ORIGIN Magazine

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Mind. Body. Green.


The Nation’s Top: Creatives Athletes Leaders Filmmakers Musicians

The Conscious Culture Magazine


Tom Robbins Bill McKibben 350.org

100+ Yogis Impacting the World

Ian Somerhalder Actor + Eco Powerhouse . Can this Generation Save the Planet? Adrian Grenier. Richard Branson. Russell Simmons. Mariel Hemingway. Ziggy Marley. Tom Robbins. Fisher Stevens. Stefan Sagmeister. Richard Saul Wurman. Talib Qweli. Flaming Lips. Q-tip. Interviews:


practice made perfect

jay beyer

ben moon


Patagonia Yoga clothing was created for athletes who, like our own ambassadors, practice yoga to cultivate the mobility and focus required to pursue their passion at the highest level.

above: Caroline Gleich, Patagonia snow ambassador 2 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

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The Syntax of Sorcery: An Interview with Tom Robbins

when the cow of history is balanced precariously on one leg, soon to topple. Then there are our friends in the counterculture who believed that last December we were in for a global cage-rattling which, once the dust settled, would usher in some great spiritual awakening. I hope they’re bearing up well under the disappointment. Most of this apocalyptic noise appears to be just wishful thinking on the part of people who find life too messy and uncertain for comfort, let alone for serenity and mirth. The truth, from my perspective, is that the world, indeed, is ending—and is also being reborn. It’s been doing that all day, every day, forever. Each time we exhale, the world ends; when we inhale, there can be, if we allow it, rebirth and spiritual renewal. It all transpires inside of us. In our consciousness, in our hearts. All the time.

Part I: Tony Vigorito

Otherwise, ours is an old, old story with an interesting new wrinkle. Throughout most of our history, nothing—not flood, famine, plague, or new weapons—has endangered humanity one-tenth as much as the narcissistic ego, with its self-aggrandizing presumptions and its hell-hound spawn of fear and greed. The new wrinkle is that escalating advances in technology are nourishing the narcissistic ego the way chicken manure nourishes a rose bush, while exploding worldwide population is allowing its effects to multiply geometrically. Here’s an idea: let’s get over ourselves, reduce our carbon footprint, adopt an animal from a shelter, go buy a cherry pie, and fall in love with life. TV: You’ve written nine novels and brought to life a rowdy pantheon of memorable characters. Perhaps it’s not fair to ask a parent to pick their favorite kid, but is there one among these characters that you wish was living here among us today?

Forty-odd years ago, there was a brief, shining, countercultural moment when the eyes of a generation glimpsed the Eden beneath the veil. However fleeting was this paradise, or however harsh has been its repression, its light nonetheless inspired a rowdy cohort of artists to carry its torch into the future. Tom Robbins is one of these unruly pioneers, and his frequently bestselling novels are so saturated in an uncontainable joie de vivre that they have remained virtually required reading throughout the years since their initial publication. And so, without further homage, I deliver you to Tom Robbins. I hope that you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.


Tony Vigorito: Alan Watts once wrote that we actually haven’t the answers to the most ordinary of questions, such as “What’s going on?” or “Where am I?” So let’s start with these allegedly mundane inquiries. What’s going on? Where are we?

Tom Robbins: Christians, and some Jews, claim we’re in the “end times,” but they’ve been saying this off and on for more than two thousand years. According to Hindu cosmology, we’re in the kali yuga, a dark period

TR: While he’s not really a major character, I’d nominate Dr. Yamaguchi from Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas—my least popular novel, though it’s perhaps the one most relevant in today’s bushwhacked economy—because (1) he’s devised a cure for cancer (the ninja enema) and (2) his philosophy embraces mindful goofiness and extreme personal behavior (crazy wisdom) as possible pathways to enlightenment. On the other hand, I also wouldn’t mind seeing Pan (Jitterbug Perfume) pawing the earth in the White House rose garden, or Stubblefield (Villa Incognito) showing up occasionally to feed reality sandwiches to the delusional philistines and corpulent corporate cannibals on Fox News.

TV: Terence McKenna was fond of saying that the world is made of language. As a master wordsmith and a personal friend of Terence, what do you take this notion to mean?

TR: Regrettably, Terence and I never discussed this notion specifically, but my sense is that he was getting at something more profound than are the texturalists,

that many lesser magic-users are prone to something resembling dark magic?

TR: Certain individual words do possess more pitch, more radiance, more shazam! than others, but it’s the way words are juxtaposed with other words in a phrase or sentence that can create magic. Perhaps literally. The word “grammar,” like its sister word “glamour,” is actually derived from an old Scottish word

The truth, from my perspective, is that the world, indeed, is ending—and is also being reborn. It’s been doing that all day, every day, forever. Each time we exhale, the world ends; when we inhale, there can be, if we allow it, rebirth and spiritual renewal. It all transpires inside of us. In our consciousness, in our hearts. All the time. who contend that nothing ever written matters or even exists outside of the text: the actual words an author has put down on the page. And likewise more profound than Wittgenstein, who famously said, “All I know is what I have words for.” What seems likely is that Terence was not only contending that the universe is a genetic, extra-dimensional, interspecies verbal construct, but that it exists primarily as a result of our consciousness of it. What he may actually have been implying is, “the world is made of imagination.” There is, after all, a possibility that when it comes to consensual reality, we’re making it up. All of it. And language is the universal medium by which we identify and explain our creation to ourselves. Language lends reality to reality. I do recall hearing Terence say once that everything in nature has stories to tell— not just scientific information to impart, mind you, but something akin to plot line narration, if one is equipped to “read” it. That has overtones of woo-woo, I know, but doubtlessly sensitized by his special connection to the psychotropic properties of plants, he had a way of making a process like photosynthesis sound like a pre-biblical epic. TV: Knowing how painstakingly you craft words, I suspect you believe, as I do, that every word is a magic word. Obviously, you have chosen to use your magic to enlighten, but do you think it’s fair to say

that meant “sorcery.” When we were made to diagram sentences in high school, we were unwittingly being instructed in syntax sorcery, in wizardry. We were all enrolled at Hogwarts. Who knew? When a culture is being dumbed down as effectively as ours is, its narrative arts (literature, film, theatre) seem to vacillate between the brutal and the bland, sometimes in the same work. The pervasive brutality in current fiction—the death, disease, dysfunction, depression, dismemberment, drug addiction, dementia, and dreary little dramas of domestic discord—is an obvious example of how language in exploitative, cynical, or simply neurotic hands can add to the weariness, the darkness in the world. Less apparent is that bland writing—timid, antiseptic, vanilla writing—is nearly as unhealthy as the brutal and dark. Instead of sipping, say, elixir, nectar, tequila, or champagne, the reader is invited to slurp lumpy milk or choke on the author’s dust bunnies. TV: Robert Anton Wilson wrote, “Society is the devil’s masquerade,” while Terence McKenna cautioned, “Culture is not your friend.” Of course, all of your writing is peppered with anti-establishment protagonists and provocateurs. Is society in some general sense a dangerous distraction to the human project?


TR: I’ll say this much: virtually every advancement made by our species since civilization first peeked out of its nest of stone has been initiated by lone individuals, mavericks who more often than not were

seldom varies: to be happy you must consume, to be special you must conform. Absurd, obviously, yet our identities have become so fragile, so elusive, that we seem content to let advertisers provide us with their version of

Virtually every advancement made by our species since civilization first peeked out its nest of stone has been initiated by lone individuals, maverics who more often than not were ignored, mocked, or viciously persecuted by society and its institutions. Society in general maintains such a vested interest in its cozy habit and solidified belief systems that it had rather die—or kill—than entertain change. ignored, mocked, or viciously persecuted by society and its institutions. Society in general maintains such a vested interested in its cozy habits and solidified belief systems that it had rather die—or kill—than entertain change. Consider how threatened religious fundamentalists of all faiths remain to this day by science in general and Darwin in particular. Cultural institutions by and large share one primary objective: herd control. Even when ostensibly benign, their propensity for manipulation, compartmentalization, standardization, and suppression of potentially disruptive behavior or ideas, has served to freeze the evolution of consciousness practically in its tracks. In technological development, in production of material goods and creature comforts, we’ve challenged the very gods, but psychologically, emotionally, we’re scarcely more than chimpanzees with bulldozers, baboons with big bombs. In East of Eden, John Steinbeck wrote that there’s never been a great creative collaboration. When the Beatles first burst on the scene, I thought they were proving him wrong. Later, we learned that Lennon and McCartney had each composed their pop masterpieces separately, individually. So it goes. Genius may stand on the shoulders of giants, but it stands alone. However, I digress. We humans have always defined ourselves by narration. What’s happening today is that we’re allowing multinational corporations to tell our stories for us. The theme of corporate stories (and millions drink them in every day)

Seattle and asked him, half jokingly, to let me know should he ever come across a horse by that name, as I was prepared to bet the ranch dressing on it. Not a week passed before he mailed me a racing form in which I read that a horse named Seafood and another called Shish Kabob had finished strong in the Louisiana Derby a month or so earlier. I did not follow the sport and was totally unfamiliar with the Louisiana Derby. Now I wish I could report that I followed up on it—began buying racing forms, contacting a bookie, and winning big bucks on the horses in question—but, alas, I became distracted and let it pass. Another example: In Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, I have my male protagonist take the female protagonist, on the occasion of their first date, to a lecture on the disturbing dwindling of the world’s frog population. While touring for that book, an interviewer from the St. Petersburg Times inquired if I was

who we are, to let them recreate us in their image: a cookie cutter image based on market research, shallow sociology, and insidious lies. Individualism is bad for business— though absolutely necessary for freedom, progressive knowledge, and any possible interface with the transcendent. And yes, it’s entirely possible to function as a free-thinking individual without succumbing to narcissism. This can be tricky at times, I suppose, but then so can the tango—particularly if you’re dancing alone. TV: Synchronicity has been described as evidence that this assemblage of separate personalities that passes for life are merely the infinite faces of an underlying unity—perhaps similar to the “clockworks” you describe in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. What are your thoughts on this, or more to the point, do you have a memorable story of synchronicity you’d care to share?

TR: What we, thanks to Jung, call “synchronicity” (coincidence on steroids), Buddhists have long known as “the interpenetration of realities.” Whether it’s a natural law of sorts or simply evidence of mathematical inevitability (an infinite number of monkeys locked up with an infinite number of typewriters eventually producing Hamlet, not to mention Tarzan of the Apes), it seems to be as real as it is eerie. One night I inexplicably dreamed of a horse race. It was won by a steed named Seafood Kabob. The next day I telephoned a guy I knew who did PR for the racetrack outside of

Woody Harrelson Woody Straight Up: Eco Activist. Vegan. Yogi. Interview: Maranda Pleasant Maranda Pleasant: What’s the thing that excites you most in your life? The reason you really want to wake up in the morning and live and bring beauty to this planet?

Woody Harrelson: Well, talking to my kids more than anything. That gets me happy and excited. Everything in my life is better because of them. I don’t know if that explains getting up in the morning. MP: What is the thing that drives you?

WH: Well, it depends. If I’m working I want it to be as good as it can be, so I guess that’s what drives me there. I love life. I feel like I have the most incredible life. This life, it’s almost its own form of inspiration. However I came to be living this life—I feel a very high level of gratitude for this life. Something about the way it’s set up gets me jazzed to participate in it every day.

MP: How do you let go?

MP: Thank you. What is it that makes you the most vulnerable?

WH: I’m most vulnerable with my own children and with my wife particularly. But what makes me vulnerable? I think I probably could be more vulnerable. A lot of times I feel a little bit guarded. Another person’s vulnerability makes me a little more prone to sharing things I wouldn’t share.

aware that T.C. Boyle had written a story, published some months earlier, in which a man takes a girl on their first date to a lecture about the global disappearance of frogs. Well, I’d neither read that story (I still haven’t) nor heard of it, and Boyle and I have never met. Hello? Do I hear the theme from Twilight Zone? I mean, what are the odds that two separate writers, strangers, a thousand miles apart, would each invent fictions in which guys take girls to an esoteric frog lecture on their first date. If that isn’t synchronicity, it’s something equally as weird.

WH: Yoga helps more than anything. If you store something heavy emotionally in the mind, it stores as well as the body. So the reverse is true—if you’re able to release whatever it is from the body, you can release it from the mind. MP: How long have you been practicing?

MP: How do you transform your pain? What do you do with it?

WH: A good twenty years, probably.

WH: What a trip. Well, wow, are you serious? I generally just do my best to suppress it ‘cause I don’t really feel like dealing with that kind of stuff. So I suppress it.

MP: Awesome. Do you have a particular style?

MP: That sounds really honest and really unhealthy.

MP: Are you a vegetarian?

WH: You’re talking about emotional pain I’m assuming. If I’m feeling that way, I tend to sit with it. That kind of connects to the vulnerability thing. I’ve got some friends who don’t hesitate to let you know what’s going on, and they talk it through, but I tend to not. Somehow I’ve been raised some way—probably a common way in America—where you just kind of deal with it and keep it to yourself and express it that way. But now, if something’s really heavy, I just talk to the wifey. She helps me.

WH: I’m certainly a raw foodist in my belief system. I am mostly raw but I do allow cooked food sometimes. I used to be pretty hardcore about that, but now I let myself eat cooked food sometimes. I don’t get too uptight. Probably 95% raw.

WH: Fairly eclectic, but Ashtanga-based.

MP: Holy.

WH: I’m also philosophically straightedge.

MP: {laughter} You’re sounding like Texan now.

Tom Robbins is the author of nine off-beat but popular novels and a collection of short writings. All of his books are currently in print. He lives in his own time zone north of Seattle. Tony Vigorito (www.tonyvigorito.com) is the author of the award-winning novel Just a Couple of Days and Nine Kinds of Naked. He is currently finishing his third novel.

WH: {laughter} Oh yeah, maybe it’s a Texas thing. MP: It’s a Southern thing for sure, or maybe it’s just a male thing. What is it that breaks your heart?

WH: Our government’s foreign policy breaks my heart. All the giant subsidies to the giant industries that I call The Beast, all the industries that control our economy and control the body politic—that breaks my heart.

MP: What are some of the biggest eco concerns that you have on the planet?

WH: Probably the biggest concern for me right now is mountaintop removal. They’ve leveled over 700 hundred mountains in West Virginia and Kentucky—the Appalachian area, the Appalachian Mountains. I think it’s really one of the most horrendous things you can imagine. If you’d seen the pictures, it’s just devastating—these once beautiful pristine natural environments.

Photo: ©2010 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group 6 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Intellectual jazz

Clockwise from upper left: Jeffrey katzenberg + norman lear. MARY JORDON. E.O. Wilson + Craig VentER. Yo-Yo Ma. Geoffrey West + Richard Saul Wurman. Quincy jones.

Beyond Ted

Richard Saul Wurman Creator + Director of the WWW Conference

The WWW Conference:

A gathering of the greatest, most interesting and curious minds in the world engaged in immersive and improvised conversation, celebrating the 21st century while drawing attention to the new patterns and convergences affecting our health and that of our planet.

Almost thirty years ago I started the TED conference. Although looking backwards one can be guilty of inventing history, I do believe half of its creation had to do with subtraction. I had gone to many of conferences, and disliked them all. By subtracting panels, white men in suits, CEOs, long speeches, lecterns, saved seats, golf courses, single subjects, the long flowery biographical introductions—all the things I really hated—I combined that stripped down form with an equally important idea: that of convergence. I combined that stripped down form with an equally important idea, which was that of convergence. The convergence of the technology business, the entertainment industry, and the design professions. Thus was born TED. Short speeches, no introductions, speakers who were requested not to sell anything, not read a speech, hold up their latest book, and stand on stage without a lectern in front of their groin allowing for them to be vulnerable.

thewwwconference.com 8 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

A few months ago, I created a new gathering, a new model, a new pattern—not a better version of TED at all. I looked for what I could still subtract. I took away presentations and time. I began the conference by saying welcome to the great leap backwards—referring to the fact that 2,500 years ago in a small amphitheater in Greece, Aristotle, Socrates and Plato (whoever was talking to each other at the time) would be chatting on stage. It would be fascinating, interesting, unrehearsed. Not an interview, but in the free form of jazz—free form with the underpinnings of structure. Intellectual jazz based upon extraordinary conversations between two individuals. It would get back to the vital part of creation. The WWW Conference worked better than I thought. It is an interesting new and old model. The pairings, sometimes understandable but often not initially clear to the audience, produced a series of the most wonderful conversations I had been party to.


The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative

Here is a list of the pairings and some comments that were written by a couple people who were there, one from Forbes and one from Huffington Post. Neither of whom had press passes; there was no PR or press on the event. As opposed to an author telling you how good their last book is or what charity to give to, I’ll let these people (neither of which I had ever met before) share what they wrote about this wonderful meeting.

Rachel Irvin






Jeffrey Katzenberg + Norman Lear David Agus + Antonio Damasio Herbie Hancock + will.i.am E.O. Wilson + Craig Venter Keith Black + David Agus Yo-Yo Ma + Mike Block Danny Hillis + Stephen Wolfram David Blaine + Julie Taymor Matt Groening + David Brooks Yo-Yo Ma + David Brooks Mark Cuban + Dan Ariely Quincy Jones + Damian Woetzel Peter Raven + Jack Dangermond Megan Smith + Nicholas Negroponte Frank Gehry + John Mazziotta Benedikt Taschen + Jon Kamen Mary Jordan + Moshe Safdie Joshua Wurman + Dave Gallo John Maeda + Adam Bly Todd Oldham + Bjarke Ingels Lisa Randall + Scott Bolton E.O. Wilson + Will Wright Geoffrey West + Richard Saul Wurman

1 Mentor Julie Taymor. Protégé Selena Cartmell. Theater. 2 Mentor Youssou N’dour. Protégé aurelio martinez. music. 3 Mentor John Baldessari. Protégé alejandro cesarco. visual arts. 4 Mentor william forsythe. Protégé sang jijia. dance.


Steve Stevens Charity Tillman Dick Christina Pato

Top: David Blain + Julie Taymor Bottom: Richard Saul Wurman + Will.I.Am.

“...several of the scientists at the conference have ventured even further from conventional thought. Intersecting physics and biology, West has discovered a constant relationship between the mass and metabolism of all living things that may be the 21st century equivalent of Einstein’s insights into the relationship between energy and matter a little over 100 years ago. Mixing cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, Steven Pinker argued that, despite the apparent increase in bloodshed around the globe, human violence has decreased in recent centuries, which among things raises questions about how accurate a picture of reality we get from the media. And overlaying computer science with landscape architecture, Dangermond has developed ways of mapping data that reveals geographical patterns and relationships that have long remain hidden. Like so many of the speakers at the conference, they have each combined divergent fields to come up with unconventional insights or innovations that have literally changed how we see the world.”

“Last week, the master weaver unveiled his latest creation – The WWW Conference – in Redlands, California. The “W’s” in the title were an homage to all those words starting with that letter, but it was the subtitle – Intellectual Jazz – that gave us a better sense of the journey ahead.

Thomas Fisher Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota for Huffington Post

Forbes Online

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Much of the real creativity for the conference was in the format itself. A key element of that was the intimate, 299 seat theater at Esri – the pioneering GIS software company founded by Jack Dangermond. Esri’s own tagline is “Understanding our World.” This theater was the central design element used with great architectural effect as the backdrop for two days of conversations – between two people – around a wide range of disciplines and pursuits. An intimate venue, a single host, two people and one audience.”


Since its foundation, Rolex has been associated with exceptional men and women worldwide, in fields as diverse as sports, exploration, and the arts. These pioneering individuals whom we support share the qualities that have underpinned the company for over a century: excellence, individual achievement, and the highest levels of performance. At the turn of the millennium, Rolex decided to extend its philanthropic endeavors in the arts and create a program that would not only complement the scientifically and environmentally orientated Rolex Awards for Enterprise, but would also have global resonance and an ongoing legacy. After meetings with various arts leaders in New York, we discovered that corporate funding of individual young artists was lacking and, consequently, set up the Rolex Initiative as a global mentoring program in multiple artistic disciplines, which today number seven: film, visual arts, architecture, music, theatre, literature, and dance. By pairing these budding young talents with great masters and supporting them for a year of enriching dialogue, we are reviving the traditional relationship of master and apprentice. Our

experience over the past decade seems to indicate that Rolex has made an old art form come to life. Fundamental to the Rolex program is the notion of perpetuating the world’s artistic heritage and passing on great art from one generation to the next. Beyond the funding and resources that Rolex provides, the young artists benefit from the guidance, inspiration, and exposure to the mentors with whom they collaborate on a one-to-one-basis over the year. Time is, of course, central to Rolex, and the mentors are, above all, offering the protégés the intangible gift of time, along with their accumulated knowledge and the practical tutelage to help them navigate the inevitable career challenges at a key moment in their professional lives. Significantly, we have come to realize that inspiration travels in both directions and that the mentors also benefit from the close relationship with a younger artist. They continuously tell us that their own creativity is reinvigorated through their conversations with younger artists in their field. We have helped bring about a meaningful exchange

among artists of different generations and cultures. In several cases, the Rolex Initiative has promoted a cross-fertilization of the arts and yielded some unexpected results, particularly in developing a broad, informal network of professional, personal, and creative contacts. We recently saw literature protégée Julia Leigh direct her first film and, at the same time, call on music protégé Ben Frost to compose the film’s music. The impact of the Rolex Initiative has exceeded our expectations in contributing to global culture. Since the program was launched in 2002, we have seen the protégés grow and achieve great things that begin to rival their own mentors. Two recent examples are literature protégée Tracy K. Smith, who won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and installation and performance artist Nicholas Hlobo, whose works were bought by London’s Tate Modern. Rebecca Irvin is head of philanthropy at Rolex.

photos: 1. Marc Vanappelghem. 2. Jeremy Llewellyn-jones 3. Tomas Bertelsen 4. Marc Vanappelghem. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 11

Interview: Zoë Kors

Zoë Kors: Hi Stefan! There are so many things I wasnt to ask you. I’l start with: What inspires you most?

Stefan Sagmeister: Being in a foreign place, preferably for the first time, having seen many things and collected new impressions, and returning to an empty hotel room with an hour or so to blow. That mix often yields fine results. ZK: What makes you feel vulnerable?

SS: Entering a room full of people I dont know. ZK: How do you process emotional pain?

SS: Working it off. ZK: I know you are a believer in stepping away from your life and routine occaisionally. Tell me about your sabbaticals and the power of time off, in terms of the creative process and life in general.

Stefan Sagmeister Ther first time Stefan Sagmeister landed on my radar, I was looking at a poster he created for the AIGA Detroit in which he was photographed in full-frontal glory (appropriately cropped) with the messaging entirely carved into his body, and a box of Band Aids® in his hand (a clearly ineffective solution for to the suffering of an artist for his art – literally and metaphorically.) I was immediately and irreversibly struck by his courage and commitment. From that point on, I started to keep tabs on Sagmeister’s creative endeavors. From his commercial design work, to his iconic posters and books, and finally conceptual, mind-expanding installations, his work has continued to inspire and awaken my creative and human spirit. When I was studying with the great Milton Glaser at School of Visual Arts a few years ago, Stefan came and spent an afternoon with us. It was a little like that question: If you could invite anyone to a dinner party... It turns out he’s not only a spiritual punk visionary, but a genuinely nice guy.


SS: The original impulse for the first sabbatical had many fathers. Among them was the event of Ed Fella visiting the studio and bringing a number of his fantastic-type experiments executed into a sketchbook with a four-color ballpoint pen. When he self-mockingly called it “exit art,” I felt what a pity it is that one does this sort of stuff only at sixty—it would have had a much bigger impact on a working life when it would be interspersed regularly throughout ones life. Tibor Kalman’s early death played a role, as any death reminds us that our time here is finite, that we better use it a good as we can.


“It is meant as, trying to always be the nice guy, to appear good, can be limiting. Avoiding confrontation has closed up a number of possibilities for me.”

I did the first year when I was thirty-eight, the second at forty-six. I have only two more such years to go before the retirement age of sixtyfive. I think it’s much more useful to take those years early, divided up throughout my working life rather than pinning them to the end of it. Ferran Adria, who is considered by many as the best chef in the world, closed his restaurant north of Barcelona for six months every year while keeping a full kitchen staff in order to experiment. That’s 50% of his time for experimentation, compared with my paltry 12.5%. As mentioned, I myself am doing a full year of experiments every seven years, but I’m sure many other divisions are possible, depending on the field, the possibilities, and personal preferences. One hour a day or a day a week. Everything that we designed and I still like in the seven years following the first sabbatical had its roots in thinking done during that sabbatical. ZK: One of the things I love most of all about your work is the way you have been able to blur the lines between

art, commerce, and consciousness. There is no better example of this than your series, “Things I’ve Learn in My LIfe So Far,” in which you take statements of personal truth, create stunning environmental works of art, and have your corporate clients fund it all. Brilliant! What was your original vision for this project? What makes it so powerful? How did you get your clients to buy in?

SS: I actually had no original vision for this series. We started this when a couple of clients gave us an unusual amount of freedom. Only when the feedback from the audiences of these clients was excellent did it occur to me that there might be a whole series in this direction. ZK: Many of the statements from “Things I’ve Learned” are simple. Some are more provocative. Can you elaborate on, “Trying to look good limits my life”?

SS: It is meant as, trying to always be the nice guy, to appear good, can be limiting. Avoiding confrontation has closed up a number of possibilities for me.


Portrait: John Madere 12 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


“Whenever I do overcome my inherent fear, it turns out well. Knowing this now for over twenty years, it is surprising that I still need to talk myself into it. It does seem to get a tiny little bit easier though.”

1 AIGA Detroit For this lecture poster for the AIGA Detroit we tried to visualize the pain that seems to accompany most of our design projects. Our intern Martin cut all the type into my skin. Yes, it did hurt real bad. ART DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister PHOTOGRAPHY: Tom Schierlitz CLIENT: AIGA Detroit

ZK: Another is, “Having guts always works out for me.” When has having guts best served you?

SS: Top and foremost, to work on and finish the Happy Film, to see if we actually made something that is worthwhile.

SS: Basically always. Whenever I do overcome my inherent fear, it turns out well. Knowing this now for over twenty years, it is surprising that I still need to talk myself into it. It does seem to get a tiny little bit easier, though.

ZK: Tell me a little bit about the film.

ZK: You’ve also said, “Keeping a diary supports my personal development.” Do you consistently keep a diary? I’d love to be locked in a room with your diary. What does it look like?

SS: “Keeping a diary supports personal development” came from the realization that my diary entries allow me to keep track of all the things I would like to change about my life. I used to keep a handwritten diary, but changed many, many years ago into a digital one, mostly because I found it easier to reread, as my handwriting had deteriorated to illegibility when I was very excited (and these were always the most interesting bits). ZK: What projects do you have coming up that you are excited about?

SS: When I did research for this film and read many, many psychology books on happiness, I found that whenever a scientist talked about something that had actually happened to her, a personal experience, I took this much more seriously than when she wrote about a survey she conducted. So I changed the direction of the film from a general documentation on the subject to focus mainly on personal experiences, hoping that viewers would have the same reaction as I had. The film in itself will not make viewers happy (in the same way as watching Jane Fonda exercise won’t make you lose weight), but I do hope that it might be the little kick in the ass to some viewers to explore these directions, like meditation or cognitive therapy. We plan to release it early 2014. ZK: Love that, Stefan, a little like teaching someone to fish. Thanks so much!

SS: Thank you, Zoe!

2 Deitch Projects, Banana Wall At the opening of our exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York we featured a wall of 10,000 bananas. Green bananas created a pattern against a background of yellow bananas spelling out the sentiment: Self-confidence produces fine results. After a number of days the green bananas turned yellow too and the type disappeared. When the yellow background bananas turned brown, the type (and the self-confidence) appeared again, only to go away when all bananas turned brown. ART DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister DESIGN: Richard The, Joe Shouldice Client: Deitch Projects

3 Lou Reed Poster I went to a show in Soho by middle Eastern artist Shirin Neshat. She used arabic type written on hands and feet. It was very personal. When I came back I read Lou’s lyrics for Trade In, a very personal song about his need to change. We used his lyrics written on his face. ART DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister DESIGN: Stefan Sagmeister PHOTOGRAPHY: Timothy Greenfield Sanders CLIENT: Warner Bros. Music Inc.

4 Drugs are fun... One installment in the series of “Things I have learned in my life so far”. The six double page speard for the Austrian magazine .copy spell out: Drugs / are fun / in the beginning / but / become a drag / later on. These are dividing spaces, each opening a new chapter in the magazine. Each month the magazines commissions another studio/artist with the design. ART DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister, Matthias Ernstberger DESIGN: Matthias Ernstberger PHOTOGRAPHY: Bela Borsodi CLIENT: .copy Magazine

5 4


style = fart Invitation on whoopee cushion to a lecture at the Baltimore Museum of Art. ART DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister CLIENT: AIGA Baltimore

sagmeisterwalsh.com 14 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


The higher the number, the higher the joy.

YOKO ONO @80 Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Getting into creating in a new genre is like arriving to a new country.

MP: How do these remixes impact your current music writing?

Yoko Ono: A start of a second life.

MP: Do you feel loved? Is that important to you, to feel loved? What is love to you?

MP: What is age to you?

YO: Love is what I give to the one I love.

YO: After I created “Hold Me” with Dave Audé, I made a “rock/pop” album that follows Between My Head and The Sky, with Sean being my co-producer. I kept telling myself, Wow! Now I can do an old and a new genre, as my body swung with the beat of “Hold Me.”

YO: The higher the number, the higher the joy.

MP: Do you care about public opinion? Does it affect you if your work is/isn’t embraced?

MP: If you could say something to every woman on the planet, what would it be?

YO: My work was not embraced for many decades. I would have killed myself if getting embraced affected me so much.

YO: You are beautiful. Don’t ever think you are not. It may be such a compliment that does not come from a man too often. They are shy, proud, and rude. Give yourself some love. And walk as what you are—a beautiful woman. All your life.

Maranda Pleasant: You’re turning 80. You’ve had a historic life. What does that feel like?

MP: You’ve had nearly ten #1 dance singles. Why is this one important? Is this one different?

YO: This one, I created with a partner. It was a great feeling to know that I could do that in this genre. MP: What was it like creating with Dave Audé?

YO: He is the top of this genre. I am a lucky girl. MP: This is one of your first penned dance tracks in a while. What does it mean to you?

YO: “This is what I can do from now. I’ve got a few songs for it already, don’t I?” Well, that’s what I thought as soon as I played what we did.

MP: You are a strong, powerful artist. A legendary female who doesn’t seem to want/need approval. Was it always this way?

YO: I didn’t mind getting some approval. It would have helped my work to go places. But I didn’t get it. Should I have jumped in an icy river or something? Instead, I just became a good dancer.

MP: Tell me about your passion with speaking out on fracking? We’re running features every issue with Bill Mckibben, Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, and others. What is Artists Against Fracking?

MP: What makes you come most alive?

YO: I’m glad you are spelling the name right in your magazine, in your question to me, and probably in your dream. But don’t spell fracking. Spell NO MORE FRACKING. Because that’s what we need.

YO: When I’m inspired with a new idea.

MP: Thank you, Yoko.

You are beautiful. Don’t ever think you are not. It may be such a compliment that does not come from a man too often. They are shy, proud, and rude. Give yourself some love. And walk as what you are—a beautiful woman. All your life. imaginepeace.com



Interview: Maranda Pleasant Photos: Butch Hogan + Renee Scott

Ian Somerhalder We are the New Endangered Species. The Most Crucial Time. The Most Important Generation in History.

Ian Solmerhalder: Actor + Eco Powerhouse Ian Solmerhalder: uses Celebrity for Actor Eco Powerhouse Change.+ He’s Leading uses Celebrity for the Charge for the Change: He’s Leading the Planet, bringing Charge for the Planet, Awareness AND Action. bringing Awareness AND This star of Action. This star of Vampire usesuses VampireDiaries Diaries social media media and and his his social foundation to to bring bring on on foundation the next next revolution— revolution. the To save our Species. to save our species. Maranda Pleasant: What is it that makes you feel the most alive?

Ian Somerhalder: It’s one of those things that hits you when you’re not even looking for it. It’s a moment when you find those words surging through your mind—“I feel so alive right now.” There’s varying degrees of it. Acting definitely makes me feel so remarkably alive. Sitting on a beach or walking through nature makes me come alive always. What I’ve started to realize is that social media is not just technology—it’s become its own entity, full of energy waves. These energy waves could be a Tweet about something

Photo: Renee Scott 18 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

you are furious about, like the Keystone Pipeline, or a piece of legislation. Instantly, energy surrounds and adds traction, influence, making it come alive. Within hours, this piece of information you’ve just doled out has become a monsoon, a hurricane of tangible energy that is literally circulating the world. It’s helped me sense the undeniable truth of quantum consciousness, the whole butterfly effect. I witness it daily. Being witness to it not only makes me come alive, it enables me to maintain hope. Thirty years ago, if you wanted to start a campaign against or for something, you had to print flyers, you had to make a million phone calls. Remember presidential campaigns and stuff? It was a very laborious thing. Now we can literally talk to each other in a nanosecond. I’m starting to realize there’s no stopping us now. An idea, a feeling, a movement can’t just be squashed. It’s impossible now. MP: Wow! I talk to you for five minutes and I’m so excited!

IS: But you know what I mean? MP: Yes, I know what you mean. You infuse everything with energy.

IS: Up until the second you asked that question, I hadn’t thought about that in months. I haven’t actually articulated it to another human being, other than in my own

I feel vulnerable when I have no choice... Here it is: the whole reason that I started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation was the feeling of complete vulnerability during the BP oil spill. head. Even to hear it come out of my mouth is really awakening. MP: Yes. You’re so wonderful…what is love to you?

IS: Another phenomenal question. The word love carries the same vibration in any language. You probably know this guy, you probably had dinner with him yesterday. The Japanese water crystal guy? MP: Yes, Masaru Emoto! I met him in Houston.

IS: He’s incredible. When you look at his work, you can’t help but expand your concept of love. And when you really think about it, it’s not a notion, it’s not a feeling, it’s truly an expansion of what you project and receive on a daily basis. ISFoundation.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 19

It’s the coolest thing—showing young, bright, and creative people that compassion and a compassionate life is the richest way to live.

Whether that expansion is towards the beings around you or flora, fauna, and creatures. Love has so many unique yet consistent forms. People like Branson--he’s an idea guru. Guys like Allan Savory--he’s like Father Earth. Allan has literally discovered how to stop desertification and make Africa come alive with plant life. In each of its forms, love has an infinite scope of potential expansion, all of which I see leading to growth. It’s interesting, the big major game changers— Branson has it. Allan has it but it hasn’t played itself through. But it will, we will see to it. Because we the people are the change makers. Policymakers are not the change makers. Because policymakers can’t make policy unless we allow them. Not anymore. Not with social media. Take a peek at the traction from the Tweet I posted about Origin. MP: My daughter called me from Indonesia at two in the morning and woke me up to tell me you Tweeted at me! She’s so excited about your work. She’s actually delivering babies in Indonesia.

IS: I can’t wait to meet her! After I tweeted I was browsing the mentions and the dialogue is really quite dynamic due to the fact that our demographic is such a generational wave. MP: She called me and told me that. I was just so grateful. She started texting me: “You have 700 favorites and retweets!” Since I talked to you yesterday, I see you have 4,000 more followers. What is commitment to you?

IS: Making a choice to follow through or to honor. Engagement and guarantee—we all love guarantees in life. Making a commitment, whether it’s for something like climate change or to my family, or even to my fans—what that means to me is, whether on paper or verbally or spiritually, making a promise to guarantee that I will fulfill whatever agreement we have. Usually you just use these words: “I give you my, I make this commitment to you, I honor this idea between us.” For me, commitment boils down to honor. Because you make a commitment to protect our environment, you make a commitment to species preservation, you make a commitment to stop things like human trafficking. You make a commitment to stop smoking, to eat better. Typically, Photos: Renee Scott 20 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

something that is positive. A positive notion of honor. MP: What is it that makes you vulnerable?

IS: A great question, and it actually leads into the reason why we’re having this conversation right now. I feel vulnerable when I have no choice. It segues into every facet of life, whether it’s love, work, family, or conservation. Here it is: the whole reason that I started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation was the feeling of complete vulnerability during the BP oil spill. The whole bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is destroyed. All the fauna. I knew what was happening below the surface, I know what was happening above the surface. I’m from that coastline, that’s where I grew up. It’s so dear to me. The nutrients I grew up with, feeding myself, my parents feeding me, literally came from those waters. There’s an interconnectedness, a connectivity, a connection, that is beyond. Like mother to child. I was watching that happen, and the policymakers weren’t doing jack shit. BP was running the show, which was unbelievable to me—that this was happening in front of all of our eyes. I felt the most awful feeling of vulnerability and helplessness. I remember where I was standing at the time when I said, “I never want to feel this powerless again.” I had just done a bunch of interviews and I didn’t trust what the media was saying. And I love the media, I live with the media. But I realized that something wasn’t right and I wanted to make it right. So it’s serendipitous you ask that, because ISF was born out of the feeling of utter vulnerability, and the desire, the need, the absolute deepest need, to overcome vulnerability with the awareness of your true power. MP: What is ISF Focusing on? What are you most excited about?

IS: Habitat conservation, deforestation, plastics, fracking, coal, biodoversity, life reverence. ISF’s view of the environment is as an interconnected organism of which we are not separate but a part of. There is no differentiation between all living things: trees, river, animals, and humans. We are

all one interdependent organism, so our focus may seem broad but each element interacts with the other. We have so many phenomenal eyes, skills, and hands on deck. It’s mind-blowingly exciting. ISF is in more countries than our counting can keep up with. We have hundreds of ISF kids armies collaborating and creating projects for global impact. I’m excited to learn, grow, and develop new solutions with this entire worldwide family called ISF. We are in the midst of creating a truly unique space and program. We’ve been working on our very own animal sanctuary. Our Animal Sanctuary initiative has many layers. We are aiming to create a place where abandoned and bullied creatures come together with bullied youth. We feel that bullies have leadership abilities, albeit these abilities are totally skewed and misdirected. Through the art of personal development, we see an opportunity for these animals to inspire compassion, essentially creating a path to deep personal growth. This program will deploy ISF’s youth development program, U Factor. The program helps youth identify their passion, cultivate their talent, amplify their purpose, and connect the younger generation to diminishing species and biodiversity. What we were just talking about previously— commitment and love—is surfacing here again. When you feel compassion for a tree or a dog or an elephant or a human being, all

Habitat conservation, deforestation, plastics, fracking, coal, biodoversity, life reverence. ISF’s view of the environment is as an interconnected organism of which we are not separate but a part of. There is no differentiation between all living things: trees, river, animals, Humans.


All the women in my life have really made my life what it is, and I feel so fortunate, so whole because of them. of a sudden you realize, man, I’m in a world filled with these beings and I am so close to all species. I have this amazing feeling when I’m sitting under a tree and realize, Wait a minute! I don’t want to destroy all this shit. I don’t need to make money destroying my environment. Why don’t I just love it and figure out a way to be more sustainable? It’s the coolest thing—showing young, bright, and creative people that compassion and a compassionate life is the richest way to live. When you live that life, you create progress, productivity, and innovation. The sanctuary would be the epicenter for the foundation. We’ll have think tanks there. It’s going Photos: Butch hogan 22 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

to be a really, really amazing place. As an educational home base, we will also focus on the development of sustainable agriculture initiative. It’s a huge project but one I am exceptionally passionate about. A company I’m part of started called Go Green Mobile Power excites me. Go Green Mobile Power manufactures and provides mobile power and lighting equipment throughout the world. We can produce light and energy, and use 90% less energy than anyone else. Ninety percent! Providing clean, efficient solar/electric generators to industries such as oil companies, spanning from film and event production,

Within the ISF family we have volunteers as young as seven and as old as eighty-six, and these individuals have a craft of their own to share with our forward movement. It’s unreal how incredibly important passion and talent are. So many people are working in industries that don’t inspire them, to pay the bills and survive. In an ideal world, everyone would get paid to work within their passion and expand in their talents. If you have a skill, a passion, and a love for creating change, the best way to support us is to co-create with us.

I see massive potential for entertainment to create wide sweeping change. Take ryot.org for example. As one of the founders of RYOT, we really wanted a new way to stay actively connected to the world at large. Every day we turn to news outlets to get our news. Up until now, news has been all about “What’s going on in the world?” RYOT lets you know “What’s going on in the world and how YOU can be a part of it.” Its so phenomenal because it allows you to become part of the story and overcome helplessness and reject vulnerability.

I remember speaking at “Sages and Scientists”—I wasn’t nervous until I realized the guy who went up before me was one of the guys who won a Nobel Prize for inventing the MRI. These people are so smart. I was just thinking, Oh my God, I don’t even have a college degree, I’m going to go up here and talk to these people and sound like an idiot! What I learned watching all these insanely intelligent people is that it’s the diversity of intelligence, the diversity of creativity, that is so very much necessary to creating whole solutions.

MP: I love how you use entertainment as a tool for change. I notice you talk about celebrities for causes. That’s the biggest thing. You are a well-known artist, a well-known actor. You use that voice and you use entertainment to impact the planet.

Look at the power of TED Talks, or spaces like “Sages and Scientists.” Deepak Chopra was on the cover of Origin, so you probably know that “Sages and Scientists” is his foundation’s annual conference of the minds. I actually spoke there two years ago. All of these think tanks are essential to progress.

Ideas need collective thought. Imagine if you and I sat here and think-tanked on taking swaths of land, reforesting, learning to grow more agricultural plants that we need, and stop using things like palm oil. Imagine what directions and concepts just you and I could elucidate?

IS: Two women have made this possible: my mother and my other mom, Brenda. Brenda was my manager in Louisiana for years. They both put their hearts and souls into my career. I am so happy that twentyfour years ago, my mom supported my desires to move into this realm. My mom spent every dollar she ever had on getting me modeling/acting classes when I was a kid. I’m really grateful for that foresight. She’s brilliant, kind, and so loving as a mother. I was told a million times in a day that she loved me. All the women in my life have really made my life what it is, and I feel so fortunate, so whole because of them.

MP: We have the founder of TED in this issue with you! So much synergy here.

MP: That’s why I was in Indonesia! We were just in Sumatra and in Bali. We did a documentary on orangutans. Now that they are coming in to the actual preserved area, all of the endangered wildlife has been pushed into the highland. It’s devastating. Palm plantations only absorb 15% of the carbon that a rainforest does. It’s not just that we’re destroying the rainforest, a natural habitat for endangered species.

IS: These incredible individuals, both women and men, showcase the sheer potential of collective creation. People have amazing ideas. The main problem—I won’t call it a problem, let’s call it a roadblock—is if you use the analogy of a convoy of vehicles going to help a distress situation: they have all the resources needed (food, medicine, everything they need), and as the convoy is traveling, there’s a rockslide. You can’t get through the road. What good does any of that stuff do when you can’t get it to where it needs to go?

IS: That’s the point. Now we take all that information, we create the most antiproblematic, forward-moving, sustainable way

construction, disaster relief, agriculture, forestry, and nonprofit organizations. We’re literally helping green oil companies, helping them find ways to pollute less while creating jobs. When I look at the breadth of positive impact these technologies can have, I truly get excited. Imagine a generator where ZERO fuel is used! MP: Any way that we can help you with any of your programs, anything we can do—I am so excited. This is amazing.

IS: I’m going to take you up on that. There are so many ways to help, by either sharing your skills or expertise, joining our board of directors or advisory boards, and donating. Regardless of what or how you share with ISF, we recognize that we don’t have all the answers, and that solutions lie not in commonality but in diversity. Welcoming a broad range of thinkers, creators, and doers is what makes this organization thrive. Visit isfoundation.org and get involved. ISFoundation.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 23

to hit all of the problem areas and produce solutions. And you’re also empowering and employing governmental bodies, for-profits, nonprofits. Big, big, big collaboration all around. That’s a ginormous project, but a project my mind is eager to chomp at. When you look at the sheer volume of paper usage in the U.S. alone, it’s truly frightening: paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, writing paper. Our consumption of trees is endless. We are working on a project that aims to make the United States “tree free” in its paper use. We have so many alternatives, like kenaf. It produces more crop, it’s hardier, and creates incredible paper products. Why are we deforesting for pulp and paper when we have a logical and efficient solution in plants like kenaf or bamboo? It doesn’t make sense to me at all. I’m inviting anyone else who thinks the same to reach out and get involved with our think tanks around creating tree free alternatives ASAP. I was just in Thailand, and there’s more shit in the ocean than you can ever imagine. But if you go into the Pacific, we have these massive, plastic floating islands of trash. What do we do with it? There’s a certain amount of salt water and solar degradation to this plastic— what’s happening is, it’s keeping ocean temperatures warm because it’s absorbing all this heat. It’s getting into the DNA of plankton. Why are we not creating programs to extract this plastic? There is a Japanese inventor who created technology that takes all this disgusting plastic and turns it into oil. Why are we not looking, thinking, and leveraging ideas like this more? We don’t have the time to dick around anymore—the time is now. We need to do as much as we can from every direction or we will surpass that two-degree climate increase. Actually, the science is showing we are already en route to surpassing two degrees. David de Rothschild has the Plastic Genie, and he is committed to getting rid of all this plastic in the ocean. I know that if we put all our heads together with corporate money, government money, for-profits, and nonprofits, we can literally dismantle this massive island of plastic floating. Get rid of it. Come up with solutions for it. Let’s reuse whatever we have now, stop making more of it, take what we gather, and make—whether it’s car parts, computer cases, anything that we can use. Then there’s the issue of water— hydrofracking. We’re destroying our water supplies like you can’t even imagine. The ISF’s Executive Director, Co-Secretary, and I just think-tanked about an hour outside of Toronto on a lake. I learned that Canadians Photo: Butch hogan 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

C hange

C ampaign

Join Ian, ORIGIN, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation in our Campaign for Change. Who is leading the Charge? We ALL are. We are in this together. You in? Tweet your photo with your sign about what you’re passionate about. @IanSomerhalder @OriginMagazine @ISFoundation Email your photos for the next issue of Origin: Ian@OriginMagazine.com

are furious because Canada is exporting water to the United States. Their lakes are shrinking because they’re selling water to the U.S. We water our golf courses and every ice cream shop and every coffee shop in the country because the health inspector has said you have to have a steady stream of water cleaning your spoons that you’re frothing milk with and their ice cream scoopers. Are you kidding me? We’re wasting all this water while we’re sucking it from Canada and they’re watching their lakes shrink?

expression to change our future.

Water conservation goes hand in hand with education. Teaching people that if you literally run the water while you brush your teeth—we go through 602 million gallons a day of waste in the United States because people are used to hearing the water run while they brush their teeth.

What is it that we need to do to explain to the public exactly is what is happening? We are destroying our precious water resources at this alarming rate, and again, why? When we have so many viable alternatives? “Oh,alternative power is too expensive, what about the jobs”— this is dinosaur thinking. Oil is dead, on its way to extinction. As a group of citizens we must speak up and act towards ending fracking. Let your government know you will not tolerate a technology that not only poisons your family but our creature family at large; let them know you want sustainable power and all the jobs that will come with that new growth.

If you look at all these different facets, where does it come from? Education. It comes from empowerment of young people. Because the bureaucracies that are in place now, they’re not going to change, they’re not going to stop. If you want change, it has to be generational. We have this unbelievable opportunity to make that change. Entertainment enables us to entice and educate mass audiences into a shift of consciousness. I am seeing a resurgence of entertainment that not only entertains, but inspires, evokes, and moves. I am seeing strength in the ability of artistic

MP: Your passion so matches mine. Awareness isn’t enough—how can we activate this change? Can you speak on fracking?

IS: Fracking is our biggest enemy right now in the U.S. Actually, not just in the U.S., because all our water systems are interconnected. Whether you’re reading this in New York State or in Japan, fracking is screwing you over.

To me, it’s not rocket science. There is resistance in old habits, old paradigms. I learned from my past, and I now employ those lessons going forward, looking to the future—don’t you think it’s about time our government did, too? ISFoundation.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 25

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Fisher Stevens

Connection, Commitment and Aging in the Modern World. Plus, what’s it’s like to direct three legends: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin.

in the end. It was a real actors’ piece, and I love actors, obviously. I thought I could get great actors. There was a big challenge in that it was very much written like a play, so the visual style had to be completely created in a way, which they do in most movies but this one in particular. There was no music-type music, there wasn’t that much scene direction at all. It was very much like a dialogue. The guy never wrote a screenplay before, he’s a playwright. And so, I liked all that about it. And I liked the fact that time kind of left these guys behind. MP: Time left these guys behind. That’s a powerful sentiment. Was there something about this process that was different or special to you? You worked with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin.

FS: It was totally special. We all come from theater. They’ve had these incredible careers. And I was open to just learning from them. At the same time, they looked to me for direction. So it was an interesting opposition, because I also watched them and sucked up any kind of knowledge that I could get from these three masters. It was great. At the same time, I had to be very clear with what I wanted if they asked me. We had rehearsals on the weekends—those were some really great creative times. Lots of storytelling. They were very committed to making this movie as good as it could be, as obviously was I. We kind of all spoke the same language, so that was good. They all did it in a different way but we were all on pretty much a similar page.

Maranda Pleasant: Thank you for making time to do this, I know you’re in Germany right now.

around them or it. You want to take care of it or them, the person, and be with them.

Fisher Stevens: No problem.

MP: What does commitment mean to you?

MP: What is it that makes you come alive?

FS: Keeping your word and being dedicated.

FS: Human beings. People’s stories. That’s really what gets me excited. This human condition and people’s stories. That’s what I love. The other thing is traveling. I love to travel, which is sort of why I do documentaries and why I’m in this whole world of movies—you get to meet amazing people and see how other people live. It opens your eyes. That’s what I love.

MP: What is it that makes you vulnerable?

FS: It’s such a young society, a young culture. Especially with technology. Technology changing the world so quickly. I think it’s even more difficult for older people to keep up in the world. And that’s a challenge. I mean, I’m not even fifty yet, but I still feel like Instagram and Spotify—I’m trying to stay with it! It’s not easy. The world is going so fast. It’s one of the things we deal with in the movie. The beauty of this old-fashionedness of life—Chris Walken doesn’t have a computer, he doesn’t have a cell phone. He carries quarters, looks for pay phones if he needs them. There’s something really beautiful about that. We try to capture that in the film, as well. MP: He does that in real life?

FS: Yeah, in real life. MP: I thought you meant his character. Wow.

FS: And his character. MP: That’s so great. I didn’t know there were still pay phones.

FS: Connection. Certain foods—[laughs]—make me vulnerable! I think connection makes me vulnerable. Commitment makes me vulnerable, really.

MP: What is love to you?

MP: I’m so excited about your film Stand Up Guys. What was it that got you so excited about creating something like this?

FS: Love?! I think love means a warm feeling about a human or a condition, where you feel emotional, and you feel like you want to be

FS: I think the love story between two friends really got me excited. And also the fact that they are loyal and committed to each other


MP: You said a lot of it had to do with getting older and how our roles in society are changing, how we have to relate to ourselves differently. What these characters had to go through in the film with aging, did you want to expand on that at all?


tyler blackburn

From Pretty Little Liars

Interview: Ocean Pleasant. Global Youth Editor.

Julia Stiles

Ocean Pleasant: Hey! Tyler Blackburn: Hi, Ocean. Nice to meet you. OP: Nice to meet you, as well. You have a huge following, and as you mentioned before, it’s mostly youth. How do you use your voice and your image to instigate positive change within the demographic that follows you? TB: That’s a great question. I’ve mentioned creating awareness for things like bullying have been great opportunities. Maybe it won’t be so instantaneous, but one of the biggest things I think we all can do is just try to live the best lives we can, and seek the best. If we seek the most happiness we can as individuals, it sort of bleeds into other people’s lives.

If we seek the most happiness we can as individuals, it sort of bleeds into other people’s lives. Instead of spreading antagonism or hate, try to make a positive remark about something. Small things like that. I’m not really big into Twitter and stuff, but I like to post really cool music videos, just sort of spread a positive light on things that interest me. As opposed to, “I hate so-and-so because they were wearing the same hat as me.” That’s just so pointless. The small things that we can do. Saying hi to somebody you normally wouldn’t say hi to, smiling at someone at the grocery store. OP: I’m really curious as to how people can use their voices to change the world. TB: I would say, lead by example as much as possible. There’s that Ghandi quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you have an ideal world, your actions should follow suit. And that will sort of hopefully spread. OP: You’re quoting Gandhi up in here, Tyler!

Photo: Nick Spanos | spanosphoto.com 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Interview Part II: Laura Dawn Laura Dawn: What’s the last book you read that really rocked your world?

Julia Stiles: It’s a short one, just a poem, really: “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes. Anything by Yeats.

Love always...In my worst moments, I try to think about loving instead of hating. Creation versus destruction, know what I’m sayin’?

LD: You performed with The Citizens Band in their string of NYC shows. I think what they’re doing, the way they mix art and politics, is so important—like a groovy clarion call to get in the game and help shape our country’s future. Why were you compelled to work with them?

JS: They are rock stars and sexy as hell. And it was for a good cause. Henry Street Settlement is the bomb and has been for a long time. LD: What are your thoughts on love these days? How does love fit into your work?

JS: I am forever a romantic. I try to bring that into my work. I try not to be fooled by romance. Or work. LD: But don’t you think every act of creativity is an act of love?

JS: Love always. “Love save all of us/Save us from ourselves” is a lyric written by Ms. Rain Phoenix, head of Papercranes and partner-incrime [with] Citizens Band. I can’t think of anything more true. In my worst moments, I try to think about loving instead of hating. Creation versus destruction, know what I’m sayin’? LAURA DAWN is the Creative & Cultural Director of MoveOn.org. Laura is a writer, director, editor, producer, artist organizer, national campaign strategist, singer, songwriter, and expert on the nexus of art and social change. Her work with MoveOn.org has helped to grow the organization into a 7 million-member progressive powerhouse and her media work for MoveOn has garnered over 50 million views online. Also an accomplished singer and recording artist, Laura regularly collaborates with worldwide electronic artist phenomenon Moby, most notably as the featured singer on his multiplatinum album Hotel and subsequent world tour, and on their noir/blues project, The Little Death.

tylerblackburn.net ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 29

Music is a language of emotion. I’m passionate about it because I think it’s the most direct way to connect to the things that are ineffable.

Adrian Grenier and his W r eck Room Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: Tell me about Wreck Room. What are you doing musically right now?

MP: Tell me how music has impacted you personally? How has it shaped you?

Adrian Grenier: Wreck Room is a music project that I started, using my studio to give up-and-coming bands an opportunity to write and record a song, and make a video, and put it out to the world. It’s been extremely successful. We’ve been growing very rapidly, and a lot of bands have a voice now, and an opportunity to be heard.

AG: It’s been, through this project Wreck Room, having bands come into my home, my personal space, I’ve realized how important it really is. Maybe the idea of being a rockstar or being the one who’s recording or playing, sort of doesn’t really matter as much anymore, when you’re surrounded by great musicians who bring their spirit, their own talent. My home is filled with music three or four times a week. It’s quite a luxury, you know? To have great bands playing. You see them come in excited, big smiles, and they have something to share and show for it. It’s a real honor and luxury. Like having a free concert in your own home!

MP: Who are some of the bands that you’ve had?

AG: DJ Spooky was one of our highlights. The Skins are a band that we’re very proud of. I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of them. We’ve actually done a couple videos with them and will continue to do more. Recently we’ve had a band called Radkey. They’re from down South. They were passing through town. I think the general thing is innovation, there’s a new sound out there that’s coming from young kids. You’ll get a sense of that. But they’re great bands. Some interesting acts like Gull. What else...Some of our favorites, Joanna Erdos and The Midnight Show, which is incredible. You’ll see recurring characters. A lot of times the acts will collaborate with each other. We’ll post a video of their collaboration. I have a couple songs in there myself. If you go to the website wreckroom.tv and click around, you’ll get a real sense. MP: What’s the name of your band?

AG: Caldwell. MP: Why do you think it’s so important to have these incubators to support young talent?

AG: I think in the old music industry, everything was so competitive— very selfish in a lot of ways. The label sort of capitalized on that desperation and that competition. In the new music landscape, with is the democratization of the internet and music in general, I think it can be a lot more collaborative. People, instead of competing, they can actually support each other, in music. I think the collective that is Wreck Room and all the bands that come in actually help studios support each other by sharing. When people come to Wreck Room, they can be confident that the quality is going to be up to a certain standard. MP: Tell me why you’re so passionate about music.

AG: Music is a language of emotion. I’m passionate about it because I think it’s the most direct way to connect to the things that are ineffable. Words aren’t necessarily a good enough opportunity to express. Words are maybe less than accessible at expressing. wreckroom.tv 30 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


The seconds of presence are where most inspiration comes... these seconds of awareness make you realize that any second can be your favorite one, and it really is up to you.

I like to move towards a place where my greatest experience is promoting happiness for others. I know that that creates a cycle of the same great experience.

Interview: Zoë Kors

Russell Simmons

Needing nothing really is the ultimate goal. And to have nothing to do with things.

P r e s e n c e > Aw a r e n e s s > I n s p i r a t i o n

Zoë Kors: It’s a big honor to speak with you. What inspires you most?

ZK: [laughing] What makes me feel vulnerable? Being open and honest. Letting people see me.

Russell Simmons: It changes by the day. Your smile, this minute. It’s presence. The seconds of presence are where most inspiration comes. There are sunsets that promote it. There are songs and melody that make you really happy. And there are spiritual gifts that you have— giving these gifts away sometimes gives you that feeling of inspiration. These seconds of awareness make you realize that any second can be your favorite one, and it really is up to you. I don’t like to say, Oh, this is my favorite record because there was a moment that that record made me feel a certain way. The one on the radio at the present moment could be the one that’s most inspiring, because it’s at that second that you’re aware of “the infinite everything.”

RS: That could be it. Sometimes.

So I have a problem more recently saying, What’s your favorite? Because the answer is, Well, the one that’s playing. The thing I’m doing. Seldom do I have those seconds, where I can say, The one I’m playing or What I’m doing. But I can’t reach back because there are too many. Too many different genres, too many different kinds of experiences. I like to move towards a place where my greatest experience is promoting happiness for others. I know that that creates a cycle of the same great experience. As opposed to selfish moments where you have this second of personal inspiration, but they don’t come back as often. They don’t promote a stable, lasting happiness, they promote a short-term feeling. I like to be moving towards a place of need less. I always say neediness is the cause of suffering. I’m not the only one who says it. It’s something I adopted and I believe. Needing nothing really is the ultimate goal. And to have nothing to do with things.

ZK: How do you process pain, emotional pain?

RS: Oh, I block it out. [laughs] I’m f*cked up like that. ZK: Tell me what projects you’re working on that you’re most passionate about right now.

RS: They’re all different, depending on what’s in front of me. I love making movies and TV. New sh*t I do. Taking my kids to school is new. Meditating with them every morning, taking them to school. Moving to LA to do that. I am excited about improving financial empowerment through our financial services company. I’m excited about my fashion company. I’m excited about the Rush Arts Foundation. I’m excited about the Happy Hearts Foundation, building all those schools. I’m excited about the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and the work that we have to do now—because we have to do it now more than ever, between imams and rabbis. I’m excited about, you know, so much sh*t, I can’t think of which one is more exciting. ZK: That’s a good place to be. Thanks so much, Russell.

ZK: What makes you feel vulnerable?

RS: Lots of sh*t. I don’t know, what makes you feel vulnerable?

Interviewed at The Green Festival: Los Angeles



rushcommunications.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 33

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

z iggy mar ley Love is many things...but love is mostly action...love is a positive effect. Love can never have a negative effect, only a positive effect. That would be the revelation of love. If you have a question of whether this is love, think about the effect. Maranda Pleasant: Hey, Ziggy, how are you?

Ziggy Marley: I’m good MP: What is it that inspires you the most?

ZM: God. The answer is God. What inspires me is the universe. It’s hard to explain. That would be the most appropriate answer. That would be the best answer at this point in time. MP: What is love to you?

ZM: Love is many things also. But love is mostly action. Love is cheering and sharing and compassion, and giving and receiving. Love is an action thing more than a word thing, that brings comfort or joy, or relief to anyone or anything. Animals, the planet, a person. Many different ways of expressing itself. Love is a positive effect. Love can never have a negative effect, only a positive effect. That would be the revelation of love. If you have a question of whether this is love, think about the effect. MP: What do you do with emotional pain?

ZM: I’m my own psychologist. I’ve found a way. I’ve found a way to be with it in my own consciousness. I would say that accepting whatever it is, whatever thing I’m going through, and then letting it go. Continually moving forward in terms of process. I don’t linger on it too much, you know. I need to move forward.

The physical way I do it is exercise. I go running. I go into nature. I really alleviate lot of emotional stress, any kind of stress I’m going through—exercise is my favorite medicine. Activity, creativity, going into my garden. Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive. I find that helps me so. It’s not a cookie cutter thing. This is not advice to everybody, this is just my way of doing things. It don’t last forever, the pain. Realize that tomorrow is coming. Move further from this pain and this stress. There is always a way and always hope in the next sunrise, and in the next second, and in the next minute. MP: Thank you for not only being your psychologist, but now you’re also my psychologist. [laughing] You have this beautiful children’s book, I Love You, Too, that’s coming out. What was it in you that wanted to create a book like this?

ZM: Coming from children’s album I did a few years ago, called Family Time. The song on the album, which the book is based on, I Love You, Too, is again a positive affirmation. And I wouldn’t mind doing more in the kids world because I think that might be just where I can be most useful to society, to the planet, if I can speak to children. I’ve continued to pursue being a part of their lives as much as I can be. Inspiring hope for them, creating the next generation of kids that maybe can make the world a better place than we will leave it for them.

Photos: Kii Arens (lower), Jan Salzman (inset) 34 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

It don’t last forever, the pain. Realize that tomorrow is coming. Move further from this pain and this stress. There is always a way and always hope in the next sunrise, and in the next second, and in the next minute.

MP: You have a new album that you’re releasing?

ZM: We just released a live album, which is some work from some shows I did on a couple of tours. I’m going to be doing a couple of shows, some shows in Mexico and Brazil. Everything’s going on. MP: Do you love it? I was a painter before I started this magazine, and there’s some pieces that you love and there’s some pieces that you really freaking love. Is this one of those albums that you’re like, I really love this?

ZM: This album? No, not so much. I mean, listen, it’s fine for what it is. You know what I’m saying? I don’t hold it up to that level, not yet. MP: I love that level of honesty. By the way, I posted tons of our “Love is My Origin” stickers on all your music cases last year at your concert in Colorado. If you find them, that was me.

ZM: That’s funny. MP: I’m a vegetarian and hemp and coconut oil save me. You have a line of products, yes?

ZM: Well, I have a thing called Ziggy Marley Organics, where we have some flavored coconut for cooking. Orange, almond. A couple of flavors there that you cook with. And then roasted hemp seeds, which are roasted in the shells, it’s not like shelled hemp. I especially like those. ziggymarley.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 35

To me, everything is

Plant Music

connected. We’re a part of nature. We are organic beings...They

king britt

haven’t figured out how to start human life

I never thought music, technology, entomology, and botany would ever culminate into what could be the future of physical music. I released an album toward the end of last year, called The Bee and The Stamen. It’s an album of music and sound design around the concept of a bee pollinating in the city. This is what brought me to collaborate with The Data Garden.

inorganically...And so, everything that we put into our bodies should

Founded by Joe Patitucci and Alex Tyson, their vision is this: “Data Garden is a journal, record label, and events producer, encouraging the discovery of electronic music throughout the windows of history, science, and community. We research the heritage of primitive electronic art and explore the synthesis

also be of nature.

of biological and digital technologies as a channel of human expression. Data Garden creates a forum where new connections are made. We seek to redefine traditional music distribution. Digital files are easily lost by the impermanence of computing. Physical objects like CDs, tapes, and records last far beyond their usability, possibly even our existence as a species. Data Garden mitigates these challenges by releasing digital album codes on artwork that can grow into living plants!” This vision excited me in more ways than one. These photos are from the October 2012 Switched On Garden 002 live concert and interactive event in Philadelphia.

MP: With the organics, why is it so important, do you think? Your music feeds the soul, and this food is probably the healthiest thing on the planet for feeding the body. Do you have a passion for organics?

ZM: Organic and non-GMO. This is also nonGMO, which is genetically modified foods. To me, everything is connected. We’re a part of nature. We are organic beings. None of us were—all of us come out of a woman. That’s the way we’re growing. They haven’t figured out how to start human life inorganically. In terms of a woman’s womb, that’s where we grow. And so, everything that we put into our bodies should also be of nature, a part of that cycle of nature. Once you start messing with that—as I said, everything is connected. Once you start messing with psychological wellbeing, we get more and more messed up. So food is important part, not just in our physical well-being, but in our psychological well-being. The more chemicals that are in our food and the more outside of the way it is intended by nature, the more we are messing with things that we probably don’t know the full effect of. Kids out there now have learning issues. Having mental issues. And everybody is looking towards what drug to give them, but is anyone looking at the food that the children are eating? What you’re eating has a big impact. Everything is connected. There is nothing that is not connected. So food is very important. Having a food line gives me a chance to talk about stuff like that. Hopefully people hear that a part of what hurts society has a lot to do with the diet, the food that you’re eating. So let’s be careful. Photos: Kii Arens 36 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Photos: Inna Spivakova, Joe Patitucci, and King Britt


Interview: Maranda Pleasant

wa y ne co y ne of The Flaming Lips

Maranda Pleasant: You guys have had more longevity, life, and creativity than almost any band out there. Every time I see you, you look more on fire. What is it that makes you come so fully alive?

Wayne Coyne: Gosh! Well, presuming that all that is true—that’s wonderful that you say that. This wave of keeping perspective and being happy and being energetic and being creative—the bad news is, that’s all tied to being healthy. We wish that we could take magic drugs, play around all day, read, and do nothing strenuous, and be the smartest, happiest people in the world. The truth is, it’s all about sweat. In Oklahoma now, the past week has been one of these with fucking dry north winds, where it’s like ten degrees outside. My hair gets completely dried up. When I do yoga, it gets all sweaty, and the best thing for dried up hair isn’t shampoo, it’s sweat. Everything that you do in your life that helps you sweat is good for you. Whenever you’re sweating, you’re adding to your potential to enjoy the day or enjoy the moment or enjoy your life.

MP: You’re very involved in animal charities. You’re a huge supporter of treating animals humanely.

WC: It’s really because we live in Oklahoma City, which I think is probably one of the worst cities in the entire world in terms of stray dogs and owners that don’t take care of them. Our shelters—I don’t know the numbers but every day they are putting animals down. There’s too many of them. It’s horrible, it’s horrible, it’s horrible. People come here from all over the world and they’ll say, “Oh my god, did you know there’s a pack of dogs on your street?” There’s packs of dogs on every street because people don’t fucking take care of their dogs. I don’t know why it’s like that. I’m sure if I lived in some place, London

or San Francisco, where you don’t see dead animals or suffering animals every day, I probably wouldn’t think about it very much. I think it’s mostly because I’m here in the middle of it and I want to do something about it. I’m not some bust-out humanitarian; I’m immersed in a horrible situation here and I want to change it. MP: I just listened to some of your awesome new tracks from The Terror. What was it inside of you that really needed to be born?

WC: Advertising agencies come to you and they are great fans, they are great creative people themselves, but they ask you to do something, and you say, “Well, we will, we’ll create something together.” And it is work. It’s like you’re doing something and they’re

Eating good things and being around people who are happy—you want to be influenced by the world because it has so many cool things about it, but it also has a bunch of bad things about it. Being around people who are happy and people who are creative, that’s what you do if you’re lucky in your life.

Album out now

THE TERROR We wish that we could take magic drugs, play around all day, read, and do nothing strenuous, and be the smartest, happiest people in the world. The truth is, it’s all about sweat.

MP: Do you have a routine, some way you keep your center? Is there something that feeds you at that deeper level?

WC: Most of my days, they’re not that chaotic. We do a lot of things, especially here around the compound, around the house. But one of our little cats, we have this one little cat that just is relentless. It got out this little spot in the fence, but the way that it got out didn’t let it get back in. Anyway, it disappeared. I thought it got killed or I thought it ran away. It disappeared a day or two before Christmas. It was fucking freezing cold here, and I just gave up after a while. It drives you crazy thinking it’s out there in the world. On New Year’s Day, I was in Tasmania. The people that were here at the house found the cat. It just walked back in. And I didn’t realize how much these little things made my life, how much it enriched my life, until it was gone. I think it’s all those things. I really do love this idea of family and, even though it’s my family of friends and I don’t have any kids of my own, I love this idea of family and taking care of things. If I feel like I’ve not done that, I don’t feel good about my day. I think that’s what centers me the most—all my people, all my animals.

Photos: j. michelle martin coyne 38 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


saying, “Change this” and “Change that.” It’s not hard, horrible work, but creatively it’s not just freedom. When we’ve done a lot of stuff like that—that really requires production and work and sticking with it—a lot of times in response to that we’ll just go and do, like I say, masturbation music. Where you’re just sitting there, playing sounds simply because you like it. A lot of times, when we do music like that, it is internal, strange music.

But it’s hard to sit in the corner and go inside yourself when that’s happening. A lot of times, we would simply be doing things at two or three in the morning. Weird, introspective, internal music.

Dave Fridmann’s studio in New York—that’s where we work—he had a second studio installed maybe two years ago, so you can work in two studios at the same time. We’d be in one studio mixing while some of the guys would be in another studio just playing music. Often times I’d walk in and be like, “Ah, that’s cool, what are you guys doing?” And they’d just be dicking around.

I think the reason we called the record The Terror is, we acknowledged to each other this dilemma that love is larger than life. I know that is absolutely true for people when they are young—you don’t want to be alive if the things that you love in your life aren’t there. Love is the thing that you pursue because it’s the thing that gives you all this life, or you believe that, anyway. Part of what we’re saying with this music is that love, it’s not a magic gravity that keeps everything up. Your life, unfortunately—and I mean this—your life is built on when love dies. There’s a lot of love in your life that will simply die. And you wish that you died with it, you know? But you don’t. And you go, oh, well, here I am.

This is the honest truth: some of these recordings that are on our new record, I’d recorded them on my phone. It’s just kind

I don’t know how if that will stay true for the rest of my life or what. But I know at the time we were making this music, it was true for us.

for the best. Some people, they don’t want to be that loved, they don’t want to be that involved, they don’t want to be part of your family. That’s where the pain comes in. You want the world to be what you want it to be, and sometimes the world doesn’t want that. That’s because, Maranda, we’re just sensitive people. We wouldn’t be artists, writers, painters, musicians, if we weren’t sensitive. All the great things that I get to be curious about, see, and experience because I’m sensitive to the world, it also opens up these areas where there’s a lot of pain and suffering. You’re just aware, aware, aware. I’ll accept the pain and the suffering, because I know that in that there’s a lot of beauty, too. We don’t ever want to shut down and say, I’m afraid to go that far down the road because there’s going to be pain. There’ll be beauty, too, and if you stop here, you stop all that. The Terror refers to the sudden realization about yourself. We are all really alone. We’re isolated in our own mind. I want to know what you’re thinking, you want to know what

I’m not some bust-out humanitarian; I’m immersed in a horrible situation here and I want to change it.

I’m thinking. But we’re alone. In our own minds. We’re trapped in this sort of isolation. I think that’s what I mean by “the terror.” There’s a cave, we go inside of ourselves because we want to know more, and we turn this one corner and we go, Oh my god—I didn’t know that was in here. We can never go back to the way we were. It’s like a horrible car accident—you’re never the same after that. It’s something that you’ll think about every day for the rest of your life.

of got a very strange sound to it. I’d record the stuff that they’d be playing and then two days later I’d say, “I really like this little part.” And it’d be on my phone. And they’d be like, “Man, I don’t even remember how we were doing that.” We would take these things off my phone and turn them into tracks.

MP: What is love to you?

It’s all about listening. Letting the music and letting whatever is happening overtake you. I don’t know if it’s something that we all felt had to come out of us. It’s hard to say what needs to come out and what needs to stay in. I think if you’re lucky, you start to make music and it gets things out.

Part of me just wants to keep all these things with me and love them and keep it all together. But that doesn’t always work out

MP: What were some of the things that it got out of you?

There’s a lot of love in your life that

WC: When we would be doing this sort of music in the dark, sometimes at three o’clock in the morning when no one cared what we did—I think that’s the dilemma. When we’re busy entertaining, twenty people will stop by. It’s not that it’s difficult. You’re sitting there talking to people, people are drinking, it’s a great time.

will simply die. And you wish that you

WC: It comes down to your personality, which you don’t get to pick. I think I’m really lucky that the things I’m able to love—people, animals—it’s like the more you put yourself into it, the more you get out of it.

Your life is built on when love dies.

died with it, you know? But you don’t. And you go, oh, well, here I am.

Photos: george salisbury 40 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


The Skins ROLL IN:

Interview: Maranda Pleasant Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you?

The Skins: Good people, good energy, good music, and positive vibes MP: What makes you come most alive?

TS: Being on stage. MP: Where do you pull from when creating new music?

TS: Life experiences and artists that inspire us. Mostly musicians from generations ago. We all have different tastes in music and we like to meld them together. What makes you vulnerable?

Low energy from audiences.


5.0! Put your ragtop down so your mind gets blown with music from DJ Spooky + Cactus Music, visuals from Culture Pilot, happy memories from Smilebooth, Art Cars, and much MUCH more. Bites and bevs are on us – Come early to fuel up!

MP: How do you stay centered?

TS: Rehearsing. We never miss practice.

Monday, March 11: 6pm-10pm

MP: What causes are you passionate about?

Hudson on Fifth (at 5th and Lavaca)

TS: Adrian got us really into SHFT and taking care of ourselves and the environment.

301 W. 5th, Austin, TX 78701

Our other manager Joanna and her husband want to adopt a baby soon, and we feel really strongly about helping children who don’t have families to take care of them. Just generally helping people. We hope that, if we start making money, we can actively give back to those in need.

Info & RSVP: http://cohouston.com

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

A Conversation with Chuck D Maranda Pleasant: What’s on your heart right now?

Chuck D: We just released our song and our video called “Everything.” It speaks for what we’ve been speaking on for the longest period of time: you’ve got to appreciate time, life, and the things that you might already have, because there’s so many people that have not. Music is supposed to be shared. Music is not supposed to be a commodity or product or just an item. It’s supposed to be shared, and getting people in tune and back to the beauty of music and what it offers, the vibrations pull your mind, body, and soul—it’s something that’s always really on top of my agenda.

MP: What is commitment to you?

Chuck D: Your commitment is basically to your word. Your word’s got to be your bond. Things change, life changes. It’s all right to change your commitment, but at least call it. Everything has its time. Everything has its beginning and its end, it’s closure and all that. You got to be able to flow with life. The impossible thing is that you can never commit to when. You can commit to what, you just can’t commit to when. You just can’t predict time like that. I could be wrong, but it’s all right to be wrong. MP: What would you say to the person who is honest, lives with their heart open, but they’re just down? They can’t seem to get up. You’re in one of those emotionally fetal places where you’re just f*cking feeling beat up. What would you say to that person, to that artist?

Music: Jane’s Addiction, Jellyfish, Led Zeppelin, Jay Z, Amy Winehouse, Beyonce, Betty Davis.

There’s a beauty in rap music and hip hop because it comes as evolved out of all of our other music that’s been defined up to date. There’s a beauty in the word, there’s beauty in the music, the feeling, the rhythm, the harmony, and the groove, that could probably do so much more than what, commercially, it’s spoken to do.

MP: What projects are you working on right now?

MP: What is love to you?

TS: We’re currently on tour in France and having an incredible time. We’re also working on recording our first full length album. We’re really excited to play at SXSW. It’s our first year and we hope that there are many more to come.

Chuck D: Love is understanding yourself and understanding what you can do for others with yourself. Just define the things that you say you love. Know about them.


photos: (left) Randall Michaelson. (right) Walter Leaphart

MP: Who are your biggest influences in life and musically?

Life: Frikkin’ Buddha! Lebron James.


Chuck D: Get stories from other people. Talk to people. Talk to people that have been along the same path. Always open yourself to older people. You can trade your place with somebody who’s ninety, they’ll trade their life with you in a heartbeat. Older people, they can really open you up, make you get some perspective.

You got to be able to flow with life. The impossible thing is that you can never commit to when. You can commit to what, you just can’t commit to when. You just can’t predict time like that. I could be wrong, but it’s all right to be wrong. If you give up your goals, it’s like getting off of a line. If you get off the line, there’s going to be somebody right behind you who’s going to fill in your slot. Don’t try to get off the line. Stay on line, have some conversation with people. Not just take it in, but listen and be open to discussion. I don’t mean just your friends, your family. I mean people who are all on the same line of your goal. MP: Tell me about “The Evil Empire of Everything.” Why did that album need to be made?

Chuck D: We feel that everything needs to be put in its place. We didn’t release these records based on record company calendars. We don’t get help from corporations or the powers that be. The albums are released on an artistic heartbeat. publicenemy.com


Paul D. Miller: Hey Kamal. How’s everything?

Q-Tip: I’ve been chillin’, just working.

Q Tip Interview Part I: Paul D Miller / DJ Spooky

PDM: I know you’ve got the new project with Kanye West coming up, The Last Zulu. The whole idea of tracing your genetic chart back to South Africa was kind of cool. Do you want to speak on that for a second—genetics and beats?

Q-Tip: Genetics and beats? I feel like the drumbeat is a natural thing. Our heartbeat moves at a certain BPM. The drumbeat, being the first instrument, the platform for us, being that we all kind of come from that—it’s all beats. For me, in particular coming up in the Zulu Nation in New York City to find the lineage to the Zulu tribe in South Africa. I traced my DNA and it turned out that my genetic roots were from Zulu in South Africa. PDM: Let’s talk about beats. You’re an actor, a rhymer, a conceptualist, and I know you’re into painting, as well.

Q-Tip: Beats, rhymes, poetry—it’s all abstract. I play with that in a way that’s real but different. I love painting, too. Basquiat, beats, deejay cuts, and scratches on records. Vinyl and shit, it’s all part of the same thing. I keep it abstract. PDM: Let’s talk about lyrics versus Basquiat. Basquiat started as a deejay and painter. I’ve always viewed you as a lyricist who plays with words like they’re on a kind of canvas. The idea of abstraction is not something you’re frightened of. Lots of hip hop artists are so busy trying to make their cypher, they always talk about realism. But realism from your point of view, or at least for me as a deejay who’s collected a lot of your records over the years—Q-Tip, I’ve loved your work for many years, you know that, right?—and that conceptual Zulu Nation pan-human angle. That’s Futurism.

Without question, A Tribe Called Quest is one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time. Q-Tip was the voice of the ’90s that made almost everything about hip hop seem conceptual. Recently, Q-Tip has signed a deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint, and the Grammy Award-winner is currently working on his fourth solo album, The Last Zulu, which will be released through West’s label. Q-Tip was one of the producers of Kanye West’s critically heralded My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as the Watch the Throne collaboration between West and Jay-Z. He has also been in the studio with Marsha Ambrosius, Kendrick Lamar, and Fiona Apple, and produced tracks on Esperanza Spalding’s latest album. Origin Magazine caught up with him to talk about his adventures in sound.

How did you go from thinking about the “Native Tongues” concept to action? Because Beats, Rhymes, and Life, the Michael Rappaport film that you were in—it was decent and cool, but it showed a lot of tension, and you’ve always been somebody that builds bridges. The idea is as powerful as the word.

Q-Tip: For me with art and all that stuff—I like abstraction. I like contortion. I mean, it’s still truth. But it’s truth through the center of the individual. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fallacies or falsehoods. It just happens to be one perception of what’s happening.

We all have our own takes on things. To being yourself. The abstract, the whole thing that I play with, seems to result in seeing through your lenses, and once you express how you see things to others, you start to see there are similarities between all people. It’s kind of like, no matter how far you go, you’re still where you started, in a way. PDM: Right now there are two people from the hip hop generation doing a lot in film. One is RZA. And he started as a producer and then did soundtracks and now is a director. The other is 50 Cent, who is acting in a lot of films. Queen Latifah, LL Cool J. And then of course there’s the controversy with Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino. Have you seen Django Unchained yet?

Q-Tip: It was entertaining, as movies go. I didn’t think that it was necessarily derogatory or an unfair portrayal of AfricanAmericans during the slave trade. But I don’t think the film was about the slave trade. It kind of resembled Blazing Saddles to me. The antihero comes to town to right the wrongs, to uphold something that’s good. Whereas Django is really a love story about a man wanting to reunite with his wife. Trapping him just happens to be, you know, pre-Civil War America, slavery America. And being a delicate environment, the trinkets and monikers of slavery abound. Some may have thought the usage of the word ‘nigger’ was a bit gratuitous on Quentin’s part. And who knows—the director could have put his own personal thing into it, but I think overall as a film, I didn’t view it as egregious in its forming a story. I didn’t think that it was offensive. PDM: If you look at Melvin Van Peebles, or Gordon Parks’s Shaft, what’s so beautiful about that—the way that you deal with beats and the way RZA deals with beats, it’s a cinematic flow—he transferred from making mix tapes with kung fu clips from old Shaw Brothers Film Studio clips cut up over beats. The dialogues would come from old Chinese films, Hong Kong classics, into directing. I like to think of the emcee as a director, the way that you guys tell the story. Do you want to talk about cinema a little bit?

Q-Tip: I’m a cinephile. I love movies, I love film at every level. I’m a student of it. It informs me as does all art in my music, because there’s stories, there’s acts, there’s moods, there’s dynamics, there’s moodiness, emotion. All of those things that play into a film. I think that could equally be said about music. It definitely informs me. Beats is stories.

PDM: What’s up with your deejay style these days? Last couple times I heard you, you were playing everything from the Police on over to ESG. Any new styles that you’re checking out? Kuduro out of Angola? Brazilian baile funk? Dancehall?

Q-Tip: I try to check in with all of it. As long as it has some sort of soul to it. I like music with soul and passion and the good of humanity. As long as it has those things, I’m all the way in.

We all have our own takes on things. To being yourself. The abstract, the whole thing that I play with, seems to result in seeing through your lenses, and once you express how you see things to others, you start to see there are similarities between all people. It’s kind of like, no matter how far you go, you’re still where you started, in a way. qtiponline.com



Paul D. Miller: One of the things that’s made you stand out is your connection to the literary. Your mom curates the Black Literary Festival in Brooklyn. You have a new project called “Art Imitates Life.” I want to riff with you on with technology versus art, because I know that’s something that’s informed your practice. You want to speak on that?

Talib Kweli: “Art Imitates life,” of course, is that phrase by Oscar Wilde. I called that song “Art Imitates Life” because Oh No was in the studio and he actually came up with that hook. When I was trying to figure out a name for the record, it just kind of made sense. PDM: I know Black Thought is also very conceptual about the way lyrics impact everything from poetry to literature and so on. You and Saul Williams have always been people that have helped push the idea of innovation in lyrics. If you’re looking at Oscar Wilde and then thinking about 21st century Brooklyn, what’s the next step? Back in the ‘90s with Rawkus, started with James Murdoch—what’s your take on that?

Talib Kweli Interview: Paul D. Miller / DJ Spooky

People tend to forget that in Arabic, “Talib” simply means “student”—it’s a term that takes one into the realm of abstract inquiry or, on the other hand, action. The translation is in the eye of the beholder. Talib Kweli is a hip hop artist who has made his mark over the last 15+ years as a wordsmith who melds astute observations of everyday life and a lyricism in the same vein as some of the best poets of the 20th century—Claude McKay, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and even more recent activists like Linton Kwesi Johnson and Saul Williams. Origin Magazine caught up with him on the occasion of his new album Prisoner of Conscious.

TK: It’s interesting. What Rawkus did—you know how Lana Del Rey came out this year, and she was presented as this indie darling, a sensation singer/ songwriter? And then she got on Saturday Night Live and she didn’t do so good. And they were hard on her, and the press was hard on her, and hard on the label for sort of selling us a dream that wasn’t real. Right? Well, Rawkus pioneered that. But I think the dream was just a bit more real. Brian and Jared were friends with James Murdoch.

it’s because that earlier stuff was aggressively marketed as a lifestyle to them. My latest stuff, if you’re not following me on social network, you might not know it came out. PDM: One of the things I’ve noted is that you’re really into social media. You and people like Questlove have really adapted to social media very quickly. I remember one of your earlier EPs, you had Nelson Mandela even say he’d been checking out some of your mixes.

TK: That was actually Dave Chapelle. Yeah, that was before he was famous, so he did an imitation.

What’s interesting now is that my fans like to be romantic. I feel like I’m creating at least at the same level or even a higher level of creativity than I was at twenty-one. I’ve gotten better as an artist. Now I’m thirty-seven. feel like I have way more resources, way more experience. I’m better.

PDM: James Murdoch went to Harvard, and Brian and Jared were someplace else, right?

TK: Brown University. Brian and Jared were music guys. They partnered with a guy they knew from college who had a lot of money. Guy was tied into Rupert Murdoch. Rawkus presented what we did as underground, as independent as fuck. They kind of co-opted and made that their brand, but they succeeded because they threw millions of dollars at marketing concerts. So while other labels couldn’t afford to make a mistake, Rawkus made plenty of mistakes but just threw money at the mistakes and fixed it. What’s interesting now is that my fans like to be romantic. I feel like I’m creating at least at the same level or even a higher level of creativity than I was at twenty-one. I’ve gotten better as an artist. Now I’m thirty-seven. I feel like I have way more resources, way more experience. I’m better. But my fans romanticize the earlier stuff, and I don’t think it’s just like a nostalgia thing of “He’s not as good”—I think

PDM: You know what? For many years I would scratch that sample in on mixtapes. I always thought—[laughs]

TK: People, to this day, come up to me and be like, “How did you get to meet Nelson Mandela? How’d you get him on your album?” PDM: Oh my god. You just blew my mind for the morning. Okay. The beautiful thing about you and Mos Def and of course the whole spoken word movement: I think of it as an update of some of the Harlem Renaissance issues as well, where people were looking at culture becoming far more conscious.

TK: Want to hear something funny? I deejayed this restaurant in New York. I’m in the restaurant and I’m deejaying, right? I’m spinning records and I look across the restaurant and I see somebody who looks Asian. And I’m like, “Yo, that looks like Yoko Ono.” I’m like, oh, I can just meet— that’s going to be great. Then I look carefully and I’m like, “That’s not Yoko Ono, that’s Bruno Mars.” And it was Bruno Mars. That just happened recently. I was bugging out. Because that was totally not Yoko Ono at all. PDM: She’s actually feeling a lot of hip hop lately. Quest is playing drums on her next album. She’s always been very supportive of my work, as well. She’s mad cool. But if anything, one of the things that you always push is the idea that lyrics are about complexity and ambiguity. There is no specific agenda beyond political progress. Do you think your mother influenced that?

TK: Definitely, my parents are my biggest influences. My parents and my city. Brooklyn, New York, New York City, the community I grew up. I don’t feel like I’m special in that. I feel like that’s everybody. I feel like Lil’ Wayne is New Orleans. I feel like your city—with hip hop in Talibkweli.com



PDM: What’s beautiful about emcees deejaying is, it takes it way back to old school days, where I think the skill set was combined, everything was kind of in one place, one-stop shop.

TK: Right. Everybody could write, deejay, rap. Everybody could do it all. PDM: I think things got more specialized in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Now it’s all converging again. But for me as a producer and artist, I’m really interested in hearing how emcees make mixes, because they’re really focusing on the lyrics of a track. It’s kind of cool when people spin, what words they select, how they scratch, stuff like that.

the weight of the lyrics. With this album, I wanted to focus more on the musicality of it. PDM: Let’s pull back for a second to the macro level. Since the ‘90s, you’ve done emcee shows all over the world. How do you think about hip hop and globalization, and the way that people have responded to your New York style? You go to South Africa, you go to Brazil, Japan, Korea. Any spots that you feel have really resonated with what experiences you’ve come out of?

consider it East Coast hip hop, but when you’re thinking New York, even though me and Mos Def certainly are from New York, people are thinking the Lox or Wu Tang. But I like the fact that I can rep New York, but my style does not—I’m not trapped in a New York thing. I can do art songs with other artists and it’s seamless. Working with HI-Tek early in my career helped that. PDM: Japan, Korea— hip hop is really booming in a lot of those spots. Any kind of words on that?

TK: Hip hop has always been, for us, for artists who are pure to the craft—any place overseas, whether it’s Australia, any place in Asia, Germany, Africa, it becomes something where you can still go and work. Hip hop is an import culture. We’re spoiled by it here. It’s homegrown. So it’s like, you see somebody rapping and you’re like, “Nah, my cousin can do that.” You’re spoiled by the experience. Overseas, it’s still something that people can appreciate. Hopefully, we learn to appreciate it here so that it doesn’t go the way of jazz. Jazz is the greatest American art form and our greatest export. We don’t pay attention to the youth of jazz, don’t stoke the fires creatively for the youth coming up. I feel like jazz musicians became too much of purists— with Donald Byrd doing funk jazz in the ‘70s. I see that happening with hip hop purists now. Where you have an artist like a Kendrick or a Drake, who are really trying different things emotionally, different things musically, and on a mainstream level. And you have underground hip hop fans dissing it, for the simple fact that it’s mainstream— not because what they’re doing is whack, or what they’re doing is not sincere.

Definitely, my parents are my biggest

What’s the game plan for the next album? You’re dealing with a lot of these issues about consciousness, and looking at some of the stuff with Iraq and Afghanistan. I remember you’ve spoken out against that, as well.

TK: Well, actually, this album is called Prisoner of Conscious precisely because it may not be as heavy-handed as some of my other work. I feel like people mislead themselves when they tell themselves they’re into me because of the lyrics. From my vantage point, people aren’t into me because of the content, because of the lyrics. Because there’s a million of rappers who have great content. Just because someone has great content doesn’t mean you like them as a rapper. I think people are into me because of my music choices and my musicality. particular, because we’re always beating our chest and shouting where we’re from—your city is just as influential as your parents. Even the grimy, hardcore gangster rap from New York—KRS-One and Wu Tang, the stuff acknowledges it. PDM: A lot of emcees are deejaying right now. Do you have anything to speak on that?

TK: Are you familiar with the mixtape I did with Z-Trip this summer? I did it with Z-Trip because I was like, I’m going to do a mixtape. To me, I still hear the word ‘mix’ in mixtape. I love making those mixtapes. I love it. I


think it was genius. But I wish that that was an album. I just got a new manager. He’s like, “So what do you want to do with the deejay thing?” I’m like, “The deejay thing for me is more my hobby.” It’s great when you can supplement your income, when you have a weekly or something, it’s fun. It’s really a hobby, because I don’t want it to take away from what I do, which is emceeing. And he’s like, Yo, I’m going to pluck you in with such-and-such’s company, Scam Artists, right? And I’m like, No! I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be booked for the same gigs as DJ Vice—I’m not trying to do that. I look at the deejay thing as a tier thing. If I’m not going to compete on that level, I’m

just going to do it as a hobby. I look at myself as more of a Q-Tip, D-Nice—well, D-Nice has actually transitioned into almost a top tier deejay— but I’m more like a Q-Tip/Questlove type of thing, where you’re coming to see me. Because I’ve made my name in hip hop, I have a luxury of people coming to see me whether I play for the crowd or not. I don’t take that lightly. I look at the deejay thing as something—I’m good at it because I have my own music. I have enough rhythm to blend at this point. I have enough rhythm to blend one song into another. But man, I have such respect for the art of deejaying. I hesitate to even call myself a deejay.

influences. My parents and my city. Brooklyn, New York, New York City, the community I grew up. I don’t feel

like I’m special in that. I feel like that’s everybody. I feel like your city—with hip hop in particular, because we’re

always beating our chest and shouting where we’re from—your city is just as influential as your parents.

You know, it’s hard to tell a fan that, especially a fan who’s mad at commercial radio. They’re like, “Nah, fuck you, I like you because you don’t talk that, you’re not on that bullshit.” Yeah, you think that, but you really like me because I’m a good rapper. Because if I was not on that bullshit and I was whack, you wouldn’t like me. I gotta be dope first. I gotta be appealing to your senses, and to what you like first. Then the message happens. Then you relate to the message.

TK: Sure. Hip hop is at its essence a folk music, because it speaks the language that people are still speaking at ground zero, it speaks the language that people speak on the streets. By the time you get into other kinds of music—R&B, country, or whatever—it becomes something that’s romantic. It becomes something unattainable. Neverending undying love. And in hip hop, we’re still taking direct inspiration.

With Prisoner of Conscious, the focus was— I’ve worked with Madlib, High Tech, Kanye West, J Dilla. I feel like I’ve worked with some of the greatest of all time. That’s been overlooked. That’s been overshadowed by

As far as my New York influence, one thing I’m proud of in my career is, I rep Brooklyn, New York all day. But people don’t look at my music as New York music. People consider my music underground music. They

PDM: We love what you’re up to.


Interviews: maranda Pleasant

Sarah Jaffe


questions Sarah Jaffe kicked off 2013 with the premiere of her latest single “Mannequin Woman.” 2013 will see Jaffe contributing her talents to Disney/Pixar’s forthcoming short The Blue Umbrella. Scheduled to hit theatres in June of this year, the short is to be paired with Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, the prequel to 2001’s classic Monsters Inc. With the release of her latest full-length The Body Wins in April, Sarah Jaffe won critical acclaim everywhere from The New York Times to Elle.

Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you?

Sarah Jaffe: My family. MP: What makes you vulnerable?

SJ: Most social situations. MP: What makes you come alive?

SJ: Dancing to a really good song. MP: What projects are you passionate about right now?

SJ: Been writing for some really great artists. So I’m enjoying taking a break from my own writing but still using that part of my brain.

Kina Grannis In 2007, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Kina Grannis made a music video and joined YouTube. A few months later, her video for “Message From Your Heart” aired during the Super Bowl and Kina walked away with a record deal. In the true indie form that Kina has become famous for, she forfeited the record deal and self-release Stairwells in 2010, debuting on Billboard’s Top 200, #2 on its New Artist Chart, and #5 on iTunes’ Pop Chart. Today, Kina is one of the most subscribed-to artists on YouTube with more than 550k subscribers and 105 million cumulative views. Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you?

Kina Grannis: Just about everything, but the most prominent sources for inspiration would probably be nature, people, dreams, and music. All my experiences and everything that moves me plays a part--it goes through me and into the music. MP: What makes you vulnerable?

KG: Realizing that I’m basically singing my diary out loud to a bunch of strangers. When I think too much about that, it can definitely get a little overwhelming. At the end of the Photo of Sarah Jaffe: Michael A. Muller 50 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

day, though, my goal is to connect with people and give them something, and if me feeling a little vulnerable makes that possible, I can deal with that.

to help people get healthy and feel good

KG: I’m still figuring that out. I’ve always been the kind of person to bottle things up and try to cope with it on my own, but the more I live, the more I’ve learned that it really helps to get that out of your body. For me, music is a big source for taking pain and turning it into something meaningful. It often times helps me sort things out. Oh, and I cry--sometimes it feels really necessary to have a good cry. I do my best to not get eaten alive by pain, though—I try to keep hope and love pumping through my life to balance things out.

KG: Right now I’m passionate about two projects--Run Team Kina and making my new album. Run Team Kina is a project I started

INterview: Richard Cadena

He has the DNA of rock and roll royalty, but a middle class upbringing. Devon Allman was raised mostly in Texas by his single mother, Shelley, and until he was seventeen years old, his famous father was nothing more than an old 5”x7” framed photograph that he kept on his dresser. But there’s no mistaking his genetics. Although his looks favor his uncle Duane, his soulful voice is more reminiscent of his father, Greg Allman. Yet Devon is decidedly his own brand: part blazing vocals, part songwriter/story teller, and part stinging guitar licks.

“It’s been really interesting. As a band, we’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, but to kind of keep the real stuff rolling.” Regarding the varied influences of the members of Southern Royal Comfort: “There clearly is this Texas rock, and country, and blues, R&B, reggae, and funk. There’s a little bit of everything. But it’s all tied together by everybody’s individual voicing.”

MP: What makes you come alive?

MP: What projects are you passionate about right now?

Royalty Meets Brotherhood

Devon now lives in St. Louis, where, a few years ago, he assembled a band called Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, before joining Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers and Mike Zito in a band called Royal Southern Brotherhood. RSB released the album Royal Southern Brotherhood in May 2012 and have been touring almost nonstop ever since. Devon’s solo album was released on February 12, 2013, which was produced by the legendary Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Santana, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, et al.). Here are some excerpts from a recent interview.

MP: What do you do with pain?

KG: Connecting with people. It’s a strange thing because I’ve always been somewhat shy. Throughout my life I’ve had a decent amount of anxiety about being social, let alone getting up on a stage in front of people, but when I can genuinely connect with other humans, there is no better feeling in the world. It’s a reminder to me that we’re all the same—we all feel the same emotions and we’re all in this life thing together.

devon allman

about themselves, as well as raise money and awareness for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I’m so passionate about it. For one, because I get to connect with people; and two, my mom was diagnosed with a blood cancer many years ago. It’s always been a cause that is near to my heart. As for my new album, it’s been a really long time since I’ve been able to create and grow musically, so I’m having a great time rediscovering that part of myself. I ended up promoting and touring my last album, Stairwells, for almost three years, so it’s really exciting to be working on something new. I have high hopes that I’m going to create a really special album to share with everyone. sarahjaffe.com kinagrannis.com

About growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, and moving away at age eleven: “I came back every single summer until I was twenty,” he adds. “So I’m pretty in touch with that whole early ZZ Top thing, and Mike Zito, the other guitar player in the band, is definitely in touch with that.” About St. Louis, where he currently resides: “St. Louis has a really rich history, musically. Miles Davis is from here, and Tina Turner, Chuck Berry...It’s got a really vibrant blues scene. There’s a neighborhood downtown called Soulard [pronounced Soo’lard]. You can walk through the doors of any one of them and see the blues. It’s cool to come home and go check out music.” When asked if he is a spiritual person:

“Absolutely. One thousand percent...through relationships, through music, through just literally walking through life and going, “Wow, I really feel connected to the universe today.” It took me a while to figure out the difference between religion and spirituality. Religion is a group of people’s connection to a higher power, and spirituality is an individual’s connection with a higher power. Religion just seems like a big shut door to me. The spiritual world seems wide-ass open. [laughs] And that’s how I would rather live life and teach [Orion, his preteen son].” About his first solo album, Turquiose, released in February 2013: “It’s the record I always wanted to make, and I got one of the best producers in the world to produce it, Jim Gaines. He produced Santana, Huey Lewis and the News’s big records. He’s in the twilight of his career, but so many times when people are in their twilight, they’re at their best. I feel so honored that I did a record with him.” Devon Allman can be found on Facebook and in the iTunes Store. thetribalcommunity.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 51

O v e r

Left: Yashuhiro in his workshop. Above (L to R): Sake aging, Master sake Brewer, Matcha Powder at the tea factory. Below: morning in the Rock Garden


“Tradition is dead in Japan,” Mariko whispers over a steaming bowl of ramen. For the kimono maker, this is not a protest or resignation. It is simple fact. For her, a woman who came of age in the 1980s, old Japan was lost after the war and will never return. This puts her boyfriend, Eric Chevalier, in an interesting position. He left his native France to live and work in Sakai City, where he is the apprentice and heir apparent to the Sasuke dynasty of metalworkers. If he takes hold of the reins, Chevalier would be the sixth master at Sasuke, and the first of European blood. Chevalier’s master, Yasuhiro Hirakawa—a sixty-two-year old officially designated a living national treasure by the Japanese government—says that Chevalier has what it takes to carry on the old traditions.

C u p

Industries like knife making and tea farming have been self-contained for over 1,000 years. Ever since Japan opened its doors to the world, people have marveled at the quiet refinements of its master craftsmen. Their abilities are legendary, but not innate. Each Japanese apprentice must be guided by his or her master. In this way, a delicate thread runs through each dynasty. It only takes one apathetic generation and the thread comes loose, condemning centuries of knowledge to oblivion.


Katsu have given the Momotaro dynasty the know-how and machinery to produce a range of attractive options from ready made-jeans to hand-dyed indigo jeans woven on an antique wooden loom. Master Ushida, Katsu’s head technician, lovingly tunes the old looms as if they were a concert piano. Once he strikes the right chord, the fabric will build into an pristine sheet of raw denim, with its distinctive red and white selvedge. His apprentice stands by as Ushida recalls his formative years. “We

could not ask questions...only watch, until the machine worked.” A watchful eye like Usihda’s had always been an apprentice’s best tool, since it was forbidden to ask questions. In that way, the only path to knowledge was careful observation. Master craftsmanship is the story of Japan, and in many ways reflects the way that Japanese society sees itself. Bamboo craftsman Mikisan explains that we cannot see the history of

Over bottomless cups of tea, masters and apprentices share their stories and reflections. Breathing the same air and working side by side for at least ten years, they share more than just techniques. Following this lengthy and ancient education, the apprentice will remain under the guidance of the master until the elder craftsman retires, at which point the former student will take full advantage of the master’s counsel. When the master dies, his tea cup is placed on the ancestral altar and the one-time apprentice will stand alone.

[ J A P A n ] Adam Marelli

The work of a craftsman is not glamorous, but there are advantages to the skills acquired across the centuries. Momotaro Jeans Katsu Manabe’s family has over 150 years of fabricmaking experience, all of which had been sustained by the insular Japanese market. Yet global opportunities have presented themselves to Momotaro. The recent explosion of highend denim, with some pairs of jeans selling for $2,000, now represents 20% of Katsu’s business. The four generations that preceded ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 53

PATANG Director: Prashant Bhargava As we are inundated with stories of conflict, violence, and natural disaster, I set out to make a film that presented a brighter side. Rebellious in process and form, Patang celebrates the resilience of family and community, and encourages us as an audience to return to our own happiness. Patang is an anthem of the city of Ahmedabad and the power of celebration. The seeds for the movie Patang were based on the memories of my uncles dueling kites. In India, kite-flying transcends boundaries. Rich or poor, Hindu or Muslim, young or old—together they look towards the sky with wonder, thoughts and doubts forgotten. Kite-flying is meditation in its simplest form. In 2005, I visited Ahmedabad to experience their annual kite festival, the largest in India. When I first witnessed the entire city on their rooftops, staring up at the sky, their kites dueling ferociously and dancing without inhibition, I knew I had to make this film in Ahmedabad.

Above Left: Miki-San’s Tools. Right: KaiKodo with Tea Caddy. Below Right: Uji Harvest

bamboo without the history of Japan. Miki-san, generously inviting his guests to tea in his great-grandfather’s anteroom, shares his philosophy of the world through the metaphor of a bamboo lattice: “Society is connected at the roots, our ancestors roots. These are unseen. From the forest floor, bamboo grows up and looks like we do on the streets of Kyoto. But when it hits the sky, the shoots support each other, so intertwined that the canopy is as green as this tea.”

shooting as actors themselves, quietly dancing between the actors’ performances.

On that afternoon, Miki-san points out a bamboo flower in his garden, a blossom which scientists say only emerge once every one hundred years. Somewhere between mystery and miracle, the tea with Miki-san provides a sobering moment of clarity. The tea estates of the Uji region lie forty-five minutes by train from Kyoto. Famed throughout Japan as the provider of ceremonial tea, Uji’s Ippodo produces one of the finest powdered matcha teas in Japan. Not all tea drinkers find themselves on tatami mats drinking matcha in traditional ceremonies, though: Ryozo Koyama—in charge of Ippodo’s daily operations—says he takes tea with his wife at a table just like everyone else. Traditions in Japan can be surprisingly elastic. Standing in front of the steaming machines which dry out the leaves, Ryozo explains that, “Technology can be useful, but only if it serves the tea. The final product cannot be of any lesser quality because of production.” Yet in the fields and warehouses, generations of father and son and husband and wife still pick, dry, and grind the teas. Each tea estate in Uji will yield three harvests a year. The very best leaves are fed into granite plates and then ground into a fine powder. As a result, a fragrant electric green tea dust coats the grinding rooms. Once the matcha is processed, it is quickly sealed and sent off for sale. Ryozo does not have an ideal client. He says, “It does not matter what clothes you wear or if you have a tea room. If you want to study the history of tea you can, but usually this is a small percentage of people. “ Regardless of customer, no detail is overlooked when it comes to traditional teas. Inside the studio of Kaikodo, Takahiro Yagi maintains a close relationship with his friends and clients at Ippodo. The two dynasties form an interlocking Zen riddle, because without the other, their products are of no use. For over 160 years, Yagi’s family developed an airtight case for tea that doesn’t rely on the aid of mechanical fasteners or rubber gaskets. They are only able to produce sixty cases a 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

I found myself discovering stories within Ahmedabad’s old city that intrigued me. Fractured relationships, property disputes, the meaning of home, and the spirit of celebration were recurring themes. Patang’s joyful message and its cinematic magic developed organically. My desire was for the sense of poetry and aesthetics to be less of an imposed perspective and more of a view that emerged from the pride of the people and place.

Technology can be useful, but only if it serves the tea. The final product cannot be of any lesser quality because of production. week, with a four-month-long waiting list. In spite of more general economic conditions, there is always a market for highly specialized goods of outstanding quality. From tea to knives, Japan continues to set itself apart from imitators that can’t maintain the right combination between heritage, patience, and skill. On an pleasant fall morning, Zen monk Takahiro Kawakami fixed the rock garden. The wind shook orange leaves off of the trees, which gently fell onto the concentric rings of the rocks below. Kawakami needed to clear the garden before the temple opened at nine o’clock. He laughed that mastery never looks as impressive in person, and powers up an electric leaf blower to help him with the task. Once the rocks are once again in order, we share another cup of tea before meditation begins. In a temple, fourteen generations old, it becomes clear that Mariko the kimono maker’s claims are partially true: old Japan is changing. Even the Zen monastery is adapting to its new life of cell phones and power tools. But still Kawakami smiles. The principles of tradition remain, waiting patiently for discovery inside a cup of tea.

Inspired by the spiritual energy of the festival, I returned the next three years, slowly immersing myself in the ways of the old city. I became acquainted with its unwritten codes of conduct, its rhythms and secrets. I would sit on a street corner for hours at a stretch and just observe. Over time, I connected with shopkeepers and street kids, gangsters and grandmothers. This process formed the foundation for my characters and story, and my approach to shooting the film. Shot on location with a cast of both non-actors and professionals, I encouraged my cast and crew to live together and fully immerse themselves in the surrounding community. Preserving the naturalism of the environment guided every decision, from shooting style to crew size to the process with the actors. I had the cast improvise, shooting in long takes. With the cameras rolling, I would whisper objectives to them. Rooftop sequences were created with a group of friends, non-actors who had been flying kites together for thirty years. Renowned actor Seema Biswas co-hosted these celebrations in character, actively helping to prepare meals. Director of Photography Shanker Raman and I shot simultaneously with two small HD cameras. Both would approach

Seven years in the making, Patang has been a journey which has inspired and brought together many. The key theme of resilience of family is reflected by the bonds between all of us who gave our hearts to make the film—beyond the tragic objectification of the west of India and the escapist cinema of Bollywood. ABOUT THE DIRECTOR Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Bhargava’s interest in the arts began as a graffiti artist. Bhargava studied computer science at Cornell University and theatrical directing at the Barrow Group and at the Actors Studio MFA program. Bhargava’s feature length directorial debut, Patang (The Kite), currently in theaters, weaves the stories of six people during India’s largest kite festival. Bhargava’s short film Sangam premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and received awards at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, and Short Shorts Asia. Bhargava’s latest collaboration with Grammy-nominated musician Vijay Iyer, a film with live orchestral music, is entitled Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi. Based on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the film is a journey of sexual desire and primal devotion during the vibrant celebration of Holi in Mathura, India. patang.tv ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 55

Top Creatives tell us what they do

and why they do it.

Mie Iwatsuki New York. Curator.

I am an art curator and I have modeled for many artists over time, even for such masters as Alex Katz and Robert Frank. My written anecdotes are about the human experience of the model and connecting with the artist to create an artwork. Last year, Nick Lawrence and I co-curated an exhibition at his gallery, “MIE: A Portrait by 35 Artists.” Some of the proceeds of the sale of the artworks were donated to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. I want my conversation, Model Voice, to share the romantic inspiration of the model. I am currently curating Part Two of the exhibition. COCOANEWYORK.COM

Beth Swanström

Michelle Ghilotti

My passion to bring emerging artists’ work to the mainstream motivated me to create ArtScout®, an online arts media venue, and its complementary SoHo-based Galerie Swanström, to curate exhibits which include meticulously engineered, interactive, kinetic steel sculpture; conceptual photography; and paintings that express themes ranging from meditative clarity to bold statement—art that defines global issues. ArtScout® is widening the lens into the world of art and design!

I create because it makes me feel alive. Creating helps me express on the outside the way I feel on the inside. And, to me, this is being in alignment. I support women entrepreneurs in making happiness their business by gaining clarity on andcreating the brand they know themselves to be. In helping women get clear on their purpose, we create an ecstatic authentic brand that fully expresses who they are and what they stand for. No apologies.

New York City. Gallerist.


Rob Gorski

New York City. Founder. Rabbit Island. In 2010, I purchased a ninety-acre wilderness island on Craigslist and turned it into an artist residency, nature preserve, and symbol of the intersection of creation, consumption, and conservation. With this project, I hope to influence the culture by defining and exhibiting intelligent principles related to land use, externality, art, science, design, architecture, food, mapping, crowdsourcing, and commerce. I want to continue collaborating with artists and examining the ethics of the creative class in society. rabbit-island.org photo: Nicolas Lemery Nantel/salokin.com


Los Angeles. Owner. Branding Expert.

Bill Bragin


New York City. Director of Public Programming. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In junior high, I’d have friends over so I could play them my favorite records, a habit I now jokingly refer to as “imposing my taste on others.” I’ve made that my career—seeking to share new artistic experiences that move me, that cause me to see the world in new ways. I’m also especially interested in how shared artistic experiences can create community—for the long term or even just for the length of the show. Photo: © Arnold Browne/ BymshaBrowne Photos

David Scott Holloway Logan Mock-Bunting Photographer.

My goal is to change people’s perceptions about their access and ability to connect with the water. I want the viewer to be inspired and comfortable in the water, respectful of this divine resource. I don’t believe that “humans” and “nature” exist on different planes. Too many people construct false walls between themselves and nature, thinking “environment” is a phenomenon to be conquered, a puzzle to be solved. Many people think of oceans as stopping points or opportunities for exploitation. I want to show they are actually portals to a connected world.

Atlanta. Photojournalist. CNN. Turner Broadcasting. Curiosity has always driven me. Coming to know photography was like discovering a skeleton key that opened doors to places and people I didn’t know existed. I try not to define myself with photography, but it has been the vehicle that has taken me to the most interesting places and introduced me to the most inspiring people. davidscottholloway.com



Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong New York City. Artist/chitect.

Erica Berger

David Holbrooke

I work at the intersection of journalism, international issues, and technology. Watching how an important story is captured, disseminated to the right people and decision makers, and subsequently impacts our world is what keeps me excited each and every day. At the same time, I like to convene great people to help my local New York City community, fellow Americans, and all global citizens and the environment. It may sound cliché, but bringing people and stories together inspires me!

I create because I think the world is a mess and believe the best way out of this mess is to use storytelling to tell a new narrative of who we are and what we can be. As Festival Director at Mountainfilm in Telluride, I can find the best storytellers out there. These are men and women who are telling the most important stories of our time. I get to give them a platform to find an audience who will be deeply impacted by the films they bring to the festival.



Brooklyn. Director of Partnerships. Storyful.

I took my first transatlantic journey when I was two months old—traveling piqued my curiosity of different places early on. I make spaces, working in the intersection between art and architecture. I’m fascinated by the way we use and inhabit different spaces. My art explores spatial interventions to create new experiences. Food and architecture collide in a series I call “Gastronomic Architectural Performances.” Environment and social dynamics change throughout the dining space over the course of an evening— and there are always surprises!

Telluride. Festival Director. Mountainfilm.

cw-zw.com PHOTO: Melissa Tapper-Goldman

Jonathan Block

New York City. Kansas City. Founder. CEO. TheHub.fm. After thirty-two years in the music business and eight years in mobile technology, I found myself wanting to create an innovation that solves obvious inconsistencies in the music industry. My new startup, TheHub. fm, provides an easy means for all bands to sell more music while at the same time improving the overall fan experience. As our community loses value for culture in a free download digital area, this new platform is focused on uniting the elements of merchandising, music sales, and live shows. thehub.fm

Photo: Ashley N. Stefan

Photo: Destin Layne

Top Creatives

Susannah Tantemsapya

Los Angeles. Founder. Creative Migration. Director. POST NEW BILLS.

Nikhil Goyal

Deena Rosen

Hilary White

Washington, D.C. Director of User Experience. Opower.

Creative Director. Creative Migration. Producer. POST NEW BILLS.

I’m the author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School. I’m also a contributing writer for MSNBC, The Globe and Mail, NPR, and Forbes. In 2013, I was named in Forbes 30 Under 30: Education. As an international speaker, I’ve spoken at NBC, Dell, Fast Company, M.I.T., and others. My mission is to revolutionize education in America and disrupt industries. I want to create social change and reinvent our institutions.

I design products that nudge people to use less energy. What we do at Opower is simple: give people energy reports with well-designed information to motivate better decisions. Our secret sauce is behavioral science, and we incorporate predictions of human behavior into our product design. So far we’ve helped people around the world save 2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, and we’re just getting started. Using design as a weapon to fight climate change is a dream job for any designer.

Our goal is to explore social problems, find creative solutions through innovations in multimedia, and have an expansive dialogue with our audience. We focus on and implement sustainable practices. Our short documentary, POST NEW BILLS: The Story of Green Patriot Posters, with Shepard Fairey, DJ Spooky, and others, was part of an international sustainable filmmaking initiative called Project Green. To us, imagination is the most renewable form of energy humans have. Next we’ll look at sustainability on all seven continents.



Woodbury. Author. Speaker.

Photo: Garrett Miller


creativemigration.org Photo: André Pienaar

Marina Markovic New York. Visual artist.

Creating art has been my lifelong compulsion. It seems certain I was born with it. And then, occasionally, I almost died from it. Central to the work are acts of violation upon the body—enjoyment in deprivation, the obsession to control such a complex and impulsive system in socially resistant environment. My plight with anorexia is paying candy pink tribute to the themes of maturing, sexuality, and death, alongside consumption in the contexts of food, body image, media ideology, and its products. marinamarkovic.com


John R. Eperjesi

Dusty Wright

Seoul. Mountain Diplomacy.

New York. Content Creator. Culture Curator. I create because I truly enjoy the process of expression. Whether it’s writing a new song, producing content on Culture Catch, or directing a new web series, I’m sharing something that I feel may inspire someone else. Some days I feel gravid with ideas; other days I loathe to write a single word or connect any creative synapses. I can find artistic inspiration simply by watching, listening, or reading something. I believe that I’m basically a conduit to the creative energy around me. It’s really up to me to harness it and share it. What others do it with it, is completely up to them. CultureCatch.com DustyWright.com MrGrayShow.com

I am working on a new book—tentatively entitled “Mountain Diplomacy”— about the sacred mountain culture of Korea. The Baekdu Daegan is a continuous mountain system that begins in North Korea and winds 1,400 kilometers south to the tip of the Korean peninsula. Understanding the cultural, religious, and ecological importance of the Baekdu Daegan can help heal the trauma caused the Korean War and the division of the peninsula. “Mountain Diplomacy” helps imagine narratives of connection and compassion between ordinary people on opposite sides of the demilitarized zone. www.huffingtonpost.com/john-r-eperjesi/ Photo: Najhin

Ricardo Paniagua Creative Human.

Brian August

Brooklyn. Chief Marketing Officer. Lionshare Media. I create because it is the single activity that makes me feel most human, relevant and valuable. I conceive immersive media mobile applications using augmented reality (AR) that enable people to connect with and understand the world around them. My focus is on iconic architecture, real estate, and smart cities. I also created 110 Stories, a mobile app that uses AR to place a silhouette of the Twin Towers back into the NYC skyline—take a photo and share your story.

Christian Keiber

New York City. Actor. Screenwriter. Producer. I believe a true artist must create throughout their lives. I thrive on the challenge of portraying characters to which people relate at their deepest levels. The characters I create may make a person feel joy or sorrow, but my ultimate goal is to make them feel something real that changes or reinforces their unique point of view of the world. An artist that continually creates is successful and the artist’s creative journey is the greatest reward.

Stephen R. Bateman Eau Claire. Sculptor. Creator.

The work I create is an embodiment of itself. I pose myself with the challenge to bring new life and presence to the discarded. The work connects on an emotional level by relating pieces of our past to our individual experiences of our present. Over time the work becomes it’s own myth. I gravitate toward the deliberate approach of metal and recycled materials. Compassion for the individual to be understood, as well as fearless creation, are my motivations.

Why do I make art? One Sunday after church I picked up a book in the church library. It was called A Tree Full of Angels. The book described artists to be like poets and saints. “People who have visions from God.” Having seen a giant angel manifest in this world several years prior to that, as well as having visions in my unconscious state, I threw away all the notions that artists are crazy and cut off their ears, and decided to make art more often without the fear of having a negative stereotype potentially associated with me.

Top Creatives

Derek Beres

Los Angeles. Words/Beats/Postures. Human beings are storytelling creatures—if there were no stories, we’d invent one. In my work—with EarthRise SoundSystem, EarthRise Yoga, and the books I’ve written—I use metaphor as a creative tool to propel our imaginations forward, yet never confuse what’s imagined with the real work we need to do, politically and socially, cultivating a constant awareness of presence.


Destin Joy Layne

Program Director. GRACE Communications Foundation. Food connects us. The intersections between technology and sustainable food inspire me. As Director of GRACE’s Food Program and its projects, Sustainable Table, Eat Well Guide, and The Meatrix films, I focus on creating unique partnerships, communication tools, and collaborations. Our latest event, Hack/Meat NYC, kick-started a national dialogue on sustainable meat. In just one weekend, we transformed collective ideas into actionable tools for a healthier future. gracelinks.org/food

sbatemanart.com CreativeAlleyProductions.com



Top Creatives Candy Chang


It’s been a powerful year for Minneapolis native emcee Dessa, the only female member of eight-piece rap group Doomtree, a group so popular in the Twin Cities that mayor R.T. Bryback honored it with its own calendar day. In Dessa’s own words, rapping is “the skilled delivery of a full impression in a short sequence of words,” and the former spoken-word poet has been busy channeling her honed voice towards education and activism. She’s spoken at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Minneapolis’s Kennedy Center, participated in an interactive panel hosted by Soledad O’Brien, and regularly writes as a newspaper columnist and blogger. Catch Dessa tearing up the crowd with Doomtree at SXSW 2013.

New Orleans. Artist. Urban planner.

Ginger & the Ghost Musicians. Artists.

The Ghost: Yeah! I have a vision! I’m an Articulturalist! Planting the seeds of positive art wherever I go. I want people to nurture their senses and grow. To expand their creativity and ultimately, be inspired. I like the idea of making it easy for people to connect. An artistic path of least resistance driven by an optimistic aesthetic.

Interview: Anya Khalamayzer

I make public spaces more communal and contemplative through public art. There are a lot of ways the people around us can help improve our lives. At their greatest, our public spaces can nourish our well-being and help us see we are not alone in our struggles towards leading personally meaningful lives. With more ways to share, the people around us can not only help us make better places, they can help us become our best selves.

Anya Khalamayzer: How do you develop the curriculum for the master classes you teach at McNally Smith College of Music and at the Institute of Production and Recording?

Dessa: I try to identify skills that could be mastered and implemented quickly, that could make an appreciable difference in a young artist’s career—for example, the ability to write a compelling press release. I also encourage them to make friends or partnerships with photographers or videographers, because that trifecta can save a lot of money while making more art. Budding videographers wanting to make a music video for a class project often have difficulty getting permission from musicians to use their work. If they have a musician they regularly work with, they can ask to make a video for that artist, and the musician knows that they will have a promotion piece. There are ways to establish an artistic career through a cohort of talent-sharing that isn’t immediately instinctive for a lot of new artists.

candychang.com Photo: Kristina Kassem

Ginger: It’s a funny thing, vision: I think of all the pressure that word creates and then it hits me. VISION = DRIVE. VISION = INFINITE. VISION = ENERGY. VISION = POSSIBILITIES. My urgency to create comes constantly. Prolific combustion comes in spells through my voice and the fantasy objects and spaces I make. This project is the love child of our disciplines united. My vision is to acknowledge ideas and ignite new thoughts.

AK: You received the AWARE Award for promoting gender equality. Do you think that musicians have a responsibility to promote social change?

David Hobbs

D: I don’t think that musicians have any special moral responsibility because their vocation is more publicly visible than others. However, I don’t think that musicians are excused from the moral obligations that other people have by virtue of being a musician. If you’re modeling behavior that clearly has a detrimental effect on underage consumers, then there’s cause to reexamine your choices. But that would be true of a rapper, a plumber, a teacher, or a carpenter. “Don’t fuck shit up” is a rule that I don’t think any of us can become famous enough to escape. I think it’s not too much to ask of each generation as they leave their impression on the world.

Dallas. Owner. The Art Menu. Growing up in a creative family, I witness firsthand the mind-blowing art created in our own backyards— which never gets seen, because artists do not have a platform to showcase their work. I started The Art Menu specifically to highlight independent artists: sharing their work, stories, and creativity on a worldwide scale. Growing with the changing art market, rather than resisting it, we are a fullservice online gallery and art consulting company. Point, click, curate.

William Etundi Jr New York City. CEO. See.Me.

My mission is to enable and inspire the creative expression in others. There is magic in the moment when someone takes the risk of exposing their beauty and vulnerability to the world. I’ve seen it change lives. It’s an honor to be a part of that process.

AK: You worked with the independent “The Elixery” line to create a cruelty-free lipstick with proceeds going towards empowering women in developing countries. What do you think of using a symbol of feminine beauty to promote female strength?


D: I don’t, really. I think that often beauty is too conflated with strength. We don’t get our strength and intelligence from our beauty. That said, I still like to wear lipstick. We’re young and beautiful for a short part of our lives. It makes sense to enjoy that part, but it doesn’t make sense to elevate that part of us to a height where I take it for my identity.

theartmenu.com Photo: Lauren Silberman Photo: Robyn Hobbs Photography

photos: Kai Benson (upper). Elli Rader (Lower) 62 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

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Maranda Pleasant Boulder. Editor-in-Chief/Ninja

Inspired by those who are starkly bold and painfully vulnerable. True connection. Expansive collaboration. Nature. Strong Women. Color. Silence. AcroYoga. A long run and a good climb. Art. Neon. Breaking open. The Jefferson’s theme song. Films with subtitles.

Origin TEAM We always ask people, “What inspires you?,” so now we decided to come clean and tell you what inspires us...

Paul D. Miller/ DJ Spooky NYC. Executive Editor.

Zoë Kors

Los Angeles. Associate Editor + Design Director. Radical honesty and the unrelenting pursuit of truth and enlightenment as described by Alan Watts. A perfectly ripe peach. Moist peaty dirt. Ice cold potato vodka. Just about any Led Zeppelin song.

I’m inspired by these things in no particular order: quantum physics, Antarctica, Moore’s Law of Computing, interstellar ice storms, time travel, and the unrelenting sense that the world can and should be a better place. Plus, my mom.


Ocean Pleasant Global Youth Editor.

Melanie Jane Parker Brooklyn. Assistant Editor.

Joe Strummer said that “punk rock means exemplary manners to your fellow human being.” I am grateful for my relationships and all the opportunities therein to practice radical love, compassion, patience, and forgiveness.

I strive to instigate positive change wherever I go; my passions are traveling, natural medicine, blogging, and filmmaking. My goal is to actively engage myself and others in the breaking of old molds, shifting the planet through service.

Laura King

Dallas. Assistant Editor. Lion Tamer.

Andrew Currie Boulder. National Eco Editor.

Hiking in the forest. Nature. Admiring the landscape below my airplane window. Making a difference. The Power of love. Improvising guitar. Music by gifted artists. Talking with amazing people. Wine. Dancing. Travel. Laughing with friends.

I’m inspired by: my daughter, my determined mother, my fierce husband, nature, obstacles that force me to fight, my students who force me to soften, the incredible stories in our magazine, and the crazy lion.

Griffin Byatt Austin. Social Media Guru.

Gina G. Murdock Aspen. International Editor.

The natural beauty of the earth, our bodies, our spirits—these inspire me forever. We are so much better than what we are behaving as a species. I know this. Let us evolve towards peace, justice, equality—NOW! Love is MY Origin!


I’m inspired by film and literature, and its unique ability to highlight our greatest hopes and fears.

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P R E - O R D E R B E I N G O F P O W E R T O D AY Being of Power is about enabling you to live as that expanded you – the self-actualized you, the you that you know deep down is within. Actually being of power allows you to consciously choose your response to how life, people, and events show up. You'll take responsibility for your thoughts and actions and the impact you have on your reality. You can either be like a leaf in the wind- reacting to all of your experiences from a place "Why is this happening to me?" "Why are they doing this to me?" and even "Why does life keep showing up for me like this?" - or you can respond from a deeper reservoir of your essential self and trust that you do have a say in the matter.

"What lies ahead is the possibility of fresh pathways and a whole new kind of power to light up yourself, your life, and your entire world."






Maranda Pleasant: You are one of the top female climbers in the world.

Sasha DiGiulian: I’m currently ranked #1 in the world for outdoor sport climbing, and I won the World Championships in 2011. This year I missed the World Championships due to a finger injury. I ruptured the A2 pulley in my left ring finger. MP: What is it that inspires you?

SDiG: I’m most inspired by being outside and pushing my limits in the company of friends. With climbing, it’s really cool because it’s a complete input-output system, where the amount of both physical and mental perseverance that you put forward towards achieving a goal is the amount of satisfaction and achievement that you’re going to get in your personal and actual performance on rock, and in competition. MP: Is it fear or excitement?

SDiG: I’m generally not in fear of what I’m doing. I’m more excited and more moved by the experience as a whole. I think that climbing is very cathartic. You get into this other realm of existence where it’s just you and the movement in front of you, which is really unique. I’ve only experienced it—I don’t know if in any other sports I’ve experienced it, actually—where you’re only thinking about the present sequence and what you’re doing on the rock. You’re not thinking about these exterior thoughts of like, What am I going to do tonight after I’m finished climbing?, or thinking about drama in your life. Everything else fades away and you’re just solely existing in the moment. MP: Is it like a meditation?

Sasha DiGiulian World’s #1 Female Sports Climber Interview: Maranda Pleasant Photos: Keith Ladzinski

SDiG: I think that it is very meditative. I think that especially climbing outside on long routes, for me, is when I’m most in my zone of this sole existence with nature and rock and my movement. MP: Have you always loved being outside?

SDiG: I have. I currently live in New York City, so I’m also a city girl. But I can’t live without nature. MP: Did you really get a perfect score on your SATs?

SDiG: I don’t talk about it! MP: What is it that drives you?

SDiG: What pushes me most is that sense of satisfaction at the end. When you get to the top of a route that you’ve worked towards achieving, that sense of mind-numbing

disbelief—you have to pinch yourself to make sure that you’re not dreaming— that’s unparalleled to anything else that I’ve experienced in life. Whether it’s in a competition or when I get to the top of a climb outdoors, it’s that sense of pure joy that pushes me when I’m training and thinking, I don’t really feel like doing anything today. And then I think, But I could be one step closer towards achieving my goal, whatever that goal in that present era of my life is. MP: Outside of climbing, what’s your passion?

SDiG: I know this sounds totally cheesy but I really like being in school. I’m enjoying the intellectual stimulation of attending class and having this other realm in my life than just climbing. I’m going to Columbia University on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I like to run for cross-training but I don’t have that same passion for running as I do for climbing. And I’m interested in business and marketing, as well. MP: Are there any causes that you’re passionate about?

SDiG: I’m very passionate about this organization called Up To Us, which provides every child, every underprivileged child— ideally—with their right to play and partake in activity through sports. In reality, sports are enjoyable on a more material level. But also, there are so many studies that link physical activity with neurological activity. And the fact that being active and living a healthy lifestyle can actually augment academic performance—I think it entirely improves one’s lifestyle.

I think that climbing is very c a t h a r t i c . Yo u g e t into this other realm of existence w h e r e i t ’s j u s t y o u and the movement in front of you, which is really unique...Everything else fades away and you’re just solely existing in the moment.

photos: Keith Ladzinski 16 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


That’s not just coming from me because I like partaking in sports, because I enjoy them—I actually really believe that living a healthy, active lifestyle is the key to happiness and satisfaction. Living a healthy lifestyle, but also being an ambassador for Up To Us, currently makes me passionate. MP: How old were you when Adidas started sponsoring you?

SDiG: It was in June 2011 that I first started working with Adidas. Nineteen. MP: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

SDiG: I see myself still climbing. This year, the International Olympic Committee will make the decision of whether or not climbing will be part of the Olympics in 2020, so maybe in ten years I’ll have been to the Olympics.









...there are so many studies that link physical activity with neurological a c t i v i t y. A n d t h e f a c t t h a t being active and living a healthy lifestyle can actually augment academic performance—I think it e n t i r e l y i m p r o v e s o n e ’s lifestyle.



Maranda Pleasant: What is it that inspires you the most?

Jeremy Jones: I get a lot of inspiration from my surroundings, people I’m with. Mother Nature. It’s combination of everything and really wanting to live life to the fullest. I feel very fortunate to be healthy, so I try to take advantage of it. MP: What makes you feel most alive? When is it that you feel most alive?

JJ: What draws me to the type of snowboarding that I’m doing now is, I go through every emotion in life when I’m climbing these mountains. The fear. The anticipation before that. Getting to the top and the joy of standing on top, and then the adrenaline on going down, and then the kind of overwhelming emotions that I get at the bottom. That whole process is really addicting, and makes me feel alive. MP: What is it that makes you feel vulnerable?

JJ: I feel vulnerable on mountains. It’s an uncontrolled, raw environment. It’s very—it’s truly humbling. MP: How do you deal with pain?

JJ: Get outside. Generally, that’s the mountains, or maybe the ocean. But get out into nature, work it out.

Pro Snowboarder

jeremy jones interview: Maranda Pleasant

in front of us, and then we pass it on to the next generation. I don’t think we’ve done a great job with our responsibility to leave the earth a better place than what we were born into. MP: Is the snow not there at the levels that it used to be? How is it affecting your work?

JJ: Yes. I am very good at finding snow when there’s very little snow. From a day in, day out perspective, I’m fine. I see resorts that are closed because they no longer have snow. It’s not my home resort. There are signs all over the place. I’m very passionate about climate change, which is why I created Protect Our Winters. MP: What exactly is Protect Our Winters?

JJ: Protect Our Winters is this foundation I started in 2007, and it focuses on slowing down climate change by bringing the winter sports community together and having a strong voice to a make change. MP: You also have a film coming out.

JJ: It’s my second film. It was actually released. It’s focused on going to these places that no one’s ever snowboarded at, that we can’t get machines to. It’s all hiking, foot power. MP: What motivates you to do that?

MP: What causes are you behind?

MP: What is it about climate change? Are you seeing that when you’re on the mountains?

JJ: First and foremost, I’ve realized that I’ve been snowboarding for twenty-five years, and the biggest high that I get is when I really cut myself off from society, to really know the mountain. The high that I get from hiking up these mountains is a much bigger challenge than taking a helicopter to the top. I have to put more into it, but I get a lot more excitement out of it.

JJ: Absolutely. I’ve seen definitive change in the mountains. I have concerns for the future generation. We inherit the earth from the people

In the past people would say, “I can only do this world-class snowboarding if I have a helicopter.” Actually, if you’re committed to

JJ: Definitely climate change. Our society has got to evolve and create better ways of living.

I go through every emotion in life when

Humble. Freeriding. Adventure.

I’m climbing these

Snowboarder Jeremy Jones is known for his innovative

m o u n t a i n s . T h e f e a r.

and bold big mountain freeriding style, as well as for his

The anticipation before

courageous hikes into mountain wildernesses around the

that. Getting to the top and the joy of standing

world. In 2007, Jeremy began organizing winter sport comrades

on top, and then the

with his organization Protect Our Winters, which seeks

adrenaline on going down, and then the

to raise awareness about how climate change impacts

kind of overwhelming

cold-weather ecosystems. Further, the second installment of

emotions that I get at

h i s d o c u m e n t a r y t r i l o g y, w a s r e l e a s e d i n S e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 2 .

the bottom. Photos: Clark Fyans (left page). Dan Milner/O’Neill (This page)



I have concerns for the future generation. We inherit the earth from the people in front of us, and then we pass it on to the next generation. I don’t think we’ve done a great job with our responsibility to leave the earth a better place than what we were born into. it, willing to put a bunch of energy into it, then you can do it under your own power.



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And thirdly, in all aspects of my life, I try to reduce my impact on the earth—that includes snowboarding, as well. MP: You have your own line of snowboarding gear, Jones Snowboards.

JJ: I started it because I wasn’t getting the equipment that I wanted, specifically footboards, which are snowboards that turn into skis on a really different kind of mountain. I just got sick of trying to explain to these big companies that it was the next step in snowboarding. Decided it was time to go out on my own. MP: Is there anything else, any other projects?

JJ: I’m also trying to simplify my life, I guess that’s my latest project. Life’s a little bit too crazy for my liking right now. MP: You’re a dad, right?

JJ: Yeah, I have a family. The balancing act is challenging at times. I’m looking forward to—actually, I’m running out the door to go snowboard right now.

...The biggest high that I get is when I really cut myself off f r o m s o c i e t y, t o r e a l l y k n o w t h e mountain. The high that I get from hiking up these mountains is a much bigger challenge than taking a helicopter to the top. I have to put more into it, but I get a lot


more excitement out of it.

Photos: Dan Milner/O’Neil (upper left). RenRob/O’Neill (lower right).


protectourwinters.org | tetongravity.com



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Photos: Chris Barker

Where I get a lot of meaning out of life is through dedicating myself wholeheartedly to these climbs. They are very meaningful. There’s this meditative, spiritual side to it, absolutely. Being in these amazing places, it’s unavoidable to appreciate where we are.

Chris Sharma: I’m a rock climber. I really specialize in doing first ascents, and finding new routes outside, as opposed to doing competitions. I focus my energy on going out into nature and finding these new climbs. For me, it’s not just this athletic pursuit—it’s a really creative, artistic thing of finding these amazing formations out in nature, and mixing that with this high level of athleticism. That’s what’s so amazing about climbing—it’s not just a sport. It’s a lifestyle, it’s a way of being creative, of connecting with yourself and with nature. Maranda Pleasant: When did you fall in love with nature?

Chris Sharma happens once in a generation. As an unknown kid from Santa Cruz, he literally leapt past climbing’s older guard of calloused and revered journeymen (mostly European), and abruptly reinvented their sport by scaling the most daunting routes in ways no one had ever tried. Sixteen years later, Chris is an inspiration to anyone who has ever put a hand in a chalk bag. He leaves his mark by erasing old ones, dreaming up new ones, and placing them much, much higher.

CS: I started climbing when I was twelve, and maybe didn’t appreciate all the places I was going to so much. Until I had an injury. I had a bad knee injury when I was about seventeen. I wasn’t able to climb for about six months. It was kind of like a transformative time for me, because it was really hard for me not to be able to climb. It forced me to appreciate things without just climbing. I really learned to approach climbing not just with a pure athletic mentality, but also to appreciate all these beautiful places we get to go to. In particular, with climbing, we’re climbing on these surfaces that Mother Nature has created. We search out the most perfect pieces of rock. It’s so amazing that these formations are so perfect for climbing on. It’s almost as if they were created for climbing. You’re taking these random rock formations and you’re bringing to it this interaction. It transforms it from being this random rock into almost this piece of art. It’s almost like a sculpture or something. Just by finding the handholds, finding that line up the rock. Every climb is different, has its own unique set of movements and body positions. Climbing and my appreciation for nature are totally intertwined. Photos: Chris Barker


MP: Is it like a meditation for you?

CS: For sure. I have done a fair bit of meditation practice, but I think through climbing it’s definitely an easier way for me to tap into that mental state of being present and in the moment, very in tune with your body. But not in an intellectual way. Just really responding to the moment, where you don’t have time to think. You’re reacting and really flowing. Beyond that, it’s my life pursuit. Where I get a lot of meaning out of life is through dedicating myself wholeheartedly to these climbs. They are very meaningful. There’s this meditative, spiritual side to it, absolutely. Being in these amazing places, it’s unavoidable to appreciate where we are. MP: What causes are you passionate about?

CS: I’ve worked for years with the Access Fund, which is an organization that works on behalf of climbers to keep climbing areas open and to educate climbers about respecting nature. I started a foundation called the Sharma Fund, where we focus on bringing underprivileged youth outside to teach them rock climbing. Kids that normally wouldn’t have that opportunity, that live in cities. Climbing has transformed my life in so many ways. I’m really happy to have that opportunity to share that with younger people. I really believe in its transformative effects on our lives. That’s the thing about climbing—it’s not just a sport or a hobby. Most people that get into it, it really does transform their lives. It’s such a fun activity but the places where it takes you—it overtakes your life in a lot of ways. In a positive way. I feel like the more people that Interview courtesy of prAna ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 25

can get into it, the world will be a better place. At the same time, as climbers, we need to learn to be good stewards of the land and take care of these places where we are spending so much time. That’s another thing we’re seeing as climbing is getting so popular—the impact on those places is getting higher. It’s really important to follow that with education on how to treat nature. People that come from the cities don’t really know how to do that. Climbers, spending so much time in these places, it’s natural that you want to take care of those places, too. MP: What is your biggest passion outside of climbing?

CS: I love my girlfriend, my family, my friends. I think I’m a pretty creative person. I love building things. I love working on my house. Landscaping, stuff like that. Same thing as what I was saying about developing new rock climbs—I love finding something. For me it’s not just about the athletic challenge, it’s about finding new things. When I’m not doing that in climbing, it manifests itself in other ways. There’s the athletic side of it, but it is very much an artistic thing. MP: How do you cross-train for this


kind of extreme climbing?

CS: Mixing cement, I guess? I don’t train or cross-train, but like I said, I work on my house. I do a lot of work. I’m always building on my house. For me, it’s always been that climbing has been my training for climbing. Sometimes I’ll go for a run. Stretching, some yoga. But in general, climbing is this lifestyle activity that really works every muscle in your body. I don’t really do that much cross-training. MP: What do you attribute your longevity to?

CS: There’s moments of intense focus and discipline, but it’s never been externally imposed. When I’m inspired I get super motivated, and dedicate myself wholeheartedly to these projects. When I don’t feel that, I take time to let that inspiration come back. Climbing is this long term, lifelong journey. It’s really important to just take your time with it and keep it fun. I’ve seen a lot of people burn out because it starts becoming this job for them. It stops being fun. For me, it’s been really important to keep it enjoyable. Listen to your motivation. Most injuries happen when you’re not motivated, too, and you’re forcing yourself to do something. Your mind’s

not aligned with your body and you’re just going through the motions. That’s when you’re most likely to get injured. They kind of go hand-in-hand. Following your motivation, resting when you need to rest, and going for it when you feel inspired. I’m going to be climbing for my whole life. There’s so many things to explore in life, and if you don’t have that inspiration or motivation to do it, then don’t force yourself. Take that time to do whatever else you need to do. That inspiration or motivation will always come back and when it does, it’s always stronger. I’ve been climbing for almost twenty years now. I’m more inspired and more motivated. I feel stronger than I ever have. I feel like that’s worked up until now. Keep it fun. Don’t take it too seriously. At the same time, when you do feel inspired, take it seriously, too. There’s a balance. Time and place for everything.

I’m going to be climbing for my whole life. There’s so many things to

MP: Is your girlfriend a climber? Can you imagine not dating a climber?

explore in life, and if you don’t have that inspiration or motivation to do it,

CS: Circumstantially, right, we spend so much time doing that. So it comes in handy that we both love to do the same thing, for sure. She’s a really talented climber.

then don’t force yourself. Take that time to do whatever else you need to do. That inspiration or motivation will always come back and when it does, it’s always stronger.


S t e p h D av i s

Climber. Base Jumper. Wingsuit Pilot.

Interview: Maranda Pleasant Photos: Keith Ladzinski + mario richard

Maranda Pleasant: What is it that you do?

Steph Davis: I’m a climber, BASE jumper, and a wingsuit pilot. I’m an author—I have a second book coming out in April, called Learning to Fly. MP: There’s so much passion. Your sports are so adrenaline-filled. Is that fear or excitement?

SD: I don’t really do stuff in pursuit of adrenaline. That’s not my style. Obviously climbing, BASE jumping—you can do it that way. I do a lot of free soloing (that’s where you don’t have a rope). A lot of the mainstream imagery that you will see of base jumping, that’s kind of what’s being portrayed. It’s kind of like, yeah! But that’s not my style, that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m more trying to have very intense experiences, and figure out how to do these things in a way that’s actually enjoyable. Refined, where it’s not just about, oh, I survived it. It’s about, I did it very well and I felt good. There’s always going to be this play between fear when you’re doing these things, because it’s got high consequences. If you’re doing something very sloppy, kind of like, let’s just make this happen and live through it—then there could be a lot of fear happening there. But when you’re trying to be in control of the situation and do things with a certain style, it’s almost more like a feeling of intensity. For example, you’re standing at the edge of the cliff. Yes, you’re going to feel something. You’re not going to just be like, oh, ho-hum!

MP: You’re one of the best in the world at what you do.

SD: I’ve been climbing for twenty years, and so I’ve kind of been known as a climber for a long time. I started jumping six years ago, and progressed pretty rapidly because it became my new passion, this thing I was really excited about. I’ve been starting to combine the BASE jumping with the climbing. Sometimes free soloing with the jumping. There’s not many people doing that—I don’t think there’s other women doing it. So it’s this new direction that I’m pretty intrigued with. MP: What is it that really drives you?

SD: I think just curiosity! I’m a very curious person and I like learning things. There’s an interesting balance. There’s some people—my

Everybody has their landscape that they love. I like to be up high. I like that feeling. Whether it’s in the door of an airplane or on the top of a mountain. Even climbing, rock climbing—I like to go to the crags where you go way up the hill and then you’re overlooking. I like that. To look out and see everything. You’re never going to not feel something. MP: Do you feel like you have to push yourself off sometimes? Is there still the edge? I skydive but the edge never gets easier for me. Once I’m out, I’m great. But that’s the most frightening— I still cry.

SD: Oh, you do? Do you skydive a lot? MP: A lot. And I still cry. It doesn’t get better!

photos: Keith Ladzinski 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

SD: That’s awesome! That’s cool, you’re a jumper.

husband Mario is actually one of them. He really loves the new. Pioneering, always to be exploring. But then there’s kind of this other side which is refining. So it’s like this constant repetition, kind of like more of a Zen thing, where you keep repeating because you’re always searching for perfection. To me, what’s interesting about these things is that it mixes that—with climbing and with jumping, there’s a lot of frontiers, doing something you don’t know, that whole experience. But then there’s also this refining. You don’t get sick of that, ever.

And then the places! I like high places. I like to be in the mountains. MP: Do you have a special connection with nature?

SD: Yeah. Everybody has their landscape that they love. I like to be up high. I like that feeling. Whether it’s in the door of an airplane or on the top of a mountain. Even climbing, rock climbing—I like to go to the crags where you go way up the hill and then you’re overlooking. I like that. To look out and see everything. MP: What causes are you passionate about?

SD: I’m vegan. At first, it was in a quest for sports nutrition. Once you know, you can’t unknow. So I became vegan. I learned things. I wasn’t looking but I learned. I learned about factory farming, what they do to the animals. I was like, even if I climbed worse through this diet—which I don’t, I climb better—I would still be vegan! Because it’s not okay. I can’t support that. It’s terrible. The world we live in, you make your vote, you state your preference through where you put your money. That’s our culture, that’s our reality. The strongest way, as a human, that highinfatuation.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 29

you can voice your opinion, you can make you vote, is by how you spend your money. That’s why I’m vegan—I don’t want to support, with my money, factory farming. That’s the most active way I can cast that vote. I’m pretty passionate about animal rights. I support PETA, ASPCA, Humane Society. There’s a really cool organization called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The ALDF, they’re lawyers. They take legal action. When they see things being done that aren’t correct, whether on a big scale or on a small scale, they’ll go and they’ll put lawsuits in. That causes a difference. As with consumer choices, legal action makes change in this society. So I love the ALDF. I’m a big supporter of all these groups. Prana actually did a signature chalk bag with me, and some of the proceeds went to PETA. Our dog, she was rescued from a reservation as a puppy. I feel very strongly about not buying

photos: Mario Richard 30 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

animals. It’s a tough thing, because you meet people and they’re like, “Oh, I’m so excited, I got this poodle!” I’m like, “You know what? I don’t agree with that. I’m sorry, I’m happy you got a dog, and I’m pleased for you, but there’s a lot of dogs in the shelters right now. And you can get a poodle from a shelter. Absolutely. You can.” You don’t want to criticize people. It’s a fine line because you don’t want to alienate people. But at the same time, I think it’s very important. I try to lead by example in a nonthreatening way. So I’ll say to people, “Oh, I’m vegan because it makes me climb better, it makes me run better. Look at me! I’m vegan! I’ve done all these amazing things, and that’s why.” And people are like, “Oh, wow, maybe I’ll try it.” Whereas if I go to them and say, “Do you know what they’re doing to those animals?” People get mad. They get mad! Which totally puzzles me. I’m like, how can you be mad? If you’re so mad, do something to stop that. But don’t be mad at me because I’m telling you.

MP: Do you do yoga?

SD: I do yoga every morning. I wake up and do yoga. Just a little. I usually BASE jump every day. I climb mostly every day. I’m really into skate-skiing in the winter. In the summer, trail-running. Our dog, we’ve trained her. There’s a couple BASE jumps we do every day. We’ll bring her to the top and then we jump, and she runs down by herself to meet us. We’re super proud of her. MP: Is there anything else you’re passionate about?

SD: I really like cooking. Being vegan, that’s a big interest. I’m way into cooking. Into writing, I’ve written two books. I have a Masters in literature, so I’ve always been a writer-reader type person. I love reading. I like taking pictures. I’m pretty into photography. What else? I just kind of dabble in everything—gardening, that sort of stuff.

Interview courtesy of prAna ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 31

Andy Lewis Interview: Maranda Pleasant Photos: Scotty Rogers

BASE jumper, rock climber, and forefather of the slackliner phenomenon, Andy Lewis has set world records in the art of competitive tricklining. His masterful hijinks have garnered the attention of celebrities like Madonna, who recruited Lewis for the Super Bowl halftime show in February 2012. Origin caught Lewis on the ground at the January 2013 Outdoor Retailer Expo, and asked him a few questions about what it is that keeps him elevated.

Maranda Pleasant: What is it that you do?

Andy Lewis: I am a slackliner. I guess my title would be “innovator of the sport.” I came along in the sport very early in its existence. I did a lot of tricklining, which is where you do tricks on a line low to the ground. I invented a lot of movements, a lot of tricks. I won the first five world championships around the

By a lot of people standards, it’s a very extreme sport. But by our standards, it’s more of a meditation. world. I also started doing long highlines, pretty much before anybody else. In 2008, I set the world record with fifty meters; 2009, sixty meters; 2010, one hundred meters. Since then, it’s been broken by Jerry Miszewski. He’s broken pretty much all of my records, except for the free solo record—which is to walk a line without a safety harness, where if you fall, you die. I set that record last year at 180 feet. MP: What are some of the craziest places that you’ve slacklined?

AL: The thing about slacklining is, it’s really just connecting two points to make a line. And those two points can be anything. It’s just opening your mind to convincing yourself of the possibilities. So there could be two buildings, there could be two points on a crane that’s eleven hundred feet on a building, two trees, eight hundred foot towers, canyons, cliffs, rocks, over water lines—as long as you can find two points to connect your line, you can put a line anywhere. The craziest places that I’ve done it are really high off the ground, up to 3,000 feet high off the ground.

MP: Where was that?

AL: That was in Yosemite National Park in California. Lost Arrow Spire, Yosemite Falls, Taft Point—they are some of the highest points in the world. It makes it really scary. MP: What is it that drives you?

AL: By a lot of people standards, it’s a very extreme sport. But by our standards, it’s more of a meditation. It’s a whole process. You get used to the process and you learn to love the process. It’s finding a project, preparing mentally for a project, thinking about it, getting the gear ready, getting a team ready. Actually being a part of a team—getting the team to work and succeed and use their skills as one whole composite to actually get a project up. And once you get a project up and walk it and rig it and film it and make videos—I mean, it just goes on and on and on, what you can do with the sport. The reason why never really comes into my mind. It’s kind of just what I do. That’s what’s so cool about it. I don’t really need a reason why. It’s not like I need an excuse to go out there. I just do.

photos: Scotty Rogers / www.scottyrog.com 32 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


It straightens out your brain. It helps you realize what really is important to you, who you really care about, what you really want to do with your life. If you died that day, what would you regret not having done?

MP: When you’re walking across these canyons—it’s pretty frightening even looking at the pictures—what is going through your mind when you are on that very tiny rope?

Slacklining, slacklife. Slacklining every day, putting that line between two points. That is everything to me. AL: There’s a lot of things that go through your mind when you’re walking on a highline like that. Fear is one of them. Nothing about your groceries. It’s very present. It brings you very into the moment. And being in the moment is really cool, it’s interesting. It’s interesting how it affects your emotions. It shows you what’s important in life, who you care about. Especially when you take a leash off. When you really have to—you’re walking over canyons, and that panic attack? It straightens out your brain. It helps you realize what really is important to you, who you really care about, what you really want to do with your life. If you died that day, what would you regret not having done? That’s kind of what it brings to light: what do I want to do with the rest of my life? And that’s, I guess, what I think about. Focusing in the moment, focusing on where I want to go, but also focusing on where I am right now. MP: Athletes are the new Buddhas. What is that feeling, when you’re crossing something, especially without a leash, and you make it? What does it feel like in your body at that moment?

AL: When you’re on the other side, it’s happiness. Because you faced death and you conquered it. You used your skills to help yourself live. It was a challenge to yourself to say, hey—I will do this, or I will die trying. When you get to the other side, you really embrace this feeling of utter happiness. It’s just so good. It’s something you can’t really define. It’s very spiritual. It’s something that—you do it for no reason and it feels good for reasons that you can’t explain. MP: Do you think that this is worth dying for?


AL: Absolutely not. It is definitely not worth dying for. Especially with me, because I’ve been part of creating the sport, I’ve been kind of a forefather of the sport. As that, I’m an ambassador to the sport. If I died, everything that I’ve said, everything that I’ve done, everything that I’ve stood for, goes to waste. It’s not important anymore. Because now it’s not about trying to kill myself, it’s about trying to stay alive. Slacklining, slacklife. Slacklining every day, putting that line between two points. That is everything to me. It’s hard to explain why I want to free solo, and how, if I died, it would affect me negatively. Why wouldn’t I just tie in, then? It’s because to risk everything that you have in trust of yourself—that is the movement. And if you can’t trust yourself or you make a bad decision, then you haven’t been there in your mind long enough. You haven’t really thought about it through to the end. Whenever I free solo, I’ve already thought about every step. I’ve thought about how it’s going to feel; I thought about being in the moment; I thought about every breath I’ve taken; thought about my rigging. By the time I’m on the line, free solo, the only thing that

matters to me is the moment. This breath. That step. The feet on the line. The webbing in between my toes. All of that is worth the movement. But dying is not worth it. That’s not the death that I want. I don’t want to die like that, and I’m scared of dying like that. I think one of the biggest reasons why is because it would ruin the movement I’ve helped create.

By the time I’m on the line, free solo, the only thing that matters to me is the moment. This breath. That step. The feet on the line. The webbing in between my toes. All of that is worth the movement.


yogaSlackers on the run in india

Chelsey Magness + Jason Magness

When we heard about the Rickshaw Run, we thought it was some sort of awesome endurance race across India. We imagined running through the Indian countryside as part of a relay team. It turns out it was an auto relay, like the old Cannonball movies, only that we’d be driving a three-wheeled, doorless, glorified lawn mower for 3500+ kilometers across the entire Indian subcontinent. We had two weeks, starting January 1, to get our rickshaws from Jaisalmer (northeast India) to Cochin (southeast India). “This is insane, there is no way we are all going to fit in one of those things, let alone make it more than 100 yards before it breaks down! ” said Daniel, our teammate, when we saw our first rickshaw on the streets of New Delhi. Two days before the start, we received two beautifully painted and logoed-up rickshaws, the blue PrAna “Yoga” shaw and the orange PrAna “Slacker” shaw. There were three to each rickshaw, which was actually perfect, even for Daniel. Before we even left the Rickshaw Run test driving headquarters— where all of us newbies could get a taste of our home on wheels for the next two weeks—we were giddy with excitement! We couldn’t wait to be set free, get out on the open roads, and drive and drive and drive. All our confidence and excitement dwindled down very rapidly in the first two hours of being set free, due to a jeep running the rickshaw holding Jason, Chris, and Kristy off the road, causing them to roll. Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt, but Chris and Kristy (who was pinned underneath the rickshaw) were pretty shook up from the whole experience. We miraculously got the “Slacker” shaw up and running again, thanks to a bus full of people that stopped to help. We limped two hours back into Jaisalmer, where we had started the run, and started to hash out a plan. The next two weeks were a blur of sights,


We had two weeks, starting January 1, to get our rickshaws from Jaisalmer (northeast India) to Cochin (southeast India). “This is insane, there is no way we are all going to fit in one of those things, let alone make it more than 100 yards before it breaks down! ” sensations, and smells across the spectrum, and too many stories to tell. However, we are in the process of editing together a ten-tofifteen minute film that shares a few of the many highlights of our adventure south. Visit yogaslackers.com/rickshawrun to see some of our amazing photos, read our blogs, and watch our nine webisodes from the road. All the money raised from each team went to the Franks Water Project, a charity which provides communities with safe, clean water by employing ultraviolet and reverse osmosis technology to filter water and remove diseasecausing chemical and biological contaminants. After traveling through India, we saw that getting clean drinking water is a very big issue there, and many don’t know that their drinking water is unsafe. You can still donate to the cause at our website. We are at 66% of our goal. Thank you!

Who are the YogaSlackers? The nomadic trio, Sam Salwei, Jason Magness, and Chelsey Magness, are the core of Team YogaSlackers. With their roots in climbing and yoga, they found a way to combine their love of expeditionstyle adventure and yoga practice. The racing team (which also includes yogic athletes Daniel Staudigel, Andy Magness and Paul Cassedy) participates in several grueling adventure races each year. At first their penchant for stopping on a rain-slick mountain side to do yoga poses seemed odd. After they started to win adventure races, it seemed like a revolution. The YogaSlackers now number over thirty, including well-known yoga teachers, acroyogis, and master slackliners Adi Carter and Paige Wyatt. Together they organize yoga events, workshops, and retreats, host adventure races and climbing competitions, teach the art of “slackline yoga” and share their experiences through blogging and videos. Their main goal is to bring awareness to the joy of human-powered endeavor, and the inherent connection between meditative movement and extreme effort. What is their next adventure? Two teams are headed down to the Patagonian Expedition Race, a ten-day race that takes teams into the depths and beauty of Patagonia. Follow their adventures and find out where and when they are teaching next at yogaslackers.com.


Josh Fox

Director of Gasland

Interview Part II: Ocean Pleasant Global Youth Editor

Bill McKibben Founder. 350.0rg

Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, journalist, and author of numerous books, including Eaarth, The End of Nature, and Deep Economy. He is regarded as one of the first environmentalists to provide the public with accessible, critical information about the implications of climate change. In 2009, McKibben co-founded 350.org, a groundbreaking organization that seeks to raise awareness and provoke action around climate change through combining grassroots political activism and artistic expression. What is your passion?

Interview: Maranda Pleasant + Paul D. MIller/DJ Spooky

Bill McKibben: To build movements big enough and smart enough to slow down climate change—because I think it’s our only chance. What’s your biggest concern right now on the planet?

BMcK: Global warming trumps all other environmental issues. We’ve already taken the planet out of the Holocene; we’re doing damage every day that will be measured in geological time. It’s the biggest thing, in fact, that humans have ever done. What’s the best way for us to be involved?

BMcK: Join us in the fight. 350.org has become a kind of climate clearing house. Right now we need you to check out gofossilfree.org so you can get involved in the mushrooming movement to divest our campuses, cities, and denominations from the fossil fuel industry. What do you have coming up?

When you’re living anywhere near f r a c k i n g , you are in a place where the air is unsafe. Ocean Pleasant: Do you have any advice for how youth can get engaged, as far as fundraising or bringing awareness?

Josh Fox: You have to engage your particular community. Gasland is now on this global level of appeal, it’s been seen by 50 million people in thirty different countries. But it starts with an emphasis on the Upper Delaware River Basin. To basically spread awareness among my neighbors. I thought, “Oh, all right, I’ll make a few YouTube videos here or there.” You have to talk to the person sitting next to you at dinner, sitting next to you at lunch. You have to focus within your schools. Bill McKibben and 350.org, they are running this big divestment campaign to get colleges to divest from fossil fuels. Here in Colorado, I think it’s really important to talk about not only divesting from fossil fuels, but to call out the University of Colorado for leasing their land for fracking. At every level, you have to engage with the people that you know, and see where that takes you. If you’re in a high school, if you’re in a college, a university—there’s so much work to do right there. Our universities and our high schools are supposed to be preparing the youth for the future. If those institutions are not converting their power supplies to renewable energy and they’re participating in the fossil fuel economy, they are essentially destroying the future that they’re preparing you for. It doesn’t make sense. Start on campuses, even in high schools, there’s got to be a way to have the youth speak directly to issues of, you can no longer invest in fossil fuels, you must divest from that, you must invest in renewable energy. Because if you’re preparing us for the future—if you’re saying, “We

want you to be the bright next generation, educated, informed, aware, active”—it’s a total conflict of interest and contradiction in terms for them to be supporting fossil fuels. OP: Can you talk a little bit about fracking and why we really should care about the legacy we leave behind?

JF: Kids have to bug their parents. You really have to have those dinner table conversations and push it forward. What we know about fracking is: they are using huge amounts—2-9 million gallons of water, when water is incredibly scarce in the West—and injecting that down into a formation to fracture the rock. They use over six hundred different toxic chemicals across the process. Those chemicals and that gas migrate into groundwater supplies and at the surface, all the chemicals that they’re using on the well pads, the volatile organics that are coming up out of the wells—the methane, the benzene, the toluene—those are incredibly harmful to inhale. When you’re living anywhere near fracking, you are in a place where the air is unsafe. In Colorado, time after time, we’ve seen study after study that says this is a real health risk. So just in this neighboring county, in Weld County, you’ve got 19,000 active wells, and an air situation which is making people really sick. Here in Boulder you don’t have that. The basics of fracking: it’s a dangerous, destructive thing to the environment, but it’s also incredibly unhealthy to live anywhere near. I don’t think people are aware of that fact. I don’t think they know that all those tanks that they see all over the landscape in Colorado are actively poisoning the air, are actively spreading chemicals and volatile organic compounds. Into people’s homes. Into schools. gaslandthemovie.com


BMcK: We’re headed for Istanbul in June for “Global Powershift,” which will bring together young people from almost every country together in an effort to keep growing the climate movement in every corner of the world. What inspires you?

BMcK: All the people all over the world who are willing to join in this fight, even though most of them have done nothing to cause the trouble.

We’ve already taken the planet out of the Holocene; we’re doing damage every day that will be measured in geological time. It’s the biggest thing, in fact, that humans have ever done.

What are your thoughts on building a global movement?

BMcK: You have to figure that people will take your message and run with it. Don’t worry about control. On the intersection of art and sustainability, how did you put these two things together to impact the planet?

BMcK: We think that environmentalists have spent too much time appealing to the side of the brain that likes bar graphs, and not enough getting at the visceral part of us. So we use lots of art and music. In fact, we pulled off what has been called the largest art show in the planet’s history, with many images so large they could only be viewed from outer space How can we support your work?

BMcK: It’s not my work, it’s our work. Movements are just people, moving together. So join in at 350.org. In March 2013, Bill McKibben will speak live at The Economics of Happiness Conference, an international event that brings together some of the most inspirational thinkers and activists from the worldwide localization movement. theeconomicsofhappiness.org 350.org


JR: Let’s just use health for a second. Anybody’s who’s been sick knows that the worst part, oddly enough, is when you don’t know what’s going on. Right? Even if it’s a tough diagnosis, once you know what’s going on, then you can move into trying to do something about it, which is an eminently better place to be. So if you’re a young person and you have this sense that there’s a lot of terrible things going on out there, it’s better to sort of have a deeper understanding of that and then move on to, Well, then how am I going to be with that? What am I going to do about it? How can I deal with this in a way that allows me to move ahead more positively?

and breathe…

Most of the things that are troubling are things that we can do something about. Regardless of the threats of climate change, and all the things there— just to what degree it affects us, and the depth of the challenge, largely depends on what we do now. The tendency is to think that it’s too late. It’s just not. It’s never going to be too late. It’s always going to be better to have a positive impact on the environment. And I think you’re better off knowing and engaging—you’ll be a happier person—than having a vague sense that something’s wrong out there.

Jamie Redford

Producer: Watershed On empowering youth to shift the planet Interview: Ocean Pleasant. Global Youth Editor.

Ocean Pleasant: I’m really invested in getting youth involved in shifting the planet. Could you give a little insight as to why youth should care about the legacy they leave behind, a word of wisdom for those who might not otherwise be listening?

Jamie Redford: I think having a connection to nature, it’s not—I don’t see it as a luxury. I see it as a necessity to really have a full life. If you don’t have some connection—and you don’t have to own a fancy ranch, you can be in New York City and go for a walk in Central Park— but I think reminding that we are all a part of the same ecosystem is really important. And it sounds really hippie-dippie, but I can tell you, the times that I don’t remind myself to spend time in nature in some way or another, I lose my perspective.

As it gets increasingly difficult to do that, I think kids should be reminded of, it’s not just a matter of doing the right thing. You can look at it selfishly. It will literally make you a happier person. Some people like walking in the river. Some people like walking in the desert. Some people like the forests. Some people like the shorelines. Find something to connect to. It’s important. OP: The truth about our water resources—it’s scary. Most of the kids I come across don’t understand in full perspective the danger that we’re in. If you could just maybe shine a little bit of light on that—because sometimes it takes big voices to really be like, “Hey, we have to get involved, we have to figure out how we can turn this around.”

OP: Do you have any advice or tools to recommend for youth who want to get involved?

JR: I actually advise any young person to be selfish about it. Figure out what particularly resonates with you and follow that. Some people, issues around air quality is what drives them. Other people, it’s organics, it’s pesticides, it’s herbicides. Other people, it’s fossil fuels. Other people, it’s alternative energy, or land conservation, or land restoration. There are so many different ways, and most people can find something. In my case, the majority of what I do is using the craft of filmmaking to decipher complex stories for the public. That’s just my way of connecting, as someone who’s staying connected to nature. I would also say that even small things— think about the water, just being aware that every time you turn on that faucet, there’s somebody that could really be drinking that water somewhere. Just be mindful of that. If everybody just did a little bit, huge progress would be made. Don’t feel like you have to do any one particular thing. Spend some time finding out what is most enjoyable.

pause the ongoing demands of life, bring your attention inward, and rediscover your authentic nature. Conscious engagement with the breath connects you with the intelligence and power of the life force within and around you. Whenever you are faced with a challenge—on the yoga mat, in a relationship, at work, or with your health—you can draw on a deep sense of ease, purpose, and mastery to create positive change. We call it the yoga of life. read kripalu.org/onlinelibrary/whydopranayama join the conversation

Workshops with world-renowned faculty and invited presenters, including: Daniel G. Amen Sierra Bender Gabrielle Bernstein Tara Brach Deepak Chopra Stephen Cope Seane Corn Donna Eden and David Feinstein Kate and Joel Feldman Loren Fishman Bo Forbes Tara Bennett-Goleman and Daniel Goleman Harville Hendrix

OP: Mindfulness definitely plays a big role. Thank you so much.

watershedmovie.com 40 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

At Kripalu, we invite you to breathe—to intentionally

Mark Hyman Bryan Kest Snatam Kaur Deborah King Gabor Maté Richard Miller Dharma Mittra Sarah and Ty Powers Kali Ray Shiva Rea Geneen Roth Daniel J. Siegel David Swenson Amy Weintraub Rodney Yee

mission driven, donor supported Stockbridge, Massachusetts | 800.741.7353 | kripalu.org


The Light in me sees the Light in you, and recognizes the source of this Light to be the Same



Derek Johnson Chief of Staff Global Zero.

We are all connected

Global Zero leaders meet ban Ki-moon

Twenty years after the end of Cold War, there are more than 17,000 nuclear weapons held by nine countries—at a staggering cost of $1 trillion per decade globally. Thousands are kept on hair-trigger alert, enough destructive power to wipe the human race off the face of the earth in thirty minutes or less.

Global Zero Summit in London

Global Zero Summit in Paris Student Leaders: US and Pakistan

Understand this: nuclear weapons will continue to spread. The fragile system of arms control that holds them in check will crumble. Arsenals and the bloated budgets that sustain them will swell, and scores of nations will develop the capability to kill millions in a flash. With each new nuclear country, the balance of global security will shift and the world will grow more dangerous. Terrorists will succeed in their decades-long quest to buy or steal the bomb. And the day will come when, whether by mistake, miscalculation, or madness, these weapons will be used. Unless we eliminate them. All of them.

We’re on a major roll with the recent passage of a European Union declaration endorsing Global Zero’s plan, the nomination of Global Zero founding member Chuck Hagel as U.S. Secretary of Defense, our student movement topping 150 campus chapters in twenty countries, and prominent and supportive media coverage of our agenda. With a head of steam behind us, we’re calling on President Obama to negotiate deep cuts in the U.S. and Russia arsenals (who between them hold 90% of the world’s nukes) and then bring the other nuclear powers to the table for historic treaty negotiations.

At Global Zero, the international movement for a world without nuclear weapons, that’s an inescapable truth that guides our work. We understand that nuclear weapons represent the greatest existential threat to humanity, and that the only way to eliminate that threat is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, secure all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons: “global zero.”

This isn’t your grandma’s anti-nuke campaign. We’re combining media outreach, cuttingedge online tools and actions, campus mobilization and grassroots initiatives, policy development, and direct dialogue with senior government officials worldwide. All of this culminates in Demand Zero Day—April 5, 2013—a massive, global grassroots day of action that will be impossible to ignore.

And we have a plan.

From heads of state to high school students, Global Zero is coordinating a sophisticated, 21st century international movement, fueled by the credibility of world leaders and the relentless creativity, passion, and optimism of the world’s first post-Cold War generation— to end the nuclear threat once and for all.

Over the last five years, we’ve built a nonpartisan, global community of 300 influential world leaders, matched by an unprecedented grassroots movement that’s a half million strong and spearheaded by student activists worldwide. We’ve produced the acclaimed documentary film, Countdown to Zero, laid out a step-by-step Global Zero Action Plan to eliminate nuclear weapons, which is backed by experts and leading newspapers worldwide. Political leaders around the world have endorsed Global Zero, with President Obama declaring, “Global Zero will always have a partner in me and my administration.” Queen Noor and Valerie Plame Wilson

straightforward. With the reelection of President Obama—a passionate supporter of Global Zero—this year could mark the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons. But world governments are facing a host of other pressing problems and need to hear strong, sustained, urgent support for Global Zero from the public, leaders, and the media.

The solution is clear and the process

The paradigm is shifting; the world is waking up. With your help, we can build a powerful and disruptive force for the future. Join us as we call on President Obama to set the world’s course to zero. Sign the petition, add your voice through photo or video, start a Global Zero chapter, host a film party, or financially support the campaign. Together, we can demand zero: because a world without nuclear weapons is a world worth fighting for. globalzero.org


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5 EcoRockstars Impacting the Planet


Photo: Dede Hatch


Help this mama take care of her baby


4. 5. 1. Charles Knowles

2. Vance Martin

3. David Crawford

Executive Director. Wildlife Conservation Network.

President. The WILD Foundation.

Executive Director. Animal Help Now.

Entrepreneurial wildlife conservationists create the innovative ideas needed to save endangered wildlife, something I recognized as a former technology entrepreneur. After selling my company, I knew I wanted to devote my time to helping these conservationists. The best way to do this is to provide them with a network that connects them with the right people: supporters who can provide the capital and technical assistance they need to reach their fullest potential. The Wildlife Conservation Network does just that, and helps small individual wildlife conservation projects achieve big things.

I love awakening humans to our irrefutable, inescapable, and irreplaceable connection to wild nature. With some people, this relationship is just unexplainable. But increasingly, more people “get it”—we are part of wild nature. It is truly undeniable. Sometimes this means wonderful work with wildlife, wild places, and tribal peoples. But usually it is in meeting rooms or politicians’ offices. Whatever the work, it is continually on the move, and it’s always wild! The WILD Foundation is the heart of the global wilderness conservation movement.



4. Sandra Steingraber

5. Gary Wockner

Biologist. Activist. Author.

Director. Save The Colorado River Campaign.

Years of animal advocacy revealed to me the need for a fast and easy way for people who encounter lost, injured, or distressed animals to find assistance. Advances in digital technology have simplified the task of connecting such people with an amazing network of helpers, who for wildlife include not only rehabilitators but also many veterinarians! I am inspired by life and the will to live, which transcends species boundaries; by my teammates; and by the goodness and good works of so many others. And, yes, I’m especially grateful to my mom.

I live in a small house in a village with public transportation and a farmers’ market. And forty percent of the land around me is leased to the gas industry. My intention is to ban fracking in New York State. It’s my job as an author, an environmental health researcher, a cancer survivor, and a mother of young children. Fracking is a brutal, carcinogendependent, accident-prone industry. What we love, we must protect. Love is the source of my passion. Love means saying the fossil fuel party is over.

I love the way rivers look, smell, and feel. Where a river meets land, life converges. Beautiful, wild, free-flowing rivers give life to people and wildlife, and give purpose to gravity. The Colorado River is the big daddy of the Southwest U.S. Where it flows, life flows. It bounces and carves and drains and meanders. Through it all, we humans can only stand mesmerized—watching, knowing we have never created anything so beautiful, and never could. I love to watch it, protect it, restore it. And learn.




Please watch our award-winning 2-minute video to learn how little of our charitable giving goes to help wildlife and how you can help.


Curated: Andrew Currie. Eco Editor. 44 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Frances Beinecke President

Jamie Rappaport C lark President and C EO

Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC

Defenders of Wi ldlife Fearless, Powerful Woman Leading the Fight for Nature

Interview: Andrew Currie. Eco Editor.

New York Times: “One of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups.”

Andrew Currie: Why are you passionate about your work?

Throughout my life, I have felt a strong moral obligation to conserve wildlife, so I followed my conviction and pursued a career in wildlife biology. In college, I got my dream job: caring for and releasing endangered peregrine falcon chicks back into the wild. What an incredible experience! Twenty years later, as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I had the honor of announcing the recovery and removal of the peregrine falcon from the endangered species list. It was a thrill to announce the spectacular recovery of this species, and to know that I played a small role in it.

We are the voice for wildlife: on the ground, in the courts, and in the halls of Congress.

droughts, damaging and deadly storms, and rising sea levels are impacting us already. An increasingly urbanized society is destroying and fragmenting habitat, making it harder for wildlife to survive, move, and adapt. It’s past time we addressed these issues with long term solutions that will benefit not only wildlife but ourselves as well.

on this planet. Some species’ roles are not yet known, but there is an interdependence amongst us that is critical to our survival.

Today, I am privileged to be the president of Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. The core of Defenders is a deep-seated belief in the inherent value of wildlife and the natural world, regardless of whether individual species are recognized as having utilitarian or aesthetic value to mankind. It is my goal to protect not just the charismatic creatures like the peregrine falcon, the gray wolf, and the grizzly bear, but all species, great and small. It’s important to remember that every species has a role to play

As I experienced firsthand with the peregrine falcon, conservation takes time, patience, and a commitment to the long haul. But these days, it seems like people expect quick fixes to everything, from the environment to the economy to unemployment. Most things worth doing take time. I believe that conserving our wildlife, treasured landscapes, and natural resources is definitely worth the time.

As a mother, I look to the future and my responsibilities to my son Carson, named after the awe inspiring environmentalist Rachel Carson. He once gave me a drawing of a polar bear. He wrote at the top, “Please save the polar bears mom!” He meant it.

The clock is ticking on some huge challenges. Climate change is wreaking havoc on us, our wildlife, and natural resources. Extreme

Photo: Charles Kogod forDefenders of Wildlife 46 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Defenders of Wildlife means it, too. With your help, we will save the polar bear and all of the others species that are struggling to survive. We are the voice for wildlife: on the ground, in the courts, and in the halls of Congress. Our goal is to identify transformational solutions to solve the conservation challenges of our time. I hope you will join me. Together we can make great things happen so that children, like my son Carson, inherit a planet as good or better as the one that we enjoy. They deserve nothing less! defenders.org

Frances Beinecke: I love my job. Every day I work with incredibly talented people who are making our air cleaner, our water safer, and our wild places better protected. It’s challenging, but I do it for my three daughters. I think a lot about what the world is going to be like for their generation. Will we confront climate change in time or will we let fossil fuel companies determine our fate? This is a fight we can’t afford to lose, and that’s what keeps me moving forward. AC: What is the biggest threat facing our country today?

FB: Climate change has the potential to affect everything we care about—whether it is the health of our families, the stability of our communities, or the fate of the wild animals. It’s already pounding America with extreme weather events, and I am not just talking about Hurricane Sandy or the Midwestern drought. At least 3,527 U.S. monthly records for heat, rain, and snow were broken in 2012. We can’t let this continue unchecked, and we don’t have to. Wind and solar power, energy efficient buildings, cars that go farther on a tank of gas, and other solutions can fight climate change. I know America can get on a more sustainable path—we just have to raise our voices and demand it. AC: Climate change seems to be such a vast and systemic problem. What can our readers and I do to help today?

FB: Ordinary people have an extremely important role to play in fighting climate change. Not only can you make your home more energy efficient, drive less, and eat more local food—you can also tell your leaders to take climate action. Political leaders will only undertake bold climate initiatives if they know the American Photo: Anders Hansson

people want it. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to set limits on carbon pollution from power plants. The agency appears poised to do it, and President Obama is eager to act. But they need to hear from Americans who support them. Remember, we are going up against the toughest industry in the country: the fossil fuel sector. We need your voices to help drown out the dirty energy crowd. Write to your newspaper. Call your member of Congress. Email President Obama. Speak out for a cleaner, more stable future for all of us. AC: What have you seen that makes you think a new, more powerful environmental movement is forming?

FB: I think every single American believes they have a right to clean air and clean water. When dirty polluters threaten the health of their families, people fight back. I see it in homeowners from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania. I see it in the tens of thousands of people who went to the White House last year to protest the Keystone XL pipeline for dirty tar sands oil and the thousands more planning to come this February. I see it among young people who know their generation will pay the price if we fail to act on climate change. Across the country, people are demanding stronger public protections, and political leaders are listening. House Republican leaders voted more than 300 times to undermine environmental safeguards since 2011, but almost none of these measures became law because Americans pushed back. In November, Americans elected clean energy and climate champions up and down the ticket, despite the fact that fossil fuel companies and their allies spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat them. Americans have made it clear we want to build a more sustainable future. I am excited to harness that energy and see what we can create together. nrdc.org ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 47

Inspiration Over Devastation Using Art to End the Destruction of Threatened Marine Life Shawn Heinrichs

“Some people will see only the beauty of the woman in this photo. Many others, especially those of us fortunate enough to have swum with them, will see the equal beauty in the whale sharks. The wholesale slaughter of these magnificent creatures must stop before it’s too late.”

Sir Richard Branson. Founder. Virgin Group



“Humanity is creating an extinction event that will make every war ever fought a footnote to history. We belong to the only generation in history that can turn this around—we’re one step away from greatness or the biggest disaster since the meteor wiped out the dinosaurs. What gives me hope is art—it’s the most powerful weapons ever created. It’s a weapon of mass construction.”

Louie Psihoyos. Executive Director. Oceanic Preservation Society.




“For 400 million years sharks have helped to maintain the ecological balance in all of our oceans. In many regions, sharks have been depleted to ecological extinction already, and we could lose many of these species if we cannot temper demand for the flavorless cartilage of their fins.”

Peter Knights. Executive Director. WildAid ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 53

Shawn Heinrichs I am obsessed with the visual sense and addicted to the art of capturing powerful media. I am a storyteller and imagery is my medium. My passion is to capture through my camera’s lens what my soul experiences through my eyes, an enhanced version of reality, order in chaos, focused, isolated, and profound. Peter Knights Executive Director. WildAid.

Sir Richard Branson Founder. Virgin Group.

Peter Knights graduated from the London School of Economics to become an investigator of and campaigner against illegal and unsustainable trade in wildlife. Exposing the use of wild birds in the pet trade, bears, rhinos, and tigers in traditional medicine, and sharks in shark fin soup, he has worked in over forty-five countries on conservation projects. In 1995, he started what has become the world’s largest conservation awareness program, the only one aimed at reducing demand for endangered species products. In 2000, he co-founded WildAid, which now reaches hundreds of millions of people a week in China, and generates over $200 million a year of pro bono media support. Campaigns led by Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, and other icons are now attributed by shark fin traders as cutting their business by 50% in 2012 by using the slogan “when the buying stops, the killing can too.”

Sir Richard Branson is Founder of the Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands, and has expanded into many diverse sectors, from air and ground travel to telecommunications, health, space travel, and renewable energy, through more than 200 companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in twenty-nine countries. In 2004, Richard established Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. It mobilizes the talent and resources from across the Virgin Group and beyond, to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. It is built on the belief that the only way we can address the scale of the challenges facing the world today is by revolutionizing the way businesses, government, and the social sector work together— driving business as a force for good. Virgin Unite works with the Virgin businesses to put people and planet at their core.

With over a decade documenting environmental issues, I have witnessed just about every imaginable act of cruelty and wanton destruction. In the face of such devastation, I walk a fine line between despair and hope. My job is to expose the destruction as a wake up call to the world, but also to preserve hope for the future: that mankind will wake up and change, and that things will get better. My love of the oceans fuels me. I am captivated by the grace and beauty of the marine life within it. I have a special affinity for sharks and manta rays, and have dedicated much of the last decade to conserving them. Recognizing that people only protect what they love, I am on a mission to capture inspiring and dramatic imagery that connects the global community to the beauty and vulnerability of these threatened species. Through this connection, I hope the world will ultimately share my passion for these creatures and be inspired to act before it is too late.

“Without Ocean Conservation, we might as well be bottling the air we breathe. Our life on earth cannot sustain without healthy oceans—and because of that, the beings who inhabit and allow that eco system to work need our help. Let’s start with our wonderment, and go from there. Allow that, and it becomes easy.”

Maggie Q. Actress + Nakita, Mission Impossible III



Rebecca Moore Founder & Manager Google Earth Outreach

Andrew Currie: You are putting the most powerful high-tech mapping, visualization, and storytelling tools into the hands of people doing good, who would otherwise not have access to them. Google Earth Outreach is a game changer. How do you think about what you have created?

Rebecca Moore: It’s really a team thing. It’s not a solo thing. More than a billion people have downloaded Google Earth. More than a billion people use Google Maps. They are very comfortable tools for people to explore the planet in high resolution. Most people, originally when Google Earth first came out in 2005, they thought, well, what can I do with it? I can figure out where to go on vacation, or I can look at my neighbor’s backyard from space. But the point is, you can do so much more. What we’ve helped these groups understand is, you can take the whole world on a virtual guided tour of places on the planet that may be under threat. Whether it’s deforestation of the Amazon or elephants being poached in Africa or Appalachian mountains being blown up for coal in a very unsustainable fashion—often these are happening in remote places, and it’s difficult to communicate to the general public, policy makers, and media, what’s at stake, what’s really happening. There’s that statement, “A picture is worth a thousand words”—well, I think flying around in Google Earth is worth a million words. It’s

That’s when Earth Outreach was born—when I thought, rather than emailing everybody back, what if we actually created a site where we gave case studies, tips, tricks, and tutorials? We allowed those nonprofits who had used Google Earth successfully to communicate what they had done. The impact they’ve had. It’s gone viral. How could I not be excited about it? It grew very organically. I feel very fortunate to have been sort of a tiny instigator, using technology for good.

RM: Google is great. Brian McClendon, who’s VP at Google leading all Google Earth and Maps development, and was one of the original inventors of Google Earth. He’s been a fantastic supporter from the very beginning of this idea of “geo for good, maps for good,” as part of Google giving back to the world. He gave me the support to build a team and give training workshops all over the world. It really ramped up when the Appalachian mountaintop removal project came out in 2007 and got a lot of attention. We also worked with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to reveal the genocide that was happening in Darfur, by taking people on a guided tour of all the villages that had been burnt to the ground, that you could see in the high resolution satellite imagery. Groups like Amnesty International annotated Google Earth with stories, photographs, and interviews of people whose lives have been affected. When this came out, it got a huge amount of global attention. In fact, human rights activists used this to galvanize changes by the government of Sudan.

RM: The Halo Trust, which is the oldest land mine eradication organization in the world, are on the ground in some of the most wartorn regions of the planet, where there are old landmines and other kinds of detonating devices, left in the ground after war is over. So this

AC: How is all this paid for?

Clockwise from upper left: Appalachian mountaintop removal - former Cherry Pond Mountain - West Virginia. Crisis In Darfur. Rebecca Moore with Chief Almir Surui. surui cultural map Appalachian voices

amnesty International: Crisis In Darfur

very visceral, it’s extremely concrete. You take an abstract idea, like deforestation of the Amazon, and you make it incredibly concrete. People get quite emotional, and it galvanizes support for the causes that these groups are advocating on behalf of. For me it started very personally, in a small way in my own local community—seeing how just one person, by putting some information in Google Earth over a weekend, could help galvanize opposition to a very poorly conceived logging plan for the redwood forest in my community, and end up actually proving, using Google Earth, that the proposal was illegal. It started there for me. I see it playing out over and over again, for everything from small grassroots organizations all the way up to the United Nations Environment Programme. It’s an incredible tool.

...you can take the whole world on a virtual guided tour of places on the planet that may be under threat. AC: You’re so passionate. Why do you do what you do?

RM: Well, I didn’t start out as an activist. I’m basically a computer science nerd. I love nature and I love my community, and so when there was this very inscrutable public notice that was sent, I took this piece of technology that had just come out, Google Earth, and used it. Very simply used it, and it was so powerful and so effective, and I realized that everyone could do this. In fact, when the word got out— it did get picked up in the media that Google Earth had saved this forest of a thousand acres of redwoods—all these nonprofits started

photo: Andrea Ribeiro (This page and opposite page lower right) 56 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

may be in Afghanistan or Angola, and so on. Literally, children cannot safely walk to school across a field without risk of their legs being blown off. The Halo Trust is now using the high resolution imagery with a grant from Google Earth Pro, to give them certain additional features, to plan and manage these landmine eradication programs.

AC: You were much more than a tiny instigator! It is an inspiring story. Google Earth Outreach has projects that are saving lives also, right?

Interview: Andrew Currie. Global Eco Editor.

There’s that statement, “A picture is worth a thousand words”—well, I think flying around in Google Earth is worth a million words.

contacting me. Sierra Club, Greenpeace. From British Columbia to Australia, people were emailing me to say, We thought we might be able to use Google Earth in some way, but seeing what you did—please teach us. How did you do that? How did you bring the data into Google Earth? How did you create the animated flyover of the Los Gatos Creek Canyon? How are you presenting it to politicians? Can you give us advice and tips?

Amazon Conservation team

Earth.google.com/outreach ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 57

The human mind, inherently impatient, triggers emotional reactions when our ideas about how things should be collide with how things are. We sometimes torment ourselves about choices we’ve made, words we’ve spoken, and the path not taken. Or, we dwell on the future, postponing our happiness with thoughts about what is missing or wrong in the present moment. These thoughts and judgments are the source of our emotional pain. The mind has a lifetime of conditioned beliefs and expectations through which it filters all perceptions. While the body spontaneously lets go of pain the moment the underlying cause is healed, the mind has a mysterious instinct for holding on. Through the mind, we create a prison of suffering and then forget that we are the architect, and that we ourselves hold the key that will set us free. Even after years of emotional healing work, we all sometimes make the mistake of believing that something “out there” makes us angry, depressed, anxious, or afraid. In reality, outside events are only triggers. The cause of every emotion is within.

Tap into the Power of Writing Journaling is a powerful way to gain perspective on your inner feelings and heal your emotional pain. When you put your thoughts and emotions on paper, you make them explicit and can “objectify” them in a way that allows you to see the false identifications and conditioned beliefs that keep you in bondage to the ego mind. When you read what you have written, you do so from a quieter reference point inside. This inner reference is closer to your true Self, the silent witness within.

Journaling Tips Just write! Allow yourself to write uncensored, with no concern for spelling, punctuation, or grammar. No one is going to read your journal without your permission, so feel free to vent and express exactly what you want—even if it feels petty, self-pitying, judgmental, or “unspiritual.” Writing will help you uncover the unconscious sources of pain and release its hidden charge. Keep a journal with you so that you can write when you have a few spare minutes. Even five minutes a day of journaling can be healing. When you have a longer block of time, you can write more. Experiment to see what works best for you. Some find it helpful to write after their morning meditation. For others, an evening practice is ideal. There is really no correct way to journal, so trust the method that works best for you.

Meditation on the Heart

Tools for Emotional Release When you find yourself flooded with a negative emotion, the following tools can help you find your way back to balance and self-empowerment.

Healing Emotional Pain Deepak Chopra, M.D. Co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Resist the impulse to ignore your feelings, push them away, or judge them as bad. Instead ask them what they are trying to tell you. All emotions—including the most difficult ones—exist for a reason: to help you. Be objective. If you identify personally with negativity and think, I am angry, depressed, miserable, stressed out, it will be extremely difficult to detach and let go. Learn to see all emotions as only energy, like electricity that flows through you but isn’t about you. If you feel overwhelmed, tell yourself, “Whatever fear says, nothing can destroy me. I’m having a strong reaction right now, but it isn’t the real me. This too shall pass.” Take responsibility. If you find yourself reacting to certain situations in the same way, ask yourself what you need to learn to change your automatic response.

Deepak Chopra, M.D. is a best selling author and the co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. The Chopra Center offers a variety of signature mind-body healing programs, meditation and yoga retreats, emotional release workshops, and teacher trainings. To learn about special offers and upcoming events, please visit chopra.com or call 888.736.6895.


One of the worst parts of emotional pain is the accompanying feeling of utter isolation. The problem of loneliness, which exists for countless people, requires deeper healing than simply seeking out company. Loneliness can happen in a crowd and may feel most intense when you find yourself alone on a packed city street. While isolation feels very real, you are always inextricably connected to the universe and everything in it. Your true nature is pure love and pure unbounded spirit, and you are totally connected to your being right now, as you always have been. The only thing you’ve lost is the awareness of your connection. You can restore this awareness by practicing the following meditation on the heart: Sit quietly for a moment. Close your eyes and place your attention on your heart, at the center of your chest under the breastbone. When you are settled, repeat the word peace silently to yourself, and feel its influence radiating out from your body in all directions. Do this three more times, repeating the word peace and letting its energy flow out from your body like ripples from a pebble dropped into a pond. Repeat the process with the words harmony, laughter, and love. Have the intention to allow the light of spirit to come in and fill any voids it may find. With your eyes closed, imagine a soft, white light surrounding you like a bubble or cocoon. Visualize the light filling the entire space within you, seeking out rifts, tears, holes, and gaps. Ask for these to be completely filled with light. Continue to sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed and appreciate the simplicity of quiet awareness. Feel your heart as a soft, warm enclosure. Settle in the refuge of your heart and rest there as long as you wish. If you repeat this technique enough times, you will realize that security, peace, and joy are innate qualities of being. They can’t be lost, only forgotten. You will be able to ride life’s waves of emotional pain with greater equanimity, knowing that your true Self is wholeness and love.


linked. I feel raw and open—like Bobby said, sometimes the smallest things can trigger something and make you feel small. Not small insignificant—small in comparison to the universe. It makes you feel the power that is around you, and the power that you probably haven’t tapped into yourself, and that makes you feel vulnerable.

interview: Maranda Pleasant

MP: How do you process emotional pain?

Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams “We want to inspire people to be their own teacher, guru, nutritionist, trainer. Whatever it is that you do in your life, you’re your own guide.”

MH: Having been through a tremendous amount of emotional pain, to process it properly, to be able to have it make sense and then move it through your body, your mind, your spirit, and be done with it, you really have to address it head-on. Being able to really have the courage enough to truly face it, to truly look at it, to truly feel it. We live in a society running from pain through alcohol, through too much exercise, through sugar, through drugs—as opposed to realizing that these things come up because they are lessons. The pain is there as a way to be understood. It’s a way to wake you up.

table, sitting on a phone book, and my mom’s asking my dad, “Are you fucking crazy?!”

you become the example, and then everybody around you can change.

I’ve gotten to a different place when it comes to that. I think I stopped crying. Then when I started tapping later on in life, and doing all the classes with people like Larry Moss, you started chipping away at emotions. You start to understand them.

BW: If you really believe that you deserve better, work on you, not them.

MP: What do you guys have coming up right now?

BW: We’re launching our website. MH: And we’re launching the book. BW: The Willing Way. Which is— MH: All about our life philosophy. BW: It seems to me everything is based on the choices you make, right? What can you do to make better choices in every way? We get to the point where we say, it’s not about

MH: If you really think that you deserve better— BW: You would have it. Stop blaming everybody and everything for what’s going on. If you really believe that you deserve better, then you would have it. MH: You would choose it. MH: Each second is a second you can make a new choice, a better choice, a healthy choice, a present choice. BW: And all these moments are called “now,” right? That’s the greatest part. Any of these moments, you can turn it all around.

“Each second is a second you can make a new choice, a better choice, a healthy choice, a present choice.”

MP: Bobby, how do you deal with pain? Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you the most?

Mariel Hemingway: I would say it’s probably Bobby. I would say that I’m most inspired by nature.

outside. There are so many different forms of inspiration. It could be music, it could be the outdoors, it could be when we’re out climbing. MP: What makes you feel most alive?

MP: What makes you most vulnerable?

Bobby Williams: It depends on the day of the week. If it was Wednesday and I was tired, I’d be inspired by going to sleep.

MH: It pertains to the quality of being outside, whether it’s jumping into the ocean and it’s cold, the contrast of the outside air to the water—things that wake you up.

It all depends on what’s going on in our life. Nature is a really big part of our lives. We’re always outside playing. We do most of our work outdoors. We do everything we can to be

BW: Anything that helps you rise above the mundane, everyday life. I love anything that has to do with expanding and becoming more than you can actually become. Going

Photos: David Paul 60 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

further than you did before. I’m always driven by something. It doesn’t matter what it is, it could be the smallest task or something huge.

BW: Sometimes when Mariel just looks at me or holds my hand. It doesn’t have to be anything profound. MP: What about you, Mariel?

MH: I’m an extremely vulnerable person. Vulnerability and emotion are very closely

BW: I’ve endured quite a bit of physical pain. My mom says that I got my first set of stitches when I was one-and-a-half. A cat got my eye. I got stitches again when I was two-and-a-half, breaking beer bottles on Fourth of July with my cousins. I got bit by a dog. I got a hundred stitches when I was seven. Lots of hits in the head. Got my teeth knocked out and jaw dislocated. Bull-riding. Absolute craziness. My dad had me on a motorcycle when I was five. My first day on this thing, the peg went through the side of my leg. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, my chin coming up to the

your parents or your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, the argument, or the age that you blame—you’ve got to be responsible for making the decisions and the choices you make, period. The Willing Way is the will and the way of us creating space for people to have a dialogue about we and about us. If we start talking about we and us, just think of how many things can actually take place and change in the world. MH: What food are you eating from a community, what local farms are you supporting, what are you doing that helps your life to be better and the person next to you to be better? Once you take care of yourself,

MH: We want to inspire people to be their own teacher, guru, nutritionist, trainer. Whatever it is that you do in your life, you’re your own guide. I spent a lifetime giving my power away, assuming that everybody knew better what was right for me than me. And then there comes a point in your life you go, Oh, wait a second! There’s an a-ha moment when you realize that the only person that can delegate your future is you. There’s no one else that knows what’s right for you. The Willing Way is about inspiring people to find those things in their lives—through food, exercise, nature, getting outside, breathing— to get you to bring out the best you.

thewillingway.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 61

separation, disunity, and judgment to be the essential condition of life. Years ago I was asked on NBC’s The Today Show what God’s message to the world was. I answered in five words: YOU’VE GOT ME ALL WRONG. I am inviting people everywhere to join now this Civil Rights Movement for the Soul and help move the messages about our true nature and our true purpose into the marketplace of ideas, then place them on the ground through local community-level projects, programs, and platforms rendering the remarkable ideas of today’s New Spirituality (which is based on the unity of everything) functional in daily life.

A Revolution Is What’s Called For Here Neale Donald Walsch.

There are those who thought that on The Big Day, December 21, 2012, the world would end. It did not. Indeed, little has changed, and that is the greatest sadness. After all the hype and all the hope, little seems to have changed. It is still true that the life we have created for ourselves on this earth is not working. Not one of the systems we have put into place in our world is functional—not the political, not the economical, not the ecological, not the educational, not the social, and not the spiritual. None of them are producing the outcomes we say we want. In fact, it’s worse. They are producing the outcomes we say we don’t want. Personal happiness seems mysteriously and frustratingly elusive. Even when people achieve it, they can’t hold onto it. That is the greatest clue, the biggest hint, the surest sign that something’s amiss.

Personal happiness seems mysteriously and frustratingly elusive. Even when people achieve it, they can’t hold onto it. When even those who should be happy by any reasonable measure are also not happy, there’s got to be a serious systemic problem in humanity’s culture. You know that the formula is askew when even if the formula is working, it’s not; when even if everything’s going right, something is wrong.

This is the work of Humanity’s Team, a global network of persons committed to creating a grassroots movement producing a newer world based on releasing old ideas about God and Life and who we are in relationship to Deity and to each other.

Author: Conversations with God.

What is wrong here? Do we dare to ask? How is it possible for 7 billion on the earth to all want the same thing and to be unable to get it? We all want survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, health, happiness, and love. Yet we seem utterly unable to produce it for any but the tiniest minority of us—even after trying for thousands of years. Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything? Is it possible that there is something we don’t understand about ourselves, and about who we are, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better? Yes. The answer is yes. Ours is not a dumb species. We have put a man on the moon. We have unlocked the secrets of the human genome. We have discovered how to take stem cells and coax them into becoming brain cells, heart muscle, liver tissue—any organ of the human body that needs repair. These are our miracles, and there are more. Yet we have not yet found a way to do the simplest things: To live in peace. To stop killing each other when we disagree. To distribute that which is good in life freely and fairly. To use the resources of the planet wisely. To simply be happy on a personal level, free of daily struggle, free of constant mental anguish, and open to the wonders and the glory of life. What’s up? For heaven sake, what’s going on here? What’s going on is that our most fundamental ideas about life are not serving us. They never have. But now, with our advances in communication and technology, the situation has become critical—for our mechanisms have outrun our mentality.

Our most fundamental ideas about life are not serving us. They never have...we find ourselves trying to solve the dilemmas of tomorrow with the solutions of yesterday. And so we find ourselves trying to solve the dilemmas of tomorrow with the solutions of yesterday. We are caught in a trap, a cycle, in which we keep trying to solve the world’s problems at every level—except the level at which the problems exist. The problems in the world today are not political problems, they are not economic problems, and they are not military problems. The problems in the world today are spiritual problems. They have to do with what people believe. They have to do with our most fervently held thoughts and ideas about Life, about God, and most of all, about ourselves, and our very reason for living. And herein lies the biggest mistaken notion: We think that life is about get the girl, get the guy, get the car, get the job, get the house, get the kids, get the better job, get the better car, get the better house, get the promotion, get the office in the corner, get the kids on their way, get the grandkids, get the retirement watch, get the cruise tickets, get the illness, and get the heck out.

Yes. Yet it is also true that virtually all of the civil laws in all of the world’s societies are based on what humanity, in the earliest days, believed to be God’s Law.

If you would like to join in helping to create this spiritual renewal for our planet, your energy is awaited and welcomed at HumanitysTeam.org.

Each of us has a Soul. But no one has stopped to tell us what the Soul is in the world to do. Or if they have told us, they’ve given us incomplete information—for example, that our job is to get back to God.

Look at the history of civil laws in our world and the source from which they emerged, and you will see that the vast majority of them arose directly from, or where based in principle on, Roman Canon Law, or the laws of other religious origin. Sharia is another

Neale Donald Walsch is the author of the nine books in the bestselling Conversations with God series. His latest release is The Only Thing That Matters (Hay House). He may be reached through his gateway internet site, www.CWGPortal.com.

That is not our job. We couldn’t get back to God if we wanted to, because we never left God. God is everywhere, and exists in us, through us, as us. Our “job,� our intention as spiritual beings in a body, is to express our true nature—to fully know ourselves as expressions and individuations of the Divine. We are aspects of Divinity, in the process of knowing ourselves experientially.

What is needed in the world today is a Civil Rights Movement for the Soul, freeing humanity at last from the oppression of its belief in a violent, angry, and vindictive God.

That’s it. That’s a good life. But life has nothing to do with any of that. That is not our purpose in living. That is not the Agenda of the Soul.

All those other things mentioned a moment ago are simply ways to experience that. And some people experience Divinity without doing any of those things. We see, then, that this agenda is The Only Thing That Matters. When we pay full attention to this, all the good that life has to offer, in its endless forms, comes to us automatically. Someone else, much more eloquent than I will ever be, put thisNealeperfectly: Donald Walsch is the author 28 books on practical spiritu“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,ofality, and all the Conversations including with God series, which have sold these things will be added unto you.� millions of copies worldwide. His books have been translated into 35 languages, and seven have made the New York Times bestseller list.

notable example. Some of our earliest codes of ethics in the so-called Western World you are a kind and gentle soul . . . are little more than a rewriting of the Ten . . . or you wouldEastern never have even picked up thisconstructions book, much less Commandments. legal looked at its back cover. Now that you have it in your hands, you should be aware that you broughtearliest this book, and all that it has to say likewise arise out of the spiritual to you, into your experience through the Will of your Being. It is your Soul that understandings. is responsible for this, out of Its desire to share with your traditions and Mind all that is known deep within you about the entire reason and purpose for your life.

This small preview, then, of what you will find here: It is demonstrable and observable that our morals are You based our earliest spiritual have been on told that humanity’s basic instinct is survival. That is not your basic instinct at all. Once you remember your true basic beliefs. Matters ofhavethe inwhichnoto make small instinct, you will a wholeMind new basis upon every decision and choice in your life. measure have reflected matters of the Soul.

Yet how can we be motivated to seek first feels like your own diary, with your own thoughts, recorded long, long ago, newly found again. Here is the missing piece to the puzzle. Ah, The author’s internet television And so I make this statement: the Kingdom of God when we keep hearing yes, it was right there bold in front of you all along . . . and now you see it channel, www.CWG.tv, allows readers again, but as if for the first time, and finally, everything fits. to be reconnected with the material such terrifying or totally unacceptable things and the messages in his books within a fresh and lively new context each What is needed in the world today about God? week. Walsch lives with his wife, the American poet Em Claire, is a Civil Rights Movement for the in Ashland, Oregon. He may be contacted ... Soul, freeing humanity at last from the What is needed today is for all of us to atwork www.cwgportal.com oppression of its belief in a violent, angry, to change the world’s mind about God. and vindictive God. Why? How does God fit into all of this? Is it not true that a significant percentage of the We crave, we deeply yearn for, release from world’s people, for reasons just given, don’t the limitations of a dogma that declares even believe in God? This book speaks to you, from you, of that. Do not be surprised if it

Something like 108 billio have lived on our plan its history, and despite a experiences in all of the of all of those people, we not found a way to exist to peace and harmony, much individual lives with a p glorious, intrinsic meanin wonderfully joyful purpose

Life has such a meaning and but across thousands of ye very small number of hum seem to have really unde Until now.

Now, everyone seems to b it� all at once—and agre each other, at last, that it tr

. . . The Only Thing That M


64" $"/ t 6, nj ISBN 978-1-4019-4236-6

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Kripalu Leaders: What is your vision?

Stephen Cope Albany. Director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. kripalu.org For many years, I have been leading the Institute for Extraordinary Living at Kripalu. In working with thousands of people every year at Kripalu, I have come to see that each one of us has a seed of enormous potential inside—an utterly unique combination of gifts, strengths, and possibilities. I have made it my life’s work to help folks identify their particular genius and to live it passionately and completely.

Vandita Kate Marchesiello

Micah Mortali

Albany. Director of Kripalu Professional Associations and Teaching for Diversity Program. yoganowandthen.com kripalu.org I am thrilled by the sense of the limitless possibilities yoga offers to heal, transform, and bring us together. In my role as Director of Kripalu’s Teaching for Diversity grant program, my personal and professional intentions are to support yoga teachers as they bring yoga to diverse, underserved, and at-risk populations.

Lenox. Volunteer Program Manager. kripalu.org My mission is to teach my children—and anyone else who’s interested—how to live closer to the earth. I want them to know how to make fire with friction; how to grow their own food; how to make—and use—bows and arrows; how to create their own shelter using only what is available on the forest floor; and how to find that peace within themselves that transcends all understanding.

Devarshi Steven Hartman Becket. Dean of the Kripalu School of Yoga. stevenhartman.com kripalu.org As a yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer, I aim to tackle the questions that sit at the foundation of each individual: Who are we? Why are we here? How we choose to answer these questions determines our actions, which affect our lives and the planet. I am dedicated to exploring personal transformation and selfinquiry through the lens of yoga, both on and off the mat. Photo: Monika Broz

Hilary Garivaltis Florida. Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda. hilarygarivaltis.com kripalu.org I envision a shift in the focus of health care. I see us creating unique centers for health and well-being in every community that focus on promoting health through holistic practices such as yoga and Ayurveda. I see the growth of local farms and herb gardens that provide nutrition and medicine right from our backyards, teaching us how to take care of ourselves and our environment once again. This focus on coming back to communities will be our frontline health care, and my mission is to support that focus.

Jovinna Chan

Deb Morgan

Becket. Assistant Dean of the Kripalu School of Yoga.

West Stockbridge. Executive Chef.

My vision as a yoga and dance teacher is to facilitate the selfawakening process, which requires the courage to be vulnerable in front of oneself and others. This process is a deep journey that awakens us to the sacred in our everyday life through self-study, compassion, patience, and right action. Photo : Jane Feldman

Kripalu center for Yoga & Health. Massachusetts. Kripalu.ORG



jovinna.com kripalu.org

In my work, I’ve explored through self-inquiry one of our most primal needs: eating. My mission is to support others as they examine their relationship with what, how, and with whom they choose to nourish themselves. I feel that this is an intriguing topic that we as a society have only begun to explore.

Aruni Nan Futuronsky Lenox. Life Coach. Program Advisor for Kripalu Healthy Living Programs. coacharuni.com kripalu.org My mission is to create a space in which deep relaxation, possibility, and grace emerge. Allowing people to feel heard and felt without judgment creates this space. All we really want is to be fully received—this is how transformation and healing happen.

Angela Wilson Pittsfield. Program Leader. Frontline Providers. Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL). kripalu.org My mission is to remind people that we all have the innate capacity for inner healing and transformation—we only need to learn to tap into it and let it teach us how to live. Right now I embody that mission through my work for the IEL, where I teach healthcare workers how to use yoga to help them nurture themselves while they take care of others.

Kripalu center for Yoga & Health. Massachusetts. Kripalu.ORG


Cultivating Unity Consciousness

Are you looking for insight into your true calling? Seeking more clarity? Do you want to be inspired?

Deepak Chopra, M.D. Nature offers endless evidence of the infinite intelligence underlying all creation. A single flock of birds may contain hundreds of individuals but they fly in perfect formation and simultaneously change direction in an instant without an obvious leader directing their flight patterns. You never see birds bumping into each other in flight—their instantaneous communication is orchestrated from the level of universal intelligence.


Featuring a Special Evening with Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle APRIL 21–27, 2013

MANIFEST WITH THE MASTERS Featuring Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston JUNE 30–JULY 6, 2013

La Costa Resort & Spa • Carlsbad, California

The Fairmont Chateau Resort & Spa • Whistler, BC, Canada

Join Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and other Chopra Center master educators for Inspire Your Life. On the tranquil grounds of La Costa Resort & Spa you will engage with the transformational stories of amazing athletes, authors, and thought leaders who have turned tremendous obstacles into opportunities for growth and success.

The Chopra Center’s signature meditation and yoga retreat returns to Whistler, B.C. this July. Join Deepak Chopra, Jean Houston, and other leading teachers for Manifest with Masters, created to provide you with tangible tools to manifest the life of your dreams.

You will practice Primordial Sound Meditation and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga each day and eat delicious Ayurvedic cuisine. And for the first time ever, Eckhart Tolle joins Deepak Chopra for one special evening to discuss some of life’s biggest questions with you.

Don’t wait to be inspired . . .


Through the practice of Primordial Sound Meditation, daily Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga classes, and interactive lectures with leading spiritual teachers, you will begin to unwind, destress, and reconnect to the deepest parts of yourself that know what you truly seek.

Join us in Whistler for the experience of a lifetime . . .


“Meditation is the most powerful tool we have to see the connective patterns of the universe, to make miracles out of our desires. Meditation allows us to place our attention and intention in the more subtle planes, giving us access to all that unseen, untapped information and energy.” Deepak Chopra

In our own bodies, infinite intelligence is revealed in the incredible functioning of our cells. In every moment, each cell is communicating with every other cell, carrying out hundreds of thousands of activities all at once. Our cells can simultaneously digest a meal, destroy cancer cells, eliminate waste, and make a baby—all without our conscious awareness. The boundless field of intelligence is everywhere, manifesting in everything. We are all part of this interwoven tapestry, and the universe lives and breathes through each of us. Since at the level of consciousness we are inextricably connected, we have unlimited potential to co-create our reality through our attention, intention, and action. This power is magnified when we join together in a community of like-minded individuals sharing a common intention to create greater health, peace, joy, and wellbeing in our lives and in the world. Core to community is the intention to expand awareness, for through awareness we can see beyond the limitations that activate fear and awaken the deep unity that leads to new possibilities and evolutionary leaps. The Chopra Center has created a variety of online programs and events that create communities in consciousness, including the Seduction of Spirit yoga and meditation retreat, and the Journey into Healing workshop. At these events, I am joined by master teachers such as Dr. Andrew Weil and Eckhart Tolle, as we fulfill the need to connect internally in awareness and externally in the world. I encourage you to connect even more deeply to who you are and what you want to create in your life, in your community, and in the world. What do you want to give and receive? What do you want to contribute and experience? What are your unique gifts and talents? How can you use them to serve others as well as yourself? As you connect to your true self and contribute your talents to the world, you will live in an expanding flow of abundance, compassion, joy, and love.

“Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.” Eckhart Tolle

“I consider health a relative state of wholeness and balance of internal and external forces. It’s an internal springiness that allows you to move through the world and not get hurt (by all the things that could hurt you). All of us come into the world with that internal quality; it’s up to us to learn how to protect and enhance it.” Dr. Andrew Weil

Deepak Chopra, M.D. is a bestselling author and the co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. The Chopra Center offers a variety of mind-body healing programs and events, including the following: Seduction of Spirit: Inspire Your Life | April 21–27, 2013 Seduction of Spirit: Manifesting with the Masters | June 30–July 6, 2013 Journey into Healing: Balance, Heal, and Transform Your Life | March 14–17, 2013 Journey into Healing: Super Brain | August 22–25, 2013 Chopra.com



Kathy Freston: On How to Become a Veganista Interview: Robert Piper we can keep enjoying the things we grew up loving, just better versions of them. Little by little we discover that we don’t need to eat animal products at all, because there are so many healthier alternatives that taste great. The trick is going easy with yourself so that you can find your way comfortably. Then you’ll stick with it. The goal is progress, not perfection! RP: Why is it healthier to become vegan?

KF: An abundance of peer-reviewed science is showing that a whole foods, plant-based diet prevents most heart attacks, strokes, and even many kinds of cancer. It gets you to your ideal weight easily and sustainably, reverses Type 2 diabetes, and even fixes erectile dysfunction (because it greatly improves circulation!). You get tons of phytonutrients and antioxidants from plant-based foods, very little saturated fat, and you avoid cholesterol entirely! RP: Can you explain the best sources of protein?

KF: Protein is in just about everything (even broccoli!), but you get a lot from beans and legumes (black beans, chickpeas, lentils), soy products, nuts, and seeds. You know how most people think that eggs are great sources of protein? Well, you only get about six grams from an egg, and about half of that is in the yolk and the other half is in the white. If instead you opt for a cup of lentils, you get a whopping eighteen grams of protein, plus all that fiber that makes you feel full and cleans out your body! RP: How do you make the best food choices when traveling?

KF: I use apps like VeganExpress or check in with HappyCow.net to see where I can get vegan food wherever I’m going. I also travel with lots of snacks, like Bobo’s rice bars (I have them for breakfast), Clif Builders protein bars, trail mix, and fruit. Actually, I kind of make it a sport to find a health food store or a good restaurant. It’s a great way to familiarize myself with a new city in a really fun way. There is always a Mexican or Thai restaurant wherever I go, and those are two ethnic dining wins for vegan food (black bean burritos and guacamole for Mex, or rice and tofu with veggies for Thai!). RP: Why is going vegan good for the environment?

Kathy Freston is an author and wellness activist. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean, Veganist, and The Quantum Wellness Cleanse. Robert Piper: You’re an advocate for taking small steps towards becoming a vegan. You call it “leaning in.” Can you explain what you mean by this?

Kathy Freston: For many of us, it’s too difficult to jump in to vegan full on because it’s just so different than the way we grew up eating. But if we take small steps—like replacing cow’s milk with almond or soy milk, or using veggie sausage instead of sausage made from animals—

KF: The business of raising animals for food (with its continuous heavy waste stream of methane and nitrous oxide—leading global warming gases) is responsible for about 18% of global warming. Some scientists actually say the number is closer to 50%. Also, animal agriculture takes up an incredible 70% of all agricultural land, and a whopping 30% of the land surface of the planet. As a result, farmed animals are probably the biggest cause of slashing and burning the world’s forests. Livestock accounts for most of the water consumed in this country, emits twothirds of the world’s acid rain-causing ammonia, and is the world’s largest source of water pollution—killing entire river and marine ecosystems, destroying coral reefs, and of course making people sick with contamination on crops.

Wear Your Diamonds on the Inside Our heavenly tarts are filled with extra virgin coconut oil to make you glow from the inside out. Come see us at the Natural Products Expo Booth #1488 March 8-11, 2013 in Anaheim, CA

A veggie burger is sounding great now, isn’t it? kathyfreston.com



The Godfather’s Daughter A Spiritual Road Less Traveled

One of my earliest and most traumatic memories happened when I was five years old. I was playing under my grandmother’s dining room table hidden from view when my father stormed into the room with an entourage of men. Their voices sounded angry, and a few minutes later I saw my father, a former boxer, pounding his fist into a man’s face until his knuckles and pinky ring had shred the man’s cheeks to ribbons. “I’m done with him,” my father whispered to the others, as the man dropped to the floor. “Get him out of here.” Until I was sixteen, I had no idea what my father did for a living. But I did know this: he was a man of few words, immense power, and a dangerous temper. He was head of the Genovese crime family and, soon enough, the boss of all five crime families in New York. As I describe in my memoir, The Godfather’s Daughter: An Unlikely Story of Love, Healing, and Redemption, our father-daughter relationship sometimes felt like the smack of his fist on that unknown man’s face in my childhood memory.

Rita Gigante

I love and loved my father dearly and deeply, and I know he loved me. But growing up in my home, I was overwhelmed with the stifling atmosphere of fear and secrets. If my siblings or me or my mother said or did one wrong thing, we’d incur my father’s wrath. There was that constant pressure to keep what he did a secret from everyone and keep our mouths shut. “If anyone asks about his job,” I was instructed a thousand times, “just say he’s sick.”

fourteen, I smashed a girl’s head against the bathroom sink until she crumpled to the floor—like father like daughter, I guess.

My father was known to wander around Manhattan’s West Village in pajamas and a bathrobe, acting disoriented. The press dubbed him “The Oddfather.” But he was faking it. He was a brilliant actor and pretended to be paranoid schizophrenic for decades to evade the FBI, who watched him like a hawk, trying to catch him doing anything illegal with phone taps and surveillance.

I knew from as early as age eleven that I was gay, but it was not the kind of revelation you blurt out to your old-fashioned Catholic family in which men were king and women ironed their underwear. Even in church on Sundays, the priest spoke about homosexuality as a “disorder” and assured us that to give in to it was a sin, and that could mean an eternity in hell.

When I started therapy as a teen, I grew to understand the root of my physical illnesses and aggressive behavior: keeping my various family secrets (there were many more to come, I was to learn) and also an untold bombshell of my own festered inside of me, needing to get out.

My father was known to

I grew up in darkness

wander around Manhattan’s

in so many ways. I never

West Village in pajamas

knew what was going on

and a bathrobe, acting

and was not allowed

disoriented. The press dubbed

to ask any questions.

him “The Oddfather.” But he

That kind of half-living

was faking it. He was a brilliant

took a toll on me.

actor and pretended to

Because while dad was

be paranoid schizophrenic

faking sick, I was getting

for decades to evade the FBI...

sick for real.

The family at home paid a big price for his charade, emotionally and mentally. We spoke in whispers, the curtains were always drawn, and a radio hummed in the background like a never-ending soundtrack to muffle our voices and the voices of men who visited Dad. I nicknamed Gram’s Manhattan apartment, where my father lived most of the time, “the dungeon.”

I was urged by my family to curb my “tomboy” behavior and be like other girls, to wear a frilly prom dress and giggle about boys. It just wasn’t the real me and I knew it. When I was nineteen, my brother pummeled me to the kitchen floor until I was a bloody mess when he’d heard I’d been seeing a girl. Like father like son, I guess.

I grew up in darkness in so many ways. I never knew what was going on and was not allowed to ask any questions. That kind of half-living took a toll on me. Because while dad was faking sick, I was getting sick for real. It began with anxiety attacks while I was still in kindergarten and evolved into baffling, chronic, dramatic throat and lung infections as a teen and into my early twenties. I was a good kid and wanted to love and be loved, but in school I beat up classmates with a ferocity that scared me. At ten, I punched one bullying schoolmate so viciously, a teacher had to pull me off him and the bloodstained snow beneath. At

I was living a pretend, double life just like my father, and it was killing me. “You need to be who you are in this world,” my therapist told me. Unlike my father, I yearned to find a way to live a live a life of honesty and truth. My intense journey of self-discovery and healing began with this desire. After the Feds finally got Dad into jail, my first step was to be honest with my mother and siblings about who I was. From there, the rest fell into place. Once I understood that a person must follow his or her own unique path in all areas and not blindly accept authority in any category—be it religion, medicine, or sexuality—my entire world opened up to greet me.

I redefined what “God” meant to me—an all-loving God who didn’t punish those He or She made because of how He or She made them. I began using holistic methods to heal my body and my heart. I traveled through a tormenting dark night of the soul where I spent months purging myself of past ailments and betrayals. And one morning I surfaced like being reborn. After I was healed enough, I turned to do what I felt was my calling in life—helping others. Today, I am a healer in New Jersey and I love my life. I am engaged to a wonderful woman and I spend every day grateful that I can live a life of optimal health and truth, and help others do so as well. People often ask me why I wrote my book. I tell them that, like anyone who has struggled hard to find a way to overcome difficulty, I wanted to share this with my fellow brothers and sisters so they can do the same. It’s good for people to be reminded that no matter who they are or what they’ve been through, the life and healing they want is possible. We’re all in this together and we’ve got to keep each other going. My father passed away in jail in 2005. Before he died, we began mending our relationship in a very beautiful, spiritual way, and we have continued to do so after his death. Sometimes when I’m in my healing room working on a client, I will feel Dad’s unmistakable energy bound into the room and swirl around me. But it’s not like before, like under Gram’s table. Today it’s about kindness and acceptance. “I’m proud of you and what you are doing,” I can feel him saying to me, and it gives me goose bumps. “You took the path, the good road,” he says, “I wish I could have, too. I love you.”

Photo: Andy Stauffer (above) 70 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM




Our Favorite Couples Working To g e t h e r to Shift the Planet

Kathryn Budig Yoga instructor. Author.

Bob Crossman Professional skydive instructor. Chief. Skydive Deland.


Haale Gafori + Matt Kilmer The Mast. Brooklyn. Musicians. Producers.

amanda Giacomini Artist. Yoga teacher. Founder. Yoga Toes Studio.

MC Yogi Musician. Yogi.

NEW York

point reyes

Kathryn: Yoga and skydiving have many parallels— calm breath, the ability to surrender, a sense of nonattachment, and celebrating what is happening now instead of living in the past or future. We hope to blend these and help people celebrate how amazing their lives are right here, right now.

We write and produce songs inspired by futuristic pop, experimental beat music, post-dubstep, and early IDM bands like Boards of Canada. Our goal is to uplift and get people dancing. We’ve been releasing singles over the past six months, and will be releasing a full-length album in spring 2013.

Amanda: I believe that yoga can connect us to a place of deep happiness and inner strength, and that art can transform suffering into beauty and understanding. My vision is to uplift the world through yoga and art.

Bob: Fear of the unknown has stood in my way many times in my life.“What if this happens?” or “What if that happens?” These questions stop most people from trying something new in their lives. Through skydiving I help people conquer these fears, allowing them to see life from a new, empowered perspective.

We make music because it’s exhilarating. The best feeling comes right at the moment when we’ve finished a song we know is working. I think we’re addicted to that sensation.

MC Yogi: My vision is to witness a renaissance of spiritual awakening in my lifetime, to experience a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for this incredible world that we live in, and to help contribute to the knowledge that there is an underlying unity within all this diversity.

kathrynbudig.com skydivedeland.com

TheMastMusic.com amandagiacomini.com mcyogi.com Photo: Sonya Kitchell





The Greenhearts Co-founders. Greenheart Creative.

Micheline Berry + Joey Lugassy

Tripp Miller

Jessica Durivage-Kerridge

Co-Owner. Mind-Body Play. Director of Badassness.

Founder. Where Is My Guru.

Tatti Miller Austin


Co-Owner. Mind-Body Play. Devotee of creating joy.

Carl Kerridge Owner. Carl Kerridge Photography.

myrtle beach

Jefe: I create to transform work into play. My career is curiosity—as a filmmaker, hypnotist, and stiltwalker, I choose to explore the world from every perspective possible. Through film and writing, I focus on illuminating the positive. Together, let’s go deeper and dream bigger. Kelly: Transformed by humanitarian service trips, I feel called to create for the sake of Earth, animals, and others. Creating purpose-driven art is my meditation; whether I’m producing international films, upcycled costume design, or kitchen alchemy, my vision is to courageously inspire others to tap into the heart of the creative source.

Micheline: I believe in “modern tribe”—the one of many languages, songs, colors, creeds. As a yogini, artist, and lover of world art and culture, I create environments where people from all walks of life can unite, explore, embody, and come home to their life art; whether in the bass beat of a rhythm, the synaptic stillness of a downward dog, or in the cascade of a wild waterfall somewhere beautiful in the world. 1Love. Joey: I love the idea of metaphor. All the great religions, the eloquent poetry, and indeed the ocean, stars, the night, and the day are all the grandest of metaphors. My passion in music, art, writing, and as a fellow conscious being, is to help cultivate the art of seeing and feeling the world as the perfect dance and story that it is; and to move away from the literal—which most often leaves us isolated in a world of us and them.

Fort Worth

Tripp: I want the world to be pain free. I want to teach the world to meditate. Purposeful movements and conscious breathing: those two tools have helped me though situations in life that otherwise would have broken me. Stress can’t be removed from life; you only choose how to deal with it. Tatti: I am devoted to helping others find joy and empowerment, no matter what obstacles arise. My vision: to share with others that a relationship with your body will lighten the load in your mind, and make your soul spark. So turn the corners of your mouth up!

We hope to empower others to follow their dreams by our own example of putting happiness, risk-taking, love, and service to others (and having a whole lot of fun while doing it) at the forefront of how we live our life. Jessica: I am a bridge builder, always encouraging individuals to dig deep and live life from a place of passion and love, and seeking ways to connect them with other people, places, and organizations that can help them move one step closer to alignment with their higher purpose. Carl: I would like to be known as a visionary and pioneer, creating iconic images that represent my unique vision of the beauty that I see in the world around me, and to teach and inspire fellow students of photography.


michelineberry.com joeylugassy.com


whereismyguru.com carlkerridge.com

Photo: Aaron Geiser. aarongeiser.com

Photo: Domonic Dean Breaux

Photo: Rachel E. Noble

Photo: Carl Kerridge





John O’Malley

Jodi Cardamone

David Taylor-Klaus

bhava Ram

Guerrilla Management. Cartel branding.

Former Founding Naturalist Director. Former Co-Naturalist Director. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Coach. Speaker. Cycling enthusiast. Co-owner. Touchstone Coaching.

Author. Musician. Vedic Teacher. Founder. Deep Yoga.

Catherine Enny Guerrilla Management.

san francisco

Tom Cardamone President and Chief Ecologist. Former Co-Naturalist Director. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

elaine Taylor-Klaus

Laura Plumb

Coach. Writer. Speaker. Co-owner. Touchstone Coaching. Co-Founder. ImpactADHD.com

Ayurvedic Healer. Deep Yoga Teacher. Founder. Sophia Mission & VedaWise.


John: My personal vision in life is that I will continue to grow by learning new skills, experiencing life, engaging with inspiring people, and following my dreams. Professionally I strive to find balance and tailor partnerships that create a win-win scenario for all involved. Catherine: To grow old, to be an instrument to create great music, art, and design by inspiring passion and positive change through my skills as manager and visionary. “People are not made of one bad thing they do in their lives, they are made of the multiple good they’ve done in their lives.” I want to do A LOT of good!


Since 1975, we have worked together, building a community of knowledgeable, motivated, and capable environmental stewards. Teaching ecological literacy and rolling up our shirtsleeves doing environmental restoration projects in forests, rivers, and wetlands is our passion.

David: I am the energy that unearths and unleashes the power of the heart. I reintroduce successful entrepreneurs to their families. My work is fueled by my belief that “Heart Forward + Head High = Fully Alive.” Elaine: I am a catalyst for people to live on purpose and at choice. I empower parents to confidently inspire their children, especially those with complex needs. My work is fueled by my belief that “People + Choice = Freedom.” Together: We are alchemists, unleashing men and women to lives of passion, purpose and heart. Our commitment to playful, respectful collaboration heals the planet, infusing the world’s relationships with balanced energy.

San Diego

Bhava Ram: Yoga guided me into healing a broken back and advanced cancer. This taught me we all have the power within us to transform our lives and manifest our fullest potential. My vision is to share this message far and wide, inspiring others to own their power and live their truth.

Laura: My vision is to cultivate the sacred feminine, encourage feminine spiritual leadership, and reignite the ancient wisdom of the Divine Feminine to bring healing and wholeness to our Mother Earth and humankind.

bhavaram.com deepyoga.com guerrillamgmt.com


TouchstoneCoaching.com ImpactADHD.com

vedawise.com sophiamission.com

Photo: Duane Stork Photography. w.DStork.com



Never Waste a Good Trigger: Part I Ana Forrest. Founder of Forrest yoga.

Triggers lead you onto the path you need to follow. Be brave enough to walk a healing road to the heart of the problem, and deal with it.

I have a saying that I’ve taught to the Forrest Yoga community: Never waste a good trigger. Why? Because triggers can be an incredible ally. Triggers lead to what needs healing. Being triggered can show up as a really big emotional reaction to something seemingly insignificant. A trigger can also manifest as a small emotional or physical tweak or internal flinch.

That’s what triggered you. The bleach blonde hair connected you to a memory flash of the nurse with bleach blonde hair that came to check on you when you were in the hospital. It is the pain of the injury, that traumatic experience, which is sitting in your cell tissue. The nurse herself may not have even been a problem—she is just the signpost of the experience of being hurt.

“I can’t” is a big trigger point for many people—in everyday life and on the yoga mat. Forrest Yoga teachers are trustworthy and skilled enough to guide students through the “I can’t” point. Each day, each pose, students gain joy in learning. Instead of “I can’t,” they are taught to ask, “What part of this can I do?” This is a great question because it opens many doors of possibility. Apply it whenever overwhelmed or triggered!

Continue to follow the trauma trail back to whatever put you in the hospital. Hunt whatever you internally blame for putting you there: yourself, your spouse, your drinking? Acknowledge the events that put you in the hospital. Breathe deeply, releasing the blame and guilt, and ask, “What is the next step for healing?” Keep walking on this path.

Instead of being ashamed of being triggered, get excited because triggers are clues for where to do your work. Triggers lead you onto the path you need to follow. Be brave enough to walk a healing road to the heart of the problem, and deal with it.

My Triggers

Go Deeper

Before I could do anything, I first had to get through the degrading internal dialogue with myself—about how foolish I was to be triggered by a red jacket, like an angry bull reacting to a red cape. I call that negative self-talk phase “bog slogging”—like mucking through a swamp. That may be a necessary step for you, the reader. I’m here to tell you, stop slopping around in the mean internal dialogue swamp and get to the trigger. That’s where the excitement is!

At a basic level, many people get triggered by emotional and physical feelings. In Forrest Yoga, we encourage people to delve into what’s going on inside their body—to feel. Teaching people how to feel triggers them, because there are usually significant reasons for their numbness. To heal they must reconnect through feeling. What are the best things to do when you get triggered? 1. Catch that you are triggered. 2. Start breathing very deeply. 3. Activate your feet. Spread and lift toes, press balls of feet and heels into the earth. 4. Start the inquiry. What happened? What just triggered me? Seemingly inconsequential things can set off a trigger, like someone’s blonde hair or red shirt. Move aside your judgments about your trigger being insignificant, and get fascinated with the process of hunting the trigger trail. That shirt or hair opened up a gateway to something that is unresolved and needs healing in you. The red shirt or blonde hair is just a marker to catch your attention. Now go hunting!

A Scenario Let’s say your trigger is someone going by with bleached blonde hair. Maybe you didn’t even notice the trigger because it was subtle, but you’re in a bad mood the rest of the day. It’s hard to track what caused the bad mood, as it was simply that you went by someone with bleached blonde hair.

One of my own triggers was a red jacket. I would get uneasy and irritable whenever I saw someone wearing red. The trigger was stronger if it was red on top (a jacket) versus on the bottom (a skirt).

As I invited in the information from the trigger to tell the story, bits and pieces began to coalesce into a picture. I got an answer that eased my anxiety, at least for a while. I remembered that I was in a car accident. The last thing I saw before being knocked unconscious was a woman in a red jacket. When I finally got to that part of the trail, there was easing but not completion. Then, for a while, I fell back into a bog called, “I thought this was done!” Eventually, I recognized that my thinking was keeping me confused and in the bog. It was time to stalk this trigger a little farther. Following the trauma trail back to before the accident: I was being driven from a rape experience, which was way more traumatic than the car accident. Both of these experiences were loaded into the red jacket trigger. I began to unwind all of that through my cell tissue. By investigating what got hurt in these experiences, I could target my healing practice into those wounded areas—healing chronic injuries and fears that had never quite cleared previously. By walking this trauma trail, I earned back my memories, as well as freedom and ease in my body.

Get curious and invite information about the trigger. These steps are an essential part of the healing process. Take these steps into your personal evolution—that is worth honoring!

Explore Your Triggers You might be triggered but unable to deal with it immediately. If so, write down, in as much detail as you can, what happened. Make a date with yourself in the next twelve hours to sit with your reactive experience. Breathe deeply and do a few gentle Forrest Yoga poses to bring a nourishing energy to yourself. Get curious and invite information about the trigger. These steps are an essential part of the healing process. Take these steps into your personal evolution—that is worth honoring! In Part Two, I’ll give you an example of how I worked with another of my own triggers—back pain—and brought a new level of healing to a very old injury. forrestyoga.com




Yoga + Music + Boulder, CO


JUNE 13—16 2013

A yoga festival for the modern lifestyle

Join us this summer, in beautiful Boulder, CO, for an incredible weekend of yoga with world-class instructors and mind-blowing music. This is a festival you don`t want to miss!

HanumanFestival.com 80 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


I’ve got this one conscious lifetime and more opportunity, privilege, and good fortune than most. How dare I not use the time I’m given, the opportunities I have, the abundance I’m allowed, to be in the service of others? I don’t expect all beings to feel motivated in the same way, but I am so clear about my karma and the intentions behind my actions, and driven to use my life and the gifts I’ve been given, in a way that supports, uplifts, provides aid, and—most importantly—offers love and fellowship to ALL beings. This is the calling of my soul.

seane corn


DEEPAK CHOPRA Healing, Transformation & Higher Consciousness Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health and the crucial connection between body, mind, spirit and healing.



MEDICINE. -Time magazine


When I lose my way, I lie down on the earth, and gaze at the sky. Resting in the earth I feel a primal power beyond words with the infinite above and below. A perspective that clears the way. When I need perspective, I lie down on the earth and do nothing. Resting in the earth, I feel a primal power beyond words with the infinite above and below. We are spinning with the earth, revolving around the sun, moving through the milky way galaxy at 500,000 miles per hour, and our galaxy moving within the universe—in total—around 2.7 million miles per hour! And yet, there is a still transforming power we can feel in our heart which is always seeking the ground of unity beyond the small crap. Resting in our heart upon the primal power of the earth, we can listen, be moved in a deeper way, receive brilliant insight, feel our bonds with all we love, and find a sacred action in this incredibly pivotal time in earth’s evolution. May all beings awaken, rise up, and act from a great connection to this extraordinary journey on spaceship earth.

shiva rea


ATTPAC.ORG I 214.880.0202

Photo: Kadri Kurgun 82 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM



The New York Times called Vinnie Marino “The Unlikely Yoga King of L.A.” He enjoys many crowns, including: sardine-packed classes, deliciously dry humor, rock and roll, uncluttered honesty, twenty-eight years clean and sober, and some of the most insanely loyal followers you’ll ever swap sweat with. Andrea Marcum: Where and when did you first bump into yoga?

Vinnie Marino: I had my first run-in with yoga in the ‘70s. I can’t remember if it was Lilias Folan on TV or if I started with my workbooks at home, but somehow I got turned on to yoga at fifteen years old. My brother was a hippie, and I went to a hippie high school where our gym class was yoga. And then I got off onto my whole drugswild-lifestyle and drifted away from yoga. AM: When did you know you wanted to teach?

Psychedelic Stillness and Grace A Conversation with Vinnie Marino

VM: I moved to L.A. in 1990 and took a flow class with music, and really liked it. I went to Bryan Kest all the time, and I found Seane [Corn] and YogaWorks. Then Grace Slick told me, because I had no idea what to do with my life, “You’ve got really strong legs, you dig this yoga stuff, try that. I’d rather take yoga from you than some weird guy in an orange robe.” And she gave me money to go to White Lotus and do my first teacher training. After taking the White Lotus and the YogaWorks trainings twice, I was still sure there was no way I was going to teach. One day I was at 24 Hour Fitness, the teacher didn’t show up, and the two other people in the room said, “Why don’t you teach the class?” Then things started to unfold, classes filled up, and Maty [Ezraty] hired me at YogaWorks. That was probably fifteen years ago.

Doing something extreme from an inversion to an arm balance is just a form of meditation. It doesn’t necessarily make you happier. These days I’m more interested in what happens when you’re still.

Interview: Andrea Marcum AM: How has your practicing and teaching changed over the years? Is your personal practice like the classes you teach?

VM: I started loving hardcore, kick-your-ass flow, and I still teach a strong flow. But now I’m in my mid-fifties. This past year, I dealt with being on chemo for six months for hepatitis C, from intravenous drug use in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I also had back surgery. My health wasn’t there, and my yoga was restorative and yoga nidra. I don’t go to the level-five vinyasa classes seven days a week anymore. I like going to teachers who’ve been teaching for twenty or thirty years. My fire is different these days. I’ve done some cool stuff with my body, but to me the gymnastic stuff isn’t the key to freedom. It’s the intention behind it. Doing something extreme from an inversion to an arm balance is just a form of meditation. It doesn’t necessarily make you happier. These days I’m more interested in what happens when you’re still. AM: You top my list of influential teachers. When I first stumbled into your classroom all those years ago, it was an epiphany for me. Here was this totally real guy who wasn’t impressed by bells and whistles, and got right to the truth. You make it about the material, and aren’t afraid to use humor and disarming honesty to get there.

VM: I’ve always been about alignment. I was way more ridged when I first started teaching, but now I’ve softened a bit. As much of a psychedelic hippie person as I am, I’m definitely not an airy-fairy person when I teach. I really have a reverence and a respect for yoga teachers and a yoga class—that when you come, you do what the teacher’s saying. If you modify for an injury, that’s understood, but if you’re doing all these other variations—I just find it so rude when people do that. And when the room’s really full, it’s distracting, and people can get hurt.

I’ve loved music from birth, but especially from what I came through in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Psychedelic drug anthems were my spirituality... Jefferson Airplane, The Stones, The Doors– they were like prophets for what was going on...Music is transcendent, and to me, otherworldly, so putting it with yoga just made sense. But you never know what lurks beneath the surface. Teaching so long I’m aware that underneath a normal-looking person there’s divorce, there’s illness, fear, mental instability, financial issues. There’s so much. When people get to class, I’m just thinking, “I’m glad we all made it here.” When we practice we come in with such mishigas, tumult, such stuff from the world, our worries, anxieties. All this free-floating frenetic energy. Then we practice, and all of a sudden something shifts. We get up out of savasana and think, “All right, I think I can deal with this.” AM: You also use fantastic music. I know that’s a great love of yours.

VM: I’ve loved music from birth, but especially from what I came through in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Psychedelic drug anthems were my spirituality. The latest album from Jefferson Airplane, The Stones, The Doors–they were like prophets for what was going on. They really spoke to me. Music is transcendent and, to me, otherworldly, so putting it with yoga just made sense. AM: You’re leaving 2012 behind as a year of challenge. In what ways did yoga contribute to your healing? Did it make you see yoga in a different light?

VM: Getting sick makes you so grateful for health. Without it, everything just comes screeching to a halt. I don’t view yoga like the fountain of youth, like I don’t view being clean and sober as “I’m not going to feel any pain.” We are these human bodies that have weaknesses, illnesses, and fragilities. We can strengthen them in certain ways, but ultimately we learn to live with this predicament. The days of thinking that one thing is your savior is just not real. Between zero and one hundred, you’re probably gonna die. The beauty of it is to take advantage of right now, really enjoy today, because there are no guarantees. The yoga is all about being present. vinniemarinoyoga.com



Yoga& Veganism sounds fishy

Ask Sharon Fish are complex beings who choose mates, use words to communicate, build nests, cooperate with one another to find food, have long-term memories, and use tools. from the ocean floor, along with everyone unfortunate enough to get caught in the nets. Roughly one-third of what is dragged in is not profitable fish, but other sea animals, including turtles, whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds. These beings are referred to by the fishing industry as “by-catch.” Severely traumatized and wounded, these animals are subsequently thrown back into the ocean, dead or dying.

Q: I don’t eat meat, but I eat fish. Isn’t that all right? Isn’t it true that fish are cold-blooded and don’t feel pain?

A: Actually, fish are very sensitive creatures with highly developed nervous systems. They feel pain acutely. If they weren’t able to feel pain, they, like us, could not have survived as a species. Their nervous systems, like ours, secrete opiate-like, pain-dampening biochemicals in response to pain. Here is an example that may help you understand just how sensitive a fish is. If you were a fish, and you were to touch a doorknob, you would be able to feel the presence of every person who had touched that doorknob during the course of a day. Have you seen how fish are able to swim in a school so precisely relating to their fish-fellows and never clumsily bump into one another? That’s because they have a highly developed sense of feeling in their bodies, which enables them

to feel not only the movement of the water against their skin but the presence of other beings who are close. They certainly are not cold-blooded in the sense that they are dull, insensitive, and have no feelings. Fish are complex beings who choose mates, use words to communicate, build nests, cooperate with one another to find food, have long-term memories, and use tools. Q: At least if we choose to eat fish, it’s cleaner for the environment and we aren’t contributing to the ecological toll that eating beef or pork is causing, right?

A: Wrong. Fishing is taking a huge toll on the planet’s ecosystem. Fishing is not a benign activity—it is hunting in the water. We are emptying the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers as we fish them dry. Large factory trawlers indiscriminately scrape and haul up everything

To meet the huge consumer demand for fish, the industry can no longer rely on hunting wild fish. Now we are doing to fish what was done to wild cows, sheep, goats, chickens, and ducks thousands of years ago: we are confining them in holding pens. Like their land equivalents, these floating fish farms, or hatcheries, are sites for genetic engineering. They contribute to polluting the ocean with toxic excrement and residue as any other farm would. Many genetically “altered” fish escape from the confines of the crowded floating concentration camps to mingle and mate with their wild fish cousins, causing horrible and irreversible damage to wild species. Today’s fishing industry supplies land farms with fish as well. Over fifty percent of the fish caught is fed to livestock on factory farms and “regular” farms. It is an ingredient in the enriched “feed meal” fed to livestock. Farm animals, like dairy cows—who by nature are vegans—are routinely force-fed fish to increase their weight and milk production. It may take sixteen pounds of grain to make one pound of beef, but it also takes one hundred pounds of fish to make that one-pound of beef!

Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training

300 Hour Residential Certification Knowledge + Action + Devotion

Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, USA Apr 21st, 2013 - May 17th, 2013 www.eomega.org/workshops/professional-training/jivamukti-yoga-teacher-training/

Blue Spirit, Nosara, Costa Rica Jun 2nd, 2013 - Jun 29th, 2013 www.jivamuktiyoga.com/events/teacher-training/300hour

Benedictine Abbey of Frauenwörth, Chiemsee, Germany Nov 18th, 2013 - Dec 16th, 2013 www.jivamuktiyoga.com/events/teacher-training/300hour “Jivamukti’s highly regarded Yoga Teacher Training Course is the Gold Standard.” Time Out NY, USA

Photo Guzman

Sharon Gannon is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga method and the author of Yoga & Vegetarianism: the Diet of Enlightenment. jivamuktiyoga.com




What do you know for certain? 1


Sharon Gannon

Ana Forrest

I don’t know if I have discovered any great secret to happiness. All I know is that life seems to be filled with infinite possibilities—opportunities to be kind and to contribute to the happiness of others. Doing my best to uplift the lives of others makes me feel happy. Happiness is success. Happiness is an independent state of being.

There are two things that I know for sure. One is that death is inevitable. Facing death can teach us to live life fully—in truth. The second is the mystery deep inside us all—unfolding the mysterious is exciting! Every day on my yoga mat, I go on a vision quest, making new and fascinating discoveries. That feeds my Spirit!



Manhattan. Co-founder. Jivamukti Yoga.

2 3 4


Orcas Island. Creator. Forrest Yoga.


David Life

Manhattan. Co-founder. Jivamukti Yoga. No one should spend any part of their life doing something to which they are not fully committed. None of us should desire to make anyone do something that they do not enjoy. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga works for those “uncommon” ones with enthusiasm, perseverance, discrimination, unshakable faith, and courage.

Elena Brower

Manhattan. Co-founder. Virayoga. Co-author. Art of Attention. I know for sure that the greatest privilege of being alive is truly seeing another human. artofattention.com elenabrower.com




David Swenson

Sri Dharma Mittra

Love is greater than fear. Change is good. Some people have more dollars than sense. The greatest teachers are not always the most popular. The most spiritual people are not the ones saying it. I miss my parents. I love my wife. Birth and Death are opposite sides of the same thing. Animals are cool. Hair has a mind of its own. The strongest trees grow the slowest. Roasted coffee smells good but tastes bad. Plucking a nose hair makes your eyes water. Knowing philosophy and living it are different things. The temporal nature of life does not diminish its value. Laughter is truly a medicine. I think there are a few more things but that is all I can remember right now. Oh yeah—it is harder to remember stuff as we get older!

I am absolutely sure that there is nothing I’m really sure of. This answer brought tears to my eyes because as I considered it, I felt in the inmost part of my heart, spiritual sorrow mixed with supreme bliss. I have devoted most of my life to searching for Him and ME, but even after all this time, I’m still not 100% sure about anything.

Austin. Yoga teacher.


Manhattan. Yoga teacher.




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5 4 6 7

2. Kay Kay Clivio New York. Yoga teacher.

1. Michelle Fliegauf

San Francisco. Founder. International Yoga. Yoga and travel have the power to transform. Breaking away from our everyday routines and delving deeper into our practice in a new environment allows us to return home with a renewed zeal for life and a richer understanding of the world around us. internationalyoga.com

This I know: life is a continuous process of creating, learning, and evolving. We are in constant creation of the environment we want to live in internally and externally. Through our thoughts, words, and actions, we create and shape our inner space and outer space. Life is full of magic and the opportunity for alchemy is everywhere. kkyoga.com

5. Colleen Saidman

3. Larissa Hall Carlson Stockbridge. Yoga teacher.

On the battlefield of the mat, I am unwaveringly devoted to seeking truth. Life is short, indeed, and simplicity is essential. Indelibly ripened by hearty yogic study, I know to lean on the sound dependability of the Yamas, the robust richness of the Gita, and the tranquil nobility of nature. Finding peace in the Tao, I know harmony abounds. larissacarlson.com Photo: Janel Norton


Sag Harbor. Yoga teacher.

4. Leslie Kaminoff

New York City & Great Barrington. Yoga teacher. What I know for sure is that the most important principles of Yoga can be found in the structure and function of our bodies. And vice versa. yogaanatomy.org Photo: Lydia Mann

I know for sure that love feels better than hate. I know that clinging causes pain. I know that elders deserve to be respected. I know that teenagers need to be taught that their bodies are temples and worthy of honor. I know that running away from emotions doesn’t work. I know that my ego gets me in trouble every day. The older I get, the more I realize that I don’t know anything at all. I am not sure what the question is, but I know that the answer is: love, kindness, and compassion.

What do you know for certain?

7. Dana Flynn 6. Sarah & Alan Finger

Manhattan. Co-founder. Laughing Lotus.

We know for sure that consciousness exists, and that all that we “think” we know in our minds is really just a dream. Pure consciousness is all that is real. We know this for sure, as we experience this when we experience the state of yoga, which is pure unbound potential: Samadhi.

My Momma loves me. Orange tulips and daisies delight me. I could live on my bicycle. Climbing trees or taking photos of trees is VIP. The deep end of the dance floor is where the Divine lives. Dancing with God is GOD. I teach because I love to learn. Friends are essential. Praying, Singing, Laughing are key. The less I know the more I am Free. I LOVE my Momma.



Manhattan. Yoga teachers.

8. Roger Cole Del Mar. Yoga teacher.

I know for sure that if I can keep my mind one hundred percent focused on every instant of a single breath, unwavering from the start of inhalation to the end of exhalation, for that brief, precious interval of time, I understand life better than if I had studied a thousand textbooks.

9. Raghunath Manhattan. Yoga teacher.

I’m convinced of the power of the yoga system. I’m convinced in the efficacy of asanas, which changed my body; pranayama, which changed my mind; and kirtan, which has changed my heart. Like magic! raghunath.org

Photo: roger cole


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What do you know for certain?


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1. Aadil Palkhivala

3. Sarah Powers

Bellevue. Yoga teacher. The question itself is flawed. Knowing doesn’t matter. It is feeling, alone, that counts. Knowing is of the brain. Feeling is of the heart. Knowing is ephemeral. Feeling is everlasting. I do not refer to emotions. I mean feeling the light, love, and truth of my being in my heart. I mean acknowledging and living from the inner smile, from gratitude, from joy, from kindness. This inner being I feel, and hence I “know” I am it.

2. Bo Forbes

Boston. Yoga teacher. The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the second biggest health problem on our planet by the year 2020—and number one by the year 2030. We’re incredibly fortunate to have yoga to help balance that. We are all connected; we’re in this together. I know for sure that if we work together, we can create global health.

I know that life is a mystery. I know that love is the deepest reality and transcends the dichotomous notion of love versus hate. I know that with passionate, dedication, and skillful means, each of us can recognize intrinsic timeless awareness, which is our essence. I know that oftentimes the best response is “I don’t know,” and that openminded pauses allow us to enter the stream of creative engagement.

4. Jovinna Chan

Becket. Assistant Dean of the Kripalu School of Yoga. This, too, shall pass. Practice, practice, practice. I get better at what I practice, so I’m mindful about what I choose to practice. Vulnerability is key to honest communication. jovinna.com kripalu.org

Great Barrington. Yoga teacher.

Dedicate yourself to the support and protection of the planet and its inhabitants in a noncompetitive way, and the Universe will support you, even economically (sometimes, however, only in the nick of time). Everything is impermanent. Settle into a nice routine and expect it to be that way forever? Saddle up!


You can’t argue with reality—you will always lose.

Photo: Matthew Carden


boforbes.com Photo: Leili Towfigh


5. Beryl Bender Birch

New York. Yoga teacher.

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Rajashree Choudhury


The U.S. Yoga Federation founder + president and first lady of Bikram discusses yoga as a competitive sport

Ideal Flooring Solution for the Permanent Yoga Studio

Interview Part I: Zoë Kors

Zoe Kors: In this country, the idea of yoga as a competitive sport is very controversial. And highly criticized.

Rajashree Choudhury: Yes. It’s very controversial. The Yoga Federation of India calls it “byayam,” which means exercise. People should be talking about “yoga asanas” as a competive sport. Because there are many forms of yoga. The most common two forms are hatha yoga and raja yoga. That’s mostly what people understand. Raja yoga is the mental practice and incorporates meditation, pranayama, and mudra. What are the benefits of having a raja yoga practice? The benefit is spirituality. Can spirituality be measured? No. And we don’t try. What we are, what we are actually doing in the competition, is only hatha yoga. What’s the benefit of hatha yoga? Physical. What do you need to do hatha yoga? Physical body. That’s it. Breathing and spirit is a part of any sport. So that’s why hatha yoga can be a sport. ZK: The way any physical practice can be a competitive sport.

RC: Yes. Any physical practice can be a competitive sport. What level you can take postures to create the maximum challenge and show your maximum skill, maximum control—it’s not a combat game. It’s a benefit to you. ZK: I think that people are under the misconception that competitive yoga is an American idea—one of my friends said that it’s is like taking the worst of

American culture and imposing it on the best of Eastern spirituality. But, yoga competition has been going on for thousands of years in India.

ZK: Each participant showed seven poses—five compulsory, two optional—in three minutes. The five compulsory are all from the Bikram sequence of twenty-six.

RC: One hundred years it is documented with the Federation. We see that there were meets before that was going on. In India, it’s going fine. Everyone will jump for competition. Over here—now I’m going to say this—if you are being judgemental, that is non-yogic.

RC: But let me tell you this also. There is another misconception that Bikram tried to copyright each individual pose. It’s the sequence being copyrighted and the dialogue being copyrighted, but those five postures are not in the sequence that way, in that order. Those five postures are authentic, traditional yoga poses, which is hatha yoga.

ZK: I went to my first yoga competition recently, by your invitation. I had an open mind and open heart. I was happy to see what a warm and supportive atmosphere it was.

RC: One hundred percent. ZK: There were a variety of levels. Women who had more weight, women who were very skinny, very bendy, and some not so bendy. I found it really touching to see that when someone fell out of a pose, they got more cheers for getting back in and completing it.

RC: This is exactly the reason I’ve been trying to encourage people to come and watch this competition. These last ten years, we have been reaching out to all levels. It used to be that the participants were teachers and practitioners in great condition. Not anymore. You see more and more regular people coming up.Yoga is all about what you do, actually do, for yourself. Every competitor that is there is there for themselves. ZK: There is a misconception that the competitions are exclusively for the Bikram community. You say that’s not the case.

RC: That is not the case. We are open for everybody.

This competition is run by USA Yoga Federation. If you go to USAyoga.org, you can find all the information. Competition has to be certain way. The postures have to be performed in a way that we can really judge. We have a Federation now, the Federation runs this competition. We have coaches’ clinic, judges’ clinic, athletes’ clinic. We follow rules and bylaws.


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ZK: Same as figure skating. Same as gymnastics.

RC: Exactly. And then USA Yoga is a member of the International Yoga Sports Federation. So we’ll see, you know. We are trying to work for asana yoga as a competitive sport. That’s the way, I think, more kids will practice. Otherwise we cannot bring the kids. ZK: So the idea is to bring yoga to more people—

RC: More people, more kids. Start yoga early. Sports brings people together. Sports brings community together. Sports keep you feeling cheerful, feeling spirited, it’s a kind of a thriving feeling. Which parents would not like to see their kids up there? Parents will support the kids. And the kids will go back and talk to other kids about it. So my next thing is to develop the kids’ program. We will start a camp, we will start a clinic, we will start clubs. USAYOGA.ORG



Yoga on Antidepressants Jennifer Pastiloff I judged myself viciously when I went on antidepressants years back. How wrong! Yoga should be able to help me 100%! How I have failed!

Known as the Sex and The City of Modern-day spirituality, this East Coast-West Coast fast lane adventure will have you laughing, crying, and meditating on this thing called “Love.”

It was before I was a yoga teacher but I considered myself a dedicated yogi, and I couldn’t possibly imagine taking medication to help me, even though I had been depressed since early childhood. I was also terrified of gaining weight. At the time I was battling a serious eating disorder and I would’ve rather been sad than fat. At the time, I probably would’ve rather been dead than fat. They saved my life, those meds. I gave in and took them despite my fears and eye rollings. Despite my shame. I saved my life, of course. But taking them helped me more than anything else in my life had ever helped me thus far. They helped me where numbing out couldn’t. Where starving myself couldn’t. Where yoga couldn’t.

I had fallen deep inside a pit and it was like someone finally threw a rope down, and I was able to climb out. Yes, it’s true. I have long thought about writing about this. I am a yoga teacher! There is no way that up until recently I was on meds. Shame! Couldn’t I have just meditated? I am not advocating you to take them. Ever. Yoga your ass off! Dance! Sing! Write! See a therapist! Do it all, and then, if and when, you realize that perhaps something inside of you is chemically unbalanced, then perhaps you can talk to a doctor and weigh your options. I only know what I chose. I had fallen deep inside a pit and it was like someone finally threw a rope down, and I was able to climb out. There was still work to do and I still battle depression but I cannot imagine what the alternative would have been. They helped me get through a day without starving myself and obsessing on my weight for the first time in fifteen years. With the new space in my brain, I was able to make room for other things. Judging: it’s a habit. Breaking a habit is hard. What’s harder is not going back to the habit. For years I had stopped sucking my thumb and then one day I started again. It was that easy. One suck and the safety I had always known was back, the thumb was back in the mouth, the pleasure remembered. I won’t write that I am going to stop judging, that I am going to meditate twice a day, that I am going to stop drinking 100%, that I am going to love every single person I cross paths with, that I am going to Photos: Jenni Young


write every single day. Sounds like a list of New Year’s resolutions. No. What I will say is this: I will do better than I did before. I will do my best. I will love harder. I will look to myself with love and kindness, especially if and when the I am fat, I am a monster, how did I ever take anti-depressants, what kind of jerk am I?—starts to creep in. Here’s what I say to you, to me, and to anyone that cares to read this: stop judging so much. People are doing their best. You are doing your best. You will keep getting better. You will keep rising to the occasion. You will keep meeting yourself in the coffee shop or bar and telling yourself what your Highest Self would do now. What Love would do now.

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Christy Funk

Brea. Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Owner. Belly Sprout and Christy Funk.

Self-love is something I am most passionate about! No matter what challenges we face in life, whether it be health, finances, or relationships, it all comes back to how we love ourselves. Our bodies and our emotional and spiritual health are areas where we can pour deep love. Loving yourself passionately is the ultimate healing tonic!

what are you PASSIONATE about?

bellysprout.com / christyfunk.com Photo: Crystal Velazquez/www.votografie.com

Aminda R. Courtwright Dallas. Agent of Change. I am truly, madly, deeply, passionate about helping people honestly and fully fall in love with themselves, and about providing opportunities for people to discover and recognize their own perfection. When we love and accept ourselves, we can begin to do the same for others. As we recognize their perfection, we begin to live more joyously, more freely, and completely connected! joyouslivingcommunity.org

Jonathan “J” Miles Laura Burkhart

Jennifer Colletti Chelsea Jackson Mia Hamza

San Francisco. Yoga Teacher. Owner. Yoga Reach International.

Minneapolis. Yoga teacher. Ayurveda yoga specialist. Studio owner.

Atlanta. Educator. Yoga Instructor. Chelsea Loves Yoga.

I am most passionate about global access to clean water. People should not suffer or die from preventable illnesses caused by waterborne pathogens. Basic medical care and education, especially for children, are also close to my heart. I founded YRI with a vision of bringing people together to explore the world while providing these essentials to those most in need.

I am over the moon passionate about helping women build families through yoga. One in six women suffer from infertility. Through my teachings I offer community, support, and safety to women and their partners dealing with this diagnosis. After personally experiencing infertility, I was led to teach empowerment through yoga and help women trust their bodies again.

I am passionate about contributing to the work of my ancestors. Through yoga and storytelling, I am committed to illuminating voices that are often silenced. Working closely with my community and communities that have been abandoned, yet still exist, inspires me. Tapping into my bliss while working with others who are learning how to find theirs is my passion.



I’m passionate about leading a heart-centered life. When I stay connected to what really lights me up, I better serve my community. I do that by teaching yoga—one of my biggest loves. Teaching yoga reminds me to embrace and share my uniqueness, stay learning, always keep it real, and inspire others to do the same. Sprinkle in some leaps of faith? Yes, please!

Photo: Lisa Venticinque Photography www. lisaventicinque.com

Photo: Roni Nicole

Mary Clare Sweet

Richmond. Owner. Minima Designs.


I’m passionate about my work communicating the visions of creative thought leaders and agents of change, and empowering them with tools and systems that allow them to share their message with a global audience. My mantra is universal access to information. I’m passionate about creating user-friendly experiences. Design, clarity, and intentional thought are at the core of all I create.

Photo: Stacy Abbott

minimadesigns.com Photo: Pang Tubhirun / Pangtography

Photo: Siddiqi Ray / au-ray.com

Omaha. Teacher. Founder. Lotus House of Yoga.

Passion is being devoted to what you love. First you must know what you love. I love music and movement. I love uncovering stillness and watching it turn into fire. I love feeling alive and engaged. When I am devoted to feeling alive, I am passionate. Jason Bowman says, “In nourishing our daily lives with an appetite for adventure we recognize that in living comes burning, in burning comes passion and in passion lies the potential to follow the whims of the heart all the way to infinity.” Let your passion take you to infinity, I will meet you there.

Leah Lamb

Erica Jung

Katie Armstrong Amber Samplin

Victoria Keen

Berkeley. Founder. My Planet, LLC.

Far Hills. Yoga & Wellness Guide. Studio Owner. Community Leader.

Boulder. Owner. The OM Collection Clothing Company.

New York City. Textile & Clothing Designer. Visionary.

I am passionate about all the experiences life has to offer. Every smell, taste, and interaction is a chance to know myself and others deeper, and that ignites a flame of passion that may only dim slightly when I take my last breath. I am passionate about making those experiences positive and vibrating with happiness; an inspiration to lead a happier life for all.

It is through facing my fears that I have the inspiration to create beauty and inspire others. When anxiety and doubt approach, I can quiver or I can grow. I embrace the vulnerability of my heart when I approach new frontiers of my potential. Through collaboration with artists, seekers, and athletes, I am called to walk deeper into my truth and my embodiment.

My overwhelming passion to help people transform is what gets me up every morning! I can’t wait to arrive at the studio every day, to greet each person where they are at in that moment. I connect people to themselves through yoga—all aspects of yoga, from the gross work (asana) to the subtle (meditation). My journey inspires my teaching, always a student of life first.

My passion lies in expressing my experience of this great mystery in everything that I do. Music, vibration, and rhythm are my constant muses. My artwork invites you to look at that invisible thread, the hidden current that weaves the ocean, the animals, the wind, and us small humans together to make this beautiful tapestry of existence around us.





Photo: Merrick Chase Photography.com

Photo: Scott Samplin

My passion lies in helping others live a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life. I am passionate about healthy eating and living via a plant-based diet, as well as finding healthy ways to reduce stress by doing what you love. Travel, food, family, and friends are my world, and I love helping others create a healthy blueprint for theirs!

I am passionate about restoring our relationship with the natural world. I believe stories create the framework for what we believe is possible, so I want to reclaim our cultural narrative about the environment by telling true stories about people healing through contact with nature. My Planet’s short documentaries are designed to provide the nourishment we need to face the challenges of our time.

HealthyVoyager.com / maryclaresweet.com



Carolyn Scott-Hamilton Los Angeles. Holistic nutritionist. Vegan chef. Cookbook author. Creator. The Healthy Voyager.

Photo: Thomas Worth / artwork: Dan Hamilton


My mission is to build community and connect people through the power of yoga. Health and happiness is our birthright. Our duty is to help each other along the way. Yoga teaches us that with constant effort, we can achieve our goals. I want to help create a world fueled with the energy of compassion, service, generosity, and love.

Michelle Martello


YogaReachInternational.com Photo: Doug McKee

West Virginia. Yoga teacher.

Richmond. Co-founder. Project Yoga Richmond.

Peoria. Yoga teacher. Studio owner.



San Francisco. Founder. The Yoga Diaries™.

The transformative power of yoga. After I lived through a very dark time, yoga radically transformed my life. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of yoga to change the world and I am passionate about spreading that message. To that end, I founded The Yoga Diaries™, a project dedicated to sharing diverse, personal stories of healing and transformation through yoga. jeanniepage.com / theyogadiaries.net

Trish Meyler

San Francisco. Founder. BOGA Yoga Paddleboards.

Being a beach girl and yogini my whole life, I swirled both of my passions together to create BOGA Yoga, a paddleboard designed for yoga on water. BOGA Yoga allows people to slow down, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the beauty of our natural world that we so often hurry by. I love bringing a bit of natural balance and fun into people’s lives, and the fun and laughs they bring into mine in return. BOGAboards.com Photo: Sheila Elworthy

Leza Lowitz

Tokyo. Writer. Yoga teacher.

The dusk, the dawn, everything in between. The word as transcendence, yoga as transcendence, life as transcendence. Ending suffering. I’m passionate about this Mondo Zen quartet: wake up, grow up, clean up, show up. Meaning: We awaken. We take responsibility. We clean up our act. We show up for those in our lives. We transcend. We include. We love. lezalowitz.com

Ruthie Goldman London, Ontario/Bethlehem, Palestine. Creator. Director. Olive Tree Yoga Foundation. I am passionate about creating yoga centers throughout Palestine and Israel (and the world!) with the OTYF team, and nurturing inspiring leaders and encouraging them to GO BIG with their ideas! I am passionate about my wonderful husband, my zany kids, Baptiste Power Yoga, Israel and Palestine, really good travel pillows, falafel, and life-saving espresso. olivetreeyogafoundation.org photo: Mattae Katolyk

Dana Walters

Richmond. Co-founder. Project Yoga Richmond.

I am a passionate advocate of wholehearted intention in action. The loving care with which I place my hand on my mat is the same as that with which I hear someone’s struggle. Passion drives me to use my everyday gifts to create positive change. Each morning I rise with the intention of unfolding those gifts, steadily, here and now. projectyogarichmond.org photo: Patrick Gregory

Kelly Rigg

Amsterdam. Director. The Varda Group for Environment & Sustainability.

I passionately believe that our children’s future is threatened by changes on a planetary scale— changes to our oceans and climate. In my experience, real change doesn’t happen incrementally, but in unexpected ways with many crises along the way. Scary as this may be, crisis creates opportunity. Facing down fear doesn’t take strength, it creates strength! I am inspired by campaigns which dare to achieve the unachievable —only by taking risks do we achieve the greatest results. vardagroup.org











Annie Carpenter

Jason Frahm

Ashley Albrand Broadrick

Hala Khouri

Denise Kaufman

Aaron Reed

Micheline Berry

Kyra Haglund

Los Angeles. Yoga teacher.

Venice. Spiritual life guide. Yoga teacher.

Topanga. Yoga instructor. Light worker.

Venice. Co-creator. Off the Mat, Into the World®.

Venice & Kilauea. Yoga teacher.

Venice. Yoga teacher.

Venice. Artist. Yogini. Producer.

Venice. EYRT. Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. MSW Candidate.

Pain teaches me patience. When pain arises, I often feel the urge to go numb and ignore it—“It’s no problem!”—and push through it. In these moments, rather, I choose to listen, to feel, to allow.

I address pain through natural remedies and essential oils. Then I sit with the pain and become present with it. Without having to change it, I simply embrace the experience of the pain. If needed, I will ask the pain what it needs, what the body needs, and what is my medicine (lesson) from the experience. Then I integrate the messages.

I love this question so much as I sit here typing with aching tendons inside my pubic bone. Who knew extreme flexibility is not ideal for pregnancy? It’s not my first bout with pain. I have come to consider myself a master on the topic. Here is my yogic prescription:

I try to go into the pain when it comes up for me, be it emotional or physical. I find that if I attend to the discomfort without running away, it either goes away or reveals to me an insight or a need.

I tune in and do my best to make wise choices. Rest? Movement? Ice? Elevate? Treatments? Tune in deeper. I don’t get injured often because I understand my structural limits and ranges of motion. I don’t push or force into points of compression thinking they will “open.” After sixtysix years in this body, I’m better at caring for it. So grateful!

Accept It! Physical pain has become my truth serum for accepting and managing my aging process. Pain signals are a great barometer to evaluate whether my asana practice is still age appropriate. Creating a perpetual state of comfort and wellbeing can be a worthy objective of a mature, compassionate yoga practice. Continuing to harbor fantasies about running away and joining Cirque de Soleil as a contortionist will end painfully!

Is this an ORIGIN Koan!? I try to “be” with pain as honestly and directly as I can. To listen to it. To learn. When the pain is emotional and strong, I dance it. Literally. Dancing has been a spiritual touchstone for me since I was young. Working consciously with the body, whether through yoga or dance, allows me to soften around the direct experience of grief, pain, or loss with a quality of presence that in and of itself can be healing. Sometimes, however, there is nothing as holy as a good cry.

Initially, I wince. I turn away from it. Often I curse it. Then, sooner or later, I breathe and turn to it. I try to touch it. I ask it what it needs. Sometimes the pain needs ice. Sometimes it needs me to back off, be kinder. Sometimes it needs me to be brave. Always it needs breath and compassion.






Photo: Amir magal

Photo: Travis Shinn

Other times, pain sends me on a spiral of fear and anxiety: “Will it ever go away?” In these moments I invite pain to express itself fully, ever so slowly revealing to me all of its nuances: where is it exactly, what triggers it, what eases it? In the end, I hold pain dearly like a very good friend in a moment of need.


Allow Listen Breathe Meditate Massage Rest Presence Prayer Love


Photo: Anne Marie Fox

Photo: Kristin Burns Photography

exhale center for sacred movement. Venice CAlifornia. exhalespa.com


Photo: Cherylkaufman.com

exhale center for sacred movement. Venice CAlifornia. exhalespa.com






Kerry-Ann Telford Santa Monica. Yoga teacher.

Physical pain can make me impatient, fearful, depressed, and angry. I do the basics—eat well, drink water, get enough sleep. I treat myself with compassion and focus on softening into the injured area, not creating more tension. I remind myself pain is temporary as I breathe through the current difficulty. I practice patience, remembering that healing takes time. keriannetelford.com Photo: © 2012 sarit z. rogers / saritphotography.com

Brian Campbell Los Angeles. Yoga Teacher. Bodyworker.

Jo Tastula

Phoebe Diftler

Desi Bartlett

Kyra Anastasia Sudofsky

Venice. Yoga teacher.

Thai Massage therapist. Energy worker. Yoga teacher.

Venice. Spiritual life guide. Yoga teacher.

Venice. Yoga teacher. Holistic health counselor. Wedding officiate.

A serious allergy to painkillers has forced me into a respectful relationship with pain. I continuously come back to the Buddhist saying “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” as a guiding light. Fundamentally, pain is a sensory and cognitive response that protects us from harm. So essentially, it’s a good thing. Bringing this awareness to our pain body gives us the choice to move beyond the story and experience pain as a teacher rather than an oppressor.

When I work with clients, often digging deep into their body is the best way to release pain resulting from hardness, memories, or fear that might otherwise be stuck there forever. In my own life, dealing with something head on ultimately creates less pain than putting it off. I’ve found that sometimes you have to cause pain to release pain.

I address pain through natural remedies and essential oils. Then I sit with the pain and become present with it. Without having to change it, I simply embrace the experience of the pain. If needed, I will ask the pain what it needs, what the body needs, and what is my medicine (lesson) from the experience. Then I integrate the messages.

Studies show meditation reduces pain by 70%. When I accidentally locked my thumb in a car door, I knelt down, breathed deeply, and brought my mind to a quiet place. This moment of mindfulness allowed me to get focused, remove the key from my purse and laugh when the guard in the parking lot said, “Why would you do that?”



Photo: James Wvinner

I go to the Korean spa. I move slower and challenge myself not to shrink and tighten around pain, but to breathe a little deeper, and feel into my body what needs to change—to support and bring less pain to that area. I do therapeutic Forrest yoga and get really good bodywork. Bodyworkyoga.com Photo: © A Karno

Samantha Mehra Venice. Yoga teacher.

SURRENDER. When pain shows up now, all I know is to serve it. Listen to it. It comes with a lot of information, and demands even more attention. By the time pain arrives in the physical realm, it’s already been tapping into the mental emotional psychic spaces.Meditate. Nurture it. Sleep with it. Bathe it. Massage it. Learn from it. samanthamehra.com Photo: Josue Peña

Jillian Wintersteen Venice. Yoga teacher.

First I try to relax the muscles involved or around the area of pain. Simply by bringing my awareness to the area can be enough to relieve tension. I direct my breath into the area to go deeper, using the exhale to release it. Once the area relaxes a little, I start to explore the source of the pain and experiment, with yoga, what relieves it and what exacerbates it. jillianwintersteen.com Photo: Scott Monett



Photo: Anne Marie Fox

Photo: Carolina Franco

Matthew Cohen Venice. Yoga teacher.

I get quiet and ask, what medicine do I need? To return to balance, to restore radiant health, to be aligned with my life purpose. Are the medicines I need physical, energetic? Do I need to strengthen, stretch, create, dance, hike, or practice? I ask the question to myself, to spirit. I get quiet and wait, knowing the answers are coming. sacredenergyarts.com

exhale center for sacred movement. Venice CAlifornia. exhalespa.com


exhale center for sacred movement. Venice CAlifornia. exhalespa.com



AWAKEN, SOUL TO SOUL Danisa Perry During my apprenticeship with Don Miguel Ruiz, international bestselling author of The Four Agreements, I attended a “Mitote” ceremony (dreaming workshop) where we were asked to set an intention for the evening. I wanted to see my true self.

Before me was a pulsating, glowing, breathing oval of blinding light. The golden rays were emanating from its center, like a sun. I felt one with all that is; I felt euphoric; I felt omnipotent; I felt eternal.

During the night, I awoke, sat up, turned around, and noticed that I could see my body still sound asleep behind me. Then, I suddenly noticed a mirror through the darkness on the far side of the room. As I moved towards it, what I witnessed was beyond words.

Argentinian-born filmmaker Danisa Perry graduated from New York University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Film. Danisa is the founder of Guru Rendezvous Films, a company she created to develop what she dubbed “Activation Media”: taking the genre of spiritual cinema to the next level. She is the producer of the new documentary feature Awaken, Soul to Soul.

Before me was a pulsating, glowing, breathing oval of blinding light. The golden rays were emanating from its center, like a sun. I felt one with all that is; I felt euphoric; I felt omnipotent; I felt eternal. Then I realized that it moved with me. It was me—I was witnessing my own light, my own soul in the mirror!

Interview: Jill Mangino

By the age of ten, Canadian pop star Kaya had a gold record. At age eighteen, he had two Quebec #1 singles. At the age of twenty-four, Sony Music Canada offered him a multimillion dollar contract. In a move that stunned the industry and the public, Kaya walked away from his lucrative career. Living as a hermit for many years, he delved into his dreams and devoted himself to meditation, prayer, and selfless service. With his wife Christiane Muller, Kaya co-founded Universe/City Mikael , a nonprofit organization to support his mission. Considered by many to be a modern sage, Kaya now infuses his gifts as a performer and spiritual teacher to bring his transcendent message to the world.

Suddenly, the shock of what I was experiencing woke me up. I became aware that the reflection in the mirror is who I am and who we really are: omnipotent, eternal, divine beings of light. My transcendent experience inspired my documentary film, Awaken, Soul to Soul. I wanted to give the viewer the opportunity to know the oneness as I did, not as a mental concept, but as a direct experience, thus offering the medium of film as a tool for activating and awakening consciousness.

Jill Mangino: Why did you walk away from a burgeoning career as a successful performer to pursue an inner calling?

During the years I spent as an apprentice of Don Miguel, just looking into his eyes shifted me into an altered state of awareness where I felt “one” with all that is.

Kaya: As an artist, I had received a request from the Children’s Wish Foundation; it was from a young woman on the threshold of death. She had received a dream in which it was said that she needed to see me before she died. I took the first plane to visit her at the hospital. Two weeks after our encounter, she passed away. Without knowing that she had died, during the night she came to visit me in a dream. She brought me in a large black room and I was able to see the tunnel of Light that we see when we die. I woke up in tears of joy. After that profound encounter, I started to receive ten to fifty dreams per night. I continued to receive all theses dreams, every night for the last seventeen years.

It is said “the eyes are the road to the soul.” I believe when we gaze into each other’s eyes, we can connect beyond the fear-based ego and into the eternity of each other’s soul. We are then able to enter a sacred realm: the infinite oneness. This is why I shot Awaken, Soul to Soul in extreme close-up, with the sages looking straight down the lens of the camera: to give the viewer the opportunity to merge with the soul of the sage. Interwoven in these sacred moments of union are stunning aerial shots of nature and world music to simulate the experience of soul flight. Awaken, Soul to Soul brings forth the soul’s perspective about why a crisis is necessary for our personal evolution and planetary awakening. Ultimately, a crisis is an initiation to help one purge past the ego back to one’s divine eternal essence. awakensoultosoul.com 106 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

K AYA JM: Many people thought you were crazy to give up stardom and live like a hermit. How did you know you weren’t crazy?

Kaya: It was not easy for me at the beginning. I was not able to explain very well what I was going through. I decided not to give interviews anymore; I walked away and I isolated to devote myself to understanding the essence of dreams and signs.

JM: What inspires you most?

Kaya: It is to bring the knowledge of symbolic language via Angels, Dreams, and Signs to future generations. That’s all that matters to me. I have created a foundation called Universe/City Mikael.

JM: You say we are Angels in the making. Can you explain?

Kaya: I’ve discovered that we can become Angels. Angel is a metaphor to explain what a dreamer is and what a human becomes when he activates the multi-dimensions of his consciousness. JM: How can understanding our dreams influence our spiritual growth?

Kaya: Dreams are mathematics of consciousness—like algebra—and all the symbols create an equation in terms of qualities or weaknesses or both. I have studied dreams in dreams. Taking notes like that for years has helped me to create the vocabulary of symbols that I teach now all over the world. JM: What made you decide to go back to music?

Kaya: I received a dream that I would inspire the world through books and music. Then I got a call from the #1 one TV show in Canada and they were asking me if I could sing again on their show, after fifteen years of absence. I knew this was my dream. Two months after that, I was signing my contract in New York.

Dreams are mathematics of consciousness— like algebra— and all the symbols create an equation in terms of qualities or weaknesses or both. KayaDreams.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 107

Loss. Lesson. Love. Healing from miscarriage. Kat steiner

I have, at times, lost my keys, my phone, and arguably, my mind. What I have not lost were my two daughters. I always knew where they were; they died, and that’s OK to say. In an effort to respect the obligatory condolences about miscarriage, I smiled and said, “Thank you” when people mentioned sorrow for my lost children, but this always pissed me off. Opening a dialogue about sad topics is such a beautifully powerful, healing tool, and one that is so sorely underdeveloped in this culture that it breaks my heart. Let us be bold, awkward, use terms that aren’t pretty. Let us speak brutally honestly of death and loss and complete devastation instead of baking casseroles and Googling what is least offensive to say to a friend whose baby died. So let’s talk... for real. I struggled for years with infertility, only to be told I would never get pregnant. I’d like to think I’m a progressive woman, yet this made me feel entirely useless in a primal way. Miraculously, after years of unsuccessful treatments, we conceived with no intervention. There were no words for the hope, the love, the beauty, the gratitude I felt over this tiny life in me. I bonded with this baby immediately, and I can’t explain the feeling of never feeling lonely or alone. I sang and talked to this little lentil bean, and I loved that she loved vinegar and cheese then changed her mind within two minutes of ingestion. I had two ultrasounds very early because of my high risk status; hearing a heartbeat was the loveliest song ever composed. Going in for another routine ultrasound at ten weeks, I was feeling great and had no trepidation. The moment the technician went silent and told me to wait for the doctor, I knew my baby was gone. I was literally alone and have never beenmore lonely. Walking out of the office through a waiting room full of women with live babies in their bellies, while mine was dead, was the ugliest contrast I have ever known. I had a D&E [Dilation and Evacuation] because she would not come out on her own. I remember waking up from anesthesia wondering who was screaming in such agony, until I realized it was me crying out over and over, “My baby is dead.” I still cannot adequately explain what it feels like to have the life you created and nurtured and were responsible for just not exist anymore.

I was lots of things after this, but mostly I was in awe of the sheer ignorance in the way we approach death in our culture. I wanted to talk about my baby and honor her legacy. I was so grateful for the ten weeks she lived inside me and how she bridged a gap in my marriage; quite frankly, she saved me. I grieved that I could not do the same for her or her sister who came and went three years later. I did not want to hear

Walking out of the office through a waiting room full of women with live babies in their bellies, while mine was dead, was the ugliest contrast I have ever known. that it was for the best or that it is the body’s way of taking care of an abnormality. I didn’t want the topic to be ignored, and I found out so harshly that most people give your grief a shorter shelf-life than milk. These things made me angry, but somewhere in this process — and believe me, it is a process with no proper beginning, middle, or end — I realized there were two ways to come out of this. There is bitterness and there is, as I have come to say, looking for the lesson. In all things, these are the options. My lesson was that there is so much more beauty in gratefulness than in bitterness, and I vowed to talk openly and often about my babies, about death, hurt, and despair. There is healing in communication, especially when it’s raw, awkward, and inelegant. Here is a tip: next time you have a friend experience loss, go ahead and take the casserole, but eat it with her. Don’t forget the father hurts just as badly. Put your arms around her even though she hasn’t showered in four days. And sometimes, just don’t say anything. I thank you, Madison and Johanna, for choosing to breathe new life into me and Daddy and for teaching us about true love and the healing that comes from raw brokenness. Photo: Joe Longo



What does it mean to be a powerful woman? Marti Walker Nevada City. Singer. Songwriter. Musician.

Angels, Dreams & Signs

It has taken some time to get the hang of being a powerful woman. I unknowingly tried a host of ways to find power—through sex, popularity, being more “manly,” even through excessive use of humor! I’m beginning to understand that true feminine power is that of being confident without being better, being truthful without being preachy, being sexy without being sexual, and holding a space of compassion for everything in between.

US TOUR 2013


A former Pop Star in Canada, KAYA walked away from fame to pursue a deep inner spiritual calling. His profound angelic encounters and intensive dream work led to his emergence as an international spiritual teacher. Considered a modern Sage, KAYA now infuses his gifts as a singer /songwriter and dream interpretation specialist to share his transcendent message with the world.

Photo: Jami Evans Photography

What does love mean to you? Lubna Salah

coming soon

Los Angeles. Founder & Creative Director. House of Shakti.

The Ultimate Spiritual Guide to Dream Interpretation

What Inspires you? 

Shari Sant Plummer


Malibu. President. Code Blue Foundation. Ocean conservation activist. Philanthropist.


www.kayadreams.com www.72angels.com 110 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM N o N - p r o f i t o r g a N i z at i o N

The incredible, complex beauty of the ocean inspires me; however, motivation for my work comes from more than the intrinsic value. Protecting the ocean from further destruction may be the single most important thing we can do to safeguard the future of human life. Code Blue Foundation was created to provide support for ocean and river conservation and awareness. Through Code Blue and the many other boards I serve on, I hope to create a groundswell of support for the critical role the ocean has in sustaining all life on earth, especially ours. codebluefdn.org

Love is when I give freely of myself. The more I shine my heart light out at the Universe, the more it reflects love back at me. That’s why love is reciprocal. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” — The Beatles houseofshakti.com

What is important to you? Lexi P. Hammonds Dallas. Yoga teacher. Ballet instructor. Loyalty, embracing sexuality, and discretion are essential. Having a giving heart and self-worth are important. Not letting my ego in the way of getting what I need is crucial. Sometimes what we need is hidden within something or someone we don’t enjoy. At thirty, I’ve learned to just BE.


Products We Love: Evanhealy Rosehip Facial Serum + Rose Geranium Hydrosol

What I love about evanhealy is its simplicity. Evan’s holistic approach is so refreshing. Just look at these two products: a pure rosehip seed oil serum featuring therapeutic essential oils, and a delightfully aromatic plant hydrosol. That’s it—nothing else. Just a pump or two of the Rosehip Facial Serum, ample misting of the Rose Geranium Hydrosol. My skin is soft, moisturized, and hydrated—and what a wonderful glow!

Hey Dude Watch by WeWOOD Completely absent of artificial or toxic material, WeWood watches are as natural and kind as the wrist that carries it. Made of 100% natural wood, these high-tech timber timepieces fill the forest, as WeWOOD plants one tree for every watch sold. www.we-wood.us


Sevan Wedge Bootie in Desert Snake by Tsubo be present Agility Pant The Agility Pant is be present’s signature style. Long back slits and lightweight fabric make them a unique style in the yoga studio. They transition just as easily to casual wear, a staple in the be present collection.

Sophisticated and sexy, the Sevan is your go to-bootie. Snake print upper with a chunky wrapped wood heel plays with unexpected details like an ankle strap and a peekaboo toe. This sturdy yet sexy shoe combines all day comfort with style. Don’t forget your pedicure!

with Wendy De Rosa

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Montara Boot by Ahnu Ahnu’s signature boot is designed for women from the sole up. Built for keeping your heel stable and your foot flexible, this waterproof boot is for both backpacking and urban wandering.

The Held in Light Healer Training Program is open for enrollment. Spots are available for Boulder, CO and West Hartford, CT. Therapists, yoga teachers, practitioners and those ready to develop their intuitive skills welcome.

New to energy healing? Join Wendy De Rosa every 3rd Tuesday of the month for a FREE Tele-Conference Healing.

For details visit: www.heldinlight.com


Remembering Shyamdas (1953-2013) by Jai Uttal

Interview: Robert Piper Robert Piper: You have great personality and charisma. I just saw you play. After the show, you gave your wrist band away to a fan, who was deaf. Then you gave your shirt to another person who asked. You’ve really followed your bliss in your life and you’ve been able to make a career out of it.

Dear Sakhi we like spice the flavors of love and intensity. nothing boring about bhakti but by the way have you seen the crooked ONE I have a message for him “I hold this pran so the search can go on. don’t delay Pran can go anyday.” Jai Shri Krishna. Jai Shri Krishna. Shyamaaa

Berkeley, California about 35 years ago...

It was another busy day: phone calls, faxes, arrangements for my next tour, my next CD, interviews, career. Without doubt, spirituality was at the core of my life, but in those days I still felt that there was a ton of stuff I needed to do. Suddenly I heard a knock on the door. Who could that be? People don’t just stop by without calling! Opening the door I was met with a young woman acquaintance of mine and an obviously American guy wearing very old fashioned Indian clothes, kind of like a village temple priest. “Radhe Radhe,” he declared just a bit too loudly, and pushed past me into the living room of my little shack-like cottage. “This is Shyamdas. He wanted to meet you,” said the girl, seeming a tad embarrassed. Well, I liked this guy immediately, and we talked for quite a while over chai and sweets, discussing our mutual passions and friendships and shared history. But then that not-so-sweet little voice of nervousness started whispering to me about everything I had to do that day.”Well, it was great meeting you. Let’s get together again.” Shyam didn’t move. “I gotta get to some stuff now.” No response. Hmmmm. Finally, “Jai Gopal, I’m not leaving until we sing Hari’s name together!” Uh, well, okay. So we went to my little temple, pulled out the harmonium, and entered bliss. Effortless joy. The Name. Then with big hugs and happy hearts, we said goodbye.” And that became the pattern of our friendship for many years. Shyam would show up, usually unannounced, sometimes twice a day, and after chai and chatting, force me to sing with him. And the Kirtan got deeper and deeper and sweeter and sweeter, as did our friendship. (Why did I need to be pushed to do the one thing that I loved over everything else? Well, I guess that’s another story!) Those times together were filled with laughter and beautiful soul friendship. Shyamdas couldn’t really understand why I was so busy. His only business was Hari Nam. Then came a period where we were a bit out of touch. Shyam didn’t come to California much, spent more time in India, and became very

This is Shyam’s last email to me, which he sent very shortly before he left his body.

involved with his community of friends and yogis in upstate New York. Although I was a bit jealous, I didn’t think about it much, because I had become even more “busy.” Well, times change and people change. After some major upheavals in my life, I ran into Shyamdas again at Omega Institute. Instantly we were in each others arms, laughing, loving, praising, teasing, like no time had passed. And the amazing thing was that Shyam hadn’t changed at all; he was exactly the same. “Radhe Radhe!” He exclaimed, a bit too loudly, “Jai Gopal, let’s sing Hari’s Name together.” This time I didn’t need to be asked twice. And our friendship became even deeper, until we began to forget our proper names and call each other “Sakhi,” sisters, handmaidens of Srimati Radharani, the beloved of Krishna. And now he’s gone. My beautiful friend has left this Earth plane. And I, like so many, can’t stop the tears. Because Shaymdas didn’t just encourage ‘me’ to sing, he encouraged everyone. He invited us all to dive ever deeper into the bliss that pervades us, yet seems to hide from us. He reminded everyone that this is all Hari’s sweet play and that we need only dance like a Gopi to the music of His divine flute, eternally participating in the constant ecstasy of Radha and Krishna’s love. I was asked to write a eulogy for Shyam, but I don’t really know how to do that. He was so deep and is so loved and missed. Look at Facebook. Thousands of friends are pouring out their hearts and their sadness. But one thing I can say is this: Shyamdas wasn’t waiting for anything, he wasn’t ‘doing’ sadhana to get somewhere. He was living in the radiance of his final refuge every day, perhaps every moment, of his life. And he was sharing that joy freely, with humor and love, with everyone he met. No one was beneath his radar. We are all his brothers and sisters in Bhakti. Let’s sing Hari’s Names. Farewell, Shyam Das Ji

M C Yog i

MC Yogi: Yes. I mean, you mention following your bliss, and I’m a huge fan of Joseph Campbell. My path, my life, my career has really been a journey from moving from, in a sense, darkness to light. From pain to joy through the experience of yoga and meditation. It’s an ongoing adventure that’s unfolding every day. Just a couple days ago a very dear friend of mine, Shyamdas, passed away. He was in India. This journey is so mysterious because you never know when one chapter is going to end and another chapter is going to begin. Right now I’m just feeling super grateful to be here, really missing my friend. Wishing I could see him again. I also trust that he’s on to the next chapter and that he’s blessed. RP: I’m sorry to hear that. We really never know what’s going to happen in our life. Can you talk about gratitude?

MC Yogi: Yes, well, the mind is a very intricate machine. It can store memories, past impressions, grudges, criticisms, judgments. It can hold a lot of stuff. In general, it’s only really good at holding onto one thing at a time. Which is why, when we have a lot going on, we feel sort of stressed and we feel tension because the mind is busy trying to figure out what it should focus on first.

MC Yogi: Well, if you’re spiraling rapidly in a direction, all of a sudden you have that realization that, I could move in the other direction, and it’s like you have that tiny little shift and you start to move in the opposite direction. That’s kind of what happened to me. I saw that in my life, a lot of the kids I grew up with went to jail, were selling drugs, some committed suicide, some went off to war. Some took drugs and they were never the same afterwards. I was quickly headed down that path and my parents put me in a reform school after I got arrested, went to jail a couple of times. When I found yoga, I realized that I can direct my own mind through my yoga practice and meditation. I can actually create my own mood. That was a huge awakening for me. Before I was relying heavily on like drugs and external substances to affect my mood and to relax. The reality is that life, for all of us, is pretty stressful and we all need ways to cope. I don’t really begrudge anyone who uses substances, I just feel that yoga is a more sustainable way to find peace because it’s from the inside out. RP: What would you say about music and how it influences the mind?

Yoga is really the practice of seeing what’s most important. Focusing on that first. Then it helps everything else sort of fall into alignment. When we put gratitude first, what happens is we kind of shift the chemistry of the mind.

MC Yogi: Sound is one of the best most powerful tools. All the ancient traditions confirm that in the beginning was the word. Sound sort of predates form. Sound is a subtle form of speech and then more subtle than sound is silence and that’s like the realm of being.

We move from being acidic or egotistic to alkaline or divine. Because when we’re being grateful it means that we’re acknowledging that life is a gift, that life is a blessing, that this body is only here for a short period of time and it really shifts the whole internal landscape of the mind and it puts things into perspective, and it allows us to get our bearings. To get a firm footing in what’s real, and then go from there.

If we can change from that deeper place—for instance, if I am constantly going around telling myself and everybody that I’m a failure and I’m worthless, that’s a reflection of the thoughts I’m having. The moment that I’m able to shift at the level of my mind and start seeing that I have something to offer, life is important, and I want to contribute, then that tiny subtle shift from the inside can have a profound affect on my external life.

Photos: Drew Xeron 114 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

RP: When you were a teenager you were a troublemaker. Can you talk about how yoga and meditation impacted your life during this time?

When we put gratitude first, what happens is we kind of shift the chemistry of the mind.

That’s what I’ve found through yoga: yoga helps us to sort of rewire the mind so that we can literally become more mindful of the conversation we’re having on the back end, what we’re telling ourselves. RP: You deal with rejection, so you have to have a one track mind and say, “This is what I love to do no matter what.” Can you talk about the strategy that you use?

MC Yogi: Krishna Das had an album, I think it was his second album, called One Track Heart, and essentially it refers to that: to have that sort of one-pointed attention, where you’re fixed on one thing and then that affects everything else. For me, my yoga practice is like putting a one in front of a lot of zeros. Without my practice, everything quickly becomes chaotic. The moment I remember to breathe and connect to what’s real, connect to love, get grounded, get present, then everything has a way of sort of falling into place. Yoga teaches you aim for the highest first, and the highest is always love. From there everything else will follow. RP: I love that. Have you got any major events coming up?

MC Yogi: We’re going to be in Jamaica for the Jamaica Yoga Conference, which I’m really excited about. We’re going to be at all the Wanderlust festivals this year, which I absolutely love. Those are all mountaintop experiences— they literally take place on mountains. In the fall, we’re going to be with our friend Sianna Sherman. We’re going to lead a five-day intensive at our studio [Yoga Toes Studio] in Point Reyes, so I’m excited about that. yogatoesstudio.com | mcyogi.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 115

community leaders: Tyson Baker Collinsville Founder. Reach Clothing. My vision is to change the world with a t-shirt. I started Reach Clothing after I heard of a child being bullied for wearing the same shirt to school every day. I thought that if I could give a child hope by giving them a free shirt, then I am paving the way to a bright future for our youth. reach-clothing.com photo: Oh Snap! Photography

David Good Toronto. Yoga Teacher. Inspiring Mentor. I believe that yoga will open your mind and heart to a new way of thinking about your body and potential. My goal is to help as many people as I can to find their true self through yoga. Finding your foundation, getting centered with a new plan, then expanding to learn how you can become a service to the world. davidgoodyoga.com

What is your vision? Molly Boeder Harris Ashland Founder. Executive Director. The Breathe Network. I am dedicated to connecting trauma survivors to holistic healing arts practitioners that facilitate embodiment and self-sustainability, while also educating the broader community about how these modalities uniquely promote resilience. Integrating the physical, mental, and spiritual self allows trauma survivors, and all people, to transform their pain into power and to be intuitive, creative, and compassionate leaders around our globe. thebreathenetwork.org

Haven Fyfe Kiernan Newton LICSW. Owner. The Wellness Room. I am inspired every day by the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Having worked as a social worker with loss and trauma, and experiencing the traumatic loss of my husband on 9/11, I discovered my own resilience and the transformative properties of surviving immense grief. I make meaning of my loss by creating a space for others to express and to be emotionally supported by those of us who have walked a similar path. I believe that the simple act of expression is one of our greatest tools of self care. thewellnessroomnewton.com

Gina Garcia Sacramento Founder. Teacher. Yoga Across America. Yoga Across America: Yoga for Everyone, Everywhere. We share this gift with people from all walks of life, especially those who don’t have access to it. Yoga Across America is in schools, parks, shelters, children’s hospitals, cancer centers, military bases, and more. A soldier or a high schooler saying, “Yoga saved my life” is what this is all about. Life is precious. We are humbled and honored every day by the people who open their hearts to yoga, inspired and grateful to co-create transformation. Connecting, giving, sharing, love. This is the calling of Yoga Across America.

Dana Damara San Francisco Yogini. Author. Visionary. My mission is to inspire people to live their most authentic life. We are all here to serve using yoga, meditation, art, communication, and sustainable living principles to create a balanced future. My vision is to see Mother Earth healed through the conscious collaboration of awake and alive individuals. Specifically encouraging our youth to move forward with intuition and wisdom. danadamara.com Photo: Brian McDonnell www.bmacstudio.com

YogaAcrossAmerica.org Photo Credit: Rudy Meyers



community leaders: Diana Rodgers Sacramento Founder. Teacher. Yoga Across America. I created We Yogis to be an inclusive, inspiring atmosphere to promote health and fitness for the entire family. I strive to shine positive light—warmth, encouragement, a smile—throughout the studio. If we all shine positive energy, it is truly contagious. So many search for more than just fitness when they visit, and this light is what makes them return.

What is your vision? Shane + Sia Barbi Authors. Activists. We use our 7.5 minutes of fame as vegan health authors and animal activists. We’re starting the animal/conservation movement over again with a new party, called the Green Tea Party. This party has government protecting real victims—the planet and its creatures— rather than protecting animal enterprises that profit off exploiting and abusing animals or the planet: The “Live Movement”!

weyogis.com Photo: Danielle Doby

Denise Veres Easton Yoga teacher. Founder. Executive Director. Shanthi Project. I teach yoga, meditation, and positive coping skills, but mostly, my fellow Shanthi Project teachers and I come in peace and share in peace. My vision is that our troubled, vulnerable, and in-need students catch a glimpse inward through our service. My mission is to foster this inner peace into everyday reality, where it can spread through family, friends, and community.

Carla Tantillo Chicago Founder. Mindful Practices. I created Mindful Practices to empower teachers and students through yoga and wellness to create better learning environments. I believe that when teachers and students experience a sense of physical and mental wellbeing, they become more invested in the educational process. It is my vision that all teachers and students have the resources to be physically and mentally well.

shanthiproject.org MindfulPracticesYoga.com Photo: Brian Hewitt

AscenDance Project Boulder The continuous flow and grace of rock climbing inspired me to combine my passions: climbing, dance, and music. I founded AscenDance Project in January of 2006. We perform choreographed movement on a climbing wall. Without ropes or suspension, our dancers use sheer strength to overcome gravity with style and fluidity. www.ascendanceproject.com Photo credit: John Vallejo , www.johnvallejo.com Pictured: Isabel von Rittberg


Jill Wheeler Naples Founder. Wellfit Institute. Yoga Teacher. Life Coach. Change Maker. As a transformational leader, coach, and yoga teacher, my mission is to inspire action from authentic power. Authentic power is a way of being in the world that inspires individuals to create connection from the inside out. When individuals connect with their authentic power, they are acting from a place of truth, where what they think, say, and do are in alignment. Individuals are empowered, communities are elevated—anything is possible. Create Vision. Practice Wellness. Seek Adventure. Wellfitinstitute.com


Give Water. Give Life. Clean drinking water is something most of us take for granted, but worldwide more than 10% of the world’s population lives without it. Sadly, every day 2,000 children’s lives are lost to water-related diseases. LISA MILLMAN As we exclaim TGIF each week, most of us look forward to lazy weekend mornings and well-earned time with family and friends. Adults and children alike enjoy a temporary reprieve from their hectic schedules to recharge the proverbial battery before the week ahead. Cut to the other side of the world, to Ethiopia’s rugged, mountainous region of Konso. On weekends, like every other day, most women have little time for relaxation. Day in and day out, their lives are dominated by the grueling search for water. They rise at dawn to walk to the riverbed, then dig a hole and wait for water to slowly seep into it. A scoop at a time, they fill their jerry cans and carry the heavy load home. This task takes several hours and cannot be skipped: we all need water to survive. Tewabech Kutambo is one such mother. Like most in Lahyte village, she has no break from collecting water. Even when she was expecting each of her three children, she had to endure giving birth alone on a roadside while out collecting water. She recounted: “We go before the sun rises and come back when it is high in the sky. I cannot stop going to the river even if I am pregnant.” Clean drinking water is something most of us take for granted, but worldwide more than 10% of the world’s population lives without it. Sadly, every day 2,000 children’s lives are lost to water-related diseases. Every day Tewabech weighs the risk that her family will get seriously ill from the water she has worked so hard to collect. The river is dirty and likely contaminated, but she says: “it is the only water we have, so I have to give it to the children.” WaterAid is a non-profit organization that helps villages like Tewabech’s to construct low-cost, sustainable water and sanitation Photos: WaterAid / Anna Kari 120 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

facilities. We also make sure that women like Tewabech are active participants. We support them to become handpump caretakers, treasurers, or hygiene educators. Thanks to WaterAid, the neighboring community of Aba Roba already has all the clean water it needs. As a result, women no longer have to walk miles and instead, they care for their babies with the knowledge that safe, clean water is nearby. Orke Otta, a mother of seven, told us: “Before, we had giardia [a water-related disease], and also we didn’t have time to stay with our children. Now we have time to stay with our children, prepare food, work in the fields, and get food for the animals. I really appreciate what WaterAid has done for us.” WaterAid has plans to bring water to Tewabech’s community this year. There are still millions more in need. On March 22nd, take a moment to remember that it is World Water Day. Think about the 783 million people without access to clean water and consider giving them the opportunity to take the first step out of poverty. Consider making a gift at www.wateraidamerica.org. Lisa Millman is the Director of Development & Communications of WaterAid, an international non-profit organization that enables the world’s poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.







FACTS In rural Africa women spend 26% of their time collecting water.

Women often walk five miles each day to fetch water. In the dry season this can double.

Carrying heavy water containers causes backache and joint pains, and in extreme cases curved spines and pelvic deformities that cause complications in childbirth.

The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly up to 40 pounds, the same as a four yearold American child.

1 With your help WaterAid can give clean water to the world’s poorest families.

4 Women from Lahyte collecting water from scoopholes in the riverbed.

2 Tewabech’s baby deserves a good start in life. She deserves clean water.

5 Tewabech Kutambo with the daughter she gave birth to while collecting water.

3 Orke Otta collecting safe, clean water from the WaterAid water point in Ala Roba.

6 A pregnant mother and child from Lahyte walk to the river to fetch water.

Wateraidamerica.org ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 121

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