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â€œInstead of just jumping into whatever you are doing, pause and connect to whatever renews and revitalizes you. I do this by simply giving gratitude for something or someone, or even to the ocean for every wave that I will ride.â€? Michael Fukumura Surfer. Paddle boarder. Yogi.
photo: Morgan Maassen 8 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
“There’s really nothing I wouldn’t share. You’re only as sick as your secrets, and I don’t have any secrets. I’ll talk about anything. I want to be a part of the conversation that breaks down shame. It’s about empowerment. Life happens. Shit happens. It’s about what you do with it. That’s where the grace lies.” Seane Corn Leading international speaker. Yogi. Humanitarian. SeaneCorn.com
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Lynsey Dyer Skiier. Feminist. Founder of She Jumps. Interview: Maranda Pleasant
challenging ourselves in nature. We were away from mirrors and magazines. We wanted to offer this feeling of confidence to more girls. Whether it’s jumping off a cliff or speaking in front of a crowd for the first time, we believe “if she can do it, so can I!”
Maranda Pleasant: How have you become such a confident woman? What inspired you to start SheJumps?
Lynsey Dyer: Well, skiing is an individual cutthroat sport. My cofounder (who was the captain at the University of Washington) and I missed the camaraderie of our soccer teams. We gained so much confidence while challenging ourselves in nature. We were away from mirrors and magazines. We wanted to offer this feeling of confidence to more girls. We wanted to create a welcoming environment so that girls with limited experience in the outdoors could feel safe to ask questions while feeling supported to push their limits. Whether it’s jumping off a cliff or speaking in front of a crowd for the first time, we believe, “if she can do it, so can I!” MP: Why do you think girls need different role models?
LD: Growing up, it was difficult to find role models I could relate to. Mass media told me to emulate sexy singers or sexy actresses. Jane Goodall was the closest thing I found to a woman I wanted to be like. There are tons of amazing women out there for girls to emulate, but the media isn’t celebrating them to the masses. MP: How are you bringing girls and women together through SheJumps? Photos: Jace Rivers
LD: I like to say, “friendship and empowerment through the outdoors.” SheJumps programs are designed to fulfill our promise to not only increase female participation in outdoor activities, but also ensure that younger generations have the resources they need to get outside through adventure, education, and community building. We created a community for women to get outside and challenge themselves. We work with elite athletes who are positive female role models who give back through sharing their skills and stories. In our community, girls and women get to try new things, get better at what they already do, and share what they know and love. Our goal is to offer young girls real female role models through story and action. Through mentorship, athletes have the opportunity to be directly involved in encouraging other women to take a “jump.” Programs like “Get the Girls Out” meet once a month for ski and snowboard days, hut trips, or mountain bike rides. We wear tutus and costumes for fun and to reduce competitiveness. We are also bringing awareness to what women are doing at the highest level in adventure sports. This is a place where women are rarely recognized for their achievements. MP: What’s been one of your biggest struggles? LynseyDyer.com SheJumps.org UnicornPicnic.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 13
We gained so much confidence while
LD: I have struggled to be taken seriously as a female athlete. I have struggled to find my worth outside of winning. I have struggled to accept parts of myself. Now I’m recognizing the beauty in those parts as well as beauty in the times when things didn’t go my way.
tell you, with all certainty, this is not true. I have accomplished things on skis no one thought were physically possible for females.
MP: What’s been one of your greatest personal achievements?
LD: I am directing an all-female sports film called Pretty Faces. It’s the untold story of women committed to the mountain lifestyle and pushing physical limitations. The trailer is at UnicornPicnic.com, which is my film production company.
LD: Overcoming one of my limiting beliefs, “girls are not as strong as men, therefore we cannot attempt the same physical challenges.” I can
MP: Are there any other projects you’re working on right now?
Top Athletes: How Do You Stay Focused? Active
Courtney Sanders. Professional Rock Climber. I think pinpointing how I stay focused is a question that I have tried to answer for a long time. For me, it has come with trial and error. At first, I couldnâ€™t do anything other than rock climb, and when I wasnâ€™t climbing I was thinking or dreaming about it. Slightly overwhelmed, I integrated yoga and meditation with my routine. Additionally, I integrated getting an education. No matter how many endeavors I pursue, the important thing is to have discipline. Never be too focused or too lazy. For me, this is the key concept for maintaining motivation and staying centered. c-sanders.tumblr.com Photos: Beau Kahler
Adidas ambassadors 16 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Kevin Jorgeson. Professional Rock Climber. I maintain focus through my breathing and a constant awareness of the larger goal. I have been working for five years toward a singular climbing objective, The Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, CA. During this time, I’ve learned that focus is about much more than the climb itself. When I’m in the moment and the climbing is especially difficult or dangerous, focusing on my breath helps me stay composed. However, when I’m training or feeling intimidated before the climb, it helps to keep the larger goal in perspective. proclimbers.com Photos: Ken Etzel
Adidas ambassadors ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 17
”You can read and intellectualize the idea of rewiring your mind all you like, but you need to set the process in motion if you want to see the results.” Baron Baptiste
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Top Plant-based Athletes: How does diet enhance performance?
Georges Laraque Former National Hockey League. 13-year veteran. NHL Players Association. Veganism could have allowed me to extend my career in the NHL beyond the eighteen-year mark. In 2009, I was suffering from asthma, high blood pressure, and two herniated disks. My hockey playing career came to an abrupt end, leaving me emotionally and physically crippled. The same year, Sean Monsonâ€™s documentary, Earthlings, hit me with a life-changing experience. I decided to embrace veganism. I abstain from eating and drinking any animal products out of concern for human health and animal welfare. Four years later, my plant-based diet continues, consisting of 30% raw food and lots of Vega products. Thanks to my change to a plant-based diet, I am in top shape: healthier, stronger, and tougher. At 260 pounds, I run half-marathons without pain or medication. On my long runs, I find myself thinking about how delicious my next vegan meal will be! georgeslaraque.com
As a professional athlete, I need to be on top of my exercise routine and practice my craft every day. What we put in our bodies is so important. Once I started using plant-based proteins, I felt an immediate change in my workouts. I recovered more quickly and was ready to go even harder the next day. I think a lot of people forget about the importance of their diet. Photo: Steve Green
Robert Willis Olympic Sailing RS:X Class. Olympic Windsurfing. Plant-based nutrition plays an integral role in my training program. Shortly after I adopted Vegaâ€™s plant-based products, I immediately began to experience benefits in my performance and, more importantly, my recovery process. I noticed immediately that my recovery times were shortening. I was consistently training harder and with more energy. My immune system became more resilient. Photo: Will Ricketson, US Sailing
David Dejesus Professional Baseball Player, MLB. Chicago Cubs.
Chadd Konig Professional Surfer. Every body and mind has different needs. I personally perform at my highest and clearest level when maintaining a vegan diet. Lately I have been feeling the most benefit within my mind. I feel a fierce sense of clarity and focus which then allows my body to exist at its full potential. These are my favorite creations: Clif Bar Kitâ€™s Organic, Mattole Valley Naturals Full Spectrum, and Vega One Nutritional Shake. photo: Brent Lieberman
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Top Athletes + Flora Ambassadors
What Turns You On?
Geoff Roes. Mountain Ultramarathon Runner. I am turned on by using my own power to take me to wild, scenic, and remote places in the mountains. I like to explore new places and I like to push my body to see where it can take me. There’s nothing more inspiring and more satisfying to me than running through the mountains for an entire day. akrunning.blogspot.com
Sage Canaday. Ultra-Mountain-Trail Runner. Running uphill turns me on! Whether it’s a 14,000-foot mountain in the Rockies or a gym treadmill ramped up on a 15% incline, I love the challenge and effort required to move my body against gravity. The burn in my legs and the strong beating of my heart remind me that I’m alive and working hard. I cherish the most simple things, like clean water and oxygen, after these types of workouts. I’m also very passionate about video and film. Capturing footage of the outdoors also turns me on! SageCanaday.com photos: Dennis Coughlin 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Krissy Moehl. Ultraunner. Mountains. Trails. Dirt. Vistas. Working hard. Breathing harder. Finding my limits and going a bit further. Simplicity in movement and excitement in exploring. Finding inspiration in each of these things and in people pursing their own love with the same passionâ€”that is what turns me on. krissymoehl.com
“Let’s face it, life ain’t easy. In the emergency room I meet people in their moments of greatest need. My passion in life is to make them feel significant. Among the tubes, syringes, and heart monitors, a smile, a laugh, holding someone’s hand, or just listening to their fears in the middle of the night, brings heart to the hospital experience, and meaning to my work.” Sara Lua Agah Emergency Room Nurse. Relief Worker. Jewelry Designer.
What drives you? “I’ve completed 120 ultramarathons, with hopefully 120 more to follow, ‘cuz 100 miles is not far enough. I am driven to run in the mountains to get away from normal life challenges. I work just enough to live, and feel running allows me to enjoy life to its fullest. ” Karl Meltzer
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“I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent.” Henry Rollins American Legend. Musician. Photographer. Truth Teller.
Photo: Maura Lanahan 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
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Never Waste a Good Trigger: Part II Ana Forrest. Founder of Forrest yoga.
The emotional charge of an unresolved experience is archived in our cell tissue. Make use of your wisdom and knowledge I started breathing into my back; that relaxed the muscles a bit. Then I had an epiphany: As a child, I just had to be in pain and endure it. That is the level of a child’s ability to cope. But I’m no longer a little girl. I realized I needed to bring in who I am now to heal the source of this trigger—the wise medicine woman, injury specialist, and yoga teacher with many resources. I gathered the gifts of wisdom from fifty-five years of life. I ushered in the ways of healing, support, resourcefulness, and self-esteem I now have, that the little girl did not. My back had been holding this trauma for over fifty years. My self-respect for who I have become formed into a visceral shining liquid. I poured that respect for my own gifts through my back injury, filling it with a lustrous energy. Then my back began to unwind and feel good. Understand, I could have just been irritable about being tweaky, or tried to stretch it out. But instead, I brought this high quality of attention and respect for my resourcefulness into my injury, and a beautiful healing process unfolded.
We can use emotional and physical triggers to lead us onto a path of discovery. The unwinding and healing of the trauma trail has many steps. Each step taken is an act of power, which also builds self-respect. The emotional charge of an unresolved experience is archived in our cell tissue. When our trigger gets pulled in the present, the reaction is often bewildering.
More than just back pain A recent personal trigger example: My back tweaked from pulling my luggage off the carousel. In the middle of the airport, tired and irritable, I was in a hurry to get to my next destination and not in the mood to stop. When it happened, all I had time to do was breathe into the tweak and drive it away. Later, as I was doing my practice, I concentrated upon the sore place in my back. I focused on the trigger—my back pain. I used the stored irritable emotions as a doorway, and suddenly I was revisiting a horrific experience from early childhood. I tracked back through this familiar territory and, much to my surprise, found the origin of my back tweak hidden amongst many other injuries. The luggage incident helped point to a bigger trauma that still needed some attention.
forrestyoga.com 30 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Discover what gives you leverage with your pain The leverage was not applying a specific gift or tool. What worked was applying the respect of who I have become directly to the injury. I had discovered a toxic, frozen ball that entrapped the damage. I poured my warm, liquified respect onto that frozen ball and it melted, freeing up the child. She had been imprisoned in that trauma for over half a century. As a result, the child released the damage, grew up, and integrated with who I am now—the adult. I am very grateful for the experiences of healing. They are part of what inspires my aliveness. I love these mind-bending, cellular-transforming experiences that happen through quantum leaps.
Step into your power As you start to work with the stew of emotions and unravel the shards of pain, you gain insight and power. The charge from the trigger begins to disperse. An important step is to bring the resourcefulness of the present-day self down the trauma trail to the past experience. Deliberately apply the wisdom of who you are now to the process of healing and resolution from that past event. Include the old beliefs that accompany the event so that they too can heal or change. I know it sometimes takes a while to care enough about yourself and believe you can heal. I am telling you that you can heal.
Juicing the Chakras I was recently inspired to do my first-ever juice fast. After years of digestive issues, I felt compelled to clean out my system and rebuild my diet from scratch. I found my “Juice Guru” in Jacquelyn Richey. Her program, ChakWave, is not just a fast, but a holistic healing experience that changed my life.
H eali ng ste ps for an i nj ury, phys ical or e motional: n Start breathing deeply into the injury and ask, “When did I first feel this pain?” There may be a few different times this injury has cropped up in your life— encompass each of them. It’s all useful information.
n Bring a feeling of respect for who you are now into the injury. Haven’t you grown a lot since then? Honor that. Use deep breathing to soak in the new truths and fresh energy of your self-respect.
n Step out of the limited paradigm that you were living in when you first felt this pain.
How it works: Each of the seven days focuses on a different chakra, working from root to crown. I was provided daily with fresh, raw juices blended from organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices to clear each chakra and cleanse the organs associated with it. I received a daily email with a detailed explanation of the chakra of the day, along with suggested mantra and meditation. I also received CDs, crystals, teas, bath salts, and other inspiring treats and ephemera. I chose to embody each chakra by wearing it’s corresponding color and focusing on the healing that was taking place in that particular energy center. I even went to a kirtan on “throat chakra day” and made my voice heard by singing and chanting at the top of my lungs. How I felt: At the end of the seven days, I felt so empowered, I didn’t
want it to end. In fact, I spent three days easing back into solid foods. I was vibrant and connected. During the program, I was surprised to find that hunger and cravings were not an issue. I felt so held and cared for, it was impossible to feel deprived. With her support, I was taking care of myself on a deeper level than I ever have. Two things permanently shifted for me.
n Take your wiser self—built with the truths of who
you are today—and revisit the past self who’s frozen and isolated in the pain. Use the tools of your wiser self to free up that part of you. Invite and welcome this newly freed part of yourself into your present life.
1. I have a new level of oneness with my body. Giving it a rest from the business of digesting allowed it to communicate more clearly. The kind of acute clarity I experienced during the fast is not sustainable on a long-term basis, but it certainly set a new baseline of connection and partnership between body, mind, and spirit.
n Get curious about what unfolds. Feel for the first shimmers of change.
n Reinforce the new paradigm in daily living: Implement deep breathing, active feet, and check for boggy thinking and change it. Have compassion for the wounded parts of you. Honor who you have become and who your evolution will be.
Now, take the action. Care enough to never waste a good trigger. Own that your life is precious.
2. If I could easily go seven days without solid food, I can do anything—up my yoga practice a level or carve out an hour a day to write. I am tougher and stronger and more disciplined than I had given myself credit for. I am permanently empowered. About my Juice Guru: Jacquelyn Richey
received her yoga teacher certification studying at the Himalaya Yoga Valley in India and has completed intensive chakra psychology and yoga training with Anodea Judith of Sacred Centers. She is a lifelong student of herbalism, meditation, nutrition, and the chakra system. To learn more about ChakWave and Jacquelyn, check out www.ChakWave.com
chakwave.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 31
Yoga Assists A new book by Sharon Gannon & David Life
A complete visual and inspirational guide to yoga asana assists with excerpts from The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life Master Shantideva’s Techniques for Exchanging Self and Other
Available Now For Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and Sony Reader
www.premierdigitalpublishing.com view yoga assist videos on
www.jivamuktiyoga.com Photo Guzman
“Light the Fire, Savor the Juice, Expand the Heart Field” Shiva Rea One of the most internationally recognizable, acclaimed yoga teachers.
“Ignore the story and see the soul. Remember to love—you will never regret it.” Seane Corn Internationally celebrated yoga teacher. Founder. Off the Mat, Into the World. Passionate activist. OffTheMatIntotheWorld.org
Photo: Kadri Kurgun ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 33
Yoga& Veganism Hard-wired?
We have been taught, conditioned, and coerced by the agents of our culture (parents, grandparents, farmers, advertisers, food critics, etc.) to eat the flesh and drink the milk of other animals.
Q: Aren’t humans biologically designed to be meat-eaters or at least omnivores?
A: Considering the small number of vegans in the world today versus the number of carnivores and omnivores, the statistics do suggest that meat is the food of choice for humans. But the anatomical and physiological facts suggest the opposite. We have small flat mouths with small teeth. We don’t have long, sharp canines to tear flesh. We have incisors in the front to bite and molars along the sides to chew and grind fruits and vegetables. Our teeth aren’t strong enough to chew and crush hard things like bones, whereas carnivores can. We have a rotating jaw that moves from side to side, another useful feature for grinding plants. Carnivores and omnivores have hinge-joint jaws that open and close. They don’t usually chew their food well before swallowing, and they don’t need to. Unlike us, they don’t have an abundance of the enzyme ptyalin in their saliva, which breaks down plant foods. Once we
have chewed and swallowed our food, it travels through a very long digestive tract, although not as long as that of our herbivore friends— the cows, horses, and sheep. Meat-eating species have comparatively short intestinal tracts, which allow them to move food through their systems quickly, so as not to allow rotting flesh to stagnate and cause disease. Because we lack sharp claws, aren’t very fast on our feet, and aren’t exactly endowed with lightening reflexes, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to run down an animal, catch it with our bare hands, and tear through its fur and skin in order to eat it. Biologically, we are designed to be frugivorous herbivores eating fruits, seeds, roots, flowers, and leaves. Q: But isn’t eating meat hard-wired in us?
our hard-wiring. Unlike other animals who cannot survive by eating only vegetables, we eat meat out of choice. We have been taught, conditioned, and coerced by the agents of our culture (parents, grandparents, farmers, advertisers, food critics, etc.) to eat the flesh and drink the milk of other animals. Because of this conditioning, which has occurred over a long period of time (thousands of years), we have developed addictive, unhealthy eating habits and blinded ourselves to the facts of our biological system and its true needs. The yoga teachings say that a human body is one of the most conducive for spiritual evolution because with a human body you have more opportunities to be kind to other beings. Animals who are biologically programmed to hunt and to eat others don’t have such choice.
A: No. It is a learned behavior. The fact that some human beings are healthy eating a vegan diet is evidence that it is not part of
Sharon Gannon is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga method and the author of Yoga & Vegetarianism: The Diet of Enlightenment. jivamuktiyoga.com
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“Pain is my biggest teacher. I breathe into it. I embrace it. My teacher is my life. It’s always good, even if it doesn’t feel good.” BrYan Kest
“Any individual or society that fails to honor or provide the opportunity for women to fully exert their power can never truly prosper. All creativity, growth, imagination, nurturing—all possibilities are born from the womb of the Divine Feminine. To deny Her a rightful place, either within ourselves or in the world in which we live, is to do irreparable harm and endure the loss of countless joys.” rod stryker
Photo: Michael Cowan ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 37
“Seek the teacher that inspires you. Practice the yoga that makes you feel the best.” David Swenson
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“With all of the doing in this life, the practice of yoga can be our undoing— the unraveling of our karmic, ancestral, and life loads we lug around with us, which have very little to do with the current moment we stand in. Yoga makes me aware of the suffering that comes from clinging and gripping. My practice is to set down my myriad defenses and stand naked in the moment, undone.” Janet Stone Mama. Yoga teacher. Warrior of the heart janetstoneyoga.com
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“As female leaders, our power is in our willingness to be courageously vulnerable. The most radical act of selflove is to show up exactly as we are, without shame, without judgement, and without fear. As we liberate ourselves, we give others the permission to be free. Freedom is a choice, and it begins as soon as you decide to let go.” Jenny Sauer-Klein AcroYoga co-founder. Holistic business and relationship coach. JennySauerKlein.com
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“Nowadays, for me, yoga is not so much about floating into fancy poses as much as it’s about diving into the depths of our lives and looking really deeply. When we are able to simply look without judgement, we start to see clearly. From that we begin to get really clear in our purpose on this earth. No one purpose is better than another, but the practice is in the devotion and conviction that we apply to the process of cultivating that purpose. The best part is, it’s a life-long process that we’re all in together.” tiffany cruikshank
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“The key to being strong is to stop comparing. Don’t compare your body, job, life, or experience with others, because everyone is coming from different experiences and angles, and we’re all exactly where we need to be. Let go of your story, because that’s all it is—be yourself completely as you are.” Kathryn budig Yoga Teacher. Author. kathrynbudig.com
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â€œRather than run from adversity and difficulty, the yoga practice teaches you to welcome it and make friends with those dark places within yourself. When you find a posture that brings up your darkness, it is your chance to tame your inner demons. â€? Kino McGregor
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“One of the best rewards of yoga and all those years on the mat? Laughter—learning to not take anything too seriously! Let’s remember to have a blast, together!” Annie Carpenter SmartFLOW Yoga anniecarpenter.com
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“I bow to all women. To our strength, to our softness, to our wisdom, to our beauty.” Elena Brower
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“Vulnerability is a wonderful tool for awakening and for learning, growing, and connecting. ” Colleen Saidman Yee
“There’s so much fear running our lives that we forget to be human when it really counts.” Rodney Yee
Amy Ippoliti on Bottom
“To be a true leader, live your life according to what you value most. It won’t be easy. It will take courage. People may not like you. Live by your values anyway.” Amy Ippoliti Professional Yoga Teacher. prAna Ambassador Co-founder. 90Monkeys.com.
“Simultaneously having the ability to see a spherical perspective and the power to zoom in and focus on what needs to be accomplished. When intuition becomes the guide and intention the fuel, you’re looking at an unstoppably strong woman.” Tara Stiles Reebok Ambassador. Author. Yoga Leader. TaraStiles.com
“When we think we know it all, we become unteachable. The beauty of life is that we are all here to learn and grow from one another. I’m a teacher, but most of all, I’m a student.” kelly green
“At some point in your life you have to decide, Do I want to just be somebody, or do I want to do Something?” Brock Cahill
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Yoga teacher. Oceanic Activist.
““Darwinian studies suggest that the only thing that neutralizes male aggression is female solidarity. ROAR.” Kelly Morris Founder. Conquering Lion Yoga.
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“Beauty is not about looks. Beauty is all about confidence.”
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â€œAlways remember that stepping into yourself and your courage requires practice and commitment. May you come to know through your own experiences and awakened faith that everything you need is grounded in your own daily practice. I hope you remind yourself that what is dark right now will one day become light, and that what you do not know will be revealed in time, with patience, as all things are. Perhaps as you become truly connected to yourself through yoga, Reiki, or meditation, as you let go when you are holding on too tightly, you will fall deeply in love with the unfolding of your own life, and with the bliss that comes with it all.â€? Bee Bosnak Author of Heal Yourself. Yogi. Teacher. Speaker.
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â€œNothing can be undone, but what can be done, what can be started, is love. Start with love. At the end of your life when you ask, What have I done? one final time, let your answer be, I have done love.â€? Jen Pastiloff Author. Retreat Leader. Manifestor. JenniferPastiloff.com
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â€œWe are so used to mediocrity, so conditioned toward averageness, and so indoctrinated into normality and commonness, that most are utterly offended by originality, individuality, brightness, and daring. Know that there is a purpose and power deep inside you, unique and bold, that can be cultivated and offered as a gift; find that most auspicious and profound secret within. It takes true courage to live authentically. Be yourself. â€? KK Ledford, M.A. wildMOONwisdom. Kapalika Tantra wildmoonwisdom.com kapalikatantra.com
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Thich Nhat Hanh
Interview: Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey brings us a rare and enlightening conversation with the legendary author, peace activist and buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. 64 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Born in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, is one of the most influential spiritual leaders of our times. Thich Nhat Hanh (or Thay, as his students call him— thay means teacher), is the author of more than one hundred books. A copy of his Living Buddha, Living Christ never leaves Oprah’s bedside.
OW: Do you meditate every single day?
TNH: Go back to my breathing and try to be in that moment deeply. Because there is a possibility to handle every kind of event and the essential is to keep the peace in yourself.
I would not be happy
His spiritual journey began at the early age of seven, when he felt the calling to become a monk. But this monastic has always been active on the world stage. In the early ’60s, horrified by the escalating civil war in Vietnam, Thay spearheaded one of the great nonviolent resistance movements of the 20th century.
OW: Let’s start with 1926, born in Vietnam. Any wonderful memory that you can share of your childhood? Your favorite childhood memory?
monk and that is the
Martin Luther King, Jr. took notice and spoke out against the Vietnam War for the first time, at Thich Nhat Hanh’s urging. And Martin Luther King, Jr. later nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1982, Thay established a monastery and retreat center in France, where thousands of followers still flock every year. He lives there today, devoting his life to mindful meditation, helping people to be passionately present in the here and now. Oprah Winfrey: Well, thank you for the honor of talking to me today. Thank you for that. Already just being in your presence for a short time, I feel less stressed than I did when I started out the day, less stressed because you have such a peaceful aura that follows you and that you carry with yourself. Are you always this content and peaceful?
Thich Nhat Hanh: This is my training. This is my practice. And we try to live every moment like that, dwelling peacefully in the present moment, and respond to events with compassion.
TNH: Not only every day, but every moment. OW: So, in a moment where you are perhaps going to miss a plane, or be late for an appointment, or something is causing you to be stressful, you do what?
TNH: One day I saw a picture of the Buddha on a Buddhist magazine and he was sitting on the grass.
if I had not become a
feeling. And we call it the beginner’s mind.
OW: How old were you?
TNH: Seven, eight, and he was sitting on the grass, very peaceful, smiling, and I was impressed. Around me people were not like that, so I had the desire to be someone like him. I nourished that kind of desire until the age of sixteen, when I had the permission from my parents to go and ordain as a Buddhist monk OW: Did your parents encourage you or were they reluctant for this to happen to you?
TNH: In the beginning they were reluctant because they thought that the life of a monk is hard and difficult. OW: So this desire to become a monk started when you were seven years old?
The deep intention, the deepest desire that one person may have. And I can say that since that time until this day, this beginner’s mind is still alive in me. It has given me a lot of energy, courage, in
OW: Yes. And what did that feel like? What did those urgings, that sense of this is what I must do or must become, what did that feel like?
order to confront all
TNH: I would not be happy if I had not become a monk and that is the feeling. And we call it the beginner’s mind.
that I encounter.
kinds of difficulties
TNH: The deep intention, the deepest desire that one person may have. And I can say that since that time until this day, this beginner’s mind is still alive in me. It has given me a lot of energy, courage, in order to confront all kinds of difficulties that I encounter.
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Interview: Nancy Alder
A Conversation with Meditation Teacher and Co-founder of Insight Meditation Society:
Sharon Salzberg is one of most well-known and loved teachers of meditation. Her ability to break down often esoteric practice with simplicity and humor has endeared her to meditators of all levels. After a childhood filled with trauma and sadness, Sharon found her path while studying meditation in India. In 1976, she established, together with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, which now ranks as one of the most prominent and active meditation centers in the Western world.
Sharon has served as a panelist with the Dalai Lama. She is a regular contributor to the The Huffington Post, and was a contributing editor of Oprahâ€™s O magazine for several years. Her approachable style of teaching meditation has been highlighted in print and on radio programs around the world. Sharonâ€™s books on meditation are essential guides to living a kinder and accepting existence. She is the author of Real Happiness, The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, and Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Her latest book, Real Happiness at Work, is expected in January 2014.
Nancy Alder: If you had to say in one sentence why someone should begin and continue a meditation practice, what would it be?
Sharon Salzberg: Meditation clarifies our minds and opens our hearts, and brings us to unusual depth and stability of happiness, whatever life brings. NA: What is the most frequent question you get about meditating and what do you reply?
SS: One very familiar, very poignant comment goes something like: “I tried meditation once before. I failed at it.” Then follows a description of just what the person expected, which they failed to achieve. “I couldn’t make my mind blank. I couldn’t stop all thinking. I couldn’t have only beautiful thoughts.” I respond, as you might imagine, by saying “You cannot fail at meditation,” and describe the goals of meditation as none of the above, but rather as transforming our relationship to everything—thoughts, feelings, the body, and the breath. We say all the time in teaching, “What comes up is not nearly as important as how you relate to what comes up.” So you might have extensive bouts of thinking exceedingly nasty thoughts, but because you are relating to those thoughts with mindfulness and compassion, that’s considered good meditation. NA: You teach about the practice of lovingkindness. Are there ever experiences where you struggle to practice lovingkindness toward someone? What advice would you give to others about how to handle this struggle? How has lovingkindness meditation changed your perspective on meditation and the world?
SS: There are many times when I have to remind myself that people who harm others are coming from a place of profound disconnection. It is not easy to recognize the pain such a person is in, especially because they may not be conscious of it themselves. They may present themselves to the world as just fine. If you believe human beings have a
potential for deep connection, wisdom, and love, the limitation in those peoples’ lives becomes clearer. As the Buddha said, “If you truly loved yourself, you would never harm another.” I have seen that there are a number of people who benefit from doing lovingkindness meditation, either prior to or along with mindfulness meditation. It varies from person to person of course, but for many, their practice of mindfulness will bring along old habits of self-judgment and ruthless criticism, so it is not actually mindfulness. The quality of mindfulness does not just know something is happening—there is an emotion, a sensation— but knows without clinging or condemning. It is because of that balanced relationship to the moment that mindfulness serves as the platform for insight. If we feel an emotion, for example, and struggle against it right away, there is not going to be a lot of learning going on. In the same way, if we are swamped by that emotion, overcome by it, there won’t be enough space for there to be learning or insight. So mindfulness needs to not be judgmental to really be mindfulness, which means it needs a basis of lovingkindness.
it frequently. How does the reach of the practice in 2013 amaze you? What can you say about the evolution of the practice in the United States?
SS: Every day seems to reveal a new piece of research about meditation, or new clinical applications of mindfulness or compassion practice, or new corporations or foundations or nonprofits bringing mindfulness to work. I am totally amazed at the spread of interest in meditation. When I first came back from studying in India in 1974, I would be asked in social situations what I did. When I replied, “I teach meditation,” they would frequently look at me as though to say, “That is weird,” and sort of sidle away. All these years later, the most common response I hear when I tell people I teach meditation is, “I’m so stressed out. I could use some of that!” A response I also sometimes hear, which amuses me a lot is, “My partner should really meet you!”
There are many times when I have to remind myself that people who harm others are coming from a place of profound disconnection.
NA: You are working on a new book. With so many books on Buddhism and meditation available, what fresh area are you addressing and when can we expect to read it?
SS: My new book is Real Happiness at Work. I write about the eight pillars of happiness: balance, concentration, compassion, communications, meaning, integrity, resilience, and open awareness. I’m especially happy about the book because I consulted with a really wide variety of people: hedge fund managers, lawyers, police officers, hospice nurses, and domestic violence shelter workers to writers and artists and CEOs and people who do manual labor, and many more. I heard about their experiences at work, their struggles, and the tools that have helped them take these values and bring them in a real way to their jobs, every day. The book comes out in January 2014. NA: You travel and teach about meditation all over and write about
We say all the time in teaching, “What comes up is not nearly as important as how you relate to what comes up.” So you might have extensive bouts of thinking exceedingly nasty thoughts, but because you are relating to those thoughts with mindfulness and compassion, that’s considered good meditation.
“You cannot change the world if you don’t change your own world first. Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.” Don Miguel Ruiz Author. The Four Agreements. The Fifth Agreement.
THE CHOPRA CENTER PRESENTS SEDUCTION OF SPIRIT
MUSIC& MEDITATION November 3 – 9, 2013 La Costa Resort & Spa • Carlsbad, California
Experience Higher States Since ancient times, music and meditation have been foundational practices in many of the world’s sacred and healing traditions, helping people awaken to higher states of consciousness, healing, and bliss. Seduction of Spirit: Music and Meditation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commune with the divine music in your heart and the inner silence of your soul. Joining Deepak Chopra will be special guests Rickie Byars Beckwith and members of the Agape International Choir, Steve Gold, Emmy award winner Beth Nielson Chapman, and more. Awaken to the divine within through daily immersion in sacred musical experience. At Seduction of Spirit, you will: • Deepen the union of your body, mind, and spirit with live music at the daily Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga classes • Learn and practice Primordial Sound Meditation • Relax with lunchtime concerts as you savor delicious Ayurvedic meals and enjoy the company of like-minded music lovers and meditators. If you love music and want to experience its inextricable connection to meditation and spiritual awakening, this Seduction of Spirit is the perfect retreat for you. LEARN MORE AT CHOPRA.COM/SOS/NOV2013
Interview: Maranda Pleasant
Gary Zukav Speaking with
Renowned spiritual teacher and author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers. He’s appeared on Oprah more than thirty times and he rocks our world wide open. He taught our editor that lovers are our spiritual teachers and redefined the experience of heartbreak. Bam. Maranda Pleasant: Where is it that you draw from to create beauty in your life?
Gary Zukav: The universe. There’s no such thing as being alone in the universe, and so there’s no such thing as creating alone. Everything— every impulse, every creative gift of beauty, everything is a co-creation. MP: What is it that breaks your heart?
different frequencies is a part of our expanded perceptual system, multisensory perception. As you create authentic power, you utilize this ability. The only thing that can cause your body to hurt in your energy processing centers, chakras, is when you are losing Spirit through one of them. You will recover from a broken heart by beginning to identify the difference between frightened and loving parts of your personality. MP: Thank you so much.
GZ: Fear. Whenever there’s the experience of a broken heart, there’s the experience of fear. MP: Wow!
GZ: Love is not emotion, it’s a way of being. Use emotional awareness and pay attention to your body—look, and locate, concrete physical sensations—like stabbing, aching, throbbing—and distinguish and define them by saying things like, “It is the size of a golf ball,” or “It is the size of a baseball.” Do whatever you can do to find painful physical sensations. The ability to distinguish these different currents of energy and
GZ: You don’t have to fear this amorphous thing called grief or loss or anger or jealousy. You define it for yourself in the intimacy of your own experience for exactly what it is, and then it comes. In other words, by experiencing your emotions somatically, there is no boogie man to scare you. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet and they could hear you, what would that be?
GZ: What you do and what you say has consequence and impact. Impact is determined by the intention behind your words and the intention behind your deeds.
The purpose of romantic relationships is to encourage you to grow spiritually.
GZ: The purpose of romantic relationships is to encourage you to grow spiritually. Romantic relationships can do this because they are interactions in which you come to see those parts of yourself that are constructive, healthy, and creative. You see them because you project them onto someone else. When someone new comes into your life and suddenly you feel more alive, more beautiful, more sexual, more creative, more desirable, and more engaged, you feel that this new person is the key to those feelings. So this person becomes very important to you. But actually, you have these qualities too. What you don’t see and don’t acknowledge in yourself, you project onto someone else. Carl Jung explored this very well. He called it “projection.” Now, at the same time, when you’re with somebody that you’re putting the burden of continually wanting them to make you feel all of these exhilarating ways, you begin to see that this person is not all of what you thought the person was; actually, this person is a great deal more. He, or she, has quite a few characteristics that are going to surprise you, because you haven’t seen anything except what you’ve been projecting, and what you have seen you’ve been denying. After a while, you can’t deny anymore. That’s when the proverbial honeymoon comes to an end. This is a good thing because this is when real growth can begin. This is when you can begin to use your interactions consciously to grow spiritually, identifying in yourself the parts of your personality that are preventing you from loving and giving your gifts to the universe, gifts that you’re under contract with the universe to give. The vehicle that allows you to do this is spiritual partnership. Spiritual partnership is the partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.
You don’t have to fear this amorphous thing called grief or loss or anger or jealousy. You define it for yourself in the intimacy of your own experience for exactly what it is, and then it comes. In other words, by experiencing your emotions somatically, there is no boogie man to scare you.
As you begin to feel this enormous shift of consciousness, called multisensory perception, emerging in your awareness, you begin to reorient yourself. It’s a reorientation that occurs toward yourself as more than a mind and a body; it’s a reorientation that occurs toward others, toward your life as meaningful, rather than predetermined. It’s a reorientation that occurs toward the universe as alive, wise, and compassionate, instead of inert (which means dead) and random. Authentic power is a new potential of this expanded perceptual system that we are all being given as a gift. As you begin to create authentic power with tools such as emotional awareness, responsible choice, and intuition, you begin to draw to yourself others who are doing the same thing. Those are your potential spiritual partners, because you are both committed to exploring the creation of authentic power in yourselves, and in supporting the creation of authentic power in each another. MP: Good grief, I have a lot to learn! [laughs] You’ve been on Oprah more than thirty-five times. She referenced The Seat of the Soul as the greatest book that has ever been in her life besides the Bible. What has your experience been like with her, whether it’s been on her show or Super Soul Sunday.
GZ: This is my experience of Oprah Winfrey—she makes decisions as frequently as she can to contribute with consciousness, with awareness, with love. And I believe—no, I know—this is the source of her joy, her vitality, her unending creativity and her connection to people.
MP: What is the purpose of romantic relationships?
topic: single parenthood
Ask Zoë mindfulness
I am struggling with being a single mother. I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and feel unsupported. I have had to give up so many of my dreams. How do I find time to do it all? Anna J.
As a single working mother myself, I am very familiar with feeling pulled in several directions at once. The moment we decide to become a parent, we choose a path of service, and whether we are single by choice or by circumstance, we can decide to experience our situation as victim or warrior. Here are some ways to find our power in single parenthood: 1. Bare necessities
Finding time to “do it all” may actually require redefining “all.” It is important to identify a hierarchy of needs. What is essential? Be radically truthful. The list goes something like this: clean water, food, shelter. Everything else is optional. We tend to tell stories about parenting based on our own history or societal norms. Peeling away layers of assumptions and expectations gives us an opportunity to get in touch with what is non-negotiable, and frees us to consciously create balance in the space that is left. 2. Repurpose Desires
Dreams can become limitations because they are so specific. In our hierarchy of needs, there are times when we are simply caught in survival mode. In these moments, we must remember who we are. Once upon a time, I had a dream of being a rock star. I had something to say. When I had my first child, I traded my microphone for a laptop and started writing. The delivery system has changed but the song remains the same. It’s not about what we do— it’s about who we get to be. Our dreams can live on if we are flexible in how the essence of our desires manifests. 3. Compartmentalize
Divide up your time and be fully present to the task at hand. This is a muscle that can be developed. When you are working, really focus on work. When you are parenting, be wholly present to your kids. When you finally carve out time for yourself, do it without guilt, even if you choose to do nothing at all. When we let ourselves off the hook for what we are not getting done, it frees us up to celebrate what we are fully showing up for in each moment. 4. power in vulnerAbility
Asking for help can make us feel vulnerable, and so we often bobble the request. And if you are like me, the best way to get things done is to do them yourself. The flipside of my “Supermom” card reads “Supermartyr.” In order to feel supported, we must relinquish control. Get really clear about what it would mean to feel supported. How would that manifest? Help people help you by asking for specific things. You may need to form new associations. For instance, there are single parent groups who trade childcare responsibilities for time off. Enroll your kids in the idea of family teamwork. Foster a supportive and compassionate environment at home. zoekors.com 72 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Our dreams can live on if we are flexible about how the essence of our desires manifests. 5. Self-Care
When the plane is going down, put on your own oxygen mask before you help your child with theirs. Your own needs rank high on the hierarchy of needs. Do not pretend otherwise or they will come out sideways. My kids are very aware of what happens when I skip yoga. For them, a post-yoga mom is on their list of needs. It is helpful to remember that everything changes. When things are particularly difficult, we tend to feel like it will be this way forever. Just as a child goes through developmental stages, so does our ability to experience the perpetual expansion and contraction of life. We learn to move through life gracefully by increasing our capacity to hold discomfort. Lean into the knowing that “this too will pass.”
Zoë Kors is a highly-trained, double-certified Co-Active Coach and member of the International Coach Federation. Her work draws on the principles of Eastern philosophy and the healing practices of yoga, tantra, breathwork, and meditation. In each issue, Zoë will answer a question from one of our readers about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Please submit questions to: email@example.com
Photo: Amir Magal
Pioneering Deep Change in Self & Society. Since 1962.
esalen.org ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 73
7 Myths of Meditation
Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing misconceptions about the practice are barriers that prevent many people from trying meditation and receiving its profound benefits. Here are seven of the most common meditation myths, dispelled.
We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them. Although we can’t impose quiet on our mind, through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the space between our thoughts.
Myth #1: Meditation is difficult.
Myth #5: I don’t have enough time to meditate.
Truth: This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as an esoteric practice reserved only for saints, holy men, and spiritual adepts. In reality, when you receive instruction from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or silently repeating a mantra. Learning meditation from a qualified teacher is the best way to ensure that the process is enjoyable and you get the most from your practice.
Truth: There are busy, productive executives who have not missed a meditation in twenty-five years, and if you make meditation a priority, you will do it. In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, our blood pressure lowers, and our body decreases the production of stress hormones and other chemicals that speed up the aging process and give us the subjective feeling that we are “running out of time.”
Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice.
As people stick with their meditation ritual, they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less. Instead of struggling so hard to achieve goals, they spend more and more time “in the flow.”
Truth: This may be the number one myth about meditation and is the cause of many people giving up in frustration. Meditation isn’t about stopping our thoughts or trying to empty our mind—both of these approaches only create stress and more noisy internal chatter. We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them. Although we can’t impose quiet on our mind, through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the space between our thoughts.
Myth #3: It takes years of dedicated practice to receive any benefits from meditation. Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and longterm. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice. For example, a study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of meditation not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and increased calm, it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation. Other common benefits of meditation include improved concentration, decreased blood pressure, stress reduction, and enhanced immune function.
Myth #4: Meditation is escapism. Truth: The real purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and get away from it all, but to tune in and get in touch with your true Self— that eternal aspect of yourself that goes beyond all the ever-changing, external circumstances of your life. In meditation, you dive below the mind’s churning surface into expanded awareness. In this state of higher consciousness, you let go of all the stories you’ve been telling yourself about who you are, what is limiting you, and where you fall short. As you practice on a regular basis, you cleanse the windows of perception and your clarity expands.
Myth #6: Meditation requires spiritual or religious beliefs. Truth: Meditation is a practice that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, and many people of many different religions practice meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs. Some meditators have no particular religious beliefs or are atheist or agnostic. They meditate in order to experience inner quiet and the numerous physical and mental health benefits of the practice. Meditation helps us enjoy whatever we do in our lives more fully and happily—whether that is playing sports, taking care of our children, or advancing in our career.
Myth #7: I’m supposed to have transcendent experiences in meditation. Truth: Some people are disappointed when they don’t experience visions, see colors, levitate, hear a choir of angels, or glimpse enlightenment when they meditate. Although we can have a variety of wonderful experiences when we meditate, including feelings of bliss and oneness, these aren’t the purpose of the practice. The real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of the day when we’re going about our daily lives. When we emerge from our meditation session, we are able to be more creative, compassionate, centered, and loving to ourselves and everyone we encounter. 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 signature programs and events, including the Journey into Healing: Super Brain workshop, taking place this August 22−25 at La Costa Resort & Spa. Join Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, and other renowned experts for an in-depth exploration of the power of the mind to heal and transform the body. For more information, visit chopra.com or call 888.736.6895.
In the past forty years, meditation has entered the mainstream of modern Western culture; prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business executives, artists, and scientists to students, teachers, military personnel, and—on a promising note—politicians.
“There’s no need to wait for the bad things and bullshit to be over. Change now. Love now. Live now. Don’t wait for people to give you permission to live, because they won’t.” Kris Carr Best-selling author. Wellness activist. Cancer thriver.
photo: bill miles
“Transformation is my favorite game. In my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.” Jason Mraz Bestselling musician. Artist. Humanitarian.
Interview: Maranda Pleasant
Broken Open: Elizabeth Lesser on Pain, Her Passion, and Protecting Our Greatest Natural Resource: Women. She’s one of the most real, down to earth, and wise leaders we know. Lesser is a New York Times bestselling author, co-founder of Omega, and recently appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
Maranda Pleasant: Where is the place you pull your inspiration and your passion from?
Elizabeth Lesser: I pull from a place within me that has ultimate faith in the meaningfulness and beauty of human life.
I have noticed if I pull from fear or despair about the state of the world, I get tired, ineffective, afraid, and sometimes meanspirited. If I pull from places of faith, joy, and gratitude, then I have the wind of creativity behind me, and my work in the world is much more effective.
MP: How do you process pain when it comes in?
EL: It’s such a big question that lives in my life that I wrote an entire book about it. It’s called Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. It charts my own story of learning
If I pull from places of faith, joy, and gratitude, mindfulness
then I have the wind of creativity behind me, and my work in the world is much more effective. how to process pain as opposed to running away from it. I tell a lot of other people’s stories, as well. In a couple of days I’m going to be the donor for my sister’s stem cell transplant. I’ve been thinking to myself, I’m feeling really good about this. I’m not afraid of the pain. I’m praying a lot instead of worrying. I’m doing so great! But at night, when I go to sleep, I have all these wild dreams of old childhood stuff and fear. My husband said to me this morning, “You’re not processing your pain, you’re just sort of leaping into ‘everything’s okay’.” I’ve been sitting here and doing what I know one should do, which is feeling the pain, letting the fear come up, not turning away from it, not telling stories about it. It’s about just really, really feeling it and honoring it, knowing it’s a very important part of humanness. When I relax into pain, instead of pushing it away, it melts. It melts. MP: If you could say something and really be heard by every woman on the planet, what would you say to them?
EL: The vernacular that Sheryl Sandberg has brought with her book, Lean In, is all about women owning their power. But I feel what is missing from asking this question is, lean in for what? Is it just to be more powerful and empowered? Forget it! We don’t need anymore empowered people who are all about the ego. So I would say to women, always question what you’re empowering yourself for and what are you claiming power for. We need to claim our power for something beautiful, something harmonious, and something globally healthy. MP: Are there causes on the planet that you are particularly passionate about?
EL: Two causes. They’re very interconnected. They are what I work the most for, what I give money to the most. One is conservation of wildness. As humans try to evolve out of greed, let’s put aside some wild places, protected lands, protected farms, things like that, since we may not evolve fast enough to protect nature. The second, deep in my heart, is women’s issues. I think the same protection of a great
natural resource, which is women, needs to happen all over the world. We think that maybe feminism isn’t appropriate anymore, since Western women have really made enormous strides. But check out the rest of the world if you’d like to not be able to sleep tonight. See what’s happening to our sisters around the world. I’m very interested in the protection of women globally. I do a lot of work with V-Day. And Omega [Institute] now has a women’s leadership center where we are working to help women evolve into the kind of powerful people who always ask, What am I using my power for? MP: What are you committed to?
EL: I’m very committed to my family and my town. My biggest local commitments are my children, my husband, my home, and my grandchildren. I’m very much a family person, and that’s always my first priority. I am still very involved in the organization I helped found thirty-seven years ago, Omega Institute. I’m involved at a board level and on a project level because I still really, really believe in it. I believe that educating people to awaken into full consciousness is the most important thing we can do. MP: I wanted to talk about your time with Oprah and Super Soul Sunday. Is there any particular experience for you, when you were with Oprah and sharing dialogue that impacted you deeply?
EL: I’ve worked with Oprah extensively over the past four or five years. I was on Oprah a couple of times. I also helped her produce a webinar she did with Eckhart Tolle. I feel so at home with her now that it’s kind of like sitting around chatting with a friend. That’s her power. I felt like that the very first time I was on her show. All nervousness went away. She’s so capable of creating a sense of shared humanness that you really don’t think you’re on television speaking to millions of people. You’re with a friend. And she does that with everyone, which is her success. It is such a teaching in itself for us, all of us, every moment when we’re with anyone. We don’t need any more teachers. We don’t. We need friends. Rumi called his teacher “the friend.” And that’s what we need. We need friends.
It’s about just really, really feeling it and honoring it, knowing it’s a very important part of humanness. When I relax into pain, instead of pushing it away, it melts. It melts. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 79
“Go into the depths of how you feel. Don’t skip the steps. Go to the depths of the darkness of your discomfort through the pain. Let yourself be honest about the problem. Give yourself time to experience your feelings.” Gabrielle Bernstein Author. May Cause Miracles.
At Kripalu, we invite you to breathe—to intentionally 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. Stay connected: kripalu.org/blog/thrive
Yoga, mindfulness, R&R retreats, Healthy Living programs, and programs with world-renowned invited presenters, including: Daniel G. Amen Martha Beck Tal Ben-Shahar Sierra Bender Joan Borysenko Deepak Chopra Stephen Cope Seane Corn Angela Farmer Kate and Joel Feldman Loren Fishman Bo Forbes Amy Ippoliti Sally Kempton Gary Kraftsow
Anodea Judith Cyndi Lee Joseph Le Page Richard Miller Sadie Nardini Todd Norian Shiva Rea Geneen Roth Daniel J. Siegel Bessel van der Kolk Amy Weintraub
mission driven, donor supported stockbridge, massachusetts
kripalu.org ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 81
Interview: Maranda Pleasant
I am continually trying to find meaning in the world. If we cannot find some ultimate significance or value in our lives, we fall very easily into despair...I have become convinced, through my studies, that the only way to achieve a safe, just, and viable world is to live by the Golden Rule.
a conversation with
karen armstrong Karen Armstrong is a British author known for her books on comparative religion. A former Roman Catholic religious sister, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical Christian faith. Her work focuses on commonalities of the major religions, such as the importance of compassion and the Golden Rule. She recently joined Oprah on Super Soul Sunday to talk about the Charter of Compassion, which grew from the $100,000 TED Prize she received in 2008. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions, lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State and
Defense Departments, and addressed the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2013, she will be the inaugural recipient of the British Academy/ Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding. She is a Trustee of the British Museum and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Literature. She is the author of A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam: A Short History, The Great Transformation, The Bible: the Biography, The Case for God, and, most recently, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.
mindfulness Super Soul Sunday airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
Maranda Pleasant: What drives you? What are you passionate about?
Karen Armstrong: I am continually trying to find meaning in the world. If we cannot find some ultimate significance or value in our lives, we fall very easily into despair. My study of religion, which I regard in many ways as an art form, is a search for meaning. I have become convinced, through my studies, that the only way to achieve a safe, just, and viable world is to live by the Golden Rule. This is what drives my writing. I want to point out this interconnectedness, point out the beauty of the faith in all traditions without exception, show the complexity of the atrocities that we have experienced, and our shared culpability as a species. MP: How do you handle emotional pain?
KA: I remind myself that my pain is not unique. Everybody suffers. I particularly like chamber music. Beethoven’s string quartets express pain itself; it is not my pain. My greatest solace is my study. If I am deprived of my study, I can become lost, unhappy, and unhinged. I think I get from my books what other people get from family or a relationship or from prayer. So when I am miserable, I want to get to my desk. Occasionally when
I am deeply involved in my study, I will get mini-seconds of wonder, awe, and delight— everything suddenly slots together and becomes whole. MP: If you could say something to women everywhere, what would it be?
KA: Let us bring something new to the table. Let us use our pain always to remember the others, bring them into the conversation, and get beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that create injustice all over the world. Many entire nations are marginalized by the more powerful nations. That is causing imbalance, violence, and terror. Women must do their best to introduce another perspective. MP: What is one important cause you are supporting right now?
KA: In 2008, I won the TED Prize and got a wish for a better world. So I asked TED to help me create a Charter for Compassion that would restore the Golden Rule to the centre of moral, religious, political, and private life. The Charter is a short document, composed by leading thinkers and activists in six of the major world faiths. It has now become a global initiative, especially active in Pakistan,
the Middle East, the United States, and the Netherlands. The goal is to make the Golden Rule a practical and realistic reality in our dangerously polarized world. What our world needs now is to implement the Golden Rule globally, so that we treat all peoples—whoever they are—as we would wish to be treated ourselves. The Dalai Lama said that the Cities Campaign is the single most important thing that is happening on the planet. MP: What projects are you working on right now?
KA: I am writing a book on the thorny issue of religion and violence. I think it will challenge some of the rather facile and uninformed assumptions that people have about religion. It is people who are violent, rather than “religions.” Since we secularized our politics we have had two major world wars, the Holocaust, the Soviet Gulag, and the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki—none of which were inspired by religion. If we want to understand the dangers of our world, we can no longer accept the old received ideas. Intelligence doesn’t just mean tracking down terrorists; it means finding out what is in people’s hearts and minds, and discovering the complexity of most issues.
Photo: © Harpo Productions Inc ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 83
What is your greatest spotlights
Ashley Silver New York City. Head of Operations. THINK Global School. I am always guided by the words of the Buddha, “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear and be influenced by them for good or ill.” ThinkGlobalSchool.org
Dana Underwood Aspen. Singer. Songwriter. I’ve learned tomorrow is a gift not a given, so my biggest lesson is to be quick to say yes. I say yes to fun, to love, to understanding, to forgiveness, to exploration, to adventure, to creativity, abundance and joy. Don’t hesitate!
Hesed Nájera Hérnandez Pescadero. Baja California. Masters in Marine and Coastal Sciences. Manager. Baja Beans. My greatest life lesson so far is to believe in transformation, love, sincerity, and respect. And to be aware of our healing energy. Hesed.mx
Jayne Gottlieb Basalt. Owner. Le Cercle Studio. The greatest lesson I’ve learned on my journey so far has been the absolute value of vulnerability! I’ve learned not just the willingness to be vulnerable, but truly the value of finding a way to allow myself to be vulnerable. The deepest and most profound connections I have experienced have all been through trusting myself enough to show up in my most raw form; nothing covering the grace, nothing masking the shit. At times this is a painful leap, but it is always always worth it on every level! LeCercleStudio.com
Vannac Yan Phenom Penh. Director. Krama Yoga Cambodia. The lessons I have learned from yoga have been the biggest life lessons thus far. Yoga saved my life from mental and physical pain. It helped me to get away from social depression and questions like, “Why was I born in such a poor family?” I feel stronger because I have learned to give back to others. Helping others helps yourself. YogaCambodia.com
life lesson so far? Biz Stone Marin County. Co-founder. Twitter Inc. Opportunity is defined as “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” People often think about opportunity the wrong way—assuming they must wait for it to present itself. However, the circumstances themselves can be authored. Opportunity can be manufactured. BizStone.com
Ramona Bruland Aspen. Host. X Games. ESPN. I have never followed a textbook lifestyle and have always just followed my passions. Be extraordinary and don’t do what you think you should be doing. Live outside the box. Recently I was torn in a decision between my practical head and passionate heart. I chose happiness and went with my heart. Now I have a dream job while still living in Aspen! Do what you love and follow your heart. RamonaBruland.com
Kiara Heng Aspen. Sweden. Advanced Thai Massage Teacher. Owner. Lash Envy Aspen. The important thing to remember, at any moment, is to be able to give up who you are, for who you can become.
Craig Kolavo Austin. Father. Artist. Founder. AwesOm Life. My lesson is remembering my connection to all of life. The awareness of knowing I am one with my Creator and all of Creation is a very powerful lesson. I am free to experience life as it naturally unfolds. Moment to moment filled with excitement, joy, and passion. I have surrendered the illusion of control and need for protection. AwesOmlife.com
Joanne McPike NYC. Bahamas. Photographer. Founder: Think Global School. When you get to a crossroad in your life and you have a choice to make, always take the harder, scarier road. It is the one you were meant to take. If you were truly happy on the road you were traveling, as well as the direction your life was taking, a crossroad would have never appeared. The lessons you have to learn in your life will never be on the easy street, they will be on the road that challenges you. So take the hard road, draw a deep breath, and put yourself out there. You are stronger and braver than you think you are. ThinkGlobalSchool.org
Photography: David Jay
The Scar Project The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection, and healing. Its mission is to raise public consciousness of early onset breast cancer, and to help young survivors see their scars, figures, and experiences through a new, honest, and ultimately empowering lens. The SCAR Project’s deeper message is one of humanity. The acceptance of all that life offers us. We accept all the beauty and all the suffering with grace, courage, empathy, and understanding. The SCAR Project is not about breast cancer, but the human condition itself. The images’ intent are to transcend the disease, illuminating the scars that unite us all. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women ages 15-40. The SCAR Project participants range from ages 18 to 35, and represent this often overlooked group of young women living with breast cancer. Nearly 100 women have traveled from across America and the world to be photographed for The SCAR Project. —David Jay TheScarProject.org
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How Self-Love Saved My Life:
To Heal the World We Must Heal Ourselves
Bryant McGill is a bestselling author, speaker, and activist in the fields of self-development, personal freedom, and human rights. He is an iconic personality and cultural critic, whose prolific writings have reached millions of people and appeared in thousands of works by other authors, educators and social leaders.
I grew up in the Deep South, on a small dirt road in the country. My selfesteem had been crushed through years of childhood bullying and serious abuses, which would take me decades to overcome. What I remember the most about my childhood is constant fear and “good food.” I don’t want to get into the greasy, buttery, deep-fried, fatty, sugary, meaty, barbecued details here, but with no knowledge of healthy lifestyles or positive psychology, time took its toll on me. The invincibility of my youth diminished as my gut and waistline expanded, and eventually I found my middle-aged self dying in a suburban basement. Like a hunchback shut-in, I would not leave for months at a time because of embarrassment and debilitating pain. My body had become an entombment of fat covering the pain and loneliness of a broken heart and spirit. Hope and life seemed very distant. But there was something still in me: a dream I had always dreamt of living a beautiful life. Even through my pain, I worked toward my heart’s highest calling to be an instrument of healing for the world. But little did I know, those whispers were really calling for my own healing. As destiny would have it, I found myself catapulted onto the world stage, and was given a rare opportunity to be a voice of reason and peace for the voiceless. However,
with the opportunity came a humbling lesson. I was advocating for world peace, but I was waging a violent war against my own body. I was speaking about poverty and starvation, but I was eating more than my fair share. I was a hypocrite. This epiphany laid open my pride to the providence of self-love as I invoked the sage wisdom of Gandhi to become the change that I wanted to see in the world. When we are at peace with ourselves, the total expression of that true peace includes our outer being, our body. Through meditation and gentle cooperation, the body will heal itself with little or no effort. I slowly healed myself with organic foods and natural methods. I freed myself from all medications and chronic dis-eases, and now have the energy, stamina, and flexibility of a healthy twenty-year-old. I know the deep struggles and perseverance it takes to reclaim your health. I have personally lost over 100 pounds and shrank my waist from 50” to 30”, and have kept it off for four years. My new found strength, vitality and health are important parts of the secret to how I live a life of activity, exploration, and creative excellence. I learned that peace is prosperity and health is true wealth, and it is never too late to love yourself again.
“The only hope of transforming the world from the ‘tsunami of violence’ is for each of us to become the change we wish to see in the world. Bryant McGill shows us the way.” -Dr. Arun M. Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
bryantmcgill.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 93
Interview: Robert Piper
Dr. Frank Lipman: A Changemaker of His Time Dr. Frank Lipman is a pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative and functional medicine. He is the founder and director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, where his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest for life.
Robert Piper: What inspires you?
Dr. Frank Lipman: Watching people fight the odds and triumph, like so many of my patients and the many children we work with at the Ubuntu Education Fund in South Africa, an amazing nonprofit. Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and the Dalai Lama are constant inspirations. RP: What makes you happy?
FL: Hanging out with my wife, daughter, and people I love. Helping patients take charge of their health, seeing them flourish. Listening to great music. RP: You’re a true pioneer and changemaker in your field. Can you talk about overcoming the status quo?
FL: When you know in your heart that something is wrong and there is a better way, you fight to change it. Soon after I finished medical school and saw the shortcomings of Western medicine, there was never any doubt in my mind that if I wanted to practice good medicine, I would need to explore alternatives and not be limited to drugs and surgery. RP: You once said, “If we could bottle the benefits of meditation it would be a multimillion dollar drug.”
FL: It has the exact opposite effect on the body that stress has and most people are stressed out, so it’s the perfect antidote to what is ailing so many people. RP: You grew up in South Africa. Can you explain how this influenced your life?
FL: I grew up during apartheid in South Africa. From an early age, I knew that the system was obviously unfair, unethical, and needed radical changes. My feelings toward the medical system was no different—fighting against something I feel is misguided is an extension of my feelings about apartheid. I ran away from apartheid because I felt powerless and could not live under that system, but I am not going to run away from the medical system. RP: How do you stay balanced?
FL: Meditate, do yoga, try to vacation frequently, and only take on projects and work that I love doing and feel passionate about. RP: What’s the difference between Eastern and Western medicine?
FL: Western medicine is great for acute medical and surgical emergencies, trauma, infections, hormone deficiencies, some cancers, and replacing organs and joints. It truly saves lives, but after a crisis is over, we just hand out drugs to suppress symptoms. Western medicine has few to no tools to create health. It’s not particularly effective with the epidemics of chronic diseases we are seeing today, including heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and stress-related problems. Chinese medicine is not appropriate for crisis care, trauma, and emergency medicine, but it does a great job at getting people healthy and keeping them that way. In the late ‘80s, I discovered functional medicine, which combines the biochemistry and physiology of Western medicine with the holistic view
of Chinese medicine and its understanding of how to restore function, combined with the latest scientific research on nutrition and on how our genes, environment, and lifestyle interact with each other to affect our health. Functional medicine deals effectively with these chronic conditions that are so epidemic—it is the future of medicine.
When you know in your heart that something is wrong and there is a better way, you fight to change it. drfranklipman.com | ubuntufund.org
â€œMy defining moment, which led me to my work in the world, was choosing to let go of what everyone else desired my work to be and what I thought I had to do and who I had to be for everyone else. I decided to see what would happen when I took all the energy I spent taking care of others and applied it to myself.â€? Ava Taylor Founder. Yama Talent.
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“I’m pregnant with my first child, and the process keeps reminding me just how strong and powerful women are. I wake up every morning and thank my body for the amazing experience it’s going through. I’ve continued to practice yoga the entire time and it’s kept me connected to each magical moment as my baby grows inside of me. When it comes time to deliver, I’ll call upon the strength of all the women before me who’ve gone through this, and be thankful for the fact that I soon will become a mother as well.” Kristin McGee kristinmcgee.com
“The most imminent battle our generation is going to have to fight is food transparency: How food is made and grown, where is comes from, the quality of the source, and how it will affect our health long-term. ” Daphne oz
wo m en
Bend. Women’s Activist. Founder. World Muse.
Athens. Licensed Psychotherapist. Owner. Womanspace.
Austin. Director. Creative Discovery. Workshops.
Louisville. Founder. The Diaper Fairy.
I believe that women and girls have the potential to be powerful catalysts for change; unfortunately, too few are encouraged to explore that potential. I am blessed to have people who support and inspire me to explore my potential as a changemaker. My life’s work is to offer support, inspiration, and exploration to women and girls through World Muse.
I hold sacred space for women and act as an ambassador for the sacred feminine. Our offerings at Womanspace are anchored in the fundamental belief that women’s experiences, voices, and process are sacred. By serving women, we venerate the feminine, in all he r diverse and mysterious forms. It’s wonderful to witness women connect with their innate divinity and make practical change from there!
Self love is a good night’s sleep! With sleep I can wake up and move through the day living my life truthfully, with love and confidence, while closing all doors to judgment, negativity, and insecurity. When I’m strong I can help others become strong . That’s a really cool place to be.
My start-up business, The Diaper Fairy, provides cloth diaper delivery and expertise. My ecofriendly laundry service enables parents to choose reusable diapers without the dirty work. Through classes and in-home consultations, I’m paving the way for what my community understands about modern cloth diapers. Plus, I get to meet new babies on a weekly basis. Those little people are amazing.
PHOTO: Frances Ward
i n spire
JoAnne Melody Longanilla Moore, Ph.D.
San Francisco. Arusha. Tanzania. Executive Director. Shukuru.
Dallas. Registered Yoga Teacher.
Indianapolis. Founder. Y12SR: The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery.
My mission is to give girls in Africa a leg up through an entrepreneurial opportunity to achieve educational and longer term self-reliance. Girls learn to believe in their power and worth. My vision is to improve their lives and the world around them. This opportunity verses a hand out cultivates value; and a girl investing in her own education can uplift humanity.
My passion and purpose is to create a world where we embrace ourselves and each other with unconditional love. I do so by living the love within. I inspire others to do the same through Embody Love Movement, a nonprofit whose mission is to revolutionize the way we treat ourselves and others.
I’m passionate about yoga, dance, music, and my two pit bulls. What is going on in my mind and emotion is going on in my body. Through creative expression I can discover and release energy blocks that keep me from being who I truly am. I stay inspired to grow through my struggles and they keep me connected to my purpose.
My experiences with addiction and recovery ignited my work. After two relapses, it became clear that cognitive disconnection was not the only problem. Addicts, like me, require an approach that combines cognition and somatics. Based in the theme “the issues live in the tissues,” Y12SR is that: weaving the art and science of yoga with the tools of 12-step programs.
PHOTO: Margie Woods Brown
PHOTO: Laura Doss
PHOTO: Drew Endicott
wo m en
Anna Guest- Nora Jelley Kramer Los Angeles. Changemaker. Educator. Camp Director.
Tania Neild Bronxville, New York. Founder: StudioLive TV.
I am driven by the artisans and their talent. The sense of pride and confidence that is exuded after learning a new skill is what makes this venture so special. The constant chatter of life, love, and customs blends into the hum of sewing machines. Together we create something unique and desirable that will forever link us across the globe.
My passion is sharing bodypositive yoga with people of all shapes and sizes. Nothing makes me happier than opening the gates wider to let curvybodied people know that theyâ€™re welcome in yoga, and that they can do it in ways that feel good for their body. Curvy Yoga students and teachers are redefining the shape of yoga!
I started Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp, a summer camp that trains and supports teens. I love helping young people identify and understand challenges in our society, from climate change to bullying, factory farming to poverty. I help them develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to help them make a huge difference in the world.
As a business owner and mother of four, yoga class was my respite. The time I carved out for my classes kept me fit and mentally and physically sane. Often times, family and business obligations made getting to the studio challenging. I used my resources to create StudioLiveTV.
PHOTO: Rob Williams
PHOTO: Sylvia Elzafon
Jody T. Morse
Houston. Dancer. Therapeutic Massage Therapist. Actress.
Miami. Founder. Yoga Gangsters (501c3) Owner: 305 Yoga
My personal mission is to help people to live full, happy, and self-expressed lives. After a career in university teaching and the performing arts, now I teach mindfulness-based practices that support lasting lifestyle changes for vital health and well-being. I teach the Feldenkrais Method of movement education and offer whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle education.
My life’s journey is a patchwork quilt of many passions, professions, and people. I used to envy those who had one focused path or talent. Then one day, I realized that I love my diversely erratic, brilliantly colorful existence! My gifts are numerous and my joys are limitless. My universe is capable of expanding to encompass all of them. Some of my passions are dancing, mommyhood, philanthropy, and friendship.
What I love more than anything is to see the face of a resistant teen transform from shutdown to curious. It is a different experience for every kid but each time it is a remarkable experience for me. There is an authentic experience of connection which is a special moment when we can really see each other.
I wake up every morning with the phrase, “every person counts” in my mind. Every person deserves a chance and an opportunity. Our work with women artisans in Kenya, Thailand, and India motivates me to get up, spread awareness, raise funds, and support them in every way I can, because every person counts.
PHOTO: Paula Puffer Photography
PHOTO: Jimmy Wick
13 Breast Cancer thrivers 1. Lockey Maisonneuve
2. Susan Nichols
3. Caitlin Marcoux
Stage 3. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Bi-lateral mastectomies with expanders and saline implant reconstruction.
Stage 1. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Double mastectomy. Chemotherapy.
Stage 2a. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Chemotherapy infusions. Radical bi-lateral mastectomy planned.
Following treatment, I was afraid to move my body. This fear deepened my depression, loss of self-esteem, and anxiety. I felt like a stranger in my own body and in my life. I took the time to get to know my new body and started rehabilitating my body’s foundation (posture), and progressed from there. Rebuilding my body and mind taught me perseverance, vulnerability, and humor. I continue to practice persistence, sharing my heart, and laughing.
I made a living inhabiting a strong, fluid body. My identity has been dismantled by hair loss, muscle weakness, fatigue and chemo-induced acne. As a yogi, I have long intellectualized the belief that we are something greater than the sum total of our body parts and mind; something sacred. As I face the reality of a radical bilateral mastectomy, truly living in this belief has become the primary focus of my practice. The mantra helping me heal is, “I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am divine.”
For five years I felt something was off. I intuitively knew I had cancer. I never thought it was breast cancer. I was screened every year. The hardest part is uncertainty. I didn’t hit the wall until I finished my treatments and surgeries. There was nothing left to do. No more doctors appointments and no more surgeries. I felt fear when I had expected to celebrate. For a year my entire life was about the fight. Now what? Cancer has changed me in subtle ways. If there is something I want to do, I am more likely to make it happen.
PHOTO: Brittany White
4 5 6
4. Claire Petretti Marti
5. Nancy Lanni
6. Lesley Jacobs
7. Deb Kreimborg
Stage 2/3. Surgeries. Chemotherapy. Radiation.
Stage 2. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Lumpectomy. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Prophylactic mastectomy. Reconstruction.
Stage 3. Bilateral mastectomy. Reconstruction. Chemotherapy. Radiation.
Stage 2+. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Mastectomy. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Herceptin protocol. Reconstructive surgery.
My biggest challenge was hitting the pause button during treatment and feeling stagnant while the rest of the world forged ahead without me. Many things got me through: the love from my husband, my family, my friends, blogging my story, and teaching and practicing yoga. I learned to be present through the dark and the light. I created Yoga for Cancer Recovery to help others. Now, I’m more open to receiving support and love by trusting others to care for me. What a gift!
The most difficult part was telling my family. My sister cried terribly. I couldn’t even tell my brother, I asked his wife to do it. Staying highly informed about my treatment helped me. I felt power in knowledge. My partner, who would not leave me when I thought he should, shaved my head so I wouldn’t see my hair fall out. To this day it is one of the dearest things ever done for me.
After being diagnosed, I realized very quickly that many people have a difficult time approaching the subject of cancer, as well as individuals affected by it. Reflecting back beyond the physical suffering, I think the hardest part was feeling so isolated and alone. Connecting with other young cancer survivors helped to shift my perspective from a place of fear into gratitude. Moving forward, I strive to love myself unconditionally and love the blessed life I have been gifted.
OceanSoulYoga.com PinkElephantPosse.org PHOTO: Epicphotojournalism. com
I was amazed at the outpouring of love and support and the simplest of touches. Once I accepted “it is all out of my hands,” I was able to move forward toward healing. Being strong in my faith is what helped me the most. In the midst of fear, love is what holds you together, gives you strength, and ultimately opens your heart to inner truths. Photographs are a big part of the healing process. I have an idea for another photograph, I would like to photograph myself holding my reconstructive breasts with face thrown back in laughter. DebKreimborgImages.net
13 breast cancer thrivers 8. Jennifer LoBianco Gregersen
9. Laura Kupperman
10. Kelley Rush
Stage O. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Single mastectomy. Reconstruction.
Stage 1. Emotherapy. Bilateral mastectomies with GAP Flap reconstruction.
Stage 2. Estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+). Lumpectomy. Bilateral mastectomy. Chemotherapy.
One week after returning from my honeymoon in 2003, my husband found a lump in my breast.
My dance with cancer taught me there is tremendous strength in vulnerability. Enormous parts of me had to die to learn how to live, turning this karmic joust into good medicine! Sacred gifts and skillful tools I learned through Forrest Yoga helped me bring in healing love and support. Now, each day waking I ask myself, “What can I do to make this day the best day of my life?”
My diagnosis came out of left field, no lump, no family history; it was found on a routine mammogram. All I thought about was my children seeing me sick—that was frightening. My husband, children, family, friends, laughter, and faith got me through it. It was not just spiritual faith; it was faith in others, in myself and my ability to make decisions. I got through with faith in myself, really believing I was going to be okay. This faith allowed time for recovery.
We lived the expression “the honeymoon is over” for the first year of marriage. It was extremely difficult. What got me through was love, yoga, and the support of friends and family. I am more keenly aware of the impermanence of all living creatures and try to squeeze the most out of every day. Shout out to my amazing surgeon, Scott Sullivan!
PHOTO: Kathy Monahan
YogaforSurvivors.com PHOTO: Robert M. Stewart
11. Tonya Priestley
12. Lisa Aileen Cianci
13. Amy Kalisher
Stage 0. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Bilateral mastectomy. Oophorectomy.
Stage 2. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Partial mastectomy. Lymph node removal. Radiation. Plant medicines in traditional indigenous ways. Peruvian healers & shaman.
Stage 2B. Single mastectomy. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Hormone therapy.
I felt pressure to travel for work after my surgery, with my drains still attached. I ended up with lymphedema. I had selfesteem issues. I would not have made it through the process without my wonderful, supportive husband. He was my rock. I read Anticancer: A New Way Of Life. I am now passionate about giving back and making a difference. I created Stretch 4 Survivors, an annual yoga charity event benefiting women with breast cancer. Pinklemonadeproject.org/stretchfor-survivors.shtml PHOTO: Kirsti Holley Photography
Lots of difficulties: telling my family (especially my parents), dealing with corporate health Insurance companies, being an independent consultant in the private sector, not being entitled to unemployment and state disability, and having my temporary social security benefits denied four times. Being a mom got me through, along with growing my own food and opening up my home to healers to receive complementary alternative medicine. Everything is a gift, including breast cancer. Gifts have been showering upon me. Miracles have been happening around me. Instances of synchronicity have accelerated exponentially since my surgery. My definition of success starts with health, love, family, friends, and nature; not the money or the title.
The hardest thing is facing the possibility of an early death, reorienting myself to consider that I might be at the end of my story instead of in the thick of it. Many people have expressed how much they value me, which helps. I get it now that my time is mine, and precious. It also helps to share my experience on my blog and in my Youtube video diary. AmyKstudio.com
True Beauty We’ve found some of the most beautiful, strong, passionate women in America, shifting their communities. We are widening and redefining the modern definition of beauty. True beauty is strength, confidence, self-reliance, and compassion. True beauty is dancing with the wildness, being true to yourself, and being honest when it’s painful. It’s being able to stand in the center of the fire and not shrink back when life calls you to be your highest. It is the courage to fail—for love, for a dream, for the adventure of being alive. This is ORIGIN’s campaign to find and highlight the most beautiful women making a difference in our world, every issue. We are taking True Beauty back.
Kate Greer (Hanspal Kaur Khalsa) Boston. Yoga teacher. Mother. I am honored to share yoga with people of all ages and walks of life, including my four-year-old son, and hopefully our baby, due this summer! I founded Open Hearts Yoga with my husband, Richmond Dickson. We offer trainings, workshops, and class series. We are blessed to walk this path together. KateGreerYoga.com OpenHeartsYogaSchool.com Photo: Kadri Kurgun
Leah Durner New York. Artist. My passion is visual culture in all its forms: painting, design, fashion, and film. My current paintings in poured enamel, reference psychedelia and process art while employing exuberant and unexpected color. I am dedicated to bringing joy, beauty, and color to the world. I recently translated a group of my paintings into a line of products for West Elm, so that even more people can bring my art into their homes. LeahDurner.com PHOTO: Damani Moyd ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 107
Erica Moser Keller, Texas. Mother. Yoga instructor. Being inspired is one of lifeâ€™s most precious gifts. Inspiration for me is my two daughters. They have beautiful souls with a free spirited light that shines from them. My desire is to nurture them by sharing my passions and creativity on and off the mat. This is the place where my inner being is awakened and drishti becomes clear. OneDarlingMess.blogspot.com PHOTO: Alice Hale
Brigitte Kouba (Gigi Yogini) Santa Monica. Yoga teacher. Speaker. Writer. I am passionately committed to inspiring women of every shape and size to love their bodies. It is our responsibility to be role models in order to exemplify all varieties of beauty despite the limited perspective in media. My goal is to support women in cultivating confidence and strengthening their mind-body connection through teaching yoga, hosting retreats, writing articles, and producing videos. GigiYogini.com
Kelly Davis Boulder. Jewelry artist. Restorative yoga teacher. I am deeply passionate about inspiring this world through my art. As I create, I invite the universe into forms that might adorn your dreams, or the scars on your beautiful heart. Beauty inspires and invites us to feel the creative forces that love this world unseen. When we feel this connection, we can love and inspire this world. CrocusPocusDesigns.com
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Barbara Brady Sonoma. Yoga teacher. Writer. Curator. To make visible what without me might go unnoticed and needs to be noticed. And, to encourage the same in others. We each have something sweetly specific to us, our Dharma, that longs to take the stage. It’s that luminous part of us that, when expressed, we fall wildly in love with our self, put on our best dress, and take a giddy bow with the Divine. BarbraBrady.com PHOTO: In Her Image Photography
Meagan Rhodes UGC Editor. The Tennessean. My passion is promoting other artists, painting, writing, and playing my oboe. News is in my blood. I thrive on getting the word out and being the first to know. I also thrive on the power to promote and push others into the spotlight. As a creative person myself (artist, oboist, writer, model), the most thrilling part of my job is to find new talent and push their name and their creations out into the world. Tennessean.com
Candice Garrett Monterey. Yoga therapist. I am committed to the idea that pregnancy and birth are natural and empowering events in a woman’s life. A woman’s body has wisdom, it carries the stories of her lifetime, often buried deep with in the pelvis. By accessing the physical, women not only become more knowledgeable about their anatomy, but begin to tap into their true power. NineMoonPrenatalYoga.com PHOTO: Heidi Artis
Yulady Saluti Chatham. Yoga instructor. I am a mother, wife, and yoga teacher. My husband, Gerald Saluti, and I are the proud parents of six beautiful children whom we adore. My passion is yoga. I love teaching, practicing, and educating myself about yoga, anatomy, and philosophy. Every day I try to help others by practicing kindness and non-judgment. After fighting breast cancer, I have learned to enjoy each and every breath I am blessed to take. Yuladysaluti.com Powerflownj.com PHOTO: Sherry Sutton
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True Beauty Kira Karmazin San Diego. Founder: KiraGrace. My passion is building and supporting sustainable businesses that are connected to the community they serve. Something really beautiful happens when community, customers, and businesses are all aligned. For KiraGrace, this means being in partnership with Off the Mat, Into the World™, where we donate all profits from key pieces in our collection to support mentoring programs for emerging leaders. KiraGrace.com PHOTO: Jeff Von Hoene
Kelly Thornton Smith Irvine, California. I am passionate about Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The idea that how I live, love, think, eat, act, and serve affects not only my life, but the entire world, is very exciting. I am inspired daily by watching others do the same to make good happen at the Center for Living Peace! GoodHappens.org
Elisabeth Manning Petaluma. Founder. Fertile Living. Founder. Conscious Creation Consulting. I am saying yes to life and reaching for my PhD—Potential of my Human Divine. My work is facilitating awareness with parents-to-be to consciously cultivate a fertile lifestyle in all areas. We work together to create the best version of themselves to birth tomorrow’s child; generating optimal health and DNA potential for a “higher human” that can heal the future of our world. “Before ever planting a seed you must first cultivate the soil.” —Chinese Proverb ConsciousConception.net PHOTO: In Her Image
Autumn la Boheme Austin. Founder: Bodhi Leaf Media. I am driven by a passion for disproving the word “impossible.” I am a mom of two, Iris and Legend. My social media management company, Bodhi Leaf Media, supports our vagabond lifestyle. I use artistic mediums and the written word to inspire others to bend rules and create a life of non-conformity. Our home is Austin, Texas, but we are living in Cozumel now! BodhilLeafMedia.com
Miriam Zernis Ridgefield. Yoga teacher. Kirtan wallah. I love sharing the practices of Classical Hatha Yoga and sacred chanting music as vehicles to opening hearts, experiencing oneness, and aligning with the truth of who we all really are. I am always inspired by the human experience to strive to make a difference in the world through the paths of peace, joy, and unconditional love. SitasLight.com PHOTO: Sue Pea
Kristina Sutcliffe Boulder. Hoop dance instructor. Teaching Hoop Dance gives me constant inspiration! Hooping can change my students’ perspectives and how they approach new challenges. The hoop shows us that we can achieve our goals by letting ourselves feel; by letting go and approaching life with playfulness. Hooping, like life, is a flow of energy that offers us feedback when we allow our bodies to listen. ODance.net PHOTO: CadenciaPhotography.com
Marisol Tamez Miami. Yoga instructor. Practicing and teaching yoga allows me the freedom to continually share my most authentic self. I’ve discovered that true beauty lies in integrating all diverse aspects of my being, and this empowers others to do the same. I’m passionate about preserving the imagination. I encourage an ever-flowing expression of innate creativity through writing, music, movement, and all art forms. MarisolTamez.com 114 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTO: Alan Karol
Natalie Ullman Kentfield. Author. Teacher. Yogini. Liberation ignites me. I am inspired by the deep interior freedom which emerges as imprisoning paradigms are left behind. As writer, teacher, musician, healer, and 21st century yogini, I am in love with ancient texts and practices. As vegan, friend, lover, sister, poet, and philosopher, I aspire to experience and contribute to these ever unfolding inner revolutions. TheJoyfulPlanet.org PHOTO: Stephanie Mohan
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Betty LaMarr Los Angeles. Executive coach. My passion is making my life worthy by making a difference in the lives of others, especially teen girls and the women who surround them. My mission is to change the future for disadvantaged teen girls, starting with graduation from high school, to improve their opportunity for economic independence. Empowher.org Nadisa.com
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Terri Cole New York City. Coach. Mentor. Therapist. As a coach, mentor, and therapist to wellknown personalities and leaders in wellness, empowerment, and entertainment, I am honored to help my clients remain present and grounded as their stardom skyrockets. I am a catalyst for clarity of purpose, confident decision making, and balanced success by teaching sustainable solutions that allow them to fulfill their Dharma of changing the world. TerriCole.com
Melissa A. Griffith Lavallette. Yogi. Soul soother. Catalyst. Iâ€™m passionate about matters of the heart, connection, and speaking in front of large groups about living life from the inside out. As a life coach I truly love helping women unpack the baggage hiding their true nature, teaching them to make different choices; choices that offer them the chance to experience true joy, and fertilize ground for them to thrive in. StillPointCoaching.org PHOTO: Phebe Khali
Spring. Yoga instructor. Writer. Coach. Personal trainer. Nutritional consultant. Women’s health/Prenatal specialist.
Aspen. Viniyoga teacher.
Empowering others is what drives me in life. Teaching others to love and embrace life and to live their dreams. I don’t think anyone should settle for anything less. Life is too short not to. I want to help people realize that there is nothing they cannot accomplish. I offer them the tools and support to get there.
I am inspired by the healing power of a breath centered practice. Working privately with clients is my main passion. I teach them that they have the power to effectively change their thoughts, mood, and behavior through breath awareness and svadhyaya. I believe that change starts from within and once we are aware of everything that we cannot see, but can feel, then the real practice of yoga begins.
PHOTO: Dan Ray
Ashley Miller San Francisco. Psychotherapist Intern. Over years of self reflection and personal growth, I have discovered that there is always hope for a person seeking healing. I believe that we all have an innate capacity to heal and live fulfilling lives. I’m grateful to live my life in service to people who are looking to connect to their truth. AshleyMillerWellness.com PHOTO: Shelly Puri 118 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTO: Ross Daniels
True Beauty Dana Trixie Flynn Teacher. Eternal student. Director. Laughing Lotus Yoga Center. NYC. My passion and inspiration comes through connecting to LIFE. When I allow my artistic, dancing, musical, poetic self to come through, every day is infinitely creative and filled with new discoveries. Through giving myself permission to abandon the rules, to listen and to truly explore and celebrate my body, I learned how to move like myself. Ultimately, this connects me to the Universal, to Oneness. Talk about inspiration! NYC.LaughingLotus.com PHOTO: Yoga Nation On Tour | Eduardo Patino
True Beauty Suza Scalora New York City. Coach. Writer. Speaker. Co-founder. LOVE 365. Co-founder. The Whole Purpose. My passion is to guide and educate people about the importance and transformative power of having a loving and compassionate relationship with oneâ€™s self. I truly believe that each of us has the power within to live an awakened life of authenticity, love and inner peace. As we change how we relate to ourselves, to love, and compassion, we change the world. LOVE-365.org
Mary Bruce Phoenix. Para yoga teacher ERYT-500. My dharma and joy is teaching yoga. I especially love leading yoga teacher trainings as a platform to witness the personal transformation that takes place. To be privileged to contribute to the growth and emergence of an individualâ€™s passion and watch them share it is a true gift. Finding my own voice was both a challenge and empowering, therefore if I can help someone else discover their own unique expression and creative offering, I have left a living legacy. MaryBruce.com
Faith Hunter Washington, DC. Yoga teacher. I am extremely passionate about family (including my dogs), yoga, and living life to the fullest. This passion is driven by personal commitment to embracing each moment with an open heart, and devoting myself to sharing my heart with others. I surrender to the Divine within, and allow my heart to guide each aspect of my life. FaithHunter.com PHOTO: Drew Xeron
Joy Burkhard Los Angeles. Founder. 2020 Mom Project. Project Director. California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. I’ve been blessed with an ability to see the forest for the trees; to see the big picture and opportunities to solve problems or make something even better. I often find myself dreaming of solutions. I’m compelled to take action. Through my work in the social sector as the founder of 2020 Mom Project, a campaign of the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, I have been provided an outlet to create positive community change. 2020MomProject.com
Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark
Denver. Founder. Love Animals.
Bethlehem. Performing artist. Movement specialist.
Evanston. Integrative family physician. Mother.
My life’s mission is to do something so large and impactful that it can improve the future of every species of animal around the globe, because every species faces great threats. My new nonprofit, LoveAnimals.org, is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and through it I can have real impact to improve the lives of animals everywhere.
I am passionate about life, movement, family, giving, teaching, and learning. I believe movement can bring us all together and heal our hearts and souls. Movement can teach us that we all have endless possibilities within and can dance like no one is watching, every day of our lives. With each breath I take I dance, I give, and I create.
LoveAnimals.org PHOTO: Acasha King
MovementForYou.com ArtistsInUnity.com PHOTO: Andy To /Artists in Unity
My greatest passion in this life is love. To give and receive love. This means making space for it by connecting with myself, my husband, our three children, and our community, every day. All of my favorite activities share that common thread of love: being out in nature, dancing, practicing my medicine, enjoying nourishing food, travelling around the world, and talking with my friends. I can’t live a single day without love!
Hemalayaa Los Angeles. New York. Yogini. Dancer. Fitness educator. I’m inspired by living creatively and consciously in everything I do. I’m committed to making a positive difference and being connected to my Higher Self while engaging in every conversation I have, every project I take, and every relationship I’m in. My desire is to make the least amount of damage living while on this great planet, by being intimate, sincere, and vulnerable with every soul. Hemalayaa.com
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honoring Amazing moms
Melville. Founder: Just Jen and You Community.
I am a stay-at-home mom who is passionate about family, homeschooling, Waldorf education, natural birth, whole foods, plant-based nutrition, permaculture, and organic gardening. Our family grows 50% of our own food. I love fiber arts, sustainable natural building, homesteading, and community. As a devoted environmental and political activist, I educate, empower, and inspire the world. CasaDeLuz.org PHOTO: Joshua Geiger
My inspirations are words, actions, thoughts, and ideas driven by openhearted and kind intentions. Share. Stand out. Push forward. Chase butterflies. Do something. Spread light. Reflect light. Give. Make mistakes. Let go. Nurture your roots. Family prevails. Hear the music. Embrace change. Savor silence. Breathe. Don’t quit. Be true to you. Learn. Live. Love. Photo: Michael Boudin
Serena T. Wills
San Francisco Bay Area. Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher.
Washington, D.C. The Writer’s Block, Inc.
Adoption is one of my passions. The only way I wanted to take on the honorable role of motherhood was through adoption. It is a way for me to serve not only my child’s birth mother but also the great mother Earth. Now I live every day with my greatest inspiration and the love of my life, my daughter Kaia.
Recovering from Lyme disease made me look at life a lot differently. Besides publishing my books, performing spoken word, and opening up my cafe; I want to become a health and wellness coach to help people with chronic illnesses. Working for myself will give me freedom to spend more time with my beautiful son. SerenaWills.com
FunkyJiva.com PHOTO: Simone Forgione
Catherine L. Ghosh
Alachua. The Secret Yoga Institute.
Los Angeles. Yoga Teacher.
Solana Beach. Singing Woman, Steve Gold Experience.
My two sons have shown me how deeply and fiercely my heart can love. This love is a compass for my yoga practice. This yoga of the heart, bhakti, is full of heartfelt connections in sanga, artistic expressions, and multimedia presentations, which draw endlessly from the beauty of nature.
I am passionate about teaching people to experience strength, happiness, and peace through the practice of yoga. I’m equally passionate about animal welfare and the environment. Raising my two children to be creative, happy, compassionate people who contribute to the world inspires me and touches my heart.
Both of my children were born at home. Just like an unmedicated birth, motherhood demands I meet pain and unforeseen challenges with presence, deep breaths and, often in my case, a song (or a moan!). My children inspire me to make conscious choices. They show me extraordinary power that I never knew I had. SteveGoldExperience.com PHOTO: Trina Renelle Roberts
Louisville. Co-owner: Yoga Junction.
My husband and our baby boy are my inspirations in all I do. My health and fitness is so much more than what could possibly meet the eye. I want to be active, healthy, and my very best for the two of them. Everything I do is with my precious family in mind. Nothing I do is separate from the depth of my love for them. Nothing. SahajaMomma.com PHOTO: Brian Sullivan
Through the practice of yoga, I moved away from my constant self-battle to a place of compassion. My passion is sharing this gift with others, especially women. I help them realize that love has to start with themselves. If a woman can share this message with her child, she gives a gift with a seed that will continue to grow and expand. The potential is limitless.
My passion is being on the spiritual journey of life with my family, traveling, loving, and healing together. Most of our personal hang-ups are about our family, so why not heal together? My mantra is “Let’s get on with it!” I’m inspired by anyone doing what they love. I can feel the energy radiating into the world. PHOTO: MIKEREV
LouisvilleYogaJunction.com MelissaBWilliams.com PHOTO: ELC photography
honoring amazing moms Inspire
San Ramon. Stand up Paddle Yoga Teacher. Yoga Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica.
Dallas. Mom. Lawyer. Certified Yoga Instructor.
My children and husband are a constant inspiration and source of passion in my life. They inspire me to be the best I can be, while maintaining a sense of humor. As I witness my students transform and bring their best selves forward through their journey, I am inspired to continue teaching and practicing. Being active with my family in the natural world keeps my soul passionately well fed. AmyPloeckelman.com
My life is my passion, my daughters are my world. Inspiration comes from my tribe of family, friends, animals, and soccer players. Yoga. Art. Music. Food. Travel. My passion is enjoying each day, from ordinary moments to extraordinary adventures; being of service, with a heart full of love, a head full of dreams, and a soul full of life. BridgetGibbons.com PHOTO: Mayra Carrier
Being a mom, great friend, yoga instructor, and lawyer for children all drive my life in unique ways. From sharing a super secret smile with a special friend, feeling the pleasure of a yoga client appreciating an adjustment, and hearing the words of gratitude from a mom for negotiating a better deal for her child, to receiving an unexpected hug from my teenaged son in front of his friendsâ€”moments like these have opened my heart, created more passion for life, shifted my perspective, and have ultimately changed my world. PHOTO: Stevan Koye
PHOTO: Brooke Duthie
Storrs. Yoga Teacher.
Lafayette. Founder: Purejoy Parenting.
My passion is teaching yogis to find the ease both on and off the mat. I love guiding them to see their bodyarchitecture and how knowledge of their structure can simplify and strengthen their practice. Watching how they translate the softness of their practice to the rest of their lives is the best gift a teacher can get. FlyingYogini.com
People who allow me to connect more deeply to my own authentic power and spirit inspire me, especially my sweet husband and the children of the farmers at our local farmers market. Friends, nature, colorful food, yoga, and meditation are the catalysts that allow me to enjoy this amazing life! www.hccoach.com
My fiery, grounded, fierce daughter is my greatest teacher, and tenaciously holds me to the fire. I am inspired to embrace truth. I am inspired to guide parents to listen and partner with their children, instead of controlling and molding them to be someone they are not. PureJoyParenting.com
Denver. The Yogi Muse.
San Ramon. Yoga Instructor.
Becoming a mom inspired me to do whatever I can to help make the world a better place. I’m driven to raise awareness about environmental and human rights issues, but also love to write about life experiences, using humor whenever possible. I emulate those who have the courage to put themselves out there. about.me/LynnHasselberger
My passion is to write, and when I write, I am inspired. I hope to show that being real is nothing to be afraid of, and that it is easier to be authentic than to be popular. If this is the only gift I give my children, then I have succeeded as a mom. YogiMuse.com PHOTO: Shannon Marie Casey
I am passionate about creating human connection. In the end, all we have left are the relationships we have built with ourselves and the people around us. I watched my mom pass away when she was fifty years old from breast cancer. I came to the realization that it’s not about the possessions we acquire or the lofty goals we accomplish, but the love we have created while we are here. I am inspired by my mother, my daughter, my students, hip-hop music, and the ocean. bookwhen.com/supasanaeastbay PHOTO: Matthew Berry
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Single M o ms Who Blow Us Away
Ally Hamilton Santa Monica. Co-owner. YogisAnonymous.com My children are my biggest inspiration. They make me want to show up all the way, every day, with my heart wide open. It’s challenging to juggle sometimes. I am a mommy, yoga teacher, studio owner, writer, and woman with a few needs and wants of her own! Thankfully, yoga keeps me in balance. YogisAnonymous.com PHOTO: Michael Segal
Kristin Selby Gonzalez
Seal Beach. President. Autism Hope Alliance.
Englewood. Rebelle Society. StudioLive TV. Newark Yoga Movement.
Dallas. Ecstatic dancer.
Sometimes the most difficult part is feeling alone with so much responsibility. My biggest struggle is finding balance between raising my son, working, and finding time for me, without feeling guilty. My son inspires me to be the best version of me. I want him to grow up and be proud of his mom.
I have learned many things being a single mom of four. My strongest trait became what I feared most. I can survive on much less. My children’s happiness is the source of my joy. Statistics mean nothing. I can be both mom and dad. Children learn what they live. Love conquers all.
PHOTO: Chad Robinson
PHOTO: Robert Sturman
Motherhood is my practice. It is rewarding, beyond words and challenges. It’s worth it. My prayer, “Let me give my all unconditionally, inspire freedom, be kind, grateful, fierce, and live with more grace than I thought possible. Let me be teachable.” Motherhood is a Master’s program in Love University. I’m happy I got accepted! MonicaBlossom.com PHOTO: Elizabeth Opalenik
New York City. Maternity lifestyle maven. Founder. Mama Glow Author. Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy
Bloomington. Realtor. Prenatal yoga instructor. Bloomington Area Birth Services.
The greatest struggles I experience as a mother are similar to those many of us face as quintessential humans: releasing expectation, letting go of illusory control, staying present and choosing love over fear. I’m deeply inspired by the unique expressions of abundant mercy, grace and love my sons gift me in each new moment. OurLadyofLetters.com PHOTO: Camille Stallings Crowell
Being a mother is a privilege and honor. I am inspired by the creativity of my son. The miracle of life and the power of the female body in the birth process moves me deeply. I’ve committed my life to serving women along their respective journeys into motherhood.
I am a single mom of three boys who are all at home. My biggest challenge is trying to find the balance between family and career as well as giving myself space to grieve my mother’s death. The rules of the day are making sure everyone’s unique needs are met and thriving instead of surviving.
MamaGlow.com PHOTO: Brave New Productions
Sarah Wells Kohl
Columbia. Yoga writer. Yoga teacher.
San Antonio. Yoga instructor.
As a recently widowed mother of two, I find the greatest inspiration in the strength of my children and the endurance of the human spirit. It is said that the truth will set you free. I’m here to tell you that it’s true. Be who you are, right here, right now, and live! Sarahsana.wordpress.com
I am inspired by people turning adversities into strengths and by living in truth, parlaying to the world to shine brightly. The most challenging part is doing it all on my own, but the everyday joy in seeing these two beautiful faces and watching their little hearts shine is life’s greatest miracle, and I am grateful to be living it. PHOTO: Jim Campbell
The most difficult part is staying focused, calm, and engaged when I’m utterly exhausted. My biggest struggle is slowing down and taking time to nurture my Self. My inspirations are the ocean, stillness at dawn, music, chanting, cultivating community, and above all my son, Kai! DhyanaTse.com
PHOTO: Anastasia Pottinger
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Radical Wrinkle Complex by Acure You had us at Radical. It’s a concentrated blend of organic chlorella growth factor, gardenia stem cells, and argan stem cells that boost collagen and stimulate new cell growth. It has a 100% approval rating in clinical trials at reducing fine lines and balancing moisture. Love. www.acureorganics.com
Hotdog Yoga Rollpack® The only bag that carries your mat, hanging clothing, and all of your personal accessories—in less space than any traditional mat bag. Promo Code: ORIGIN25 hotdogyoga.com · facebook.com/hotdogyoga
Santa Barbara. Light Bringer. Showing your greatness and celebrating your essence through light is my greatest joy. Out beyond ideas of getting noticed or looking good, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. It’s deeply healing to be truly seen. My portrait sessions are a healing experience in magnifying and multiplying your magnificence. DougEllisPhotography.com
Bridgeport. Founder. Gathering of the Vibes. Gathering of the Vibes started in 1996 as an opportunity for friends and family to gather to after Jerry Garcia’s passing in 1995. Now in its eighteenth year, Vibes continues to keep the Grateful Dead community together and has grown into one of the largest festivals in the Northeast.
What’s your biggest life lesson so far? Lisa Rueff
Sausalito. Founder. Yogaventures. Feel grateful everyday. Find things to laugh and smile about. Hug often! Eat chocolate chip cookies when you’re going through difficulties. Opportunities present themselves when you’re open and true to your path and heart. Volunteer often. There are so many ways to give back and enrich your life and others. Yogaventures.org
GatheringoftheVibes.com PHOTO: Gathering of the Vibes
Maleka-Anne Vrana Aspen. Web + Graphic Designer.
My greatest life lesson so far is to enjoy life! I do this by surrounding myself with people I love and respect, and by doing things that make me smile, every day. MalekaDesigns.com
Inspiring Single Mom Samantha Mitchell
Austin. Crossfit Central Burnet. My greatest struggle is finding the delicate balance between being a conscious mother, dedicated athlete, and driven career woman. Getting both of my children in the Crossfit community has helped me. Through our struggles on the gym floor, we have created a very unique, special bond built on mutual respect and love. PHOTO: Brian Sullivan
Creatives Tell Us What Inspires them...
THE POWER OF
Our Favorite Couples Working To g e t h e r to Shift the
Karoline + Frank Neville-Hamilton
Frank Neville-Hamilton Co-author. The Yoga Poster. Karoline Neville-Hamilton Co-author. The Yoga Poster. Yoga Teacher.
Frank: It took me a long time to learn some very valuable lessons. It was hard. I made a lot of mistakes. There is so much wisdom in the world but it isn’t always easy to find. I wonder if that wisdom was more accessible—would we make better choices? Karoline: I love ideas, I love learning, and I love simplicity. Things can get complicated and quickly spin out of control, so I always try to ask myself, “What’s most important here?” I can come back to my true nature and begin yet again by slowing down and inquiring about what is really most important.
Planet TheYogaPoster.com HavaHula.org
Maya Devi Georg + Chris Courtney
Randall + Kristin Brooks Forth Worth.
Maya Devi Georg Portland. Yoga Teacher. Writer. Chris Courtney International. Yoga Teacher. Writer
Maya: Life has taught me that regardless of the plan I make, the universe has another. You can’t fight the universe and win. The only control I have is over my own actions and choices. I choose to become love. In my practice, teaching, and day-to-day life, I remain in my heart and in love without conditions or judgment. Perhaps one day nothing will be left of me but a perfect manifestation of love. Chris: I often describe my practice and teaching as following the philosophy of Pablo Picasso. He said, “I’m always trying things I can’t do so that I may learn to do them.” My teaching is focused on helping people feel more expansive; giving them the ability to convert their fear into discernment and to love themselves (and others) completely.
Unschooling Super-Parents. Musicians. Producers. Writers. Yoga teachers. Founders. The Bhakti House Band. Founders. Peace Love OM™ Project.
We feel our music captures our vision and translates it into the soundtrack of a life filled with heart, purpose, and passion. Our upcoming release, “Blue Sky,” embodies the change we wish to see in the world. We are inspired by adults, children, and families knowing their purpose, living with passion, joyously bettering the world with their unique gifts and talents, and celebrating diversity in humanity. We find our bliss in cheering others on with our music, workshops, and retreats. We inspire everyone to live an adventurous and fulfilling life.
Karen + Henry Kimsey-House Northern California.
Co-Founders. The Coaches Training Institute
We believe the human community is in the midst of an enormous transformative leap, what Joanna Macy calls “Great Turning.” Together, we are changing the story of our planet from one that is driven by profit and overconsumption, isolation and fear, to a life-sustaining society that is inclusive, collaborative, and whole. For the past twenty-two years, it has been our great joy to foster a way of working and living that we call the “Co-Active Way.” It is our dream that people everywhere will find their way home, to the balance and wholeness that is their birthright.
theBhaktiHouseBand.com PeaceLoveOmProject.org NadaBhaktiYoga.com
PHOTO: Drew Xeron
PHOTO: Joy Sanchez
PHOTO: Phil Saltonstall ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 133
Miss Amy + Alex Otey
Erik Boomer + Sarah McNairLandry
New Jersey. Miss Amy. GRAMMY®-winning artist. Children’s fitness expert. Yoga teacher. Alex Otey. GRAMMY®-winning featured producer/arranger. Musician. Recording engineer. Miss Amy: My mission is simple. I make music fit for children. By teaching foundational fitness through music, I help children claim their athletic identities while building their self-esteem. I give them tools to be their personal best. I do my part to build a healthier generation of children while shaping them as our leaders of tomorrow. Alex: I work with Miss Amy to further her mission as her business manager and husband. She’s a perfect fit with all of the other artists on my music label. I strive to make a positive impact on the lives of all people with each project.
THE POWER OF
Sarah Newmark + Drew Gradinger Newfane, Vermont.
Erik Boomer Adventurer. Photographer.
Sara Newmark. Director of Sustainability. New Chapter
Sarah McNair-Landry Adventurer. Cinematographer.
Drew Gradinger. Assistant Director. Kindle Farm School
Erik: As a little boy, I was always enthralled by stories of wild adventures. From jungles to deserts and into the arctic, I was always imagining my own far-flung adventures. In my adulthood, I am able to live out these childhood dreams with the combination of athleticism and photography. I hope to inspire people to live out their own dreams, should-haves, and would-haves.
Sara: I never forget that business, by its very nature, can run counter to the planet’s well being. My work is to ensure farmers, employees, and the environment are honored and protected throughout complex supply chains. My dream is for all companies to work toward this potential, with encouragement from conscious consumers.
Sarah: Growing up on Baffin Island in the Canadian arctic has given me a different view of life. Baffin’s harsh environment and limited commodities taught me to value everything I have. Reduce, reuse, and recycle is not a new fad—it is a way of living a conscience, sustainable life.
Drew: My passion is to support struggling boys and young men as they explore their identities and navigate their education. As Assistant Director of the Kindle Farm School, I help to create an environment where profound relationships are the foundation for a trusting and effective school, as well as an incredible agent of change.
In the end, we realize how simple life is when we accept this moment, just as it is, without pretending to be other than who we are. This is grace in action and the culmination of iRest. - Richard Miller, PhD Founder of IRI
Programs, Trainings and Retreats Visit www.irest.us for information
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Where do you find solace? Kara Miller spotlights
Honolulu. Certified yoga instructor. Marine programs manager. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I feel eternally and holistically tied to the ocean. I grew up up traveling and living around the tropical Pacific Ocean. The ocean is the place I feel solace more than any other; it’s where I go to breathe, to bask, to renew, to connect, to love, and to find peace and joy. It’s where I feel the most alive. PHOTO: Rafael Bergstrom
What was A defining moment in Your life? April Martucci New York City. Founder. FireDragonYoga. A defining moment in my life was when I finished creating my yoga teacher training. I’d taken a year to focus on creating a dynamic program which has a comprehensive curriculum and manual plus a talented, seasoned faculty. It felt like all my years doing this healing work gelled into a unique training, which I created, my baby! Since that first teacher training, I continue to train potential yoga teachers, and this brings me fulfillment and joy daily. FireDragonYoga.com
What is really important to you? Jesi Tague Chicago. Registered yoga teacher. Fellowship with like-minded people is important to me because of the strong bonds of friendships that are created. Fellowship is a conscious effort to get to know others and establish strong ties, so that we can encourage others and grow together. Fellowship is just as important to human beings as food, water, and breath. AaltruisticYoga.com
What’s the craziest thing you did for love? Karl Straub Zurich. Yoga teacher. Walking in a forest with Daniela, a simple thought—equally petrifying and exhilarating—possessed me. As our tilting galaxy seemed to float, I breathed deep from my bones, for strength to ask, “Will you marry me?” She laughed heartily, and after some time, in that clear light, we wed. KarlStraub.com PHOTO: Chelsea Klette
y. of t e n c h e e k l. fu d in m s a lw a y y ou s h e e k y ?
What is your favorite outdoor place and activity? Keith Fox spotlights
Delray Beach. Owner. YogaFox Studios. Founder. YogaFest. My favorite outdoor place is The Ganesha Garden. Itâ€™s a lush garden with trees, flowers, and temples. The walkway around the garden flows like a river and leads one to various nooks for meditation. They honor Ma, Ganesha, Quan Yin, Hanuman, Baba, and Buddha. My favorite things to do there are sit, walk, meditate, chant, and practice puja. YogaFox.com
Amy Spencer Windham. Yoga instructor. Independent beauty ecologist. I love enjoying exquisitely peaceful days and sunsets at the ocean with my family. I teach yoga at our town beach when the weather permits. When I need to get grounded, I love spending time outside in the mountains of Vermont, hiking and practicing yoga. OnMyWayOM.com PHOTO: Eric Toussaint
Ashley Neese Los Angeles. Wellness coach. Registered yoga teacher. My favorite outdoor activity is walking. I love exploring places on foot because I can really take in my surroundings. Los Angeles is great for this because we have gorgeous hiking trails as well as cool urban areas. Local favorites are a hike in Griffith Park and a jaunt to the Silver Lake Farmers Market. AshleyNeese.com PHOTO: Anais & Dax
SlacroDuo Megan Johnson + Rob Newmans Miami Beach. We spend most of our free time playing outsideâ€”balancing on the slackline, practicing AcroYoga, paddle boarding, and biking. We love to travel as often as possible and enjoy the island life. We are always looking for adventure. We love hiking in the jungle and searching for hidden waterfalls along the way.
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Mind. Body. Eco. Thich Nhat Hanh. Oprah + Super Soul Sunday. Yoko Ono. Richard Branson. Al Gore. Robert Redford. Moby.
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34 of the Most Beautiful Women. Strength. Passion. Vision.
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No Fracking “Inevitably, the process leads to the release of toxic chemicals— many of which are unknown and unreported—into our air and water. It is a direct public health threat to families and communities..” Yoko Ono Artist. Activist. Humanitarian.
â€œIf we do not change our negative habits toward climate change, we can count on worldwide disruptions in food production, resulting in mass migration, refugee crises, and increased conflict over scarce natural resources like water and farmland. This is a recipe for major security problems.â€? Michael Franti
Photo: Jasper Johal | Jasperphoto.com
Bestselling Musician. Artist. Activist. michaelfranti.com
“Business as usual is wrecking our planet. Resources are being used up. Air, sea, and land are heavily polluted. The poor are getting poorer. The short-term focus on proﬁt has driven most businesses to forget about their important long-term role in taking care of people and the planet. All over the world people are demanding that business as usual changes. One of the great benefits of information technology is that people are now directly connected to those suffering as a result of economic unfairness and are no longer prepared to accept it.” Sir Richard Branson Visionary. Entrepreneur. Our Favorite Virgin.
“The global environment crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain, and I cannot stand the thought of leaving my children with a degraded earth and a diminished future.” Al Gore Former Vice President. Conservationist. Visionary.
â€œI think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?â€? Robert Redford Actor. Filmmaker. Conservationist.
photo: KrisTina lOggia 8 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Mantaâ€™s Last Dance The Race to Save Manta and Mobula Rays Photo essay: Shawn Heinrichs
With their unique biology, intelligence, highly social behavior, and enchanting grace, manta rays are among the most captivating and charismatic of all marine species.
Roberta Mancino 10 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Small-scale, artisanal fisheries for manta and mobula rays have now transformed into an all-out commercial operation intent on capturing every last animal. And why? For their gills for use in an Asian tonic.
As a ray of hope, in March 2013, 178 member nations of The U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species voted to protect manta rays from over-exploitation by international trade.
Hannah Fraser 12 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
But the race is not over, and we must now move quickly to put an end to these destructive fisheries, or risk losing manta and mobula rays forever.
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music 14 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
n a talie ma ines Maranda Pleasant: When Ben Harper came on stage with you, I thought, Oh my god—so Natalie and Ben are creating this together! Does he play on the album?
Natalie Maines: He plays on every song, he does harmony on almost every song. And we co-produced it together, and we made it at his studio. It was definitely a collaboration. We spent lots of hours together with his band. He’s got the greatest spirit. He was the perfect person for me to be around during the making of all this, just because of different insecurities I would have and fears of the unknown. He injects confidence into you and has an amazing free spirit. He’s very free with his emotions. He’s so enthusiastic. I wish I could just have an ounce of his enthusiasm for anything. He’s very childlike in the best ways. I think it’s easier for men to hold onto that than women. We take on the rest so they can go skateboard.It was great. The fact that he’s playing with me live is an honor, and I can’t believe he wants to do it. I am so grateful, because I don’t know who else could take over all that he does. I could have my dad play with me but then he couldn’t sing all the harmonies. MP: Please don’t make me love Ben more. Your dad is great, by the way. When I listen to Ben, the thing I notice about both of you, I feel like you’re both unmasked. You seem to be very raw and very real. There’s also a certain intensity. How did that translate when you were working together?
NM: Hm. I don’t know how that translates in particular, because I’ve never thought about that. MP: Was it an intense experience or was it pretty laid back?
NM: Definitely laid back. There were musically moving times, times where you really felt something click or connect. When we did the Jeff Buckley song, “Lover You Should’ve Come Over”—it was just an interesting night. It was hard to get that song. It’s a long song, and there are also all these different levels it needs to reach. You have to keep that energy going till the end. It took us the longest to track that song, and
Interview: Maranda Pleasant Part II
then when it was right we just all knew it. You did feel something weird, an energy in the air. When I went home that night, I got on Huffington Post just to check out the daily news, and saw on there that it was the anniversary of the death of Jeff Buckley, and I just had chills all over. I thought, Oh my god—because I think we all felt like he was there in some way that night. He and Ben were friends, so I think it really surprised Ben when I came in and said I wanted to sing this song. I think that was heavy for him. Because he was friends with Jeff. MP: What was the most personal part about this album? Is there something that’s different about this one than anything you’ve ever done?
NM: It’s definitely a sole representation of me. The Dixie Chicks, it was always me but it was also two others. You become the master at compromise. Fairness and balance. This is definitely just what I like, what I want to do, what I hear. This is one hundred percent me, like it or not. It just is. And the most personal song on there is probably the last one, “Take It On Faith.” Ben and I wrote that.
NM: Aw, thanks. Maybe mine, too. I switch favorites but it’s definitely the one I feel most lyrically, emotionally attached to, and a little vulnerable.
MP: That’s my favorite.
NM: Thank you.
MP: I imagine that’s one of the most personal songs. I listened to your performance and was blown away last month.
Sara Bareilles Interview: Maranda Pleasant
Just speak your truth. It’s an important cornerstone of how your life ends up unfolding in front of you. Even if it’s painful, if it’s honest, it’s going to bring you to the place you deserve to be.
Maranda Pleasant: What is something that you pull a lot of energy from?
Sara Bareilles: Nature. I definitely get a little antsy when I haven’t had a good fix! MP: How do you process emotional pain?
SB: Definitely music. Music is catharsis for me. MP: Are there any important personal issues you’ve had to work through?
SB: The earliest issue I can remember going through was body image. I was a chubby little kid and I got made fun of for it. I dealt with horrible, horrible self esteem issues, and I still struggle with that. I think it’s what taught me a lot of empathy and compassion, but there are those days where I look in the mirror and I still see twelve-year-old fat Sara. And I feel that girl is still very much a part of the fabric of who I have become. I definitely think I’m in a much healthier place about it now than I ever have been. That’s the first issue I can remember kind of grappling with, and that feels like something that will—I’ll just have that my whole life, probably. That’s okay. MP: What is an important piece of wisdom you’d like to share with women?
SB: Just speak your truth. It’s an important cornerstone of how your life ends up unfolding in front of you. Even if it’s painful, if it’s honest, it’s going to bring you to the place you deserve to be. MP: Is there a cause you feel passionate about?
SB: Absolutely. Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Los Angeles. MP: How does your new record chronicle your life?
SB: This last chapter of my life, really the last year of my life, was a real metamorphosis for me. I am recently out of a very long term relationship, and I moved from Los Angeles to New York this January, and I’ve been in LA for fourteen years. It’s called The Blessed
Unrest, and I got that phrase from a quote that I love, from Martha Graham, that is about artistry, and why we feel dissatisfied with what we’ve already created, because it’s us being pulled forward into the new, and into the art that we haven’t made yet.
precipice—just seeing a better version of me coming out. And so this is—this record is a big, big, big part of that.
I was feeling so overwhelmed with stagnancy last year. I was looking at my life and I didn’t feel like I was alive. And so I made some really big changes, and got really humbled by a lot of what I was facing. Now I feel like I’m on the
SB: A song called “Manhattan.” It’s really about me moving to New York. It’s a really tender, really naked place for me. The last song on the record is about leaving Los Angeles, and it’s called “December.”
MP: What are some of the highlights on the record for you?
www.sarabmusic.com ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 17
“Love is our origin. Love is the solution. This the essence of Yogi Revolution.” MC Yogi + Amanda Giacomini
18 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM Photo: tim porter
“The most vulnerable part of my life is probably just honest expression. And I think that for a lot of us, the closer we get to showing people who we really are, that’s where we feel the most uncomfortable, the most vulnerable. But it’s also where the healthiest growth comes from. When I can really open myself up to someone and show someone who I really am, it’s amazing when it happens. ” Moby Musician. Grammy Winner. Humanitarian.
Photo: Jasper Johal ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 19