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ORIGIN. The Conscious Culture Magazine


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Powerful. Vulnerable. Elegant. Tough. A strong songstress talking

ALICIA KEYS what’s real.





Too often our world is divisive and cruel where it needs to be uniting and loving...I have come to embrace the idea that even the simplest act of understanding, love, and attention can produce the biggest results.

Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you?


Alicia Keys: Many things inspire me. First and foremost, my family, my husband, and our son, Egypt. I find that the love we share fills me up and makes me see and appreciate life in a different way. I’m also inspired by many of my friends, colleagues, and the extraordinary people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet along the way. Through my organization, Keep a Child Alive, I’ve met many young women who are HIV positive and courageously fighting the disease. Their determination to live a full life and see their children live in a better world is deeply inspiring to me. I’m inspired by artists and musicians. There are so many wonderful and talented people in the world. I love discovering new music, new writers, or new art.


MP: What are you passionate about?


AK: When I’m on stage, my interaction with the audience is something that really makes me come alive. It’s a feeling like no other. The energy of the crowd fuels something new inside. It reminds me to live in the moment. Moments are so fleeting; I want to hold on to the good ones. When I am truly present, I feel alive, and I want everyone around me to share that feeling so we can make the most of that moment together. I also feel alive in quiet moments with my son, riding our bikes or watching him line his trains up in a particular order, witnessing how his mind works, hearing him learn a new word. I’m alive in these special moments because I never knew a love like this.



MP: What breaks your heart?

AK: What breaks my heart is suffering of any kind. Too often our world is divisive and cruel where it needs to be uniting and loving. We have the potential to help people out of poverty, out of disease, out of slavery, and out of conflict. Too often we turn the other way because we think there’s nothing we can do. If we took the time to learn more about different places and people, perhaps we would have more empathy for each other. I’ve seen so many lives turn

around from the impossible. I have come to embrace the idea that even the simplest act of understanding, love, and attention can produce the biggest results.

life. I plan time for myself and my loved ones and take it. No one will take care of you if you don’t take care of yourself. With all these lessons, I am much happier.


MP: What is love to you?


AK: Unconditional and reciprocal. It’s accepting people for who they are and what they are, regardless. There is a love song on my newest album called “101.” It’s about a woman who loves a man even though everyone else thinks she’s crazy for doing so. He’s acted a certain way towards other women, but she sees something inside of him that’s deeper and truer and unconditional. Love is giving of yourself in a way that is free of fear.


MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?


AK: Not having all the information can make me feel vulnerable. If I know everything around the situation, all the facts, I feel like I can handle just about anything. It’s the unknown that makes me feel the most vulnerable. I’m in constant pursuit of growing and evolving. The more you know the stronger you become, the closer you feel to yourself, and the farther you can go.



MP: What has been a life lesson you learned the most from?

AK: Early on in my career, I was more closed off in every way. I thought I was protecting myself; instead, I was robbing myself of all I could learn and experience. I thought I had to be perfect. I would often make choices I thought would make everyone else happy. I lived at a pace that was “good for my career,” whether it was good for me or not. I have learned how important it is to check in with myself and listen, really listen. I learned to make choices for my personal happiness, and choices that were good for my family, as well. I’m committed to evolving and growing and sitting at the head of my own table with no fears or limitations. But I’ve also learned to be more open now and more spontaneous in life. With each new day, I’m learning how to take control in order to have balance in my


MP: What do you do with emotional pain?


AK: I’ve always expressed myself best through writing. I’ve gotten out all of my deepest feelings that way for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I just sweat it out by running or boxing. When I really need it, talking is the best way to deal with emotional pain.


MP: What causes are you involved in and why?


AK: I’m very passionate about my organization, Keep a Child Alive, which helps women, children, and families in Africa and India who are HIV positive. We provide medicine for children and families who have AIDS and would otherwise not be able to afford the proper medicine to stay alive. We support community-based organizations that understand the needs of the people living around them. I’m very proud of all the work we do. I’ve also recently become involved with a group called, EMPOWERED. We’re changing the stigma associated with people living with HIV here in the United States. I believe that, beyond music, my most profound work is with people living with AIDS. My hope is that it will be one of my greatest legacies. I believe if you can find something to give back to, your soul will feel fulfilled in a very powerful way.


MP: What projects do you have coming up?


AK: I’m currently on my world tour, promoting my new album, Girl On Fire. It’s been extraordinary. I’m so heartened by the support throughout the world, and the energy and enthusiasm people bring for this music and these live performances. I’m having an unbelievable time on the road. I am taking the time to explore each new city in a way I never have before.


I’m committed to evolving and growing and sitting at the head of my own table with no fears or limitations. But I’ve also learned to be more open now and more spontaneous in life. MUSIC

Beyond that, I’ve also joined Blackberry as Global Creative Director. We have many creative initiatives going forward, including the Keep Moving Projects, which involve a broad spectrum of artists, filmmakers, authors, and creative people using these new technology platforms in exciting ways. We’re also working to inspire more women to explore technology and science as a career choice, and we’re supporting that beginning with a big scholarship initiative. The plan is to engage young women from grade school all the way through college and into their careers. I’m excited about all the ways we will innovate in technology and entertainment. I’m also continuing to build my production company in film and television. Of course, there will always be more music!


MP: What is one of your greatest loves?


AK: Family. There’s a song on the new album called “Not Even the King,” which is about the true value of having real love in your life. You could have all the riches in the world, but it doesn’t mean much without family. I’m very blessed to have a phenomenal husband, son, and beautiful family and friends around me.


MP: You inspire so many people. How do you recharge your own spirit?


AK: Quiet moments recharge me. Writing in my journal keeps me focused on my spirit and what I need or feel. Listening to great music and art inspires me and recharges me. I’ve learned that one of my greatest secrets is scheduling downtime into a busy schedule. This gives me the time to have quality moments with my husband and son, who both recharge my spirit in ways I never imagined.


MP: How do you stay centered?

AK: I pray. I pray before everything. When I wake up, before I eat, before I perform, before I go to sleep, in the moments I need guidance. I pray to give thanks and to recognize all the good things that are in my life even during times of great change, confusion, or frustration. Prayer keeps me centered.





MP: Do you meditate or do yoga?

AK: I try to do both. Both are beautiful ways of centering myself in a world that is filled with multitasking. It’s important for everyone—working moms especially—to find moments to ground themselves and connect with their own breath. I’ve even begun to show Egypt how to

chant and how to give thanks in the morning when he wakes up. It’s beautiful to share the experience together.


MP: Anything else you’d like to add?


AK: Thank you for these thoughtful questions, and for inspiring me to look into myself.



We love this man. Jack on his love of Nature, Biofuels, Sustainable Food Initiatives, a New Album, and a Tour donating 100% proceeds to Charity. He explains the meaning of Love and how we are all connected.



Jack Johnson: Hey, Maranda.


Maranda Pleasant: Hey, Jack, how are you? JJ: Good, how about yourself?

MP: Good. I really admire your work. I was up late last night reading some of your initiatives on biofuels and your low-carbon footprint on your tours. I want to say thank you so much for being a pioneer. What is it that makes you come most alive? JJ: Every time I get a chance to be out in the ocean. For me that mostly means surfing. Every time I get a chance to be out in the ocean, it’s like hitting a reset button for me where I just feel alive again, in perfect balance. Music can give me that, as well, but not as easily. The ocean is the way I know how to find it almost daily.

MP: What are some of the things that make you feel the most vulnerable? JJ: The music brings me confidence and freedom. It’s also the thing that can make me feel the most vulnerable. Once I finish writing all the songs for an album, once I actually record them, that whole process is usually easy and enjoyable. The part where I feel the most vulnerable is when it’s all finished, I can make no more changes, I’ve turned it in, and there’s no going back. All of a sudden I hear the songs in a different way; that’s when I feel vulnerable.

MP: What do you do with pain when it comes in? JJ: Sometimes I’ll write a song. When I’ve gone through something really hard in my life, sometimes it’s other people’s music. There’s a great songwriter, Greg Brown, who has really helped me a lot in my life. Other times it’s actually writing the songs and getting out of mind and into the song.

MP: What’s one of your biggest passions right now? JJ: Right now we’re getting ready to go and present these songs live. We get to record the song, put the songs out there into the world, then start actually playing them live. Once you bring all those people together and use that spotlight and shine it on something more important than myself, it’s really rewarding.

MP: Tell me about some of the causes that you’re most passionate about.

Every time I get a chance to be out in the ocean, it’s like hitting a reset button for me where I just feel alive again, in perfect balance. JJ: Sustainable agriculture—being from Hawaii, it’s something that you see firsthand. It’s a major issue there. 90% of our food is shipped in. That’s really taxing. Supporting local food production is so much healthier for people. It’s better for the local economy, and it’s a lot of fun. We get to go out into the schools and work with the kids on connecting them to their food at a young age, to actually see where their food is coming from, to see that their food is coming from the earth and not just from a supermarket. Once they make that connection, they can start to build upon that. It’s really neat to watch it grow. As they get older, they get to tackle those big issues of, if we can grow so much food in Hawaii, why are we bringing so much in?

MP: You’re so wonderful, by the way. I’ve heard so much about you for years and how you live from the heart. You seem to have so much beauty wrapped in integrity. It’s really refreshing. Your new album comes out September 17. You’re going on tour. Is it correct that 100% of the profit is going to charity?

JJ: Yeah, that’s true. We’ve been doing that since 2008. My wife and I made the decision back when I was struggling a little bit with the idea of going back on tour. I love playing my music and I love sharing the music with people. But at the same time, it is pretty taxing. One thing is looking at the environmental impact of all the trucks and buses and airplanes. I didn’t want to just be doing the small things we could to try to make that impact less. We get biodiesel wherever we can and we have refillable water bottle stations at the shows, to try to cut down on single-use plastic. We learned a lot from other bands. It’s good to try to make the industry that you’re a part of cleaner. We wanted to do something that felt like every town that we came through, we left in better shape than when we got there. My wife and I have been working with enough nonprofit groups for a long time, whether Heal the Bay or Heal the Ocean or Surfrider Foundation. We started our own in Hawaii, the Kokua Hawai’i Foundation, and we started doing a once-a-year festival. We wanted to get that same feeling everywhere we went.



We get to go out into the schools and work with the kids on connecting them to their food at a young age... to see that their food is coming from the earth and not just from a supermarket. MP: You’re trying to make your tour green? JJ: We try to do as much as we can with greening the tour. It’s always an ongoing conversation. You learn a lot as you go, so we’re always trying to improve. We work with a great group called Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance that helps to make sure the biodiesel is being sourced from a reasonably close area.

Love is when you find that thing, when you want to give more than you want to take. It’s when you want somebody to be happier than yourself, but then once you make them happy, it makes you happier.

MP: If we couldn’t love you more, we do! [laughing] What does love symbolize for you? JJ: Love is when you find that thing, when you want to give more than you want to take. When you find the things that you love the most and you want to give those away, that’s love. It’s when you want somebody to be happier than yourself, but then once you make them happy, it makes you happier.

MP: Wow. We need to clone Jack Johnson. We’re all thinking it, but I’m just gonna say it! If you could say something to everybody on the planet and know that it would be heard, what would it be? JJ: We’re all related. We’re all a family.



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Inside the.

brain of.

a genius.

Meditator. Vegan.




Moby: I started working with Dr. Oliver Sacks on a music therapy program called the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. Up until I started working with him, I had thought that music was a nice thing that I enjoyed and liked making, but it wasn’t a serious healing modality. What Dr. Sacks has proven is that music is actually a quantifiable, profound healing modality. I think that’s true for a lot of these other things that are joyful and expansive. On a very literal level, they are incredibly healing, they promote neurogenesis, they’re good for our immune systems, yet we sometimes ignore them.

Maranda Pleasant: I love that. How sometimes the things we see as electives or the things that we try to fit in are probably most important to our mental health and growth. Moby: I feel like someone who’s meditating could possibly benefit their meditation practice and their well-being just by sitting down and thinking about things that they love for ten minutes. In my case, I really love dogs. So sit down, close your eyes, and think about dogs for ten minutes. On a very clear, physiological, and neurochemical level, your body is changed by these really positive thoughts.

MP: Wow. Yesterday I was so focused on getting from one place to the other—to the point where

...the way you feel when you’re about to start crying. That, to me, is love. The neuroscientists would call it “deep limbic attunement.” When you have that profound emotional response to something. your heart feels like it’s palpitating because you’re just like, next, next, next—and I saw these women turn around and look at the mountains. I turned around to see what they were staring at. It was just one of those moments where you feel deeply fed, and you’re like, oh, yeah, this is really what’s important—just being in nature at this moment. Moby: There’s a neuroscientist that I really like named Rick Hanson. He’s a Buddhist neuroscientist, and he’s written a couple of books. Two of his premises: one is that there’s something about the human brain, that it actually has a predilection towards negativity, which served us really well when we lived in an environment that was very threatening. But now we have this negativity bias, so we almost need to cultivate—I hate to sound New Age-y—but to cultivate a positive bias, and really work to focus on those things and notice those things that are wonderful and uplifting. In doing so, we actually change our brain and increase the chances that we will continue to notice the good things. Sometimes people will think, I need to have pre-sanctioned spiritual joy. Getting joy from my contemplative meditation practice or getting joy from reading Thich Nhat Hahn books. Those things can be joyful but I think it’s the small, simple joys of playing with dogs or having sex with someone you love or going for a walk outside, stuff that we tend to ignore.

MP: That’s really beautiful. Moby: I love Thich Nhat Hahn. One of my favorite quotes of his (and I’m paraphrasing), he’s talking about cultivating happiness, and he was saying, at the very least, just be happy you’re not at the dentist right now. He was talking to someone who was having a really hard time finding joy.

MP: As much as we talk about being positive and manifesting and creating, I still notice that my mind goes on those replay tracks of bitchiness. I seem to be catching myself more and more. Moby: I also had this realization recently—the solution probably doesn’t look like the problem. Meaning, if we have this propensity to worry, to be anxious, to be depressed, to be angry—focusing on the worry, anxiety, depression, and anger? Probably not gonna be the solution.

MP: [laughing] This is really good advice. I’ve watched you over the years, and last time we talked, I asked you if you were going to be at SXSW. You said SXSW wasn’t as much fun since you weren’t drinking so much anymore. I want to know about your journey, this last year, and making this amazing album that puts me in a different emotional space when I listen to it. What is love to you now?



One of the goals of a spiritual practice is self-awareness, and one of the best tools of self-awareness is simple emotional vulnerability.

Moby: My subjective answer—for me, love is very non-academic. Love, it’s a very physical thing. I don’t mean physical in terms of—I mean, it can be sexual. But those moments when I’m aware of the fact that I love someone or love something, it really manifests physically. It tends to manifest—this is the part that’s going to sound really New Age-y— with a softness. That softness around your eyes, a softness in your face. Almost the way you feel when you’re about to start crying. That, to me, is love. It can be romantic love, it can be friendship love, it can be family love, it can be love for a chipmunk. It can be love for anything. The neuroscientists would call it “deep limbic attunement.” When you have that profound emotional response to something.

MP: What are some of the things in life that make you feel vulnerable? Moby: Well, one is talking about spiritual issues and not sounding too New Age-y. I spent so much of my life reading about spirituality and reading about neuroscience and trying different meditation practices. It’s a really big part of my life. But it’s sometimes hard to talk about. There are so many people in the world who don’t live in Southern California and don’t spend their time meditating. It’s perfectly natural for me to sit down and talk about meditating and spiritual practice with my friends. But then I realize, how would it sound to a drunk cynical guy in London? A lot of people have realized that a good spiritual practice and a good meditation practice have real benefit. It’s not just something nice to do to make the universe happy. People who meditate and have a good spiritual practice, their immune systems are stronger. Generally, they are happier and healthier. How do we present this work to people in a way that will reach them where they are?


What makes me vulnerable is any genuine expression of emotion in the presence of another person. It makes me vulnerable and my inclination is, of course, immediately to back away from anything that makes me vulnerable. By being vulnerable, either with yourself or in the presence of another person, that’s where all growth and ultimate well-being comes from.

We all get sad, we all get happy, and we all die. Anyone who pretends that that’s not the case is either a sociopath or utterly delusional.

To paraphrase Paul from the New Testament, he has a great soliloquy about love, where he’s basically saying, if I’ve figured out the secrets of the universe but I don’t have love, figuring out the secrets of universe means nothing. I can spend years studying and being in therapy and having a very analytic spiritual meditation practice, but without the emotional component, without the softening that comes with love and vulnerability, everything else I do is really just surface. One of the goals of a spiritual practice is self-awareness, and one of the best tools of selfawareness is simple emotional vulnerability.

Moby: What you just described is the human condition. Everyone feels awkward, everyone feels uncomfortable, everyone gets older, everyone gets lonely, everyone gets sick, everyone eventually dies. You’re at the Aspen Ideas Fest, and you have these really smart, really accomplished people who pretend like they’ve somehow figured out a way to bypass the human condition. We live in this culture where there are so many things that want us to pretend that we’re not truly human. That we can be exempt from the human condition, either through intelligence or accomplishment or success or humor. But biologically we’re all the same. We all get sad, we all get happy, and we all die. Anyone who pretends that that’s not the case is either a sociopath or utterly delusional.

MP: [laughing] I think this is the best conversation we’ve ever had. Are there any particular causes you feel connected to? Moby: There are so many. They’re all valid. From the smallest to the biggest. From a cause that is trying to promote public school education in Los Angeles to someone who’s trying to work on climate change to someone who’s protecting the rainforest to someone who’s trying to fund their local library—they’re all amazing causes. That’s one of the problems with being relatively conscious and human, is that you want to help everybody.

Moby: It’s an album with a lot of collaborators. The other thing is, I ended up taking all the pictures that are used in the album artwork. The theme of the album artwork is all of these people wearing masks. At first glance, the masks might look kind of strange or scary. But the idea is that they were these creatures who are just incredibly shy, so they’re wearing the masks to cover up their shame. It’s not people wearing masks to try to look scary. They’ve put on these masks as a way of masking their shame.

MP: What does that represent for you emotionally? Moby: I worked with a producer named Mark Stem. He’s worked on huge records, Madonna and U2 and No Doubt and Björk. It was really important to him that the record have a quality of beauty and emotion. I love lots of different types of music, but it’s music that has this up-swelling of beauty and emotion that is most important to me. That was the focus on the record—crafting something that reached me emotionally, and then hopefully would end up reaching other people emotionally.

MP: This is different. It transports you. It reaches you in places that a lot of other types of music can’t. Moby: That’s why I make music. When I listen to my favorite music made by other people, that’s what it does to me. So as a musician, I’m just trying to do the same thing with music I make. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But when someone comes to me and says the music I’ve made has affected them emotionally, that’s the most gratifying part of my job.

MP: Are there any causes that you’re very passionate about personally? Moby: There are so many causes. Gun control, climate change, deforestation, animal welfare, human welfare, education. Working on the big issues is noble and great, but being aware of what’s going on around you right at this moment, being kind to the people around you, extending compassion and decency, not just to everyone you meet but also to yourself—I think that’s one of the biggest challenges most people face. I feel like the vast majority of the world’s problems would disappear if suddenly everyone on the planet were relatively self-aware and capable of honest selflove and compassion.

MP: I don’t think that sounds unicorn-and-rainbows at all. I think that’s hardcore advice for change. It all translates into being a better CEO or being a better mother. It just meets you right where you are in the road. You’re still a vegan. You were a vegan before anyone knew what the word “vegan” even meant. Moby: Last Thanksgiving was my twenty-five-year vegan anniversary.

MP: I know that that’s really important to you and I want to honor you for that. You have this new album coming up in October. Was there anything different about this one that separates it from what you’ve done before?

...one of the problems with being relatively conscious and human, is that you want to help everybody.



MP: I’m noticing how raw and how awkward I feel most of the time, and then the ways I get out of feeling awkward. Why don’t we just stay here and feel really weird?




Michael Franti ROCKER. CHART TOPPER. HUMANITARIAN. BADASS. INSPIRATION. Michael opens up about love, his adoption, his new album, and gives us a little relationship advice. Michael Franti: To whom do I speak?

MP: It is!

MF: Well, love is the action of soul satisfaction. I think of love as an action. Finding something that’s outside of yourself, to serve someone else’s soul, helping to ignite someone else’s spirit, to bring about ease of heart and joy, serenity in somebody else. When you find somebody you love, you do that all the time. It’s the same thing if you love the planet or the neighborhood—you’re finding ways to satisfy the soul of the planet or satisfy the soul of the neighborhood.

MF: Sara just said: “You know, Maranda is starting a new yoga magazine called Mantra?” I said, “With Maranda starting it, I’m surprised she didn’t call it Tantra.”

MP: That’s good stuff, Michael. Can you tell me what’s been one of your greatest struggles in this life?

Maranda Pleasant: [laughing] Is this Mr. Franti?

MF: Is this Maranda Pleasant?

MP: That’s the next one!

MF: Sara says for Tantra you can put me on the cover. Full permission. MP: Yoga porn!

MF: Okay, interview over! Thanks! We got enough. MP: [falls on the floor laughing] You just released All People, your new album. What makes this one special? Is it more emotional, are you in a different place?

MF: I’m in love! That’s what makes this record different. I’m kind of half joking, but I’m really quite serious. This record is really all about asking yourself this existential question: We only have X amount of days and time on this planet—how am I going to spend that time? The way that I want to spend it is caring about the people that I love the most, and fighting to make the world a more livable place for everybody. That’s what this record is really all about.


MP: Well, all you beautiful people who are in love can just go to hell! Beautiful and you’re in love! Agh.

MF: [laughing] But you’re in love, too. You’re in love with Ocean. You’re in love with the work that you do. Spreading the word, getting people inspired in positivity. You do it every day. MP: That’s true. What is it that makes you feel fully alive?

MF: I feel alive when I feel ease of heart. What I mean by that is, I could be really sad and I start to cry; I feel alive then. I could be at a concert and I throw my hands up in the air and I feel elation; I feel alive then. The times when I feel not alive is when I feel stifled, when I feel like the emotion that’s in me is not coming out. I’m too busy, too hectic. I’m serving my iPhone more than my spirit. Those are the times I feel bad. MP: What is love to you?

I was adopted when I was a baby. My mother carried me for nine months and she held me for one hour, and didn’t see me again. MF: Coming to grips with being adopted. I was adopted when I was a baby. My mother carried me for nine months and she held me for one hour, and didn’t see me again. The Franti family raised me. My mother and father took me in and provided everything for me—the love, nurturing, basic necessities—to give me the space to grow wings, so that when I went out into the world, I could fly.


It was hard for me, as a father, to imagine going through what my birth mom went through, to raise a child inside of her for nine months, and then have to say goodbye. And so it’s hard for me to understand that pain and that process. It’s also hard for me to understand growing up not knowing where I came from. I searched for my parents—I started when I was twenty; I found both my mother and my father when I was twenty-two. Trying to catch up on twenty-two years that we can never get back, trying to reconcile that—that’s a hard thing for me. MP: I don’t know if you know, but before Ocean I gave a child up for adoption. There’s not a week that a birth mother doesn’t cry. Way to make me f*cking cry!

MF: Even Oprah cries, Maranda.

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

MF: That’s a horrible question. [laughing]




MP: I’m just trying to get relationship advice! [laughing]


MF: I think the main thing I would say is, don’t settle. Don’t settle for something that’s not great. Don’t feel like having a relationship that is not serving your needs is more important than having a relationship with yourself—that’s the same advice I’d give for men or women. I see it all the time and I’ve done it. I’ve been in those relationships. You go through years of your life and at a certain point you wake up and you go, god, what am I doing here? What have I spent the last three years doing? Part of it is learning, this process you’ve gotta go through. You have to recognize the point at which you’re not learning anymore, and be able to let it go. MP: That letting go shit—sounds a lot easier!

MF: I know. MP: Is there something you’ve learned from being in a relationship with your beautiful partner?

MF: The main thing is to be myself. What I mean by that is, to be honest when called upon to express your feelings. The other thing is—maybe this should come first—to be a good listener. To close your mouth and to listen, and to be able to echo back what your partner says to you. “I heard you say you had a really rough day.” “I heard you say you spent way too much time in traffic and you’re really frustrated.” “I heard you say it would be really great if we could get away this weekend.” To be able to echo those things back to your partner so your partner feels heard, and so your partner can do that same thing for you. That’s the best advice anyone’s ever given me. MP: I’m gonna make a note of that right now. I’m writing that down. Can you explain the title of your record, All People? MF: This record is dedicated to the beauty and power of diversity. That’s the true strength of our nation. It’s not our military, it’s not our economic might. It’s the caring that we have when we—you see it when there’s a natural disaster. Everybody goes out and helps everybody else, no matter what color they are or what walk of life they come from. Whenever people go out of their way to help other people—there’s power and beauty in our diversity. There is a cause that I’m really passionate about right now. Sara is an ER nurse and I’m a musician. For a long time, we were trying to think of ways we could combine our areas of expertise and do something good with them. We decided to start a foundation call Do It For The Love. Do It For The Love is basically like a Make-A-Wish Foundation for music. Children or adults who are living with advanced stages of life-threatening illnesses can contact us through our website and say, “It’s always been my dream to go see Metallica,” or “It’s always been my dream to see Jack Johnson.” Our office contacts the management of those artists and we either arrange tickets for a one-on-one meet-andgreet with those artists or get people to concerts. We’ve had a number of people that we’ve met recently with very serious illnesses, who have come to our shows and expressed how important it was for them—the power of music, to be there at the concert. We started this foundation to make that a possibility for as many people as we can. MP: And I thought I could not love you more. Congrats on the new album. I’ll see you in Aspen.


Don’t feel like having a relationship that is not serving your needs is more important than having a relationship with yourself. . . You have to recognize the point at which you’re not learning anymore, and be able to let it go.

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Indigo Girls: Outspoken. Unapologetic. Powerhouses.



Emily Saliers: It’s a huge victory for the citizens of California. Hugely symbolic, even for people who live in other states. For those of us who have been personally affected by discrimination for so long with regards to LGBTQ rights, it’s a like a new day. I realize that marriage is not the only issue. It may not even be the greatest issue for our communities. But it’s an important issue because it’s an issue of rights, and to have the Supreme Court uphold our rights and strike down Prop 8 was huge. DOMA affects me personally because my partner’s Canadian. I went from one day not knowing what was going to happen in my personal future or what we were going to do as a family, to the next day knowing exactly what I was able to do, because I have the federal protection to do it. I’ve been walking around feeling lighter in my spirit. I really want to celebrate that moment, but also remember all the other issues for our communities that are so problematic—homelessness, suicide rates, job discrimination, transgender issues. We’ve got our eyes on the prize, just keep working. The fact that the Supreme Court gutted the voting act was horrible. But the good with the bad. You just keep working. MP: With regards to women’s uteruses and civil rights with gay marriage, I feel like we’re still in the 1940s—or maybe 1840. Why are we still spending time and resources on this when there are so many bigger things we can be doing with that kind of power?

ES: What’s going on in Texas right now with regards to women’s reproductive rights—I can’t find words for it. It’s atrocious. It’s maddening. MP: I just talked to Jane Fonda, and she said the patriarchy is wounded, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. The only thing we can do is keep rising. I don’t think it’s a marriage issue at all. I think it’s on that basic level of human rights.

ES: I agree with you one hundred percent. For me, it was a tremendous life-changing victory, but it isn’t about marriage. First and foremost, it’s about sexism. It starts with that, homophobia does. That’s a long discussion. But with regards to civil rights, it’s interesting. I try not to get personally involved in social media. It kind of makes me sick sometimes. It’s been very interesting watching this Paula Deen explosion. Americans are not really engaged in thoughtful dialogue about what the issues are behind all this hoopla. The main focus is on, she cried and she apologized and she’s losing her empire and she used the N-word. But it’s like, what are the deeper issues underneath all of this stuff culturally, and how the media responds to it? It’s a mindboggling time to try to remain focused on the heart of the matter. We’re bombarded with media reports, with social media, with anyone with an opinion. MP: As a woman, what is it that makes you come fully alive? What are the things that fill your life with color?

ES: My partner. I have a baby now, seven months old. My family. Amy’s family. My friends. People. It’s funny—I’m a little bit antisocial and I recently discovered that I’m introverted. But the love between people makes me alive. Music makes me alive in a way that nothing quite does.

INDIGO GIRLS would like to announce three very special acoustic duo shows to benefit HONOR THE EARTH. SEPT 6. MADISON, WI.

The Capitol Theater with special guest, Kelly Jackson.


O’Shaughnessy Auditorium with special guests, Lyz Jaakola and Neeconis Women Singers.


Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua with special guest, Keith Secola.

Formed in 1993 as a collaboration between musicians and Native American activists, HONOR THE EARTH brought together Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) and leaders from the Indigenous Women’s Network (Winona LaDuke and Cynthia Perez) to promote awareness on Indigenous environmental and cultural issues. HONOR THE EARTH uses media, financial resources, music, and art to reaffirm our commitment to each other and the earth, and supports Native environmental justice, sustainable development, and cultural preservation. The organization focuses on supporting sustainable Indigenous communities. In the upcoming year, our programmatic work will focus on opposition to fossil fuels extraction and destructive mining practices.

Good art, good film, good books, good dance. Exhibitions, history. Nature makes me feel alive. Georgia in the rain—that makes me feel alive. Compassion makes me feel alive. Hard fought victories for social rights. It’s very encouraging, the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions. Those kind of grand victories are so few and far between; a lot of the victories are smaller victories. As an activist, I see a lot of those. I see people whose spirits are not broken, who continue to work for justice. That makes me feel alive, when I witness their work, and then I witness some of their dreams come to fruition. Food! Oh my god, I love food. Sugar makes me come alive. Dogs! Oh my god, dogs. MP: I’m going to think more about that, feeding my spirit.

ES: Not everybody, as we know, has the same opportunities to feed their spirits. I think about single mothers in impoverished situations, working themselves to the bone just to get by. Whenever I think about all the things I appreciate in life, I also think about my privileges, as well. Try to keep that all in balance. Gratitude for what I have, trying to be part of movements that make it easy for people who have it harder than they ever should have it.



I’m really f*cking sick of violence against women and sexism and horrible politicians and more white men making decisions for women. MP: Every week I hear friends of mine who are single mothers who are going under. We want to be spiritual. Can you give an hour of your week to just go and watch somebody’s kid so they can go have an hour to themselves or take a shower? I think that’s what community is. I get that we have these lofty, twohour-a-day yoga practices, but we don’t volunteer our time. Why don’t we all stop being spiritual for one week and just donate two hours of our time this week to a single mother?

ES: Right, that’s a great idea. I mean, really. And two, I’m really f*cking sick of violence against women and sexism and horrible politicians and more white men making decisions for women. I’m just f*cking sick of it. I’m sick of rape all over the world, used as a tool of war. And judgement on single mothers— MP: The judgement and the isolation, that’s the worst part of being a single mom.

ES: I give it up to women who have the power to keep their spirit alive under very difficult circumstances. MP: What are the things that make you feel deeply vulnerable?

ES: Violence. The fact that men are physically stronger. Anybody who has a weapon. Therapy, but I’m used to that. [laughing] Unjust use of force, strength, and brutality. Those are the forces that make me feel vulnerable. MP: What do you do with emotional pain?

ES: I pray. I ask for help. I also count on the wisdom I have at this point in life, because I’ve had great losses. I had a sister who died and


my mother passed away. I know that grief comes in waves. When deep grief hits, I know that it hurts like hell, and then you get a little bit of a respite, and then it comes back, and it hurts like hell. I know it can be survived. I ask for help because I can’t—because I need it. MP: How do you maintain your center in the middle of life? Do you have a daily practice?

ES: The most important thing to do for me physiologically is to sleep when I’m tired. I love to sleep and it’s very restorative. My faith is very calming to me. And cooking is really calming. Sharing food with friends, cooking. MP: Are there any organizations that you’re currently working with to raise awareness?

ES: We actually helped start this group in the early ‘90s, called Honor the Earth. We met Winona LaDuke at Earth Day and she changed our lives. We started to realize what was going on in indigenous land, and Winona and other Indian activists taught us a paradigm for grassroots activism. We started this group called Honor the Earth, and we work with indigenous communities in North America. Right now we’re working particularly on environmental justice issues, so we’re getting ready to do a three-day tour on mining issues. In the past we’ve tackled issues like nuclear waste dumping, supporting solar and wind projects on indigenous lands, shifting the U.S. energy paradigm to one that’s more green-minded, and helping to foster communities so that they don’t have to give up their ecosystems for an economy. The website is honorearth.org. And we’re doing a campaign to work with groups that oppose the death penalty. It’s called Take Action, and we’re working with the Texas moratorium on the death penalty. On indigogirls.com, we always let folks know what we’re doing.



Maranda Pleasant: Where are you from?

John Ondrasik: Born and raised SoCal. Los Angeles.

MP: I’m personally so moved by your work. What is it that makes you feel most alive? What are the things that make you come alive?


JO: Big picture-wise, it’s my family. It’s my kids, it’s my wife. I’m a family guy. A lot of my songs are inspired by my kids. Simple relationships. Watching them grow up, watching them share experiences with me and vice versa. Musically, there’s probably nothing better than, after spending weeks or months of grinding on a lyric or a song, when you play a good song from beginning to end for the first time—there’s a moment there where all the pain and suffering is worth it. And as a sports fan, the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup makes me feel very alive.


my music for many different causes that have become important to me. What I’ve been working on for the last ten years is the U.S. military and the military families. They’re very close to my heart. Another cause that we’ve worked on with my songs is ALS. I have a friend named Augie Nieto, who has ALS. Augie’s Quest, a small charity, has done a lot of work in the ALS arena. Augie has become a hero and a mentor to me. We’ve done a lot with autism, because some of my songs, “Hundred Years” and “Superman,” have resonated with some of the autistic community.


JO: In so many of my songs, I’m trying to touch on various aspects of love. Trying to be able to accept it, to take joy in it, be able to understand, at least the best I can, probably the most important emotion of humanity. “What If,” the new single, asks that. It talks about all these barriers that we have. We live in this immediate perception culture. We see things on Twitter, on TV, and we immediately make a judgement and decide what we think of people, without taking a minute to put ourselves in their positions. Maybe if we truly lived each other’s experience, we’d understand each other better and we’d be able to love each other more, or at least understand each other more. Not necessarily change our ideologies or change our beliefs, but have more compassion for each other. I’ve learned that love takes priority.

MP: What makes you vulnerable?

JO: Everything!

MP: No man can write those songs that rip my heart out without feeling a lot.


JO: We all have our fears, our insecurities. I’m not different from anyone else. As a songwriter, I think that comes with the territory. The older you get, you like to say it doesn’t matter, but you care what people think about what you do. But again, once you have kids and you’re married, it’s all about them. My life changed. You can see in my records. Two Lights was basically all about my kids, and not as much about me and the kind of selfish things that you obsess on when you’re younger. It’s all about my kids right now. About their lives and how they’re doing and what they’re going through. After that, everything else is kind of small. Even music. It’s great that I can make another record. I’m excited about it. But as a dad, the record and music come in a very far second place.


MP: What causes on the planet are close to your heart?

JO: The most rewarding thing of my success has been the ability to use PHOTO: JEREMY COWART

MP: What is love to you?


MP: Was there something that was emotionally different with this album?

JO: This album was a lot of fun. I got to work with Greg Wattenberg, Franti’s guy. It was just a joy to work with my friends. I was able to truly immerse myself in the record-making process. I’m excited about music again. I’m excited about going out there, I’m excited about touring, I’m excited about playing these new songs, I’m excited about the old songs. That’s a nice place to be after grinding out the music business for twenty years.


MP: Thank you so much for making time. FIVEFORFIGHTING.COM



JOHN ONDRASIK from Five For Fighting



Maranda Pleasant: Hi, how are you?


John Rzeznik: I’m fine, how are you?

MP: Good. Are you tired?


JR: Yeah. It’s been a pretty crazy tour.

MP: What are the things that make you feel fully alive?


JR: When I’m around people who are incredibly passionate about what they’re doing, people who live their lives in a more selfless way than most people. That’s when I’m inspired. That’s what I aspire to do and be.


JR: It’s a really scary thing. I’m excited about it. I know it’s not a mistake, it’s the absolute right thing to do. I’m really happy about it. I really, really love my fiancée. We’re good friends and I think it’s going to work. But that’s just the point—it’s going to take work. It does make me feel vulnerable to be like, wow, I’m committed to this person for the rest of my life. MP: What are some of the things in life that break your heart?


JR: Wow. Really, honestly? Seeing people who are impoverished, when there’s so much money around. Seeing elderly people when they’re lonely. Seeing kids who’ve got nothing. That really f*cks me up.

MP: What are some of the things that make you feel vulnerable?

MP: I’m already inspired by you. You’ve struggled with some things in your life. What has kicked your ass?

8 JR: I’m a guy so I equate vulnerability with fear. I feel


vulnerable when I release material, my work, to the world, and I have no control over the outcome. Those are very vulnerable moments. I’m getting married on Friday. MP: This Friday?!


JR: I’m getting married Friday. It’s pretty crazy. I have to let myself be vulnerable in order to have a good marriage. That’s something I’m really going to have to work on. A lot of times I’m really guarded because of what I do for a living, what I’ve done in my life. MP: Congratulations!


JR: I’ve mostly kicked my own ass, you know? I’ve had a lot of struggles with growing up in an alcoholic family, and my own struggle with alcoholism. It’s not a big deal, it’s everyday. I gotta take care of it every day or it comes back. I’ve quit drinking hundreds of times. It’s a bitch, man, it’s a real bitch. It’s so hard to keep it together. MP: Is there some kind of daily routine, something that you have that helps you maintain your center and your focus?


JR: I work out. I try to work out every day. That keeps me in the moment, which is great. Keeps my head from thinking about the future and the past too much. I love working out. That really helps me a lot.





John Rzeznik of the

MP: I was like, he has not aged in fifteen f*cking years, what is going on? Is he doing yoga? What’s he doing?

8 JR: I’m just working out, doing the usual things. I kind of love the idea of doing yoga. Do you do yoga?

Gogol Bordello MUSIC


MP: I do. Yes. I do a lot of yoga.




JR: Wow. See, now, I want to start doing that.

MP: It breaks my heart open. It’s a constant state of surrendering and owning your shit. It’s been really good on many levels for me. I want to go boxing or running, faster, harder. It’s really good to settle your ass down for a minute! You’re on tour right now with Matchbox 20 and you have a new album that came out last month, Magnetic. Is there anything about this album that’s more emotional or different than the work you’ve done before?

8 JR: I think the work is always personal. This album differs. It seems to be a lot more positive. It seems to have a certain amount of optimism about it. MP: How has your work changed? Has your process changed?

8 JR: It has to change and evolve with you as a person. Your art from ten years ago, it doesn’t come from the same place that it comes from now. All that has to evolve as you do, and hopefully we’re always evolving. Whether that means it’s going to be commercially successful or not, that has really nothing to do with it. It has to be an honest reflection of where you’re at at that time. Then again, sometimes I just make shit up! That’s just a great sounding song, so I like it.


Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come the most alive?


Eugene Hutz: I feel most alive most all of the time. There are lots of things. Some of them are loud and flamboyant and social; some of them are quiet, still, and withdrawn. One is no more alive than the other. In fact, somebody said music is a great frame for the silence. That doesn’t sound very rock ‘n roll but is in fact a much deeper kind of rock ‘n roll. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?


EH: I would say it’s not this way, it’s that way!

MP: What’s your biggest passion project right now?




EH: I, along with the whole band, am very passionate about the material of our new record, Pura Vida Conspiracy. Our reason for this uplifted passion is that we are all in it together more than ever. You can’t invent or buy that kind of feeling. You can only earn it through mileage. That kind of passion for dancing around the fire together only kicks in when you are in fact dancing around the fire together— and f*ck me, there have been some fires! MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos?


EH: By fully acknowledging that chaos is an order of its own, and there is nothing wrong in chaos. It does not need to be organized. Eastern Europe is stuck in between the West and Asia. We don’t really have the benefits of either one. But what we have is a natural relationship with chaos.


7 3 ; 4 8

Richard Patrick of




Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive?



Richard Patrick: Seeing my children. I come home and I see my kids’ faces light up when they see me at the door with my guitar case. They run to me, we hug. I never go beyond a few weeks without being in their presence, so they have adjusted quite well.

MP: What’s been your biggest struggle?


RP: People trying to take advantage of me for my money. There are are some dirty, greedy people out there, and unfortunately I know some.

MP: What is love to you?




RP: Love is my family. I would die for them. My wife and children are the greatest force that keeps me sober and strong. I would also be lying if I didn’t say music and music fans. I love making music so much. To think that there are people out there who like it enough to come and see us perform or buy it or wear our T-shirts, that just blows my mind. The fans have made my dreams come true. For that, I’m super grateful.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive?


Glen Phillips: The best days are when I can work with friends on some challenging task with a definable beginning and end, and at some point have a meal in good company. Whether it’s a work party, a long hike, recording, or playing a show, those days make me feel most alive, and also provide the best rest come the night. MP: What’s your biggest project right now?


GP: I’m focused on the new Toad record right now. It’s been a long time coming to make this project happen, and there’s a lot to take care of and pay attention to. We’re really proud of the music we’ve made, and want to make sure we do a good job of putting it out into the world.


MP: What inspires you?

8 GP: I like seeing people who are passionate and act upon their passions, and I’m lucky to have a great number of people in my life who fit that description. My friends are artists, scientists, teachers, do-gooders, farmers, makers. My community, I suppose. Plenty else inspires me, but they’re first in line. MP: What’s an important lesson you’ve learned in the past ten years?

8 GP: Happiness is a practice. I’ve fought hard with depression, and in the last few years was able to stop looking at it as something that would be cured by a fundamental change in my nature or circumstances. I deal with it now as a chronic condition, one I treat with exercise, engaging work, friendships, and constant reminders to myself to be more grateful.


RP: I call my wife and talk to my children four or five times a day. I’ve surrounded myself with great people and friends, plus I’m always willing to make amends.

MP: What makes you vulnerable?


RP: Thinking about the past. I must always march on in my life. What’s done is done. I have to stay positive and live for today and tomorrow.

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


RP: Be cool to each other and stop f*cking up the planet. Feed the poor! Stop fighting and learn how to communicate honestly with each other. Use minds to solve problems, not lies and bullets. Educate each other and push each other to the next level, not f*ck each other for the profit!

MP: What’s your biggest passion or project right now?

Dan Haseltine of



Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive?




RP: Our new album, The Sun Comes Out Tonight, and being able to tour the world for the next year or so. Also, we have a great Indiegogo campaign we’ve created to give back to our amazing fans around the world.


Dan Haseltine: I feel most alive when I am in the midst of a project that connects art and creativity with a tangible way to help other people. There is tension in dealing with the question, “Why should I care?” The arts help us bring the problems of our world into a manageable place where people can be empowered to act, instead of being overwhelmed. When I see this happening, it is truly life giving.

I call my wife and talk to my children four or five times a day. I’ve surrounded myself with great people and friends...

MP: What are causes that you are passionate about?


RP: I care about this crazy little planet and I would love to make a difference.

MP: How have you changed over the last twenty years? How has it affected your art?


RP: I’ve learned enough things the hard way to know we humans can make a difference.

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


DH: Stop being so afraid. We do so many awful things out of fear. It seems like most of our moral, ethical, and even religious tensions are bound to a need to control what we are afraid of or do not understand. To know this about ourselves might lead us to a different response, maybe even err on the side of love. MP: What’s your biggest passion project right now?


DH: The band started Blood: Water Mission in 2004. Helping Africans become heroes in their own communities is a passion for us. It is amazing working alongside Africans as they develop creative ways to provide clean water and HIV/AIDS care for their families and neighbors. It is also a passion of ours to rescue people in the U.S. from caring deeply about things that don’t matter. When we can connect them to the stories we know about Africa, people are empowered. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos?


DH: I like to sit at the piano and play. I shut off the need to write pop songs or entertain, and I just zone out and play. It is the best kind of therapy. Also, I like to get out in nature. There is nothing close to a quiet hike to a river or waterfall to silence the noise and stress of every day life.





john densmore THE legendary drummer On life. love. Meditation. and his new book, “The Doors: unhinged.” While I was meditating, Jim would go grab a beer. Maranda Pleasant: Thank you so much for doing this with us. I just got your book, Unhinged. What a great title! What is it, when you wake up in the morning, that makes you come alive?

John Densmore: My goodness. Well. When I wake up in the morning, I meditate immediately, before I even get out of bed. I meditate in—what’s the last yoga pose? The slab or whatever it is? MP: Savasana!

JD: So I lay there and meditate for a while, and also do some sort of—do you know who Rick Rubin is? MP: Of course, I work with Rick.

JD: Yeah, he taught me some wake up facial yoga stuff, which I do. I’ve been very blessed to make a living in stuff I love and am totally passionate about, music and writing. So I’m eager to see what the day will bring, how I will feed that passion.

JD: Caring. I avoid the G-word—not G-spot, G-word. [laughing] As in “God.” I was raised Catholic. I didn’t appreciate the guilt and sin part of it. I see how everyone gets into, “My “G” is better than your “G” so let’s have a war.” I hate that. I say I believe in the mystery, and I don’t want to take it any further than that. Maybe what I mean by that is love.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos?

MP: How do you handle emotional pain when it comes in?

JD: Well, in the Doors heydays and all that intensity, I meditated twice a day for ten years. Jim would have to go have a snack while I meditated. Robby, the guitar player, and I would go into the vocal booth for twenty minutes in the late afternoon and everybody would have to go entertain themselves. Jim would probably go get a beer while I was meditating.

JD: I handle it better now. When you get older, you’ve been through a lot, and you sort of go, okay, another bump in the road! Another rock. Okay, I’m not going to emotionally build this into a boulder, it’s just a f*cking rock. I’ll survive. But in your twenties, everything makes you crazy.


MP: What does love mean to you? I know it’s a very small question to answer.

MP: Are there any causes right now


When you get older, you’ve been through a lot, and you sort of go, okay, another bump in the road! Another rock. Okay, I’m not going to emotionally build this into a boulder, it’s just a f*cking rock.


on the planet that you’re particularly passionate about?


JD: I’ve been a longtime supporter of all sorts of environmental groups. My ex-wife and I made several documentaries on the prison-industrial complex, which hasn’t really improved. Although we did get a bill passed in Congress. I’m passionate about all that stuff. Heal the Bay, Rainforest Action Network—they organized, they helped me and Bonnie Raitt go to jail. You’ll read about that in this book. MP: Very few humans in this life will ever experience what you have. You have a different relationship to music than anybody else, and the way you feel the beat and the way it goes through your body and the way you channel it, I feel like it’s just different for a drummer. Being in the Doors, was it a spiritual experience? JD: The first drum beat we all heard was our mother. We’re in the womb. Oh! We have our own little heartbeat, too. We already have what I would call polyrhythms going on. And so, when we come out later, as an ensemble—I don’t care if it’s a duet or a forty-piece orchestra—the musicians, the two of them or the forty of them, are all trying to play as tight as possible, as one person. They’re trying to play like they are one person. And if you’re playing live, I like to think of the ensemble, whether it’s the duet or a forty piece orchestra, as one person. And the entire audience, whether it’s twelve people or 12,000 at Madison Square Garden, is the other person. The two of you are going to dance together tonight. How is that going to go? It could be a waltz. It could be a hot salsa. And that’s the beauty of live performance. The more the ensemble, the duet, or the forty piece orchestra plays as one person, the more it makes people dance, because you’re back in the womb. You feel mom’s heartbeat. It makes you move. It reminds you of that warm, groovy space you were in. Boy, that was cosmic! [laughing] When an ensemble is really tight or playing as one, it’s a transcendental experience. It is spiritual. It goes beyond the ensemble. Ray and I and Robby and Jim were pretty tight, musically and spiritually. It wasn’t us, something came through that made it bigger than the four of us. The question is sort of like, what makes me special? People forget that public people and celebrities, they too have to go to the bathroom and get divorced. Riders on the



When an ensemble is really tight or playing as one, it’s a transcendental experience. It is spiritual. It goes beyond the ensemble. Ray and I and Robby and Jim were pretty tight, musically and spiritually. Storm has a lot of that. I dedicated it to John Lennon because through his songs, he revealed so much of his personal life, and it’s so touching. MP: Did you realize that you were making history when you were making history? JD: We had a hunch that we were being visited by the muse in the garage. Jim became an alcoholic and had a disease. I didn’t know that. I knew something was wrong but we didn’t have substance abuse clinics back then, we didn’t have the knowledge that we do today. But despite that, L.A. Woman is our best album, and it was our last album. And he was in serious trouble. But somehow, when we were alone in the studio, we were blessed by the muse every time. I’m thankful to that. There was a sense that—

when he would give me some lyrics, I’d just be flabbergasted. I heard drumbeats within the words. They were percussive. They were so unique, I immediately had ideas about how to support it. He’d just sing it. He couldn’t play a chord on any instrument. He had no musical ability. He was a genius because he had all these words and the only way he could remember them was to think of melodies. It was beautiful. In his naivete, it made for four equal parts, even though he became the lead singer. He’d just say, “How do you write songs?” He also said, “Well, let’s not even credit the lyrics to me, let’s say all music by the Doors. Let’s split all the money. Let’s have veto power in case anybody gets weird.” I was primarily vetoing the idea of “breaking on through to a new deodorant”—selling Doors songs for commercials.

JD: You’ll read it in Unhinged. We were proposed, “Come on Buick, light my fire.” Jim primarily didn’t write those lyrics, Robby did. Jim blew up because we were considering it, because the money was great and we were young. He said, “Oh, cool, I’ve got an idea for an ad campaign! I’ll smash a Buick on television with a sledgehammer!” I have never forgotten that. And he’s my ancestor now, and I won’t let that go. So we’re not going to “Love me two times because I just took Viagra.” No! It’s, “Love me two times because I’m going away.” MP: It must be so amazing to know that your art transformed and

impacted so many people’s lives. That’s got to be amazing. We were sorry to hear that Ray Manzarek passed. JD: Ray had cancer for a while and we all knew about it, the inner circle, so we weren’t quite as shocked as everyone else. There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate for providing a mattress for Jim’s words to lay on. Bass players and drummers are brothers in the basement cooking up the groove that makes people move. We were very close that way. I will forever miss that.

provide a little light into the unknown. Going first is courageous. I’m just talking on a spirit level now. It’s real sad over here that Ray’s gone. But his spirit was ready to go and went ahead of me, and so he’s providing light for when I come along. MUSIC

MP: He really was a poet, an artist. It’s amazing to hear about him through you, who knew him so closely. I’m bowing to you for knowing his vision and knowing how he felt, and then honoring that when he’s gone.

MP: A question from Facebook: What do you think Jim will say to Ray? [laughing] JD: I think he will say the same thing that Ray’s going to say to me when I get there. He will say, “How was the light I provided?” Meaning, Jim went ahead of Ray, Ray’s gone ahead of me. Those who go ahead





EKIM EVOL Mike Love of the Beach Boys

Keep a cool head and a warm heart. A mantra that became a song, inspired by the wise words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. If we all take the time to listen and love each other, this world would be a better place.


life experiences while remaining centered.


Mike Love: The joy on the faces of our audience. Watching young children sharing the love of our music with their parents and grandparents is the ultimate reward for our efforts. Very humbling.

ML: Because of the inherent challenges of life on the earth, all of humanity is vulnerable. This is all the more reason to seek the kingdom of heaven within and find the peace that leads to understanding.



ML: Keep a cool head and a warm heart. A mantra that became a song, inspired by the wise words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. If we all take the time to listen and love each other, this world would be a better place.

ML: For years, I have been writing and recording music that has never been released. Lately, I have been motivated to share with everyone. As a songwriter, your songs are, in a way, like your children—you want them to be appreciated.



ML: Love is probably the most powerful force in the cosmos, capable of creating miracles. Love can manifest in so many ways—love between parent and child, husband and wife, partner and partner, teacher and student, service volunteer and recipient, God and one’s spirit. The manifestations of love are innumerable. 4 MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS?

ML: Since learning Transcendental Meditation from Maharishi in December 1967, it has been a valuable practice which has enabled me to go through some very stressful

ML: Beginning this summer, I have decided to spotlight the efforts of City Year, an organization that mentors kids who are at risk of dropping out of school and never reaching their full potential. I’m making a year-long commitment to City Year. The service that City Year volunteers provide is of enormous value to our society. I applaud all organizations involved in the service of education. I’ve always been very involved with environmental issues. I was fortunate to be one of the speakers at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero some years back, and Bruce Johnson and I served on the board of the

Surfrider Foundation here at home. Locally and globally, we need to be doing everything we can to help Mother Earth.


ML: I learned that when you do the best job that you can do, some people will idolize you, others won’t care, and some will vilify you. I believe it is important to remain humble and thankful for the blessings in our lives, for the tremendous opportunities that are a result of our musical success. 4 MP: WHAT’S BEEN YOUR GREATEST STRUGGLE?

ML: To coexist while watching the people I love choose less than life-supporting paths via drugs, alcohol, or poor lifestyle decisions. There is so much to life; my heart breaks watching someone held captive by addiction. 4 MP: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR PERSONAL LEGACY TO BE?

ML: On a personal level, I would like my loved ones to know that I have always done the best that I could to demonstrate my love, and worked hard to provide them with a sense of security. On a more global level, I would like to see that my efforts, whether with the Beach Boys or as an individual, achieve as much benefit to humanity as possible during my lifetime. Peace and love!






Q Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive?

Q MP: What’s your biggest project right now?

Vivian Bang: I feel most alive when I’m in the flow of acting. I try to get in the flow, and not be self-conscious or judgmental about how I’m being received. I can be fully present to play out and focus only on listening and reacting, moment-to-moment, accepting the given circumstances.

VB: I’m creating a webisode called “The Vivian and Raina Show,” about people who choose interesting careers or make odd life choices, people who live against social constraints. It is half interviews and half commentaries. My first guest was a guy who is getting his PhD in Mime at the Sorbonne. Not a masters, mind you, but a PhD!

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

Q MP: What is love to you?

VB: We are all connected. Let’s take care of each other.

VB: Big acceptance, tolerance, empathy, kindness, care, gratitude, patience, and abundance. The more you give love, the more of it is created. You can find it everywhere, you just have to be open.

Q MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? VB: I try to meditate at least once a week, go for short jogs, and practice yoga. I keep a journal in the mornings to jot down random thoughts that occupy my mind, no matter how silly. I also try to surround myself with

positive people and friends that inspire me. I see a lot of art in museums and galleries to get inspired by what others are doing and expressing with their mediums. I love live performance. Being able to recognize what speaks to me keeps me grounded.

Q MP: What are causes that you are passionate about? VB: My mentor and friend, Raphael Sbarge, runs a group called GreenWish, which raises money to give to other smaller groups and support their initiatives for working for the environment and sustainable living. Whether it is in design, recycling, research, or education, these small groups need funds but have a hard time raising money. I also volunteer at 826LA, which tutors kids after school and has a special program to teach kids how to write. I’m also part of the Echo Park Time Bank, which is a community of folks that give their time as service in exchange for other people’s services, kind of like bartering. I babysit your kid and someone else drives me to the airport. Time becomes the commodity. It’s nice to depend on your neighbors for help and share talents without thinking in terms of monetary gain.

Q MP: What is something that you’ve struggled with? VB: I’ve struggled to accept that nobody is perfect, especially me. To have more tolerance for other’s frailties, and to be gentler to myself. Not to take things so personally. I’m so sensitive that the smallest tone change triggers danger or offense. I have to remind myself that everyone lives from their point of view, and it has nothing to do with me. They might be reacting out of danger or fears which have nothing to do with me. I must have more empathy and take it lightly. Most of all, seeing the bigger picture and not freaking out about little things. Sometimes when I confront small obstructions or when things don’t go the way I planned, I have a hard time letting go. Lastly, recognizing that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s all okay.




I talk to the people I love who are dead.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive? MP: What is love to you?

Pom Klementieff: My job. Challenges. Simple things like waking up, going to my patio, and seeing that a hibiscus or a camellia opened during the night. It just makes me happy. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

PK: Enjoy what you have. I remember when I was shooting a movie in Oriental Siberia.. We had no running water for two months. To take showers we had to make huge ice cubes melt and warm it with a stove. A long process. When I came back to Paris, I felt like a prehistoric woman. I almost cried of joy when I took a shower. I was looking at the water running like a weirdo. It was magic! MP: What’s your biggest passion/project right now?

PK: Vast question. There are so many forms of love. Spending some time with friends, love stories. I enjoy showing my love by baking a cake for somebody and writing his or her name on it, and seeing his or her reaction. I just love it. I love to offer flowers, too! MP: How do you keep center in the middle of chaos?

PK: I talk to the people I love who are dead. I never believed in God and I will never believe in it. I look at the tattoo inside my left wrist. It’s my brother’s name, he committed suicide two years ago. Just before the second anniversary of his death, I tattooed his name because I miss him, of course, and because I decided I would live for me, and for him. MP: What makes you vulnerable?

PK: Right now it’s pretty selfish. I want to grow up as an actress and as a woman. Be independent.

PK: Everything makes me vulnerable, you

just have to use it as an actor or fight it. It’s a constant balance. In everyday life, I just use positive thoughts, sense of humor, Taekwondo, running, and yoga to make me stronger. Being resilient is the essence of my life. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, everybody knows this! MP: What issues or causes are you passionate about?

PK: Schizophrenia. My mother is schizophrenic. I would love to be brave enough to learn more about it. I try to understand her the more I can. I try to be positive about it. She can be so absent and tired by her medication. Sometimes she’s so lucid and funny and smart. I really want to be able to take care of her more, financially and with my presence. Pom Kllementieff is a French actress, born in Quebec, who is taking the U.S. by storm with her upcoming breakout role as Haeng Bok in Spike Lee’s Old Boy, set for release October 25.




SOPHIA BUSH Actress. Activist. Humanitarian. Champion of Education: I AM THAT GIRL! Raising money and awareness with Prizeo Campaigns and RYOT.org.

The truest truth I know is that there is no “us” and “them.” There is simply “we.” We are global citizens. We need to act that way. Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Sophia Bush: Inspiring conversation. Incredible music. Thoughtful art. Photographs. Three-hour meals with friends. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? SB: I strive to be more vulnerable every day, to be open about fears and dreams and everything in between. I feel like real connection, real authenticity, only happens when people are interacting without their guards up. It’s not always easy, but it feels great when you can take off the armor and just be.


MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SB: Your voice matters, so scream and shout for what’s right, for whatever it is that gets you out of bed in the morning. You, in your own body, are a tiny revolution waiting to happen. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to give part of yourself and your heart back to the world. MP: Tell us about your latest projects. Why are these so important to you?

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

I do all my crowd-source fundraising at crowdrise.com. And check out RYOT.org—they are making the news actionable, instead of making readers feel helpless.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

SB: Honestly, I travel too much to have a real routine, and it’s something I crave. I try to squeeze in some meditation or do something active when I’m feeling overwhelmed. But it’s hard to make time for myself when I only have so many hours in the day. I’m working on it. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? SB: Not to take things so personally. I’m far more sensitive than people think, and it can be a real hindrance. I’m always working on letting things be.

SB: The truest truth I know is that there is no “us” and “them.” There is simply “we.” We are global citizens. We need to act that way.



SB: I’ve just finished fundraising for my third school in Guatemala with Pencils of Promise. Being there with the kids and seeing their desire for education is truly life-changing. Knowing that I can help to tackle a giant global issue makes me feel like I’m living my purpose. Education in particular serves girls in the developing world. Here at home, I’m working with I AM THAT GIRL on creating safe and encouraging spaces for young women. We should be collaborating rather than competing, and lifting up our communities. If we can support each other’s minds and spirits, we can truly change the world. We are pretty badass, and we’re celebrating that. Join our Prizeo campaign and win a once in a lifetime experience with me and the ladies of I AM THAT GIRL.



You, in your own body, are a tiny revolution waiting to happen.



The women’s rights movement in Pakistan really became formed at that moment, because everybody was fighting for their rights. I saw so clearly that if your legal system and your state don’t support your equality, then nothing else matters, because you are half a person. I decided to dedicate my entire life to working on these issues. DZ: Was your life ever put into danger like we hear about now with young girls?

YH: Not really. I was ten. I was very outspoken and I was very supported by my father, who was a lawyer, and also by my mother. I went to college in the U.S. when I was eighteen years old, to Mt. Holyoke, a women’s college. There I got introduced to global women’s rights. I did a lot of courses in women’s rights and feminism, and it all connected. Everything connected in my head. I did my undergraduate thesis on women’s rights in Islamic countries. How could you fight this battle, where women’s rights were being taken away? And they continue to be, as you see, in a lot of Muslim countries today. Then I went to law school, and my purpose in going to law school was also to work on human rights, and particularly to study Islamic law. I studied with Professor Frank Vogel at Harvard Law School, on Islam and human rights and Islamic legal systems, so I could understand the argument myself. Then I realized that nobody’s listening to me argue. As a woman, I wasn’t even given the chance to speak before religious scholars. So my fight right now is for secular systems all over the world, systems that protect the human rights of women, minorities, everybody.

I really noticed that a lot of men are taught very early on to enjoy the sound of their own voices. Daphne Zuniga: What is your role at Equality Now?

Yasmeen Hassan: I’m the Global Director, which means I head all our global offices in Nairobi, London, Jordan, and New York. I’m responsible for all the operations, all the work in each of our program areas, which are Discrimination in Law, Sex Trafficking, Sexual Violence, and Female Genital Mutilation. DZ: Was there something in your childhood, some way that you were raised, that created a passion for you to work on behalf of women and girls?

YH: Absolutely. I was born in Boston but I grew up in Pakistan. When I was about ten years old, the Pakistan government Islamicized its laws. Pakistan was one of the only countries created on the basis of the religion of its people but it was never an Islamic state; it was a secular state. But in 1979, they Islamicized the laws, and suddenly, overnight—this was a defining experience for me—women became half of men. My mother and a lot of family friends of ours who were lawyers suddenly couldn’t sign contracts, because the signatures of two women equaled that of a man. An illiterate man’s thumbprint counted more than an educated woman’s signature on a financial document. They also brought in laws where rape was suddenly put under morality laws, so if you were not able to prove you were raped, you were liable for being flogged or stoned to death.

DZ: How was your experience at Harvard with these studies, as a woman?

YH: I found that the women’s college that I went to was a completely liberating experience, because you were allowed to express yourself. When I came to Harvard, it was a little bit different. This is when I really noticed that a lot of men are taught very early on to enjoy the sound of their own voices. [laughing] I would initially get very intimidated in these classes. I was also the youngest student, because I hadn’t taken a year off. I was twenty-one, and I was at law school. The guy who sat next to me was a plastic surgeon from L.A. Everybody used to talk, and then I started really listening. I started listening to what they were saying, and I realized, for the most part, they were full of hot air! [laughing] That to me was the most liberating moment. There were stereotypes of women there, there were stereotypes of foreigners there. When I graduated from Harvard, I was magna cum laude, I was top of my class. A lot of people did much worse. But they always thought that I was stupid in some way, because I wouldn’t open my mouth. My upbringing has been, don’t speak unless you really have something to add. So that skill actually has taken me quite a long way: learning to listen before you speak and really saying things that will resonate and move something forward, as opposed to just speaking.



Yasmeen Hassan of Equality Now

Annie Lennox +


Dr. Mitch Besser



Creative Genius. Legend. Impacting lives of Mothers + Children with HIV in Africa. Maranda Pleasant: I want to start with an emotional question. Yesterday you had us all crying in the audience. You said, “It’s not us and them, it’s us together. If one woman is suffering, then we are all suffering, and we need to put a voice to that.” What is it that makes this issue so personal and so emotional for you?

Annie Lennox: I identify with other women because of my gender, and I identify with other women if they are mothers because I’m a mother, too. It’s very simple. It’s nothing complicated, it’s not rocket science. It’s about empathy. It’s about understanding that what happens with one person is potentially what happens to you, and seeing yourself in someone else’s shoes. Fundamentally, we are all in the same place: we’re born, we live, and we’re going to die. In between, we’ll have joy and we’ll have sadness. I stand on the shoulders of giants that have gone before me, in terms of affording people like myself, women, the access to democracy, the vote, medical treatment, education, everything that I’ve been given. It’s all been earned. Therefore I feel it’s incumbent on me personally to just contribute something, to add to a collective voice that needs to be here right now, to build it up to a tipping point, to make the world aware that women’s rights still have to be addressed and that the word ‘feminism’ has been devalued and needs to be reclaimed. MP: What is it that makes you feel personally vulnerable around this issue?

AL: My first understanding of HIV and AIDS was like everybody else from my generation. In the mid-‘80s, we heard about this, and it was terrifying, because we knew nothing about how to respond to it appropriately, and we didn’t really understand about how the virus is passed. There was a lot of misconception about that. We also thought, this is probably PHOTO: MIKE OWEN

I live in a world of possibility and opportunity. You look for the light. There’s darkness everywhere you look for that spot of light and you work your way towards it.

something that is affecting just people in the gay population, intravenous drug users, and sex workers. Otherwise, oh, it’s got nothing to do with us. It was put into a bubble like that. In sub-Saharan Africa, it really does affect a majority of women and therefore their children, because with women come children, and you have two generations that are directly impacted. Once I understood that, my paradigm shifted. There’s so much stigma around HIV/AIDS. It’s a challenging issue, and the people that already have been tested and know their status find it very, very hard to disclose their status, to live with that virus, and to even seek out the kind of information they need. This experience of going to South Africa a decade ago really woke me up to the scale of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in subSaharan Africa, how it was affecting women and their children. I haven’t been able to walk away from it.

really are doing great work in that specific field. Mothers to Mothers—founded by my husband, Dr. Mitch Besser—it’s organizations like that that I think are absolutely life-saving and transformative. MP [to Dr. Mitch Besser]: You’ve really given your life, and I heard the story about how you started this. What is it that keeps you waking up day after day to really make a difference in thousands of women’s lives?

Dr. Mitch Besser: First, coming from the United States and from such a wealth of opportunity, you need to feel compelled to give something back. I’ve never been tested the way I see so many of the mothers for whom I provide care get tested every day—to find food, to find shelter, to ensure their children are safe. I grew up in a middle class household with parents, went to good schools,

I stand on the shoulders of giants that have gone before me, in terms of affording people like myself, women, the access to democracy, the vote, medical treatment, education, everything that I’ve been given. I have a campaign called the Sing Campaign. It’s at annielennoxsing.com, and it’s basically just me and a couple of other people that help to facilitate my transport here and there and make sure my website’s up to date. It’s really just a one-woman show. But what I try to do, if people are interested, if I’ve raised their interest, and in fact if I am able to raise funds, then I will direct them to good governance, good practice organizations that

and never feared for anything, never wanted for anything that was really important. For all of us living in this world, all of us who have the resources, for us to not dedicate ourselves to giving something back, is to leave the world a lesser place. I chose a career in obstetrics and gynecology because there’s something about honoring women, honoring the birth process. We all M2M.ORG ANNIELENNOXSINGS.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ HUMANITARIAN

come from women, and there’s something extraordinary about the mothers who raised us. To try to help people have babies in a healthy way and to celebrate the process of delivering a child which will be healthy is, I think, almost the best part of healthcare. And then to find, through HIV, that women are experiencing all the horrors of not knowing if their child is going to survive, not knowing if they’re going to survive—in a sense, it undoes everything that women’s care should be about. In that spirit, it was very easy for me to dedicate myself to the care of mothers, help them have healthy babies, help them be healthy, help them in a place where they don’t have opportunities. Success breeds the excitement to continue going. It’s harder to get out of bed when you’ve failed. When things are starting to work, you get up at five in the morning thinking, what are we going to do today? You stay up until one in the morning getting it done, and then you start the next day with the same energy, because it’s working! It’s much harder when no one’s responding and then you really have to drag yourself up. But I think part of what we do is recover from failure. MP: You have a 96% success rate, and it’s just about resources, right?

MB: In the States, the HIV transmission from mother to child is almost completely preventable—the only mothers who really do transmit it are the ones who don’t come in for care. If a mother in the United States or in Europe or in the UK comes to care and gets her medicines, she will have an HIV negative baby. Most people don’t know that. The flip side is, if you do nothing, if a mother doesn’t come for care, if she breastfeeds her baby, the chances of the baby getting HIV are about 40%. So it’s about the difference between 40% and zero. This is almost totally preventable. But it requires mothers coming for care and getting the medicines they need, and getting the education and support they need. Just having medicine isn’t equivalent to medical care. You need the health systems, you need to create the social framework so that people feel safe. We’re now in an age where we are, in South Africa, preventing 98% of the transmissions. The transmission rate in South Africa is down to 2%. So what we’re talking about is really last mile. The big countries: Nigeria, the Congo—how do we get services to them? We’ve demonstrated that we can do this in places in Africa—Botswana, Namibia—very successfully. We need money to scale up the services that


bring medicine to mothers. The United States government’s doing that. There’s a global fund that’s providing money. Mothers to Mothers provides for mothers who come in who don’t have education, who don’t have support. Mothers to Mothers employs mothers with HIV, mothers who were patients recently in the very same facilities. We take those mothers who were patients who’ve had their babies, we bring them back, we train them, we pay them to be health care professionals.

very few resources—huge disparity. At times I have to really dig deep in myself to come to a place of balance. As Mitch just pointed out, it’s about the mothers. I live with him, so I see how much further he goes. He’s very inspirational to me. You have a bigger view, of something bigger than you, and you have to view that and take that in mind. At times you feel like despair rises up over hope, then other times you feel hopeful again.

MP: Women empowering other women.

MP: Does this break your heart every day that you work with it?

MB: Women empowering other women. Those women work next to doctors and nurses, and also often know more than the doctors and nurses because we train them. They become experts in the same clinics where they were patients, and they become experts to the same doctors and nurses who provided them with care, and now they’re counseling women, educating them—how to take your medicine, how to take care of your baby, how to take care of yourself, why it’s important to come back. All of that becomes transferred to this next generation of patients. They get the psycho-social support.

AL: No. No, not at all. It doesn’t break your heart every day. If you come face to face with some really challenging situations and tragic circumstances—you are going in there with a purpose. You are not going in there as a tourist. You’re not going there just to merely observe. You have a purpose, and your purpose is to tell that story, to share that story for the bigger benefit of millions of other people. Your purpose is to create that bridge so you can give that story the dignity and the focus that it deserves, and you can become a part of the amplification that needs to be there.

People show you tremendous strength and courage and bravery...that dignity that comes from people living in the most appalling circumstances, they’re your teachers. There’s nothing more humbling than going to witness these things for yourself. It’s changed my life completely. They become part of a community. Because the worst thing someone gets is isolated. Isolation is the darkest part of any condition. You can live with almost any condition if you’re living within a community of people who can share a common understanding. We create these communities from women who share common conditions, and those mothers carry each other through. In the end, there is an empowerment that comes from this dignity that they feel. There’s an opportunity to live a fulfilling life, to live positively. Medicine comes with hope: the hope of having a healthy child, the hope of being able to raise your family. MP: How do you both keep your center?

AL: That is one of my challenges. Right now I’m actually having to face that. The contrast of the world that we live in and the world that is here in Aspen and the world inhabited by women who have no resources, little or no,

People show you tremendous strength and courage and bravery. As Mitch has said, that dignity that comes from people living in the most appalling circumstances, they’re your teachers. You learn from those people. There’s nothing more humbling than going to witness these things for yourself. It’s changed my life completely. MP: Mitch, can you tell me how you maintain your center?

MB: I live in a world of possibility and opportunity. You look for the light. There’s darkness everywhere but you look for that spot of light and you work your way towards it, and you do what it takes to get there. Because there’s always darkness around, and if you focus on the darkness, you don’t know where to go. But if you direct yourself at the light—there it is! It’s right there.





EVERY MOTHER COUNTS Supermodel. Face of Calvin Klein. The Global Spokesperson for Maternal Health: Ending Preventable Deaths in Pregnancy + Childbirth. Maranda Pleasant: What are you passionate about?

Christy Turlington Burns: I am passionate about a lot of things: my family, and other mothers and their families for whom I advocate on behalf of through Every Mother Counts. MP: What makes you come alive?

CTB: Being of service to others daily makes me feel alive. In addition to my family, it’s also connecting with other women. Participating in a sisterhood with other women is hugely important in my life and a source of joy. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?


CTB: Feeling powerless. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

CTB: For those who have one, please use your voice. So many of us don’t have that ability. MP: Tell us about your latest projects.

CTB: I am focused on raising awareness about maternal health and the work that Every Mother Counts (EMC) does to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms. EMC was born out of a documentary film I made in 2010. No Woman No Cry is about the status of maternal

health around the world. We filmed four women in four countries (Bangladesh, Tanzania, Guatemala, and the U.S.), all at critical junctures of their pregnancies. My motivation for exploring this subject was quite personal. I survived a potentially lifethreatening childbirth-related complication after delivering my daughter, Grace, ten years ago. I learned that hundreds of thousands of girls and women die each year due to similar and often manageable complications. They die because they don’t have access to critical maternity care that could easily save their lives. Once I discovered that the majority of these deaths were preventable—as many as 90%—I was inspired to further investigate the issue. What resulted was No Woman No


Being of service to others daily makes me feel alive...Participating in a sisterhood with other women is hugely important in my life and a source of joy. Cry. Every Mother Counts originally began as an outreach campaign to further educate those who had seen the film and wanted to know more, but it quickly developed into the advocacy and mobilization campaign it is today. Last year we became a 501(c) (3) foundation. This has allowed us to raise funds for programs in Haiti, Uganda, and the U.S. The Uganda grant is made in support of another initiative we’re working on, called Saving Mothers, Giving Life.

daily routine. That definitely helps me approach all aspects of my life from a place of mindfulness and clarity, through the meditation that usually accompanies this practice. I also love to run, which is another form of meditation.

CTB: It’s connection with others. Union with another human being or living thing. That’s also Yoga.

MP: How can we all get involved in EMC?

CTB: I know that I can’t solve all the maternal health challenges in the world by myself. I need and want others to join me. Together we can make the difference in the lives of so many others.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

CTB: There are numerous ways to support Every Mother Counts, which we provide on our website, everymothercounts.org. Some easy ways that people can take action and get involved are to watch and share any of our films or purchase a product (proceeds directly support EMC and our initiatives). Share the global statistics with your friends and family. Run a marathon or 5k in support of EMC. Collect used cell phones for health workers around the world. All of these actions have the ability to make an impact.

CTB: Yoga is an integral part of my

MP: What is love to you?

Our goal is to continue to contribute to the global effort to significantly reduce lives lost at birth. EMC’s goal is to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms. To achieve that, we have a ways to go. I strongly believe that each preventable death is one death too many.


MP: What’s been one of your biggest ife lessons?

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

CTB: That if you truly want to make an impact on the world, you can and you will. MP: Any other causes that you are passionate about?

CTB: I am passionate about any effort to achieve social justice and equality, particularly for women. EVERYMOTHERCOUNTS.ORG ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 45



Arianna on Redefining Success. Learning Balance. Making Good Decisions. Lessons from The Huffington Post. What Her Father’s Death Taught Her. Gina Murdock: By so many measures, you are a successful woman. How do you define success? Arianna Huffington: Success for me is going beyond money and power, and measuring success based on a third metric—one founded on wellbeing, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back. Money and power by themselves are a two-legged stool. You can balance on them for a while, but eventually you’re going to topple over. More and more people, very successful people, are toppling over. Basically, success the way we’ve defined it is no longer sustainable. It’s no longer sustainable for human beings or for societies. To live the lives we want, and not just the ones we settle for, the ones society defines as successful, we need to include the third metric.

GM: How do you tap into your own wisdom to make good decisions?


AH: We all have within us a centered place of wisdom, harmony, and balance. This truth is embraced by a vast range of the world’s religions and philosophies. Whether or not we believe in the existence of the soul, we’ve all experienced times in which we’re fully connected with ourselves. The second truth is that we’re all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. That’s the nature of life. In fact, we may be off-course more often than we are on-course. So what we need is a course-correcting mechanism. Meditation, yoga, and walks are all ways to regulate our stress and reconnect. We’ve recently launched an app called “GPS for the Soul,” which provides several measures of our current stress levels and gives advice on ways to regain that inner balance.

GM: Your book, On Becoming Fearless...In Love, Work, and Life, is one of thirteen books you’ve written. How does one

become fearless?

Fearlessness isn’t the absence of fear, but the mastery of fear. So it’s not that you me, failure isn’t the opposite of success—it’s a stepping stone to success.

AH: The first and most important step is to realize that, as my mother used to say, fearlessness isn’t the absence of fear, but the mastery of fear. It’s not that you never have fear, but that you don’t let your fears stop you. Often, you’ll fail. But, as my mother also taught me, failure isn’t the opposite of success—it’s a stepping stone to success.

sleep deprivation, and driving yourself into the ground—isn’t working for women, and it’s not working for men, either.

GM: What has Huffington Post taught you about life?

AH: We’ve designed our entire site to function as a tool for communication and engagement. We have a great HuffPost Teen section and a great HuffPost College section. We’ve also made a point to focus on issues important to Millennials, like unemployment among the young and indebted. I hope it will be their generation that finally redefines success from the self-destructive, unfulfilling, and limited version that my generation has given them.

AH: That very often the only difference between success and failure is perseverance. I was already in my mid-fifties when we launched Huffington Post. It wasn’t an immediate success. One reviewer wrote that it was “the movie equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar, and Heaven’s Gate rolled into one,” and that it was a “failure that is simply unsurvivable.” Well, we kept going. A year later that reviewer asked to blog for us. The site has only reinforced my realization about the close connection between success and failure.

GM: Do you have any regrets? AH: Eleven years ago, I was in Madison, Wisconsin, where I was supposed to give a speech. Then I learned that my father, who was very ill in Athens, had taken a turn for the worse. I began what seemed like an interminable journey—Madison to Milwaukee to New York to Athens. I talked to him from the plane: “I’m going to wait for you,” he said. My sister, Agapi, and two nuns met me at the airport. Halfway to my father’s apartment, we got a call from a woman named Vicki, who had cared for my father, who told us my father had died the moment my plane landed. I still regret not canceling my speech so I could arrive earlier. For a long time I was consumed by guilt, not only for missing my father’s final moments, but because the whole episode was an illustration of how my priorities were horribly misplaced.

GM: What are your views on the world now and where we are going versus where we ought to be going to accomplish that definition of success you mentioned earlier? AH: I’m actually very optimistic. All around the country, individuals are choosing to redefine their lives and the pursuit of happiness in ways much closer to the original notion put forth by our Founding Fathers. Their notion of the “pursuit of happiness” wasn’t just about acquiring money and power, but about doing your part to add to the civic happiness of the community. More young people are volunteering than ever before. More people are including service to others on their busy lives’ to-do list. The promise of America is embedded deep in our DNA, calling us to a much less shallow search for happiness and meaning.

GM: Tell me what you’re most passionate and concerned about. AH: As I mentioned before, at HuffPost we’re doing a great deal around the theme of “Redefining Success: The Third Metric.” This is a great moment for all of us to acknowledge that the current maledominated model of success—which equates success with burnout,

GM: Do you have any tools to engage young people? Do you have anything to say to them?

GM: How do you use your platform as a writer to spread the word about ways people can instigate positive change? AH: For too long, reporters for the big media outlets have been fixated on novelty, always moving too quickly on to the next big score or the next hot get. Paradoxically, in these days of instant communication and sixty-minute news cycles, it’s actually easier to miss information we might otherwise pay attention to. That’s why we need stories to be covered and re-covered, until they filter up enough to become part of the cultural bloodstream. That’s what I try to do as a writer and as the editor of HuffPost: cover important stories in an obsessive way that enables them to break through the din of our multimedia universe. We are also driven by a commitment to transparency, and to uncovering the truth, wherever it may lead us.

GM: What is the hardest part about your job? AH: Doing it and getting at least seven hours of sleep at the same time!

GM: Why do you do what you do? AH: The chance to work with our amazing team of reporters and editors, a truly global group now, since we have editors on four continents. The chance to cover stories that deserve more attention and get people engaged.

GM: Was there a turning point in your life? AH: I came to the realization that I wasn’t living my life properly the hard way. About five years ago, I fainted from exhaustion. I hit my head on my desk. I broke my cheekbone and got four stitches on my right eye. It started me on this journey of rediscovering sleep and balance, and integrating my life. I think everyone should stop and reassess their lives before you hit your head on your desk.

GM: What do you believe in? AH: That we’re more than just our job titles or our list of professional accomplishments.



never have fear, but that you don’t let your fears stop you. My mother also taught

About five years ago, I fainted from exhaustion. I hit my head on my desk. I broke my cheekbone and got four stitches on my right eye. It started me on LEADERS

this journey of rediscovering sleep and balance, and integrating my life.

GM: What has life taught you? AH: The advice I would give to my younger self is very, very simple: Stop burning the candle at both ends and renew your estranged relationship with sleep. You will be more productive, more effective, more creative, and more likely to enjoy your life.

GM: What do you hope for? AH: That the next generation will remake the world in a way that allows us to live in a more sustainable way, both personally and globally.

GM: What is the thing that is most in your heart right now? AH: The need to redefine success. We now have nearly 70 million Americans with high blood pressure, which triples your chances of heart disease. Even though this is incredibly costly to employers—one study estimates that businesses spend 200% to 300% more on indirect health care costs in the form of sick days and lower productivity than they do on direct health care payments—the current system is set up to encourage this kind of literal self-destruction. Our current definition of success encourages burning the candle at both ends, resulting in these health issues. Until this changes, millions and millions of Americans will continue to pay a heavy price.

GM: What does vulnerability mean to you? AH: Realizing and accepting that failure is an integral part of life and that perfection is not of this world.

GM: What inspires you most? AH: I was raised in Athens by a father who was a newspaper editor, and I grew up on the romance of journalism. In a way, I am still pursuing that dream every day. As for the Huffington Post, bringing together people from different parts of my life and facilitating interesting conversations


has always been part of my Greek DNA. From the beginning, the whole point of the Huffington Post was to take the sort of conversations found at water coolers and around dinner tables (about politics and art and books and food and sex), open them up, and bring them online.

GM: What do you do to stay balanced, mind, body, and spirit? AH: Meditation, yoga, and spending time with my daughters. If they’re out of town, calling, emailing, texting. And then shutting off all my devices.

GM: Do you practice any kind of yoga or meditation? AH: I’ve always said that I think one of the best and cheapest ways to become healthier and happier is through mindfulness exercises like meditation. According to Mark Williams, a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford and expert in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, after nine weeks of training, participants in a mindfulness program had “an increased sense of purpose and had fewer feelings of isolation and alienation, along with decreased symptoms of illness as diverse as headaches, chest pain, congestion, and weakness.” I always try to practice what I preach. I meditate for fifteen minutes every day and do yoga several times a week.

GM: What is one of the best decisions you ever made? AH: One of my big milestones came when I turned forty and promised myself to stop worrying about all the things I thought I might do, but never really would. I was very relieved when I realized that you can actually complete a project by dropping it. That’s how I “completed” learning to cook and learning German, becoming a good skier, and a list of other things too long to recite!

GM: What are some of your most cherished accomplishments? AH: My daughters, Christina and Isabella, have always been a huge priority for me. Being a mother is the role I’m most proud of.

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10 Top Tech Mavericks tell us what drives them and why. Let us take a page from their tablet and learn from their example, shall we?



TONY FADELL. Palo Alto. Founder. CEO. Nest.

When I encounter a problem—something that’s not quite right with a product—I enjoy breaking it down in my mind and exploring possible alternative solutions: Why this? Why not that? I apply the latest in technology and design to reinvent that product and solve my frustrations. That’s what led to the creation of the Nest Learning Thermostat. Before Nest, thermostat offerings were abysmal to use. I became curious as to why there’d been so little innovation. Why was it the same product as when I was a kid? When I found out that thermostats control 10% of U.S. energy consumption—or 50% of a typical home’s energy usage—and that a properly programmed thermostat could save 20%, I knew I had to tackle the problem. It was too big and too important to ignore for families, and for our environment. At Nest, we see many other home products that are ripe for innovation and have the potential to make a real difference in people’s lives.












San Francisco. Co-founder. CEO. Path.

San Francisco. Founder. CEO. Brit + Co.

Los Angeles. CEO. Mobile Roadie.

Simple and intuitive design is what inspires and drives me. Ever since I interacted with my first Macintosh, I’ve been in awe of how design influences and impacts user experience. Getting there isn’t easy, though. It takes time and dedication to get to simplicity. Simplicity is about clarity of thought and being willing to stay in a problem long enough to come to a solution, though it could be right in front of you. Once you have the final product, you know the battle and journey was worth it.

What drives me is truly inspiring people to realize they can live more creative and simple lives. A favorite part of my day is seeing our users interact with our ideas and with one another. I especially love when users share pictures of the projects they’ve created. It’s so encouraging to talk with them about their ideas, experiences, and successes.

Historically, technology has been complex and feared by the “common man.” I love creating companies that bring down the barrier and make highimpact technology simple and accessible to all. I don’t believe people should have to be able to code to have technology improve their lives or their businesses.




I believe technology is most “ effective when you don’t notice that it’s there, and this drives my thinking every day. — MICHAEL SNEIDER

Technology has the potential to cure many issues in the world, from political conflict (making communication more open and transparent) to health care (greater access to information and real time data) to marketing one’s business. Thirty years ago, many technology solutions required specialists who spoke a “different language” and cost much more than the average person could afford. Today, with the democratization of technology, a fifteen-year-old kid in his garage has access to more tools and has more ability to get his message out than a large corporation did thirty years ago. I am proud to be able to contribute to the democratization of technology and to the empowerment of “normal” people in their use of sophisticated technology that improves their lives. I believe technology is most effective when you don’t notice that it’s there, and this drives my thinking every day.





I’m motivated by solving new and challenging problems, especially ones that people say can’t or shouldn’t be tackled. What drives me is the prospect of turning an obstacle into a business opportunity, and then growing that into something lasting and rewarding. When I was in high school, I loved paintball. I saved up my allowances and started my own paintball supply company. Everyone thought I was just some obsessed kid, but today the company is one of the biggest paintball suppliers in Canada. Later, I was told I had to go to business school to succeed. I gave it a shot, but eventually dropped out to bootstrap a restaurant with just a Visa card and a $20,000 line of credit. Everyone told me restaurants were hard work (and they were right! I have so much respect for anyone in the restaurant business). I ran the restaurant for two years, sold a franchise, decided to change paths, and sold the whole operation at a modest profit. That winter, I bought a fancy computer and taught myself to code. In less than a year, I had started my own digital marketing agency, without formal training or a university degree. It was a tough slough, but eventually it became more and more viable, and ultimately spawned HootSuite. Everyone told me you can’t build a major tech company in Canada. There just aren’t enough investors or engineers or top-level managers. Each day, I’m driven to prove them wrong. We have over 300 employees and are well on our way to building a multi-billion-dollar company. It’s fitting that HootSuite is built around social media, which a few years ago so many people insisted was just a fad. Today, it’s displacing the phone and email as the most critical business tool. I’m happy to be along for the ride.





I have a “ romance with knowledge. ” — JERRY MURDOCK

MIKE McCUE. Bay Area. CEO. Flipboard.

What drives me? Surrounding myself with amazing talent to craft a breakthrough product which can be used by millions of people to change the world. Ever since I first used a computer in the early ‘80s, I’ve thought of it as a fundamentally new medium for the dissemination of ideas which can transform people’s lives and the society we live in. Today, when you combine the web with the iPad, you have the most advanced medium for human thought and communication ever created. It was for this medium that my team and I created Flipboard, a personalized magazine you can fill with all the things you love: news from around the world and from the industry you work in; photos from your closest friends and family; videos and articles about the hobby you love; and much more. It’s as if all the editors of Time magazine worked for you to put together a uniquely informative magazine, ready to read anytime you wanted. With our latest release, you can even create your own magazine focused on whatever you’re most passionate about, then publish it to the world. There are now three million custom magazines, ranging from Everest—a magazine dedicated to anyone interested in extreme mountaineering—to Non Trivial, a magazine chronicling scientific breakthroughs that are bound to advance the world we live in.


JERRY MURDOCK. Aspen. Co-founder. Insight Venture Partners.

I have a romance with knowledge. I am passionately drawn to understand how things work and, more importantly, how might things work. This is what attracts me to helping entrepreneurs. If they want to change the world then I want to connect with that vision and try to help make it happen. I often travel to distant lands and into the rubble of lost cultures to try to experience the ideas that are still present in the monuments and cities left behind by our ancestors. I try to comprehend what was valid in their concepts of being human, and what the real constraints of human potential are, not merely the arbitrary ones. We may glean some wisdom from that which has been expressed in the patina of thought and genius still to be discovered in the collage of artifacts from antiquity, which we call history.

With nearly 100 million readers of Flipboard and a truly inspiring team of people, I am one highly motivated individual.

Being an investor is to engage in risk, which is my expression of belief that an entrepreneur’s innovation can improve the way we live. To work with an entrepreneur is, for me, like working with a modern-age Prometheus. Helping in their quest to “steal fire” from the gods is what I love most. Lucian wrote of Prometheus: “I felt the gods were lacking with no one to oppose them.” This is the attitude of the entrepreneur who also challenges the gods. While it may seem bold, it is what lifts up humanity and gives us hope when the newspapers would suggest otherwise.




10 Top Tech Mavericks tell us what drives them and why. 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

8 EV WILLIAMS. San Francisco. Founder. Medium.

I create systems that are part technology, part human, mostly on the internet. A great system is one that is fundamentally simple but, when used by lots of people, causes unexpected and powerful things to happen. My specialty has been enabling people to express themselves and share information, previously with Blogger and Twitter. Today, I’m working on Medium, which is a new platform for stories and ideas.

9 ALEX WELCH. Cherry Hills Village. CEO. Co-founder. Lasso Media. Former CEO. Co-founder. Photobucket.


My passion is building products that simplify life, while giving joy to the people around us. Each morning I wake up and think about what I hope to accomplish that day and who the people are that will be affected by the decisions I make. Throughout the day, I try to discern the emotions and curiosities I feel as I perform each task. I constantly ask myself if there could be an easier way to accomplish the same thing, or would my reaction be better if it was done differently. I get great satisfaction watching people use the products we build, give amazing feedback, and help evolve ideas into realities. I have learned that if I only watch and listen, the answers are usually right in front of me. I feel my purpose in life is to recognize my strengths and apply myself in such a way that makes life better for the people around me. This is what drives me.



Our world needs great ideas and stories more than ever to solve the complex problems we’ve caused ourselves. We don’t need more information per se, but more knowledge and creativity. We also need to listen to each other and to work together. One of our goals with Medium is to enable people to work together to create better things than they could on their own. To get out of our me-centric, media-saturated world of endless clicks and shallow headlines, to be a bit more thoughtful for a few minutes each day. I believe technology is ultimately just a magnifier of our powers, which are driven by our desires. It can have both positive and negative consequences. My hope is to nudge things in the right direction.


I have learned “ that if I only watch and listen, the answers are usually right in front of me.




FRASER HALL. Vancouver. Co-founder. Chairman. Recon Instruments. Co-founder. Director. Bryght.com. Captain. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

What gets me out of bed in the morning is the pursuit of opportunities that have a positive effect on my surroundings. I’m sure I’m not unique in this thinking, but I push hard to keep striving in this direction. I try to divide my time between the pursuit of business endeavors and the defense of the world’s oceans. I’ve had the good fortune to start a couple of very exciting tech companies. One in the new and explosive wearable computing space, creating heads-up display eyewear, and another in the rapidly growing online retail furniture space. Equally, however, I devote considerable effort to quenching my thirst to improve the world and defend those who are the victims of our seemingly insatiable appetite for resources. I spent five years at sea working to protect oceans, and I continue to take time to return to sea to command Sea Shepherd vessels on worldwide ocean defense campaigns. I would love to say that I go to sea solely to save the lives of ocean inhabitants, but having the opportunity to stand up for international maritime law and see change effected in front of my eyes is very gratifying, and a reward in itself.





A Pioneer for the Environment, Clean Energy, Women’s Rights, and Ending War. To Shape a Better World, He Helped Create the UN Foundation with a Historic $1 Billion Donation. Meet the Ted Turner You May Not Know.


Ted Turner: I suppose some of that was true when I was younger. I have a plaque on my desk that says “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” That’s good advice. There is no time to waste. During the America’s Cup, every second saved counted to cross the finish line first. I was pretty young when I figured out that tying shoes could waste up to three years of my life, so I don’t wear shoes that have laces. You have to study things carefully and be efficient. SR: Do you attribute this kind of thinking to your success? What about luck?

TT: I see things and opportunities others don’t, or they see them but don’t act. Everybody thought CNN was impossible. Ha, they were wrong! But I studied the situation very carefully and worked hard. Do that, make your decision, and take a calculated risk if you want to get anything done in this world. Luck? My office is on Luckie Street.

I was pretty young when I figured out that tying shoes could waste up to three years of my life, so I don’t wear shoes that have laces. You have to study things carefully and be efficient. women, for addressing climate change. They will change the conversation, I have no doubt. They are organizing a Summit this fall: one hundred women leaders representing fifty countries, focusing only on climate change action, sustainability, and building a global women’s climate action movement. If only women ran for public office for the next one hundred years, we would have a safer, cleaner, healthier, more peaceful world. Violence against women and (Mother) Earth is barbaric. We know better.

freedom of the press, anyone who wants to volunteer can stay. Almost everyone stayed. The war was in real time on CNN. It was only being talked about on the other networks. That’s when CNN turned the corner. SR: You own two million acres, an area the size of Delaware. What drew you to the West, and what is your favorite place?

TT: The Gulf War. The President called our CEO and said we had to get our people out

TT: My favorite place is Planet Earth. I’ve been from the Arctic to the rainforests to the equator to the desert. I have been in over seventy countries. I grew up in the Southeast. I discovered the West in my forties. There were no ticks, chiggers, and fleas; few deer or horse flies, and it was big country, enough to grow bison. I felt free. One of my favorite songs is “Don’t Fence Me In.”

of there. Colin Powell called and said we had to get our people out of there. Tom Johnson, our CEO, called me and I said, “No.” Under

SR: You have 55,000 bison, which is hard to imagine. What sparked your interested in bison?

SR: What is your most memorable moment at CNN?

SR: What inspired you to become passionate about social, environmental, and women’s issues?

TT: What inspires me is that the humanity which produced the Mona Lisa also created the atom bomb, and dropped it. We have choices. Several years ago, I created a bumper sticker, “Save the Humans.” Recently, I changed it to “Save Everything.” Bottom line: show me another planet that we know about that has what we have. Nuclear disarmament, the environment, protecting species from extinction, improving the health of children, equal rights for women, and eradicating diseases are all issues about life. Who can be against that? SR: You were supporting women’s rights almost before women were championing themselves. Why women?

TT: Yes, that’s true, for over forty years. Women are half of humanity. I marched in 1978 in Washington, D.C., with Gloria Steinem, for the Equal Rights Amendment. I have championed stopping genital mutilation for decades. At the UN Foundation we have a campaign called “Girl Up.” No matter where girls live, they should have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. I recently became the first Founder Circle member of the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative (IWECI). It is one of the most exciting efforts by women, for



Sally Ranney: People often think of you as a swashbuckling, off-the-cuff risktaker. What are your thoughts about this characterization?


The issues I care about shouldn’t be partisan. I am a conservative Independent. What is more conservative than wanting an end to war and the killing of millions of innocent people?

TT: When I was a kid, I was fascinated by animals, and bison in particular. Once 30 million roamed the Great Plains, then they were killed to starve out the Native Americans and to sell the hides in Europe to be used as conveyor belts during the industrial revolution. When it was all over, only two-hundred remained. I wanted to bring them back. To do that I needed a lot of land. I started with three bison—two females and a bull. Each of the cows had a calf, so I almost doubled my herd. I thought, ok, this is pretty easy! SR: You were the inspiration behind the Giving Pledge—billionaires pledging to give away, upon their death or before they die, one-half of their fortunes. Why have you given away such extraordinary amounts of money in proportion to your income?

TT: I have always really wanted to make the world a better, safer place. I decided I should make the money first. So when I had $10 billion, I gave $1 billion to the UN, and started the foundations. Then I lost $8 billion and had to economize. But it isn’t only about giving money; it is also about giving your time. I serve on a UN committee to end poverty, the Ocean Elders, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, for example. I am seventy-four years old and want to do as much as I can while I still can.


SR: You were a pioneer investor in solar energy. Are you still involved?

TT: We developed a 250-acre solar installation a few years ago with Southern Company, one of the largest utilities in the country. It generates enough energy to serve approximately 9,000 homes. We are now partners again on a project that powers over 100,000 homes. Fossil fuels have to be phased out if we are going to have a livable planet for our grandchildren. SR: You’ve talked about nuclear disarmament for thirty years, and founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). What prompted you to invest so much time and effort on this issue?

TT: A nuclear war could destroy us in an afternoon. At almost every speech or appearance, I ask the audience, “Who wants to bomb their neighbor, the great museums and cities of the world, innocent children, our beautiful parks?” Nobody raises their hand! War is obsolete. Let’s put it behind us once and for all. SR: You say you are an Independent, but the issues in which you are involved are cast as liberal causes.

TT: The issues I care about shouldn’t be partisan. I am a conservative Independent. What is more conservative than wanting

an end to war and the killing of millions of innocent people? What is more conservative than helping save people from hunger, poverty, and disease? What is more conservative than taking the stewardship of your planet and its resources seriously, so it is protected and in good shape for future generations? SR: Who are the men and women you most admire?

TT: Jane Goodall, Wangari Maathai (now deceased), Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Nafis Sadik, Gloria Steinem. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and my father. SR: On a scale of one to ten, what do you think the odds are that humanity will be able to solve the huge challenges like climate change and nuclear disarmament?

TT: I look at it like a baseball game. We are in the seventh inning. We have two more innings to go. The score is tied and the bases are loaded, but the game’s not over. Jacques Cousteau told me many years ago—when I asked him how can we know that what we are doing will save the world, save us?—He said “even if we don’t know, and there is no way we can be certain, what else are people of good conscience to do?”

Never go into business purely to make money. If that’s the motive, you’re better off doing nothing. SIR RICHARD BRANSON


The 2013

SOCIAL GOOD SUMMIT A new generation of leaders, with an unprecedented amount of connectivity and a drive for social impact, is taking its seat at the table. A gathering of world leaders, technology pioneers, grassroots activists and engaged citizens, is centered on the future and what we can do about it: #2030NOW.

Presented by the United Nations Foundation, 92Y, Mashable, UN Development Programme, Ericsson, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation




Inspiration. Collaboration. Action. Bush: CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, on the front lines of Health Equality and a Human Rights Champion for Marriage Equality.

Maranda Pleasant: Can you tell us what Global Health Corps is? Barbara Bush.: What we do at Global Health Corps is mobilize, train, and place young leaders to serve for a year in the field of global health. Mothers to Mothers is one of our partners. Different nonprofits or government agencies that work in communities right now in East Africa, Southern Africa, and the U.S., host our fellows to work for a year. What we’re trying to do is bring new talent and new leadership and new human capital to the field of public health, so that there’s more manpower at the table, working on solving these problems. Our program is very much focused on human power. So many young people want to work on social change issues. We’re lucky that many of them are interested in global health. We feel like that’s a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of this passion and interest. It’s essentially a year-long fellowship. Throughout the year, we train our fellows on understanding advocacy and policy change. Most importantly, we connect our fellows together throughout the year, so they are embodying the idea that you should be reaching across sectors, cultures, and issues, to work together to create solutions and get work done, instead of assuming that this is the status quo and we can’t get past so many health issues. MP: What is it that drives you? BB: Good question! What drives and motivates me is the other people that I’m around. My work with Global Health Corps is focused on people. I get to work with amazing young people who are choosing to use their life and skills to tackle huge problems. For me, that’s a motivation—to seek other people as inspiration, and choose to see inspiration in what other people do

and the choices that they make. I’m interested in global health issues, so I find it unbelievably motivating to see other people that are not sitting back, but stepping up and doing something about health problems that they see every day. MP: Is there something in particular that makes you so passionate about your work with Global Health Corps? BB: I got interested in global health, from seeing injustices where you feel like the problems are so big, you can’t do anything about them. I initially realized that I could work on global health issues when I was young, in college. It was when the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief was being launched. I was really lucky that I got to travel along for the launch in five countries in East Africa. PEPFAR was providing free access to the drugs that people needed so that they could actually live. At the time, we had had those drugs in the United States for several years. Landing in Uganda or Nigeria and seeing lines of people that were dying—they were absolutely dying. They were waiting for something that people didn’t even realize was a luxury in other countries. I ended up talking to so many people there, and of course being struck by the fact that they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was there with my mom, sitting with many other moms with their daughters who were born HIV- positive. It was one of those moments of realizing, I’m here with my mom—we have the same relationship that these moms and daughters do, but their futures are so uncertain right now because they can’t get the drugs that they need. Of course, there’s so much science and medicine that goes into global health issues, but there’s so much more. It was about people having access to what they deserved to live a healthy life. There’s so much


The UN’s Millennium Development Goals are about to expire, and new goals are being made. It’s so important to have youth voices in the creation of these goals. Younger people are going to be the ones that ensure these goals are met.

work and so much problem-solving that can be done. That’s where I initially realized I wanted to work on global health issues. I live in New York. I have friends in various walks of life in New York, and many struggling with HIV in the United States. The beauty is that we can do something about it. We know how to treat and prevent HIV and so many other health issues. Why aren’t we doing everything that we can? Now there’s not an excuse. You can’t say that there’s an excuse because we don’t understand treating the issue or understand the illness and virus. We have the magic of understanding, around HIV particularly. MP: Can you tell me about your work with the United Nations Foundation? BB: The Social Good Summit is bringing so many different ways of thinking and enormous energy to creating social change. They have a very multi-discipline, multi-sector approach, with a huge tech emphasis. That, to me, is very exciting. It’s bringing different people to the table than who you traditionally see in development and aid work. Intuitively, when you get different voices, you get different solutions. With the UN Foundation and the Global Entrepreneurs Council, it’s very much based on the same idea. They are all coming from very different backgrounds. Many are coming from the tech sector, some are coming from retail luxury brands. It’s bringing young people that have excelled and exceeded in the work they wanted to do initially, in terms of problem-solving or building companies. It’s bringing them to the table to work on huge issues. Not to generalize, but oftentimes people think of the UN as a very established institution. I love that they’re reaching out to people from very different walks of life and sectors, to leverage the expertise or brain power that they have, and apply it to huge problems.

We’re specifically focused on engaging youth voices. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals are about to expire, and new goals are being made. It’s so important to have youth voices in the creation of these goals. Younger people are going to be the ones that ensure these goals are met. MP: What can we do to support your work? BB: We’re a new organization. We just launched our fifth class of 106 fellows. We accepted 2% of our applicants, which is exciting because it shows so many young people want to work on global health issues. But we want to grow. For us to do so, it means engaging partners that will financially support our fellows. The world is creating goals around what it wants to see. Everybody should realize that it’s their responsibility to contribute to this broader conversation. The GEC has been working on an online platform called MY World, which is essentially trying to grab other voices and make sure that they’re being listened to. MP: I am so inspired. Thank you so much. GHCORPS.ORG




AL GORE The Most Important Truth. The Power of Your Own Voice. Challenging the Denial of the Climate Crisis and Our Hacked Democratic Process. Former Vice President and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit devoted to solving the climate crisis.

Maranda Pleasant: What are you passionate about? Al Gore: I feel passionate about solving the climate crisis. We are putting 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every single day. I think this is by far the most pressing challenge to the survival of human civilization as we know it. But I’m also passionate about restoring the efficacy of American democracy, making capitalism sustainable, prioritizing advances in technology, and seizing the opportunities to use that kind of innovation to help usher in a new economy that doesn’t rely on carbonspewing fossil fuels. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? AG: Help us solve the climate crisis. Believe in the power of your own voice. The more noise you make, the more accountability you demand from your leaders, the more our world will change for the better. Political will is a renewable resource, and everyone can have it in abundance if they so choose. MP: Tell us about your latest projects and why they’re so important to you. AG: Although I have a variety of obligations,


the climate crisis is my central concern. That’s why I work with the nonprofit I founded and chair, the Climate Reality Project, to share the science of climate change, tell stories of how climate change affects each of us as individuals, and call out the deniers and

Help us solve the climate crisis. Believe in the power of your own voice. those who profit by keeping us addicted to dirty fuels. This past summer alone, I was honored to hold two separate Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings in Istanbul and Chicago. We trained nearly 2,000 new local leaders to bring the reality of climate change

to their communities and inspire action. Upcoming trainings will be in Brazil and South Africa. MP: How can we all get involved to make an impact? AG: When it comes to climate, we can all make a big difference. At the most basic level, don’t let denial go unchallenged and win the conversation on climate. Additionally, making consumer choices that reward eco-friendly products and companies is a great way to start. You can also push your local communities to adopt more sustainable sources of energy and environmentally-friendly practices. But remember that the problem is bigger than the car you drive or the types of lightbulbs in city hall. We need a fundamental shift away from dirty fossil fuels that spew carbon pollution. To make that happen, we need to put pressure on our leaders to take the bold actions necessary to move us off dirty sources of energy. We need to put a price on carbon. This needs to be a priority for all of us in how we vote. The choice has never been so stark. MP: What truth do you know for sure? AG: The truth is that climate change is presenting the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. The truth is that we’re at a critical





The most important truth is that we are capable of stopping climate change before the worst of its consequences are locked in. juncture in the history of our species and if we don’t act soon, we could inhabit a world we don’t recognize anymore. But the most important truth is that we are capable of stopping climate change before the worst of its consequences are locked in. The solutions exist—all we need is the will to do something about it. MP: Any other cause or organizations that you are passionate about? AG: I was honored to serve as an elected official for twenty-four years of my life. But right now, I believe our democratic processes have been hacked. They are not serving the best interests of the American public. I am a passionate advocate of getting special interest money out of politics. The constant drive for campaign dollars has distorted decisionmaking in Washington, DC, to the point where our systems can no longer effectively address complex, long-term problems like the climate crisis. Which brings me to my other major concern—the short-term focus of capitalism. It distorts the allocation of resources and the decision-making processes of companies. I work to promote the idea of sustainable capitalism driven by long-term considerations rather than quarterly profits, which seeks to better people’s lives and the planet rather than destroy them. MP: Why are you a part of the Social Good Summit? AG: Last year, I used the Social Good Summit to announce our twenty-four-hour live-streamed event, 24 Hours of Reality, to the world. At this year’s Summit, we’ll debut the format for this year’s program. This summit is unique in how it brings together the leading minds in technology and social justice to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues. The talent, passion, and commitment exemplified by the speakers and attendees is phenomenal. I’m looking forward to harnessing these great minds to catalyze action to solve the climate crisis.



President & CEO of United Nations Foundation

Rockstar for Good. Hero for Youth. Passionate Advocate for Multi-sector Problem-solving, U.S. Leadership on Global Issues, and the Inclusion of Women at all Levels in all Sectors. She leads one of the most innovative organizations advocating for the UN and the creation of public-private partnerships. UNFOUNDATION.ORG 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Maranda Pleasant: What is it that drives you to make a difference?

different way. We know it, but we need to make sure other people hear it.

Kathy Calvin: I’m a positive person who likes to see things get done. For me, it’s a matter of being involved in a situation where people can come together with their own skills, resources, talents, and assets, and add them all together and make a change somewhere. We created the Foundation to become an institution that isn’t necessarily pitching one issue, but is pitching the opportunity for people to share their talents and passion, and work together to get something done. Collaboration gets me excited. Global is a unifying bond for people. Once they get outside their own heads and their own communities and see themselves in a broader framework, it really changes their sense of what they can get done. It all adds up for us.

MP: Can you tell us what the United Nation Foundation does, and what your vision is? KC: I’ll start with a simple statement about Ted Turner, who was a great innovator and a great believer in the global community, and who felt like the UN was the most significant institution in our generation. He wanted to put

children around the world so other mothers can see their children grow up. These are real issues, with stories told in ways that people can really understand. It’s hard to understand these issues when you’re just reading about a problem. When you get to see a solution, you start to get a picture. Oh, those women are using mobile phones to get information about when they should take their baby into the clinic to have a vaccination—they can see that as a solution

MP: What is your personal passion, something close to your heart? KC: Women and girls have been my passion for my whole life. I was deeply involved in helping create the International Women’s Media Foundation. When the Berlin Wall fell and suddenly all those countries had burgeoning democracies, women were still being left out. The big turning point, about ten years ago, was moving from a notion of empowering women to actually looking at where you can make the most difference, and it’s in a girl’s life. If you can get to a girl and make a difference in her life, you’re actually going to have a greater impact on a woman’s life. If you don’t get to her as a girl, you may not be able to ever help her as a woman. Thinking about a twelve-year-old girl and what it would take to change her life, and then her family’s life, and her community’s life—it’s a driving passion to wake up every morning and be thinking about those girls out there who we’re touching through delaying child marriage, making sure they get to stay in school, or giving them their first doctor’s appointment when they’re twelve rather than when they’re pregnant. It’s a movement. It brings girls themselves into the discussion, because they care about other girls. MP: There’s a study that says if you put women on your board, it shows a fiscal gain and company growth. It just makes sense in every way. KC: It’s true that we know those things, but sometimes it’s who we hear them from that matters. Part of our goal is to bring new voices to the table. If you hear it from a different source or a source you don’t expect to hear it from—“Oh, it’s another woman leader, of course she’s saying that”—but if you hear it from Paul Polman or Nigel Barker, you might hear it in a somewhat

If you can get to a girl and make a difference in her life, you’re actually going to have a greater impact on a woman’s life. If you don’t get to her as a girl, you may not be able ever to help her as a woman. his money where his beliefs were and support the UN, but just giving money to the UN wasn’t a good answer. Creating a foundation that could leverage his money, bring others together to help the UN solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, and encourage and support the UN, were things that the UN was looking for. The Foundation very simply serves as a platform to connect people and resources and ideas with the UN. We do it in a way that makes it fun for people, whether it’s the Nothing But Nets campaign, where kids send $10 to send a bed net to save a life; or the Girl Up Campaign, where the girls are championing issues that affect girls around the world; or Shot@Life, where mom bloggers are taking on the issue of why we should be vaccinating

to a problem they didn’t necessarily know existed, which is that women are isolated, they are far from clinics, they don’t know what is required to make sure their babies are healthy. Suddenly there is a phone, and they really understand that phones are powerful at providing information. For us, this is all about a new kind of philanthropy: change not charity and solution-based, not problem-based. MP: What is the importance of the Social Good Summit? KC: The UN is able to bring the world’s greatest experts together to talk about those problems and solutions, and we thought, how do we open these doors and take this


The resilience and the resourcefulness of people to make a better life, to survive, to give their children something better than they had, is so inspiring. I look at how hard it must be to get up every day and fight that battle and I think, Wow, anything I’m doing just has to be in service. conversation into a wider arena, where technology people, issue advocates, influential minds, can come together to unlock some of the potential of new media and technology? The 92Y—what a great partner—had pretty much the same vision. Mashable was such a smart partner. They really understood the power of the short message, the short interview, the seven-minute talk, to get people jazzed and let them take it from there. Every year, it’s gotten bigger and bigger. Last year we partnered with UNDP to take it global. The energy just feeds on itself. We are always thinking, what are the things people will be talking about next year that we should be putting into the mix at the Social Good Summit this year? That led us to the theme of this year, which is “2030.” What do we need to do to make 2030 the best it can be? How can we build a plan? What do we need to do now to get that done? Who needs to be at the table? MP: What inspires you? Is there something that keeps you hopeful? KC: I’m inspired by the resilience of people around the world. It’s harder to be a poor person than anything else. Muhammad Yunus reminds us that being poor is not like being a victim. Being poor means that you don’t have one resource. The resilience and the resourcefulness of people to make a better life, to survive, to give their children something better than they had, is so inspiring. I look at how hard it must be to get up every day and fight that battle and I think, Wow, anything I’m doing just has to be in service. One of the things that people aren’t aware of is how much progress is being made in eradicating poverty and providing a healthier life and longevity for people around the world. Two decades ago, the number of children who died every year was almost double what it is now; the number of women who were dying in childbirth was almost double what it is now; ten years ago the number of people dying from malaria was double. We’re seeing real progress. We’re seeing the countries themselves take this on and own it for their people. We’re seeing really great local advocates, improved governance. The world is addressing these challenges together. If anything, the next ten, fifteen years are going to be totally exciting.



Co-founder of Warby Parker, former director of VisionSpring, recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and is one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.

Neil Blumenthal


Maranda Pleasant: What are your main sources of inspiration?


Neil Blumenthal: I’m attracted to big problems. I’m inspired by solutions. After school, I traveled to the Netherlands to do some coursework in negotiation and conflict resolution, and then returned to my home town of New York to work in a think tank that came up with policies to resolve deadly conflict. I met this eye doctor, Jordan Kassalow, who had the idea to train low-income women to start their own businesses giving eye exams and selling glasses in their communities.


MP: Can you talk about your One-for-One program?

NB: 800 years since the invention of glasses, still 15% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to them. We want to work towards ensuring that everybody has access to affordable glasses. For every pair

that we sell, we distribute one to someone in need, in a really thoughtful way. It’s not just about parachuting in and giving away a bunch of free glasses, then leaving. It’s about working with nonprofits, like VisionSpring, that have staff on the ground, that can basically train entrepreneurs to start their own businesses selling those glasses—often just for a few dollars, whatever the community can afford. It avoids creating a culture of dependence that sometimes giving away stuff for free can do. It creates jobs and ensures that this is going to work on an ongoing basis. It’s one the most effective poverty alleviation tools on the planet. Unfortunately, nobody is really talking about it. We’ve also launched a collaboration with donorschoose.org. It’s a web platform where public school teachers can ask for money for supplies. When people buy a pair of Warby Parker Donors Choose sunglasses, it will come with a $30 gift card. You pick a school project of your choice and donate $30 for every $95 pair of sunglasses.


MP: Can you tell us about your work with the United Nations?


NB: The United Nations Foundation is touching the lives of millions of people. For me, it was a privilege to join a group that we could help have a big impact. The UN Foundation has been really thoughtful about pushing innovation and entrepreneurship. As the Global Entrepreneurs Council, we’re working towards elevating the youth voice globally. If there’s one group in this world that’s very underrepresented in the centers of power, it’s youth. We’re entering a period where 50% of the world’s population is going to be under thirty. It’s really important that we think about youth and how we can empower them to do great things, ensure that they’re employed, and ensure that they’re being considered. As we develop the next Millennium Development Goals, how do we ensure that youth voices are represented? The Global Entrepreneurs Council is working closely with staff at the UN and the UN Foundation to help do that. WARBYPARKER.COM


HELEN CLARK Helen Clark has been a fixture on the Forbes Power Women list since her term as Prime Minister of New Zealand. She is the first woman to head the UN Development Programme and is responsible for leading the UN’s development activities in over 170 countries worldwide. She is a tireless advocate for women’s empowerment, particularly in developing nations. 72 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Helen Clark: Hi there, Helen Clark on the line. Maranda Pleasant: Hi, Helen, how are you? HC: I’m good, thank you. MP: I actually lived in New Zealand when you were Prime Minister, so I’m very fond of you. HC: Oh, thank you! What were you doing down there? MP: We had three projects that we were filming. I was in Auckland for a year, and did some work with the arts program in Christchurch. If my memory serves me, you were Minister of the Arts and Prime Minister at the same time. HC: That is correct, that is correct.

the government fell, there’s been a state of anarchy. How do you help a country like that start to walk the road back to something that has some basis of law and order and constitutionality? What about getting Mali back together? What about the ongoing recovery in Haiti? What about Afghanistan? What about Somalia? What about the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Those things obviously preoccupy us. I’m spelling out the areas of the world where we have our biggest programs.

young mothers—the sixteen-year-old mother with a two-year-old and a baby coming to the feeding center, small and undernourished herself, and fighting for the food for her children, walking a long way to get this help. A few miles down the road, we saw the village where there’d been support to put in a dam. People were growing vegetables. If you’ve got the water, you can live, you can grow, you can feed your animals. You see some very distressing scenes, but you also see ways ahead, and we have to focus on the ways ahead.

The third area is the countries which are stable but have development needs. Those range from Botswana to Laos to Chile, where UNDP gets alongside those countries and operates in line with the national priorities they have for development. Then we make a difference.

MP: Do you see entrepreneurs and innovators as being a key part of solving a lot of these problems?

MP: I’ve never seen that before. HC: It was great. By the way, I saw a lot of great shows, too! MP: I saw you speak last year in New York, at the Social Good Summit. Why are you so passionate about the work that you do? HC: I only take on roles that I’m passionate about. Life is too short to do things that you’re not happy with. Of course, I believe in the United Nations. New Zealand was a founding member. We always saw ourselves as a very good global, multilateral citizen. I am passionate about it. Not a day to lose. MP: What are some of the biggest issues right now? HC: Millenium Development Goals have their target date of 2015. There’s a lot of unfinished business in the MDGs, because the MDGs target poverty from 1990-2015. A good deal has been achieved, but that still leaves about one billion people in poverty. Not every child, for example, is in school. There’s a huge debate about how we should set out the global development agenda that we’re all getting behind for beyond the end of 2015. Everyday business is, to an extent, what preoccupies the headlines. What more can we do to help the communities devastated by war in Syria? What about the people who’ve gone over the border? What more can we do to support the host communities in Lebanon and Jordan? What about the Central African Republic? The militia marching into town,

We need innovation. We need great ideas that can be simply and effectively produced all over the place.

HC: We need innovation. We need great ideas that can be simply and effectively produced all over the place. Part of our project to save the forest is about alternative livelihoods. You don’t just farm on unstable hillsides. You might have fish ponds in the valley, you might have beehives. We need a lot of thinking and ideas. We need all the innovators, particularly with the new sustainable technologies—how do we get them to affordability so that people can generate clean energy? Innovation applied across the board of development is having a huge impact, and can have more. All sorts of technology can provide shortcuts, can overcome obstacles which once seemed insuperable. MP: Can you explain what the United Nations Development Programme is?

HC: You have to care. A while back, I went to a hospital in a poor country. I was really quite distressed to go through a ward for children, which was so crowded. I did see six babies to a cot, each with distraught mothers. That I found quite distressing. You see the reality of something like that, and you know you have to keep plugging on.

HC: It’s a development agency with a mandate that runs across the three strands of sustainable development: the economic, the social, and the environmental, because they are all linked. It also has a very specific role in crisis prevention and recovery; prevention in the sense of preventing crisis in earthquakes and flooding and drought, but also in the sense of preventing crises from starting by putting in place the sort of measures that will get communities to sort out their differences peacefully, rather than through conflict. We work on governments, parliaments, open media, civil society, institutions, transparency, anti-corruption, and quality of public service. We are a general development agency with these very clear roles, and we have been powered by women and gender equality right across the map.

Last year, I went to Niger in West Africa, which had had a very bad harvest. The very

MP: I am so in awe of you. Thank you so much for your time.

MP: When you see this every day, does it affect you emotionally? Do you have a lot of hope for solutions?



Pete Cashmore of

MASHABLE Pete Cashmore founded Mashable in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, at the age of 19. Named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and one of Forbes’ 30 under 30, the entrepreneur’s passion is transforming human interactions and reshaping culture.

With 25 million monthly visitors and 6 million social media followers, Mashable is one of the largest, most engaged online communities, and has been hailed a “must-read site” by both Fast Company and PC Magazine.


Maranda Pleasant: Mashable is inspiring. Can you tell us what your vision is?


Pete Cashmore: Mashable is “the new site for the connected generation”—which is to say, there’s a lot of people now who spend a lot of time online, who are using technology and innovation to improve their own lives, talking about what’s new, what’s next, and how does it change your life. I wanted to get into technology and innovation, the stuff that was revolutionizing the world. We have this revolution that’s happening in our lifetime. The Information Revolution is changing absolutely every industry and every part of life and society and behavior. I was really excited about that, but I didn’t really have access. So I started a blog writing about what was happening in technology, especially in Silicon Valley. What were all the new developments and what did they mean to everybody else, everyone who wasn’t fueling technology but in all kinds of other industries? After six months to a year, I had a few million people following my site. I started thinking, maybe I should build this up, get more writers, get more people talking about this stuff. MASHABLE.COM MASHABLE.COM/SGS/ 74 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

What I try to do with Mashable is take technology, which can be very high level and can develop very quickly, and tell people what’s important, and tell it to them in a way that is very relatable, and talks about their lives instead of talking about tech jargon. That’s really been my passion: to communicate to a broad audience why the technology matters for you.


MP: Is there something that drives you every day when you wake up?


PC: Creating the future is incredibly exciting. When you talk about ideas and creativity, it’s really about having that vision in your mind of how the world could be better, of how it could be a brighter place. It’s that hope for the future and that expectation, that if we work at it through technology, through new ideas, the future might be a better place than the present.



MP: How many readers do you have per month on Mashable? PC: 25 million.

MP: Congratulations. Is there something that you feel Mashable has done that sets it apart from other sites?


PC: Social media sprung up maybe a year or two after Mashable really got going. I saw it as a huge opportunity. I thought, well, Twitter and Facebook are incredible ways to bring the community in. We’d go on those sites for feedback. It’s almost real-time feedback on how your community is reacting. That allowed us to really build a community that felt engaged with what we were doing, that felt like they were part of something bigger, rather than it was just a place where they would go and read whatever we said was the order of the day. Perhaps we more than other sites embraced social media. We saw it as the future of all technology, that everything would be connected and social and happen in a community.


MP: How do you think technology and social media can be used to impact the planet? What’s your motivation for being involved with the Social Good Summit and the United Nations?

then, the United Nations has also joined up and made it bigger and better every year. Early on, it was kind of a niche subject. It wasn’t established that social media and social good were hyper-connected. Over the years, it’s gained momentum. Where we really got a lot of momentum was in 2011, when we saw revolutions around the world going up on social media. We started seeing people actually understand that this was a proper thing. We are all more connected than ever. That connectivity builds tolerance. The more people you know from different backgrounds, the more tolerant you feel of different ways of living, and the closer you feel to the issues that those people have. That wasn’t always the case. You’d watch television news, you’d see some disaster, and it’d seem very remote and disconnected. You didn’t necessarily feel like it affected you directly; number two, you didn’t feel like you could help. Now, two things happen. One is, people know people, whether that’s on Facebook or Twitter. They feel closer to the event. Secondly, people see other people doing something about it. Around Haiti, there was a lot of fundraising going on on social media. You could text to a number and it would donate $10 automatically. When you see other people doing that, it makes you feel like, oh, I can actually make a difference, because everyone else is doing it. We saw here in New York, post-Sandy, people organizing around going to the affected areas, bringing supplies. That kind of coordination makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger and that you can actually make a difference.



MP: Thank you for organizing the Social Good Summit.

PC: It’s going to be an amazing line-up this year. I’m excited. We have this guy, Jack—he was 15 at the time he discovered this new test for pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer. I’m excited to hear him speak. We bring the very well-known names and business leaders and world leaders, but we also bring the kind of people who are doing amazing things and really bubbling up in the ecosystem, and really are going to make a difference in the future. We like to balance those two things. It’s always a great conference.

What I try to do with Mashable is take technology, which can be very high level and can develop very quickly, and tell people what’s important, and tell it to them in a way that is very relatable, and talks about their lives instead of talking about tech jargon. That’s really been my passion: to communicate to a broad audience why the technology matters for you.


PC: You have a responsibility when you have a large community. With the Social Good Summit, it’s an embryonic stemming of people starting to talk about nonprofits and charity on social media. We partnered with 92Y for that first one. Since




Maranda Pleasant: Tell me what you are passionate about. Bryn Mooser: David and I have spent the last decade on the ground in the developing world. I moved to Zimbabwe when I was sixteen, and I immediately fell in love with Africa and Zimbabwe. I got hooked on adventure and travel and helping out. I started working at an HIV clinic when I was seventeen. I learned then that I was really lucky to have grown up in the States, and I should try to give something back. When I came home I joined the Peace Corps and ended up in West Africa, where I first met David, who was living in Senegal. David Darg: I grew up the son of journalists in the Middle East. My early memories were being in bombed-out hotels in Beirut in the ‘80s. They did a lot of work in Africa, too, so I lived in Africa as a child. I wanted to get involved in a similar line of work after college, so I started working at nonprofits. For the last decade, I’ve lived and worked all over the world. Bryn and I first met in Africa but reconnected in Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake, where I ended up living for three years. MP: What is RYOT and why is it so important right now? BM: RYOT is the first news site that connects every breaking news story to an

action. Whether it’s to volunteer or to donate or sign petitions or write your representatives, you can take action with every story. David and I are both storytellers and filmmakers. We noticed that there’s all this amazing work being done all over the world, but as the news cameras were leaving, the story of their work was losing its context. Yet they were still out there solving some of the world’s problems. DD: We’re all connected now. We’re on social networks, we have access to all this information. The shocking thing to us was that technology had not been harnessed to connect that news to action. That’s what RYOT is doing—for the first time ever, taking the emotion that news creates and enabling you to act upon that emotion immediately, without having to search out a nonprofit. We give it to you right there on the page. If you’re going to have a story about the war in Syria and the refugee crisis there, why not also give someone an action so they can do something about it? RYOT is allowing the reader to become the news. We see RYOT as doing what MTV did to music. For the longest time, music existed on a singular plane, as an aural experience. MTV came along and gave music a completely new dimension. News doesn’t have to be a one-way flow in information. You can receive

We want RYOT to be the go-to news source for young people. That’s what we’re trying to build. We also want to revolutionize the way people interact with their news. That’s how we measure the success. — BRYN MOOSER



information and then act upon it immediately if you feel inclined to do so. RYOT is a revolution in news. MP: What is your vision? In a perfect world, what kind of impact would RYOT have? BM: We measure success by the campaigns that we do, and we’re seeing those growing a lot. We raised over $40,000 for Oklahoma victims of the tornado, and that money went directly to the people who needed it the most. We raised money for Sandy Hook, Hurricane Sandy. Every major disaster that’s happened since we’ve been live, we’ve raised money for them. Those funds keep increasing, which is really exciting. We want RYOT to be the go-to news source for young people. That’s what we’re trying to build. We also want to revolutionize the way people interact with their news. That’s how we measure the success.

We launched RYOT TV this summer. We’re going to be taking RYOT on the road in a tour bus. We launched a big campaign with Crowdrise. RYOT is giving away $200,000 to nonprofits who raise the most money on Crowdrise during the campaign. I’m hoping that campaign raises millions of dollars. DD: In terms of impact, one of our biggest goals with the platform is to give nonprofits a voice and an avenue to promote their work. The best way of doing that is linking current affairs and current events. Before, nonprofits were like islands crying out in the wilderness, trying to attract attention for things that they’re doing—digging wells in Ghana, feeding the hungry in Algeria. We’re flipping the model on its head. Let’s first approach it by capitalizing on the interests of people today, and then use that to direct people backwards to causes that they maybe didn’t even know existed. My real hope for the impact that we have is even more exposure to nonprofits by linking to current affairs and events that are

happening around us every day. MP: What is the best way that our readers can support your work? BM: We want people to spread the word and get their news from RYOT. Make it your homepage. We give away a portion of our ad revenue every week to a featured nonprofit, a nonprofit cause of the week. Just by getting your news from us, you make an impact in the world. Follow us on Twitter, @RYOTnews. Join us in revolutionizing news. DD: That’s exactly it. We want to be the social choice for news. Just by getting your news at RYOT, you’re doing good. There’s really no excuse for getting it anywhere else. We’re a competitive news platform, we’re not a blog talking about any old thing. We’re competing with the major news networks, so we really hope that young people make us their destination when they want to find out what’s happening in the world.





ZEENAT RAHMAN Special Adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry on Global Youth Issues INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT


Maranda Pleasant: What is your greatest passion?


MP: Why is this work important to you?


MP: What are some of your biggest initiatives?


MP: How can we support your work?

Zeenat Rahman: I want to help create opportunities and voice for those who may not have that same access to opportunities that I’ve had, but whose lives are no less important than mine. I want to help people reach their full potential.

ZR: Young people are at the center of global events. We must remember that they are a powerful part of the solution. In India, I met a man who created a low-cost solar lamp that is now being sold in markets all over India and Africa. I met a young Libyan woman who left her job as an architect to help write her country’s constitution. In Mexico, I met a young man who was helping indigenous communities take their products to mass markets. Our goal is to make sure that the United States government is building relationships with, supporting, and listening to this next generation of leaders.

Maranda Pleasant: What are you passionate about?

Ido Leffler: I am passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives. I feel so fortunate that I can combine my love of healthy living, creating great natural products, and working with some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs with the excitement of seeing my family and my Yes To family truly changing, for the better, the way people live.


MP: What current projects are you working on?

IL: My two biggest projects are The Yes To Seed Fund and The United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council. With the Yes To Seed Fund, we have committed to planting organic micro-farms in Kenya and Tanzania, where we feed over 10,000 kids a day. We also help plant organic gardens in U.S. schools. My vision for these Seed Fund initiatives is to directly affect over 100,000 kids daily and help them live healthy lives right from the start! At the UN Global Entrepreneurs Council, I am thrilled to work with my entrepreneurial peers in making a very real difference within the UN’s global initiatives. The Global Entrepreneurs Council is focused on bringing entrepreneurship and innovation into the United Nations. We have identified a few key areas that are critical for the future of the United Nations, the first of which is empowering youth. As a council, we are intensively working on a project that we hope to launch in the next few months, which we believe will give the youth of the world a voice, bring them to the forefront, and provide them with a platform to let their ideas and concepts to be heard on a world stage. Ido Leffler is co-founder and “Chief Carrot Lover” of San Francisco-based Yes To Inc. Ido is currently on the United Nations Global Entrepreneurs Council and sits on numerous corporate boards and corporate advisory boards. Ido and co-founder Lance Kalish have recently completed their book, Get Big Fast & Do More Good, which will be published in the fall of 2013. YESTOCARROTS.COM

ZR: If there is one thing that is certain in a young person’s life today, it’s that they will be navigating a world that is constantly changing. We’re going through a moment of profound transformation in the world. Human well-being is on the rise, people are living longer and in better conditions than before. Young people under the age of thirty represent more than half the world’s population—that’s 3 billion people. It is critical that we look at education that prepares young people for the jobs of the future, to teach young people how to be critical and entrepreneurial thinkers. We’ve launched an initiative called Startup Youth, which facilitates opportunities for young entrepreneurs to actualize their ideas.

ZR: Advocate for youth to be a part of the dialogue and conversation. Connect to those around the world who care about the issues that you do. Volunteer. Follow the work we are doing on our social media sites. Share stories of your own work. STATE.GOV/J/GYI/ FACEBOOK.COM/GLOBALYOUTHISSUES


92nd Street Y



92Y is a cultural and community center that has been enriching people’s lives for nearly 140 years. Central to its mission is the Jewish value of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.” With the Social Good Summit, which we launched in 2010, we were able to repair the world not only in our local community, but in a new kind of globally connected community. Bringing together the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and passionate activists, seeing tweets and videos from local gatherings in dozens of countries that were inspired by the Social Good Summit, seeing the potential power of that kind of global community, and being a part of making it happen is an inspiration to me every day.






I was drawn to becoming a Rabbi in part to figure out what G-d wants from us, in a world that is moving forward at lightning speed. I have come to believe that our ancient texts, rituals, and traditions can anchor us and help us navigate that constantly shifting world. The beauty of ancient traditions is that they offer us opportunities to take time and make space for discussion and reflection, whether it’s a weekly day of rest or the annual call to review, repent, and renew during the Jewish High Holidays. There is much work to be done in healing the world around us, whether fighting poverty or protecting the planet. To do that work effectively, we also need spiritual sustainability as individuals and as communities. That’s what keeps me going.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” My solution to Picasso’s call to action was to become involved with an organization, 92nd Street Y, where imagination and creativity are the most valued commodities. As the Director of the Educational Outreach Center, I send professional instructors in dance, art, music, and theater to New York’s public schools, help school teachers develop original curriculum materials in the arts, and invite students to attend performances at 92Y. I love empowering students and teachers to challenge themselves in artistic ways so they see the world through a new lens. We all have the responsibility to motivate one another and to ensure the arts remain part of the core curriculum in all children’s education.




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Spiritual Leader. Story UNteller. Ambassador of Inner Peace. Byron Katie talks to us about how “The Work” works.

Gina Murdock: I’ve had a chance to experience The Work, and I am amazed at how simple yet effective it is. I know that sounds like a commercial, but I am really blown away. How did you come up with this method of inquiry?

Byron Katie: I was depressed for ten years. Paranoid, agoraphobic, filled with self-loathing. Every day I wanted to die. For the last two years, I could barely leave my bedroom. Then one morning, as I lay sleeping on the floor in an attic room, a cockroach crawled over my foot. I opened my eyes, and in place of all that darkness was a joy I can’t describe. What I realized in that moment was that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, and when I didn’t believe my thoughts, I didn’t suffer. I’ve come to see that this is true for every human being. In that moment, The Work was born. GM: Your story is inspiring. Can you tell us a little more about how The Work works?

BK: It’s a way to identify and question the thoughts that are the cause of all the suffering in the world. First, you write down the judgments you are thinking about other people, and then you put these judgments, one by one, up against the four questions of The Work. One: Is it true? Two: Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Three: How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought? And four: Who or what would you be without the thought? Then you do what I call a “turnaround,” which is a way to experience opposites of what you are believing. Some of those opposites can wake us up to important truths that lie hidden within us. The Work is a simple, very powerful process.


GM: What is it that inspires you most?

BK: I’m most inspired whenever I hear of even the smallest act of human kindness. GM: What makes you happy?

BK: Seeing people wake up to their kinder, wiser self, and then watching them live it. GM: How do you use your platform to change the world? Are you optimistic about the future?

GM: What is your opinion on the state of the world today? What do you feel we can do about it?

BK: The world will be at war as long as the mind is at war with itself. The mind at war with itself does war with any other mind, and that produces war in the world—all of it. If we can’t find peace within ourselves, where is the hope for peace in the world? I love the world, because I love the mind that created the world. I see the goodness and beauty in everyone, and everything is a gift given for me and for all of us. If you don’t love it, question your mind until you do. As for doing, I do whatever I can to serve peace. My job is the end of suffering. GM: What is one truth that you know for sure?

BK: I teach people to question their thinking, and this changes their world. For me, the future lives only here in my mind, as thoughts and images, just as the past does, and I love those thoughts and the world that it produces. I am entirely optimistic about the future. I know that even in moments of apparent danger, nothing is out of order or lacking, other than our own unquestioned thoughts about those moments.

BK: That I don’t know. GM: Do you practice any kind of yoga or meditation?

BK: Actually, I can’t take credit for any of my decisions. I noticed one day that all my decisions were making themselves, and always at the right time. I haven’t had to make one decision since then. They are always made for me, and they come from the wisdom that is in us all. I trust that wisdom completely. That trust itself was a decision made for me as inquiry cleared my mind. No decision, no fear.

BK: I call The Work “mental yoga.” And it is meditation. I invite people to meditate on each of these four questions. For example, if you are believing “He doesn’t care about me,” and are meditating on the third question (How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?), in that silence you begin to notice the feelings and emotions that occurred in that situation. You feel them rise from within, and mental images show you how you treat others and yourself when you believe that thought. With the fourth question (Who would you be without that thought?), people come to see what it would be like to experience a stressful situation without the thought that is creating the stress in the first place. It’s truly amazing to see what is revealed in that quietness. It can be life-changing! Imagine how it would feel, what kind of person you would be, how you’d be treating other people and yourself, if you didn’t believe your negative judgment of that person.

GM: What do you believe in?

GM: What is your daily spiritual practice?

BK: I believe in the power of every human being to end suffering.

BK: To love without exception.

GM: What has life taught you?

GM: What is the essence of your message?

BK: To question everything, to remain open-hearted, and to serve the freedom of others as though it were my own. Because it is.

BK: The end of suffering. Peace.

GM: What is it that gives you hope?

BK: I do. GM: What is one of the best decisions you ever made?

GM: What would you say to someone struggling with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or general discontentment?

BK: I would say, “Eating, drinking, and depression disorders are really thinking disorders.” People try so hard to let go of their negative behaviors and thoughts, and it doesn’t work, or it works only for a short time. I didn’t let go of my negative thoughts; I questioned them, and then they let go of me, and so did my addictions and depression. These four questions and turnarounds are so powerful! I‘ve seen them work for people whose addictions seem permanent. I am thinking specifically now of a young woman in her early twenties who had been addicted to heroin since the age of twelve. She did my twenty-eight-day program. All the medications, caffeine, alcohol, smoking—everything she had been depositing into her beautiful body—let go of her. She told me that she is now enjoying the health and youth that she missed in her teenage years. It’s never too late. Freedom is our birthright.

GM: Is there any sort of personal message you would like to give to our readers?

BK: If you are interested in peace of mind and feel attracted to inquiry, I invite you to visit thework.com. Everything you need to get started is on the website: complete instructions about how to do The Work, downloadable Worksheets, videos on a wide variety of topics— relationships, forgiveness, work, cancer, and death. I love that inquiry is so unfailing. With inquiry, every painful story unravels. Freedom is possible in every moment. The Work works for everyone who comes to it with an open mind. GM: It has been truly remarkable to sit with you. Thank you for sharing your gifts with so many and for making The Work accessible.

BK: You’re very welcome, Gina. Thank you for your contributions to peace.



I didn’t let go of my negative thoughts; I questioned them, and then they let go of me, and so did my addictions and depression.

The oscillating rhythm of the heart knows there is a time for activation and a time for regeneration a time for retreat and a time for rising up a time for clearing and a time for celebration a time for receiving and a time for giving a time for being and a time for getting involved a time for letting go into the fire a time for igniting the fire. SHIVA REA PRANA AMBASSADOR 12 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM



TAP INTO THE HEALING POWER OF THE The guiding principle of Ayurvedic medicine and the other Eastern healing arts is the interconnection of all things. More than 5,000 years ago, the ancient Vedic sages of India understood what modern scientists are just beginning to recognize: we are all part of an infinite field of intelligence which orchestrates all of the activities in the universe. With every breath, we exchange our personal energy with the energy of the universe, and we are constantly taking in impressions via the five sense organs—the ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose. In Ayurveda, sensory impressions are considered crucial to health. Just as the food we eat creates our bodily tissues, the information and energy we ingest via our senses determine the quality of our thoughts and emotions. If we want greater physical and emotional well-being, we can use sounds, feelings, sights, tastes, and smells to balance and heal our selves. Here are a few suggestions that you can use in your own daily routine.

Deepak Chopra, M.D., is a bestselling author and the co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. Known as the global source for learning meditation, yoga, Ayurveda, and mind-body medicine, the Chopra Center offers a variety of signature programs, retreats, workshops, and teacher trainings. To learn about special offers and upcoming events, please visit chopra.com or call 888.736.6895.



Deepak Chopra, M.D. .



Sound has a profound effect on the entire mind-body physiology. When you listen to a beautiful song or soothing ocean waves, your body creates chemicals that make you feel happy and support wholeness. On the other hand, you can probably recall feeling irritable after being subjected to harsh sounds. Research shows that long-term noise pollution contributes to chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and fatigue. Thousands of years ago, Ayurvedic physicians recognized that sound is a powerful healing tool, and they created musical compositions called ragas, which mirror nature’s rhythms and harmonies. The ancient texts specify which ragas to play in the morning, noon, and evening, in order to optimize healing. Fortunately, to benefit from sound therapy, you don’t have to master musical theory or Vedic literature (though that could be a beautiful adventure). You can begin right now by experimenting with music to create your own sound therapy. The specific sounds that will benefit you most depend a great deal on your mind-body type, or your dosha. If you don’t know your dosha, you can take the Chopra Center’s online dosha quiz at chopra.com/ doshaquiz. Listen to a variety of musical styles and sounds and pay attention to what feels good to you. The key is to tune in to your body and fill your environment with sounds that enhance your well-being— including the sound of silence.

. 2.


The visual impressions you take in have a surprisingly profound effect on your mind, body, and emotions. Watching violent movies or television shows triggers your body’s stress response, creating jittery cells and suppressing the immune system. In contrast, looking at peaceful or beautiful images creates a cascade of soothing neurochemicals in the body. Surrounding yourself with images that uplift your spirit is as important for your health as nutritious food. Spending time in nature is healing for your mind, body, and soul. When you view a gorgeous sunset, look into the eyes of your beloved, or see a magnificent painting, you cultivate the power of your inner pharmacy.

. 3.


The most primitive of the senses, smell connects us directly with our memories, emotions, and instincts. When we smell something, we are actually absorbing some of its molecules, making aromatherapy a form of natural medicine. The linking of a particular smell to an emotional state is known as neuroassociative conditioning, a technique that can be used to increase our body’s healing response and activate our inner pharmacy. For example, if we use a sandalwood fragrance each time we sit to meditate, we will soon learn to associate the feeling of relaxation with the aroma.

. 4.


Ayurveda categorizes food into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of the tastes has a unique effect on mind-body physiology. Each provides the flavor that makes eating a pleasure. If you include the six tastes in a meal, you will get the nutrients you need and will feel completely satisfied and energized. If one or more of the tastes are missing from a meal, you might feel full yet unsatisfied, and find yourself snacking two hours later.

. 5.


Touch is fundamental to health and well-being. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is rich with nerve receptors, neurochemicals, and immune modulators. Peptides closely related to antidepressants can be found in the skin, which may explain why massage often induces an elevated mood. When your skin is stimulated by loving, therapeutic touch, it releases many healing chemicals that enhance immune function, improve circulation, and promote restful sleep. You can give yourself the healing benefits of touch every day with an Ayurvedic massage, known as an abhyanga or “self-abhy.” For complete instructions for performing a self-abhy, please visit the Chopra Center’s online library at chopra.com/community/online-library.


May you honor the best in yourself and in others. May your practice lead you to embody the great wisdom at the heart of these traditions and allow you to unveil the great mystery that is your life. May LOVE carry you, guiding your breath, thoughts, words, and actions. May your soul catch fire! May this fire brighten the light of all of creation. ROD STRYKER


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If a spaceship from the outer reaches of the galaxy landed on Earth in the next two months, and its occupants climbed out and presented Earthlings with a list of secrets—a simple formula—for making life finally work on this planet without violence, killing, and war, without turmoil, pain, and suffering, without want, lack, and despair, do you think we would be wise to look it over? Even if it contradicted everything we knew to be true or thought to be so? What if we thought that this list of secrets, this simple formula, came to humanity directly from God? Would it bear at least a glance—even if it did contradict all that we imagine ourselves to understand about life and how it works? What if such a document came simply from the Mind of Man? Would it be worth the smallest number of moments, if only to be sure that we should not be dismissing it out of hand? What makes an observation about our species authoritative? What makes it worth at least exploring and examining, if not completely embracing?

Why, then, hasn’t the whole of humanity—or at least a larger portion of our species—latched on to these ideas, and implemented them in their lives? It’s not as if what we are doing right now is working so well that we don’t need suggestions.

This is a question I have been asking myself for nearly twenty years, as the author of the nine-volume Conversations with God series. That series covered well over 3,000 pages and contained many lifealtering concepts that millions of people said have brought immediate improvement to their daily experience.

I should think suggestions are certainly welcome. The problem is, most people don’t like to hear suggestions that directly confront or run counter to their most sacred beliefs. Science and medicine and technology have all produced the breathtaking advances with which they have gifted the human race, only because they have been willing to


Even a casual observer can see that not one of the systems, institutions, and devices that our species has put into place on this planet to “create a better life for all” is functioning in a way that generates that outcome. Our political systems clearly are not working. Our economic systems clearly are not working. Our ecological systems clearly are not working. Our educational systems clearly are not working. Our health care systems clearly are not working. Our social systems clearly are not working. Our spiritual systems clearly are not working. None of the systems we have created are producing the outcomes that were intended. They’re actually producing exactly the opposite.

do what religion has consistently, staunchly, and stubbornly refused to do: question the prior assumption.


We keep trying to solve the world’s problems at every level, except the level at which the problems exist. We keep approaching them as if they were political problems, economic problems, or even military problems. The problems facing humanity today are spiritual problems, and they can only be solved by taking a long, hard look at what it is we all believe. Beliefs create behaviors, and the dysfunctional behaviors of the human race, observable everywhere every day, are the product of our nonworkable beliefs. Chief among these is the belief in separation, which has arisen out of our ancient Separation Theologies. This is a way of looking at God that insists that we are “over here” and God is “over there.”

We keep trying to solve the world’s problems at every level, except the level at which the problems exist...The problems facing humanity today are spiritual problems, and they can only be solved by taking a long, hard look at what it is we all believe.

The problem with a Separation Theology is that it produces a Separation Cosmology, a way of looking at all of life that says that everything is separate from everything else. A Separation Cosmology produces a Separation Psychology, a psychological viewpoint that says that I am over here and you are over there. A Separation Psychology produces a Separation Sociology, a way of socializing with each other that encourages the entire human society to act as separate entities serving their own separate interests. A Separation Sociology produces a Separation Pathology, pathological behaviors of self-destruction, engaged in individually and collectively, and producing suffering, conflict, violence, and death by our own hands. This sequence has been observable everywhere on our planet throughout human history. It is time to end the sequence. But that is going to take a great deal of bravery—the kind of bravery that is required to look at what our cultural story has told us about ourselves, about life, and about God, and the kind of courage that is required to explore new ideas about these things, ideas so antithetical to our current understandings that they might feel as if they have come from some civilization from outer space—or from an even Higher Source. To encourage such a global discussion, I have taken the 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God books and reduced their revolutionary concepts to what I consider to be the twenty-five most important messages about God, Life, and ourselves. I believe that these twenty-five statements—embraced and made functional in our day-to-day lives—could change the world in one generation, eliminating savagery, poverty, and man’s inhumanity to man forever. I put them into a single book, titled What God Said, in which I’ve expanded upon them in-depth, then offered very practical, immediately usable suggestions on how these ideas might be applied in

hour-to-hour life. Is this a presumptuous thing to do? There are those who have said so, and I’m not even sure I would argue with them. Yet someone has to get the conversation going at the next highest level, no? I hope you’ll join in the discussion. Indeed, I hope you’ll instigate it. Neale Donald Walsch is the author of twenty-seven books combining modernday psychology and contemporary spirituality, seven of which have made the New York Times bestseller list. His new book, What God Said, will be published in October 2013. Join in the discussion at theglobalconversation.com.




Geneen Roth, the New York Times bestselling author of Women, Food, and God, writes about two hot button issues: food and money. The power of Geneen’s books is her unflinching honesty and humor. Geneen struggled with dieting and binging for seventeen years—gaining and losing 1,000 pounds. Her suffering and desperation were so intense that she was three days from death. Then, an internal shift saved her life. In her latest book, Lost and Found, she details lessons learned from losing her life savings to the infamous Bernie Madoff. In a culture that revels in the idiom “you can never be too thin or too rich,” Geneen offers a fresh perspective that could change your life.

GENEEN ROTH Scalora: You’re so honest in your books, and I think Q Suza that’s why your work resonates with so many people.

People have a hard time just being happy, settled, and content. We’re not taught how to just be by ourselves, be present.


Geneen Roth: I feel like it’s been important for me to use my own personal experiences with food and money to help people to not feel ashamed. I felt so much shame about my own experiences.

In Women, Food, and God, you wrote that your Q SS: relationship with food mirrors other aspects of your life.


GR: Yes. How you eat is how you live. How you do anything is how you do everything.

Q SS: Food can be used as an escape. What are the other ways that we try to escape, and what are we trying to escape from?


GR: What is pronounced these days is staying on the Internet for hours. It’s really about distraction. We are living in such an over-stimulated culture. There’s a nervous energy of always having to be focused out there. People have a hard time just being happy, settled, and content. We’re not taught how to just be by ourselves, be present. We always want to change the channel in our minds because we don’t like what’s going on. It’s uncomfortable. We start eating, watching television, surfing the Internet, or go shopping and buy something. That gives us a rush of feeling some adrenaline and excitement. There have been many articles about the top regrets that people have when they’re dying. They are always, “I missed the ordinary moments.” We miss those ordinary moments, and yet, that’s what we’re trying to distract ourselves from at the same time.

An interesting dichotomy. Why do we have this need to Q SS: distract ourselves?


GR: We’re always looking for the Big Love, the Big High, the next Big Thing to happen. We miss what’s in front of us.


There’s a basic feeling of lack that we want to distract ourselves from. We want to fix it by looking outside ourselves, as if it is going to fill us up. It’s the same with people and money, as I wrote about in Lost and Found. My closet was full, yet I was always focused on the sweater I didn’t have, or on the next pair of boots. I wasn’t allowing myself to take in what I had. I could never experience what “enough” was.

How do we go about changing this dynamic Q SS: within ourselves?


GR: It’s important to focus on the good in life and appreciate it.

How does this feeling of not being enough manifest Q SS: in our lives?


GR: It can be through money or food or compulsive eating or your beliefs about yourself. Women look at their bodies, and they’re never thin enough. The financial advisors that I’ve talked to say they ask their clients, “How much money do you need in order to feel secure?” “X amount.” Then, as soon as the client got the amount, it would double automatically. Enough is always in the future. It’s never based on what I have in the present moment. After initial needs are met—enough food, shelter, comfort—there is no correlation between money and happiness. That’s a difficult thing for people to believe.

SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF YOGA RETREAT January 16–19, 2014 Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Carlsbad, California Why do we practice the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga? by Deepak Chopra While yoga is commonly portrayed as the latest fitness trend, it is the core of the Vedic science that developed in the Indus Valley more than 5,000 years ago. Yoga offers much more than physical exercise; it is a path for awakening to our true self, the boundless, peaceful awareness at the core of our being. As stated in the Yoga Sutras attributed to the legendary sage Patanjali, Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded consciousness. Yoga takes us beyond the ego’s habitual identification with the mind and body and gives us a direct experience of our true spiritual self. Rooted in this connection to spirit, our internal reference point shifts from constriction to expansion, from lack to abundance, and from fear to love. Letting Go of Struggle Over time, yoga becomes not just something we “practice” but something we live. We let go of unnecessary struggle and are able to solve life’s inevitable challenges with greater ease and grace. As we become balanced and centered, our interactions become more conscious, calm, and relaxed. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga program is a consciousness-based practice rooted in India’s ancient wisdom teachings. My colleague and friend Dr. David Simon and I developed the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga as a practice for integrating and balancing all the layers of our life so that our body, mind, heart, intellect, and spirit flow in harmony.

The practice also incorporates seven key principles known as the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. The mindful application of these spiritual laws promotes success and material abundance, loving relationships, peaceful social interactions, health, wellbeing, and higher consciousness, including intuition, creativity, insight, imagination, and inspiration. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga encourages the expansion of awareness and happiness. We have found that even as our students are learning yoga postures, the attention and intention they give to these principles improves the quality of all aspects of their lives. If you would like to explore the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga in more depth, the Chopra Centers offers a special 4-day yoga retreat led by master certified yoga teachers who will guide you in the philosophy and practice of this consiousnessbased wisdom tradition.

All of the teachers were very authentic, very human and shared experiences from their personal lives. All of them very loving and inspiring with good humor and joy! This was a beautiful experience. – Ann

Wherever your yoga path leads you, I wish you health, happiness, and peace in the field of infinite possibilities. Deepak Chopra, M.D. is the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, and the author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

To receive your special offer, visit

chopra.com/yogaretreat ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 21



Dani Shapiro’s most recent books include the bestselling memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and the novels Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, O, Vogue, Elle, and many others. She teaches retreats and workshops worldwide.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Dani Shapiro: I never feel so alive as when I’m writing and the work is going well. When I near the end of a book, it feels as if the entire universe meets me more than halfway and supports me. The whole world seems to shimmer when I find the words. My mind quiets. It’s a profound, meditative peace. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

DS: Motherhood. My son is now fourteen, and from the moment he was born, I understood that forevermore my heart would be walking around outside my body. Part of my spiritual work is learning to live with the knowledge that we can’t protect our loved ones from pain and heartache. We can’t protect ourselves from pain and heartache. In fact, to love—fully, madly, deeply—is to ensure heartache some day. But that is also the great beauty and pathos of being human. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

DS: Open your hearts. Deep inside ourselves, we are all one and the same.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

DS: I’ve certainly faced some raw, real pain in my life. I lost my father to a car accident when I was young. My mother died ten years ago. My son was very sick as an infant. Eventually, I have attempted to transform this pain into art, to make meaning out of it. Those memories that are engraved within me become teaching tools, ways of connecting with others, of creating an empathic bridge, of reaching out a hand and saying, I’ve been there, too. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

DS: I moved from New York City to the rural countryside of Connecticut ten years ago, and was no longer able to find a great yoga class on every corner. That forced me to create my own yoga practice—something I had never been able to do before. At some point each day (well, most days) I unroll my mat and practice for an hour. I sit in meditation for a while. This can be five minutes or twenty minutes, but the daily practice—simply showing up for it—is centering.

MP: What’s been one of the biggest lessons in your life so far?

DS: Our teachers are everywhere. Our teachers are right in front of us, and take so many forms. All we need to do is to open our eyes, to be open to and aware of the possibilities. Otherwise, we walk sightless among miracles. MP: What truth do you know for sure?

DS: Everything changes. The more I try to hold on to the moment, the more it slips through my fingers. I don’t want to lean back into the past, or forward into the future. I don’t want to wish the present moment away. The truth is in the present moment. The great paradox is that when I’m really able to do that, time slows down and opens up. Time feels suddenly and inexplicably without end. MP: Tell us about your latest project.

DS: My newest book, Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life, will be published on October 1, 2013. It’s partly a memoir and partly my love letter to all of us attempting to live creatively. DANISHAPIRO.COM



Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mark has appeared several times with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday program.



Maranda Pleasant: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?


Mark Nepo: Each soul on Earth is complete unto itself. We need experience to release what matters. I would want to affirm how rare and magnificent and messy it is to be alive, how there is really nothing between us and life, though so many things get in the way, and how our heart is the strongest muscle and resource we have.


MP: Tell us about your latest project.

MN: The point of experience is not to escape life but to live it. Each of us carries some wisdom waiting to be discovered at the center of our experience. Everything we meet, if faced and held, reveals a part of that wisdom. At the heart of each spiritual tradition is the question of how to be in the world without losing what matters, and whether living an awakened life is of any use if we don’t bring what matters to bear on the world. My inquiry into all of this is the terrain of my next book, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be.


MP: You talk a lot about “working with what we are given” as a way to discover a meaningful life.

MN: Try as we do to resist what we’re given, this is the only doorway to truth. We waste too much time and energy denying or fighting where we find ourselves. PHOTO: HARPO, INC.


MP: What is it like to work with Oprah? Why are shows like Super Soul Sunday so important?

MN: Every time I’ve been blessed to sit down with Oprah, she has welcomed me to be completely who I am. She is so completely who she is that we’re able to look deeply into the nature of things together. She does this with everyone. She is a great bridger, bringing the best of people and their gifts into the open. This makes Super Soul Sunday the best use of television. It keeps alive the great, unending conversation of what a soul does with its time on Earth and how to bring heart into the work of living. Oprah is a master guide who gathers voices from every tradition to open the many ways of spirit. The world needs awakened souls the way a body needs healthy cells, and Super Soul Sunday is medicine that brings energy and wisdom into our daily lives. I’ll be featured in an all-new season of Super Soul Sunday, beginning Sunday, September 22 at 11am ET/PT on OWN.





Mark Nepo



Michael Bernard Beckwith Michael Bernard Beckwith, the spiritual visionary and humanitarian, discusses perception, authentic happiness, love as a spiritual manifestation, and embracing emotional pain through the loss of his beloved mother. Christopher Caplan: What are the things that make you feel most alive?

Michael Bernard Beckwith: Along with my spiritual practices of meditation, affirmative prayer, and visioning, what catalyzes my sense of aliveness is putting those practices into action by being of service to others, whether I’m doing it individually or through Agape’s global humanitarian programs. I’d also have to add creativity, exercise, healthy eating, and playfulness. CC: What is it that makes you feel deeply vulnerable?

MBB: Well, your question is doing a pretty good job of that! Realizing that I can’t control or change the impermanence of things in human life is daunting. This was driven home to me last year when my beloved mother passed away two weeks after her diagnosis. Losing her so unexpectedly took me to a deep level of grief, opening me to greater compassion for all beings. We all experience the pain of loss. I also realized that living in an inner state of vulnerability is a powerful practice that opens our hearts, causing us to live in a state of gratitude for our life and life itself.

CC: What is love to you?

MBB: To me, authentic love is a sacred encounter we all yearn for. When we have an inner initiation into pure love, we are in contact with our true nature. Judgment of ourselves and others disappears. Compassionate, discerning wisdom then enters the equation in all of our relationships. There are so many levels of understanding and experience when it comes to this thing we call love. In our human relationships, it can be vastly complicated. Each of us has our own unique love-history, perceptions, and expectations. When it comes to love as a spiritual manifestation, it is an experience of utter surrender to that which is greater than any concept of love can define. CC: How do you deal with emotional pain?

CC: What is authentic happiness to you?

MBB: Happiness and joy are inner qualities that can’t be shaken by outer circumstances because they are inherent within the core Self. Naturally, when life’s lessons knock at the door of our life, happiness can be momentarily obscured. However, authentic happiness comes from being in conscious connection with our inner being rather than dependency on outer things and circumstances which are constantly in a state of flux. PHOTOS: MARIA RENGAL 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Living in an inner state of vulnerability is a powerful practice that opens our hearts, causing us to live in a state of gratitude for our life and life itself.

MBB: Thirty years of spiritual practice has given me the realization that emotions are based on our perceptions, whether or not they are based on reality. When emotions arise, I don’t attempt to suppress or repress them, so that I can discern their basis or cause. Going back to my mother’s passing, there was no way I could hold back my tears or sense of grief at knowing her physical presence left the planet. Working consciously with such an in-my-face

overwhelmingly painful loss, I was able to process it to the point of accepting that although my relationship with her would be different, I could still sense and celebrate that there was no separation between our spirits. Being present and open to each stage of grief eventually led to her visiting me in my dreams and a tangible sense of her presence. Human beings have a tendency to push away unwanted pain, but my experience is that when I give my consent to it, it delivers its gift and moves on. AGAPELIVE.COM

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BELLAMY YOUNG Star of the Hit Show, SCANDAL, on Yoga, Meditation, and Pain.

Bellamy Young: Hi Maranda, it’s Bellamy Young calling. Maranda Pleasant: Hi, how are you!

BY: I’m so good, how are you? MP: I haven’t watched television in fourteen years. Scandal has the best writing of any show that I have seen. There’s nothing else to compare it to.

BY: Unparalleled. It’s new. It’s a whole new thing. The pace of it is new, the structure of it is new—it’s definitely a hybrid in terms of procedural and character-driven. MP: What are you passionate about in life?

BY: For me, singing. I wouldn’t make it through the day without singing. It is my solace and my meditation and my release. It lets me know how I’m processing things, what I’m processing, if I’m out of touch in some area. I will just think, why am I singing? Then I will know everything I need to know about what I’m feeling. But also, kindness. That is what thrills me, personally. Small acts of kindness; thoughtful, large acts of kindness. I feel like we’re on a bit of a precipice, and I think that any beautiful energy on the kindness continuum will just help us fall into a lovelier place. From the fear and constriction that’s sort of always pulling us back and keeping us in old modalities, I feel like any expansive act of kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity helps tip the scale toward a more conscious, liberated existence for everyone. The smallest act has repercussions for the universe. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a routine?

BY: I have to meditate before I go to bed, always. I have to let the day go and let the eternal in. Sleep is such a potent, liminal state, and I don’t want to drag anything in there that doesn’t need to be there. I get a lot of work done in my dreams and I don’t want to take anybody else’s work with me. We all got plenty of work in this life, so for sure I have a very simple seated meditation practice before bed. But equally


helpful to me is a walking meditation—to be in nature, to not be attached to my electronics, and to just be instead of be doing. And yoga, always. The union.

MP: How do you process pain, emotional pain, when it comes in?

BY: And it does, always, you know?

BY: Always, right? I process it like a teacher. The more I resist anything, the stronger it gets. I have to welcome the pain like I welcome the joy. And the pain is always bringing me a lesson. If I listen to the lesson when the pain is manageable, the pain won’t get gargantuan and flatten me entirely, because I will have received the message at the center. I receive it as gently as I can, because the cruelest thing that I do to myself is try to push myself through an experience. If I’m feeling hurt, sad, lonely, depressed, and then I shame myself for feeling that, then that’s a black hole for me. I really have worked a lot to meet pain with both gratitude and gentleness. You gotta love yourself, because when you’re hurting—you never know who’s gonna be around to do the lovin’ for ya. You gotta love yourself through the pain. MP: Such a joy to talk to you. What is love to you?

heart. Souls finding each other and sharing love through this road. I foster a lot. Not humans, animals. INSPIRE

MP: Always. Thank you for that!

MP: Let’s talk about your current project. You’re on the most loved television show right now on any network.

BY: Scandal is an unprecedented blessing in my life. I’ve never dreamed of a blessing like this—to be in this family of people where everyone is so grateful and so hardworking, and to be given these words to say that are so honest and so complicated and so nuanced. Nothing is all good or all bad, nothing is black or white, everything is just messy and human and difficult. We’re meeting it all with our best moment but we are failing, and that is an amazing opportunity for an actor. Not to mention the monologues. The writing I have right now is unbelievable, a gift. It’s all really beautiful! Scandal is like a really, really beautiful thing. Also, this summer I’m getting a little album off the ground.

I feel like any expansive act of kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity helps tip the scale toward a more conscious, liberated existence for everyone. The smallest act has repercussions for the universe.

BY: Love is a true unconditional space to me. To love someone or to be loved is to be seen, and I think, gosh, as humans, all we want is to be seen, to be heard, right? To be valued. To be respected. But mostly just to be held in a safe, unconditional space. MP: What causes on the planet are you passionate about? Anything that’s near to your heart?

BY: For me, it’s adoption. I am adopted, so of course it means the world to me personally. But also even animals. There’s a lot of life on the planet that needs love, wants love, deserves love, in whatever capacity we are able. I feel it is a blessing, a duty, an honor, that we give the love that we have, and we share the lives that we have with our fullest

MP: I did not know that!

BY: It’s going to take a minute, and it’ll happen in its own time, but I feel so grateful that singing is back in my life, and that I have an opportunity for this. I’m just trying to open my heart and open some doors and let it all come together the way it’s supposed to. MP: Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

BY: It’s all very nascent. Coming together now. The conversations are fun and evolving. MP: This has been such a pleasure.

BY: It’s my pleasure.




Actress. Eco Rockstar. Champion for Women. Truth Seeker. Daphne: Sitting with Pain, How Meditation Changes Everything and Finally Finding Self Love.

Maranda Pleasant: What is that thing in you that you pull your passion from?

Daphne Zuniga: I get really excited when I have moments where my head—my mind— disappears, and I get this moment where I start to tingle, and maybe sweat a little bit, when I’m in that space of feeling real connected with everything, every living thing. I first started feeling this probably as a child, but again when I started meditating. I know it comes from my meditation practice. It shows up in everything now and then. It’s not an organization that I’m involved with and it’s not a thing I want to happen on the planet. It’s just this f*cking state. It’s a state that reminds me that being alive is such a unique, bizarre, beautiful, electric thing, and it reminds me that a lot of the time, I’m not in that state. But that’s what turns me on. The purest thing. There are people in my life that I’ve met that have helped that happen. I’ll look at my boyfriend one moment and go, holy f*ck! In this moment I so love you just exactly as you are. Because all the other moments I’m subtly and not-so-subtly trying to change him. Fix him. Improve him. That turns me on. Where I’m just sort of shocked into the revelation, once again, of this planet is a living organism; this living thing, being alive, is a living thing. It’s every breath you take. That was the last one. It’ll never come back. You are riding on this wave of awareness, second to second to second. If you just sit and spend time with yourself— you were born as you, just you, and that’s how you’re gonna die. Why do we spend the time in between trying to not be ourselves? That’s PHOTO: EDDIE MILLS 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

MP: What makes you vulnerable?

DZ: Where I must go. Telling the truth. I finally have that with my boyfriend, and that makes me vulnerable constantly. Without vulnerability, you’re not really alive. Your vulnerability is your power. Sitting in your house alone, breathing through it. Calling a friend when you need to cry. Being really honest in your therapist’s office. Whatever it is. Bringing it into a role, for me. It is your power.

MP: [laughing] That’s perfect. What is love to you?

DZ: Wow. Well. Two things. There’s a feeling that feels like what I’ve been told is love. It has to do with what Louis Schwartzberg said today about beauty, love, whether it’s squirrels outside my door, the rabbits, or the birds. They’re not trying to impress me or anything, and me watching them isn’t getting me or advancing me in anything. It’s just beautiful. When I think of the relationship I’m in, there’s a feeling that comes over me sometimes.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain when it comes in?

The one that I really call love is when I feel like everything’s okay. That state of, it’s all right here. I spent most of my adult life looking for romantic love. I’ve been in therapy since ’87.

DZ: First of all, the true answer is, a lot of times it’s really unskillful. [laughing] My go-to reaction to true emotional pain is to lash out and to annihilate. Picking a fight or throwing something across the room, having a monologue in my own room in my own house somewhere, about how someone’s a motherf*cking asshole, loser, blah blah. After that gets out of the system, and if I have the wisdom and skillfulness, the next level is to admit the truth of it, and then give it space. Whatever the emotion is, I have learned over the years to give it space, which is also why I love acting.

What I learned was, that connection that I was looking for that I thought was really romantic love, my therapist literally said, “Well, when you feel that next, you probably shouldn’t go towards that for a partner.” She was trying to help me learn the difference. It took twenty-five years to find the man that I’m with now, and the feeling I feel about him is subtle, strong, amazing. I look at him and I smile. But I also look at him and say, “Can you please just put down the toilet seat?” It’s not like it’s perfect at all. But it’s there. The love, it’s there. The respect. The day to day has to bring you ease and comfort and safety. The

waking up in the morning and going to bed at night, and everything in between has to bring you that. Or else what is the point? MP: I don’t think most people know the purpose of a romantic relationship. We don’t have a standard or guide. The story that you told me about when you guys met, that you were like, “Let’s be fully honest, let’s go to therapy, let’s talk about our insecurities so we have this solid foundation.” That to me was like, oh my god, I want to do that.

DZ: I was forty-four. I’d had so many different relationships. He was ten years older than I and had two marriages. We came to it from a different place. It wasn’t like we sat down and decided, let’s be honest. The deeper in we got, our issues kept flipping back and forth. It’s not like we’re solid creatures. But the foundation that we created was telling the truth, and then we could navigate it all! MP: Do you ever feel like you’re just beginning? I feel like I’m just beginning.

DZ: Beginner’s mind. That’s a goal. MP: But I have it all the time! Because I’m beginning all the f*cking time!

DZ: I know. How many times have I been in my therapist’s office, saying, “I think I’m smarter than this! I’ve been down this

Without vulnerability, you’re not really alive. Your vulnerability is your power. Sitting in your house alone, breathing through it. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 29


what meditation is. You just sit with yourself. Through all of it. It’s like John Patrick Shanley said: “Where the terror is, you must go.” Where the terror is, is where you must go.


road! I’ve learned this lesson!” And she’s like, “Yeah, and you’re learning it a little bit deeper.” Think about how long it took for the mountains to get there and look so beautiful. Think about how long it takes for this tree over us to grow. We’re so impatient. Think about it. This leaf here took forever to become that perfect leaf. We’re that. We’re work in progress. That’s actually being alive. MP: Let’s talk about some of the things you’re involved with. You’re so passionate about so many things.

DZ: I am. Women and girls, definitely. The one that I love is Equality Now. They’re based out of New York and they have offices all over the world. Gloria Steinem’s on the board. It’s basically a very small outfit of lawyers, and these

Early on, my emotional work had to do with feeling unheard and invisible. My parents divorce when I was six, really affected me. lawyers go to the countries where there’s a case—maybe a woman’s been burned, or genital mutilation, or trafficking—they’ll go to those and find a case, and win the case so that the law changes. They go in and find an organization that’s living there, right there on the ground, and they’ll work with them legally. It’s all pro bono, because these people don’t have money. That’s what I love about Equality Now—they’re these amazing women who go out and change the laws.


Susan Smalley started the Mindful Institute at UCLA. She’s a scientist. She discovered Equality Now and got very close with Gloria Steinem, and brought me in, and some of her other friends. Now she’s going to have an incredible event on November 4, in Beverly Hills. We want to raise a bunch of money and bring more awareness to the West Coast for Equality Now. MP: Tell me about your eco involvement.

DZ: About three and a half years ago, the mayor of Los Angeles appointed me to the board of a nonprofit called the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corp. We were given a little bit of money that we had to continue to raise so that we could sustain ourselves. Our goal is to bring the L.A. River back, which is a cement channel, thirty-two miles long. It runs through L.A., the Valley, down through Glendale, Burbank, L.A., and south.



We have architects, real estate people, community leaders, and other nonprofits all on board to bring that river back, and to bring people to the river. We’ve expanded bike paths; we have a kayaking program so that people can go down, get in a kayak, and experience the LA River. If you go to thelariver.com, we’re on there under Revitalization. MP: What has been one of your biggest life struggles?

DZ: Early on, my emotional work had to do with feeling unheard and invisible. My parents divorce when I was six, really affected me. We moved around and I was with my mom and my sister. I have learned, by the way, there were amazing gifts that came out of that. For one, I’m living my childhood dream. I feel very fortunate. That came from a single mom. My dad was in the picture, but it was my mom who was supporting us, took job to job, and moved us around to wherever we could live. She was a minister. She was an amazing, independent woman herself, who rode a motorcycle across the country, from East Coast to West Coast and back. One year, when she turned forty-something, she went off and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Has hitchhiked from here to there. She’s a real adventurer, my mother. In one sense, I felt not seen and heard enough as a child. At the very same time, I’m watching her and modeling her. At seventeen, I left to go to Hollywood to pursue my dream, as if there was no other option. I only learned that, the gift of it, recently. And I often forget it. I’ve been acting since I was a little kid. It was my escape from my day which had to do with a father leaving, and a mother not being home, and her struggling and doing her best and all that. But it wasn’t fun. I would go into theater class. If she were a stay-at-home mom, I wouldn’t have that discomfort inside that kept me pushing.

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Whether on the basketball court, filming, or strumming his guitar, television, film, and stage actor Brendan Dooling is passionate about everything he works on. Brendan is currently featured on the CW’s The Carrie Diaries. He can also be seen in Charlie, Trevor, and A Girl Named Savannah, as well as the Sundance 2013 film, Breathe In. Other credits include As the World Turns and Unforgettable, and stage productions of The Full Monty, The King & I, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

Brendan Dooling: Immediate gratification of a live audience. I miss performing in theater. I’ll make my return to the stage eventually. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

BD: Isolation, but it’s a good vulnerability. Humbling. I actually seek out solitude. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

BD: As we form our individual opinions of our fellow man, let us base them on our similarities and not our differences. MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

BD: Sometimes it’s binge eating. I’ll also write very sporadically—music, lyrics—to identify the problem. There are a few cathartic processes I’ve alternated randomly. There’s no default. Each emotional experience elicits a different, possibly new response. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

BD: I’ll quote Chuck Palahniuk: “Let that which does not matter truly slide.” MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life?

BD: Shit happens. That’s why the previously stated ability to let it slide is crucial. Or at least worth attempting. MP: What truth do you know for sure?

BD: We are not timeless. MP: Tell me about your latest project.

BD: I’m on a CW show called The Carrie Diaries, which focuses on Carrie Bradshaw, a very bright young lady who aspires to be a writer in New York City. My character’s name is Walter Reynolds. He’s a young man in his last years of high school in the mid-1980s, and Carrie’s best male friend. Like all teens, he’s on a journey of self-discovery. We’ve just begun Season Two. By the end of Season One, Walt realizes his true self, and is now confronting all of the hardship that accompanies coming out as a homosexual. I work with an amazing cast and crew, who all have stellar reputations in the entertainment industry. It’s a joy to be on set with these people almost every day. PHOTO: NINA DUNCAN 32 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM




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LIVING SOBER H E AL I N G F R O M A D DIC T IO N MY ALCOHOLISM HAD TAKEN MY SOUL, MY HOPES, AND MY DREAMS, AND IT WAS CRUSHING MY FAMILY. The phenomenon of the reality shows I was on weren’t the cause of my addiction, yet added fuel to the fire. I can only explain my transition in the past three years as being a miracle. My life was so far off track. I had lost my will to live. When everything came crashing down around me, I realized that not only was I destroying myself, I was also destroying my family. I knew I had to get help, so I surrendered to my addiction. I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, fell to my knees, and finally asked for help. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but it saved my life. I started going to Alcoholics Anonynmous, partnered up with a sponsor, and began to devote my life to recovery. I worked the steps of recovery into my everyday life, knowing that I only had to change one thing— everything. My behaviors and lifestyle choices had led me to my rock bottom, so I did everything I could to start changing in ways that would support me getting my life back on track. I surrounded myself with great friends who told me what I needed—not wanted—to hear. I let go of my over-inflated ego and allowed my friends, family, and the program to help restore me. I realized that I had an underestimated sense of self-worth, and this allowed me to become humble. Lifestyle changes such as these have helped me realize that I am still an alcoholic and always will be, but


I had lost my will to live. When everything came crashing down around me, I realized that not only was I destroying myself, I was also destroying my family.

I constantly strive to stay sober by contributing to multiple charities and working in recovery at Northbound Treatment Services. I can honestly say that my new, sober life is amazing. I am in love and getting married. I have a supportive, healthy family and great friends. I am here because of my hard work, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the grace of God. I once did not have the will to live. Now I get to live the dream daily. Jason Whaler is best known for his roles on the reality programs Laguna Beach, The Hills, and Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab. Today he is three years sober and a Client Services Manager at Northbound Treatment Services.

Misha Collins Actor. Dad. Supernatural Meditator. Founder: Random Acts. Gina Murdock: Hello Misha, how are you? Feeling angel or devil?

Misha Collins: I prefer not to weigh in on the angel/demon question. I don’t want to alienate those of your readership who belong to satanic cults. I can say that I’m feeling pretty good. A lot of people don’t know this, but I am not currently in prison, which feels great. GM: How did you go from acting to running your own nonprofit, Random Acts?

MC: I fell into a role on a sci-fi show, Supernatural, several years ago and quickly learned that the fan base for the show was incredibly active, enthusiastic, and devoted. They write fiction, create tons of artwork, build virtual communities online, and spend a lot of time and money traveling to fan conventions. When the earthquake struck Haiti a few years ago, I set up a donation page for UNICEF and posted the URL on my Twitter feed. In twenty-four hours, more than $30,000 had been raised. I put two and two together and realized that I might be in a position to mobilize some of this creative energy to benevolent ends, and then set up a nonprofit with the help of the fans. The organization has grown beyond the Supernatural fanbase over the past couple of years. Now we have partnerships with other nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including a Nascar team, which is pretty badass), and we have pulled off some projects that I’m very proud of.

Meditating takes on a different quality when someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “Dad, why are you sleeping like that?” GM: What are you passionate about?

MC: I am passionate about tea, running, the idea that we are bound only by the limits of our imaginations, and maple syrup. GM: Was there a turning point in your life when you shifted from a “me” to “we” mentality?

MC: That’s a very presumptuous question, Gina. You are presuming that I do not operate as a self-serving, megalomaniacal dick. Perhaps I shifted from “me” to “we” when I realized that “I” could get a lot more done with “us.” That moment when I first raised money for the earthquake victims was an aha moment for me. Suddenly realizing that I was able to reach large numbers of people online and that they were, for some strange reason, listening. Now I have close to a million followers on Twitter, which is crazy because I don’t even know how to spell. But it definitely forces me to think more about the “we” factor. GM: Do you practice any kind of yoga or meditation?

MC: I occasionally go to a yoga class. Everyone looks so limber and coordinated compared to me. I feel like I scare my classmates. I do

meditate. I started meditating with Vipassana and Anapana mediation about ten years ago. I’ve done a dozen or so ten-day silent retreats. I’m learning about Zen now. I also have two children under three who keep me up all night and don’t seem to understand the benefits of sitting in silence, which has presented an interesting challenge. Meditating takes on a different quality when someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “Dad, why are you sleeping like that?” THERANDOMACT.ORG ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 35





Everyone came here to do something magnificent.... You should only be doing that thing that lights up your soul. Reina Shay Broussard: You’ve had a lengthy career as a comedian and actress, but you’re still best known for your role as Synclaire on Living Single. Does it bother you that people remember you most for that character?

4Kim Coles: Not at all. I totally embrace it. If you say, “Woo, woo, woo!” to me, I’ll say it back. I love it. “Woo, woo, woo” is something that my character used to say. It’s something that my mother used to say to my brother and me when we were kids. When words would fail her, she’d just go, “Oh, woo, woo, woo.” It’s compassion. It’s a combination of “I see you, I feel you, I acknowledge you, I got your back.” RSB: Why do you do what you do?

4KC: I do what I do because there’s nothing else for me to do. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. It is in my soul to spread love and laughter. Even if I wasn’t an actress or a comedian, I would be spreading love and laughter [with] whatever I did. RSB: When I heard you speak at the Women’s Empowerment Conference in Houston, you shared your personal empowerment message called Open The GIFTS.

4KC: Open the GIFTS actually came out of this quest. I ended up going into a pretty deep depression that people don’t know about, and now I’m talking about it. I was too focused on, If I’m not working, who am I? Why am I not doing that thing that I want to do the most? Why am I not successful in this moment? I thought, If I’m going through this, then other people are, too. GIFTS is an acronym for Gratitude, Intention, Forgiveness, Triumphs, and Selflove. I believe that those are the principles we need to explore in order to discover our true gifts. Everyone came here to do something magnificent. What is important is that you live your life to your fullest potential. That’s how you open your gifts and share them with the world. You should only be doing that thing that lights up your soul. You should only be doing the thing that makes you happy. Not just surface happy. That content, all-is-well-withmy-soul happy. It’s the thing you would do for free, and if you do it, you actually become hugely successful and make a lot of money, because the universe is going to send you the resources. I’m happy to get up in the morning. I’ll tell you a little secret: I still want to work in Hollywood. However, I get really excited about getting on a plane, flying to a city, and talking to a group of people about finding the gifts they already have inside. PHOTO COURTESY OF VIXEN PRODUCTIONS 36 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

RSB: How do you deal with your pain?

4KC: I examine it every which way. Why do I really feel this way? What’s going on here? I have to really explore it all the way out, drill it down to its lowest common denominator and go, Oh! That’s what that is. I’m feeling insecure. Or, Oh! God has something better for me. RSB: How do you maintain your center in the middle of chaos?

4KC: I’ve lived on the earth for fifty years. I’ve had enough experience with knowing that things will turn out just fine. I pray for that. There’s a lesson in everything. Looking for the lesson is grounding. RSB: Are there any particular humanitarian or environmental causes that you support?

4KC: I lend my voice to several things. I’m starting my own foundation called the Kim Coles Foundation. RSB: What are your particular goals with your foundation?

4KC: Anything that helps women close the gap between self-hatred, or not understanding their self-worth, and self esteem. RSB: Anything else you’d like to share?

4KC: I just want a life that’s full of up-leveled joy. And I’m ready to meet a nice man! Put that out there, too. THEREALKIMCOLES.COM




Debbi Fields Star of Supermarket Superstar on Lifetime.

More than Just Cookies: This Female Business Pioneer is an Inspirational Powerhouse for Women and Small Businesses. Maranda Pleasant: What is it that makes you feel fully alive?

Debbi Fields: I get very excited when I wake up in the morning and I am just full of oxygen. I say that purposefully. I try not to take for granted how lucky we are to have life and breath and opportunity. Once we’ve got that, we can conquer anything. Truly, I get high on oxygen, and once I graduate from that, what really fulfills me is doing what I love. That, to me, is absolutely priceless. MP: What are the things that you love?

DF: I love being in the moment. I love my family. I love chocolate. I love baking. I love making people smile. I get so much energy through interacting and feeling like I’ve made


a difference, a small difference. My favorite movie of all times is Pay It Forward. I feel like any time I’m doing what I love, my big pay-off is watching somebody else be the receiver. All I need as payment is a smile. That just really pushes me forward so that I’m always capturing the next opportunity to develop myself. Working on Supermarket Superstar has fueled me. It’s given me new oxygen, new energy. It’s made me more innovative, creative. It tapped into what I love to do. I love to nurture, I love to help people. I love to brainstorm. I like to mentor. When you’re starting out, especially as an entrepreneur, you really don’t know what you’re doing. You go out there and you try so many things. The key in the process, to me, is that you keep trying and you never give up. The opportunity that the show presents is, I

use my experience, my failures, my successes, and help people stay focused. MP: Is Supermarket Superstar the thing that you’re focusing your energy on right now?

DF: One hundred percent of it. I got involved in this show because it fits what I believe. Number one, my role is to be a mentor. My role is to coach, encourage, inspire, motivate, and help people. This show will appeal to anybody who, in your lifetime, said, “I make the best ________” or “My family has this recipe that’s been passed down and everyone says I need to market it.” Well, if you believe in those two things, this is the show for you. This is the vehicle that helps people take their home food product and get

Small business in America is what fuels the American economy. We need more small businesses to assist us in creating a great nation and in creating more jobs. It’s this frontier that is endless in terms of opportunity and potential. I see how this show can do so much. It can motivate people who are watching TV, saying, “Oh, I don’t know if I can do it.” This is the show that will show them how. I’m having so much fun. I’m also working on a new cookbook, which is called “Debbie Fields: More Than Just Cookies.” I’m having a lot of fun doing it. MP: You’re a lot of fun to be around.

DF: I love having fun! Why not? MP: You have a part in all of our childhoods and lives. What was it like being a woman in business?

DF: When I started out at twenty, I had a dream, I had a recipe, and I wanted to market my cookies. My very first challenge was when I told my family and my friends that I was going to go into the cookie business. Their first response was, “Debbie, what are you thinking? You will absolutely fail. Nobody will buy your cookies. Everybody makes cookies at home. It will be a fad.” I can give you an endless list of all the reasons why you’re told you can’t do something. The bottom line is that I knew all the reasons why I couldn’t. I did not have a pedigree of any kind. I was two years into junior college. I had no money. I had no business experience. I wasn’t bankable.

I thought the greatest failure for me was to never pursue my dream, and to always think, what could it have been like? I’m not a “what if.” I want to just do it, try it, give it my all, and if it’s not meant to be, I can accept that. But I had to do it. What really fueled me, and maybe infuriated me, is that nobody believed in me. Nobody. I don’t even think I believed in myself. Part of what I was trying to do was to make the decision to go into business and find the guts to see it through. I was told that when I went in to see the bankers that I was supposed to be very muted, that I was supposed to blend in, that I was supposed to have the typical drab suit on. I thought, You know what? If that’s what everybody else is doing, that is not what I’m going to do! I already knew I was up against so much. Why do I want to look like everybody else? Yes, everybody can bring their business plan—I’m going to bring my product. My product will sell more than my business plan. They’re going to make a decision based on numbers, and my vision, my business, is more than numbers. It’s an experience. I would take my business plan, I would make fresh-baked cookies, and I would go in with the brightest possible dress that you can imagine. MP: You defied a woman having to look like a man to succeed.

DF: It’s true! If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this. My great plan did not produce results; I did get wonderful feedback through all my rejections. The one thing that was always obvious, besides the answer no, was that they ate my cookies! As bad as it was that I didn’t get the money, I didn’t get the financing, I got the answer no—what I saw is that they would eat all the cookies during the course of my meeting, and they would be gone.

I believe the only limitations are the ones that we accept. I know that there is, in theory, a glass ceiling. But I don’t believe that it’s a solid wall. I’m going through it. Nothing’s stopping me... When somebody says, “You can’t,” I say, “Why not?”

What really fueled me, and maybe infuriated me, is that nobody believed in me. Nobody. I don’t even think I believed in myself.

My mom, who is just truly my mentor, really gave me the breakthrough, and said, “Debbie. It is so obvious that this is not working. Everybody is telling you no. Just give up! Your dream is not going to happen.” She had to say those magic words, “Just give up,” and that motivated me further and farther than I ever imagined. The easiest thing any of us can do, Maranda, is give up. It doesn’t matter how many no’s you go through. I set up a whole new mantra, “No is an unacceptable answer. I’m allergic to no.” Frankly, I just said, there are people out there who want to say yes. That gave me confidence to keep asking. I believe the only limitations are the ones that we accept. I know that there is, in theory, a glass ceiling. But I don’t believe that it’s a solid wall. I’m going through it. Nothing’s stopping me. Yes, there are these preconceived notions; yes, we have challenges. Let’s accept them, let’s not be afraid of them, let’s break through them. We will show the world that we are more than capable. When somebody says, “You can’t,” I say, “Why not?” MP: I am so inspired. If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would that be?

DF: We are here for a reason. We all have a gift or gifts to share. You want to look inside your heart and your soul, and you want to tap into the one thing you love to do. Develop it. Share it. Nurture it. You were meant to have that gift. MP: I am so proud to know you.

DF: It was all meant to be! I really do believe that there’s no such thing as coincidence. People come into our lives for a reason. DEBBIFIELDS.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 39


it onto supermarket shelves. It goes from the kitchen to mass production to portioning, nutrition, and packaging, and then branding, and then marketing. It’s the most exciting developmental show.




It’s quite beautiful. He feels loved and supported, in a state of true connection, which breeds a sense of social confidence and burns away the dross of social alienation that so often accompanies children on the autistic spectrum. Years ago, prior to my son’s diagnosis, I remember seeing families who were impacted by Autism and thinking, That must be tough. I then swiftly returned to my own individual concerns and day-to-day responsibilities, giving little thought to what having a child with Autism was really about, or what is really required to truly love a son or a daughter through the forest of Autism. That all changed when my son turned three and we received his diagnosis of “high functioning Autism.” Suddenly, I realized that the most important person in my life was suffering. I made a vow to do whatever it takes to help him realize his full potential and fulfill his dreams. Through guided research and some wonderful support from our doctors and friends, I put together a comprehensive program including dietary intervention and biomedical supplementation, speech therapy, behavior intervention, specialized education, occupational therapy, and social interventions. All of this support began making a difference. His speech and motor abilities improved, his ability to socialize increased, as did his cognitive clarity and educational progress. Early on, someone told me that the rule of the game with Autism is engagement. This is most effectively achieved, in my experience, by surrounding the child with the proper therapists who understand the importance of engagement or true connectedness with the child while practicing their particular discipline. This has been very beneficial in helping my son come out of the downward spiral of Autism, allowing him to make true connections with the people in his world. Once he understood that he was able to connect on a meaningful level with others, we began to support him to participate in all daily life skills, interpersonal activities, and community events. When being present with my son and in supporting him to make a true connection, it requires whoever is with him to understand that there

can be no compromise in communication; that we work together, connect, and understand each other. That we don’t just dismiss moments that are not understood, that we don’t take the position of “he doesn’t really get it,” that we keep the bar high and not low. We have found that my son will meet us where we are at with him. If we don’t expect much from him, he may not give us much. But if we expect a lot, he gives us everything. It’s quite beautiful. He feels loved and supported, in a state of true connection, which breeds a sense of social confidence and burns away the dross of social alienation that so often accompanies children on the autistic spectrum. Compassion, patience, and understanding are always the guidelines for us on our journey. There are many challenges in raising a child with Autism. Through the journey, many of us who are our children’s advocates struggle to make sure our children receive the much needed support and services required for them to realize their dreams. Those needs often change, as different ages require different supports. Kids on the spectrum are often victimized by abuse of many kinds and need to be protected and guided through a world they have difficulty understanding and fitting into. This can be very challenging for parents as we try to make sense of it all. I have found that in devoting myself to helping my son through unconditional love and service, he has become my teacher. He is leading me to a deeper experience of living and personal enlightenment. His heroic efforts on a daily basis always give me something to strive for. He is my greatest gift from God and he has illuminated my soul. I thank God for him every day, and hope I can be half the person he is. Actor Michael Harney will next be seen in Netflix’s original series, Orange is the New Black. He has previously appeared in programs such as Weeds, Deadwood, NYPD Blue, and movies such as Erin Brockovich, Turbulence, and Captivity.




Lisa Richards www.bepresent.com









I feel very vulnerable when it has to do with so extremely close to, now I feel so vulnerable when somebody gets sick or hurt. I become a complete wreck until they’re well. Even if it’s a cold! I compare myself to Marlin in Finding Nemo. somebody so close to you like that, you become very overprotective. MP: What causes do you support?

NOD: I started bettysbattle.org, which is a charity in honor of my mom, associated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a charity that is near and dear to my heart. We turned to them for resources and information. They were there for us every step of the way, from the day that Mom was diagnosed. I formed a charity in honor of my mom and them. I’m the national ALS ambassador for MDA. I do their telethon every year. Maranda Pleasant: What is it that you are passionate about?

Nancy O’Dell: My family. My daughter. My stepson. My family is the biggest, my kids. My daughter and I are so close. She just turned six. I can describe anything she’s doing, the least little thing, and I get all excited about it. It’s like medicine. When I come home from work and the first thing I see is her and she runs and jumps in my arms— everything that went bad in the day goes completely out the window. It’s like taking a dose of medicine. It makes everything better. MP: What makes you most vulnerable?

Best Buddies is another one. It’s an organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities get out into the community and form one-on-one friendships. I do a lot of work with the Red Cross, too. As a reporter, before I went to entertainment news, I tended to follow natural disasters. I went to Charleston, South Carolina, after Hurricane Hugo. I went to Miami the year after they were recovering from Hurricane Andrew. I came to California when they were recovering from a big earthquake. I’ve seen the Red Cross and how they stay there years after a natural disaster. They’re not just there when a disaster is happening. MP: What project are you working on right now?

NOD: I feel very vulnerable when it has to do with family. Having lost my mom, who I was so extremely close to, now I feel so vulnerable when somebody gets sick or hurt. I become a complete wreck until they’re well. Even if it’s a cold! I compare myself to Marlin in Finding Nemo. MP: How did your mother pass away?

NOD: She passed away due to complications of ALS. She lost her voice for about a year and nobody could tell us what was wrong. Somebody suggested we go see a neurologist. We knew one of the possibilities was ALS, but that was the worst diagnosis she could get. We prayed it would be anything else, and that was the diagnosis that we got. She was my best friend. A wonderful, wonderful, person. It’s devastating. Obviously, life-altering, life-changing. Once you lose PHOTOS: ULRICA WIHLBORG

NOD: I have a relatively new project. The first storybook came out this past December and we have another one coming out, called “Little Ashby: Star Reporter.” It was named after my daughter. It’s a storybook for the iPad. I saw how much my daughter, who is six now, was enjoying it. It’s a whole new world for kids. “Little Ashby: Star Reporter” is an extremely interactive storybook app. I love my job so much. I thought, what a cool way for kids to learn, via assignment, via reporting. I learn so much as an adult going around and covering these stories. How fun it would be to do it via a storybook app and cartoon characters. My daughter can work on an iPhone and iPad like crazy. That’s their world. If you can use that, use it educationally. They can learn while they’re having so much fun. They don’t even realize they’re learning. All the proceeds go to MDA. BETTYSBATTLE.ORG




family. Having lost my mom, who I was

3 Amazing Cancer Thrivers

Tara Belaire

Jenn Fickes

Magdalin Leonardo




Breast Cancer (L) in 2002. DCIS. Stage 0. Lumpectomy. Radiation. Five months daily wound care after breast abscess. Five years of daily Tamoxifen. Breast Cancer (L) in 2008. Stage 2. BRCA 2 positive. Bilateral mastectomy. Chemotherapy. Five years of daily Anastozole pill. Monthly injection of Zoladex. Will have ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed in December 2013.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Stage 2B. Chemotherapy. Bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Radiation treatment.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)/ Stage IIIB. Chemotherapy. Surgery. Radiation.

Surviving cancer has helped me to appreciate the good things in my life more, as well as walk away and ignore the bad. It has made me love and respect my mother Jane even more. She has survived raising five children, and has been the caregiver for me; my brother during his struggle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; and my sister, who is currently living with Stage 4 colon cancer. She stayed strong at her father’s deathbed, who died of prostate cancer, as well as more recently, when my brother—who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2012— passed in January 2013.

Chemo only made my cancer worse. Surgery was brutal. Returning to treatment was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It never occurred to me that treatment wouldn’t work, and I had no faith in science. I could not look at my kids knowing I didn’t do everything possible to survive. Cancer is harder than anyone can imagine. Not knowing how many days you have left gives you an amazing drive to make the most of it.

Sometimes when I stare at my naked self in the mirror, I feel like a circus freak, a long, ugly scar where my left breast used to be. Other times, I marvel at my body’s ability to heal from a cancer that nearly killed me. I credit my recovery to the unconditional love of my husband, the constant support of family and friends, a sense of humor, positive thinking, and most of all, consistent and fervent prayer.








Global Youth Peace Summit


The Summit unites 75 youth from 25+ countries for a week devoted to healing, cultural exchange, leadership development, and community building.

“They call me a terrorist,” Ahmed said, head hung low. The other Iraqi youth in the room nodded, acknowledging Ahmed was not alone in what he experienced at his new American school. It was Ahmed’s first Global Youth Peace Summit; he had only been in the country for five months. “They throw Coke cans at me,” Ahmed continued, “I do nothing to them.” I glanced around the room, which was filled with seventy-five youth representing twenty-five countries. Some were moved to tears, others offered words of support, but Ahmed appeared shut down. The next morning, we walked in silence to our Sacred Circle, a time for youth to offer songs from their cultures or prayers from their religions. It was the third morning of the Summit and most of the youth were sharing openly, except for the Iraqi youth— no prayer from Islam had been shared yet. Based on Ahmed’s words the previous evening, it was clear why. We gathered in a circle under the outdoor pavilion. One youth shared the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish, another shared a Buddhist chant. After a minute of silence, Ali, a volunteer from Pakistan, spoke up, “I would like to offer a prayer from the Koran.” He walked to the center of the circle and kneeled. As he began to pray, I looked over to Ahmed. He was torn, fearful of being rejected for his beliefs. A few moments passed, then Ahmed joined Ali in the middle of the circle. The rest of the Iraqi youth followed. We watched their beautiful prayer for a moment. One by one, the entire circle of youth and volunteers gathered behind Ahmed and Ali, kneeling and praying in solidarity. Although we didn’t know the words, we followed their movements, some of us crying as we prayed. When the prayer ended, Ahmed and the other Iraqi youth turned to see the entire Summit behind them. Overcome with emotion, Ahmed took off running. I followed and caught up to him. I asked if he was okay. Through tears he said, “I never felt love like that before. I feel so much love.” We hugged and cried. It’s experiences like the one with Ahmed that remind me how—beyond countries, backgrounds, and beliefs—we are all human beings and we all want to feel loved, accepted, and heard. To me, this is what the Global Youth Peace Summit is all about. For more information on the Summit, please visit amalafoundation.org.









My passion in this life is to live consciously and with intention. I strive to offer my best self to the world even through the recurrent challenges that life offers. I practice being a compassionate and loving witness to the soul’s longing for liberation. I feel awake, and listen with an open heart and curious mind to the endless possibilities in every moment. With unceasing gratitude, I embrace with courage the juicy, complex, unpredictable richness of this soul’s life.

I believe businesses should be about more than the bottom line and can make the earth a better place. This is why JadeYoga plants a tree for every mat sold (over 500,000 trees so far), gives mats to organizations bringing yoga to people in need, donates 50% of profits from our Teal, Pink, and Saffron mats to ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and autism causes, and makes our mats in the U.S., ensuring compliance with U.S. environmental, labor, worker, and consumer laws.

There’s a fire that burns within that I cannot ignore. Time is valuable and no minute should be wasted. I take hold of each day, each moment, and mold it into a celebration of life. On and off the mat, my journey radiates into full self-expression. Obstacles are opportunities that only fuel my drive. That fire translates into a desire to reach out to people so they can stand in their greatness. Power Vinyasa Yoga is my vehicle.





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I developed evanhealy based on my experience as a holistic esthetician. I found that the less you interfere with the skin’s own ability to achieve balance the better. The concept of “less is more” is consistently missed by a beauty industry fueled by the ingredient du jour. I’ve taken my love of plants and my experience of what works on the skin, and created a selection of simple plant-based skin care that radically changes how women view their skin. PHOTO: JAKOB DE BOER


My passion is sharing the precious teachings of meditation, helping those who are suffering connect to their wellspring of well-being, and embody true health, healing, and wholeness. In secular and spiritual formats, the trainings and retreats I offer through the Integrative Restoration Institute help us experience our interconnection with the mystery of life from which healing and creativity flow, where we experience our interconnectedness within, and realize that life’s living us as its perfect expression of wonder, delight, and joy!


To empower women to feel beautiful, strong in their own skin; to provide real, effective, pure, and healthful solutions for the skin, so a woman’s true beauty within can radiate out. Our philosophy, Know Your Beauty®, supports being informed, empowered, and confident with exactly who we are, by accepting ourselves and defining what beauty means on our own terms.





What do you want more than anything else? What are the values by which you live that give purpose and meaning to your life? When you welcome these words inside yourself, when you allow yourself to deeply feel this question and allow your response to arise naturally, you’ll have a sense of the depth of practice that iRest Yoga Nidra offers you. Would you be willing to do an experiment? Lay this magazine down for a moment and ponder this question as a feeling inquiry. Your mind will want to think up the answer. Instead, feel into the question and allow it to elicit your deepest, most heartfelt response.

Liberating Your Heartfelt Desire Pondering the inquiry above is aimed at helping you liberate both your Heartfelt Desire, which gives purpose and meaning to your life, as well as various Intentions that help you actualize and live your life from your HFD. iRest helps you turn your attention to sensations in your body, so that judgments and preconceptions are set aside, and curiosity and openness are activated, which nourish concentration and deep listening.

Living Your Questions How do you feel just holding this question? Large and small questions arise daily in our lives. These questions themselves are points of inquiry that we can proactively take into our meditation and yoga practices, which enable us to grow in wisdom, understanding, compassion, and right action. Staying with a question and feeling behind the words to the source of the question enables you to dive deeply within yourself into a place of not-knowing, from where possibilities blossom and bear fruit in your outer life. Taking time to live in the unknown can elicit a range of experiences, from wonder and awe to discomfort and terror. The conscious practice of meeting, greeting, and welcoming these experiences build within you the resiliency and resources to move beyond mere coping, to living an embodied life of joy and equanimity in the midst of the daily challenges that life brings to our table. Samantha Kinkaid is a therapeutic yoga and meditation teacher based in Southern California. She is also a Director at the Integrative Restoration Institute and works closely with the Institute’s founder, Richard Miller, PhD. For more information on iRest Yoga Nidra, please visit the Integrative Restoration Institute: irest.us.


500-HOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Ready for more? Combine your 200-hour certification with three of four modules to earn advanced accreditation at PYC.

Join our unique Yoga Alliance registered courses on the pristine southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. All of our programs include meals, onsite accommodations, and all program costs.

The Art of Flow February 3 – 13, 2014 Discover the secrets within the sacred craft of vinyasa yoga. Using music theory, Ayurveda, and the science of sequencing, learn to create masterful yoga classes.

Integrative Healing Yoga Therapy March 2 – 10, 2014 Study trigger point therapy, acupressure, and methods of relaxation for working with private clients. PYC founder Indira Kate Kalmbach is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and treats private clients both in the USA and internationally.

The Anatomy of The Self with Ray Long, MD



January 5 - 31, 2014 Merge the physical and contemplative practices of yoga while deepening your connection with the earth.

March 14 – 24, 2014 Join master teachers Ray Long, M.D. and Indira Kate Kalmbach for an in-depth study of physical and metaphysical anatomy.

The Heart of Practice Fall 2014 Common to most contemplative traditions is the understanding that the gems of inner wisdom shine through periods of inner and outer stillness, silence, and meditation. Study the research being done in the field of mindfulness and learn to teach meditation across populations.



LEADERS WE ADMIRE: Changing. Impacting. Inspiring.

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1. Amy Halman Ft Lauderdale. President. Formulator. ACURE. My personal struggle with a devastating and alienating skin condition opened my eyes to true healing, inside and out. Now, I not only commit myself to the creation of clean, nutrition-based personal care, but tirelessly educate on its importance. Real beauty is compassion for the body and how it works. There is no better feeling than empowering people with the knowledge and awareness to make impactful choices for themselves.



2. Jamie Feldstein, M.A., LMFT. Los Angeles. Host. Holistic Living with Jamie. HealthyLife.net. As a holistic psychotherapist and radio talk show host, I am honored to serve as a conduit for others to share sacred stories and speak truths. Grounded and fueled by these authentic connections, my passions include indulging in nature, creative endeavors, and optimal health, especially eliminating toxicity from our bodies and the environment. My rambunctious puppy Tugger inspires me daily. HOLISTICHEALINGWITHJAMIE.COM PHOTO: MARGIE WOODS BROWN


3. Carla Khabbaz Denver. Professional certified coach. Fresh Start Alliance. Fresh Start Alliance was born of a passion to inspire, teach, and support women who are seeking to create more momentum, passion, and flow in their lives, relationships, and careers. I believe that we all come into this world as rock stars with souls that need no fixing or tweaking. Along the way, however, we lose sight of our greatness and forget who we truly are. I am passionate about guiding women to live with a higher level of consciousness so they may have the energy, confidence, and wisdom to be fully in charge of what is going on their life, regardless of outside circumstances. AFRESHSTARTALLIANCE.COM PHOTO: STEVE Z PHOTOGRAPHY

WOMEN WHO INSPIRE US Liz Belile Austin. Mother. Writer. Yoga teacher. Late bloomer. Creation is my passion. In 2007, at the ripened age of forty-three, I gave birth to my son. Before then, I led erotica workshops for women, performed internationally, and wrote for television, internet, and alternative news. Now, on the cusp of fifty, my prolific creativity inspires other women to pursue their own wildest dreams. I write screenplays, perform, and teach fertility yoga. Wildest dreams!


4. Ashley Cebulka Elli Boland

Anita Jarowenko Creator. YogaJellies.

Charleston. Life coaches. Agents of Change. Our mission is to give you empowering tools that take your life from blah to F!yeah!. As recovered perfectionists, best friends, and business partners, we are passionate about elevating ourselves and those around us. Together we created Perfectionist Rehab, a fun and effective program to help you choose love over fear and create a life that feels damn good!

I am so grateful for the power of one small idea. YogaJellies became a catalyst in awakening me to my potential. Helping others explore what is possible in their yoga practice has reinforced the importance of service to others. I would encourage all of you to be sensitive to the ideas and gifts you receive and boldly act on them! YOGAJELLIES.COM PHOTO: NICK GOULD


5. Sonia Semone

Trista Sukhraj Kaur Gipple

Founder. ArtHash.

Yoga teacher. Psychotherapist.

When I started ArtHash, I wanted to create a place that would be a resource for artists. There are so many artists struggling to find their place in the world, and I wanted to somehow make that easier. Although I have been a professional artist, I find now that advocating for the arts is where more of my passion lies. Starting from a blog, ArtHash is now a free online tool that posts calls for artists, art events, and even artist interviews, as well as a Facebook group with over 2000 members, all of whom enjoy discussing art every day.

At age thirteen, I saw a yogi levitate on Phil Donahue. Right there on daytime TV, he would jump and hover over a mat. My direction was set. Now my life centers around Kundalini, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga. My teaching directs students back to themselves, to yoga’s great lesson that “it” is hiding where you least expect it—within. PEACE-FLOW-YOGA.COM PHOTO: OMLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY





Erden Eruç One year ago, fifty-two-year-old Erden Eruç became the first man to solo circumnavigate Earth by rowboat, bicycle, and boots. He completed the journey by riding his bicycle to the same seaside marina at sunset, and quietly dipping his toe into Bodega Bay in California, where he had begun his 1,026 day journey several years ago. The idea for this epic quest occurred in 1997 when he was working at a desk as a software engineer and visualizing a journey from the U.S. to Turkey. The spark that set him on his way was the tragic death of his friend and adventure inspiration Göran Kropp, who passed away in Eruç’s arms following a climbing accident. Our Origin contributor caught up with Erden Eruç at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado.

Erden Eruç: I defined myself before the journey as an engineer interested in advancing myself and my career, with more education leading to more responsibility, authority— and presumably, more money and property. I was living in Seattle, chasing skills and projects.

it as a catalyst. I had to dig deep and asked myself, What is my life’s purpose? I had dreamed and envisioned a human-powered journey around the world and I could no longer go on with paralysis by analysis. No more excuses. Life is short and I had to get on with it. Today I define myself as someone who is meant to take on such challenges; and I have found my purpose in life. If I have one regret, it is that I did not start earlier.

When Göran fell and died, I felt that I was meant to be there. I was the one meant to use

KH: What kinds of insights did you gain over the course of the journey?

Karen Heller: How do you define yourself differently as a result of your journey?



I had dreamed and envisioned a human-powered journey around the world and I could no longer go on with paralysis by analysis. No more excuses. Life is short and I had to get on with it. EE: Physical disability is simply a problem to be solved; we work around it. Mental disability, on the other hand, is very insidious. We say, “I can’t,” and then believe it. We convince ourselves that we are not extraordinary. We are all mentally disabled to a certain degree when it comes to our true potential. If we hang in there with tenacity, we can make something happen. I had to stare down nearly 40,000 miles of journey that included big oceans. As one man in a rowboat with a GPS, I broke it down to thirty miles per day—walking speed. I would set an imaginary goal as a waypoint, and then get there on a daily basis. This gave me a sense of progress, and I would give myself rewards. I focused on performance and practiced delayed gratification. KH: What kind of physical condition were you in at the beginning? What was the most difficult physical challenge?

EE: I have been an athlete throughout my life. I was a competitive wrestler. In the U.S., I got into marathons. When I was eleven years old, my father took me mountain climbing for the first time in Turkey. With all these sports I got to know my body—my limits, how to get into shape, how to recover from injuries. Physically, the most difficult stretch during my circumnavigation was the Bismarck Sea. After 312 days on the Pacific, I had not been

able to bring the boat to shore due to stronger than normal equatorial winds due to La Niña conditions. The boat kept getting pushed west. I gave up trying to cross the Equator and tried to land the boat on several islands. I could not, and then the typhoon season began. Category-4 Super Typhoon Ramasoon formed due northwest of me. I was in the wrong hemisphere in the wrong season. I had to arrange a pick-up by a Philippine ship. They then returned my rowboat to the same spot north of Papua New Guinea after the typhoon season. During the transport from the Philippines to the drop site, I was given a bench to sleep on in a meeting room by the Captain’s quarters. The crew slept and rocked peacefully in their bunks. Over time my lower back began acting up. It turned out to be the sleeping arrangements. I had been sleeping perpendicular to the keel of the boat and the rocking motion had moved my spine like an accordion and created a nerve injury in my SIjoint. I could not have them take me back and delay the journey another year. I had to get in my boat and continue. The injury recruited all of the muscles around it; from knee to neck I was one solid mass of pain in my back when I rowed. But I felt I had to go on. I could not burden the people who had worked so hard to get me this far by starting over. I changed my rowing posture by leaning back, using my legs and arms only. I had pain killers,

muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories; what I really needed was rest. Due to the monsoon rains and overcast skies, my solar panels failed to charge my batteries, and my electric water-maker did not work. I limited my water intake and was dehydrated. It required dogged determination and stubbornness to keep going. I gained a great sense of respect for the majesty and power of nature. I personally experienced the realization of being a tiny speck of dust on the planet, and of the Earth as a tiny blue marble in the universe.



Conversely, I sensed the impact of humanity and the power that we humans have to change the world for worse or for better. That potential is huge. As one I am nothing, but as a collective we are powerful. We can destroy this beautiful planet. As a collective we can also take action. KH: Was experiencing the current world’s natural environment an important part of your original vision?

EE: A climber can visualize a line on a cliff that has never been done before. Once they do it and it is done, that becomes their creation. My vision was to go around the globe with the low horsepower of one human being. I was the artist and the world was my canvas. Because I was “underpowered,” I would be more

ways to be part of what I was doing. It gave me great satisfaction to give them the joy of being part of the journey. Sometimes I simply asked for a cup of water just to make time for a brief conversation to spread the joy. I found that if people were not curious they did not approach me. When I landed at Papua New Guinea, I was greeted by a wall of flesh on the wharf—they had never seen a white man in a rowboat. Then the bowls began arriving, full of food. I was their guest of honor. It was my journey that made the difference. Had I been a tourist in a car or a yacht, it would have been a different deal. KH: What were your most important survival skills?

EE: I am an engineer and I solve problems.

I was the artist and the world was my canvas. Because I was “underpowered,” I would be more vulnerable to nature’s forces. I had to coexist with nature.

vulnerable to nature’s forces. I had to coexist with nature. In my choice to travel under my own power, I had limited my options and accepted a different set of rules to the game. I now ask myself, can we as a society impose rules on ourselves in how we carry on? Can we define a set of rules as a society to make life more meaningful? If I could find ways to exist on less, I can see that happening on a larger scale. The hard part is defining the rules for long-term survival, and then building world consensus. KH: How did you manage the solitude when rowing, paddling, walking, and cycling for five years?

EE: I learned to like myself. I already enjoyed solitude. I have hiked up peaks and watched the horizon for hours. I do not mind company, but if one is content with being alone and at peace by himself, this type of activity is thoroughly enjoyable. I read more at sea. I had a dozen books with me on my last crossing, and it was lovely to have that feel of paper with me, to read, knowing that my boat was going in the right direction with the seas because I had designed the route well. KH: What was it like when you did meet people along the way?

EE: I learned early on to let people in and to shed my tendency to say, “I’m fine and do not need any assistance.” People wanted to find


I am wired that way. If there is a question or a problem, I do not dismiss it, but analyze it: How is a problem to be solved? How am I going to find money, time, skills? What modes of travel are necessary? I would purchase aviation charts for remote areas where no other maps were available. I looked for trails where no roads existed. I became quietly obsessive. I learned early on not to share the idea with everyone, to stay away from cynics, and to only seek out those who would or could actually help me. When faced with an emergency, I remained in my problem-solving mode, ran down the checklists in my mind, and improvised as necessary. Prior preparation was critical in all of this. As an athlete, I had the right mindset. I used the journey to get in shape. I did not expect performance for four to six weeks. I was careful not to get injured in the first two weeks so that I could ease into the fitness I needed. When things got tough I remembered to take the next step. KH: If you could meet anyone, who would it be, and why?

EE: I would like to meet Nelson Mandela. I like his words when he says: “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” And: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”


What fuels you? Nova Dasalla.


San Francisco. Denver. Hawaii. North America’s #1-ranked Aerobatic Paragliding Pilot. Vegan. Performing beautiful, risky maneuvers in the sky with my paraglider is what I live for. Laird Hamilton said it best: “We search for something more than just the norm. We lay it all down, including what others call sanity, for just a few moments. We do this because we know there’s still something greater than all of us, which inspires us spiritually. We start going downhill when we stop taking risks.” SOULFLOWARTS.COM U-TURN.DE PHOTOS: JINJU DASALLA (PORTRAIT). BILL HOCKENSMITH (ACTION)

Amy Cotta.


Mother. Fitness trainer. Author. Six Weeks to Skinny Jeans. My life turned upside down when my only biological son left for the USMC boot camp. I took up competing in athletic events (in combat boots) to ease the pain of him leaving home and the uncertainty that comes with military life. I compete in 5Ks, ultramarathons, and triathlons. I’m racing my way to Ironman 140.6 Arizona (in combat boots). I raise money and awareness to combat PTSD. CROWDRISE.COM/IDAREYOUTOGETUNCOMFORTABLE

Marni Sumabl MS, RD, LD/N.




Jacksonville. Owner. Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC, Clinical RD. As an exercise physiologist and registered dietitian, I see food for fuel and for nourishment. As an endurance athlete, I love challenging my mind and body by working hard to reach my personal goals and dreams. I never take a day for granted and I value my health daily. I am passionate about educating, motivating, and inspiring others to live a balanced and quality lifestyle. TRIMARNICOACH.COM TRIMARNI.BLOGSPOT.COM PHOTO: THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER OF IRON GIRL EVENT SERIES.




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F O OD R E VO LU T IO NA R I E S James Colquhoun & Laurentine Ten Bosch Before they became internationally-renowned filmmakers, James Colquhoun and Laurentine Ten Bosch were ordinary people looking for answers. James’s father, Roy, had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. James and Laurentine began researching the causes and treatments of this disease in search of an effective path for Roy’s recovery. With the belief that the visual nature of film was the tool that would have an impact, they released Food Matters. Millions have seen the film and countless numbers have transformed their lives with the understanding that you are what you eat. Not long after Food Matters first appeared, the couple began receiving notes from viewers of Food Matters about struggles with weight and other common symptoms of a poor diet— bloating, skin irritations, food cravings, and addictions to processed foods and sugar—which resulted in their latest film and companion book, Hungry for Change. “We think that the medical profession can solve obesity with drugs and surgery. We’ve got it all wrong. We need education, not medication,” explain the filmmakers. Rocking the health and diet industry, James and Laurentine are determined to expose the truth about the diet industry and the dangers of food addictions, and to empower people to understand that diets don’t work and that you don’t need surgery; there are simple and effective ways to change the way you look at food and nutrition, and simple lifestyle changes that can positively impact your health with lasting results.


Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? David Wolfe: Live events and lectures in front of large audiences. It is the best. I like it more than eating dinner. I have done more live events in the past twenty years than I have eaten dinner.

DW: If you change your food, you can change your life. Food is the most important influence on your health. It is even more important than your thoughts and emotions. If you eat well, you can transform your life.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? DW: I have done this for the past twenty years, so being on the road and doing events is like getting kids ready for school for most families. My daily routine is to make every day the best day. I also have certain health disciplines. Every morning, I do my six-minute workout. I do yoga, drink smoothies, and go to the gym. I also plant trees as much as possible.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest life lessons?

David Wolfe World authority on raw foods, superfoods, natural healing, longevity, earthing, chocolate, and having the best day ever, David Wolfe is a renowned lecturer, acclaimed author, and one of the most sought after health and wellbeing experts touring the world today.

DW: You have to be very careful with who you do business. It’s like a marriage. Do your research and check references.

MP: What truth do you know for sure? DW: Here is the one truth I know for sure: there is no truth for sure. There are no laws of nature; there are habits of nature. Nature is malleable and nature learns. That’s the recent work of Rupert Sheldrake on the morphic field. Nature learns and changes as a result of stimuli, and certain habitats of nature will be formed that weren’t there before. That’s how I look at reality.

MP: What are some big things happening with food right now? DW: There is an enormous amount of interest in raw and organic foods, but more recently it is superfoods. People want to know more about chia seeds, mocha, raw chocolate and cocoa, and what they can do for you. The raw food wave has swept through, and now it is the superfoods wave. The next thing to happen will be super herbalism. People are going to start realizing, why take those antibiotics that are extracts of mushrooms? Why not just have the mushrooms?

MP: Do you have a favorite raw recipe you’d like to share? DW: I love guacamole. My nickname is “Avocado.” While I was studying chocolate and cacao in Mexico, I saw them mixing cocoa nibs into guacamole. It is amazing. 2-3 avocados ½ lime, juiced Cilantro, diced Hot chili, diced (only if you like hot) Sea salt, 1 pinch Cocoa nibs, 2 sprinkles Spring onions, 1 handful Tomatoes, diced

MP: Tell us about your latest project. DW: My recent project is writing a book, Longevity Now. It will be published this September. DAVIDWOLFE.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 61


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


Ask Sharon


The myth of the farm is a deeply ingrained one that needs to be questioned if we are to evolve towards a more compassionate way of living. Farms—whether small or large—are prisons where slaves are kept.

Q: Factory farms are bad, agreed, so couldn’t we go back to a simpler, more humane way of raising animals, and support only small, family-owned farms where animals are treated well and fed organic food?

be exploited. From a yogic point of view, one might consider the karmic consequences of perceiving others as mere objects to be used and the consequences of profiting from the suffering of others who are only kept alive for their profitability to their owner.

SHARON: The myth of the farm is a deeply ingrained one that needs to be questioned if we are to evolve towards a more compassionate way of living. The fact is, farms—whether small or large—are prisons where slaves are kept. The animals are fattened up to be eaten, or exploited for their ability to make honey or milk, or for their fur, wool or body parts; they are kept as breeders to produce more animals who can in turn be exploited and ultimately sold, slaughtered, and eaten. Some people may argue that if the animals are treated humanely prior to being slaughtered, this justifies their confinement and slaughter. But any way you look at it, farms are places where animals are kept to

Q: What if we let all the farm animals go free? Where will they go? They don’t know how to live on their own. Wouldn’t it be cruel not to take care of them?

SHARON: This is the same argument that many white American slave owners gave in the 1800s when they tried to defend their right to own slaves. Yes, we have robbed these animals of their wildness, and they might not be able to revert to a feral state if all the cages, pens, and doors of all the farms were opened. We have severely altered these animals biologically and emotionally, depriving them of any opportunity to develop skills with which to live with one another and their

environment. The process of degradation has been going on for thousands of generations, resulting in domesticated, dependent slaves who are severely retarded intellectually, emotionally, and socially. But just because it has been going on for a long time should not be a reason to accept and continue it. To find a solution to this complicated problem that we have created will take a strategic plan. The first step is to stop abusing these beings: stop breeding them through cruel, humiliating, artificial means and start respecting them as persons. It may be unrealistic to let them go free right now, but it is realistic to acknowledge that, as a species, we human beings are quite ingenious. If we give serious consideration to this problem, we will no doubt find solutions and eventually free these animals. When we do, we will free ourselves. Sharon Gannon is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga method and the author of Yoga & Vegetarianism: the Diet of Enlightenment. JIVAMUKTIYOGA.COM



True Beauty

strong passionate women

Destin Layne New York City. Sustainable food advocacy. Tech innovation. Food brings us together. The intersection of agriculture, technology, and sustainability inspires me. I advise foundations, nonprofits, and new start-ups. I help create hackathon events, innovation dinners, and more. As the former Director of the Food Program at GRACE Communications Foundation and its projects (Sustainable Table, Eat Well Guide, and The Meatrix films) I focused on developing unique partnerships and communication tools to raise public awareness about critical issues. In the past three years, I’ve also partnered with Food+Tech Connect and Applegate on five successful, high-visibility initiatives. This dynamic collaboration of advocacy, technology, and business broadens the reach of our collective work, and bridges philanthropy and innovative partnership. DESTINLAYNE.COM

Lisa Reinhardt Phoenix. Founder. Wei of Chocolate. After living in Asia for eleven years, I wanted to share the incredible gift I’d been given by my teachers. I’m here to shift a paradigm in consciousness, with chocolate as one of the tools. When we let chocolate melt in our mouths and see it as permission to take a delicious break in our day, we rest fully and lovingly in the present moment. WEIOFCHOCOLATE.COM PHOTO: THEA COUGHLIN

Claudine Penedo Los Angeles. Yoga teacher. What drives me in my life is living through my discomfort and expanding my awareness, free to explore and accept where I need to grow. Yoga begins at the point of resistance. Two years ago, I decided to leave my marriage, grow out my gray hair, and enroll in a yoga teacher training. As I expand into these new chapters, it’s a perfect place to teach from. Being a leader in my community necessitates accountability, one breath at a time. PHOTO: DAVID JAKLE


Katie Hess Phoenix. Alchemist. Founder. Lotus Wei.

Ivy Giacchino-Berrocal Montclair. Ayurvedic yoga therapist. Owner. Karuna Shala Yoga & Ayurveda.

I’m passionate about the beauty of flowers and their limitless transformative qualities. I hand-collect flower remedies and infuse them into exquisite personal care rituals that catalyze insights and accelerate personal growth. I’m thrilled to pioneer this cutting edge energy medicine, knowing that these remedies are helping people transform the world by transforming themselves. LOTUSWEI.COM PHOTO: THEACOUGHLIN.COM

“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.” —Rumi I believe we can heal by touching the Divine nature that resides in our hearts. Beauty is waiting there. I have healed myself by weaving the cycles of nature, yoga, and Ayurveda into my life. The beauty of this is so profound to me that it is my wish to share it with others.

Gillian Cilibrasi Program Director. Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program.


I am passionate about embodied wellness. I am driven to share tools to bring the mind, body, and spirit into the present moment, empowering patients, caregivers, and medical practitioners to be active participants in their healthcare journey.



“What drives me in my life is living through my discomfort and expanding my awareness, free to explore and accept where I need to grow.“ CLAUDINE PENEDO ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 65

“Healing my relationship with my body is a spiritual practice that invites me to turn from fear to love in every moment.“ ISABELLE TIERNEY

Tiffany Schreiner

Isabelle Tierney

Kerr County. Bell County. Yoga teacher. Co-founder. Silver Spur Arts Academy. Founder. Yoga for Breast Cancer Survivors.

Boulder. M.A. LMFT.

Stirring up curiosity in souls of all ages. Bringing light to children through yoga, art, and inspiration of all kinds. Loving life and breathing in the prismatic laughter and wisdom that my children bring me daily. Growing older and younger with each breath. Dancing with my sugar babies. Soak it up! Cosmic banditas por vida!

As a therapist, author, and speaker, my passion is to help people shift from body-hate to body-love. Healing my relationship with my body is a spiritual practice that invites me to turn from fear to love in every moment. I experience astounding joy as I learn to see my body through the eyes of the Sacred! isabelletierney.com PHOTO: ALEXANDRA BOHREN

Sarah Elizabeth Ippel Chicago. Founder. Executive Director. Academy for Global Citizenship. While traveling to over eighty countries to examine international best practices in education, I witnessed tremendous disparities that exist across the globe with regards to health, education, and the environment. This ignited within me a passion to create an educational model, the Academy for Global Citizenship, that supports positive nutrition and ecologically sustainable practices rooted in a solid academic framework. AGCCHICAGO.ORG PHOTO: ELIZABETH GILMORE


Tawny Lewis Austin. Artist. Humanitarian. Through my work, I attempt to examine the human experience. As a female artist I am drawn to Frida Kahlo and Mother Teresa. The former, I relate to in a similar story of injury, love, betrayal, and pain; as a result, I am drawn to the latter with the realization that we are all more similar than we are different. TAWNYLEWIS.COM




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1. Nidhi Adhiya Huba.

2. Kathryn Budig.

3. Natasha Rizopoulos.

Teacher. Founder. Aum Home.

Florida. Yoga teacher. Author.

Boston. Yoga teacher.

A chance to heal, accept, and offer serenity. I know chaos: my newborn’s heart surgery and then brain aneurysm at age five; her stroke; my broken back from a near fatal accident; and then Lyme disease. Needing strength, I prayed, chanted, and designed healing spaces for us. From these altars, miracles appeared. Born was Aum Home, my mission of creating spaces that bless. Gratitude to chaos and the wisdom gained.

Chaos insinuates havoc, but I find that chaos is actually the balancing element to sublime. There isn’t true peace without a little ruffling of the feathers from time to time. I keep this in mind anytime the universe throws me a curveball. I didn’t screw up, it’s just the vessel needed for me to understand the message. Everything is lined up as it should be, and my lesson is there to learn behind every perfect and chaotic moment. Just stay open to balance.

To find my center in the midst of chaos, I turn my attention to my breath, my dog, or a tree.







7. Ava Taylor. New York City. Founder. Yama Talent. Entrepreneur = chaos. As Evan Beard says, “Things are going great and falling apart at once. There’s no time to be knocked down and only time for action”—so dealing with chaos is a must! I make lists prioritizing time-sensitive items and those I can delegate. I also time-block my days by type of task to make sure I get to what’s important. Having a system for organizing a heavy workload helps keep me centered.



4. David Romanelli.

5. Coral Brown.

6. Cameron Shayne.

New York City. Yeah Dave.

East Greenwich. Licensed mental health counselor.

Miami Beach. Founder. Budokon Yoga.

I maintain my center by taking a little vacation everyday. I call it the BFD Mantra: a beautiful, funny, and delicious moment each day keeps the stress away. The more chaotic the day, the more important it is to step away from it all and live in the moment. YEAHDAVE.COM PHOTO: KEN GOODMAN

Undoubtedly, my yoga practice and training as a holistic mental health counselor facilitate a sense of balance and centeredness. I particularly find refuge in mantra. Repetition of mantra has steadied me through experiences ranging from a near drowning experience in the Ganges to tight flight connections! Mantra connects me to my epicenter of faith, which always provides clarity and ease.

I remember to take each moment as a unique and independent happening. This allows me to be compassionate for myself and others. Sometimes I’m just a chaotic mess like anybody else! BUDOKON.COM







11. Gary Kraftsow. Director. Senior teacher. American Viniyoga Institute.


Pranayama and meditation create inner calm. The more I am calm, the quicker I recognize when I am not! The trick is to identify the internal mechanisms that bring me from calm into agitation. The first step is to see and reverse those mechanisms after they arise. The next step is to anticipate and deactivate them before they arise! VINIYOGA.COM PHOTO: JENNIFER SZYMASZEK

8. Rina Jakubowicz.

9. Renee Fussner.

10. Tymi Howard.

Miami. Yoga teacher. CEO. Founder. Rina Yoga Studios. Author. Reiki practitioner.

Rincon, Puerto Rico. Founder. Samatahiti.

Orlando. Yoga teacher. Owner. Guruv Yoga.

Every day I get to share what I love: yoga, paddleboarding, surfing, and meditation. By doing more of what I love and less of what doesn’t serve me, I fill myself with peace. I don’t have to nail a perfect scorpion or rip an amazing wave; I’m full of joy doing a sloppy scorpion and occasionally catching a great wave.

I never really feel like my life gets chaotic. I believe that the only thing we truly have control over is how we respond in any given moment, and that there is a Divine Purpose for everything. Last year, in the midst of opening up my second yoga studio, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away less than two months later, on the same day I began leading our 200-hour teacher training. Because of my strong relationship with God, family, friends, yoga community, and my practice, I was not thrown of my center. I know that going through what some might call a “chaotic period” made me stronger and better able to serve as a teacher.

This past year was amongst the most turbulent inwardly. I suffered immensely. Regardless, I understood it was necessary for my deeper healing and growth. I trust the universe, in God, in whatever higher, inner power I believe in, while still being grounded and of service on this Earth. I step away from the middle of chaos and watch it from the outside, surrendering. RINAYOGA.COM PHOTO: CLAUDIA CEBRIAN





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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

Programs, Trainings and Retreats Visit www.irest.us for information 72 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM



What are you PA S S I O N AT E about? 2

My passion for Ayurveda inspired me to create Herbal ZAP! These sister sciences give us the tools we need to tap into the rich healing power of nature. A deep connection to nature allows us to create balance and lasting good health for ourselves and our communities. HERBALZAP.COM PHOTO: BRIAN BIRZER

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My main business designs and makes things for industries outside of yoga. But yoga changed my life, so we started a new business to create things that make “yoga life” easier and make people happy, while adding our voice in support of practice. Simple but worthwhile. HOTDOGYOGA.COM



My passion consists of making a global impact and helping support many people all over the world. I want to keep improving what we are doing as a company so we can continue to grow and expand in a healthy way, which will also help serve the planet. SYNERGYCLOTHING.COM







My passion is wellness. The body heals best and stays healthiest when it is viewed from a holistic standpoint. Through our YogaFit Program, we strive to bring health, fitness, and wellness to the masses. Our vision is to empower people to be their best selves, and to be connected to their bodies through yoga.

Staying true to what is authentic to me! We are our best/strongest/most confident selves when we live from a place that feels authentic. This extends into the way I teach, the way I run by business, and who I am as a mother and wife. I find both peace and power when I trust my instincts and listen to my inner wisdom.

To be true tools of Yoga, breath and postural practices must help us identify and resolve obstructions to Prana, on whatever dimension we may find them. Therefore, Yoga practice is not about doing the asanas; it’s about undoing what’s in the way of the asanas.






What is your greatest struggle? 1

Amy Ippoliti


Tiffany Cruikshank


Kiersten Mooney

Boulder. Yoga teacher. Co-founder. 90 Monkeys.

Sydney. Yoga teacher. Health & wellness expert.

Naples. Miami. Senior yoga teacher. Owner. Bala Vinyasa Yoga.

Being lied to by someone trusted. What I remembered from my yoga: Hold both the dark and the light in life simultaneously. Don’t be bitter or angry for too long. Lean on community. It’s okay to be down; just remember the truth: you’ve got it all right there inside you. Go on and love your beautiful, magnificent self!

Finding balance in my life has always been a struggle for me. I’ve been studying yoga and holistic medicine since I was a kid. I love it so much that I tend to take everything on at once. For me, getting clear in my purpose, learning to say no graciously, and a regular meditation practice is my recipe for balance.

My greatest struggle is also my greatest passion and reward: owning and operating Bala Vinyasa Yoga studios in Naples and Miami, Florida. Challenges have varied over the years and will continue. Practicing and sharing the gift of Baptiste Yoga is what sustains me. It drives me to courageously uphold our vision, be in service, and create powerful partnerships with others.








Danny Chapparo


Brooke Hamblet


Jules Febre

Castle Rock. Yoga Teacher. Owner. Ashva Yoga.

Fort Worth. Owner. Indigo Yoga.

New York City. Yoga teacher.

My health after a horseback riding accident. Pilates and yoga helped me overcome my back pain. Combining yoga and riding—both journeys of selfdiscovery and growth—allowed me to develop a deeper connection with my horse physically, mentally, and emotionally, creating a trusting partnership and yoga, or union, with the horse. I now specialize in Equestrian Yoga.

My greatest struggle at the moment is writing about struggle for this article, because it’s not something I entertain anymore. A friend of mine says this: “Struggle is simply when you want to do something but feel like you shouldn’t. Or you don’t want to do something and you feel like you should.” I’m happy to report that I’m done with that, and my eyes shine more brightly because of it.

Hmm. Hard to say what has been my greatest struggle, since it feels like there have been so many. Finding motivation and desire to stay with the practice is a recurring struggle. Good association, or satsang in Sanskrit, is the cure. Surrounding myself with people who want to uplift their lives and the lives of others keeps me focused.








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Gary Kraftsow


Ryan Leier


Shannon Paige


Paige Elenson

Director. Senior teacher. American Viniyoga Institute.

Saskatoon. Yoga student. Yoga teacher.

Boulder. Yoga teacher trainer. Speaker.

Nairobi. Executive Director. Co-founder. Africa Yoga Project.

When the direction of my teacher was in conflict with my own inner guidance, I took refuge in my inner yoga practice. Through pranayama, self-reflective meditation, mantra japa, and prayer, I was able to gain clarity about how to stay in integrity, courage to respond to him authentically, commitment to my own svadharma, and confidence to continue my journey.

My greatest struggle has been my mind, and yoga has helped me to deal with it. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said, “Yoga is mind medicine.”

Trust. I remember the instant I realized trust was a struggle for me yet was key to loving another and allowing myself to be loved in return. Through a practice of listening to how to best nourish myself on all levels, I learned that trust, in a larger sense, began with trusting myself to know what was healthy, real, and good.

To balance my authentic, adventurous spirit with planning and responsibility, especially as a new mom. Raising my daughter Penzi in Kenya has challenges, and calls on me to rethink the way I am living and the work I am doing, which can involve working in risky situations. I find peace of mind through yoga practice and trusting there’s a higher force looking out for me.










What is your greatest struggle?


Sara Rice


Alanna Kaivalya

Denver. Director of Operations. Instructor. CorePower Yoga.

New York City. Author. Myths of the Asanas. PhD candidate in Mythology.

After investing a significant amount of time, money, and effort into undergraduate and graduate education, I struggled trying to understand what a career should look and feel like, and how it should fulfill me. While the shift in direction was challenging and scary, the payoff was worth it. Now, my cup is full. What I have learned: Do what you love, the rest will come.

Desiree Rumbaugh

Gina Caputo

Cardiff. Yoga teacher.

Boulder. Yogini on the loose.

My life, like anyone else’s, has been full of struggles. I was a product of a divorced family with a crazy, alcoholic dad, and a single mom who loved the shit out of me. I’ve cured myself of a supposedly incurable thyroid disease, been broke as a joke, and lonely as hell. Through all this, I’ve learned probably the greatest lesson ever: how to stand firmly on my own two feet, knowing that what is inside me is more powerful than what happens to me.

The unsolved murder of my twenty-year-old son in 2003 has been the most painful struggle in my life. Learning to identify more deeply with Spirit helped me to accept this reality and climb back into life. I had to stop clinging to identification with anything or anyone in the relative realm. My heart has broken open.

Body image. Amongst my yoga teacher peers, I usually feel like a cello crashing a piccolo party! What has helped temper my self-flagellation are the opportunities I keep being given to put myself out there, just as I am. I feel like this is the Universe telling me to step up and teach others by example—I’m on it!




















What makes you come alive?

Marianne Elliott.

Jacki Carr.

Benn Mendelsohn.

Wellington, New Zealand. Zen Peacekeeper. Writer. Human rights advocate. Yoga teacher. Author. Zen Under Fire.

Venice. Goal coach.

Encinitas. Founder. Sivana Spirit.

Dancing. Sharing stories. Climbing mountains. Crying. Seeing the ocean. Running along the wild south coast of Wellington. Teaching yoga, seeing people come home to their own beauty, breath, and bodies. Telling the truth as well as I know it. Being brave. Being vulnerable. Laughing until I gasp for breath. Being hugged. Smiling at strangers. Standing up for human dignity, the sacredness of the earth and all that live on it. Starting again. Grief. Joy. Love. Faith. Courage. Curiosity. Connection.

My passion is people living and rocking their most radical goals. If I had only one big goal in life, it would be to listen and truly hear your one big goal in life and figure out how to get you to believe in yourself as much as I do. Next step, we figure out who I know and who you know, and share it with the world in order to rock possibility. I smile and watch you make epic shit happen. Literally, nothing lights me up more than people getting possible.

My passions change every few years, but the one that roots them all is the thrill I get from learning something new, whether it’s a trick on my surfboard or designing a shirt graphic for Sivana. I get way too restless if I’m not learning and bettering myself every day. Thanks to this quirk of my personality, I don’t think it’s possible for me to ever get bored.










I first heard about Walking in Beauty from the Diné (Navajo) Native Americans. It comes from a ceremony called Beauty Way, which helps “the patient” to reestablish balance when they are ill, depleted, or sad. It was through Native American ceremonies like this one that I was able to find my own lost Spirit. To Walk in Beauty means to walk in harmony with all things: people, objects, animals—life! This includes how we walk, how we feel physically and emotionally, and how we explore our own inner wilderness. Thinking and acting in a Beauty Way completely shifts your perception of life. You move from victim mode—everything bad happens to me— or judging mode—this is great, this sucks—to curiosity and a desire to discern the truth. That is Walking in Beauty: living more authentically, in a way that your Spirit dictates. In my Forrest Yoga work, I pass on the tools that I’ve learned and honed so that others can navigate the winds of change and tend to their own inner wilderness. That way they can begin to live in a Beauty Way—a way that is exhilarating, fulfilling, and fascinating. One of our tools is a new kind of communication—a Beauty Report. A Beauty Report is when we see or experience something that dances in our heart and we speak it. It’s a quick and wonderful way to recalibrate yourself into truth-speaking what is precious and meaningful to you. I was in Hong Kong teaching a workshop, while struggling with food poisoning that I contracted in Singapore. Griffin (my partner) and I were on break between classes. I was dragging myself down the hall of our hotel, praying to the Sacred Ones: “You’ve got to help me, I can’t do this.” When I got into my room, I saw the answer to my prayers: sitting in the window, twenty-two floors up in the middle of the city, was a magnificent huge bird that I call the Hong Kong Eagle (they call it a Kite). She was balancing on a light fixture looking right in, beak against the window. I got right up against the window. We were a glass pane apart. In the seven minutes that she sat with me, she began my first lessons in “eagle speak.” For the time that we sat together, I was completely well. She FORRESTYOGA.COM 80 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

came every day at break for three days in a row and sat in the window and sang. I’m telling you this story because Sweet Medicine can show up anywhere. Sweet Medicine is the interaction between the animal world and the human one, which teaches us about love, heart-connection, and relationship—all aspects of Walking in Beauty. Those of you that have been blessed with an animal loving you know just what I mean. In the midst of food poisoning, there was valuable teaching and there was Beauty. Start your Beauty Reports now. Together we can Walk in Beauty!

THE FORREST YOGA TRIBE AND I USE THE PRINCIPLE OF WALK IN BEAUTY. I THINK WALKING IN BEAUTY IS ESSENTIAL TO LIVING A FULFILLING SPIRITUAL LIFE. Ana’s book, Fierce Medicine, is filled with ways to Walk in Beauty. Now available as an audio book, read by Ana. Visit audible.com and amazon.com. To work with Ana, visit: forrestyoga.com/events.

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 ?


"There is no greater agony than bearing YOGA

an untold story inside of you." — Maya Angelou

Starving for

Connection Healing from an Eating Disorder through Yoga CHELSEA ROFF





Fifteen-year-olds aren’t supposed to have strokes. At least that’s what I thought. I try not to think about it too much. Even now, I only have bits and pieces, shards of memories that somehow remained intact even through the trauma my brain endured that day.

When I arrived at Children’s Medical Center, I weighed just fifty-eight pounds. After a five-year battle with Anorexia Nervosa, my body had reached its breaking point. Nearly every system in my body was shutting down. All four valves in my heart were leaking. My skin was yellow from liver failure. I hadn’t taken a shit in over a month. I was dying. The first emotion I remember is rage. It was a violent, fire-in-your-veins, soangry-you-could-kill-someone kind of rage. I wanted out. I wanted the pain to be over. I wanted to die. I was mad at myself for not having the courage to just do it quickly, angry at the hospital staff for thwarting my masked attempt. I was convinced that I was “meant to” endure this, that my long, drawnout starving to death would prove my

I remember having nurses turn me over in the middle of the night to tend to the bedsores on my behind, places where the skin was so thin that my tailbone was starting to protrude through the flesh. I remember waking up to discover I’d wet the bed nearly every morning for the first three months I was there. I was ashamed, disgusted. I’d lost control of the muscles in my bladder; I was like an infant all over again. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my arrival at the hospital had launched an investigation by Child Protective Services back at my home in Austin. The caseworkers deemed my mother an “unfit parent,” and my sister and I were placed under custodianship of the State. My care was left to the doctors and nurses at Children’s, while my sister was officially placed in foster care and sent to live with our godparents. My mother, herself an alcoholic and anorexic, had literally drunk herself into oblivion. I spent the next sixteen months of my life in that hospital. I completed my junior and senior years of high school through a distance education program, talked my way through hundreds of hours of individual and group therapy and slowly, painfully worked to bring my body and mind back to life. Over the next few months, as my body grew accustomed to having nourishment again, my temperament and personality began to change. I became quieter, more submissive, and more trusting of the staff in charge of my care. One night, one of my nurses, Miss Connie, pulled me gingerly from my wheelchair and into her lap in a chair next to the window. Her curly blonde locks brushed my sunken cheekbones as we gazed out at the distant sunset together. “Just keep your eyes on that horizon, honey.” she said. “You’re going to survive this.” When Medicaid finally pulled the plug on funding for my treatment almost a year and a half later, I was unrecognizable from the day I’d walked in. I’d gained nearly forty pounds, and the feisty, fiercely independent spirit I’d been known for as a child was on her way back in (close to) full force. Although I was still significantly underweight and terrified

. . . my first teacher was this big, voluptuous black woman . . . one f*cking

powerhouse of a human being.


willpower to God. In the days prior to my stroke, I’d had vivid hallucinations As the fury subsided, delirium set in. I became confused, defiant, and completely irrational. I told the other patients that my mom would be there to pick me up and take me home any day now. I argued with the doctors. When a cardiologist told me she wasn’t sure if I’d live another week, I told her she was full of shit. I hid the food they were trying to make me eat in my underwear, in flowerpots, even in my cheeks like a chipmunk. I didn’t want to get better. I was convinced nothing was wrong.

to leave the security of the hospital, my medical team still managed to convince the caseworkers to grant me emancipation. At seventeen, I re-entered the “real world” as a legally-recognized adult. My doctor at Children’s helped me make arrangements to move into a garage apartment with a close family friend who lived close to the hospital. I also managed to get a job at a local Starbucks earning just above minimum wage. By the grace of who-knows-what, the psychologist who had been the one to squeeze my hand that first day at Children’s offered me nearly-free weekly therapy. I was lucky. I was blessed. I had enough resources to begin to put the fragments of my broken life back together.

Several months after my discharge, I took my first yoga class. Looking back on it now, I still find it hard to believe that I managed to find my way into that studio, with that teacher, at that moment in my life. I mean, really, what was I thinking? I was a recovering anorexic, barely able to feed herself, trying out a yoga class marketed to women wanting to lose weight. I wish I could say I went to yoga because I had some inkling that it would offer me something deeper, because there was an inexplicable spiritual tug, because I was looking to reconnect with my body and begin the real process of healing. Quite the contrary. My motivations for trying yoga were almost entirely pathological. I was looking for a quick fix, a sneaky way to burn calories without arousing the suspicions of my treatment team. So it should be no surprise that I went straight to a “power yoga” class. It seems almost laughable now, but my first teacher was this big, voluptuous black woman. One f*cking powerhouse of a human being. She emanated strength, beauty, and grace like no one I’d ever met before. On the evening of my first class, I timidly walked into the studio and heard this loud and bellowing voice sing out, “Well, hello there!” from inside the practice room. Her feet thumped with confidence as she trotted toward me on the

hardwood floor. I was completely mesmerized by the way she carried herself, how she softly but powerfully filled the space. For years, I’d been starving myself in order to take up less space in the world. I’d been taught by my own mother that strength came from mastering the wild whims of the body, controlling your instinctual urges, from proving you were stronger than others through stubborn will. And here was Diana, a woman who could hold all two-hundred pounds of her sweet self up in a handstand with ease. A woman who inhabited her lifegiven figure with confidence, compassion, and fierce femininity. This is an excerpt from Chelsea Roff’s chapter in the newly published anthology, 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice. To read the rest, purchase your copy on Amazon. Chelsea Roff is Managing Editor at Intent.com. Author. Speaker. Survivor. Advocate.

Chelsea Roff has just launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $50,000 for an evidence-based study on the effectiveness of yoga for eating disorders. If you donate $500, you can get a spotlight in ORIGIN. Read more and support this amazing campaign: www.indiegogo.com/ projects/yoga-for-eatingdisorders


Light It Up: Pain into Power JANET STONE

Let Yourself Come Undone JENNIFER PASTILOFF I stopped being a ghost when I finally let myself become undone. After thirteen years, I left the restaurant I had been working in. I became a yoga teacher. I started writing again.


We have to want it so bad that it cleans up the papers on the desk and starts writing every single day, no matter what the pile of shit says—and the pile of shit will talk. It will say things like, You can’t do this. You don’t finish anything. You will never change. You are always going to be a waitress. You haven’t changed so far, so why do you think you can? Here’s what you do when that pile starts taking: You light a match. Light it all on fire and watch it burn with a combination of sadness and elation. PHOTO: ALEX WANG

By being born, we are guaranteed a certain amount of pain, heartbreak, and suffering. Why not figure out how to use this pain as a source of energy, movement, transformation, and healing? Pain, like pleasure, can generate a profound energetic force. Pay attention next time you are suffering emotionally or physically; the body and mind emit an extravagant amount of life force in the direction of the ache.

Unless you want to keep letting all the piles of shit run your life. Then don’t burn it. Let it keep you the same as you have always been. At least you will be a reliable and predictable ghost. To hell with predictable! Burn that pile of shit and say, I am as capable as raw bone. I am the bead. I am bone to bead and beyond. Here’s the deal: If you want to self-destruct, if you want to be predictable, if you want to keep on living like a ghost, then don’t burn your pile of excuses. Don’t burn your very own pile of shit. Don’t light that match. Don’t let yourself come unglued. It’s easy to stay stuck, if that’s what you want. What I know to be true is that we sometimes forget our own humanness. We stop letting our own humanness astound us. We live as ghosts. When someone or something reminds us—when they literally shove it in our face like a crumpled-up coffee-stained map and we have no choice but to pull over, stop on the side of the road, and read the map (with its coffee stink and fingerprints and out-ofdate-ness)—we somehow find our way. JENNIFERPASTILOFF.COM

How do we harness this power? How do we go from the churn of “I’m in pain, make it stop” to picking up the pain, holding it tightly, lighting a bright fire with it, and sending it to all parts of our being?

Let me offer a no-nonsense guide to flipping pain into power, the 4 Easy Steps Program. 1.

Become an explorer. Start from wherever the pain is actually coming from. Pinpoint the origin of this discomfort, close your eyes, and begin a journey directly to the center of this pain.

2. 3.

Listen to it. What is the pain asking for? Look for ways that you and the pain can relate, communicate, and understand each other.


Build a fire next to you and the pain. Move closer to it. Warm yourselves with it. Get closer and closer until the pain is willing to step all the way into the fire and become fuel for transformation. When we begin to understand our pain and its point of origin, it begins to have less of a grip on us. We begin to use its intensity as a force of fuel for our own compassion, empathy, and transformation.




Once at the center of this pain—which may be cancer, heartburn, or the place where a wounded child lives—make yourself a comfy seat and sit down next to it.


Viniyoga practice is designed for each person’s unique body & mind.


TEACHING & YOGA THERAPY The foundational program for the highly acclaimed Viniyoga Therapist Training welcomes current yoga teachers pursuing a career as a Viniyoga Therapist, aspiring teachers, or anyone interested in deepening their personal practice. The program is taught by master Yoga Therapist and pioneer in the transmission of Viniyoga for health, healing and transformation, Gary Kraftsow.

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LEARN MORE Dona Robinson, AVI student advisor | donar@viniyoga.com 808-572-1414 | www.viniyoga.com/VFP



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Visit YOGAAnatomy.net/o to sign up for Leslie Kaminoff’s free email newsletter Every Monday you’ll receive asana analysis, teaching videos & tips and techniques to free your breath and improve your practice.


YOGA FOR VETERANS HEROES MAKING A DIFFERENCE Gina Garcia Sacramento. Founder. Teacher. Yoga Across America. I am humbled, inspired, and blessed to share yoga with our nation’s heroes. With the suicide rate among veterans at an all-time high, sharing yoga with these men and women is a gift for everyone. This is not about anyone’s view on war; it’s about humanity. Connecting through this practice allows me to share from the heart. When I hear a service member tell me “I found my freedom,” or “Yoga saved my life,” I experience the power of this practice in its purest, most beautiful form. It’s a journey of healing and love, and our veterans deserve both. YOGAACROSSAMERICA.ORG


Ann Richardson Stevens Virginia Beach. Give Back Yoga Foundation. Exalted Warrior Foundation. Om Town Heroes. My original motivation was sharing the experience and ease I gained in my own body. Many of the men and women I work with have lost touch with their bodies through trauma, illness, or injury. Adaptive yoga allows the experience of sensation, which leads to feeling and freedom. To help them feel, relax, and find peace—that’s my passion! STUDIOBAMBOOYOGA.COM



Annie Okerlin Tampa. Exalted Warrior Foundation. I am driven by a desire to meet someone at the human condition level. Sharing adaptive yoga techniques so our injured military find rest in their minds and bodies means they will be able to share this ease with others. This will welcome them home and will engage us all to change our communities for the better. EXALTEDWARRIOR.COM

Rob Schware Boulder. Executive Director. Give Back Yoga Foundation. What keeps me going? Quotes like this one from an Iraq war veteran who suffers from PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, and mild traumatic brain injury: “Thank you for this program. It helped give me life again.” With everyone’s generous help, we are on target to reach 10,000 veterans this year with our Yoga For Veterans Toolkit. We aim to reach 30,000 by 2015. GIVEBACKYOGA.ORG

Suzanne Manafort Newington. Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans. I have been teaching yoga practices to men and women veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress for five years, in outpatient treatment programs and in residential in-patient treatment programs. It has been my honor and privilege to be able to support these heroes with breath, movement, meditation, and the practice of gratitude, and to witness the process of their recovery. MINDFULYOGATHERAPY.ORG



AMAZING MOTHERS SHARE WISDOM Heather Church New Lexington. Namaste*Heather Yoga & Wellness. I’m awed by the beauty of nature, shared connection, true love, and inspired living. As a yoga teacher and writer, I’m passionate about work and its seamless connection with the rest of life. I’m inspired when my students’ practice connects to their lives, and amazed when words paint pictures of grand ideas and raw emotion. NAMASTEHEATHER.COM PHOTO: MINDY GEORGE: IMAGES BY MISS MINDY. IMAGESBYMISSMINDY.COM

Jenn Wooten Austin. I couldn’t ask for a better experience than the balance of motherhood and teaching yoga to women. Motherhood is amazing, but often isolating. Stepping out of my family bubble and into communities of women brings me a palpable sense of connection, to myself and to what it is I’m doing on the path of motherhood—cultivating relationships. EXPERIENCESHAKTI.COM PHOTO: ERIN KANE GILDERSLEEVE

Rosemary Kilzer Castle Springs. Shinichi Suzuki said, “When love is deep, much can be accomplished.” This provided the foundation for my life, for raising my children, and for community involvement. It flows into my music and now my company, This Is Rosemary. To create a great product, but also to provide other women the opportunity to support their family while staying home. THISISROSEMARY.COM

Kisha Conroy Austin. I’m inspired by the brilliance of the natural world and this beautiful life! I’m passionate about love and living a life full of connection and gratitude. It’s the moments, the pixels, that make up my life with my girls, my husband, my family, my job, and my amazing community that takes my breath away!


Products We Love:

RAW Fit. Garden of Life. We vegetarians here at ORIGIN really care about the way ingredients are processed. Plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, and USDA Certified Organic, Garden of Life’s RAW Fit is one of our very favorite protein supplements. GardenOfLife.com

Radical Resurfacing Treatment. ACURE. The perfect answer to sunspots, dark spots left over from breakouts, and uneven texture from scarring! Lemon probiotic and proprietary Chlorella Growth Factor help smooth out your skin’s tone and texture while Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush) stem cells help prevent further photosensitivity and oxidative stress. It’s super light, so you can layer it under your moisturizer both morning and night! 1.4oz, $19.99 acureorganics.com

Sugarpine Boot. Ahnu. You’ll rock on the trail and on the town in these colorful new hikers from Ahnu. They may be rugged and waterproof, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be your favorite new pair of casual lace-ups, too. $140.00, ahnu.com


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What is your advice to every woman?

Dana Damara San Francisco. Mama. Yogini. Author. Spiritual Warrior. Know who you are and believe in yourself. Stand in your truth, even if you stand alone. You are more powerful than you think you are! Be okay with your past—it’s brought you to the magic of now. Forgive, no matter what. Always—and I mean always—surround yourself with inspiring women friends and great chocolate. Make sure you have a nice party dress handy at all times. By the way, it’s okay to believe in fairies and unicorns. DANADAMARA.COM PHOTO: BMACSTUDIO.COM

Lindsey Smith

Logan Mauldin Milliken

Mia Park

Scottsdale. Holistic health coach. Yoga teacher.

Scottsdale. Founder. Designer. Silver & Sage Jewelry.

Chicago. Yoga teacher. Performer. Consultant.

We as women are the mothers to this world and to each other. We represent this when we hold space for one another to be who we are and to share our gifts. By offering a listening ear, a hand to hold, a hug, or a warm smile, we are acknowledging that woman for who she is, and supporting her on her journey to her greatest potential.

My dad once advised me, “Surround yourself with caring and capable people, and you will always succeed.” He was right! I’ve been blessed to become part of a beautiful community of compassionate people who’ve encouraged me to love and share my gifts with the world. I give and share as much as I can, and am overwhelmed with gratitude by the ways in which the Universe has given back.

Unconditionally love yourself so you can love others. Remember that you deserve a joyful, vibrant life. Find out why you want the attention you want and get it—if it’s good for you. Remember that you have magical powers and are meant to be celebrated. Dig up the root of creeping self doubt and offer it to the Sun. You are a gorgeous miracle who is better than good enough.





Desiree Lapre

Dusti VanTilborg

Lela Beem

Scottsdale. Yoga instructor. Licensed massage therapist.

Scottsdale. Ashiatsu massage practitioner.

Yoga teacher. Evanston. Owner. Grateful Yoga of Evanston. Phoenix Rising yoga therapist.

My heart knows these truths: Change is the only constant. When we are open to change, we open to possibility and potential, therefore allowing each moment to be an experience. Happiness is our choice. Each moment, each breath, is a unique chance to create happiness. Love is a healer. We must quiet our minds and tap into our souls to become love. Then we can give love away to heal.

The most intimate and important relationship you can have is the one with your soul. Unconditional love, unconditional acceptance, and soul authority are the greatest gifts you can offer and give yourself. Your unique expression of your soul purpose is the greatest gift you can give this world. Keep all intentions rooted in love. Stay grounded. Stay humbled. Stay grateful. Remember to not take it all too seriously.

The recent birth of my first child allowed me to experience the depth of my body’s innate intelligence and capacity. Ancient yogis of India worshiped Shakti, the sacred feminine, for a reason. We are the bearers of life, the givers of breath. I wish I could tell the women of the world to revere the beautiful physical form they’ve been given, and to spend less time holding in their stomachs.




Zack Ketterhagen

Pierce Julian Doerr

Rebecca Lammersen

Honesdale. Yoga teacher. Singer. The Householders.

Chicago. Yoga instructor.

Scottsdale. Writer. Yoga teacher. Studio owner.

I only have one thing to say to one woman, my wife: Thank you. Thank you for showing me the fine balance of art, life, and yoga. Thank you for showing me unconditional love, and for being a wonderful mother. Thank you for supporting my dreams to be a musician. Thank you for being you—keep doing exactly what you are doing. I love you.

Help inspire your guy friends, partners, spouses, brothers, fathers, and everyone else to practice yoga! We need more men to experience the multitude of benefits these ancient practices can bring to our lives. It’s time to reduce the stereotype of yoga being dumbed down to having a flexible body, and instead build its reputation of creating strength, compassion, stillness, and flexibility in both our minds and bodies.



My advice to all women: I am worthy of being loved for exactly who I am. I only allow people in my life who accept all parts of me—my past, my present, my dreams, my thoughts, and my feelings. I will not waste another moment in any relationship that does not uplift me, validate my perspective, and support me completely. When I am loved, I am free. YOGALUTIONSTUDIO.COM PHOTO: KEVIN M SUTTON


jay beyer

ben moon

practice made perfect

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

above: Caroline Gleich, Patagonia snow ambassador 92 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM





Vibrant silhouettes and 4-way fabrics move with every stretch, every pose, and every minute of your class.

ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 93 ©2013 Reebok International. All Rights Reserved. Reebok™ is a registered trademark of Reebok.

Profile for THRIVE. ORIGIN + MANTRA Magazines

Origin Magazine Issue 14  

We are the Platform for: Art, Culture, Conscious Lifestyle, Humanitarianism, Sustainability and Yoga. We are creating a cohesive and connect...

Origin Magazine Issue 14  

We are the Platform for: Art, Culture, Conscious Lifestyle, Humanitarianism, Sustainability and Yoga. We are creating a cohesive and connect...


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