Issue 09 | Face the Current

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Evolution Edition

Issue 09

July 2017

fAce the current emily batty TRAVEL











The Evo l ut i o n o f A dv en t u re Sp ort s and Her M T B Ra c i n g Ca reer Su c ce s s

Captain Liz Clark

Slow Travel & Conscious Living On Her ‘Swell Voyage’ of the Seas

One Love Yoga With Ryan “The Lion” Leier Gold Medalist Kaleigh Gilchrist Balancing A Dual Sport Career

Music Is Chill Connected Vibes With DJ Drez, Ayla Nereo + Fred Coury

...inspiring positive change in the world




F tC fAce the current Issue 09 · July 2017

Connect With Us... @facethecurrent @facethecurrent @facethecurrent

In the Beginning Face the Current was created with the intention to inspire positive change in the world and enhance lives by encouraging one another to relentlessly discover, explore, question and learn from current and emerging information and perspectives. Driven by a deeprooted love of learning, creative minds and a great appreciation for connection with other individuals who are passionate about what they do, Face the Current has quickly developed into a growing team and global community of incredible people who believe in living life to the fullest and discovering their true potential.

“I find it inspiring to connect with others who are following their flow, pursuing and exploring their passions. Their energy is vibrant & contagious and there is often a lot of incredible things to learn from their life experience and the perspectives they have gained.” Sasha Frate Founder


Image Credits: Front Cover by Michal Cerveny Back Cover by Swell Voyage Photos 2


For advertisement and sponsor inquiries: David Aiello, Director of Marketing Danielle Mercurio, Sales Manager Clair Marie, Brand Engagement & Influencers For writer and contributor inquiries: Sasha Frate, Founder & Co-Editor in Chief Eric Marley, Co-Editor in Chief All Rights Reserved DISCLAIMER The information provided on this magazine is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Opinions and other statements expressed by the kind souls sharing their viewpoint, users and third parties are theirs alone, not opinions of Face the Current. Content created by third parties is the sole responsibility of the third parties and its accuracy and completeness are not endorsed or guaranteed. Face the Current Website and third parties may provide links to web pages, web sites, and various resources or locations on the web. Face the Current has no control over the information you access via such links, does not endorse that information, and shall not be responsible for it or for the consequences of your use of that information.

letter from the editor Charles Darwin probably had no idea what kind of buzz would be created around the word, “evolution” when he penned his “Theory of Evolution” a scant one hundred and fifty years ago. These days, it can mean anything from an improved version of a vehicle to the further awakening of mankind. Like the word, “love,” it has to be seen in context to have any meaning at all. Welcome to the “Evolution Edition” of Face the Current, where such context is available in abundance! Consider our cover star, two-time Olympian Emily Batty. She speaks of the evolution of women in sport, as well as that of competitive mountain biking. Traveling the world with her manager/trainer husband, she’s had to also evolve as an athlete in order to keep seriously competitive. Speaking of women in intense sports, we were fortunate to catch Captain Liz Clark between squalls and islands. This determined, spirited, ecological activist been sailing the oceans solo for over a decade. A finalist for National Geographic’s 2015 Adventurer of the Year award, she has something to say about what has to be done for humanity to safely evolve on our beautiful planet. Lest the women be the only spokespeople our exploration of evolution, we are happy to introduce Chris Howard of Biochar Unlimited. His activated biochar is revolutionizing depleted soils, making them far more productive and require substantially less of our most precious resource, water. Of course, at times we are required to evolve within our careers. Former Cinderella drummer Fred Coury has successfully made such a change. Even as he was playing to sold-out arenas as one of glam metal’s favorite bands, he was preparing to grow in another direction. His company, Double Forte Music, is responsible for award-winning tunes, which include Hollywood work as well as “walk out” music for several professional sports teams. It could be said then, that he went from “rock out” to “walk out!” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Part of humanity’s drive to evolve must also include the ways we interact with one another, including the way we practice commerce. In the article entitled, “B-Corporations: Restoring Faith in Big Business,” we explore a new type of forprofit legal entity.Voluntarily submitting to third-party oversight regarding the benefit they provide to the public, this is the evolution of business. In areas such as Environment, Community, Governance and Workers, these conscious companies lead the way in giving back to the public. Evolution… charged word or not, it’s what humanity is up to. We at Face the Current feel honored to bring to our readers every month those who are pushing their own envelopes, inspiring all of us to expand within our own spheres to experience the healthy, vibrant growth we so deeply crave.

Eric Marley Co-Editor in Chief


fAce the current

Issue 09 · July 2017


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Sasha Frate

Founder and Co-Editor in Chief is a perspective seeker, adventurer, and explorer. She received her Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts and continues to study a variety of subjects within and outside of the academic setting. Frate brings her personal moonshot approach to life to FtC, aiming to provide an experience for our global community where we inspire one another to stay curious, never stop exploring, and to live onpurpose and to potential.

Eric “Aspen” Marley Co-Editor in Chief

Eric Marley is a writer, teacher and shamanic practitioner. His passion is creating community and consciousness through indigenous spirituality. He has three children and enjoys mountain biking, camping, surfing and exploring both the

Danielle Mercurio Sales Manager

is a Certified Life Coach and the founder of Inner Effects Life Coaching. Her mission is to expand consciousness in herself, individuals, and the world. She empowers people to connect with their divine path so they can manifest a life full of meaning and liberation. Using neuroscience and specific, customized coaching techniques, she helps her clients find growth, passion, and joy by releasing the past and attracting their soulful desires while standing firmly in the present. Danielle offers group and individual coaching, workshops, and retreats to reach heights of healing and transformation.

David Aiello

Director of Marketing is an author, musician and photographer based in Portland, Oregon. He has worked with Fortune 50 companies to build their global brands but now applies his natural curiosity to exploring and documenting the world around him.

Clair Marie

Kathleen Johnson Antoñana

Brand Engagement & Influencers


is a dual Master of Spanish Linguistics, Literature, and Culture as well as of Bilingual Special Education. A voracious student, teacher, writer, and paralegal, Ms. Johnson has dedicated her career to immigration law, translation, non-profit grant writing, and special education in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Johnson is an avid traveler and linguist with a deep love of books, travel, and people.


Sema Garay

Executive Designer Sema is the graphic designer behind the development of the image and magazine of Face the Current. He has developed a multitude of projects, including his previous job leading the Creative Department of BG Life Magazine, in Marbella, Spain. Sema is passionate about all kinds of artistic expressions, especially music and architecture.

Also going by her alias “BASEgirl,” Clair is a BASE jumper, Skydiver, Mountain bike racer, Rock climber, Motivational Speaker, Keynote, and Model! She is a passionate vegan and a world traveler. Clair has made it her life goal to inspire others and help them accomplish or find their dreams and passions. After defying the odds and becoming one of the worlds youngest BASE jumpers at 16 years old she realized how important it is to always follow your dreams! And now she helps others find theirs.


CREW We are a growing

Dr. James Bentz D.PSc. is a Chiropractor, Speaker, Health Coach & Educator, Trainer & Leading Practitioner in Neurological Integration System (NIS), which is a method of restoring communication between the brain and body based on the principle that the brain monitors every cell in the body.

team of Up-standers whose intention is to create positive

Jennifer Moore CEO Since 2009 when she led the launch of Jem, Jen has played and continues to play a wide variety of roles including sales, marketing, quality control and product development. She oversees the implementation of strategic planning, as well as setting and maintaining the company’s vision and long-term goals. Jen has a B.S. in Nutrition-Food Science and Exercise Physiology. In addition to trail running, Jen enjoys nature hikes with her husband Tim and dog Lily. She takes great pleasure in her three adult children, as well as dinner parties with friends where she loves to laugh to tears.

change in the world, through networking, connecting, supporting and developing at an

David Ryan

David is a celebrity trainer in Los Angeles, California and creator of LIFTSTRONG Max Intensity Interval Training. You can get your own personalized HIIT program at Instagram: @DavidRyanFitness

individual and global community level. We are passionate about building our network of experts and industry leaders to deliver cutting edge information to our global community. This month’s

Lisa Skube is a former US NorAM skier turned information advocate, carving up digital experience design & scaling press sustainability, a social change architect. She is the founder of a trainer, coach and consultant unifying public good plus revenue @journaccel @lskube & beyond instagram @skube2U2

Dr. Vaughn Bowman is a board certified Naturopathic Physician licensed in the state of Connecticut. For nearly two decades he has treated patients of all ages with a myriad of different conditions from the common cold to debilitating autoimmune conditions. The goal is to always locate the underlying cause for any one illness rather than treat superficial symptoms and by doing so Dr. Bowman has led many patients back to health.

Team and Crew are based in the U.S. Michael Malone Christopher McPherson

In more than three decades as an award-winning professional writer/journalist, Christopher has covered myriad subjects and interviewed thousands of people from the famous to the unknown. His work has appeared in daily newspapers, monthly magazines, extensively on radio and, on occasion, television. His newest book, “22: The Biography of a Gun,” has just been published.

is an American Comedian, Actor, Director, & Podcaster. His popular comedy podcast “Punched Up” explores the stories behind the comedians you love. Michael writes on “Great Comedians. Great Stories. Told Differently.” Social: @malonecomedy


CONTENT Issue 09 · July 2017

COVER stories

EMILY BATTY 76 The Evolution of Adventure Sports and Her MTB Racing Career Success



With Ryan “The Lion” Leier


Balancing A Dual Sport Career

Slow Travel & Conscious Living On Her ‘Swell Voyage’ of the Seas


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Fred Coury






Can We Wanderlust and Still Crave Roots?


Captain Liz Clark: The Beauty of Slow Travel & Conscious Living

On Her ‘Swell Voyage’ of the Seas


FtC Travel Connection: Wanderlusters, Adventurers, Explorers, and Travel







s rt s o sp nes it &f


l ea




e sin


Have You Heard Of The Internet Of Things?


Punched Up: Nails in the Fence


Evolution: The Genetic Journey of Man and The Other .1%


DJ Drez: Giving Namaste a Time Signature


Ayla Nereo: The Code of Connection


Fred Coury: A Cinderella Story With A Double Forte


Gold Medalist Kaleigh Gilchrist: Balancing A Dual Sport Career


One Love Yoga: Roaring with Ryan “The Lion”


Emily Batty: The Evolution of Adventure Sports and Her MTB Racing

Career Success


David Ryan Fitness: Plyometrics


Circadian Biology: The Engine of Life


Balance on the Run: Manifesting Harmony with Asita Perera


When the Food Industry Evolves Faster Than Our Bodies


Water, Food and Air: Saving the World with Activated Biochar


Women in Conscious Businesses Point and Periphery


B-Corporations: Restoring Faith in Big Business



TRAVEL fAce the current

10. 12. 20. 8

Can We Wanderlust and Still Crave Roots? Captain Liz Clark: The Beauty of Slow Travel & Conscious Living On Her ‘Swell Voyage’ of the Seas FtC Travel Connection: Wanderlusters, Adventurers, Explorers, and Travel Photographers –‘Sharing Our Stories’


THE WORLD’S VESSELS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Vercoe has been in business since 1989 serving the needs of boaters worldwide from our offices in Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii.


FtC travel

Can We Wanderlust and Still Crave Roots? by David Aiello Our lives have become increasingly mobile.The ease with which we can satisfy our wanderlust has changed the way we engage not just with each other but also how we think of ourselves. Are we now citizens of the world? Or do we still have something to return to that we call home?



Since man first walked upright, getting around has never been so easy. It is not unrealistic to be able to step on any continent within 48 hours.This weekend, you could be surfing in Costa Rica, hiking across a glacier in Iceland, chasing your love through a narrow passage in Venice, or drinking Linie Aquavit in Norway.

But I also like home.

To find travel destinations or travel deals, we simply need to get online. Do a simple search and you can get more information on a place and how to get there than you could ever hope to absorb. After entering a credit card number and a few clicks, you are rocketing across the globe in an artificial pressurized tube satisfying your wanderlust.

Home is part of how we define ourselves. It’s why we live in a particular area or decorate in a certain way. My home is where my stuff is—my guitars, my art, my super comfy bed, even my pots and pan! After traveling, I look forward to immersing myself once again in my environment, in my city.

I think it is human nature to want to have a place to belong. I like the idea of a retreat or home base. When I sense danger, I find safety and reassurance in my home. When I feel joy, I want to share that with those in my home.

The reasons people love to leave their homes to voyage all over the globe are as varied as their destinations, and very personal. I like to travel because for one thing, it gets me out of my comfort zone. It is an opportunity for new experiences and new challenges. It is a learning experience. Sometimes I crave the unfamiliar and want to acquire new insights and awareness.Travel also has the ability to open my mind. I love exchanging world views in a different place with someone who has a different perspective than me.

fixed home. At least for periods of time. It’s part of my self-definition. But wanderlust is part of my selfdefinition as well. Can the two coexist? My answer is yes. The phrase I remember when I was young was to have “roots and wings.” Roots are my home and family that I know will always be there for me. And I was given wings to pursue with confidence what makes me happy. Perhaps that is the key for me. When I travel I’m not running or escaping. I’m exploring—and that makes me happy! As an explorer, I want to return home and share what I saw and learned. My experiences have taught me that both wanderlust and the notion of a home can coincide. It sounds like a contradiction but roots and wings give you the confidence to follow your own path with the reassurance you have something worthwhile to return to.

If mobility is now a normal part of living, how does that impact our sense of home? If home is where the heart is, can I say home is wherever I am? Some people are capable of simplifying their lives down to a backpack. I am not that evolved. I need a more permanent,

My belief in roots and wings have led me through an incredible gateway of self-discovery and my journeys have enhanced my life in ways I never anticipated. I live with a much greater appreciation for my life and life in general.


FtC travel

Captain Liz Clark: The Beauty of Slow Travel & Conscious Living On

Her ‘Swell Voyage’ of the Seas Interview By Eric Marley

IMAGES by swell voyage photos

Captain Liz Clark does what so many only dream about: outfitting a sailboat and simply setting out for open seas. She did this over ten years ago, and shows no signs of letting up. Although there’s nothing “simple” about sailing the vast Pacific, the lessons she’s learned have clearly been worth her effort. A finalist for the 2015 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and a Patagonia Ambassador, Captain Clark shares her experience freely, teaching us about the world, the environment, giving back and what happens when we reach for the edges of our own abilities.



Eric Marley:You’ve said, “Nature, humanity, and all life on Earth are inextricably and fantastically connected. Abandoning the idea of Self and seeking to understand and participate in this Greatness is not only a path to immense personal fulfillment, but also to healthy, peaceful planet and a populace that could exist in harmony with nature!” What is important about the abandonment of the self, to you? What are some things we can do to cultivate this abandoning?

Captain Liz Clark: ‘Abandoning of Self ’ is a pretty extreme way to put it, but I believe that creating a better world for all beings depends on our ability to understand and feel that we are interdependent and connected to everything and everyone else. But maybe a better way to think of it is ‘abandoning selfishness.’ We must learn to accept that we are both separate but connected at the same time, and that what hurts others hurts us too. But since we are each an important part of the collective oneness, our individual needs and desires must be nurtured too--so we don’t want to

entirely abandon ourselves--we just want to act with a deeper understanding that we are part of something greater. It seems ideal to strike a healthy balance between fulfilling our personal desires while treading lightly and helping other beings around us thrive. My two recommendations for fostering this understanding are traveling and pursuing your desires. I love traveling as a means to cultivating compassion because on road or on the sea, you’re often in a position of vulnerability. When we have to ask for help, need a ride, advice, a meal,


I love traveling as a means to cultivating compassion because on road or on the sea, you’re often in a position of vulnerability. When we have to ask for help, need a ride, advice, a meal, directions, we are forced to connect with the world around us and feel what others feel.



directions, we are forced to connect with the world around us and feel what others feel. In addition, pursuing my passions and truth is what led me to discovering a feeling of oneness and connection to others and the Universe/God or however you feel comfortable calling it. Once I chose my dreams, I felt I was supported in amazing, unexplainable ways towards my goal—sometimes by strangers, the weather, or an odd coincidence. Through years of ‘finding a way’ to make my dream happen where there wasn’t always an obvious path, I see that my individual purpose led me to participating in a collective goal for positive change, and becoming an active citizen of the world.

EM:There was some time that elapsed between your land-based life and the point where you committed to your life on Swell. What about that period of time was helpful for you? CLC: I spent almost three years outfitting Swell for the voyage, and during that time I learned how to do general maintenance, sail repair, engine and electrical troubleshooting, and how the different systems aboard worked. I read books about other people’s voyages, and studied up on the world currents and prevailing winds, and anything I thought might help me captain my ship. It was really helpful

to build my confidence and skills over this period. EM: Most people have reservations about pursuing their wildest dreams. What kind of reservations did you have before starting your journey, and how did you answer those concerns before you started –or did the answers come with action? CLC: My greatest reservations were failure, being physically incapable of the demands of captaining Swell, and funding. When it was time to go, I had only sailed Swell on one weekend excursion before


setting off, so the new rigging, systems, and setups hadn’t been thoroughly tested. But the seasonal window for that year was closing, and so I just had to throw off the lines and go for it. The answers definitely came through getting out there and trying. Despite a few close calls, the sea gave me only what I could handle that first 800 miles down Baja. EM:You’ve spent over ten years on the ocean. What’s your favorite part of being alone on the water, and can you share one of the most incredible things you’ve ever seen out there? CLC: My favorite part of being out there is the feeling of freedom and autonomy. I once got to surf Swell downwind alongside a pod of pilot whales out in the open sea. That was pretty incredible! EM:You were nominated in 2015 for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year. What did that mean to you, and what opportunities have come from it? CLC: It was incredibly special for me to be recognized as an adventurer after all the hard work I’ve done to pull off this dream. It came with some validation of my choice to pursue this adventure versus pursuing more quantifiable or lucrative career goals. It has given me the opportunity to connect with other amazing adventurers and activists, and for that I’m so grateful! EM:You’re an ambassador for Patagonia, the clothing company. What is it about their mission and way of doing business that inspired you to align with them? CLC: Our missions are the same. “Cause no unnecessary harm,” is one phrase we both subscribe to. We both believe that life should be lived and business executed with a basic respect for the earth and it’s systems that support all life. Working with this activist company feels like being part of the solution. Recently Patagonia created a wetsuit made from sustainable, natural rubber, reducing associated C02 emissions by 80% compared to neoprene. The team at Patagonia embodies adventure, always taking risks to better create the products we need to enjoy the outdoors. This is how I try to live my life as an adventurer and activist too--always looking to improve and learn.



EM: At ten years of age, you took a 5,000-mile journey with your family along south along the coastline from San Diego to Mexico and back.That trip obviously had an incredible impact upon your life. Will you describe for us that impact, and can you offer advice about what families or individuals can do to experience their own shifts? CLC: I didn’t know much beyond the wealthy suburb of San Diego when my parents took us out of school to sail to Mexico. Being near a different culture opened my eyes to other ways of life, but also showed me that we’re all more alike than different. I became curious about the great world outside my own country. I also fell in love with the ocean and its

wildlife and felt a clear instinct to protect it. This was the beginning of my voyaging dream and passion for protecting the environment. I think travel is great for invoking inner shifts in perspective, especially if you travel on a budget and in developing countries. Living in communities where resources are scarce, on a small budget, and having to rely on the kindness of others gave me an insight into America’s ingrained materialism and what it means to really give freely and help others. EM: “I’ve come to believe that the best thing that we can do for ourselves, our families, and for the world is to hear and follow our hearts and calls.” Why is this so?

CLC: My answer brings us back to the collective oneness that I believe that we’re all a part of. Following our hearts, our curiosities, our passions leads us on a journey of self-discovery and discovery of our inherent connection to all life. We push beyond our perceived limits are realize that we are capable of so much more than we think! When our dreams feel inaccessible, people tend to feel frustrated and without purpose. Every person who strives for their dreams and highest potential, touches people around them and inspires them to do the same. We need an inspired society to evolve toward a system where all beings thrive.


EM:Your reading list is amazing. If you could recommend one book, what would it be and why?

damaged. Can you explain what happened and what effect that level of adversity had on you?

CLC: “Conversations with God,” by Neale Donald Walsch. This book that really helped me feel comfortable with all the spiritual picking I’d been doing from various religions. That book made me finally feel comfortable with the word “God,” and my relationship to life’s greatest questions.

CLC: I was on a 1500 nautical mile solo passage between Kiribati and French Polynesia when I got caught in some bad weather between Kiribati and French Polynesia. It consisted of intense lightning storms that turned into a full gale that blew for days from the direction I was trying to go. My headstay nearly severed, which could have brought the mast down. I didn’t sleep for days, bashing upwind and trying to maintain my course. It took 15 days to make landfall. I think that trip

EM:You had a rough crossing in the South Pacific in 2008, to say the least, and Swell was seriously



showed me how powerful the ocean is, but also how powerful I am too. And how we all have reserves of strength that we don’t know about until we need them. EM: What’s next for Liz Clark? CLC: I just finished a book about my voyage, so after three years of writing anchored off a tiny island in the South Pacific, Swell launches next April through Patagonia’s book division. So, I’m gearing up to meet my readers next year since I’ll be going on a book tour. Until then, I’m going sailing!

Every person who strives for their dreams and highest potential, touches people around them and inspires them to do the same. We need an inspired society to evolve toward a system where all beings thrive.

yfind more info on Global Yodel: Instagram: @captainlizclark


FtC travel

FtC Travel Connection Wanderlusters, Adventurers, Explorers, and Travel Photographers –‘Sharing Our Stories’

“Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure” – Ibn Battuta” Travel has really evolved, and social media has played a huge role. One of the trends has been the increased spontaneity of travel decisions. Social media posts and profiles provide an incredible sampling of travel destinations and highlight the adventures you can have. When a destination captures our imagination, we increasingly surrender to the impulse to ‘go now’ with minimal planning. This month, four adventure travelers share their perspective on the beauty of spontaneity, DIY travel, and the pros and cons of social media’s impact on travel today.



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Mina Young Lee PLACE I Call Home: DC area Instagram: @minayounglee

What is your favorite way to travelspontaneous or planned? My favorite way to travel usually consists of spending a month or more in a certain area or country and starts with a basic idea of what kind of activities I’d like to do or places I would like to explore, but are not thoroughly planned out. I prefer to leave room for the unknown and have the freedom to choose what to do with my days in the moment rather than have my schedule dictated by pre-planned activities. I think this way I can go into a trip with a specific intention and purpose but also allow the universe a chance to show it’s magic in ways that can’t be planned.

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What is one place you took the DIY approach to travel- no guide, minimal equipment, writing your own map? What did you love about it? In Spring of 2015 I bought a motorcycle in Southern Vietnam, bungee corded my 65 liter backpack to the back and spent the next month driving through the country. A large part of the trip was solo, but along the way I’d meet other riders and sometimes we’d group up and travel together for as long as our schedule allowed it or until we felt it was time to go our own ways. We high-fived little kids while riding our bikes through mountainside remote villages, zip-lined across rivers, and swam to the entrance of a cave featuring waist high mud and cathedral high ceilings with crystal clear

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travel 22 connection FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

water. We were showed kindness by complete strangers when trouble arose and had to stop roadside for a flat or got caught with a stomach bug. A family whom I met after laying down my bike for the third time took me in; their sons were my mechanic. I didn’t speak their language and they didn’t speak mine but they fed me dinner and we did the best we could to communicate through Google Translator, but kindness didn’t need words. One time I ended up on a ferry full of people who didn’t understand anything I said other than the name of the city I was trying to get to. After we ported, an older gentleman on the ferry signaled me to follow him on my bike and we played follow the leader until I had a clear sight of the next ferry I needed to catch. These are the kinds of things you cannot plan. They’re unexpected moments which seem to present themselves when

you dive into uncertainty and roam without itineraries, allowing yourself to be fully submersed in the events that unfold around you. The challenges of getting around a country where I didn’t speak the native language presented opportunities to connect with people on the other side of the world through a universal language of kindness. The unplanned days left room to be spontaneous and go wherever the wind tickled my feathers. Pros & Cons of Social Media influencing travel today. How have you been positively influenced by it? Pros • Social media inspires more people to travel • It encourages people to value experiences over possessions

• It allows people to dream and visualize the life they want to live • Brings tourism to places that might not otherwise be discovered or exposed • Gives the opportunity to influence the way people travel (ie. eco-travel or adventure-travel) • As an influencer you can encourage practices you believe in (such as leave no trace) • It can support the decision to protect public lands Cons What once might have been a hidden gem is now a over-populated tourist destination How it’s influenced me in a positive way • It has expanded my travel board. • Social media assists in research when considering a travel destination - the

ability to look up recent photos from a location tag or hashtag and see up to date conditions, weather, and popularity. • It has connected me to other travelers and/or traveler-wanna-be’s, which has given me the opportunity to act as a source of inspiration for others who want to pursue a similar lifestyle, while also having others act as a source of inspiration for me. It’s a nice little circle / organic cycle. • Gives me glimpses into worlds or activities I may not have known existed before which offers the opportunity to discover new ways to push my own boundaries while traveling. • It has given me the opportunity to promote destinations, activities, and cultures I enjoy while also encouraging practices I believe in - basically has given me a platform where I can put in my two cents in an organic way and hopefully

influence others in a positive direction. • The desire to share with others has pushed me to be a better photographer, traveler, and encourages me to be more responsible for my actions and be a responsible traveler. • It inspires me to become a better storyteller. Next 3 destinations on your list? American Southwest, Vietnam, and possibly Bali, Albania, Hawaii, South America. I try not to plan too far ahead.


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PLACE I Call Home: Portland, Oregon Instagram: @iheartadventure

What is your favorite way to travelspontaneous or Planned? Almost every adventure I’ve ever embarked on has been spontaneous. I am impetuous by nature, terrible at packing, and I hate planning. Having a set itinerary gives me anxiety. I don’t like the thought of not being able to impulsively change plans, switch direction, or move on to the next destination at the drop of a hat. It’s an exhausting existence but I can’t live any other way. Plus, it typically makes for much better stories. What is one place you took the DIY approach to travel- no guide, minimal equipment, writing your own map? New Zealand Pros & Cons of Social Media influencing travel today. How have you been positively influenced by it? Social media is such a double-edged sword in regards to influencing adventure and I struggle daily with the love/hate relationship I have with it. Instagram in particular has turned travel into an easily accessible virtual reality for the masses. I get so many lovely messages and I love interacting with my followers, networking, and making new friends all over the world through shared interests. I think it can be a great educational tool for humanity when used properly and I love seeing what a positive impact it has on millions of people who have been inspired to get outdoors and travel more. That being said, it has also become destructive to nature as places that were once pristine and off the beaten path become ravaged by the influx of human traffic.



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Next 3 destinations on your list? I have spent a lot of time traveling abroad but I feel like I have been neglecting North America. I’ve been playing with the idea of outfitting a van and exploring all of the US, Canada, and Alaska. I have always felt drawn to Alaska in particular. Most likely because of my infatuation with the tragic, yet beautifully inspiring story ‘Into the Wild,’ which has greatly impacted my values, perpetuated my aversion to materialism, enhanced my proclivity to nature, and significantly shaped who I am today.


ftc travel connection

Christine Connell PLACE I Call Home: Arlington, Virginia Instagram: @christinexploring What is your favorite way to travel- spontaneous or planned? I definitely tend to travel more on the spontaneous side, but sometimes a little planning is nice. I usually arrive at a destination then try to connect with locals on social media. If I connect with a local who is free and offers to explore with me, I always take them up on the offer. That’s how I end up in the best places. It’s nice to get off the beaten path and visit places I would probably not find on my own. I also look at maps to find parks. When I’m planning on doing something that requires planning ahead, like visiting a permitted area, of course I’m less spontaneous. What is one place you took the DIY approach to travel- no guide, minimal equipment, writing your own map? What did you love about it? I booked a flight to go to Greenland by myself without much of a plan. I knew that Greenland is remote and that many people walk off the plane with their gear and find a place to camp. There are no taxis at the airport. I was nervous - probably the most nervous I’ve ever been about traveling alone - but I had the time of my life. I visited three towns, camped on the ice sheet, climbed the coolest mountains I saw with no map or research, kayaked in the birthplace of kayaking, and fell in love with sled dogs. I had very, very limited contact with anyone and I did what I wanted when I wanted to do it. I certainly had my struggles. At times I felt lost. At times I wish I had done more research and planning. But most of the time, I embraced the freedom and spontaneity. It was so refreshing and somewhere along that trip, all of my worries and stresses faded away. It was hands down the best trip of my life.



Pros & Cons of Social Media influencing travel today. How have you been positively influenced by it? Social media has greatly influenced my travel in positive ways. I’ve connected with like-minded people and made lifelong friends. I’ve found hikes and places I likely wouldn’t have found otherwise. I’ve also seen a lot more people getting outside because of inspiration from social media. In some ways, this is great. Some people

are appreciating the outdoors more and living a healthier lifestyle. More people getting outside also has its downsides. Sometimes people see a beautiful place on social media and decide to go without doing proper research, putting themselves and others in danger. Some people also fail to respect the outdoors and leave no trace. Litter on trails, damage of oncepristine places, and harm to wildlife are the negative impacts of social media I have noticed.

Next 3 destinations on your list? Finland, Antarctica, The Yukon

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ftC fAce the current

travel connection

ftc travel connection

Henya Mania PLACE I Call Home: Israel Instagram: @henyamania

What is your favorite way to travel? My favorite way to travel is to get to a new place and to just wing it. I love learning about a place by experience and advice from local people I meet rather than reading all about it online and having a general idea of what the place is going to be like. Besides, well-planned trips give me anxiety. No Thanks!



What is one place you took the DIY approach to travel- no guide, minimal equipment, writing your own map? What did you love about it? My first trip ever was to Thailand, about 3 years ago. I traveled for 7 months with a 40 liter backpack. I absolutely loved not having to check in any luggage or run around the country with a wheeled suitcase. It gave me the ultimate freedom of mobility, and I

didn’t have to worry about what to wear in the morning cause I only had 3 options :) Pros & Cons of Social Media influencing travel today. How have you been positively influenced by it? I honestly don’t know how I would’ve traveled without my social media. I have followers in every country I go to that always offer recommendations and advice, and sometimes even a bed to stay and a

hot meal. I have also gotten a lot of meals from vegan restaurants for free in exchange for a shout out as well as free hotel accommodation and even a rental van! Social media also gives me a lot of travel inspiration and ideas on where and how I want to continue my journey. Next 3 destinations on your list? Amsterdam, Japan and Morocco!


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32. 34. 36. 30

Have You Heard Of The Internet Of Things? punched up: NAILS IN THE FENCE Evolution: The Genetic Journey of Man and The Other .1%


JOIN T HE ACAD E MY b i t . l y/Con n ect 2 Reson an ce

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FtC culture

Have You Heard Of The Internet Of Things? By David Aiello The Internet of Things represents a giant technological shift, and it’s already here! The Internet of Things (IoT) at the very least is a concept that is easy to understand.You simply take any electronic device or component within a device, and connect it to the Internet.This could be anything from your blender, electric toothbrush,

Is this the Golden Age? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos recently proclaimed that we are in a golden age of technology. He called the latest advances in artificial intelligence an “enabling layer” that will “improve every business.” While there is no question IoT is already improving business, no one can really say what the IoT will ultimately result in. However, it seems to have the capacity to fundamentally change our lives and society.

Where can I find the IoT? The market research firm IDC stated that the IoT market will be worth $7.1 trillion annually by 2020 and that there will be about 50 billion IoT devices by that same year. That’s not that far away. So where do



washing machine, to a jet engine or a farm tractor. By collecting data from these devices, the IoT can make us more efficient by helping us make smarter, more informed decisions in all aspects of our life.

we find the IoT now? As Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering for Citirx, peers out of his office window adjacent the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Arizona, he watches what he describes as driverless cars “learning to drive” as one example of how the IoT is now being employed. Many of us are familiar with some of the popular consumer applications of the IoT such as’s Echo and wearable devices like the Apple Watch. However, Chris says currently the focus is more on business. “There are really three main segments of IoT. Home automation which includes things like smart doors and smart lighting, Photo by Inti St. Clair

with the best known example being the Google-owned Nest thermostat. “There is also enterprise or office IoT. But the biggest of all the segments to date is industrial. That’s where the bulk of the money is going. This includes healthcare, energy, transportation, logistic and construction.” The industrial sector was quick to adopt IoT technology to help monitor manufacturing equipment for issues related to safety, energy use and inventory control. With devices collecting pointof-process data, companies can quickly improve products, processes and their bottom line.

Growing pains Yet despite all of the implied potential, the IoT faces some hurdles. For starters, privacy remains a main concern especially within the home market. In an age of increasing monitoring, either governmental or corporate, consumers are increasingly concerned with the vast trove of information our networked devices are collecting from us. To address consumer fears, reputable companies, like Apple, are building ‘privacy by design’ into their products. Techniques like ‘differential privacy’ allow companies to collect user data for the purposes of improving their products while protecting individual privacy. Chris added, “At this point, there is not a lot of regulation. Perhaps updated privacy laws could help things. If products had to pass certain privacy protocols before being introduced to market that could help protect consumers. But these statutes are not in place right now. I fear things may get worse before they get better.” Another major concern is security. With so many more network access points around, the opportunity for malicious hacking attempts increase. For example, in October 2106, non-secured IoT cameras were hacked and used to blocked access to many popular websites including Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon,

Tumblr, Reddit and PayPal. Chris stresses the increasing role device security will play in our lives. He urges consumers to remain vigilant to ensure manufacturer updates and user settings are providing consistent protection. “Security and privacy go hand in hand but this is sort of the Wild West right now. Many companies are trying to get products to market very quickly, to commoditize products at very low price points. Unfortunately security is not really well thought out in a race to the bottom dollar. Reputable companies like Amazon, Google and Apple will probably focus on security as a selling point.”

Connections to Connect Again Despite the growing pains displayed by disruptive technologies like the IoT, Chris remains positive. He reminds us that computers were supposed to make our lives easier—but they’ve done anything but that. They’ve made our lives more hectic—our schedules have become 24/7. Beaming, Chris speculates that “when ultimately these networked devices start talking to each other, we’ll approach what I think people expect from all this. For example, my house would know when I pull into the driveway and start automating things collectively. The

Chris Matthieu, Director of Internet of Things (IoT) Engineering for Citirx, sees past simply embedding wireless connectivity into everyday objects. He sees IoT enabling society to become “human focused” once again.

Some think robots will put people out of work. That may be true but I think as this occurs, society will find ways for people to do things that are less routine and pursue tasks that allow them to follow their passions, be more creative, to fulfil their true potential.

garage door would open. The hallway light would come one. The thermostat would be adjusted. A cold beer could be placed next to my favorite chair while my favorite program appears on TV!” Some think mankind will lose itself with the advent of more technology but Chris is not a doomster. “Some think robots will put people out of work. That may be true but I think as this occurs, society will find ways for people to do things that are less routine and pursue tasks that allow them to follow their passions, be more creative, to fulfil their true potential.” “I think with the convergence of this new technology we could get to the point where we could be human focused again. I think the original promise of giving time back to allow us to do more important things will be the reality.” Maybe this really is the Golden Age.

ymore info: Citrix Iot Blog:

IoT Weekly News: IoT Business News: Twitter: @citrix


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NAILSIN THEFENCE By Michael Malone Minnesota lifestyle to experience life in the big city. Nevertheless, summer came, and Jenny was scheduled to spend the whole break in Boston. She dutifully packed up and arrived only to find a surprise from her mother. She was going to Hindu summer camp. “Hindu camp was super fun. What eleven year old isn’t dreaming of being forced to be a vegetarian and do yoga at seven o’clock in the morning? Right?” said Jenny.

Comedian Jenny Zigrino is from a broken home. Like, basically everyone else in the millennial generation. But her experience was complicated in its own, multicultural way. Jenny grew up Jewish. Her mother Russian and her father American. When her parents divorced, dad converted to Islam to match his new wife’s religion. Her mother, remaining Jewish, was not amused. And to add an extra dash of fun, Jenny spent her summers at Hindu camps. You know, typical Midwestern childhood. “I grew up in a Jewish household celebrating Christmas, while

my dad doesn’t eat because it’s Ramadan,” Jenny said. She spent most of her childhood with her dad. The two enjoyed a close bond. He is charismatic and supportive, and her mother is...well, Russian. She is not a bad woman by any means. On the contrary, she loves her children dearly, but with a tough, soviet-style love. Her thick accent punctuated her broken English, and meanwhile, Jenny’s dad could help her with homework with ease. When Jenny’s mom moved to Boston with her older brother, Jenny wasn’t exactly running from her cozy

Once camp was a wrap, Jenny thought she was done with her summer adventure. A few days passed. She was miserable and missing her father. She finally asked her mom about when she would get go to “home.” Her mother didn’t answer. She changed the subject. This went on and on for a few days till her mother revealed the secret she’d been trying to hide from her ex-husband, her lawyers, and Jenny. She was not sending her daughter back to Minnesota. She was (technically) kidnapping Jenny. Jenny was devastated. And a cold war descended on their Boston home. Jenny was eleven and didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her dad. Her mother was protecting her family the best she knew how and couldn’t understand why Jenny didn’t want to live with her. “I was writing notes to my mother like, ‘I hate you… I want to go home…. Why can’t you



Hindu camp was super fun. What eleven year old isn’t dreaming of being forced to be a vegetarian and do yoga at seven o’clock in the morning? Right?

send me home? I hate it here…’ And looking back on it now, it had to be heartbreaking for my mother to read those notes. She had to think to herself, ‘Why doesn’t my daughter want to live with me? Why doesn’t she love me like she loves her father?” Three months and a contentious custody battle later, Jenny’s mother was forced to send her daughter back to Minnesota. In their kitchen, she explained to Jenny that she would soon be returning home. Her mother looked crushed. And Jenny was left confused. She was finally getting what she wanted, but her mother was a good mother. Jenny didn’t hate her. She just wanted to return to the home she knew with her own school and her own friends.

Jenny and her mother’s relationship is much better these days. Although her mom still uses tough love to parent, Jenny is old enough to understand it. There is no animosity between them. But the pain is still alive in other ways. Her mother recently shared an old Russian proverb with her daughter. Jenny retold it to me imitating her mother’s thick, Russian accent. “There is a story of a man who have very troubled boy. Every time the boy hurt the father, he would take nail and hammer it into fence. When the boy gets older he says, ‘Papa, I am so sorry. I was so young and stupid and I love you.’ The father says, ‘Okay, let me show you something.’ He

takes the boy to see the fence. He starts removing the nails as the father says to the boy. ‘You know, I forgive you.The nails, they represent what happened. I forgive it. But the holes… The holes will stay forever.” I think a lot of times we refuse to look at a situation from another point of view. Especially, when we are hurt or angry. Remember, it’s important to have empathy for others, but It’s even more important to have empathy when they are giving you every reason not to

ymore info:


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The Genetic Journey of Man and The Other .1% CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR,

CHRISTOPHER MCPHERSON Scientific research has revealed that humans are more closely related than we ever imagined. The fact that we are 99.9 percent identical celebrates the concept that “we are one.” How can humanity be one when we are so diverse, and who can argue over a .1 percent superiority? You might be surprised.



Draped in our flags of “nationalism,” many people forget

their roots, and others may not even have a clue as to where it all traces back. When humanity is presented with powerful concepts about our identity, historically we can see that it affects how we self identify and our subsequent behavior -- and not always for the better. For example, Carl von Linne, the Swedish zoologist, viewed all humans as part of the same species, but added races as sub classifications or subspecies. This new method of categorizing humans caught on with many people. American pro-slavery factions adopted this Linnean view in an extreme form during the 19th century, thus making it easier to justify the oppression practiced in the United States. Such prejudice was not limited to America, spreading through Europe most notably at the hands of the British who colonized other people on other continents. Another unfortunate extreme was eugenics, a theory that

selective breeding could control the human population. It began as an innocent movement dedicated to social enlightenment, however it became twisted as it took off toward the end of the 19th century. People took a scientific idea and depraved the objective, which gave rise to a beginning of new extremes. Previously, the leaders of Nazi Germany used it to justify extermination of “inferior” groups such as Jews and homosexuals. Many people have felt empowered by the idea of a superior identity. The phrase “survival of the fittest,” coined by philosopher Herbert Spencer and heavily promoted by naturalist Charles Darwin, caught on and has been used to justify social and cultural divisions. European dominance, for example, was argued by anthropologist Carleton Coon resulting of genetic superiority. These ideas saturated the minds of many people and, most tragically, that of the people in power. This occurred to the extent that it was used to dominate those “others” who were viewed as inferior, inadequate, or unequal.


But, how “superior” can any human actually be over another, or in comparison to other living organisms, when so much of our DNA is shared? Scientific research such as the Human Genome Project has revealed that humans are more closely related than we ever imagined. We are also 96 percent the same as chimpanzees, 90 percent the same as a cat, 80 percent the same as a cow and -- get this -- 60 percent the same as a banana. The notion that we share the majority of our DNA makeup with all living organisms and most closely relate to yeast, has an incredible humbling effect.



Spencer Wells explains our Spencer Wells explains our incredible diversity of the human species in the world today using DNA research that traced all human ancestry of those who are alive today back to our origins from a scientific ‘Y-chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve’ in Africa (watch Wells’ “A Family Tree For Humanity” on TED). Traditional human identity has placed immense definition of self in relation to other, especially focusing on physical appearance,

yet science can now explain the reasons for such varied physical appearances, from skin coloration to body shape and size. Scientists describe how pigmentation relates to sun exposure and the body’s need and ability to absorb Vitamin D. PBS explains how “It is likely that the first arrivals in Europe were already lightly pigmented. Coastal people could afford to have darker skin. Northern people needed lighter skin to absorb

adequate Vitamin D.” Further, body shape and size can be attributed to similar factors of adjusting to climate to help maintain or eliminate heat. Track the Map of Human Migration on National Geographic.


Before advances in technology, cultures tended to stay relatively homogenous. Identities were strongly rooted in traditional cultures and languages with little to no influence from external influences. A person could claim an identity with a specific culture, belief or ethnicity without it being heavily influenced by others. There was a sense of obligation to pass on cultural traits from one generation to another. Now, thanks to the movies and television, the speed of air travel and worldwide connectivity through the internet, humanity has been shifting away from traditional identities, rapidly blending ethnicities and cultures, becoming increasingly bi- or multicultural and bi- or multi-ethnic. This



has made it increasingly difficult to define ethnicity in simple terms, so what is the roadblock preventing humanity from embracing the concept that we are one? While science has provided

justification for racial and genetic equality, many people across the globe continue to maintain an “us” versus “them” mentality that hopes to separate a superior “us” from an inferior “them,” such as a populace that is willing to blame all people of a certain background for the actions of a few. Throughout time and thus far, humans have been defined as being invasive, wasteful, and incredibly destructive. Conversely, humans have also been described as optimistic

in that we recognize our meaning and place. Humans continue to make positive choices that benefit the environment and our planet’s inhabitants. We might be competitive and strive for segregation, but humans can also be social, altruistic, and empathetic. In the total span of human existence, more people have lived in mutually supportive clans, villages, and communities than in the hyper-individualistic culture that are now dominant. We are capable of adapting and reshaping our traditional identity to embrace a common heritage. People have preached the concept that “we are one,” for decades, and science has once again provided justification to reinforce

this universal theme in light of our common heritage. Humanity is forever evolving physically

and mentally in responses to changes in our environment. Science has brought on many changes when discoveries prompt humans to respond and adapt our world and our frame of mind find meaning and purpose in new contexts. The concept of what it means to be human has itself evolved throughout history as knowledge or lack of it has led to varied beliefs in the origin of humanity. The idea that science has revealed a common heritage of humanity will hopefully act as a set of waves, each carrying with it a current of change. People will continue to adapt

with each wave until the ocean calms again and we have embraced and fully implemented this new understanding of humanity into our lives as part of our identities. Despite what the future holds,

the understanding that humanity shares a common identity in its origins and nearly identical genetic make-up should allow people to embrace interconnectedness. It can be comforting to embrace an appreciation for how humanity has evolved physically, linguistically, and intellectually. Further, humans should be humbled by the knowledge that we are similar not only to one another, but also to all other living organisms on this planet. We should appreciate

that our instinct for self-continuation makes us a highly adaptable species. A growing consciousness of what makes us unique, and what also connects us to one another and other life forms, should add meaning and purpose, and provide solace when faced with questions of what it means to be human.

ymore info: (click to go)

National Geographic Spencer Wells: NOVA (videos): “What Darwin Never Knew” “Cracking the Code of Life”


Just how different or similar are we? 42


You really are what you eatif you eat bananas, that is! Humans in fact have 60% of the same DNA as bananas


80% Holy cow! How could it be that we share 80% of the same DNA with cows?!



What does it mean if you’re a Do you see the resemblance? cat lover- or not? Love em’ We have 96% same DNA as or leave em’, we’re 90% the chimpanzees same.


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MUSIC 46. 52. 60. 44

DJ Drez: Giving Namaste a Time Signature Ayla Nereo: The Code of Connection Fred Coury: A Cinderella Story With A Double Forte



FtC music

DJ Drez Giving Namaste a Time Signature

Interview by Eric Marley

We usually end our yoga class with “namaste” to thank the teacher or to because we are happy the lesson is over! We enjoy the practice in part because of the peaceful atmosphere created by the class. But have we stopped to consider the roll music has on our enjoyment? DJ Drez is a beloved LA DJ that will be at Wanderlust Festival, Whistler in August, helping uncover the light within us that can be seen by our fellow practitioners. Drawing on his substantial background in all kinds of music, he creates tracks you may well have heard as you’ve practiced. Whether you hear Drez in the studio or the club, you can count on his own version of namaste as he unifies hiphop, world, jazz and reggae.



Eric Marley: Creative people that rise to the top of their art in one way or another are often inspiring to people laboring in their own art, no matter the medium. What can you tell us about your own path to success that might inspire others to persevere in theirs? DJ Drez: Throughout my early days, I’ve been honored to back up exceptional MCs. The total privilege of being in that position was also a peril; I lacked boundaries, forgot my own needs and put everyone else first. That sensation of being totally depleted has

led to some of the most important choices I’ve learned how to make. I’ve had to start turning down the big backup gigs so I could grow my own work. I’m finally starting to feel slightly more comfortable putting myself out there, feeling my own power and showing up for my art. EM:Your music draws from so many sources, such as hip hop, dance, reggae, funk - even Sanskrit chants we might hear in the yoga studio. How are you able to draw from so many disparate sources to create what you’re looking for in a track?

DJD: This question makes me think of two things. One, being the youngest of five kids, I’ve observed a multitude of lessons - both positive and negative, - and have made it a point to learn from what I saw. Secondly, my love for the depths of hip-hop. Hip-hop draws from every genre of music. No matter what the genre, you can make a hiphop beat from it. And hip-hop has opened me up to jazz, world music, reggae - my love for those genres came from my love of hip-hop. And somehow the ideas of eating clean, vegetarianism, my appreciation of Nature - it all came from my exposure to hip-hop. And my felt knowledge


When I started practicing yoga, it helped me re-learn to walk properly, and to navigate the most difficult emotional terrain as an adult.



of God brings all of this together to create an experience that’s steeped in spirit. EM:You’ve collaborated with some big names, such as Eminem, KRS.1, and the Black Eyed Peas. What do you enjoy most about working with established acts like these? DJD: At the time, Black Eyed Peas were friends, coming up in the music world. Will.I.Am. would always come listen to me spin, he would note the tracks he loved, and when they started working on their first album, I did some work with them on it. It was

utterly natural for us to work together. Eminem, friend of a friend, came through a hip-hop group of which I was a part, The Anonymous. Around 1997, I was introduced to him and our peers encouraged us to do a track together. Come to think of it, that might have been the trip on which he met Dre. KRS 1 and I met in Philly, but then found ourselves at the House of Blues in LA, and after hearing me, he asked me to back him up. I respect all of them greatly. Working with these friends brought me closer to the sensation of my own worth and value, and I’m always grateful for that. They also taught me that we are all on a level playing field, and that whatever

thoughts I’m generating about myself will determine how far I can take my work. EM: Speaking of collaborations, you’ve put out several recordings with your partner, Marti Nikko. How is collaborating with her different than working with anyone else, and is there a “one plus one equals three” component to your work? DJD: There’s such sweet history with Marti. At the time, in 1996 when we met, she was Nikko. Our first performance together, she stole the show. We connected and that was it.


She came up in jazz, and when I heard her jazz demo, it was magic. She sang like a mature woman even at nineteen years old, and I was drawn to the depth of emotion she brought to her work. We’ve been together since 1997, and she’s been on every one of my albums. I do feel that the potency and richness of her voice and vision has added great value to my work - I have no idea who I’d be without her. And when we record, she somehow loses most of her clothing so by the end, she’s naked standing at the mic and it’s always unforgettable.



EM: We were initially attracted to you through your work with the Wanderlust Festival, and you’re playing at Wanderlust BC at Whistler in August. What’s unique about the way you prepare for a festival like this vs. how you might prepare for a gig in LA, for example? DJD: I’m always creating content that is meant for both shows and albums, and I never plan what I’m going to do; I plan to improvise. From working with the best MCs I got the gift of being adaptable. I never know what’s

going to happen. Especially with yoga, I never know what vibration the teacher will bring, so I have to be open and available to deliver what will complement the resonance of the room. EM:You’ve put out several recordings that seem pointed towards yogic traditions. What part does yoga play in your life and how does it help you create your sound? DJD: I’ve been practicing yoga for thirteen, fourteen years now. Having

somehow the ideas of eating clean, vegetarianism, my appreciation of Nature - it all came from my exposure to hip-hop

endured a skateboarding accident in my teens, I stopped skating for almost a decade. When I began again, I had a lot of pain. When I started practicing yoga, it helped me re-learn to walk properly, and to navigate the most difficult emotional terrain as an adult. Both the physical and mental tools are undeniable for me, and being rooted in my relationship to the Divine through yoga helps me heal in some way, every single day. EM:Your record with Zaire Black, “Aficionados” has a track called, “Abundance.” Some

of the lyrics go, “I envision my dreams / they come on time / I have what I need / I have what I need / abundance, abundance.” How does this attitude show up in your own life, and what do you think it takes for people in general to manifest their dreams? DJD: We’re all repeating thoughts and words in our minds all the time. In my work, I want to stay positive, and bring my effort to something that connects us to God and to our potential. The work it takes to make great music is

real. Being an artist isn’t easy, being your own boss takes real discipline and effort. It takes great presence to learn what we need to know in order to deliver integrity and love in the art. Bring your effort, bring an attitude of abundance to what you do, and your dreams will be waiting for you.

ymore info: Instagram: @djdrez You can also find my work on iTunes and all your favorite digital ethers, too.


FtC music

Photo: Molly Hull.SEEN Imagery

Ayla Nereo

The Code of Connection Interview by Eric Marley

A song is one thing, a hymn is another. Where the former is a broad description of a musical movement, the latter implies a sacredness, a longing and love for the subject. Ayla Nereo sings of the earth and our connection to it and each other with such reverence that her songs have a hymn-like quality to them. Her latest work,The Code of the Flowers, is full of lyrical and vocal magic that honors and perpetuates an almost shamanic approach to Life. We met up with Ayla while on tour with Prince EA and Bruce Lipton for Uplift Talks. Ayla’s words are as inspiring as her music.



Eric Marley: Most people agree that we are, to a great extent, products of our experiences. What about your early life has most informed your current path? Ayla Nereo: I was raised by amazing, open-minded parents, out in the country and hills, and un-schooled by my parents and local teachers/ community until age 13 when I chose to go to public school. Much of my learning was guided by nature, the places we traveled to, and my own

self-directed impulse to learn. My natural curiosity and awareness of magic was never stifled; at least not until I entered the standard school system. So, my intuition and sense of wonder stayed very open, for longer than most children get to experience. Although a lot got shut down once I entered the system, I know what existed before, so my path is very much a journey to re-weave that naturalness into my life, to reclaim that ability to understand and communicate with nature and all the Beings around us, and to follow that deeper beat of

my own drum as I go. EM: In the song, “The Course” from your latest record, you suggest that taking action is the way to preserve the world for the future.Yet for some of us, the challenges can seem overwhelming on environmental and social levels. What advice would you offer to someone that seems at a loss as to where to begin, or who feels discouraged?

I have come to understand that widespread change can only happen when I change how I move through life, when I make different choices. I can’t expect the world to change if I’m not willing to!

Photo: Molly Hull.SEEN Imagery


AN: That song came from my own desire to take responsibility for how my choices affect the Whole. I have come to understand that widespread change can only happen when I change how I move through life, when I make different choices. I can’t expect the world to change if I’m not willing to! And in fact, starting with me, starting with you, that is the absolute biggest impact we can have. We are like droplets falling into water, and we can make huge ripples simply by being a reflection of what we want to see

more of in the world. So, I believe it starts with us, this moment. It starts with getting to know the people who live nearby. Treating each person we meet as a brother or sister. Growing food or herbs, even if just a tiny planter box or backyard garden. Being more and more selfreliant, and trading/purchasing from local people instead of sourcing from far away. Choosing to not buy things we don’t really need, as much as possible. Protecting the local natural zones.

And especially, having relationship with the land and non-human beings around us. Listening to their songs and speech. Listening to your own intuition, your inner voice. That leaves room for the mystery to speak into you what the world really needs. EM: “My sister, her hands are raised / For the stakes are high and she knows it.” When you wrote that lyric, what stakes were you referring to?

We are also in a wave of rising consciousness, remembering how powerful our minds and spirits are. So, the possibilities of how we can truly wake up and tend the earth and Her creatures is limitless. We just have to believe in our limitlessness.


Photo: Molly Hull.SEEN Imagery


In my own work, I need to get increasingly open and receptive in order to catch the songs, so that the nonhuman beings can feel free to sing and share who they are through me, more and more.

AN: We are in a very profound time. So many species are going extinct, the climate is warming and shifting more and more, and we have forgotten the ancient ways and people we come from, our origins which were so connected to the planet and cycles of nature and time. Our own survival as a human species is at stake. But we are also in a wave of rising consciousness, remembering how powerful our minds and spirits are. So, the possibilities of how we can truly wake up and tend the earth and Her creatures is limitless. We just have to believe in our limitlessness. And that has been very shut down by the system we live in. We have to move through quite a bit of mental conditioning and amnesia in order to claim our birthright our potential. But it is completely available if we choose it. It’s right there. And once we truly feel into what’s at stake, it’s hard NOT to choose it. EM: So much of your music speaks of the earth, the seasons, the trees, the ocean… what are your thoughts on the relationship between our collective humanity and nature? AN: I see us living within a culture that has widely forgotten our connectedness to nature and all life. Our ancient ancestors understood the inextricable relationship between the elements, planets, animals, plants and trees, waters, and humans. That relationship wasn’t a separate thought, an idea or belief. It simply IS. Photo: Erik Roush


We are still just as connected as ever before. But when we forget, we start believing we are separate from it all, and we create forms that hurt the very beings that give us life each day. I include myself in this—I forget all the time, because everything around us is constantly distracting us from how connected we are. But when we start to open, to listen, to make ourselves more permeable to nature, we can taste it. In my own work, I need to get increasingly open and receptive in order to catch the songs, so that the nonhuman beings can feel free to sing and share who they are through me, more and more. So that those who listen to these songs, can hear and see and taste that world we are all connected to. And hopefully, the songs will beckon them outside, so they can communicate directly… EM:Your music celebrates a soulful connection not only to nature, but to also our natural interests and passions. How


Photo: Erik Roush


Photo: Erik Roush

do you envision the relationship between our individual creativity and our ability to contribute to society? AN: In my own experience, the more I can step out of the way, make space inside myself and simply listen, with the intention of being of service to nature and life, the more there is space for a greater intelligence to enter. Whether it’s the collective consciousness, our higher self, God, creative muses, the whisperings of the wind, our ancestors, or our own intuition, opening up space within allows those voices to enter, and they feel so much wiser than my own personality-mind. If our intention

for listening is to be of service to the greater mystery… then that space can yield insight and creativity that can spark great beauty and evolution, sometimes in ways we don’t even see. It takes a lot of trust. And it opens us to receive inspirations that are much wider-reaching than we could conjure up on our own. EM:You’ve said, “In these times of chaos and great change, I am learning to ground myself in that which illuminates the beauty and inspiration of life. In the midst of seeming madness, wonder feels like a lifeline. And perhaps it is also a solution.”

What have you found to help you stay grounded and open to wonder? AN: Being outside! Being with the trees, with the sky at dawn and sunset, with the rivers nearby. Walking barefoot on the earth. Planting seeds in my garden. Singing to the nature spirits, so they know they aren’t forgotten by me. Embodying archetypes and living into them. Playing make-believe, and suspending my rational mind till I really believe it all. Watching for magic. Thanking it when it comes. EM:You collaborated with


AN: Wildlight is truly a reflection of David (The Polish Ambassador) and I together, our relationship with each other, with our creativity, and with our lives. It began so organically—we weren’t trying to make music together, it just started happening and people liked it so we kept going. Kind of like our individual music journeys, too—we just followed the thread of creativity and the energy that the songs generated. And the songs that come through our collaboration are very different than what either of us would create on our own—so the creative process itself pulls us a bit out of our comfort zones, which is really fun. The constant creative feedback we give to each other pushes us to try new things and grow as composers, which in turn evolves our solo music as well. There are challenging moments, for sure, being in personal and creative and business relationship, sharing so many projects and living together and trying to grow food and have a homestead and being strong mirrors for each other! But we have so much fun. We love creating music together. EM: How would you describe your experience in being part of Uplift Connect and Beloved festival among a group of highly influential and inspirational people such as Prince Ea and Bruce Lipton? AN: It was so much fun—such a delight and honor to meet both Prince Ea and Bruce Lipton, I admire them both so much for their insights and work in the world. Really inspiring. This was my first time collaborating with Uplift Connect, and they are such a heart-full crew of folks—truly modeling a new paradigm of news media, one that informs and feeds



what we want more of in the world, rather than focusing on sensationalism and crisis. And Eliot (who runs Beloved Presents) has been a long-time friend, he is one of the kindest and most intentional festival producers and promoters I’ve ever known. He has a very strong commitment to fostering connectedness at all his events, and I admire that so much.

I feel like we have a very deep, oftenunconscious longing to be connected that way, to feel a sense that we are part of a village—it lives deep in our cells, the memory of how all our ancestors lived so long ago.

The Polish Ambassador to form another project called, “Wildlight.” Can you tell us a bit about this collaboration (and what it means to/for you)?

EM:The Village Building Convergence is a great example of people coming together to enact positive change. What do you love about VBC and what are some other opportunities around the world for which you would like to see people to come together to create positive change? AN: The Village Building work is truly a model for all cities and towns, it’s beyond inspiring. It is helping us remember why it is so important to have places to cater as community, spaces where we can share ideas and goods, and systems to be in greater

connection with the people we live near. It is helping us bring the village heart back into our lives. I feel like we have a very deep, often-unconscious longing to be connected that way, to feel a sense that we are part of a village—it lives deep in our cells, the memory of how all our ancestors lived so long ago. So it’s quite profound to have a model for building and nurturing that sense of village where we live. We just had our first-ever VBC where I live in Nevada County, CA, weaving and growing our Yuba Village at home! It has been one of the most inspiring experiences of my life. It’s like a minifestival, featuring all the most amazing local speakers and workshops on topics we actually want to learn about, placemaking actions that feed our local community—all happening right where we live. I am so grateful and excited for this work, to see it grow here at home, and beyond. There are more and more Village Building Convergences sprouting up all around the states, and it’s moving beyond the US—like mycelium, growing and spreading underground. It’s so inspiring. You can find more info about how to create village where you live at, and our local village work at www.yubavillage. org And as artists, we’ve been holding action days after shows for a long while now, where fans come out the day after a show to get their hands in the earth, give back to the local community, plant gardens, learn about native plants and medicines, and connect with one another. David and I started a nonprofit last year, Action Days US, to try to grow this work so more and more artists can be supported to do action days all over the world. You can find more info and get involved at

ymore info: Photo: Molly Hull. SEEN Photography


FtC music

Fred Coury

A Cinderella Story With A Double Forte By Eric Marley Flashing lights in a darkened stadium. A crowd on their feet, screaming in anticipation. A group of young men walk into view as thumping music begins. Is this a rock concert or sporting event? If you’re Fred Coury, it could be either.


Image Courtesy of Fred Coury


Fred Coury attends 2016 ASCAP Screen Music Awards_Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images/Zimbio

As a teenaged drummer for the rock band, Cinderella, he played to hundreds of sold-out shows and helped sell 16 million records. Now, twenty five-plus years past glam rock’s heyday, Fred has created a new entity, Double Forte Music, a company dedicated to specialized music creation for a wide variety of uses. These include Hollywood television and movies, such as “Black and White,” a sports series he scores for the L.A. Kings (which was just nominated for an L.A. Area Emmy), and music for “The Night Shift,” an NBC series. The multiple award-winning composer has also created “walk out” and goal tunes for professional sports teams such as the Detroit Pistons, the Portland Trailblazers and the L.A. Kings.

replied, “Being around music constantly. My mom was a pianist and my dad was a violinist. There was always music in our house.” At least some of that music was coming from young Fred himself; he took up the violin at 5 years old and routinely practiced four hours a day.

But it wasn’t always wine (or guns) and roses.

In Cinderella’s halcyon days, having something to do wasn’t a problem, just as it wasn’t in his younger years. With a serious touring schedule fronting for – and then headlining with – such

When we asked Fred what informed his career in music the most, he

So much for, “Mom, I’m bored.” He was also so naturally talented that he started studying with the Beirut Conservatory at age 7. In addition to the violin, he picked up the trumpet, bass, guitar and finally, at age 12, the drums. Seeing “The Who” in Toronto at age 14 helped him set his course as the drummer for one of the most well-known bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s, Cinderella.

popular acts as Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Dio, and Metallica, he wouldn’t have been the first young man to get into some degree of testosterone-fueled mischief. In fact, looking at many of the bands that have experienced such nonlinear success, there doesn’t seem to be too many aging rockers still living lives that might be called productive or vibrant – if they’re living at all. How did he keep it together as a teenaged drummer when his band was selling 50,000 records a week and he was touring with his heavy metal heroes? “I have to thank my mom for that. She instilled in me that this is a job, first and foremost. It’s not a party. She raised me with the Bible as the base and said the magic words, ‘I’m not watching you while you’re on the road, but God is.’ ” That would do it, alright.


These days, Fred lists many highpowered clients from multiple industries as his clientele. NBC, MTV, HBO and CBS have used his services, as have the NFL, NCAA and the NBA.

There went any chance of my partaking in the ‘fruits’ of the road life. I’m so thankful for that. I was expecting 15 minutes of fame, but it’s been 30 years. I’m so very thankful.

“The sports team chapter happened organically. I wrote a song specifically with the (Los Angeles) Kings in mind, and pictured a hockey highlight reel as I did it. My long-time friend Luc Robitaille heard it, and hired me to bring his ideas of a team “sound” to life.” So, how does a musician go about creating theme music for a sports team?

“I ‘audit’ the arena, fans, and front office,” he replies. “I see what the team likes, what the fans react to and what the front office needs. There’s a delicate balance in pleasing all of those moving parts. I have to create “in-game energy” in the arena, and yet maintain the theme or sonic signature throughout all of the media outlets they use. That certainly keeps me in a creative space.”

Image: Joe Lester

“There went any chance of my partaking in the ‘fruits’ of the road life,” he laughs. Then, continuing, “I’m so thankful for that. I was expecting 15 minutes of fame, but it’s been 30 years. I’m so very thankful.” It’s a great story, the “rock and roll fantasy” part of Mr. Coury’s life. What young music fan hasn’t dreamed of being in a similar situation? But unless you’re the Rolling Stones or a few other likewise talented and lucky bands, it all has to end someday.



So, what does a rocker do when the crowds fade like so much flash-bomb smoke? It turns out he didn’t wait for pop music retirement to create his next gig, Double Forte Music. When asked what it was that inspired him to create such an entity, he replied, “I actually just created DFM to have something to do between tours. I wanted to mix records, write TV promos; whatever would keep my chops up.”

Ah, the magical “creative space;” the property of the muse and the simultaneous genesis and product of artistic creation. For many of us not so richly endowed with creative genius, we’d like to stay in this place forever. Most of us, however, are not at the level of talent or luck to be able to create full-time and still put food on the table. Besides this, other worthy interests pull us away from the piano, the studio, or writing desk. So, what does a creative artist do to keep a semblance of balance in life? Fred answers that it’s a process. “I still try to find the balance. With so many projects at the same time, I never let one be more important than the other. I have identical studios; one at home and the main one about 20 minutes away. My wife, Amy Motta, is a working actress so she understands the hours, but it’s still a delicate

Image Courtesy of Fred Coury

balance keeping work and family separate, especially with the home studio. After three seasons of creating music for (NBC’s) The Night Shift, I’m just now learning a little bit of balance.” A home office. A successful entrepreneurial venture that requires creative space. A family, with a partner that has her own busy public schedule.

Sometimes those at the top, the copiously talented, the occupiersof-the-limelight, have some things to teach the rest of us. Fred Coury has proven that he can operate successfully in many arenas (and I mean literal arenas). Can this give hope and inspiration to those of us who don’t have the breadth of options

he has, who are tasked with keeping fewer or lesser balls in the air? I think it can.

ymore info: IMDB: Twitter: @fredcoury


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sports & FITNESS

Gold Medalist Kaleigh Gilchrist: Balancing A Dual Sport Career One Love Yoga: Roaring with Ryan “The Lion” Emily Batty: The Evolution of Adventure Sports and Her MTB Racing Career Success PLYOMETRICS


Photo: Nicolas Bates

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FtC sports

Gold Medalist Kaleigh Gilchrist: Balancing A Dual Sport Career Interview By Sasha Frate

Feeling overwhelmed from being pulled in too many directions has become a way of life for many people. Others however, excel by being challenged on two fronts. Kaleigh Gilchrist has been in a tug-of-war from an early age. On one side she wants to shred some waves. On the other, she is looking for her next skip shot playing water polo.



Yet the surfing champion and water polo Olympic gold medalist, seems in control as she balances the demands her two “careers” have on her life. As an athlete, Kaleigh remains focused and comfortable with her sense of self even while growing up in our disruptive digital age. And while remaining authentic to herself, she understands the power a team can generate in pursuit of a goal.

I think authenticity isn’t stressed enough in our culture. Everyone has something special to add, yet we are scared to be ourselves.[...] If I can add any advice it’s don’t be afraid to be YOU.

Sasha Frate: With an Olympic gold medal and NCAA title with USC in water polo, much of your life is spent in the water… You’re also ranked #65 on the World Qualifying Tour in surfing! Though both are water sports, they’re fairly different worlds. How have you managed to live, breathe, and succeed in both?! Kaleight Gilchrist: My whole life has been about balance. Whether it’s academics, athletics, or socially, I find that my best self is when I am living a balanced life. With that being said, it’s not always easy and sometimes people, and myself, question if I could have been the best in one sport if I completely committed to it, but then I realize how fortunate I am to travel and meet amazing people through both of my sports. Things I have learned in surfing I’ve used in water polo and vice versa. Through the years of experience, I’ve been a little smarter during “crunch time” to focus on a certain sport. SF: Your initial personal success in both surfing and water polo happened almost simultaneously, at

about 14 years old. In a youth sports culture that tends towards earlier and earlier specialization, you chose both. What kind of support did you have in that decision, and what were the costs and/or challenges in your pursuit of a dual sport career? KG: I actually played numerous sports when I was young. Skateboarding, snowboarding, flag football, basketball, water polo and surfing to be exact. I think it was crucial in my development as an athlete. One of my better traits in water polo is my vision, being one step ahead of my opponents. I think this is because of playing and watching sports at a young age. The decision to pursue surfing and water polo was rather easy. My high school water polo coach, Coach Barnett, and I worked out a pretty good deal that allowed me to miss a few water polo practices in off-season to make surf team practices. Without his support of my two sports, I don’t think I would be the athlete I am today. Of course, I missed out on good surf and some trips because of my water polo commitment, but in reality it was a pretty balanced career in high

school. SF: Statistics have revealed that ‘growing up digital’ has made it increasingly difficult for our youth to find their identity. Douglas Rushkoff has even coined the term “digiphrenia” with more versions of “self ” than ever before. It’s “the experience of trying to exist in more than one incarnation of yourself at the same time.There’s your Twitter profile, your Facebook profile, your email inbox. All of these sort of multiple instances of you are operating simultaneously and in parallel. And that’s not a really comfortable position for most human beings.” What is your take on this, and how would you advise anyone struggling with “digiphrenia” to navigate through this and hone in on his or her sense of “self?” KG: As an athlete and someone who is trying to grow their social presence, I understand the demands. It can be a full-time job, but I just like to use it as a platform to share my journey with others


in hopes of inspiring them. I think it is important to be authentic on every social platform. If you are your “real self,” then you don’t have to stress about different profiles. I, of course, use different platforms for different reasons; in email, you find my more professional side, Twitter is more news related, Facebook is friends and family and I use Instagram the most to share my journey and happenings. With that being said, my tone and what I am trying to post and get across doesn’t change much because of my authenticity. I think authenticity isn’t stressed enough in our culture. Everyone has something special to add, yet we are scared to be ourselves. The best teams I have been on are those where everyone is themselves. We created a comfortable enough atmosphere and everyone took the courage to be themself. If I can add any advice it’s don’t be afraid to be YOU.

does being part of a team translate into life outside sports?

with this charity and what is the cause?

KG: This “power” has given me so much. It has molded me into the individual I am today. It has given me lifelong friends, mentors, memories, travel around the world, an education, NCAA championship, a gold medal and so much more. This power has taught me the importance of commitment, sacrifice, hard work and dreaming big. I will never be able to thank my teammates and my sports enough. I believe sports translate directly into life. Setting goals and not stopping until you get there. I’ve become a more graceful and compassionate person because of the experiences that athletics has given me. I miss the team daily, so I’ve tried to replicate a new team like atmosphere in surfing. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

SF: You mention the ‘power of a team’ with your Team USA and USC teammates. What have you gained from this ‘power’ and how

SF: You recently ran a halfmarathon to raise funds for the Young and Brave Foundation charity. How else are you involved

KG: I am an ambassador for The Young & Brave foundation, a charity focused on pediatric cancer with the idea of love curing all. I got in contact with Matt, one of the co-founders a few months ago and we are really excited for the possibilities of the future. I recently ran a ½ marathon campaigning for the cause, visited with some patients in NYC and collaborating with LACLE for a personal band to raise funds for The Young & Brave. The Newport surf community lost one of the happiest and most positive groms in 2011. He and his family was a huge staple in the Newport Harbor surf community. I believe the way he lived every day, even with the horrible disease, has inspired me. He was always positive and his family was the kindest even with their struggles. He was one of the bigger reasons why I got involved with the organization.

SF: People seem to be too busy to eat well, exercise and give back

The most important thing is to enjoy the journey. Of course, the accolades and accomplishments are icing on the cake, but what really matters is the grind, the connections with teammates and coaches and pushing your limits to what you once thought was impossible.



to their families, let alone their communities. What advice do you have for the embattled modern “nine-to-fiver” who is putting their dreams on hold now in the hopes of living them later? KG: I would tell them to stop and go after their dreams right now. One of my best friends was crushing it in NYC in the finance World, but wasn’t happy. She knew she didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle her entire life. She quit her job and pursued her real dream, acting. I always admire her courage to go after what she loves. I know everyone can’t quit their jobs and go after their dreams, but I advise those who can to do it and those who can’t find better balance in work and home life. Make more time for yourself and what you love. SF: A professional sports career, or two, is not all fun and games. Training can be brutal, and the sacrifices can be huge. How do you view the pros and cons, and what is most rewarding about the pros?

KG: When I was younger I think I took advantage of my situation and of my talents. I didn’t realize how good I had it with athletics. I wanted to do everything. I wanted to be the sorority sister, the loving friend, the pro surfer, the Olympic water polo player. For the most part, I juggled it all pretty darn well and enjoyed the crazy lifestyle (and still do). Now, I have a better perspective on things. A few years ago, I almost gave up my water polo dream to go after my surfing dream, but once I followed my heart and committed to water polo I fell in love with training even more. During the past few years I have yet to wake up wanting to quit, of course there are the mornings you are exhausted and wish you could sleep in, but none bad enough to question what I am doing. I love training. I love water polo and surfing. When you love it as much as I do, the pros out weight the cons. SF: At 25 years old, you’ve accomplished more in a decade of serious competition than most

athletes accomplish in a lifetime – or two. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far, and what else is on your agenda in both athletics and life? KG: The most important thing is to enjoy the journey. Of course, the accolades and accomplishments are icing on the cake, but what really matters is the grind, the connections with teammates and coaches and pushing your limits to what you once thought was impossible. I know at some point I will have to retire the water polo cap and give up the surf jersey to let the next generation take over. Because of this, I am trying to embrace every opportunity I get to compete and not take this wild ride for granted.

ymore info: Facebook: @kaleighgilchrist15 Instagram: @kaleighgilchrist


FtC sports

One Love Yoga Roaring with Ryan “The Lion” Interview by Eric Marley So much for a serious yoga practice. “One Love Yoga” founder, Ryan Leier encourages us to lighten up and to focus on consistency, holding poses with compassion and transcending division. If you’re a fan of Bob Marley, you’ll recognize some of Ryan’s teachings. A teacher at Wanderlust and a student of Rastafarianism, he implements aspects of these teachings with his blissful, kind practice – all with an undertone that speaks to his humble commitment to the ostentatious business of personal awakening.



Eric Marley:You consistently speak of the importance of devotion to a daily practice. Why is daily devotion important in your experience, and where does self-compassion come into play? Ryan Leier: In my experience, daily practice with sensitivity is one of the highest forms of self-compassion. When I was younger, I often used to push myself to injury and my practice

depleted my energy. Now, my daily practice is more holistic. I have also come to the realization that 15 minutes of practice a day is better for me than two hours a day sporadically. EM: With so much variety out there, why did you choose to journey to Pune, India to personally study yoga under Sri BKS Iyengar?

RL: I chose Iyengar for many reasons. The first book on yoga I ever read was Iyengar ‘s “Light on Yoga.” I didn’t realize he was still alive. As I started practicing, I connected with his students and their teachings resonated with me. Father Joe Periera and Eddie Modestini greatly influenced me. I had a dream he told me to come. After that dream I made a choice to go. Three years later I practiced with The Master.


Rooting ourselves in love and truth, we get to a higher vibration. Through this vibration we realize we are one family.



The most valuable part of his teaching was to be direct in communication and to stay in the poses. He often said, “The moment you want to come out of the pose, is when it begins” and, “I used to play and now I stay.”

RL: Courage is the prerequisite for Love, Truth and Understanding. Rooting ourselves in Love and Truth, we get to a higher vibration. Through this vibration we realize we are one family.

I also learned from him to be a student before considering myself a teacher. He had been teaching 75 years and said he considered himself a junior teacher. He said “I am a senior learner and that’s why I can teach you.”

EM: With your extensive work with children, what benefits do you believe are gained from beginning their practice at a young age?

EM: As teacher and Founder of “One Yoga,” how did you arrive at this name and how do you describe the practice? RL: I arrived at the name One Yoga because I have been into Rastafarianism, Bob Marley and the message of One Love. I also saw so much drama between Ashtanga and Iyengar studios and wanted a place where it was cool to be an Ashtangi or an Iyengarian. One Yoga is a place for everyone to come and practice whether they are 4 or 104. We strive to make our studio and practice balanced and feel like home. EM:Your mantra is, “Practice courage. Grow roots. Get high. Truth is. We Are One.” How does this mantra help your students achieve their own goals and how does it inform your own life?

RL: I believe that children of all ages and abilities benefit from yoga in so many ways. The ways are too numerous to be listed here. Correct yoga practice enables the children to be themselves, to be comfortable in their own skin and to treat each other with love and respect. The same is true of adults. EM: How did you earn the name Ryan “The Lion” Leier? RL: The nickname is probably in part because I was born a Leo, although I will admit that I was a bit wild as a child, and my aunt started calling me the lion as a youngster. EM: You and Woody (Harrelson) seem to have a friendly association. What’s the connection?

RL: We met through a good friend and realized we shared a birthday and a passion for yoga, ping-pong, basketball, music and film among other things. He still hasn’t completely converted me to veganism, but I am on my way. He is a great yogi and has become a dear friend. EM:You’ve said, ”Why do we follow the flock and agree with everyone else, when we know things are not the way they should be? Why do we give up our power to make decisions and go along with the crowd? Why do we bleat at injustice, hate, ignorance when we really should be roaring?” In a world that seems awash with negativity and the “business” of life, what are some constructive ways we can roar – and what can we do to attract more consciousness into our lives while doing so? RL: Some constructive ways in which we can roar are: • Standing up for others (people, animals, trees) whose voices aren’t heard or listened to. • Speaking up against war and injustice. • Speaking truth and being direct. • Being kind and making others lives better for no reason.


EM: As a Lululemon Ambassador you are quoted as saying, “You know, I had become a little bit too hardcore of a yogi and I forgot about other things I really love, like basketball.” What are some of the other things in life you ‘love’ and enjoy, and why do you believe it is important to balance our practices with other things we are passionate about? RL: Yoga is too serious a subject to be taken seriously. Sometimes we take on this life of yoga and begin to isolate ourselves from others and society. No



offence to yogis but some yogis are super judgmental. I realize I am being judgmental by saying that! (laughs) I love hanging out with my daughter, traveling, drinking coffee, wine, film and music. For a few years I gave up many of those things to be a “good” yogi. Now I want to be a great father, son, student and friend.

RL: The one component is the connection to breath. Through breath we can access everything. A quick aside: if you want your practice to be really wild and fun, listen to Arcade Fire’s new hit, “Everything Now.”

EM: Is there any one component to a yoga session that makes it successful, regardless of the type the yogini/yogi chooses to practice?

RL: Stay connected with me on Instagram. I’m always in and out of Iceland, running teacher trainings and workshops all over the place primarily in Canada and the US.

EM: Where do we stay connected with you?

I love hanging out with my daughter, traveling, drinking coffee, wine, film and music. For a few years I gave up many of those things to be a “good” yogi. Now I want to be a great father, son, student and friend.

ymore info: Facebook: Ryan C. Leier Instagram: @ryanleier


FtC sports

Emily Batty The Evolution of Adventure Sports and Her MTB Racing Career Success Interview By Clair Marie

Emily Batty, a Canadian born cross- country mountain bike racer and two time Olympic athlete, is no stranger to the podium, and her impressive list of accomplishments is proof of that. As a 7 Time Canadian National Mountain Bike Champion and Finishing 3rd overall in World Cup Standings 2016, Emily is a fierce competitor, but also one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. Her tenacious spirit has skyrocketed her on a path of self discovery and pushing herself to her limits. Emily opens up about mental preparation, the advancement of women in endurance sports and her desire to positively impact the world. Not just through her inspiring athletic pursuits but reaching far beyond by donating her time to support Pediatric oncology and her new venture, the Emily Batty Project, a campaign to get more kids riding bicycles.



Photo: Jan Kasl. Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Adam Morka

Clair Marie: Preparing for the Olympics demands everything of you, and yet just when you are giving it your all, you have to somehow dig deeper still. What do you believe that source really is, and can you share a bit about your “Year of The Olympics?” Emily Batty: It’s hard to note one reason. I honestly think it’s a combination of love for the sport and the enjoyment of working towards my goals, making improvements, and then applying all of those things in a competition setting to see where you stack up. I’m progress motivated, and in sports, you are only ever as good as your last result. The chase is indeed never ending, and there is always room for improvement no matter how good or accomplished you become. The

Olympics is another level of all those things, because it’s one 90-minute race, every four years, with many variables and things to go wrong. The preparation that goes into an Olympics event is nearly a robotic process, because you’re trying to control every single detail of your life and your job to achieve your best result. It’s stressful, and I’m somewhat glad it’s only once every four years. CM:You created a video series called “Ambitions.” What did you address in this series?

and share them with the world in hopes to grow the sport of cycling and show people how amazing it is. I like people knowing that anyone is capable of working towards their goals whether big or small and by sharing my stories from sport and life, it might make others’ challenges relatable and seem less daunting. We are undergoing a few changes with the series as it’s not headed in the direction we intended. We always wanted it to be genuine, real and authentic, and we feel it’s gone away from that. More news soon hopefully!

EB: Well, I feel like I’ve always had a way of speaking to an audience that reaches beyond cyclists and more specifically to grassroots and recreational riders. Our goal with the “Ambitions” video series was to take some of those pillars of messaging

CM:Your husband is also your coach and manager! That has got to be some of the greatest support you could ask for, but it also likely incurs its own challenges? When he tells


you “we are either going to pull this off as a team, and we come out stronger than ever, or it’s going to break us” – how do you feel, and what if you break? EB: Well of course working with your spouse has its challenges. (laughs) However, I wouldn’t change it for the life of me. We are so in love with one another that I don’t think we could operate any other way, to be honest. Of course, there are ups and downs, but like any working relationship, each person has their roles and strengths and making sure we operate within those boundaries has led to a powerful and enjoyable process of operations. CM:You’re on the road a lot, with your career highlights alone stamping both your passport and marking another award in a

different country at least once a year for the past seven years. What do you love about the travels that come with your job, and what do you crave most about returning home? EB: At times I dislike living my life out of a bag. It becomes a challenge mentally to go from airport to hotel to race venue and back to the airport. However, having the camaraderie of my Trek Factory Racing team and the fact that I’ve been with Trek Bikes now since 2009 is in some way like having a home away from home so to speak. My husband often attends all the events too, which is the bonus of being able to work together. I wouldn’t trade the lifestyle though; it’s fun and one I have to do while I’m still young. My parents always encouraged me to pursue the sport at a young age as life may not allow when I am older. Coming home is the

best feeling and can be overwhelming with so many to do’s to get caught up on! (laughs) CM: When you’re racing you are competing against so many other women, but really this is a solo sport. Do you feel like you are competing against yourself first and foremost, and how do you view competition? EB: I really enjoy competition and I think I’m more the person competing against myself. I respect my competition and most, if not all are fantastic people off the bikes. I am very competitive- you have to be in this sport, but I also stay reasonably objective and never let my competitiveness get the best of me. Yes, the racing is an individual sport on the bike, but it is such a team sport off the bike. From my Trek Factory Racing Team,

I feel enthusiastic about the evolution of women in sport. I’ve always tried to view people as people rather than gender, and it’s enlightening to see women athletes rising to the top of the headlines and marketed in more compelling ways than in the past[...] it’s important that the boys have female role models as well.


Photo: Adam Morka


my husband, the guys at Trek Bikes HQ engineering the product, my Red Bull family, my sports psychologist and family & friends. It’s truly a village for one athlete, but at this level, there isn’t any other way to compete nor would I expect to be where I am without all the people in my corner. (please make the above two green lines as ONE quote) CM: How do you feel about the evolution of women in adventure sports? Have you ever felt limited in your sport by being female, or are there actually any advantages?

than in the past. Women have just as good as stories to tell as the men, we have different avenues we can reach into like fitness and fashion for example, and we are just as competitive and tenacious in our respected sports. I like where the future is going, and I believe you’ll continue to see a significant push for women athletes front and center in marketing campaigns shortly. I hope to be one of those women that lead the way for both male and female audiences; it’s important that the boys have female role models as well. (please make the above two green lines as ONE quote)

EB: I feel enthusiastic about the evolution of women in sport. I’ve always tried to view people as people rather than gender, and it’s enlightening to see women athletes rising to the top of the headlines and marketed in more compelling ways

CM: Adventure sports in general have really changed in the past two decades. Mountain bike racing itself only gained official recognition as a competitive sport in 1990

Photo: Jan Kasl. Red Bull Content Pool

by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) upon sanctioning the world championships in Durango, Colorado. What do you think have been some contributing factors for the growing popularity of these sports? Do you think RedBull, or any other specific brand/s has had any impact on this? EB: I think Red Bull stepping in and airing the series live on Red Bull TV has done wonders for the sport. They are doing a fantastic job with the quality in the production of the live stream and delivering the World Cup series to people all around the world, free of charge. It’s entertaining, and they have directed the UCI to make the sport more TV friendly with shorter and action packed courses, which is driving athletes and equipment to evolve. It’s no different than F1, but still, rather in its infancy for direct comparison


Racing is an individual sport on the bike, but it is such a team sport off the bike. [...] It’s truly a village for one athlete, but at this level, there isn’t any other way to compete nor would I expect to be where I am without all the people in my corner.



Photo: Dale Tidy.Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Bartek Wolinski.Red Bull Content Pool

and in 5 years from now it will be like splitting hairs, not that it already isn’t. (laughs) I also believe cycling is growing in popularity in general and reaching more people. Anyone can ride a bike, and the barrier of entry has become less and less over the years thanks to states and provinces, cities, private organizations and bike manufacturers like Trek heavily investing in infrastructure and programs. There is a positive economic impact that people are finally realizing, and I feel very grateful to be a part of this era where the bicycle is becoming normalized and available to all. CM: What does the concept of ‘never giving up’ mean to you?

Surely you’ve encountered plenty of opportunities in your career to call it quits. What do you tell yourself when you reach that point that keeps you moving forward? EB: Well, I can say this sport or anything you invest yourself in within life can be extremely testing. To be candid, I’ve had some weak moments in my career, and now that I’m old enough, I understand it comes with the territory, but that doesn’t make the hard times any easier. Never giving up, to me, is seeing something through to the best of my ability with the mental and physical capacity I have on the day. I know it well given my sport, and preparation is everything.

In the 2012 London Olympics, I broke my clavicle three days before the race. It wasn’t even a question of whether I was going to race or not, but rather it was how am I going to race and represent my country. The outcome wasn’t at all what I wanted, and to even finish the race was an accomplishment. Fast forward to the 2016 Rio Olympics, and I was fourth and one second off a medal. Now, in London I had the perfect preparation any athlete could dream of leading into the games and yet it didn’t work out, but I still feel proud about it. Maybe in Tokyo everything goes perfect and clicks in the weeks ahead, and I walk away with a medal, but you never know, sport and life have many variables and always giving your best get’s you as close to the best, if not the best outcome possible.


CM:Your list of accomplishments makes your status as one of the top female riders undeniable. Do you feel that one of your greatest achievements lie within that list of awards, or is there anything else that stands out for you as a particularly proud moment in your MTB career? EB: I’m not sure. Representing Canada at two Olympics and winning a bronze medal at World Championships while wearing the maple leaf is something that makes me very proud. I’m appreciative of the people and relationships I’ve built along the way, and hopefully one day we can take all that we’ve worked so hard for and use it in the

right way. Like this year, we launched the Emily Batty Project which is a campaign to get more kids riding bikes and who knows where that could go in the future. CM:You did a project last winter (or ride?) to help fight kids cancer. Can you tell us about this project, and do you have any others up and coming? EB: Usually every year we do the Hero Ride, which is sponsored by one of my long-time partners Pfaff Auto. It’s a twoday Fondo style event that raises money to help fight pediatric oncology. We participated again this year and will do another one in the fall called Knobby Tire

Trek For Kids, which is on Mountain Bikes. I love being able to give back, to be honest. I wish I could duplicate myself sometimes so I could attend more events like NICA and schools and do more public speaking. I get messages and invites quite often and finding a date where my calendar is free is becoming more my challenge. CM: What is a couple of your favorite and most scenic rides that you would recommend for the advanced rider and also for the ‘occasional rider?’ EB: My two favorite advanced trails are Hangover and Highline in Sedona,

Everything is about experiences and adventures sports are going to continue to fill that void for people. We are only on this planet for so long and adventure sports, for the most part, get you outside, meeting new people, challenging yourself and covering terrain and seeing the world



Photo: Adam Morka

Arizona. They are relatively advanced, and with a trail bike and an excellent guide, you can conquer some incredible terrain while soaking up the views and landscapes that Sedona has to offer. My two favorite moderate trails would be right in my backyard in the Region of Durham. The trails don’t have names, but Durham Forest has tons of trails that I grew up riding and is probably some of the best mountain biking around in my opinion. They are mellow, but the faster you ride, the more challenging they become, and there is no better feeling then railing corners through the forest on a lightweight XC bike. You can find the limits of yourself.

Photo: Adam Morka

CM: Where do you see the adventure sports heading in the next few years, and where do you hope to be among these changes? EB: I see adventure sports coming more into the spotlight in the next few years. Some fringe sports are suffering at the moment, which is unfortunate, but the gap between adventure sports and mainstream games is becoming less and less. Sports like mountain biking are becoming very popular and incorporated into vacations. Even Trek Travel is beginning to offer once in a lifetime destinations on road bikes or mountain bikes. Everything is about experiences and adventures sports are going to continue to fill that void for

people. We are only on this planet for so long and adventure sports, for the most part, get you outside, meeting new people, challenging yourself and covering terrain and seeing the world. There is so much return on your efforts when it comes to adventure sports. If I weren’t a full-time bike racer, I would take up full-time van life or drive around the world in an all-terrain RV.

ymore info: Instagram: @emilybatty1 Twitter: @emilybatty


FtC fitness

PLYOMETRICS BY David Ryan Fitness Plyometrics, also known as “jump training” or “plyos,” are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time with the goal of increasing power (speedstrength). Plyo training isn’t just for highly trained athletes. If a lean muscular body is what you’re after, then you should be incorporating plyometrics on a regular basis. When you first start off, take it slow and focus on performing the exercises in a controlled manner.You should always warm up with some light jogging and stretching before you begin. Pro Tip: Land softly like a ninja without making any noise. This will save your joints and work your muscles more. Alternate Squat jumps & jump rope for 20 seconds each with 20 seconds break between. Repeat 4 times.


yTraining programs & Resistance bands: Instagram: DavidRyanFitness YouTube: LIFTSTRONG 84


SQUATS JUMPS 4 Rounds 20 seconds of work 20 seconds rest

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FtC health

Circadian Biology: The Engine of Life By Dr. James Bentz

“Humans are the only species bright enough to make artificial light and stupid enough to live under it.” Jack Kruse

Think for a moment about how human life has changed over the course of just a few hundred years. Modern humans have roamed the earth for over 200,000 years. For most of that time they were hunter-gatherers, with agricultural societies arising only about 10,000 years ago. For most of that time humans lived with only fire for light and heat. They were able to adapt to a wide range of climates and environments, and these environmental adaptations drove our evolutionary history. They lived according to the rhythms of night and day, and the seasons of the year. They spent most of their time outdoors in some form of physical activity, and adapted to times of feast and famine. Contrast that with most of modern humanity: we spend most of our time indoors, and are largely sedentary. We live in climate controlled environments, with artificial lighting. We are pretty much disconnected from our evolutionary roots, and are paying the price with our health. Physiologically, we are designed to follow the daily rhythms of light and dark,



and this circadian cycle plays a big role in everything from hormonal balance, sleep, energy production, and coordination of most body functions. Natural light from the sun is what powers our circadian biology, and has a huge influence on our health and wellbeing. There is mounting scientific evidence that living under artificial light is harmful in many ways. Artificial light is very different from sunlight as it has much more blue light in its spectrum. Overexposure to blue light has been shown to decrease melatonin production thereby disrupting sleep. This is confirmed by the fact that insomnia has now reached epidemic proportions, with more that 10% of the US population taking prescription drugs for sleep. That in turn has a cascade of deleterious effects on our health. See my article on Digital Dementia in May edition for more information about the effects blue light on our brains. “Humans are the only species bright enough to make artificial light and stupid enough to live under it.” –Jack Kruse

Now researchers are finding increasingly that an out-of-phase circadian rhythm is a health hazard. “Maintaining synchronized circadian rhythms is important to health and well-being,” says Dieter Kunz, director of the Sleep Research and Clinical Chronobiology Research Group at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin. “A growing body of evidence suggests that a desynchronization of circadian rhythms may play a role in various tumoral diseases (cancers), diabetes, obesity, and depression.” Shift workers, whom Kunz calls “a model for internal desynchronization,” are known to experience increased morbidity and mortality for a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disorders and cancer. In fact, in 2007, the World Health Organization decreed that shift work is a risk factor for breast cancer, and on that basis, in 2009 the Danish government began compensating some female shift workers with breast cancer.

The widespread use of sunscreens may not be as beneficial as commonly believed. We have an epidemic of low Vitamin D, which predisposes us to lowered immunity, colon and breast cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis and a host of other health problems. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but a steroid hormone, and has a powerful influence on our biology.

We’ve become almost phobic about the sun, and the widespread use of sunscreens may not be as beneficial as commonly believed. We have an epidemic of low Vitamin D, which predisposes us to lowered immunity, colon and breast cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis and a host of other health problems. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but a steroid hormone, and has a powerful influence on our biology. It’s interesting that Vitamin D is found in all the native sources of DHA, an essential fatty acid, which we can only get

from external sources. Maximizing your intake of DHA is very helpful to your circadian biology. It protects your eyes and skin from the harmful effects of sunlight. The light receptors in our eyes have high concentrations of DHA, which transforms light to electrical signals that control most biological functions, even down to the mitochondria at a cellular level, which produce our energy. Many people now take fish oil supplements to get DHA. Unfortunately

this is not productive as the processing of almost all fish oils changes the molecular structure of DHA rendering it biologically incompatible, and unable to produce the signaling that DHA from native sources does. Seafood is your best source of DHA. I recommend seafood from Vital Choice, as it is the only seafood vendor that tests its seafood for toxins by an independent lab. Also see my post on Fermented Cod Liver Oil as another source for DHA.


What you can do: • Early morning sun exposure resets your hormonal rhythm by stimulating the hypothalamus, which is our “hormonal control tower.” • Exercise outdoors whenever possible. • Spend more time outdoors without glasses or sunglasses. Wear a hat to shade you eyes instead.



• If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night (Flux or Iris). • Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight. • Use dim red lights for night-lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin. Use amber or red light bulbs or candles for light after dark. • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.

• Consume clean sources of seafood such as salmon, salmon roe (caviar) sardines, oysters, mussels, etc. on a regular basis.

To paraphrase Dr. Jack Kruse, a neurosurgeon and circadian biology expert: We should emulate the Sphinx, facing east in the morning with our bare feet on the ground.

ymore info:


FtC health

Balance on the Run Manifesting Harmony with Asita Perera Interview by Eric Marley “Gotta run!” These words have been spoken by most of us as we head out the door to begin our daily commute. Asita Perera lives these words every morning as he hits the pavement on his “running commute” to his job at a non-profit physics lab in Vancouver, BC. In fact, Asita normally starts his commute after a morning routine that includes meditation and yoga.To remain healthy, Asita insists we maintain a basic level of awareness and practice in health. His health practices are now habits and a part of his lifestyle he really looks forward to. We caught up with the Wanderlust lecturer for a few words on how he maintains balances in his busy life.


Photo: Matt Phillips


I think that in order to be healthy we need to maintain a basic level of awareness and practice in health, even when our focus may be elsewhere. For me I almost always start my day on my mat with meditation and some movement, even if I only have 10-mins. Wake, bathroom, mat – every single day!

Eric Marley: Work-lifehealth balance can be a huge challenge, and for many people there is always one aspect suffering. Health is often the first one we lose grip on. How do you keep the balance and what do you think is the best thing to keep in mind to help stay ‘on track’ and ‘in balance?’ Asita Perera: I like to think of this balance as a harmony between the different aspects of life. It shifts to what we are most passionate about in that period, and the other aspects have somewhat reduced focus as a result. I think that in order that to be healthy we need to maintain a basic level of awareness and practice in health, even when our focus may be elsewhere. For me I almost always start my day on my mat with meditation and some movement, even if I only have 10-mins. Wake, bathroom, mat – every single day! It becomes a habit that’s part of one’s lifestyle, four years and rolling on this habit for me. The same can be said for other aspects of health – build them into your lifestyle so they’re not Photo: Bill Hawley


Photo: Bill Hawley

extras. You end up looking forward to them. That’s what I do! Another example is that I’ve built some fitness in to my daily work commute by running part way. EM: What do you believe are the most critical and holistic components to wellbeing? AP: I think the most critical and holistic component of wellbeing is to do things for others, beyond oneself, from the heart. Most days on my mat in the morning I practice a simple loving-kindness meditation. It starts with finding loving-kindness for oneself and then, step by step, spiraling outward to all other living beings in the universe. Starting the day with this energy is contagious; it cascades



to others around you. It’s the most powerful sense of happiness I have ever experienced. EM: As an ambassador for lululemon, your yoga practice and focus on compassion and loving-kindness plays an important role in your life. How can this type of practice enhance mind-body health? AP: With the practice of lovingkindness, one starts to become aware of ways we may be creating harm, without even knowing it. It occurs in so many modes in our lives that there is an example for everyone. As a running athlete, to train effectively, I need to work with my body rather than fight it. “Non-harming” is the key. Same with

my yoga practice. Soon, one starts to observe this awareness showing up in more subtle scenarios… How do we interact the people around us who we don’t know? Creating a genuinely positive experience for the person at the register serving you can make their day. Where else can you make someone’s day? What’s the impact on you?! EM: What does your “9-to-5” job in the field of physics entail and how does this influence other aspects of your life? AP: My day job as an engineering project manager at a non-profit particle accelerator physics lab entails effectively planning and executing a large, multi-year, flagship project. I

interact with a variety of very different personalities. All are smart and each has a unique way of going about what they do so well. A big part of what I do is making sure we are effective together to complete the project we’re all on. It means I need to be on the ball, extracting the right information from different people to build an effective plan and execute it. One needs to be organized and detail oriented while allowing creativity to occur in this type of role. Those skills translate to so many areas of life! Need someone to plan that hiking trip? Sometimes I hold back though… Not everything needs to be organized so well! My job is quite analytical and this is a good area to build in some “balance” in other areas of life. I think that’s why I love yoga and meditation so much, it allows me to just observe rather than analyze. I mentioned that I run commute part way to work each day. This has improved my quality of life and mental health so much because of the physical activity bookmarking my day and the mental benefits of having that mediation and resolution of work before getting to my next activity. EM:You consider yourself “an avid explorer, both on and off the mat.” What kinds of explorations do you most enjoy, and why do you believe

having a sense of exploration and adventure in our lives is important? AP: There’s something very rewarding about navigating my way through trails, down valleys and over ridges to reach that mountain peak. Or hiking in the dark to experience the sun

other world in there that’s just as interesting, and few of us take the time to sit still and start exploring it. It’s still about connection. EM: What is the greatest thing you have gained from your 10 plus years of Buddhist mediation practice? AP: The greatest thing I have gained is awareness. The ability to observe how my mind may respond to a situation and having a choice in how it responds. EM: How long is your commute to work, running, and how often do you commute this way?

Photo: Matt Phillips

magically rise from an alpine ridge. I think it’s part of the human condition, this curiosity, to physically explore and discover our surroundings, to connect with the environment that supports us. I just love that and it feels so good! But what about on the mat? What about exploring one’s mind? There’s a whole

AP: The run part of my daily commute is fairly short. It’s about 2km each way through one of our urban forests in Vancouver. This works out perfect because I can shower at home, run the 2k easy through the forest while listening to the birds conversing that morning, arrive at work, change clothes, and be energized for my day. After work, I get to wind down my day running while observing the forests’ beauty under the warm evening sun. And without really even trying, I’ve added 20k to my weekly running volume. I call that a win-win! EM: Many people claim that running is too hard on the body. As an ultrarunner, what would you say to a ‘running skeptic?’ Are there benefits to running that overshadow the risk to your body, and do you do anything to mitigate that risk?


Photo: Bill Hawley

AP: Running is an activity that takes the human body quite some time to adapt to. So, it’s not a great sport to suddenly jump into. Building a base takes time, over a year of consistent effort to start making real progress. I aim to reduce the risk of damage to my body by running smart and taking care of my body. Lots of stretching, yoga and regular visits to a running focused physio to give me “tune-ups”. If you take care of your body and run smart, the benefits of fitness, health and an active lifestyle far outweigh the risk to me. EM:There are so many aspects to a holistic approach to one’s health.You mentioned to me that you were getting some



personal development coaching through lululemon, and that it led to the very interesting and fulfilling job you have now. What’s the back story? AP: lululemon helped get me on a personal development path that led me to my dream job. I met my yoga mentor through lulu. He was an ambassador at the time. I ended up taking a year away from working to study yoga with him via mentorship programs and re-discover myself. While on this journey, lulu coached me via a 4-month igolu course to build my life vision. It was the power of attraction. Once this vision was crystal clear, the right opportunities just unfolded in my life. Within months of creating my vision I got my current job,

did my yoga teacher training and lulu made me an ambassador. EM: ‘Burnout’ comes in so many forms, from our sports and fitness routines to overworking ourselves ‘on the job.’ Do you ever get burned out, and what do you suggest to prevent ‘burnout’ and to keep our own practices fresh and interesting? AP: Yes! I’ve hit burnout before. My current practice is to genuinely observe and adjust my life harmony to avoid burnout. I often take on more than I can sustain. Part of my practice right now is to decline activity invites even though I want to do them. What helps is the driving intention in one’s life. We may be interested in lots of

Part of my practice right now is to decline activity invites even though I want to do them. What helps is the driving intention in one’s life. We may be interested in lots of stuff but there’s often one thing that we really want to take care of or do. That helps prioritize what to keep and what to let go of.

stuff but there’s often one thing that we really want to take care of or do. That helps prioritize what to keep and what to let go of. EM: Wanderlust Festivals have evolved a bit from their first yoga dedicated festival in Squaw Valley in 2009. What do you enjoy about participating in the Wanderlust Festivals, and how will you be involved in the upcoming Wanderlust Whistler festival in August? AP: I enjoy meeting people from so many different places that have come to a Wanderlust event. Each has an interesting story and brings a new perspective to the conversation of life. I also like having access to a variety of top teachers from all over the world. There is so much to learn from them! I will be leading the 4-hour backcountry hikes for the festival this year. I started leading them in 2014 and this will be my 4th year. Some attendees come my hikes year after year. I love the connections I have made through Wanderlust and the energy that the event brings to Whistler.

ymore info: Facebook: @asita.perera Instagram: @beewasita

Photo: Matt Phillips


FtC health

When the Food Industry Evolves Faster Than Our Bodies

By Dr. Vaughn Bowman Just how much has our food changed over the past few decades and what effect might that have upon your health? Let’s step back a second and consider a recent study from the University of Colorado, which found a 40-60% decline in the nutrient density of our food over the last 100 years. This means you might receive only half the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and other phytonutrients in your salad that your grandparent would have received from the same salad. Of course, due to the massive increase in cheap and readily available processed food, our intake of salad and other vegetables has also greatly declined. In fact, your grandparent likely consumed an average of 131 pounds of homegrown vegetables per year compared to a measly 11 pounds that is typical today. When you combine the two stats, this equates to 96% less nutrient availability.



Unfortunately, this problem doesn’t exist only in the vegetable world but across the dietary spectrum of grains, meats, fruits, and seafood. When profit replaces nutrient content as the primary concern, the consumer is left holding the bag-- and it’s full of medical bills. As the focus turns to increasing yield, reducing harvest time, increasing weed and pest resistance and other factors, the nutrient value of our food continues to decline. The intention of cutting costs and increasing availability has led to over 80% of processed food in the U.S. containing genetically modified ingredients. As one of the few developed nations that still allow GMOs this should ring alarm bells. Such foods are full of artificial flavoring, coloring, sweeteners, and preservatives that make them more attractive and palatable to our addictive taste buds. Consider that the average child today easily consumes more than 100mg of food dye per day. Such doses have been confirmed to cause behavioral and cognitive issues even by the

manufacturers of such dye. Indeed, such additives have been linked to everything from hyperactivity to Autism to increased cancer rates. The need for quick, ready to prepare food has led to more grains, oils, and chemical stabilizers to be added to our food. This inflammatory time-bomb is then often packaged in plastics that have been known to cause cancer and birth defects. Meanwhile, the rates of diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, inflammatory disorders, and cancer continue to rise at an alarming rate. Simply put, our food is changing faster than our cells, organs, and bodies as a whole can adapt. Between the reduced nutrient availability of the food and the large increase in percentage of processed food making up our diets, we are seeing staggering rates of resultant disease. There is good news however, as the consumer is starting to wake up from this nightmare. Hundreds of studies are pouring into the media on a regular basis to educate us on the

dangers of processed food, GMOs, and the fast food industry. As a result, organic produce, grass-fed meat, cage free eggs, hormone free dairy and more are becoming more readily available. You can do yourself a huge favor by simply avoiding most of the aisles at your supermarket. The best foods are found around the perimeter. These are your ‘whole foods’ like fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy. Highly processed foods will always be down the central isles and should therefore be avoided. If you don’t see it, you won’t be tempted by it. Yes, this does require more thought to plan your meals in advance and then prepare them. However, you can ease your burden by doing much of the prepwork ahead of time and having the ingredients ready to go if time is short after work during the week. There is always a solution if your will is strong enough. Given the risk to your health otherwise, it is a small price to pay for a life of increased vitality, happiness, and overall well-being.




Blue Corn Blue Corn 99.5

Sikin Crab Apple Sikin Crab Apple 7181

Purple 93.2 Red 85.2

Yellow 70.2 Siberian Crab Apple 4606

Cutleaf Crab Apple 3873

Paradise Apple 1534 European Crab Apple 1108 Central Asian Apple 485 White 1.54

Granny Smith 205 Golden Delicious 71

miligrams of anthocyanins per 100gr of dried corn


total phytonutrients, miligrams per liter of juice

White Corn


Golden Delicious Apple

Source: Analysis by Jo Robinson, 2013




Wild Aronia Berries Wild Aronia Berries 160

Purple Carrots

Purple / Yellow 38.69

Purple Peruvian Potatoes Purple Peruvian 171

Purple / Orange 15.04

French Fingerlin 58.1 Elliot 30.5 Ozette Fingerlin 34.8 Bluetta 20.5 Darrow 14.8

Orange 2.34 Red 2.27

Avon Blue 4.6

amount of antioxidants measured in grams of fresh weight

Avon Blue

Yukon Glod 5.45 White 1.03

total phytonutrients, miligrams per gram of dry weight

Orange Carrots

Source: Analysis by Jo Robinson, 2013

total phytonutrients, miligrams per 100 grams freeze-dried powder weight

White Potatoes 101

FtC BUSINESS fAce the current

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Water, Food and Air: Saving the World with

Activated Biochar By Eric Marley



When I was born, in the middle 1960’s, there were 3.6 billion people living on our planet. We had yet to face a real oil crisis and no one spoke of global climate change. Every autumn, my dad would take our family to Mill Creek in Salem, Oregon where we lived to watch the salmon migrate upstream to spawn. To even think of buying water would have been ludicrous; a nature child at birth, I drank it out of any stream I ran into with no ill effects. Air pollution was the property of the biggest cities only. Growing up I knew nobody that was “hungry” and food allergies were a rare occurrence. Activated Biochar My, how things change. As of June 2017, there are now roughly 7.5 billion people sharing our beautiful planet. Global climate change is a reality for most of the world’s scientists and increasing numbers of people are experiencing it’s effects every year. Air pollution is found everywhere now; even the high-altitude City of Salt Lake had a few days of dangerous air last year. The salmon are decades gone from Mill Creek and many, many others throughout the world. Water pollution is on the rise, and common estimates are that about a billion people on earth are unable to consistently feed themselves. Whew. That’s a lot to take in. But have no fear because one of the things we love to do is talk about the amazing ideas that smart, creative minds are birthing to help mitigate decades of less-than-conscious living. In recent months, we’ve presented Nassim Haramein and his mindbending physics as well as Torus Tech, Chris Almida’s company that was formed in part to find exciting new ways to power our world. Enter Chris Howard, founder of Biochar Unlimited. He’s out to make our plants more efficient by developing their resistance to disease and pests, all while increasing plant yield and using less water. He is providing real solutions to some of world’s most demanding problems.


How is he doing this? By amending the earth’s soil with “activated biochar.” Simply put, “biochar” is what happens when carbon-based material such as biomass goes through a process called “pyrolysis,” which is thermal decomposition caused by high temperatures. What emerges is a type of charcoal that is a Ph neutral biochar. Activated biochar has been inoculated with beneficial microbes that allow the plant to benefit immediately vs. inactivated biochar which can take up to a year to activate. Love organic? So do we. It turns out that Biochar Unlimited inoculant is the organic’s organic, since the enzymes it uses are naturally produced in a controlled environment. The upshot is the farmer can have confidence that they have an accurate microbial count, thus ensuring they have a truly organic product. These microbes immediately help to increase plant productivity. Current field trials are under way by UC Davis and UC Riverside, and results will be published in the spring of 2018.



Used as a soil amendment, activated biochar helps revitalize soils that have been abused by pesticides and over-planting for many years, making them moist and rich again. It does this by helping the soil retain water, which allows farms, golf courses, etc. to use far less of this threatened resource than they would with traditional soils. Why is this so? The key is in the porosity of the biochar. “You can amend an acre of land with about 4 yards of biochar. Even a thumb-sized portion of our biochar will hold about as much water as a softball,” Mr. Howard claims. “The benefit to the farmer is they use less water which means less strain on aquifers that are already overtaxed. It also cleans the water supply while making plants more efficient and healthier – this obviously has a positive effect on the farmer’s bottom line. It’s literally a win-win solution.” Biochar also effectively and efficiently removes heavy metals from the soil and water.

Biochar would have been a perfect solution for the Animas river catastrophe. According to Mr. Howard, it would have cleaned the acid mine drainage and metal contamination in the tailings pond faster than anything else.

In 2015, a massive misstep by the US Environmental Protection Agency allowed 3-million gallons of tainted water from a mining operation to flow into the beautiful Animas River in Colorado, putting the people of Durango and others on alert and discoloring the once-clear water all the way to the ocean.

7-8 years. Biochar Unlimited activated biochar facilitates clean air, water, vibrant crops and provides organic solutions to world’s biggest problems. This is the kind of progress we love to see.

“Biochar would have been a perfect solution for the Animas river catastrophe,” according to Mr. Howard. “It would have cleaned the acid mine drainage and metal contamination in the tailings pond faster than anything else. More importantly, this is a solution to a problem that is extremely cost efficient.” As the world’s soils become increasingly depleted, food and water supplies have become ever more taxed; anything that we can do to keep from further polluting the planet is a great idea. There’s zero negative impact in the closed loop system Biochar Unlimited utilizes; in fact, they’re raw materials. Scientists and anyone who works with the earth’s soil are getting on board with them. Biochar sales are projected to quadruple within the next

ymore info: Chris Howard:


FtC business

Women in Conscious Businesses

Point and Periphery By Jennifer G. Moore, CEO Jem Organics LLC Since 2009 when she led the launch of Jem, Jen has played and continues to play a wide variety of roles including sales, marketing, quality control and product development. While currently overseeing the implementation of strategic planning, she is also responsible for setting and maintaining the company’s vision and long-term goals. Jen has a B.S. in Nutrition-Food Science and Exercise Physiology - complementary and life-long passions that inform nearly every aspect of her personal and professional life. In addition to trail running, Jen enjoys nature hikes with her husband Tim and dog Lily. She takes great pleasure in long Facetime talks with her 3 adult children, as well as dinner parties with friends where she loves to laugh to tears.



It all comes down to my conscious purpose, which is to ensure that our food contributes to the health of people and the planet, and that it provides an abundance of wealth for all those who grow and produce our food, while ensuring that the gifts of feminine values grow in the world​. With this clear purpose, I started a food manufacturing business, called, “Jem.” We manufacture high quality foods such as nut butters and tahini. We are 100% OTC-USDA certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan. Our products are truly raw and free from pesticides, gluten, dairy, soy and processed sugar. To support this commitment, we voluntarily hire third party labs to test random samples of our nut butters for any hidden pesticides, harmful heavy metals, microbes or pathogens. The almonds themselves are sprouted and stone ground for up to 48 hours for maximum taste and health. We use only sprouted Spanish almonds for their taste and consistency. It’s a big commitment, but our customers can taste the difference. My goal was to start a business where my purpose served the business and the business served the greater good of the whole, and we are achieving that. I call this concept, “point and periphery,” and I will discuss it in detail later in the article. Not long after I started JEM, it became clear that the venture was not going to be easy. I would need to draw on

my values, my life’s purpose and my business mission​​to anchor me. In the process, my integrity and ethical choices were constantly challenged. For instance, I was confronted with using cheap refined sugars to cut costs. Palm oil was suggested - who really cares about deforestation and the

I was confronted with using cheap refined sugars to cut costs. Palm oil was suggested - who really cares about deforestation and the orangutans, let alone people’s health? It was all about margins and return on investment for investors and the big “exit strategy.” The common advice was, “get rich first, then you can help the orangutans.

The very things that have made owning a business rewarding and fulfilling for me are the same things that have made it difficult. Owning a small business is one thing, and difficult enough. But the fact that I’m a woman and that I require the business to be both socially and environmentally sustainable is another. Even so, I’m amazed at how energized I feel as I’m guided by a strong, conscious purpose and feminine values, all while doing what I love and fulfilling my life’s purpose. It’s a beautiful situation and I feel blessed.

orangutans, let alone people’s health? Reducing the pay of employees was on the table, as was using plastic instead of glass… the list goes on. It was all about margins and return on investment for investors and the big “exit strategy.” The common advice was, “get rich first, then you can help the orangutans.” I was reminded, again and again, that in a capitalistic economic system, profit was the primary measurement. People, planet and purpose were secondary.

Feminine Principles, Conscious Choice, Flexibility and Purpose Seven years into starting my awardwinning nut butter business, I can tell you that I have not compromised my values. They’ve been incorporated into my company’s mission, and they’re the foundation I return to for every company decision. These values are: Feminine Principles, Conscious Choice, Flexibility and Purpose. No matter one’s gender, ​feminine principles​such as love, care, emotional intelligence and sharing our passions help shape a better future. I constantly ask myself if I am making ​conscious choices that serve a higher purpose and the mission of the business? Am I flexible ​​enough to see what is happening on the periphery, and in the bigger picture of the business? Can we pivot quickly enough when necessary? Getting in touch with the “deep fire in the belly” that gave birth to our ​ purpose is also critical. In JEM’s case, the end result has been an evolving, continuously improving, conscious business. I feel it is very important to address the topic of women in business and how this impacts the world at large, especially at a time where there are such grave consequences for failure to do so.

Feminine Principles Although it may not be obvious, women business owners still face a significant wage gap and continually have smaller amounts of startup capital than their male peers. While it is not reflected in current policy, evidence shows how essential it is to include women in leadership roles if we wish for a sustainable future. As many have asserted, including the distinguished Nobel laureate economist, Amartya Sen, more women are needed in the business world, making critical choices that affect our daily lives. Sen included women in his economic analysis as a


necessary factor for calculating GDP in a sustainable manner. While the need for women in the workforce is essential to sustainable development and conscious economics, ​feminine principles​ are equally essential. For me, it is very important to make a distinction between women and feminine principles. I believe wholeheartedly that both men and women have the capacity to awaken and bring forth, in everyday life, healthy versions of both masculine and feminine principles.

way. Countries with higher levels of feminine thought patterns and behaviors have a higher per capita GDP and report a higher quality of life.”

Gender may define our reproductive attributes, but it does not define our inner principles which are both masculine and feminine. While there is an unmistakable debate around equal rights for women, there is a lack of discussion and debate around the importance of feminine principles not to be confused with traditional roles - for both women and men. In their book, “The Athena Doctrine,” Regardless of gender, particularly J. Gerzema and M. D’Antonio said, within the business world, feminine “Feminine values are the operating principles are viewed as secondary system of twenty-first-century progress.” ​ to masculine principles. I realize According to them: that many of us are conditioned to make unconscious choices that are “…people who think in a more dominated by masculine thoughts feminine way are twice as happy and behaviors: control, competition, and optimistic about the future as aggression and a black-and-white those who think in a more masculine



point of view. I believe these masculine principles have contributed to many of today’s problems: wars, inequality, pollution, recklessness, risk taking and unsustainable/unconscious business practices.” In a book entitled, “Conscious Capitalism,” some key qualities of the conscious leader are identified.

“Conscious leaders abundantly display many of the qualities we most admire in exemplary human beings. They usually find great joy and beauty in their work, and in the opportunity to serve, lead, and help shape a better future. Since they are living their calling, they are authentic individuals who are eager to share their passion with others.They

Natalie Puls Photography

are very dedicated to their work, which recharges and energizes them, instead of draining them. Conscious leaders commonly have high analytical, emotional, spiritual and systems intelligence. They also have an orientation toward servant leadership, high integrity and a great capacity for love and care.” (Mackey, Sisodia & George 2013, p183). While many of the above qualities are gender neutral such as love, care, emotional intelligence, sharing passion, servant leadership and helping shape a better future, others are frequently attributed to women. They might even be described as nurturing or maternal characteristics. So, while it is very important to support, encourage, and fund women leaders and women

in business, it is also important to incorporate feminine principles into businesses. Conscious Choice Slowing down and having the courage to make ​conscious choices​is an important way to check in and apply your own guiding values to that of the business. When I started my company, I knew it had to be more than a product; it was going to be a choice and a movement informed by health. My byline was, “Healthy People, Planet, Profit and Purpose.” In short, every day I am faced with choices. Without my founding strengths, passions and principles, I could easily be persuaded by the status quo, that is, profit at any cost. In creating Jem, following my purpose was my only option. For us, it’s not about making money at any cost - it’s about creating meaning and

being socially and environmentally responsible. This is what I believe to be the anchor of Conscious Business within a capitalistic economic system. In short, I choose organic. I choose gluten-free. I choose pollinators because I care about the bees, our bodies and our life blood. These are just a few choices I have made because I embrace the power of choice, not just the good of our company, but for the health of our communities and the longevity of our planet which, in the end, is also critical for the health of Jem. With these values in mind, I make everyday choices. For example, you will not find palm oil in Jem, regardless of how inexpensive it is, because it has caused a catastrophic impact on the environment which can be seen through the devastating deforestation in Indonesia. We don’t use highly






processed cane sugar, which poorly impacts the human body. Instead, I chose low glycemic coconut crystals, an unrefined sugar that maintains its mineral content, thereby benefitting the human body without harming the environment. Through focusing my energy on making as many conscious decisions as possible, I maximize the ability to pursue my passions and purpose while creating positive change. Simply put, I believe that our choices determine whether we are operating from a higher consciousness, or if we are choosing to remain unconscious of the consequences of our actions for ourselves, for others and for our world. When we choose to build a business based on conscious passion and purpose, our ability to improve the lives of our customers and our employees is directly correlated to our ability to build a profitable business.



Flexibility and Purpose I wanted a to start a business where my purpose served the business and the business served my purpose. With this in mind, I created a mission for my business with my conscious purpose in mind, so that the mission also served my purpose. Through this approach I was assured that I would be doing what I loved and that what I loved not only gave me energy, but also transformed and evolved the business on its own. I use a visual tool I received years ago as a daily meditation and it is called, “the pointperiphery exercise.” Established by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s, I find it to be simple yet profound. This visual aid shows that the inside becomes the outside and the outside become the inside. (see image #2) While honoring the fire in my own belly (the point), I also meditate upon

my ​purpose​, which I trust comes from my highest self (the periphery). In my case, I took that ​purpose​(the periphery) and created a business mission (the point). That mission then serves the purpose, and on it goes. It’s quite beautiful when you practice this meditation with color. Imagine the center or the point as yellow and the periphery as blue. In the process of the point becoming the periphery yellow and blue begin to mix. Now magic starts to happen, which is green. (see image #3) To me, green represents the color of growth and the heart. Green is what happens when I can relax and allow movement to happen. This is why it is so important to practice ​flexibility​ on a daily basis. Being flexible​in business and in life is so important. For the body, flexibility can prevent injury. In yogic practice, we are as young as our spines are flexible. Being too rigid

is never good in any aspect of life. ​ Flexibility​in business allows one to pivot when needed. If the pivot still serves the purpose and mission, there is nothing to fear. It’s a fine line and a paradox at times but, for me, it is the secret sauce that makes business fluid, possible and beautiful - and well worth the dance. Starting a business and running a business is challenging, no doubt about it. But it is well worth the challenge when you are following your ​purpose​ . For me, starting and managing my business is very much like starting and managing a family. First you have an intention or a vision. Then you grow that vision until it becomes a child - or a business. It eventually matures and becomes a fully functioning entity of its own. There is nothing like starting a family, or a business, to USDA Organic really allow you to grow and discover your full self, with all its strengths and weaknesses.

the wonders and beauty of the world. I am constantly curious and love diving deep to find the point and see how it connects to the big picture – the periphery. Like many of us, my greatest challenges are that I avoid conflict and want to be accepted. Business has taught me to be more comfortable with conflict and to accept the absolute fact that I will not be liked and accepted by everyone. I believe

These traits are a few things I never expected from starting a nut butter business. My business is profitable. I am in the process of becoming a B-Corp business, which uses “triple net practices” to measure benchmarks for how the people and the planet are affected and benefiting from my business. I could not have done this without my founding partners Tim Moore (my husband), Nik Rueth and my core team. I call them my dream team, which contains four men and four women. A perfect balance.

So, if you are thinking of starting a business or are knee deep in the minutia of life, I our mission hope this article JEM is a mission-driven company. We craft premium organic has inspired you to products, representing the highest standard of sustainability take some time to and transparency; promoting a healthy, delicious world. understand the fire Our premier, artisanal nut butters & spreads are free from in your belly related gluten, dairy, soy and processed sugar, proving that decadent to your purpose​ food can be enjoyed guiltlessly. , incorporate the ​feminine principles​of “love, care, emotional Oregon Made in Stone Sprouted Wind Gluten Vegan Kosher intelligence, sharing Tilth Oregon Ground Powered Free passion, servant leadership and helping shape a better future.” Please, take the So, what have time to make ​ IJEM-Meet-Makers.indd discovered 2 conscious 9/9/15 choices​ 2:36 PM about myself? and be comfortable running my own business has grown with the paradox of remaining I am a global citizen who incorporates ​ my “container” in many ways: physically, flexible​in mind, body and spirit. Enjoy feminine principles​. I have a ​ mentally and emotionally. I now have the magic that can happen. purpose​that lives with in me and my an increased capacity to hold what business. I make ​conscious choices was once very uncomfortable without While it may not be easy it will be every day in order to stay aligned with being thrown into a stress response. worth the ride. my values and purpose. I maintain a soft gaze of flexibility, so I do not miss more info: an opportunity for magic to happen. My gifts are that I find pure delight in



FtC business

B-Corporations: Restoring Faith in Big Business

By Eric Marley One of the first books I read in one of my ethics class at Seattle University was, “Corporate Crime and Violence: Big Business and the Abuse of the Public Trust,” by Russell Mokhiber (Random House, 1988). Detailing case after case of purposeful malice towards their respective clientele and consumers in favor of the bottom line, it forever changed the way I look at corporations. Where I once had no reason to distrust them, I was suddenly suspicious. And the more money they made, and the more I learned after University, the more suspicious I became.

This has not been a comfortable way to live. After all, we’re surrounded by corporations. Some are infamous for the vitriol they attract (Monsanto, Halliburton and Nestle, for instance). Others are praised for their ability to beneficially marry luxury and somewhat ecological economy, such as Tesla. Still others have acted with celebrated conscience in the face of crisis, like Tylenol when they experienced a tainted product emergency.



Since corporations are legal entities, it’s worth mentioning that in the United States they enjoy freedom of speech. Moreover, because of a particular legislation called “Citizens United,” money donated to a cause - even political - is classified as a type of similarly protected speech. Suffice it to say that this is a slippery slope. As one who wants to believe in the good of humanity, and usually does, I want to apply this to the corporations that surround us as well.

These types of corporations are becoming increasingly popular. Australia is working on a version of this entity, and Italy has become the first nation in the world to allow it throughout their nation. In the U.S., most states allow it and more are considering it. But what exactly are they? B-Corporations are, for starters, designed to “benefit” the public good. The “B” actually stands for the word, “benefit.” They are for-profit and taxed as the more common “C” and “S” corporations, but they are under far greater scrutiny. For instance, to qualify as a B-Corporation, the business is required to file an annual Benefit Report outlining what the entity is doing in areas such as the environment, the workplace, corporate governance and within the communities in which they operate. Lest these unique entities be tempted to engage in hyperbolical chest thumping, each is required to undergo a third-party analysis by an entity whose responsibility it is to give an accurate report, complete with a score against pre-determined criteria, as well as an average of other companies.

The for-profit paradigm was suitable for the needs of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is now essential, in this new century, to upgrade this system, and Benefit Corporations are a wonderful example of this evolution. Marcello Palazzi (B.Lab Italia) Patagonia set the stage as the first company in California to receive B-Corp status. A few highlights from their report are as follows: Environment Patagonia lists over a dozen areas where they are making attempts to align with ecological values, including using “sustainably grazed” wool, 100% traceable down and factories that are energy efficient. Workers Patagonia excels in this division as it does in many others. Their full and part time employees and their families receive 100% covered premiums. On-site child care, tuition reimbursement and generous vacation, sick time and maternity leave. Governance Aside from stringent financial oversight and anti-corruption controls (also audited by an independent third party), Patagonia is actively involved in many industry organizations aligned with their documented corporate values. Community As a global company, Patagonia strives to have a positive ecological and social impact throughout the world. This means they are active in these communities and pledge 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the environment in each of them.

This task just got easier with the “B-Corporation.”

Patagonia is celebrated for their consistent social and environmental ethics. That said, there appears always to be more to do. Out of a possible score of 200, they merely received 107, with the average being 80. In the State of Oregon, “New Seasons” became the world’s first B-Corp grocery store. If there are naysayers about the viability of such entities, they aren’t familiar with this blossoming company. Their stores provide a consistently enjoyable experience, even as they aggressively open across the Northwest. In beautiful and progressive Italy, a company called “B. Lab Italia” was among the first companies to be granted this status. Their co-founder, Marcello Palazzi, was quoted as saying, “For decades the operating system of companies has been essentially the same. The for-profit paradigm was suitable for the needs of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is now essential, in this new century, to upgrade this system, and Benefit Corporations are a wonderful example of this evolution.” The bar has been raised with these companies that have taken the first steps towards honoring the consumer as co-possessors of our beautiful planet. B-Corporations support a kind of vision and business ethics worth seeking out. May increasing numbers follow their lead, and may “corporate crime and violence” be replaced by abundant and responsible shareholder profits, corporate service and accountability to the public.



how b corps compare to other sustainable business By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. 750+ Certified B Corps from 60 industries and 25 countries share 1 unifying goal: to redefine sucess in business

Suppliers meet specific social and environmental standars

Who meets these standards 29% of BCorps 11% other sustainable businesses





WORLD ymore info: 116


More than half of all employees receive paid professional development

21% 5%


Companies instill a culture of service by offering PTO to service


Companies reward non-executive employees with annual bonusses

19% 8%

health insurance


Companies cover some portion of health insurance premiums for employees

Companies cover some portion of health insurance premiums for employees

87% 56%

55% 38%

35% 17% 117 Source.



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