wealth

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 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 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.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 30

“Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”
― Kakuzō OkakuraThe Book of Tea

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Welcome back to another micro-episode with Anne & Amy. 

Here, we sit down to talk about the ideas, possibilities & avenues for Thought & Action that got sparked inside our last conversation with Guisepi Spadafora, of the lovely Free Tea Bus.  

Ways to take things from the realm of Inspiration and move it into Perspiration.  Actualized.  Embodied.  LIVED.

So we sat - Anne & I - at our respective homes, with our respective cups of tea - and shared tools, ideas & resources on how We - She.  I.  You.  US. - can do the work of creating a wealth of Social Capital inside our world.  

Or rather, how we can create containers for non-monetary exchange wherein everyone involved leaves feeling nourished, tended & cared for.  We've got some ideas of our own (a very finite list, at best).  But we'd love to hear from you!!!  Take a minute to drop us a line @ mendpodcast@gmail.com and share your own ideas and thoughts!!!  

And make sure to check out the short list of resources and links in the show notes below.  

Cheers.