeply and often ask ourselves,

How are we to cope?

Where do we pull our resources and our energy and take a stand?

What is our work in these times?

The grief so often can be overwhelming.

There is, however, a light in the dark night of our collective soul.

Carolyn Baker is a former psychotherapist and prolific author on the subjects of resiliency, spirituality, activism and how we as humans find our way in the murky and terrifying waters of global collapse.  Through the avenues of webinars, podcasts live workshops, books, articles, one-on-one life coaching and more, she assists people in “preparing for the dire consequences of the collapse of industrial civilization and abrupt climate change.” Her long list of books, along with links to articles, programs, speaking events, upcoming classes and information on the work that she does, can be found on her website carolynbaker.net

Carolyn observes that every person walking around today is traumatized and overwhelmed by the catastrophes, the destruction, the impending doom of our world.  But she urges us to allow that grief of this to be the power of our activism.  We may not be able to avert the affects of climate change or destruction by nuclear war, but we can do our shadow work, deepen our connections to each other and to the earth…we can, and should, be of service, build bridges of humanity, create and cultivate joy in our lives…and open up to the divine… this is what we are called to do.   

MEND Season 2 - Episode 42

The Culture that We Create..

with Anne & Amy

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First, let's define our terms.  

(With a little assistance from our pal, Wikipedia.) 

Culture.  

As in...

..."the social behavior and norms found in human societies"

As in...

..."the set of customs, traditions, and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation"...

As in...

..."the set of knowledge acquired over time"...

As in...

..."the development of a philosophical soul, ... (or) the highest possible ideal for human development"...

As in...

..."all the ways in which human beings overcome their original barbarism, and through artifice, become fully human."

As in...

..."to inhabit a place sufficiently intensive to cultivate it—to be responsible for it, to respond to it, to attend to it caringly"..

As in, something We create.  Inhabit.  Something we must be constantly tending, examining. sifting through and excavating what is useful, what is good, what is worth keeping and what is now ready to leave behind.  

This week, we sit down and ponder what is happening right now inside this country and the dominant culture there.  We look at our responses.  And examine it all through the rich and multi-faceted lens of our earlier conversation with Lyla June Johnston - poet, activist, scholar, and proud conduit of LOVE.  

What is an appropriate response to injustice?

How do we react when we feel the anger rising just beneath our skin, but in our hearts we wish to conduit peace, and lasting transformation?

How do we respond to the braided truths that we carry?  Do we abscond with the pieces of our selves and our past which we can no longer stomach?  Which we can no longer abide?  Or do we willingly and bravely turn towards them, confront them and gently start to shift the way the tide is turning?  

Apologies, in advance for the sound recording herein.  As usual, we had some kerfuffles with technology and ended up just sharing this conversation as is - A phone call between friends.  Two women, shooting from the hip, and speaking from the heart.  Grappling with the questions.  Somehow attempting to live our way - with you - into an Answer.  

Enjoy.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 41

Cultural Capital

with Lyla June

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Welcome to another episode of MEND.

As I sit here, recording these words, we’re just coming off a week of watching the daily news unfold around the horrendous proceedings around the border.  

Photographs and stories of children being ripped from their mother’s breast.

Taken, after an arduous journey from their own, war-torn countries, seeking a better life here - being told that their young child is being taken for a bath and then, instead, placed inside a cage or shuffled into the foster system somewhere.  

We are horrified and outraged at what is happening inside this country at this moment - and yet.

And yet.

We are reminded that this is nothing new.

That this is a country that was founded upon slavery.

Upon the systematic genocide and oppression of native peoples.

And while - to our privileged gaze - these atrocities seem like a great departure from our stated values of “justice and liberty for all”, to native people and people of color - they have known that this supposed liberty has only existed for a ruling and privileged few - and usually come at great cost to many.

For this episode, we are greatly honored to welcome Lyla June.

Lyla June is a poet, musician, human ecologist, public speaker and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (tee-say-say-es-ta-hees) (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre performance and speech style has invigorated and inspired audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. Her messages focus on Indigenous rights, supporting youth, inter-cultural healing, historical trauma and traditional land stewardship practices. She blends her undergraduate studies in human ecology at Stanford University, her graduate work in Native American Pedagogy at University of New Mexico, and the indigenous worldview she grew up with to inform her perspectives and solutions. Her internationally acclaimed performances and speeches are conveyed through the medium of prayer, hip-hop, poetry, acoustic music and speech. Her personal goal is to grow closer to Creator by learning how to love deeper.

We sat down to speak Culture - and the capital of culture-making, taking, and appropriation with Lyla.

As someone who can speak firsthand to the long-ranging effects of discrimination, oppression, cruelty and genocide… we were blown away by the way in which this amazing woman continued to steer the conversation back toward the themes of Love, Forgiveness, collective healing & Restorative Justice.

At a moment in time, where we may be feeling numbed by the sheer volume of abhorrent news coming at us.

At a moment where we may be feeling collectively overwhelmed and overtaken by feelings of rage or hatred, Lyla June issues forth a clarion call.

To not get stuck inside the hatred.

To not dwell inside the wound.

To not let ourselves go numb.

But rather, to rally ourselves and what capital and currency we carry - in song, prayer, ceremony, or protest - and to walk deeper into this fray.

Armed with our songs.

Armed with our love.

Armed with our vision and deep, abiding wish for a world that looks altogether different than the one we now currently inhabit.

We are honored to share this talk with you today.

The words and story of a woman who had every right to dwell inside the pain and inherited anguish of a colonized and brutalized people.

But who has chosen to live her life as a means of glorious, powerful & heartfelt protest.

May her words and vision inspire you.

And help us to move together toward a culture and a world that may exist only now as a dream or a song.

 

Thanks, as always, for being here.

 

MEND Season 2 - Episode 40

Intellectual (Thread) with Anne & Amy

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“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write”

~Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf first shared this sentiment back in 1928, just as women were coming into ever-more visibility and gradual power in all areas of public life.  Since then, we've been searching for that mythic "room of our own".  The magic space that would make it possible for us to do work that we love, express ourselves, create & to leverage our unique talents and abilities for a living (or dare we even hope thriving?!) wage, to boot.  

In our first season, we looked to the origins of cannabis culture and the similar sentiment embedded there.  Move up to the hills.  Throw some plants in the ground.  Build your own schools. Grow your own food.  Create your own currency.  Your own (counter) culture.  We have also seen how that culture has been gradually (and almost wholly) taken over by the values of the dominant culture.  

In this, our follow-up chat to our talk with the lovely Sandy Connery & Jennifer Barcelos of Namastream & Soulful MBA - we tackle the space of the Internet as one for people's and particularly women's voices and empowerment.  

As more and more people flock to the virtual spaces to create their messaging, their own platform, and to create a form of livelihood - what are the dangers and pitfalls that we face?  Can we step into the digital space and keep our values, our attention & our cultural (or, better yet,  counter-cultural) values intact?  Or are we destined to a similar fate as the back-to-the-landers faced?  In striving to promote our own values and our own vision inside the unruly and noisy spaces of the inter webs... how do we stay sovereign?  stolid?  Sane?  

Has technology, indeed, created this hallowed Room of our Own?  

And, if so.. how are we to navigate and move about this space?

Thoughts on that plus some tools and resources we've unearthed to help us navigate this space.

We hope you enjoy.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 39

Intellectual Capital with Sandy Connery & Jennifer Barcelos

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In an effort to retain balance and a multi-sided conversation…especially after our episode on Experiential Capital and our seemingly harsh criticism of the screen and what lies behind it….we step into the tech world to speak with two women who have created their careers in the tech industry.  

Jennifer is an attorney, a change-maker, a mother and an entrepreneur. 

Sandy is also a mother and previsouly spent two decades in footwear and gait analysis. 

Together they have created Namastream, a software for wellness professionals, and also co-host The Soulful MBA podcast.

Our conversation delves into the world of the internet, social media and online learning…is there soul to be found there?  Is there a way to use this space for good?  How do we, especially as women, step into this male dominated realm and create or find our strengths and power, while keeping our integrity and our heart.

These women present us with the very convincing suggestion that technology is a pathway for women to share their teaching, one that gives them an opportunity to access their power,but also offer advice on how to not get consumed by the dominant voice.

We talk the 9-5 work schedule and why to throw it out the window,

How to teach our children about learning on the internet,

How to value the work that we as women bring to the community,

And ultimately how to run a tech company and still have time in the day to hunt for morel mushrooms…

More about these insightful women and the work that they do can be found at Namastream.com, there you can learn about the software they have created, read their blogs, and listen to episodes of their podcast, The Soulful MBA.  

These women have shown us that despite the many negative aspects one can argue that exist with the Internet, there are also many ways to use the space wisely, and with soul.  

Enjoy.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 38

Experiential Thread with Amy & Anne

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Welcome back to another micro-episode.

This week, we sit down to unpack some of the ideas we unearthed with Waldorf Educator, Jeff Lough.  Things like - How do we drop into a richer experience of this Life?  What enlivens the day-to-day?  How can we take the teachings and applications of this philosophy and apply to them to our own lives? 

Along the way, we talk Experiential vs. Intellectual Knowing, bring in some of our favorite books & resources once more & also send out the call for this coming June 1st - where we start our own little version of the Minimalist Game! (Which you can read more about here.)  

For our version - starting June 1st - we want to encourage each of you to start getting rid of at least one item a day.  For 30 days.  (If you've got more to release, by all means!  Please do!) Ultimately, though, this is not about living with less but rather, living with More.  Living with richer experiences, richer relationships, richer bodies, minds, lives, bank accounts, even.  What happens when we make the emphasis less about acquiring & maintaining our things & shift our focus to upgrading, enjoying & truly dropping into the felt experience of this Life?  

We can't wait to see.  

To find out more about the challenge, plus to contribute your ideas for a pithy hashtag for this game, drop on over and follow us on Instagram.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 37

Experiential Capital with Waldorf Educator, Jeff Lough

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"Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  

~Proverbs 22:6

These were the words often bandied about in my (Amy's) childhood.  Used in that moment to speak to a certain type of religious education.  But what if we took this idea into a larger framework?  Expanded the context and the meaning?

What does it mean to educate a child as an evolutionary and still-incarnating being?

What does it look like to take the long-haul aproach - to not rush into books or standardized tests or memorized facts and figures - but to first prioritize the development of the soul - of an inherent sense of reverence, play & wonder - to build a spirited “F-you” into the curriculum of a budding adolescent because we VALUE their want and need to revolt - and have built it into the way we educate them?

And more - what would it look like to translate these ideas - beyond the classroom, beyond the realm of the scholastic, the world of childhood - and to work to educate, emancipate and elucidate humanity as a whole?

Join us as we take this hour to speak to local School Psychologist, Educator, Advisor, Administrator & ardent Advocate - Jeff Lough - about the undergirding philosophies surrounding Waldorf Education, a method devised by Rudolf Steiner in Europe during the late 1800's.  

When we first embarked upon this conversation with Jeff, we expected to find ourselves engaging in a talk around Intellectual Capital, but soon found ourselves knee-deep in the...

Experiential.

Spiritual.

Anthroposophical (don’t worry - you’ll hear that one again)

Material

And so much more.

And while we geek out a bit, admittedly, on this particular methodology and philosophy - 

I want to urge you to keep a broad and open perspective.

To listen for ways that these ideas filter into your own experience.

Your own Philosophy of Life.

And into what it means to empower and educate oursleves - at every step of the way.

What experience do we wish to have inside this Life?

And how do the ideas, methodologies, principles and patterns we subscribe to - help us to step up and claim the fullness available to us?

And what are we actively doing - to step into the world we wish to inhabit?

May the questions put forth here - help shed some light - as you move down your own path.

May they re-orient you back toward your own true north.  And help us all, collectively - reclaim a better way.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 36

THREAD: Picking it up (and Throwing It Down..)

Ideas to Reduce our Waste, & Live more Fully with Less

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This week, Anne & I got together to have yet another talk - inspired by last week's interview with Wasteland Rebel, Shia Su - to break down the different ways we can reduce our footprint, our waste & live lives more fully invested in Each Other.  In the actual Lived Experience of LIVING - rather than in the acquisition of Stuff.  

We throw out some books, some ideas and some practical suggestions on how we all can start transitioning into this simpler, yet richer way of being.  

As always, we try to keep these micro-episodes short & sweet - so that you can pick up what you need and get to work applying these ideas to your life.  Like, Now.  

We hope you enjoy.

 

MEND Season 2 - Episode 35

Material Capital with Shia Su  

“What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?” 
― Henry David ThoreauFamiliar Letters

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“Don’t start where it is difficult”.  These  words of wisdom come from Shia Su, a woman well-versed in the zero-waste movement – a name she admits can be a bit misleading.  Shia offers numerous tools and life hacks for cutting down on your waste and consumerism, actions that anyone with an inkling of willingness can start to implement into their life today, one step at a time.  These can be found on her website and blog at wastelandrebel.com. She also has a new book that just came out called “Zero Waste – Simple Lie Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash”.

This is what Shia urges – to start where it is easy, to take one piece of the puzzle and fit it into your daily life until it becomes a habit.  She emphasizes that it is not about the over zealous, tackle-it-all-at-once, total life altering changes – these are not sustainable and very rarely successful.  It is about the slow, intentional steps that you can nestle into your every day.

Shia now lives in Germany, but has traveled and lived in a variety of other places. She shares with us some interesting insights into how various cultures approach the issues of consumerism and waste, if at all.  In this episode she also talks about the importance of access, who you surround yourself with and the ways to be successful and forgiving of yourself while on the path to zero-waste.

What’s your first step going to be?  If you feel inspired please share it with us on Instagram or FB or send us an email, share it with a friend, with a stranger sitting next to you on the bus or in line at the grocery store…let’s share the ways we are reducing our waste and our consumerism…let’s join the zero waste movement together…one step at a time.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 34

Community Currency with Fhyre Phoenix

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If you've been following the progression of this season, you know that we've been following up these longer interviews with shorter, bite-size "Thread" episodes, where we sit down and unpack some resources on how all of us can take action in these areas - both within our individual lives, and in the communities of which we play a part. 

We’re doing things a little differently with this "micro"-episode.

Well.  First off.  

It’s not micro.  Not mini. Not even a little bit.  

For this episode we chose to dip back into our local community to seek advice and  counsel from a man who has made working with Capital - both paper money - but also social, experiential, cultural currency, as well - his Main Focus for most of his LIFE.  

Fhyre Phoenix is the creator of the Community Currency project.

If you don’t know that is - don’t worry.

Stick around and we’ll let him eloquently explain it for you.

When you have an expert living down the street from you, you don’t dilly-dally in your own small pool - you go the Fountaiin.  The Wellspring itself.

So, although this episode is full-length, we know the time will be well worth your while & you’ll get a lot out of this talk.  

We sure did.

We could say more - About how inspiring this conversation was.

About the wisdom that this man and valuable community member has un-earthed in simply re-arranging his own relationship to livelihood and money.

Or about the surprising connection to Passion, Poetry, & even Plumbing that runs through this work.

But we’ll let you find all that out for yourself.

Believe me - if you truly desire to begin to un-hook from a life that feels less-than, a job you hate, and begin to arrange your world in such a way that you feel empowered, excited, and deeply connected to your fellow man… this is an episode you won't want to miss.

Enjoy.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 33

Financial Capital with Bari Tessler

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"Money is like love; it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it, and enlivens the other who turns it on his fellow man."

~Kahlil Gibran

This week we delved into a realm that was, admittedly, uncomfortable at first, and seemed perhaps counterpoint to the intention of this season.  It was, however, written into the framework that we have chosen to follow, so we forged ahead into the realm of Financial Capital. The resulting talk we had was far more inspiring and cohesive with our motivations that we would have thought even possible.  Bari Tessler, is a Financial Therapist, a Mamaprenuer and the founder of the Art of Money, book and year-long program described is “Financial Therapy for your Soul”.  

A large part of Bari’s work is helping people understand how money connects to our bodies and our emotions.  For her there is a direct connection between Financial Literacy and Emotional Intelligence. 

We spoke about our relationship to money…as women, as products of our educational and cultural system, as member in a partnership, and as mothers….and the importance of understanding this relationship.  She offers us a glimpse into the work she does with others by offering some advice and gems of wisdom when dealing with the ebbs and flows of our financial story.  She even manages to bring in a bit of Zen Buddhism and discusses how we can work through our own Money Koans.  

This is a money talk like you have probably never had.  So pour a cup of tea, grab a pen and paper for notes…and enjoy.