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8 alicia silverstone 12 bo derek 20 ken wahl 22 sam simon 24 sharon salzberg 34 keith mitchell 36 tiffany cruikshank 46 jamie anderson 49 marco borges

16 16

creative DIRECTOR Sami Lea Lipman SENIOR EDITOR Ian Prichard PROJECT MANAGER & social media Griffin Byatt


ANIMAL EDITORS Barbi Twins contributing editorS Dapne Zuniga Lisa Rolls Michael Franti GLOBAL YOUTH EDITOR Ocean Pleasant

art for impact 6 david lynch 10 paul mccartney 16 gisele bÜndchen 20 don cheadle 26 ian somerhalder 40 young the giant 44 david gray 47 lisa loeb 54 meshell ndegeocello




Contact us

EDITOR’S NOTE When I started ORIGIN, exactly three years ago, I wanted to give a voice to the voiceless. I wanted to use art and media for social good. What an amazing journey it’s been. This issue, we are so proud to partner with the United Nations Environment Programme for World Environment Day. We protect what we love. Our vision is that artists, leaders, filmmakers, and yogis can come together to protect women, animals, and this planet and really make a difference. I’m also proud to roll out our new Soulshine Yoga and Music Tour this summer, bringing yoga to those with cancer, terminal illnesses and low incomes. It’s yoga and music for the people, with Michael Franti and Brett Dennen. We are building a national community with local roots in more than 40 cities. We would love you to join the family. We are in this together. We would love to hear from you: Maranda Pleasant ORIGIN Magazine & Mantra Yoga + Health Editor-in-Chief 6 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

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Alicia Silverstone INTERVIEW WITH:

Actress. Mother. Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity.


BARBI TWINS: You were the most popular young actress of your time, PETA voted you Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity, and you’re the author of a New York Times bestselling vegan book, Kind Diet. What inspired you to use the word “kind” as a brand? ALICIA SILVERSTONE: The whole concept was about being kind. The kindness starts with yourself. I want people to be kind to animals and to be kind to the planet. The kindness starts with you, and if you give yourself the gift of health, then you will be the best you can be. When you’re being kind to yourself, you will be able to be kind to everyone else. BT: Why were you so passionate about writing your new book about pregnancy, The Kind Mama? AS: I realized women deserve to have this amazing, blissful pregnancy – and what a crime it is that they don’t know how to do it. All of this can be made so much easier, and so yummy, following The Kind Mama. Once I was pregnant, I was lucky enough to experiment and see what being vegan, or being “kind,” does to you. I would go to prenatal yoga class and they were complaining about all these different things that were so treatable. I would actually hand out little prescriptions at the end of the class and I would say, “Oh, you have this, then do that.” People I knew that lived the way I did had the same good results, and everybody else, who was considered “normal,” had different results. I wanted women to have that information, so they could make the best choices for themselves. BT: If you could give a message to all women who want a healthy pregnancy, what would that be? AS: It’s really all about being kind to yourself, so that you can be the most well-nourished, strongest, healthiest woman you can be. Being a kind mama starts with being kind to yourself. Because you want to be present and available. You don’t want to be sick, tired, irritable, and distracted, so that not only are you giving your child what he or she needs, but you also get to enjoy and savor every moment of that little monkey. I wanted to provide this valuable information to all women. And I wanted it all in one place. BT: What kind of tips can you give us to avoid bloating, morning sickness, etc., during pregnancy? AS: You don’t have to be bloated, that’s the amazing thing! That’s avoidable. The morning sickness is more complicated, but you can certainly ease it and minimize it. Your food choices can make it a little bit better. But at the end of the day, many people say strong morning

sickness means a very healthy baby, so in some ways it’s a blessing, even though it feels like a nightmare. BT: What would you do differently the second time around, knowing what you know now? AS: Going the second time around, I would not give in to my cravings, because I know how to manage them. I would not work that hard. I would really dial it down. Oh my God, I was working so hard on projects – websites, books, my house was under construction, and I was acting. I would rest more and work less. And I talk about that a

PHOTOS: Courtesy of, BY Stephanie Todaro ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 9

(continued) lot in my book. It’s almost like I’m saying you should go into a cocoon to prepare for birth. I would allow myself longer cocoon-type living. If I could have slept for a month, I would have done that. I was working 15 hours a day! Your body needs a lot of rest, nurture and care. BT: What was the most surprising thing about pregnancy? AS: I did not expect the morning sickness. I talked with a lot of people about the different views – the Chinese view, the doctor’s points of view and the midwife’s. All it meant was that you are having a strong pregnancy and the hormones are doing their job. I was surprised how disgusted I was with my healthy food choices for the first three months. I couldn’t even look at a vegetable. The foods that were always my power foods and the foods that always healed me for some reason disgusted me. BT: Can you give us some must-have foods for pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and for your child? AS: The good news is that the same foods that nourish you are the same foods that are good for getting pregnant, during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and for your child. Foods like brown rice, mochi, beans, greens, kale, collards, bok choy – every kind of vegetable you love – and dishes that are healing and nurturing, specifically dishes like Kinpira Stew, which is great for post-birth. Also, miso soup, quinoa, and nishime. Bear, my son, loves tofu, sushi with avocado, brown rice and nori. We make him strawberry Kanten, a jello substitute, and I make him waffles and pancakes. BT: As a vegan mom raising a vegan kid, how do you avoid non-vegan junk food for your kid, or keep him away from other kids’ poor diets? AS: We have a friend that is conscious of us and makes green beans, broccoli, strawberries, organic brown rice crackers and organic raisins. We keep a stash at their house, as a treat. Bear is still at an age where if he wants a birthday cake, and he sees one going by, he’ll say “Oh, I want,” but if you hand him blueberries or any kind of fruit, it is just as exciting as cake. He is at that age where for his birthday he says, “Okay Mommy, you’re going to make me pie and cake, and tofu, rice, and hummus.” So I’m going to have his birthday at Farm Sanctuary. BT: You’re the voice of one of your favorite animal organizations, Farm Sanctuary. Why do you think it’s important for people to get up close and personal with farm animals? AS: Farm Sanctuary is heaven on earth. I’ve never left the Farm and not been happy. It’s a soothing effect. Every person I’ve brought there just loves it. I had my 25th birthday there and another one a couple of years ago. And then I will have my son’s birthday there. I bring groups of people. The kids get to touch the animals, they get to understand that a dog is not so different than a farm animal. They both desire joy and they desire freedom. They desire life. They like when you feed them and they don’t like it when you are mean to them. You can see how funny or loving they are. It is everything you get from your guardianship of your domestic dog or cat, or whatever makes you giggle inside. It’s the same thing you get with other creatures. But we just don’t get close enough to them, and we purposely keep them far away so we can’t fall in love with farm animals.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of, BY Stephanie Todaro 10 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


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An Interview by


bo derek Actress. Icon.

on ending horse slaughter


We have seen in documents that these foreign companies can operate in the U.S. with little expense, while taxpayers and horse owners pay the price. Once they leave the U.S., they can sell our horses to restaurants, illegally, for a healthy profit.”

BARBI TWINS: Most people know you as the “Perfect 10” and the biggest sex symbol in history. Few know how dedicated you are to helping horses. What inspired you to dedicate your life to helping horses and, more specifically, to ban horse slaughter? When did you get into this? BO DEREK: It wasn’t until 2002, just after I had written my autobiography, Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses. I met Chris Heyde, from the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), who was the first to take the idea for a bill that would ban the industry in the U.S. to Congress. I have owned and ridden horses for most of my life, but had no clue this was taking place right here in the U.S. At first, I thought this would be a simple campaign that would be over in a few months. Who would want to allow this cruel practice to continue? Certainly not horse owners and the public. Boy, was I surprised. Until AWI brought the issue of horse slaughter to Congress, nobody was really

aware the practice existed. It operated in the shadows of the horse community and allowed bad behavior to continue. Before going to Congress, Chris wanted to make sure he understood what was going on so he could explain the industry. With the help of a veterinarian, Chris went into Cavel Horse Slaughter Plant, which was the last operating horse slaughter plant in the U.S. There, he witnessed firsthand the unimaginable abuse being inflicted on our horses, while no USDA oversight was even at the plant. He has followed trucks hauling horses to slaughter, and frequently visits livestock auctions to see how horses are bought by slaughterhouse middlemen, right in front of an unknowing public.

companies looking to tap into the huge American horse market. We have seen in documents that these foreign companies can operate in the U.S. with little expense, while taxpayers and horse owners pay the price. Once they leave the U.S., they can sell our horses to restaurants, illegally, for a healthy profit. Horses are a symbol of America and can be marketed that way overseas.

BT: You have been lobbying hands-on for twelve years trying to pass this anti-horse slaughter bill. With all your media attention and lobby efforts, why has this bill been so difficult to pass?

I was also surprised to learn, firsthand, that some special-interest groups oppose modest measures like this, just because they are advocating animal welfare. One representative told me that they don’t even need to read a bill sponsored by animal protection groups – they will automatically oppose it. That approach is very disheartening. Agree or disagree with an issue, but the political process should be based on fact and support, not just plain disagreement with a concept.

BD: Money and special interest groups. While there is no real money in horse slaughter from the American side, there can be a great deal of money for some of the foreign

Those opposing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to ban horse slaughter often do so based on two basic arguments. The first argument is that by


The only way this brutal industry will continue is if a few in Congress continue to block passage of the SAFE Act. Together we can end horse slaughter.” (continued) banning horse slaughter, abuse and neglect will increase. The second is that horses are private property, and their owners can do with them what they choose. BT: What would be the argument to be pro-horse slaughter, since horses were never meant to be bred for meat and over 80% of poll results favor the horse? BD: Neither of those issues holds up under any serious review, which is why support for the bill is so high. California, home to the second largest population of horses in any state, banned horse slaughter back in 1998, so it is a good measure of how the issue will play out following a national ban. Following the 1998 ban, we saw a 34% drop in horse thefts, which is significant given the overall population. We also didn’t see an increase in abuse or neglect. That 14 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

excuse is simply that – an excuse to try and derail this important bill. It is true that under existing laws, horses are considered property. However, as T. Boone Pickens noted during a hearing a few years ago, that still doesn’t give anyone the right to abuse an animal. Laws exist in every state that make animal cruelty a crime. Horse slaughter is simply another form of animal abuse and we are working to stop it. BT: If you could give one main message to our nation to motivate people to help you end horse slaughter, what would it be? BD: With or without horse slaughter, horse rescues need our help and support. That can involve financial donations, volunteering, or even donating items like brushes and blankets. Horse rescues operate with little money, so every little thing you can do to help goes a long way.

It is also important to educate others about horses. Having a horse is a huge responsibility, so people should be very careful before they consider getting one. If things don’t work out, you can always visit a rescue to be around lots of wonderful horses. Finally, everybody needs to get involved in AWI’s campaign to end horse slaughter. To take action, sign up for eAlerts, and learn more about the issue, please visit www. If we all speak out and unite as one, we can pass the SAFE Act and end horse slaughter once and for all. The only way this brutal industry will continue is if a few in Congress continue to block passage of the SAFE Act. Together we can end horse slaughter.

PHOTO: kerry perez

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Divergent Star


interview: the barbi twins

on Earthlings, Best Friends Animal Society, and No Kill

Maggie Q is currently filming CBS’s untitled Kevin Williamson pilot and will next be seen in Red Flag, a limited series set in the 1800s. She will star opposite Francois Arnaud as a Chinese prostitute who becomes one of history’s most powerful pirates. Maggie most recently starred in Summit Entertainment’s Divergent and will start production on the second installment, Insurgent, this summer.


When I was young, I remember having a particular pain about injustice. Suffering hurt me.

Barbi Twins: What inspired you become a vegan activist, a coproducer of the vegan documentary, Earthlings, and very hands-on with animal rescue?

MQ: When I was young, I remember having a particular pain

about injustice. Suffering hurt me. What could be more unjust than hurting an animal or a child? When you’ve been gifted dominion over something, that responsibility is real. BT: We’ve heard one of your favorite organizations is the Best Friends Animal Society. Why are you so passionate about them, and what do you do for them?

MQ: I was blessed to meet Francis and Silva Battista (two of the

founders) about nine years ago. I had worked with different animal organizations all over the world in previous years, but nothing prepared me for their story, passion, or conviction. I encourage anyone who loves this group to read the book on their humble beginnings [Best Friends: The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary, by Samantha Glen], as a lesson on what faith and hope can achieve. It amazes me that I am allowed the privilege to share my voice for them. BT: Are you a guardian to any rescue animals?

MQ: At one point, I had eight rescue dogs. It’s been many years

since those days, and I am now down to only two dogs, sadly. Cesar and Lady. Shepherd mixes. They are seniors now, and I wait on them hand and foot. It’s hysterical.


BT: As a role model for youth, what main message would you give them about animal rescue?

MQ: I know young people are all going to have different passions,

but I would say that if you happen to have a heart for animals, never forget that without your voice, there is no channel for them. We’ve all, at some point in our lives, been in a position where we have felt powerless. It could be circumstantial or put on us by one or more individuals. Now feel that emotion, but take your vocal cords away. How much help would you need? Get out there. It matters. You know what to do. BT: Explain to us why the No Kill Movement is so important to you and how it can affect our future.

MQ: There are too many reasons why No Kill matters. I could go

on all day. I will say, the overarching excitement for me begins with a shift in perspective with respect for life. The other, more logical issue that will be an extension of the No Kill Movement is the regulation of puppy mills. Or, even better, the abolition of them. Groups like Best Friends can put every effort forward to save and home animals, but, if we aren’t dealing with the root of the problem, it’s hard to make the difference you want to make. That, and spay and neuter. We must, must keep these populations down in order to create a better life for the ones already here. So please, adopt. Don’t buy. Puppies aren’t products.

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Interview with Golden Globe Winning Actor

Interview: The Barbi Twins

KEN WAHL Rescue Animals Rescuing Veterans

BARBI TWINS: You were once Us Magazine’s “Sexiest Man on TV” and you starred in movies such as The Wanderers, Fort Apache, The Bronx, and Purple Hearts before a severe neck injury forced you to quit at the top of your career. Now you are working with NATO General John E. Michel to help prevent veteran suicide with rescued pets. What inspired such a switch?

(PTSD) and anyone dealing with severe depression or anxiety?

KEN WAHL: I’ve always loved animals. I’ve never lived without them. As long as I can remember, I was bringing home strays. When I was five, I brought home a stray kitten I named Tiger. This was my first rescued animal. It wasn’t until I became an actor, and then injured my spine, that I discovered that these animals were actually very therapeutic and helped me to cope with my chronic pain. I wanted to share with others what worked for me.

A large part of the despair associated with these maladies is a deep sense of uselessness and being a burden to family and friends. This brings on feelings of guilt, which intensify the sense of worthlessness, igniting the downward spiral. I know this from personal experience, as I sustained a severe spinal injury in 1992. I, myself, sank into that abysmal pit of feeling utterly worthless, useless and burdensome. Caring for an animal, especially one that’s been rescued, can help return people to a sense of being needed and useful. In my own case, it was nearly miraculous. The relationship between human and animal is wholly symbiotic. The person needs the

BARBI TWINS: Can you explain how animals, specifically rescued animals, can help veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


KEN WAHL: Most people may not realize the tremendous value that therapy/companion/comfort animals have for the purposes of easing the suffering of those with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), particularly within the military.

animal for comfort and companionship, and the animal needs the love and caring of the human. It is a classic “win-win” situation. It sounds simple – and it is. That is why it works so well. In most cases, it will be remarkably spiritually uplifting to both human and animal.

I’m not a doctor, nor am I a member of the military. What I am is an appreciative, concerned American citizen, who was horrified when I heard about the horrendous rates of suicide and PTSD/TBI within our military. As such, I felt compelled to reach out to anyone who cared to listen, to try to help with this terrible situation. This is not just life and death – it is life and death for those who defend our freedom. To me, nothing I could do could be more important. Fortunately, I have found many others that feel likewise. Despite many reports to the contrary, kindness, concern, and a desire to do good and make a positive difference in this life are alive and well in America. For that, I am extremely grateful.

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Sam Simon with Sea Shepherd’s Captain Watson

Sam Simon with Sia Barbi

“I feel so guilty when I see orcas performing their stupid tricks in their little swimming pools, and when I see circuses or elephant abuse. I don’t want to be in the same industry with these people.” BARBI TWINS: Sam, you are known as an award-winning producer, director, and writer (Cheers, Taxi, The Simpsons). If you could make a difference as a famous animal rights activist, in one specific area, what would be the main focus? SAM SIMON: I’m going to answer this from a selfish standpoint. I realize this isn’t our biggest problem, but I would feel comfortable concentrating on animals being abused by the entertainment industry. It’s my industry, and it’s where I made my money and spent my life. I feel so guilty when I see orcas performing their stupid tricks in their little swimming pools, and when I see circuses or elephant abuse. I don’t want to be in the same industry with these people. So we might not be talking about the biggest amount of animals being abused, but we are talking about a very serious idea, which is that animals are not here for our entertainment. I don’t work with big animals. I will work with dogs, but that’s it. BT: Speaking of orcas, you’re sponsoring the “Blackfish” car at the May 3, 2014, NASCAR race at Talladega. Why did you decide to do this? SS: There’s no issue closer to my heart than the abuse of orcas by SeaWorld. I’m sponsoring the amazing Leilani Munter’s car in the hope that millions of racing fans will learn to boycott SeaWorld.

BT: When did you become an animal activist and who or what inspired you? SS: I was always an animal lover. When I started my foundation (The Sam Simon Foundation), we wanted to do things that helped dogs and helped people. I was very concerned about helping animals improve their situations. But that was out of love. It wasn’t political or out of a belief that animals had rights. I learned about animal rights from my favorite person in the whole world, Ingrid Newkirk at PETA. I only met Ingrid twelve years ago. Now, the world of animal rights has moved so fast that I am a threat to an entire country. When I went to Japan, to join the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians for the Taiji dolphins, I was being followed by eight cops and three police videographers. So all it took was twelve years for Ingrid to help turn me into an international menace. BT: You have a Sea Shepherd ship named after you, you walked with us last Valentine’s Day for the LA Sea Shepherd demonstration, and a week later you joined the Cove Guardians in Taiji, Japan for the last week of the cruel dolphin hunt. Why is this cause so important to you?

SS: I was proud to serve alongside the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians in Taiji. They are shining a light on a horror that has no place in the 21st century. If we boycott marine parks and swim-with-dolphin attractions, the dolphin slaughter will end! BT: When did you become a vegan, and what inspired you? SS: I have been a vegetarian for forty-two years. I did it because I didn’t want animals to die so I could eat. Then, eight to ten years ago, when I found out the life of a dairy cow is way worse than the life of a beef cow, I understood I had to switch to complete veganism. Otherwise, I would be very inconsistent in my beliefs that animals shouldn’t be abused for food. BT: The Sam Simon Foundation feeds stray dogs and hungry homeless people with vegan food. Has that helped spread the word of compassionate eating? SS: The reason my food bank is vegan is because I can’t pay for animal products in good conscience. For the people in the program, it’s not like they’re entering into some “experiment.” The popularity of the program is great, so I think we are doing great things. 22 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Interview: Daphne Zuniga

Interview with Renowned Teacher of Buddhist Meditation Practices on

Overcoming Pain and Having Courage Q:

Daphne Zuniga: What makes you come alive?


Sharon Salzberg: I think meeting people in a genuine way and feeling like there is a vital and meaningful connection going on.

Q: A:

What makes you vulnerable?

When I am facing somebody in a lot of pain and my mind flips into “fix-it” mode and I’ve got to make it better and I realize that I can’t.


I heard once, or read once, that pain is actually suppressing or trying or block what is actually going on. Do you agree with that?


Some things hurt, and there is pain. But we often magnify the suffering of it by our reactions: “I shouldn’t be feeling this. This is all my fault. I should have more perfect control. Why is this still here? I have been meditating for forty years. No one else feels this.” There are all kinds of things we can add onto what’s already a painful situation, and then it’s just miserable. I think pain is actually there, but it can lead to compassion instead of a more typical kind of reaction.


I’ve known people that have said, “I don’t want to be that happy. My discontent is what pushes me forward to create, to make good stuff.” What do you think of the idea that meditating may make one happier, but also may take the creative/artistic edge off and make one less ambitious?


What we as a society need from artists of all kinds is courage, a willingness to explore, and a really big sense of possibility. It’s a very Western thought that these need to be tied to personal suffering. They might be, of course, since suffering breaks open pretense and convention. But in the East that breaking open is also believed to come from compassion, from balance, from being in harmony. My experience working with lots of creative people is that they don’t lose their artistic edge when they lose a fierce level of anguish. They just create from a different place.

Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several books. For more information about Sharon, please visit 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


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If meditation tops your list of goals and intentions for 2014, you’re not alone. It’s at the top of many people’s list, as it should be.

different styles of meditation. You are more likely to stick with a meditation practice that resonates with your personality. Here, we will identify a handful of the most common practices you might want to research to see what fits you best.

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

Meditation is an ancient mind-body practice that dates back thousands of years. It is a foundational practice of Hinduism and Buddhism, though many cultures include meditation as part of their history and tradition. Meditation made its way to the West during the twentieth century and, over the past forty years, has gained followers of every age, income, religion, race, political affiliation, and relational orientation.

TM consists of a seven-step course followed by a gratitude ceremony, led by a certified instructor of TM.

While some yogis practice meditation as a path to God, others practice meditation to simply help reduce stress. Scholars have studied the positive benefits of meditation, which include reductions in depression, stress, anxiety and blood pressure, improved focus and concentration, and better sleep. Meditation helps to balance mental, emotional, and physical wellness.

This practice is rooted in mindfulness. It consists of being totally present with your thoughts and any physical sensations (i.e., sounds and smells) that come into your awareness.

Just like there are many different types of personalities on the planet, there are many


Kriya Yoga Kriya Yoga meditation makes use of the breath, concentration, and Aum Technique. It involves silent chanting and prayer.

Insight Meditation/ Vipassana Meditation

Siddha Yoga Meditation Siddha Yoga meditation focuses on turning the attention inward, putting attention on a mantra (e.g., Om Namah Shivaya) and on the flow of breath.

“You DO have the time to meditate. You may even be surprised at how you feel more focused and productive as a result.” If you still find yourself with questions regarding meditation, there are hundreds of resources online, at the library, or, chances are, one of your friends can help you get started. Meditation is a very effective way to balance out the stress of modern society. You DO have the time to meditate. You may even be surprised at how you feel more focused and productive as a result. Article graciously provided by Dr. James Rouse, a naturopathic doctor, entrepreneur, certified yoga instructor, wellness magazine founder, speaker, author, radio talk show host, QVC Network Wellness Doctor, Ironman triathlete, and lover of ORGANIC INDIA.


ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Actress of Criminal Minds MP: What is love to you?

AC: Love is not something that can be described by words. Love is something you feel. When you feel it, you know. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? AC: I surround myself with grounded, level-headed people that keep me in check. It’s also amazing what a couple of deep breaths will do for you. MP: What makes you vulnerable?

AC: My job makes me incredibly vulnerable. You have to put it all out there. Blood, sweat, and tears. MP: What are some issues or causes that you are passionate about?

interview: Maranda Pleasant

AC: I think that everyone, no matter their economic standing, should have access to healthy, unprocessed, organic food. No children should be putting chemically processed food in their tiny bodies, especially in the school system. The more we demand healthy food, the more accessible and affordable it will become. Supply and demand. MP: What’s your health routine?

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive?

AJ Cook: Mother Nature. I love being outdoors and discovering all that this earth has to offer. From the beach to the mountains, I think it’s very important to “unplug” and become grounded as often as possible. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

AC: We only have one! This is it. This is our home. Treat it with respect, so our children’s children can enjoy all the beauty and resources we do today. MP: What’s your biggest passion or project right now?

AC: My biggest passion is my family. We are all about living a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s one thing to do it alone, but it’s another to do it together as a family. My passion project is about how to make that a way of life. The family that plays together, stays together!

AC: Moderation! I don’t believe in putting restrictions on anything, because the second you tell yourself you can’t have something, that’s all you want. You’re setting yourself up for failure. I eat a balanced diet. If I have a bad day and eat poorly, I just eat more veggies the next day. I’ve come to appreciate the “food/feel” connection. The type of food I eat directly affects how I feel the next day. I don’t have time to feel sluggish and yucky, so I prefer to put cleaner fuel in my body, so it runs more efficiently. MP: How do you stay healthy and fit?

AC: My boys have a lot of energy, so we like to be really active. We’re outside a lot because we live at the beach, playing in the sand, playing beach volleyball, riding bikes. We also love backpacking and camping. My personal favorite workout is Pilates. It’s a high intensity, cardio infused reformer workout. I love it because it tones you up without bulking you up. Pilates has become my drug! It’s totally changed my body shape. I can’t always get to Pilates every day, but I try to find a way to sweat every day.

Photo:, Hair: Michael Kanyon, Makeup: Anthony Merante, Stylist: Ashley Zohar / The Wall Group 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

New York Times Bestselling Author Interview with

Shawn Achor Interview: Maranda pleasant

We need to help people redefine happiness, because if it just means pleasure, it is short lived.

Photos: Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc. / George Burns 30 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Tune-in: The two-part special, Super Soul Sunday, “Oprah & Shawn Achor: The Secret of Happy People,” airs Sunday, May 18 and 25 at 11 a.m. ET/ PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah sits down with Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained researcher and the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, to discuss the secret of happy people. As a highly sought-after speaker in the area of positive psychology and happiness, Shawn shares what he believes are actionable steps to help diminish depression, increase joy, and shift our lens to positive. Shawn also tells Oprah about his personal battle with depression and the steps he took to recognize that positive change is possible. Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? SA: At the risk of sounding silly, Starbucks. It’s not the coffee – though that helps – it’s because I love reading and writing in the midst of the energy, conversation, and life of a café. I wrote my entire first book at a Starbucks in Cambridge. I tried writing in the library, but it’s too easy to feel alone and divorced from the very people you’re writing for. And, for eight years, when I was a teaching fellow, I met with over 1,800 Harvard students, each for 30 minutes at the same Starbucks, to hear their stories and to counsel them where I could. I learned more in those conversations than in all my classes combined. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SA: Happiness is a choice. I’m listening to Eckhart Tolle on Audible this week, and I love how he says we are not our thoughts. I agree, and would add that research from positive psychology validates and extends this. You are not your genes, your environment, or your childhood. At least, you don’t have to be. Over the past five years, I’ve traveled to speak or research in 50 countries, and I’ve noticed that everywhere, people stagnate in their personal growth because they believe that change is not possible. They mistakenly think that science can predict their intelligence, athleticism, humor, and happiness based on genes alone. They think that they are irrevocably debilitated by childhood traumas. They think their environment has a tyranny over their happiness. Only 10% of our happiness is predicted by the external world, and genes only set the baseline. By changing our habits, we can trump even our genes. The most powerful and dynamic people I have ever met had troubled childhoods. Change is possible, but only if we believe it is first. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? SA: Stop waiting for happiness. Most of the students and the leaders I work with follow a formula for happiness and success that lowers both. They think: if I work harder I’ll be successful, and if I’m successful then I’ll be happy. But success is a moving target. Every time we hit it, our brain changes the goalpost of what success looks like. But flip around the formula, and it turns out the research is very clear: happiness is an advantage, raising every business and educational outcome we can test for. If you wait for happiness, it will never come. Create happiness now, and our success rates rise with it. MP: What truth do you know for sure? SA: Happiness is not mere pleasure. Happiness is the joy we feel striving for our potential. Joy is something we can experience in the ups and the downs of life, even when things are not pleasurable (like in the midst of childbirth or a run or a challenging project). And joy is directional – it leads to growth, not to stagnation. We need to help people redefine happiness, because if it just means pleasure, it is short lived. Shawn Achor is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness. After spending a decade at Harvard, Shawn has traveled to 50 countries researching and speaking about happiness. His TED talk has over 7 million views and his research made the cover of Harvard Business Review.


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Zen. Z ne.


Interview with Former NFL Pro Football Player

Keith Mitchell


Jill V. Mangino: As a former NFL pro football player, how did yoga help you break free from your identity as a “pro” athlete? Keith Mitchell: Well, first, meditation helped me break out of the character of an athlete. Mainly because the athlete had died and Keith Mitchell needed some attention. The dichotomy of “yoga” and “athlete” is very interesting because one is to nurture and the other is to neglect. Maybe that’s the real balance. We have misplaced ourselves for roles such as “business person,” “athlete,” “success” – even for things. I learned through my journey that things will pass, so if I attach myself to things that constantly decrease in value, then where is my true self-worth? I’m not saying things are wrong to have, or even to aspire to have, but what I’m saying is that external labels don’t make me, nor do they affect the way I view myself. JVM: Why is it important for you to empower and educate athletes about the restorative, healing and prescriptive power of yoga? KM: When we neglect our bodies, we compromise ourselves and in this alone is a practice. So we come back behind this with a caring, affectionate component to smooth out some of the abuse with tenderness and love. Plus, athletics is a big part of my life and I feel the need to serve my fellow alumni, because I have been through the hurt and know what it feels like. JVM: How can the internal process of meditation and conscious breathing improve our lives? KM: In sports, it’s “the zone.” In the yoga world, it’s “Zen.” In this state, all is well. As people we have an opportunity to share space, which means so much more. It’s living life with a committed purpose, and not just barely getting by or just making it. JVM: In 2015 you are producing Mindful Health Expos for today’s youth. Is it important to downplay the “spiritual” aspect of yoga, versus the health benefits, to make it more mainstream? KM: Well, I think this shows how twisted our thinking is and how tightly conditioned we are, because music, art, science – everything that we experience on a day-to-day basis is spiritual. We are spiritual beings, period. The fact that you grow your hair – you can’t explain how, but you do it anyway.

“In sports, it’s ‘the zone.’ In the yoga world, it’s ‘Zen.’ In this state, all is well.”

JVM: Are you comfortable talking about breaking “stereotypes” within the yoga world? KM: I am comfortable even when I am uncomfortable. JVM: What do you mean by that? It sounds like something Yogi Berra would say. KM: I’ve learned through my experiences that life happens, and no matter how or what we do to try and control it, twists and turns are unforeseeable. I’ve learned to swim with the current and not against it. Be in the moment, for the taste of it, because it’s beautiful and we have been granted the opportunity to be here in this game of life. Keith Mitchell is a former NFL pro-bowl linebacker who played for the New Orleans Saints and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Injured on the field, he found himself permanently sidelined; suffering paralysis, he was later diagnosed with spinal contusion. He now advocates for and speaks about the healing benefits and restorative power of yoga. For more information please visit: ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 35

A Passion for Health and Medicine KiraGrace: How did you get into the field of holistic health? Tiffany Cruikshank: I have my undergrad degree in Medicinal Plant Biology, Nutrition, and Pre-Med, and I have my Masters in Acupuncture & Chinese medicine, with a specialty in sports medicine. I’ve treated more than 25,000 patients over the past decade. KG: Have you always had a passion for health and medicine? TC: Ever since I was 14. I was a troublemaker and my parents sent me on a wilderness program, a get-youinto-shape kind of thing. I was in the wilderness for a couple of months just foraging and hiking. One of my guides was an herbalist. I just felt really drawn to it, so he would take me out on plant walks and teach me. [Learning] how to survive as a teenager is really powerful as a woman. As a girl you’re so uncomfortable with your body, so for me it was really powerful. And then, so was learning how to help people and how to heal. I went home and from then on I started apprenticing with an herbalist, and soon after, an acupuncturist. I just loved it. That was about when I found yoga, too, so for me they’ve always gone together. Even with my patients in the last decade, I found out really quickly that [the yogis I treated] got better so much faster than everyone else. So I realized I needed to be giving my patients yoga, and I started giving them what I call “yoga prescriptions.” I started giving them a few poses and found that it helped so much. Then years later I thought, “Well I need to be teaching my teachers this.” KG: What do you do to relax? TC: I’m such a nerdy person. One of my favorite things to do is just read. My friends make fun of me all the time and say, “You need to stop working!” But I don’t feel like I’m working because for me it’s not work. I actually love studying and reading and learning. It relaxes me and inspires me and keeps me excited. 36 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

interview: shelby comito for kiragrace

A Moment With Tiffany Cruikshank

[Learning] how to survive as a teenager is really powerful as a woman. I also started playing the guitar again. I played it when I was a teenager for a while and I loved it, but it’s definitely more just for fun. KG: What was one of the most important days of your life? TC: For me it’s not just one day – it’s a combination of days. It must have been sometime around the wilderness experience, because that’s when everything changed for me. I was so lost as a teenager and went from being really religious and spiritual, to being really rebellious and just feeling really lost, and then to going to that wilderness program and finding out how to survive and how to heal. It was really transformative because it started everything for me in medicine and yoga. You can learn more about what’s important to Tiffany at,, and

PHOTOS: kiragrace

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Ginger refresher

Serving: 1 // Total Time: Five Minutes



2 thin slices fresh ginger 3 oz Silk Vanilla Soymilk, Almondmilk, or Coconutmilk 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp agave nectar Angostura bitters* Fresh mint for garnish

1. Place fresh ginger in a cocktail shaker and muddle (or mash with the back of a spoon). 2. Add all other ingredients except Angostura bitters and mint. 3. Add 1 cup of ice and shake well. 4. Strain over crushed ice. 5. Sprinkle with bitters and garnish with mint.

* Adds a trace amount of alcohol

For a spirited drink, add 1/2 oz ginger liqueur and 1/2 oz rum.

Photos: Jeff Skeirik (bikini) Craig Cameron Olsen (blue dress) 38 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

By silk

by Chef Barbara Rich


juicing for athletes 3 cups

GREEN SMOOTHIE • • • • • • • •

2 ounces kale, stemmed, washed, and torn into bite-sized pieces ½ lemon, peel removed 1 Granny Smith apple, cored 5 ounces frozen mango 1 ½ teaspoon maple syrup 1 teaspoon flax seeds, ground to powder 1 cup crushed ice 1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Run the kale, lemon, apple, and mango through the juicer.* Stir in the maple, flax, ice and almond milk. Adjust flavor with additional maple syrup and lemon juice, if needed. *If you don’t have a juicer, a blender will work great. Just keep in mind that the smoothie will be more fibrous.

Full-time chef and part-time athlete, Chef Barbara Rich of Natural Gourmet Institute shares her go-to green smoothie recipe for staying energized while training for her next half-Ironman triathlon. It wasn’t until I was well into my 30s that I started engaging in intense athletic behavior, i.e., not just going for a run, but, instead, doing a six-day trail race across the Colorado Rockies. I quickly discovered that what you put in your body is extremely important for maintaining this type of lifestyle. There are many sports nutrition products out there that promise peak performance, but I prefer to stick with the real stuff. And, in fact, real, fresh foods are what will give you the energy to perform. I purchased a juicer years ago and have found a new appreciation for beverages that taste good (appealing to my chef self) and make me feel great (a nod to the sporty me). One of my favorite ways to energize in the morning pre-workout is with my favorite green smoothie. It is a refreshing way to get a boost of protein (2.5g per cup of kale), vitamins, and easily digestible nutrients that will keep you going through even the toughest training regimen. Does Chef Barbara’s green smoothie stand up nutritionally? “Yes!” says Kayleen St. John, RD at Natural Gourmet Institute. “Though considered a nutritional powerhouse on its own, kale’s health benefits become even more potent when combined with other ingredients. The lemon and mango in this juice recipe enhance the bioavailabitilty of the kale’s iron, which would be poorly absorbed without the accompanying Vitamin C. Inadequate iron consumption is problematic, especially for athletes, as low iron can decrease the delivery of oxygen to tissues and also reduce muscles’ ability to produce energy.” Barbara Rich is a full-time chef instructor at Natural Gourmet Institute who competes in half-Ironman triathlons, long-distance open water swim races, and trail/ultra-runs. Kayleen St.John, MS, RD teaches nutrition at Natural Gourmet Institute, is a member of the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness (SCAN) practice group within the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, is an avid marathon runner, and believes smart nutrition contributes to optimal athletic performance. Located in New York City, Natural Gourmet Institute is the leader in health-supportive culinary education.


eets have an undeniable hearty and healthy appearance. Their rich, deep-red color is unmatched, as are their wide range of health benefits. Traditionally, they were considered blood builders. Eastern Europeans would customarily eat beets in their borscht, and women used them to prevent pregnancy-induced anemia and birth defects, due to their unique combination of iron, vitamin C, and folate. Since blood carries oxygen and nutrients, it affects every part of the human body; hence, the benefits of beets are plentiful and just might qualify them as a superfood. Beets have an exceptional nutrient blend of minerals, vitamins, and unique antioxidants. Beets contain the common antioxidants found in vegetables, carotenoids and anthocyanins, but, in addition, they have a unique type of powerful antioxidant called betalains. There are two basic types of betalains: betacyanins, which give beets their rich, red-violet pigment, and betaxanthins, which are the pigment in yellow-orange beets. Betalains are unusually high in nitrogen and have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Beets are also an excellent source of folate, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and copper. Today, athletes around the world are tapping into beets’ unusual and amazing mix of phytonutrients. The blood-building benefits of iron and vitamin C support oxygen and nutrient delivery for increased 40 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

energy, stamina, and endurance. This, in conjunction with other mineral electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium, improves muscle function. The nitrogen of the betalains provides building blocks for the body’s production of nitric oxide, which is used to open up blood vessels, further improving circulation and reducing blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that consuming beet juice can improve exercise performance. In one study, scientists from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK found that consuming just 4.7oz of beetroot drink reduced 5k run times by 31 to 49 seconds. They also noticed a reduction in systolic blood pressure. Betalains also support the body’s ability to suppress inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) used by the body to trigger the inflammatory process. This can be very helpful to athletes in improving recovery and performance, but also can help anyone reduce the risk of diseases associated with chronic inflammation, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The detoxification and antioxidant benefits of beets also support the body’s ability to rid itself of waste buildup during exercise, such as lactic acid, and protect itself from cell damage by oxidative stress, all of which provides even more improvements in recovery and performance for athletes. Salus Red Beet Crystals are produced with the utmost care. This naturally sweet tasting, instantly soluble product is a pure concentrate, carefully obtained from the juice of freshly pressed, certified organic beets. Each 200g jar contains the equivalent of 2.5kg of fresh-pressed organic beets. Fast, convenient, and great tasting.

The Imperative Bee

Why A Key Element of the Food Chain is Disappearing

And How You Can Help by coconut bliss ow many bites of food do you take in a day? This number is probably large enough that coming up with an accurate figure is difficult. Now imagine that you cut that down by a third. To put it another way, for every three bites you normally enjoy, subtract one of them. This number illustrates the influence of pollinators on our diet. And it is just a conservative estimate.

Although the reasons for the die-off are complex, one class of pesticides has been clearly linked. Neonicotinoids, applied to control aphids and grubs, are nearly everywhere in our environment. They are used by commercial growers, home gardeners, and city maintenance crews in public parks. Plants purchased from home garden centers are frequently pre-treated with these pesticides, so even if you do not spray them yourself, you may unwittingly be affecting the bees in your neighborhood.

That third bite you might one day be missing is due to the loss of honeybees, one of the most important creatures in our food supply. Their daily work involves pollinating many of the plants that produce our food. This long list includes apples, nuts, avocados, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash, cucumbers, and citrus fruits, as well as peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, and other melons. Can we imagine these foods missing from our plates? It’s a possibility, as commercial beekeepers report unprecedented colony losses of 29–36% every year since 2006.

Many environmental groups are speaking up and working to protect honeybees. The non-profit Beyond Toxics, of Eugene, OR, has successfully lobbied that city to ban neonicotinoids. Eugene is the first city in the nation to take this step. When put to a vote, city council members unanimously supported the ban. This landmark law sets the standard for all cities to legislate protection of our pollinators.

Learn more about neonicotinoids and the work being done to ban them at Beyond Toxics’ website (, and at the website for the Pesticide Action Network

“commercial beekeepers report unprecedented colony losses of 29–36% every year since 2006.” ( Let’s keep this movement going to save honeybees – who in turn will save us. Bliss Unlimited, LLC was founded to create a satisfying ice cream without the health and ecological impacts associated with dairy, soy or gluten. Coconut Bliss® is the Evolution of Ice Cream. Certified organic and Non-GMO verified, Coconut Bliss® is based on cholesterolfree coconut milk and sweetened with agave syrup. The company values ecological and social sustainability, and strives to use the highest quality and most ethically produced organic ingredients it can find. The company is privately owned and based in Eugene, OR, and has been operating since February 2005. For more information about Coconut Bliss® products and where to buy them, visit

PHOTOs: Catia Juliana, Judit Covarrubias Garcia, Don Schwartz, & Autumn Steam ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41


Kale & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 4-6

The foods we eat are so important. We should be fueling our bodies with high-quality foods and avoiding those loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Many processed foods in the grocery store contain unnecessary added sodium, sugars, and additives. As a nutritionist and mother of three young boys, I try to choose foods with vitamins and nutrients that nourish our bodies. This meatless dish is packed with antioxidants, proteins, and vitamins that are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. It is simple to prepare, healthy, vegetarian, and gluten-free.

from Nutritionist Lauren Kelly

Ingredients 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1/2 onion, minced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burgers (thawed) 1 can BPA-FREE black beans 4-5 large red bell peppers 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked Top with (optional): 1-2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese Chopped cilantro

Preparation Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, over medium heat, sauté the garlic and onion in the olive oil until soft, about 3–4 minutes. Add Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burgers, break them up into pieces with a wooden spoon and stir. Cut about 1 inch off the top of pepper. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers well. Stuff each pepper with Kale Burger mixture. Top each pepper with cheese and cilantro if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I like them when the peppers are still firm and not mushy. Serve immediately.

Great-tasting foods that are great for you – that’s what Dr. Praeger’s puts on your table. Made without artificial flavors or colors, you’ll see all the natural goodness in our products as soon as you take them out of the package. Made with the finest ingredients we can find, we’re proud to be part of an active, balanced lifestyle. 42 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Keeping Up With the

Gorgeously Green

Sophie Uliano

Sophie Uliano Tom’s of Maine


Maranda Pleasant: Is Hollywood finally embracing more natural beauty products and regimens? Sophie Uliano: Hollywood is definitely now embracing a more natural approach to beauty. Staying “youthful-looking” is old news. The ubiquitous term “anti-aging” has become meaningless. Women today want to look like a more revitalized version of themselves. The bottom line is we all want to be natural. I am seeing an increasing number of people who want to match the products they use every day to a more natural, healthy lifestyle. MP: What are your personal passions beyond helping us live more green and gorgeously? SU: My personal passion is to educate women so that they can be empowered to make better choices. Sometimes we don’t make healthy choices because we don’t know any better. With the right information at our fingertips, we can always make better decisions. That is one of the reasons I’m working with Tom’s of Maine, in particular. For decades they’ve provided information about ingredients, their purpose and source. That transparency is important. Look at what’s inside products and seek out those that contain natural, plant-based ingredients – from toothpaste to cosmetics. MP: What is the motivation behind your fourth book and what will it cover? SU: My fourth book, Gorgeous for Good, is all about reframing the way we approach our beauty regimens. Baby Boomers are now living longer and want to stay vibrant and gorgeous for as long as possible. I’ve identified a need for women to learn the basics of a healthy, holistic, daily regimen, which will bring a healthy glow to their skin. It’s all about allowing our true self to shine, both literally through our skin and metaphorically through our soul. MP: What does goodness mean to you? SU: Goodness, for me, has to start in my own backyard: find what’s beautiful about where I am right now, rather than criticizing myself for what I’m not. We live in a culture where physical perfection and youth is revered, and so women over a certain age begin to feel irrelevant. The most beautiful women I know are passionate, curious, funny and have a deep sense of purpose, and they are all over 70! Finding these qualities in myself and celebrating them in other women is the starting place of being Gorgeous for Good. Goodness is also about interacting with people, brands, companies and organizations who are invested in sustainable and ethical practices. What’s the point of using products that are ruining our Earth? It doesn’t make sense. MP: You’re known for helping us “decode” the beauty aisle. What does that mean? SU: I love to help women cut through all the labeling loopholes to find the best personal and oral care products on the market. This includes, of course, ingredients, but also recyclable packaging, products with expiration dates, examining company values (which includes no animal testing), and more. I’m a fan of Tom’s of Maine natural oral care line for those very reasons; they deliver on both healthy and environmental goodness. The beauty of it is you’ll feel even more empowered knowing you’re doing something good for yourself and the environmental footprint of your beauty routine. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 45

interview: CHELSEA LOGAN

Jamie Anderson The 2014 Slopestyle Gold Medalist Talks Gearing Up, Getting Down, and Giving Back.


chelsea logan: When we first spoke, you mentioned your intention for 2013 was to qualify for the Olympics. What are some of the things you did to prepare for Sochi?


Jamie Anderson: For me, it was all about finding that balance. I worked out with my trainer and made yoga a priority. I was snowboarding more often. I was working towards my run and what I wanted to do.


What are some things you did to alleviate the pressure and stress when you were trying to qualify for the Olympics?


I would say, living in the moment, and really trying to not get too far ahead of myself. I journal a lot, so I was writing, reading inspirational books, practicing yoga, meditating, and, in a way, just keeping it real. My goal was to just have fun, work hard, and find that balance, because it’s exhausting doing so much.


I could tell you were having fun when I was watching the Olympics. What did you do right before you went down the slope?


Well, actually, this is the greatest part of it. I was definitely a little nervous the night before, and, in the morning, I went up and photo: Chris Wellhausen


“I want to be able to get out there and snowboard, to use my creativity to go play on the mountain – that’s what it comes down to.”

practiced. My practice was just awful. I fell almost every run. I couldn’t get it together. Finally, at the bottom, I found my sister and broke down in tears. It was the most important event of the year, and I was not feeling it. Sometimes that happens, you know? So I cried – all the emotional build-up, what [the Olympics] actually is and how big it is – then I went up, and I took a moment by myself and said, “I know I can do this.” And that’s when the peace came. Then I dropped in, and it was game on.


Let’s say you are in the middle of training and you’re having trouble landing a trick. What are some of the things you do to stay motivated?



I would love to establish more of a foundation for my Give Back With Love charity, to help get kids inspired and to move forward in living a healthy lifestyle.

q. A.

That’s amazing! What inspired you to start your charity?

Coming from a big family, all the gear was extremely expensive, so I felt I was very fortunate to have gotten into this sport. I wanted to create that chance for kids from the local community who have not been able to afford all the gear. I teamed up with Sierra Tahoe, my home mountain, and we have donated for the last three years.

q. A.

What does becoming legendary in your sport mean to you?

Just going for it. I actually found this happening at the last event I went to, the US Open, right after the Olympics. It was really snowy and a white-out. It was challenging to ride, I was having a really hard time and I was falling on everything. I was thinking I just needed to ride with more integrity, to really know that I can do this, regardless of the conditions. As soon as I mentally made that note, I landed exactly what I wanted to do.

I want to be able to get out there and snowboard, to use my creativity to go play on the mountain – that’s what it comes down to. Thank goodness for all my sponsors, family, and friends that supported me and made it possible to truly live the dream.


Chelsea Logan is a former athlete and peak performance coach. She helps professional athletes master their mental game so they can have longevity in their sport.

Now that you’ve won a gold medal, what other goals would you like to accomplish in your career? ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 47

jason schlarb

ultra runner // flora ambassador Running alone 10, 15, 20 miles into a mountain wilderness, I explore with the curiosity and excitement of a child and like a wild animal. I rely exclusively on my trained body’s capabilities.�


Making Plant-Based Mainstream Interview by Maranda Pleasant

other incredible reasons, but we can’t do it if we’re judging people while they’re trying it. Imagine how many friends you’d be able to convince to try something new if, every time they did, you made fun of them, or ridiculed them for not doing it right? Not many! We need to allow people to live plant-based the way that works best for them and their families. If we practice more kindness and less judgment, I think we’d get many more people to try plant-based living. It’s about making wellness and consciousness inclusive! Maranda Pleasant: Vegan – is it for the mind, body or soul? Marco Borges: When I chose to go completely plant-based, it started with a selfish desire to fuel the body, but then, almost instantly, I began thinking more about my impact on the earth and the treatment of animals. Once you know, you just can’t ignore the fact that you can choose to be part of the solution, or part of the problem. MP: I notice you often refer to it as “plantbased” rather than “vegan.” Is there a reason for this? MB: I think there’s been this negative connotation associated with the term “vegan” for far too long. It’s all or nothing, black or white, and we know that, more often than not, life is just a bunch of shades of grey. We want people to choose a plant-based diet because they want to move in the direction of optimum health, promote cruelty-free living, reduce their impact on the earth, and all the

MP: Is encouraging a plant-based diet part of your process with your clients? MB: Yes and no. My friends and clients are all looking for the same thing – optimum wellness. And it just so happens that plant-based living is the key to that door. It’s not me pushing my own personal agenda, but rather me providing the tools they’re looking for.

MP: Speaking of clients and friends, last December Beyoncé and Jay-Z caused an uproar in the vegan world when they announced they’d be trying a plant-based diet for 22 days. Were you part of that? MB: Yes, but probably not the way people are thinking. Jay and B know that I’m completely plant-based, and, a few months prior, I had challenged them to go completely plant-based for breakfast because they thought (like most people) that it would be too restrictive and difficult [to go full-time]. To their surprise, it was much easier than they expected and they remained consistent. In November, Jay called me and said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’d love to go completely plant-based with your 22 Day Challenge.” B loved the idea and immediately joined us! It was to be a physical, spiritual, mental cleanse that would end – or as I like to see it, begin – on December 25, Christmas Day. And so it did. MP: What was that process like? MB: It was, and continues to be, one of the most incredible experiences ever, because it has lifted this stereotype of what a plantbased person is supposed to look or act like. We’re seeing such diversity in the people coming forward who secretly have been anxious to try plant-based living but did not want to be judged, and who now feel comfortable being part of the plant-based revolution. It’s quite fascinating! Marco Borges is an exercise physiologist and author, the Founder of 22 Days Nutrition, and has been a lifestyle coach for the past 20+ years. In addition, he is a husband, a father to three beautiful boys, an avid athlete, and a citizen of the world.


The therapy uses the same points as ordinary acupuncture, sending very mild currents through needles to relieve pain, muscle spasms or neurological issues.”

Peering Into the Brain on Acupuncture at Bastyr University. he breakthrough came in giving acupuncture to a watermelon. The melon lay inside the giant mouth of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine in Seattle. Just outside the room, Bastyr University acupuncturist Kathleen Lumiere used a small box to send gentle electric currents through wires and into steel needles poking into the melon. The melon didn’t heat up or vibrate. It did nothing – just as researchers had hoped. That helps prove the safety of studying electroacupuncture on humans inside an MRI machine. And that brings us closer to understanding how exactly acupuncture works on the brain. The project is a classic example of translational medicine – integrating a time-tested therapy of one culture (traditional Chinese medicine) with a 21st century research tool (the MRI). “What does acupuncture actually do to brain tissue? Nobody knows,” says investigator Leanna Standish, a Bastyr research professor. “We think it works, from Chinese studies, but we don’t know how it works.” Electroacupuncture is common in China, where traditional medicine rests on the notion of qi, the body’s underlying life force. The therapy uses the same points as ordinary acupuncture, sending very mild currents through needles to relieve pain, muscle spasms or neurological issues. At Bastyr’s campuses in Kenmore, WA, and San Diego, CA, students learn to promote the wellness of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. They go on to careers as naturopathic doctors (NDs), acupuncturists, herbalists, nutritionists, ayurvedic healers, counselors, midwives, and other professions.

Bastyr student Mariluz Adler joined the watermelon study to develop research experience along with patient-care skills. “Electroacupuncture has so many positive results, it just makes sense for us to move forward with the study,” she says. The next step is a pilot study of healthy human participants. Then comes a larger clinical trial of stroke patients – who may have much to gain from the therapy. The most common form of stroke occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood to part of the brain, starving cells of oxygen. Bastyr researchers (and their collaborators at the University of Washington School of Medicine) hypothesize that electroacupuncture can restore blood flow to the affected areas of the brain. That could help patients recover the ability to do things like speak, walk, and use their hands. As a translational tool, MRI technology has the potential to shed light on therapies that are difficult to measure. By reacting to the iron content in blood, MRI machines can map changes in neural activity inside a subject’s brain. “Qi has never been translated into physics,” says Dr. Standish, who holds a doctorate in neuroscience along with degrees in naturopathic medicine and acupuncture. “But the very basis of brain activity is the electrical firing of a neuron. So our biology is electromagnetic in a very essential way.” Bastyr University is the largest accredited university for natural health arts and sciences in the U.S., offering more than 17 degree programs. With campuses near Seattle, WA, and in San Diego, CA, the non-profit university includes a leading-edge research facility and outstanding clinical training. PHOTO: adam staffa


Meetings & Awakenings

by Ric Scalzo

Our Relationships with Nature

Within the very core of our existence is a mosaic of shapes, forms, and relations. Our very existence depends upon our ability to sustain the fertility and vitality inherent within nature. The meetings that take place with our medicines should not be taken for granted. These meetings offer a promise that the cycle of life will not be broken. These meetings offer a promise that there will always remain a continuity of relations that will, if given the opportunity, provide us with the ability to achieve true health and wellness. The choices we make… The co-evolution of plants and people is a harmonious continuum. Plants revitalize us, and we must nurture them in return. It is this reciprocity that sustains the wellbeing of everything on the planet, and brings a renewed sense of wholeness to all the earth. Symbiotic relationships… We all are part of a life cycle, a journey together with relations that are both seen and unseen. Just as the wasp and the grub are connected together in their life path, so are we connected with the soil, the plants, the insects, the cycles of day and night, the changing of the seasons. All these connections, all these relationships remind us how we are intimately woven together into a fabric of wholeness that sustains the very life we live. Stewardship… We assume our role as stewards of this life cycle. Plants bring forth their wisdom and intelligence through endless interactions with the formative forces of nature. We create fertile soils to nurture this expression of plant intelligence. Our meetings at this moment are very special, as we recognize that we hold responsibility for the free and full development of this fertile and vibrant expression of nature. Reverence… Every plant, in its true form, has the extraordinary ability to restore our bodies’ natural vitality through a symbiotic chemical interaction. It is our deepest belief – our duty – to help others return to a state of harmony by stewarding the coevolution of plants and people, and encouraging individuals to meet the herbs that will work for them. Honoring our present…Nurturing our future… We are reverent stewards of what surrounds us and what is within us. Every day, we awake to these relations and honor our role in the co-creation of this evolutionary process. We must always improve the tilth of the earth we walk upon so those that follow us can share fully in these relations we nurture. Ric Scalzo is the CEO, President, and Founder of Gaia Herbs. As one of North America’s most respected herbalists and botanical researchers, Ric Scalzo has more than 25 years of clinical and practical experience with herbal medicines. As an innovator and pioneer in the herbal products industry, he is a leading authority on the cultivation of herbs, extraction processes, whole plant standardization, and traditional herbal therapies. In addition, Ric is a lifelong student of Vedic philosophy, yoga, and spiritual practices. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 51

Priscilla WO O LWO RT H


BY Daphne Zuniga

Sustainable lifestyle guru Priscilla Woolworth on the healing powers of the garden and our purchasing power.

hen I arrive to interview Priscilla Woolworth, she is in the middle of making homemade, non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner. Her family opened the first Woolworth’s store over a hundred years ago; Priscilla has created her own online, eco-friendly almanac and store, and L.O.L.A., an eco-based blog for girls and young women on how to live a healthy, sustainable life. L.O.L.A. was inspired by her own two daughters. Daphne Zuniga: What makes you come alive? Priscilla Woolworth: Being out in my garden and watching things grow that I have planted makes me so happy. Seeing butterflies come into the garden and bees and birds and all of the wildlife makes me happy. Also, when I go to any sort of green show or festival and I discover something that I didn’t know about, it makes me want to dance! When I find a good resource that I just want to share, I can come back to my office and write about it, and I get so excited to share something that is helpful. DZ: What makes you feel vulnerable? PW: My children, the environment that they


live in, and their future. I think about when they become mothers one day and what their children will experience. I think about all of that, how fortunate I have been to have witnessed so much natural beauty in the wilderness, and I just hope that they will also get to experience the animals and the natural beauty of the earth. DZ: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? PW: You have the power to change the world by what you buy. DZ: That’s great because you have so many things on your website that people can buy. What I love about your site is that you know all the different sides to a product. You know that it doesn’t just matter if something is made out of organic material, but it matters where it came from, too. What’s the economy of that item? How much oil was used to make something? You know layers deep on everything. PW: I also look at how an item can be reused. Is it only going to have a one-off use? Or can I repurpose it for something else? DZ: How do you handle emotional pain? PW: My garden. It nourishes me. Spending time planting, digging, pruning, and observing really recharges my batteries. I always feel reinvigorated and hopeful when I spend time

in the garden. Hiking surrounded by nature also helps. DZ: Tell me about your latest project. PW: L.O.L.A. is a project that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s a book inspired by books that I made for my daughters. I’ve made them books every Christmas since they were five years old documenting their lives. When they went away to college, I made them books to share with their friends and the books were full of advice and tips on eating healthy and being safe and empowering messages and anything that they could use when they felt lonely or overwhelmed. This was something that they could turn to that I was hoping could give them sustenance. “L.O.L.A.” stands for “lots of love always,” which is what I often wrote to my daughters. It also means I have lots of love for lots of young women. I was one once and I would have loved to have had a book like L.O.L.A. to turn to. Priscilla Woolworth is the founder and CEO of, an online, eco-friendly general store and monthly almanac, offering a wide range of environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible home products. She recently launched her second website for her upcoming book, L.O.L.A./lots of love always, a book for young women about living a sustainable lifestyle and making healthy choices.

interview: Maranda Pleasant

ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Actress + Director

Alex Lombard

on yoga, eating right, game plans, and animal welfare MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos?

AL: A comprehensive To Do List. I love to multi-task and find myself wandering in several directions at once, so if I can at least have a game plan, I usually get everything done eventually. MP: What makes you vulnerable?

AL: Chocolate chip cookies. MP: What are issues or causes that you are passionate about?

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive?

The older I get, the more I cherish wholehearted belly laughs. Laughing feels great and is great for your health!

Alex Lombard: Laughter. The older I get, the more I cherish wholehearted belly laughs. Laughing feels great and is great for your health! MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

AL: Develop your sense of humor. MP: What’s your biggest passion or project right now?

AL: I wrote and directed a short film called Sophie last year, starring myself and Jonathan Groff. It was a passion project for so many people involved as many of us worked for free. I’d have to say finishing the film is my biggest passion project at the moment. MP: What is love to you?

AL: “Baby don’t hurt me / Don’t hurt me no more.”

AL: The welfare of animals is always very high on my list of priorities. I’m always concerned with how animals are used in entertainment, and, if I feel that something doesn’t serve the animal, it shouldn’t be done. I rescued a dog last year that I found wandering the streets of LA during a location scout for my short film. After a lot of time and patience, he has acclimated beautifully and I can’t imagine life without him! MP: What’s your health routine?

AL: I love yoga and I also love to spin. 2014 is about taking up martial arts. I’m looking forward to doing something that lets me move and is also empowering. My secret dream is to star in an action film, so maybe I’m just trying to somehow put that vision into motion. MP: How do you stay healthy and fit?

AL: Eating right is, of course, very important. I definitely eat for nutrition more than for taste. I also think that what you drink is as important as what you eat. In my case, it’s what I don’t drink that counts the most. I don’t drink soda or coffee and have very limited alcohol. I try to stick to water, tea, juice in moderation, and sports drinks.


ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Twilight Star


lefevre On Life, Acting, and Kindness Interview by Robert Piper

Robert Piper: You’re in Under The Dome, which is based off a Stephen King novel. What’s it like to play a character in a Stephen King novel?

Rachelle Lefevre: It’s great, but you never actually know who you are or what you’re capable of. You only know who you think you are. You sort of feel like you could change at any minute. He’s really, really good at creating characters where the scariest thing about them is not the evidence – it’s always what they’re capable of, given the right circumstances. RP: What inspires you in life?

RL: Wow, I’ll trying to think of a simple answer. I think creativity, really on any level, just kind of all around. I go to a lot of museums, I read a ton of poetry – anything that’s a creative expression of oneself, I find really inspiring. RP: You played a vampire in Twilight. What’s it like to train for the role of a vampire?

RL: With any character, I try to focus more on who the character is and how they got to be who they are. So, for me, playing a vampire isn’t about the fact that they’re a vampire, it’s about who they are specifically. I try to be really, really specific, because each character is really an individual and you have to find out what makes them unique. It was more like training to be a villain rather than a vampire.


RP: Is there anything else you’re doing, as far as upcoming projects?

RL: I’m working with the Best Friends Animal Society. I’ve been working with them for about five years now. I’ve worked with them on their puppy mill campaign to encourage people to adopt pets and not buy them. The next thing I’m going to be working with them on is a no-kill campaign. They are working with No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), and I’m working with them to turn Los Angeles into a no-kill city so none of the shelters euthanize animals. RP: Any other charity projects you’re working on?

RL: Yes, I work with quite a few organizations. I also work with Environment California and the Environmental Media Association. I’m on the Young Hollywood Board of the EMA. We focus on putting organic gardens into inner-city schools around Los Angeles. We teach the kids how to garden, and we have School Garden Luncheons for the kids so they can eat the food that they’ve gardened. It’s a great teaching tool. Rachelle is an actress, animal rights advocate, philanthropist, and environmentalist. She starred in the movies Twilight and Homefront, and can currently be seen on the hit show Under the Dome.

ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Finding Play Through Work

s a d i e c a l v a n o star of CBS’s Mom

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Sadie Calvano: Dancing to a great song with great friends and lots of laughter. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? SC: I think that being vulnerable is about feeling helpless, or’s about allowing myself to be in a place where I could be hurt. It’s scary but as an actress it is my job to be vulnerable, so I try to just embrace it and focus on the things I can control. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SC: Practice random acts of kindness...and watch Mom! MP: How do you handle emotional pain? SC: Sometimes it’s important just to allow myself to feel whatever it is I am feeling and to be okay with it. I talk with good friends and do my best to keep myself moving and remind myself that “this too shall pass.” MP: Tell me about your latest project. SC: Lately I have been completely immersed in the world of Mom. I am so blessed to have booked a project filled with such cool people and amazing writers. I have been working on Mom for about a year now, and I still have to pinch myself. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? SC: Exercise and writing are so therapeutic for me. I try to write every day and I make it a huge priority to find time to work out, even if that means taking a spin class at 7am before work. I also take dance and yoga. Through the craziness, yoga classes allow me a safe space to breathe and put energy into myself. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? SC: Set goals, work hard, trust yourself, and only stress over what you can control. MP: What truth do you know for sure? SC: At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel loved, appreciated and respected. MP: How can young people make a difference? SC: Find something you are passionate about and do it. When something resonates with you, working for it seems more like play. We live in an age where technology is so powerful that we can make change without even leaving our computers or cell phones. There is so much power at your fingertips! Use it! As Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

interview: maranda pleasant

PHOTO: Corey Nickols

Sadie is the celebrity spokesperson for a local charity called Bags4Kids that supports foster children who are extremely vulnerable. Check out their website at


ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers



Producer, Professional Violinist, Nomadic Spirit

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Hannah Thiem: Music, travel, dance, yoga, swimming in the ocean, sunshine, meeting new people, collective music jams, smoothies, flowers, drinking up new cultures. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? HT: Believe in your dreams and follow your passions with your whole being — everything and anything is possible. MP: Tell me about your latest project. HT: I’ve been working very hard on my debut solo EP, Brym, and music video for the past year, and it’s finally ready to be unleashed! My solo project started as a desire to tour more simply and to see if I could really engage and captivate as a solo artist, as previously I had been performing as part of two groups, Copal and Nyxyss. Wanderlust Festivals over the past few years gave me the opportunity to really explore my sound and performances. Dubspot instructor Matt Shadetek gave me the tools to produce my own tracks, as well as perform at various festivals, such as Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala and Burning

Man, which provided a rocket launch for experimenting with the deep emotions and inspiration people feel from my performances. With my debut solo EP, Brym, I feel as though I’ve created a bridge to transport listeners to another time and place. My deep interest in folk music, especially Nordic music, was used as a base to create a body of electronic, stringrich work. The music ranges from minimal and ambient to more upbeat and dance-floor driven, while maintaining a palette of violin, cello, piano, and organic percussion as central elements. On a couple of tracks, my voice is incorporated as another sound texture, augmenting the sounds of the violin. On stage, it’s thrilling to be able to captivate the audience through performances that capture the essence of beauty and mystery that I’m so drawn to. Hannah Thiem is a producer and violinist whose musical stylings are influenced by her nomadic spirit and her deep appreciation for electronic and ambient soundscapes. Her ever-evolving sound is forging new avenues for violin through her own unique articulation of evocative and cinematic electronic music. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 57

“This planet is the responsibility of the next generation, and it’s time for us to step up and become initiators of change.”




bullying divorce addiction game-changers


g eRin o ow emp uth t he yo ge t n cha orld w



science technology innovation

exclusives with:

• • • • •

Sir Richard Branson BeyoncÉ Pete Cashmore Russell Simmons Woody Harrelson

origin Magazine interview with


How teens deal with:




divorce addiction

health & mindfulness young entrepreneurs


game changers

young minds

T. AusTin

discuss: environment social change activism


REAL Magazine Founder. Humanitarian. Environmentalist. Leader for Change. Age 17. Ocean Pleasant, 17, has traveled the globe from India to Africa working to empower young people. She has announced the launch of her own magazine, REAL, which will feature conscious culture for the next generation.

and wisdom from role models that are actively impacting the world. By using big names to spearhead even bigger issues, REAL will connect young readers with the tools they need to make a difference.

ORIGIN: What inspired you to start REAL?

REAL magazine launches nationally this summer.

Ocean Pleasant: Young people need a platform where they can find inspiration 58 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

As a teenager, I see youth around me completely submersed in this digital society, which encourages us to turn a blind eye to issues that require our immediate attention. Young girls need tools that empower and encourage them to make a difference. This planet is the responsibility of the next generation, and it’s time for us to step up and become initiators of change.

science innovation technology

EXCLUSIVES WITH: Ian Somerhalder + Pete CaShmore + SIr rIChard BranSon USher + BeyonCe + JaSon mraz + Woody harrelSon + davId GUetta 2 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM



veryday issues

mazing voices

eaders for change

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Interview with Nikki Deloach, actress in the hit show Awkward Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Nikki Deloach: I’m inspired by it all – the good and the not so good – because every experience is an opportunity for me to learn, grow, and become the best version of myself. I feel most alive when I’m surrounded by family and friends, and when I am working. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? ND: I have a couple of what I call “buttons” – fears or anxieties that when tweaked can cause me to be vulnerable. Fear of failure, not being good enough, and abandonment are my main buttons. However, they have diminished greatly over the years as I have really confronted those fears in order to work through them. My biggest vulnerability now is my son, Hudson. I am often plagued with fear: Is he ok? Is he safe? I’m in the process of trying to work through this fear. It’s a hard one. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? ND: Be kind to yourself and to others. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. I was told that every day of my childhood.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain? ND: It depends on the situation and how deep the pain cuts. I have a skill set that often helps me get through hurtful moments or experiences. However, sometimes when the pain cuts really deep, my normal go-to exercises just won’t work. I have an amazing spiritual counselor. I use meditation a lot. Cognitive therapy has been very helpful for me. However, no matter what, I find that surrendering is essential. Finally, be kind to yourself and have a good support system. MP: Tell me about your latest project. ND: Right now I’m filming Season Four of Awkward. I play Lacey Hamilton, the overbearing, self-involved, but very well-intentioned mother of the lead, Jenna Hamilton. It’s senior year, so Lacey is dealing with the impending empty nest and asking herself what she will do with the rest of her life. I also just became an expert blogger for a website called SheKnows. My first blog goes up this month. On our hiatus I’m doing an action/thriller indie, which should be a lot of fun.

ND: Meditation has really helped with keeping my center. Also, I cannot stress the importance of pausing to take a few deep breaths throughout the day. It’s simple and effective. Going for a walk is always helpful for me. I also love gratitude exercises. Reminding myself of all that I have to be thankful for really helps ground me and keeps me from tipping over into that negative place. MP: What truth do you know for sure? ND: That I am loved. Nikki is from Blackshear, GA. Her first big professional job was The Mickey Mouse Club. After that, she focused acting for several years, until she decided to pursue music. After a stint in the music business, she returned to acting. For the last ten years, she’s been in L.A., working in film and television as an actor. Along the way, she got a degree, became a certified acting coach, and spent a year as a creative executive at a production company. “Most importantly,” she says, “I’m happy.” You can check out Nikki’s posts on women’s issues at

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

photos: Rick R Photography Hair and Makeup: Allison Noelle ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 59

ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

i n t e r v i e w: m a r a n d a p l e a s a n t



sionate about stopping bullying. It all goes back to love and kindness.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come most alive? Shanola Hampton: I love life, but very little makes me more excited than food! I live to eat good food. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SH: Be nice! MP: What’s your biggest passion or project right now? SH: Being a new mom. MP: What is love to you? SH: I just had this conversation with a friend. Love is not just loving those who are easy to love, it’s also loving those you may not like. It’s an energy, a way of being. Be love, see love, and receive love.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? SH: I turn within. Meditation changed my life. MP: What makes you vulnerable? SH: That’s a tough question. I guess I’m most vulnerable when I’m with children. MP: What are some issues or causes that you are passionate about? SH: I’m really passionate about gay rights. We should not still be in a time when we are voting on any human beings’ rights. It shouldn’t even be a discussion. I’m also pas-

MP: What’s your health routine? SH: While I’ve been pregnant, my routine has changed slightly. I still drink protein shakes, but prenatal and other vitamins are now also included in my daily routine. I drink tons of water throughout the day and work out three to five times a week. MP: How do you stay healthy and fit? SH: Part of being healthy is mental. I read affirmations almost daily. I also work out. For my body and mind, it’s good for me to do different types of exercises. I will do yoga twice a week, a Pilates workout, and cardio. Some weeks, I will do light weight training. While I’ve been pregnant, I’ve really focused on the yoga and Pilates parts of my workout routine. However, during the early months I still did boot camp type classes. The gym and I have a very love/hate relationship, but I always walk out happier.

Photo: Gilles Toucas Hair and Makeup: Tracey Taylor 60 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM



ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

STEPHANIE ELLIS on being vegetarian, human trafficking, and taking ownership of your life Maranda Pleasant: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? Stephanie Ellis: I still feel like I’m working out the details for myself. It’s something I am constantly questioning. What is it that’s really worth sharing or spreading? One thing I do know is that we are fortunate to be here and we’re here to try and better ourselves and to be good. For me, gratitude only brings positivity. As simplified as it sounds, I think that is key. Try and benefit others, animals, the whole of the earth, as much as you can. And in that space, challenge yourself to find what it is you can bring about through your life’s work. MP: What’s your biggest passion or project right now? SE: For some time now, I’ve been very connected to issues surrounding human trafficking. Young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking face an incredible climb as they try and exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. For some reason, their struggle to take ownership of their existence rings very powerfully to me. I’m actually developing a film about these young women and the people trying to help them. It centers on the challenges they face in making this transition. MP: What is love to you? SE: Love is when there is no denying “it”...that magical, elusive feeling that really seizes us and takes us from the inside. To me, it’s in the corners of my niece’s little smile, or when I see my mother is calling me from Australia, or when I hear my husband’s footsteps in our hallway. It’s in the mundane and in the epic.


MP: What are some issues or causes that you are passionate about? SE: As previously mentioned, human trafficking, but I’m also very connected to the effects of extreme poverty in countries where children are left with few options other than begging, child labor, and prostitution. I am a big supporter of an organization in India called Ladli (loving girl), which is a vocational training program for abused, orphaned, and destitute children. MP: What’s your health routine? SE: I’ve been a vegetarian for a while now and I try to give my body plenty of what it craves. I’m not someone who obsesses about what they eat, but I do try to eat consciously and towards it being something that is super enjoyable. I love good food. For me, that means lots of green juice, salad, and good dark chocolate. I guess I also see meditation as part of healthy living. It definitely is important for me to find some mental stillness. MP: How do you stay healthy and fit? SE: A lot of it is striking a balance for me. Yoga is really big – I’m actually a certified teacher, although I’ve never taught classes at a studio. I really find myself drawn to more traditional styles. But for all the yoga I do (and I do plenty), I also love the time I spend jogging. It gets me in sync with myself. I tried SoulCycle recently, and that left me good and sore. But, with all that said, there’s something so sweet about being on your yoga mat, whether that be at Jivamukti, Dharma Mittra, or in my living room.

ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

When I’m in emotional pain, I usually embrace the pain, cry, and let it all out. Then I try to look on the bright side. Everything has a reason, even things that aren’t pleasant.”


Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Jacqui Holland: Music is definitely something that makes me come alive. No matter how tired I am, when a great song comes on, I’m full of energy. One of my favorite activities is just to drive and listen to music – of course, only when there’s no traffic. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? JH: As horrible as this sounds, I am a little vulnerable about appearances. As I get older, I fear aging less because I realize it’s the inevitable, but I definitely have a slight fear of aging. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? JH: If I could say something to everyone on this planet, I’d tell them to follow their dreams. If you’re positive and listen to your heart, you can truly get what you’re looking for. It’s hard to do all the time, but vibrating on the right frequency can really bring some wonderful things into your life. Also, be grateful! MP: How do you handle emotional pain? JH: When I’m in emotional pain, I usually embrace the pain, cry, and let it all out. Then I try to look on the bright side. Everything has a reason, even things that aren’t pleasant. Focusing on negative situations is never helpful. MP: Tell me about your latest project. JH: I have a few projects coming out this upcoming month, including a comedy/horror film, Silent But Deadly, which all takes place in a Photo: EVAN DUNING

jacqui holland

on beauty, aging, and embracing pain

retirement home, and an action film, God of Thunder, where I play Thor’s love interest. I’m also busy writing an intense psychological thriller. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? JH: Truthfully, I wish I had a daily routine. It’s hard being an actor because you never have a set schedule. I try to attend yoga two times a week along with a spinning class and hiking. Hiking is really great for centering; you get to be out in nature and although sometimes it seems like hell when you’re getting up that mountain, it always feels good when you’re done. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? JH: My biggest lesson is patience. I always want things to happen overnight and they don’t. I’ve had to learn this lesson a few times in life and, usually, it results in taking more time to fix the problem because it was rushed. MP: What truth do you know for sure? JH: The truth I know for sure is that if something feels good and makes you happy on the inside, you’re probably moving in the right direction. Jacqui was born in Cincinnati, OH but relocated to Hollywood where she landed guest parts in shows like How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives. She also played Chewy’s ‘sexy assistant’ on After Lately. From then on, she’s been doing films, including Hollywood Sex Wars, My Best Friend’s Girl, Monsters in the Woods, and Silent But Deadly. She’s also the proud mother of two beautiful Pomeranians, “Bunny” and “Boots.” ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 63


It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Do Compassion As A Daughter. Compassion As A Mom.

s I prepare my mind and body to embrace motherhood for the first time, I’ve put a ton of focus into ditching behaviors and patterns that no longer serve me: all the impossible expectations, the shoulds and the should nots that tend to create a life by everyone’s definition but my own, and, most annoyingly, the body issues that perpetuate a continuous cycle of negative relationships with food, exercise, and selfperception. These things make it difficult to truly embrace and enjoy the unique value in my own powerful form and experience. Thankfully, I now recognize just how deep, harsh, and unnecessary my own self-talk can be, allowing me to see the grace in my rounded


derriere, the strength in my arms, the effect my smile has on the person to which it’s aimed, and the vivid pictures that my eyes convey, loaded with the wisdom from lifetimes before this one. But I can’t stop asking the question, “When and where did I ever learn to treat myself so harshly in the first place?” Though I’m sure there are any number of contributors, not many were bigger in my life and dearer to me than my mom. Now, before you assume I am pinning blame for my struggle to learn self-acceptance on my dear old mom, hear me out, because that is most definitely not where I am going with this. My mother has always been my biggest cheerleader and most loyal

advocate. She is by no means perfect, but she has shown me a working example of how to fight for what you believe, how to fall and get right back up, how to pursue a less-travelled path even when those around you misunderstand or judge, and how to have the guts to believe in it anyway. She praised me and used the most loving and nurturing words towards my appearance, my value and me. So, after all of this, how is it that my own thoughts and actions towards myself could be so cruel and unforgiving? Here’s where it gets interesting… My realization was that no matter how many wonderful words of compassion, kindness, and encouragement my mother used to teach me, the actions I remembered most and emulated in my life were the ones I noticed her inflict upon herself. The fears of failure and imperfection and that she wasn’t loveable or deserving exactly as she was. Kids notice


My realization was that no matter how many wonderful words of compassion, kindness, and encouragement my mother used to teach me, the actions I remembered most and emulated in my life were the ones I noticed her inflict upon herself.”

everything, even if you never say it out loud. How can children believe your words and apply them to their own lives when the one they idolize most doesn’t allow herself to do that? Now for the single greatest give my mom gave me: the ability to open my mind and grow from it. With that huge gift, I have found ways to change my course and do things in a new way. So this is my new way, for the sake of my own ability for self-compassion and for the sake of my future child’s. The very next moment you are about to forsake your own needs and happiness for the approval or happiness of another, ask yourself one question: “If my own child were coming to me at this very same stage in her life, asking me for advice on this very same issue, what would I tell her to do?” The answer is most likely one filled with respect, compassion, and love for your own needs and, in effect, everyone around you. As I wrap my head around parenting from a compassionate and balanced place, I strive to remember that it’s my relationship with myself that sets the example and leads the way. So, parents of the world, I am here to remind you, don’t wait until Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to give yourself the compassion and love you deserve. Make the choice to own it every minute of every day, as often as you can. There is no better way to empower the ones who look to you for guidance. And don’t forget; watching you learn from your mistakes makes them stronger too. As for my mom, she too continues to change and grow every day. Nobody rocks her 60s like she does! Amy Halman is the President + Formulator for ACURE and the Founder of, a movement encouraging youth to define the face they want the world to see, while re-molding cultural expectations of what’s truly attractive along the way.

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By Dean J errehian

D O I N G W E LL by doing good. s an economics major in college, I was constantly reminded how “the purpose of business is to make profits.” As a law student, I was taught that if leaders of publicly traded corporations took their eyes off that ball, they would be violating their duty to their shareholders. As an environmental lawyer, I saw so many companies putting profits ahead of the environment, I didn’t think there was any other way. But of course there is. More and more businesses are taking a broader look at how you get to, or even change the definition of, the bottom line. Whole Foods adheres to “Conscious Capitalism,” the idea that business should be conducted with a higher purpose in mind – creating values for stakeholders, not just profits for stockholders. “Triple Bottom Line” companies like FedEx Kinkos make decisions based on: (1) profit; (2) social responsibility; and (3) environmental responsibility. “B Corps,” like Ben and Jerry’s, are certified to meet social and environmental performance standards. Twenty-two states take this a step further through “Benefit Corporations,” which allow corporate directors to consider environmental and social benefits over financial returns, eliminating liability for failing to maximize profits and requiring “a positive impact on society and the environment.” Patagonia is a model Benefit Corporation. When Jade first started in the yoga business, I was proud that we made an eco-friendly product in the US. Then a yogini asked me, “What else are you doing?” At first I did not understand the question; wasn’t making a natural, non-toxic product out of a rapidly renewable resource pretty admirable? But she kept asking until I realized that we could – and should – do more for our customers, our community and our world. We decided to give back to the earth and, through our partnership with Trees for the Future, have planted a tree for every mat sold. But does it work? Not only did Ben and Jerry’s make headlines, their sales increased from $4 million to $132 million over seven years after instituting “caring capitalism.” Whole Foods has 73,000 employees. Patagonia sales exceed $500 million. And Jade? Since that yogini asked me, “What else are you doing?” Jade has planted over 700,000 trees. So yes, it works. If you run a business, I have a question for you: What else are you doing? Jade is committed to making the world’s best performing, most environmentally friendly yoga products and giving back to the earth with every product sold. In addition to planting a tree for every mat sold, Jade preserves ten square feet of rainforest with every block sold, provides clean drinking water for one adult for 30 days for every towel sold, and donates $5 towards breast cancer, ovarian cancer and autism causes for every pink, teal and saffron mat sold. For more information, visit 66 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

“If you run a business, I have a question for you:

What else are you doing?”

Female Genital Mutilation:

A Woman on the Front Lines by: Olowo-n’djo Tchala lowo-n’djo Tchala, the founder of Alaffia, would like to introduce you to a woman fighting on the front lines of female genital mutilation. This tradition has afflicted more than 125 million girls and women across Africa and the globe. Abidé Awesso is dedicating her life to helping those already “cut” and making sure no one else succumbs to this practice. Abidé joined Alaffia three years ago; her main focus is on female circumcision, or excision. While Alaffia’s maternal health project began in 2006, it was not until three years ago that we started focusing on excision. In 2010, during a visit to Togo, Alaffia’s Community Projects Coordinator, Ibada, told me that during her training as a midwife, when she was stationed in Kabou, she encountered many women who had undergone excision. She told me how these women suffer, and how many bleed to death during childbirth. She then told me, if I truly believed in women’s rights, Alaffia must fund a program for prenatal and delivery care for excised women. The following year, I visited the community Health Director of Kabou to gain authorization for Alaffia to provide prenatal care for these women. This was when Abidé joined Alaffia, to open a satellite office near Kabou to begin this project.

While all of us were aware of the health problems these women face because of what was done to them, none of us were prepared for the intensity and gravity of the project, including Abidé. In her own words she explained, “When I first started examining these women, I couldn’t sleep at night. I had nightmares from seeing the suffering these women have to endure. For the first six months, I didn’t think I could continue and I wanted to resign.” Excision is the removal, all or in part, of external genitalia through traditional “surgery,” performed with razor blades or shards of glass. It is part of the culture of some ethnic groups to perform this on girls once they reach puberty. Since it is an illegal practice, it is done secretly, usually in the fields or brush without

any anesthesia or sanitary conditions. In addition to the intense pain and trauma these girls endure, they are also plagued with infections and scarring for life. Thankfully, Abidé found the strength to continue, despite the horrors that she witnesses. She has ensured the safe birth of 610 babies and will continue to work to save these mothers and their children. Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Founder and Managing Director at Alaffia, has seen the pain and suffering caused by female genital mutilation. Inspired by this fundamental violation of a woman’s body, Olowo-n’djo decided to put Alaffia’s resources behind eradicating this practice and helping those already afflicted. Learn more at www.alaffia. com/maternal-health.asp.

“Excision is the removal, all or in part, of external genitalia through traditional ‘surgery,’ performed with razor blades or shards of glass.” ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 67

by jennifer hess

It happened the moment I took an Ashtanga class, when my son was born and I found my self. My true self. Not me as mother or wife or daughter. But me. My breath, my strength, my peace.

It happened the time I took a deep belly breath, and discovered that it dampened my anger and frustration over not getting my two hours because my son refused to nap, bringing me back to the moment at hand and not the “lost” time that I wasn’t owed or ever guaranteed. It happened years later when training for triathlons, when I began to practice more regularly, and the physical yoga became less important than the words of empowerment I was hearing and absorbing, and the whisper of a voice that was coming from inside.

“I wanted to empower young girls to find awareness, to distinguish their stories from their truth.” cultivate awareness, and to parent from a grounded, authentic place stripped of limiting stories – to stand strong in order to grow daughters that can stand proud in their bodies and share their authentic voices with fearlessness. I found yoga, or yoga found me. And now I give back to the world what I have gained.

It happened while taking a yoga teacher training, when I realized that we all have our stories, and that I wanted to empower young girls to find awareness, to distinguish their stories from their truth. I wanted to give girls the strength to listen to their inner voices and intuition, and to use their voices instead of lose their voices, which happens to many girls of a certain age.

My program, Rock Solid Moms/Rock Star Daughters, teaches awareness to mothers and daughters – awareness of limiting beliefs, triggers, self-care habits, fears and strengths. My classes explore the messy sides of life in order to allow people the freedom to accept all of their feelings and move beyond their limitations. My new business, Finger Lakes Yogascapes, brings people together for multi-day, daylong or half-day mind and body adventures pushing people to dream bigger and take flight in their lives.

It happened when I realized that, to make greater change, I needed to take these same messages to the mothers – the first and strongest voices and role models girls have. I needed to teach mothers how to

Yoga found me, and my mission is to bring yoga to others, to help them find their breath, their strength, and their peace.

Photos: Amanda Padgham 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

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Mary Beth LaRue // VENICE

Mia Togo // VENICE

Alanna Zabel // santa monica

Tiffany Cruikshank // LA

Preston Smiles // LA

Penny Cole // Castro Valley

Fresh peonies from the farmers’ market. Creativity. Backpack-sort of travel. True human connection. Bright blue sky. A sweaty yoga class with lots of breath. Sunday mornings. A bike ride along the ocean and the smell of the sea. Writing. My tribe. A bubble bath and a killer glass of red wine. Vulnerability. Photo: Ashley StrefF

Educating and inspiring the people around me makes my soul shine. I love to see people light up when they are empowered to step into their lives with courage and grace. Creating a community of people who support each other in that is everything to me! Photo: Jasper Johal


When I trust my soul and intuition over fear and doubt, I tune into the frequency of love. Creative expression through music is the vehicle that moves me to celebrate life. It helps me find my groove and keeps me tuned in. When I’m dialed into my creative spirit, my soul shines on! Photo: Chris Baldwin

My soul shines bright when I’m making a deep impact on the world – using The Love Mob as a platform to ignite a multi-generational movement of love. When I think about being a part of the growing swell of change-makers, coming together in the name of love and community, my soul not only smiles... it shines. Photo: Justin Butts

Music resonates through my soul and inspires my body to move and dance. I become immersed in a timeless, blissful state, where every aspect of my joy shines through me. I love sharing this with other people, and I thrive in loving communities that live authentically, recognize synchronicity, and are reverent to the power of Nature. Photo: Victoria Davis

Making others happy, be it through sharing a smile, a laugh, or simply paying it forward. It’s not the acknowledgement that’s important, it’s the knowingness that positivity has been shared. Photo: Matthew LaRochelle

What makes your soul shine? CALIFORNIA AMBASSADORS

dana damara // San FranciscO

Jenn Perell // San FranciscO

Renee Scott // San jose

Eric Shaw // berkeley

Katie Brauer // san diego

Jacques Habra // santa barbara

Relationships that start with a momentous glance and evolve into deep, authentic connection; sharing meaningful dialogue and gentle touch with another; singing at the top of my lungs; listening to my daughter’s laugh; forgiving and loving my past unconditionally; trusting with complete abandon; being fully present to another’s heart. photo: Brian McDonnell

My soul shines for courage. I remember wondering as a child why everyone didn’t stand up for justice like Martin Luther King, Daniel Berrigan, or Rachel Carson. My soul shines for my own ability to stand up for truth, to love this world’s goodness, and to practice faith in human civilization – despite the apparent magnitude of the challenges we face. Photo: Jack Gescheidt

My soul gets untethered when I move my body – especially in sun, sand, and sea. It shines most brightly when I have the opportunity to bring people together around shared purpose, to connect, grow, and thrive. Inspiration begets inspiration.

Surfing in tropical destinations with my husband and friends is absolutely a soulshine experience. I love everything about it! The mission of getting to remote locations, clear, beautiful water that is warm enough to rock a bikini, amazing, perfect waves, and incredible friends to share the experience with is the BEST! Photo credit: Epic Photo Journalism

What makes my soul shine is when I feel I have made a positive difference. Whether it is photographing rescue pets, volunteering, or just helping a neighbor out with a project, there is no better high than the feeling you get from being useful to someone. That, and dogs. I LOVE dogs. Photo: Renee Scott

My soul shines when I am increasing the level of harmony and dimension in my own life and in my community. I do this through inspired public speaking, mentorship of entrepreneurs, and developing startups focused on using technology, data and algorithms to improve well-being. Giving thanks and living with synchronicity!


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Cassandra Alls

My soul shines when I am able to inspire and empower others to live a healthy, vibrant and joyous life. It shines as I live my purpose to be a compassionate force to assist others in healing. To see another soul shine – there is nothing better than that.

Rob Beilfus

My yoga students make my soul shine. The highlight of every week for me is seeing them in class. They are awesome and eager to learn. My favorite part of teaching them is the excitement in their eyes when they learn a new pose for the first time! Photo: Jackie Garcia

Erica Ford

Sharing and listening to personal stories. Some trigger tremendous laughter, some fall into the strange-but-true category, while others have imperfect endings. However, that process of revealing yourself by sharing your own experience and listening to those of others makes me feel truly connected, authentic, and alive. Photo: Jackie Garcia Photography

new jersey AMBASSADORS

Andrea Scaramelli-Heim // boonton Greatness is not what you have, it is what you give. Each spring I offer my OM Girl yoga program to groups of pre-teen girls where it’s all about self-empowerment, self-esteem, getting strong and healthy, and respect for others and their communities. It’s my priority to create an environment of inclusivity, non-judgment and fun, so that ALL souls can shine bright. 72 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Elizabeth Wojtowicz // West Milford My life makes my soul shine. Love makes my soul shine. Being here, alive, makes my soul shine. My everyday challenges and those of my Cerebral Palsy make my soul shine. Passion makes my soul shine. My love and passion for “Off The Mat, Into The World” makes my soul shine.

Danielle Hutchins // Red Bank

What makes my soul shine are little moments: being intently aware of the wonder of the world, tipping my head back and watching clouds; seeing a bird’s belly & hearing an accompanying flutter of wings; handstands; the perfection of a ripe peach in the summer sun; delicious kisses... whoosh, and I’m away – Shining! Photo: Robert Sturman

What makes your soul shine? colorado AMBASSADORS

Griffen Qualls // denver

When I get to hear the cry of many people’s struggles turn into laughter. The times that bring healing to populations that are suffering. I am deeply moved by the diversity of people on this planet, and I’m grateful to celebrate any truth that contributes to causes that outlive us. Photos: Madeliene Kattman

“I am deeply moved by the diversity of people on this planet, and I’m grateful to celebrate any truth that contributes to causes that outlive us.”

Kia M. Ruiz // Denver

Love. In its simplest form, love is the morning hellos from my sons or looking at my husband. It is a community rallying behind a citizen. It is something not to be hidden by sarcasm and fear. It is free, can be terrifying, and is worth embracing.


Sarasvati Hewitt // portland

Removing suffering from others. Giving yoga, joy, and inspiration to everyone I come in contact with. Being surrounded by enormous trees. Laughing in the sunshine with my love and our two beautiful children. Seeing the stars at night and knowing that everything is connected and everything is perfect. Photo: Lindsey Bolling

Jessica Baker // portland

Every day I feel myself change, evolve, and learn. My yoga practice, on and off the mat, acts as a conduit to connect to these continuous growth spurts. Currently, I’m in my seventh month of pregnancy, where I learn something new every day. New experiences and growth feed my soul and make it shine! Photo: Stark Photography

Amanda Stuermer // bend

Inspiring women and girls to find their voice and speak their truth makes my soul shine. My life’s work is to support and celebrate each one of us as we find the courage to share our stories with the world. I believe we were all born to shine. Photo: Kari Mauser, The Bulletin


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n. carolina AMBASSADOR

Jacquelyn Dobrinska // Asheville Connection. To this amazing earth, as dandelions bloom their sweet medicine and birds sing the sun up. To community, in the give and take as we hold one another. To my own soul, listening to its impulse and dedicating myself to that sacred spark. In connection, we birth the beauty of the world again and again.


Zoey Flowers // Miami

Life is beautifully amusing! Working in the music industry led me to journalism and then an E-RYT 200. My soul shines from spreading yoga’s message and random acts of kindness. Through teaching yoga, I’ve raised money for various charities. My light also resonates with my son’s smile. (Hi, Tyler!) Photo: Giuliano Rio


Erica Mather // New York City My soul shines when I’m teaching and refract the light of others – the living, and the eternal, and the unseen. But this begs the question: is it truly my soul, or does the “soul” belong to many?


Sarah Lesch // Tampa

When I feel balanced, I am aware of how captivating each moment of time can be. The sound of the kids laughing, the blinking of eyes opening after meditation when the world is bright, the sky, and the beat of killer music – these everyday moments make me soar. Photo: John Sexton Photography

rhode island AMBASSADOR

“Connection. To this amazing earth, as dandelions bloom their sweet medicine and birds sing the sun up. To community, in the give and take as we hold one another. To my own soul, listening to its impulse and dedicating myself to that sacred spark.”

Elizabeth Atalay // Providence My family is the light of my life. World travel is my passion. Telling stories about the human condition raises awareness, helps us to understand, and connects us with one another. Cross-platform, global partnerships that spark sustainable innovations in development and solve our most pressing issues make my soul shine. Photo: Rebecca Stearns

What makes your soul shine? texas AMBASSADORS

Jacinta Brondgeest (aka DJ LoveFreq) // houston

Surfing in the summer sunshine, basking in the moonlight, star-gazing, and thunderstorms. Creations of God make my soul shine! As vocalist, musician, DJ, and Evolve Houston co-founder, creating music LIVE, in an inspired space in the light of others, is my soul shining contribution. Photo: Paul R Davis Photography

Deepa Lal // dallas

The UNIVERSE conspired in my favor, and I transitioned to a lifestyle change. I began creating art and living more conscientiously, so I could travel more, appreciate more, breathe more… just BE more. Photo: Andrea LaVasseur

Claire Cotton // fort worth

Low-hanging, quick-moving rainclouds, because to me they symbolize growth. Also, a nice, frothy chai. Time on my yoga mat, preferably sharing that time with others on their yoga mats. Connection. Connecting with myself through stillness, connecting with others, and connecting with the planet. Do you feel the raindrops on your face yet? Photo: Sandy Foster/Yoga Bliss Photo

Stephanie Spett // dallas

A smile on my son or daughter’s face. That is enough to make my soul shine, without a doubt. Bringing yoga to children and adults who would not normally be able to experience it gives me such a sense of pride, and confirms my career choice a thousand times over. Photo: Monica McNeil

Adri Kyser // dallas

Giving Thanks… Connecting with the power of love… Spending time with my family… Making a difference… Teaching yoga has given me the platform to be authentic, courageous, vulnerable, and inspiring. Teaching has also given me the opportunity to be of service, help others, and make a positive difference one breath and one pose at the time. Photo Credit: Lisa Johnston

April Ree // Houston

Looking into my own reflection, I honor the light within. As we continue to find each other recognizing that same light reflecting back, I can’t help but acknowledge the undeniable truth that we are all so intricately connected. I have massive joy and gratitude for the way we mirror each other and radiate this abundant love.

Loranda Stuart // austin

Yoga and music make my soul shine! One of the greatest teachings that I’ve learned is, “You never know what you’re in training for, but you are exactly where you are supposed to be.” Yoga prepares us for whatever comes our way, music nurtures us right where we are.


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SunShine Samadhi // houston

Squeals. Moans. Giggles. Screams. Belly Laughs. Spontaneous Inhales. Teardrops. Deep Sighs. Aha’s… Sounds and spontaneous expressions of Ecstatic Dance tickle my SOULSHINE! I feel most alive bringing together vibrant tribes in the sacred ritual of dance, fostering our community, WorldWide Ecstatic-Evolution! Photo: Charlie Lewellen


Bielkus Sisters: Aida, Vyda, Zara, Siga

Besides an old-fashioned, sweat-it-out dance party, our souls shine helping people make healthy changes! By practicing yoga and Health Yoga Life coaching, we foster optimal living through a commitment to truth. Start with the self and watch the ripple effects of growth spread through your community. Transform yourself, transform your world! Photo: Ian Justice 76 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Kara Pendl // austin

I get so frustrated when I meet people pursuing a life/career that they’re SO passionate about, yet they have to work additional jobs to pay the rent. My soul shines brightest when I’m helping yoga teachers share their talent and gifts with the community, while putting more money in their pockets! Photo: Katherine Fan Photography

Ashley M. Halligan // austin

My soul’s illuminated by the freedom of the open road… windows down, wind-messed hair, maximum volume, dog co-pilot in the backseat, “lost” being our destination. Hydrated by experience and perpetual curiosity, curating stories, lessons, and unexpected discoveries – as told by locals, vistas, and sound waves – is my soul’s chief mission.


Anna Russ // atlanta

That moment when passion and dharma align. Be it my own practice, or witnessing it in others. Whether it’s creating a beautiful tincture, a meal lovingly prepared, through music, yoga – the medium doesn’t matter, the meaning does. It is about authentic expression channeled through service. That makes my soul shine! Photo: Lauren Dyann Photography

Sabrina Huff // athens

What gets me started every morning, is seeing a real push for sustainability. I hadn’t seen a lot of meaningful involvement on many issues concerning the environment and the people that inhabit those environments. Those movements are drawing a lot of new support. The breadth of involvement is enlivening and motivating. Photo: Nedra Deadwyler

What makes your soul shine? illinois AMBASSADOR

“Creating a movement of conscious, purposedriven leaders and organizations that lead with soul, inspire action, improve lives, and empower change in the world through connection, courage, vulnerability, and engagement.”

Geeta Maker-Clark // evanston

My soul shines when I am connecting to the larger flow of the universe, and when I am serving my community through the work I am passionate about. There is a palpable peace in those times, a glorious feeling of being alive, and connected, and free! And if I can dance at the same time? Ecstasy! photo: Julie Chenevert

“Giving complete permission to my inner wisdom and living in purposeful gratitude. Moving through life with grace while running towards my fears.”


Sarah Kaler & Nissa Sorenson

Creating a movement of conscious, purposedriven leaders and organizations that lead with soul, inspire action, improve lives, and empower change in the world through connection, courage, vulnerability, and engagement. The most powerful source of creative energy is an empowered human being. Join us. Create change in the world through leadership.

Zakkry Endicott

Teaching and seeing my yogis on their mats every week makes my soul shine bright. I am overcome by intense gratitude. I feel magic and I know it’s real. I believe contemporary yoga is a peace movement. I’m ready to work hard and be the change! Namaste, thank you yogis!

Kara Lhotzky

Activating my body through yoga and meditation, thereby cultivating a more compassionate spirit. Giving complete permission to my inner wisdom and living in purposeful gratitude. Moving through life with grace while running towards my fears. Connecting with people far beyond a superficial level. Oh, and a good wine.


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united nations ambassadors: Gisele bĂœndcheN Don Cheadle Ian Somerhalder

David Lynch: M e d i tat i o n + C o n s c i o u s n e s s


mccartney: vegETARIAN climate change new tour


yoga teachers changing lives

wilderness feature Eco Rockstars

protecting animals: maggie q alicia silverstone bo derek linkin park: haiti



musicians humanitarians climate leaders

can we save the


miNdful leaders



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Tied to consciousness are all positive qualities, so that ocean within is an ocean of unbounded intelligence, unbounded creativity, unbounded happiness, unbounded love, unbounded energy, and unbounded peace.


An Ocean of Solutions:

David THE

Lynch interview

BY: CHRIS GROSSO Chris Grosso: I’d like to begin by discussing the David Lynch Foundation For ConsciousnessBased Education and World Peace. Can you talk a bit about what “Consciousness-Based Education” is and how it can help create peace in the world? David Lynch: Sure. Consciousness-Based Education is education that is in most ways exactly like regular education, but with the added technique of Transcendental Meditation. Transcendental Meditation, or TM as it’s often referred to, allows students to dive in and experience the unbounded ocean of consciousness within each of us, the big treasury, the field within each of us that is the base of all matter and all mind. It’s been found that transcending and experiencing that unbounded, eternal level of life does wonders for education, and for human beings. Transcendental Meditation is a mental technique, so you travel to this field through subtler levels of mind, and then subtler levels of intellect, PHOTO: MARK BERRY

and then, at the border of intellect, you transcend and experience it. With each experience of the unbounded ocean of consciousness, you infuse it into your life and therefore expand whatever consciousness you had to begin with. Tied to consciousness are all positive qualities, so that ocean within is an ocean of unbounded intelligence, unbounded creativity, unbounded happiness, unbounded love, unbounded energy, and unbounded peace. And when students start expanding consciousness in those positive qualities, their relationships improve, their grades go up, their happiness goes up, the fighting and bullying stops, and things get very, very, very good. The side effect of expanding consciousness is that negativity starts to evaporate; it goes away like darkness when you turn on a light. Many students have so much torment, stress, depression, sorrow and hate in them these days, but then they get this technique and the negativity starts to go away. They start to feel good because the torment is leaving. Their health gets better and they get happier, their comprehension and their ability to focus grow, their grades go up and a joy for life grows; all of which comes from within. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 7

(continued) A few other things happen with the students also. They don’t feel like slamming their fists into one another’s faces anymore, or if someone does hit them, or insults them, they don’t feel the need to slam their fists into that person’s face. Things roll off their back and they’re able to see that the person who said or did that thing is filled with stress and torment. Now, instead of hitting or insulting them back, they’d rather respond by saying, “Hey Jack, let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee.” And that’s just how it goes. Consciousness-Based Education is just plugging us all into the beautiful, eternal field within, and then watching things get better, which is what happens. It’s a field of infinite, unbounded peace within every human being, and when you experience it, you enliven that peace. People feel the inner peace and inner contentment grow, and they feel very good about that. Things get better. CG: That’s truly inspiring, and on behalf of myself, and ORIGIN Magazine, thank you for taking the initiative to introduce Consciousness-Based Education into our school systems. I think most people would agree it’s something desperately needed these days. DL: Thank you for saying that, Chris, I really appreciate it. CG: Do you feel like meditation has impacted your own creative work? DL: That’s a difficult question to answer because I was, as everyone is, creative to a certain degree, one way or another – I was working and making things – before I began meditation. And I’ve been meditating for almost forty-one years now, so it’s hard to say what I’d be like without it. I do remember, however, the way I was before I started meditating. I had a torment inside of me, a kind of depression, and looking back I see that I was weak inside. I wonder if I would have been able to make it through some of those situations. Most likely, I would have been very close to wanting to commit suicide at times, if not for meditation. I wasn’t self-assured. I had many, many doubts, and a lot of internal anger that I would take out on my first wife. The interesting thing that happens for many people when they first start meditating is that they’ll be doing it for a few months, and they will begin to change, but the experience is so subtle that they’re not even aware of it. Other people will start to notice though. They may say things like, “You’re not so uptight,” or, “You’re not so angry, what’s the deal? What have you been doing?” But it’s a very natural process to the person who’s meditating, almost as if they’d always been that way. In my case what happened is that within about two weeks of beginning meditation, the anger already started to go away. My wife came to me and said, “What’s going on?” and I said, “What are you talking about?” To which she replied, “This anger, where did it go?” I didn’t even realize that my anger had been going away. So I started getting more self-assured and happier inside and that is a very important thing – you just begin to get happy while doing almost anything.

picture starts to emerge of the world and life. It’s very good for the artist, businessman, fisherman, and any kind of person really. Another thing that flourishes is intuition, and I always say that intuition is the number one tool for an artist. Intuition is knowingness, and this field of unbounded knowing, of knowingness, is within every human being. You start tapping into that and it becomes an ocean of solutions. When something isn’t quite right, you somehow know a way to make it right, and this is a beautiful, beautiful thing that grows the more that you infuse that being, that unified field, that ocean of consciousness. So it serves the work, and it serves the life: happy in the doing. CG: “Happy in the doing.” I love that. What does spirituality mean to you? DL: You could say that spirituality is bliss, and bliss is physical happiness, emotional happiness, mental happiness, and spiritual happiness. And it’s intense. It’s an intense happiness. It brings you together with everything. They say the full potential of the human being is called enlightenment, which is infinite consciousness, infinite happiness, zero negativity, zero dying, complete freedom, total fulfillment, and being at one with everything. You can say it’s God realization, or you can say you sit at the feet of the Lord as master of all you survey. You could say it’s totality, total knowledge, and that you are that totality. This is every human being’s birthright: to one day enjoy supreme enlightenment, unity. It’s like the big graduation. CG: I heard you’ll be releasing a remixed EP of some of your songs for Record Store Day. Can you talk about that and anything else you’re currently working on musically? DL: I’m not doing anything musically right now because the engineer in my studio, Big Dean Hurley, has taken a sabbatical and is working with somebody else. I am writing some things though. Moby did a remix of “The Big Dream,” and that’s what’s coming out on Record Store Day. Moby is a friend and a genius in the music world. CG: The rumor mill has been flooded with conjecture over a Twin Peaks reboot, or even a new film. You’ve publicly stated, however, that these rumors are just that – rumors. Do you foresee yourself revisiting Twin Peaks in any capacity, or has that ship sailed? DL: The new material that people are talking about is for the Blu-ray, and somehow, mixed up in all of that, rumors began to surface. I don’t know how they started, but everything new is strictly for the Blu-ray release and that’s it. Chris Grosso is an independent culturist, speaker, freelance writer and musician. He created the popular hub for all things alternative, independent, and spiritual with, and continues the exploration with his bestselling debut book, Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality.

Another thing that happens is that ideas flow more freely. They say that negative things like stress, anxiety, tension, sorrow, and depression “squeeze the tube” so ideas don’t flow through it. But if you get rid of that negativity, which goes away naturally when you transcend every day, these ideas are more freely flowing, and you get happy in the doing. You get fresh and inspiring ideas, and a bigger PHOTO: adam bordow 8 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

They say the full potential of the human being is called enlightenment... You can say it’s God realization... You could say it’s totality... This is every human being’s birthright: to one day enjoy supreme enlightenment.



McCartney Music Legend and Icon: His New Tour, “Out There,” Climate Change, Vegetarianism and Never Retiring.


Q: You’re passionate about animals.


You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.

Q: You’re quite vocal about being vegetarian.


If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.

Q: How can people help the planet?


If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. It just takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, and cruelty. I think globally and act locally.

Q: You also care about endangered species.


It’s time to end the cruel slaughter of whales and leave these magnificent creatures alone.

Q: You have a new tour this

year, “Out There.” Why are you still traveling and performing?


Why would I retire? To sit at home and watch TV? No thanks. I’d rather be out playing.

Q: Do you practice a religion?


You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.

I am not religious, but I am spiritual.

Q: I hear you are into natural medicine.


I can’t manage without homeopathy. In fact, I never go anywhere without homeopathic remedies. I make use of them often.


If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.



Paul McCartney’S Super Vegetable Salad 4

This is a fantastic salad that can accompany whatever you fancy – here, it’s served with tofu, but you could just as easily serve it with veggie burger or vegetarian sausage. You can also vary the steamed vegetables according to what’s in season.


• 28 cherry tomatoes • 3 florets of broccoli • 12 green beans, cut into 2cm (1 inch) pieces • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2cm (1 inch) pieces • 1 head/bunch lettuce – I like Romaine • 3 spring onions, finely chopped • 100g (2/3 cup) polenta • A handful of chopped herbs of your choice • 250g (1/2 pound) tofu, cut into slices • Olive oil for frying

For the dressing

• 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional) • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (if you like a bit of sweetness)


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and roast the cherry tomatoes for 10 minutes. Cover the bottom of a pan with cold water and place a steamer above it. Put the broccoli, green beans, and carrots in the steamer, turn the heat on high, and steam for about 15 minutes, occasionally prodding the carrots with a fork to see if they are done. Some people like them slightly crunchy, others prefer them a little softer. While the vegetables are steaming, make a salad with the leaves and spring onions. Combine the polenta and herbs in a bowl. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Dip the tofu in the polenta mixture, and then fry until golden. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, but only pour over at the last minute. Assemble your meal by first putting the salad on the plate, then the warm vegetables and finally the tofu. Pour over the dressing, then add a little seasoning sauce, such as Braggs, or a sauce of your choice.

This recipe comes from Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday Cookbook ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 13

world environment

day united nations

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. It’s the “people’s day” for doing something good for the environment, and for galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates a substantial positive impact on the planet. In support of the UN’s designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), WED has adopted SIDS as its theme in the broader context of climate change. The objective is to encourage a greater understanding of the importance of SIDS and the urgency to help protect the islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change, and to demonstrate the connections between these ecosystems and ours. From Trinidad and Tobago to Tonga, Samoa to Suriname, the problems that these small islands face – climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, extreme natural disasters in the midst of overpopulation and continuing industrialization – are the problems that face us all.

For Small Island Developing States, climate change is foremost among these challenges, as global warming is causing ocean levels to rise. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global sea levels are rising at an increased rate, which is projected to be even greater this century. When the global temperature warms, seawater expands and occupies more space. Sea levels also rise when polar ice melts. Coastal communities in every country are then threatened with floods and storm surges, to which SIDS are the most exposed. Many of these islands’ inhabited areas and cultural sites are potentially in danger of being lost to sea-level rise. WED is an opportunity for each of us to act on our responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change. WED 2014 asks us to recognize that we all face similar challenges and are connected and united by a common goal: a sustainable and prosperous life for everyone on this planet. Every action, pledge, and activity counts and, when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact. Make your voice heard and register at The WED Challenge. WEDCHALLENGE.COM 14 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

world environment day is june 5, 2014 For World Environment Day, Origin’s Editor-in-Chief, Maranda Pleasant, gets an inside look at what makes 4 UN Ambassadors for the Environment Tick. United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassadors Gisele Bündchen, Don Cheadle, Yaya Touré, and Ian Somerhalder have sent an SOS to the world to take action for WED by joining one of their teams and pledging an action. Check it out!

Fight for Team Gisele and Reduce Your FOODprint!

Get on Board with Team Don and Power Down...

Play with Team Yaya and Purge Plastics!

Connect to GO GREENER with Team Ian.

We throw away over 1/3 of all food that is produced, wasting precious land and water resources that have gone into its production. Throwing out half a hamburger wastes the same amount of water you would need if you were to shower for a whole hour.

The facts don’t lie. The global climate is changing. Carbon dioxide accounts for 85% of the increase in the Earth’s temperature in the past ten years. It is the single most prevalent and destructive greenhouse gas emitted by human activity.

What do you get when you play on my team?

We are a team who views the environment as an interconnected organism, of which we are all a part – trees, air, rivers, seas, animals, humans – and for which we are all responsible.

And what about the fact that 1 of every 7 people go to bed hungry every day? Globally, the food we waste could feed around 900 million hungry people!

When you save energy, by switching to compact fluorescents, biking or walking, going hybrid or carpooling, you reduce fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas – the greatest source of human carbon dioxide output.

Food waste in landfills is one of the biggest contributors of the harmful gases that cause global warming. Warmer temperatures are melting glaciers and are causing sea levels to rise, threatening small islands and low-lying cities around the world. So let’s reduce our foodprint by managing our meals smartly, storing food, using leftovers, buying imperfect vegetables, and encouraging our supermarkets and restaurants to cut their food waste.

1. Less plastic in the world. 2. You’re gonna win. It takes one minute to throw out a plastic bag you’ve used once. It takes less than that to down a bottle of water. Then they end up in the garbage or the ocean, where they remain FOREVER, adding to landfills and killing marine life. If you have to use plastic, make sure you reuse and recycle!

Join the Goodwill Ambassadors to celebrate WED 2014!

Every year. Everywhere. Everyone.

But we humans are currently consuming far more than our planet can provide or sustain. We are polluting our air with carbon emissions, destroying our forests and species, and filling our seas with plastic and waste. The time is now to go greener by making choices that are good for people and the planet. We can do it by coming together as communities, businesses, organizations, schools, and individuals, to connect our resources and skills to our passion for a more sustainable, resource-efficient way of living. We can do it by being more informed and by doing business with companies that have demonstrated their commitment to these issues. We can plant more trees, grow more kitchen gardens, and just think more carefully about how the decisions we make impact our one and only planet earth.



One thing leads to the other. Deforestation leads to climate change, which leads to ecosystem losses, which negatively impacts our livelihoods – it’s a vicious cycle.


Sending a message in the bottle for World Environment Day Interview with United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador:


Gisele Bundchen by Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

Gisele Bundchen: The love for my children. They just brought a whole new perspective to my life.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

GB: I’m a very sensitive person. There are many things that make me feel vulnerable. But I see that as a good thing. I really enjoy experiencing all the different emotions in life.

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


(continued) GB: To be more loving, compassionate and understanding with ourselves, with others, and with the planet, because we are all connected. We are one. “Imagine all the people living life in peace” (-John Lennon). MP: Why is protecting the environment personal for you?

GB: I grew up in a small town in the countryside of Brazil, and I have

always loved being surrounded by nature. Nature is where I feel most comfortable; it’s where I find my balance. I would like my kids and all future generations to have the chance to experience nature as I did. MP: What are some of your biggest concerns right now?

GB: One thing leads to the other. Deforestation leads to climate

change, which leads to ecosystem losses, which negatively impacts our livelihoods – it’s a vicious cycle. I am especially passionate about forests and water; they are home to thousands of species that are vital to our life balance. Our health depends on the health of our planet. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

GB: Breathing is my best ally. By doing simple breathing exercises, I can quickly come back to center and feel more grounded.

My daily routine is always changing since I still travel a lot, but I try to take some time for myself every day to meditate and exercise. It can be 15 minutes, an hour, whatever time I have. I also think eating well keeps me healthy. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

GB: I’m constantly learning and evolving. I’m fascinated with life. I read a book when I was in my early 20s that really inspired me and that I try to live my life by, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, which says, “Be impeccable with your words, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best.” I love this. MP: What truth do you know for sure?

GB: I believe in the importance of seeking self-knowledge. The more I know myself, the more I feel empowered. MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

GB: Apart from working with UNEP on various campaigns such as the

Think.Eat.Save – Reduce your Foodprint, which aims to tackle food wastage, and promoting green practices through World Environment Day, I just became a member of the Board of Directors for the Rainforest Alliance. Together with my family, I’ve created the Água Limpa Project (Clean Water Project) in my hometown, which aims to restore the quality of drinking water and raise awareness. The project has already been executed and can be used as a model for other cities that intend to do the same. I also try to use my social media accounts to raise awareness about social-environmental causes that I endorse.

Gisele Bündchen has marked an era in the fashion industry and became a hugely successful model. During her unprecedented modeling career, Gisele has been the face of countless global campaigns and appeared many times on covers shot by the best photographers and in editorials in the most influential magazines. She has walked the runway for the best fashion designers around the world. She is also recognized for her long-standing and passionate commitment to the environment. With a truly global reach, Gisele uses her power to raise awareness for protecting the planet across continents and with people from all walks of life. Gisele practices yoga and kung fu to keep her mind and body balanced.


True Wellness For All OUR VISION is to be a Vehicle of Consciousness in the global market by creating a holistic sustainable business modality, which inspires, promotes and supports True Wellness and respect for all beings and for Mother Nature.


Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Environmentalism, Social Responsibility – and How To Impress Your Kids Don Cheadle was awarded the BET Humanitarian Award for his humanitarian services in the cause of the people of Darfur and Rwanda, relating to the genocide. He is a United Nations Environment Programme Global Ambassador. He co-authored the book, Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond. He founded the Not on Our Watch Project with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and others. MP: I know that you’re one of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Goodwill Ambassadors. Why are you passionate about it on a personal level? DC: I’m a parent. I have kids, and what’s happening with our waters, and our oceans, and what’s happening with deforestation, and all these things that human beings are having negative impacts on at this time, are concerning to me. I wanted to do whatever I could to be a part of the solution and not just be a part of the problem. MP: Are there any causes you are particularly passionate about right now?


DC: Showtime did a documentary called Years of Living Dangerously, produced by James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub. I went to Texas to interview people there who were dealing with a drought. Water is an issue, and, clearly, what’s happening with the pollution in our environment and the levels of carbon monoxide in our atmosphere are the really scary issues right now, the very troubling ones. MP: Are there things that make you feel personally vulnerable, on a humanitarian and environmental level? DC: Well, it really is about future generations, who unfortunately have been and will be inheriting the problems that have started aggressively since the industrial age. Once we started moving into burning fossil fuels, we’ve been experiencing [these problems] at an accelerated rate. The scary end-game scenario is getting closer and closer, about what we’re going to be able to do to sustain life on this planet as we have come to know it. And I think this is a very real possibility, that we could be dealing with conditions we have no idea how to wrestle with. The poorer among us, and the disenfranchised, and those who are not represented, and who don’t have money, they’re going to feel the effects faster than anyone.

MP: You’ve been called a voice to protect and assist the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the displaced. Where did that level of compassion come from? DC: The good thing this job affords us, is that we get to be exposed to many different people and many different walks of life, and many different situations all over the world. And one thing that you consistently see everywhere is that the poor and the underrepresented are always the ones who are going to suffer the most and get the short end of the stick. I’ve seen a lot in my business. You know, how many things we are given. Actual material things. And also the access that we get, the opportunity we get to interact and interface with influential people. The people who really need that, the people who really do need those things, can’t get them. It’s like, if you have it, you can’t buy it, and if you can’t afford it, you can’t get it. It’s a back-ass-wards way we go about it. It’s out of proportion. So I wanted to try to rebalance some of it, in whatever way I could. When I’m the person in front of the microphone, and I’m the person in the light, I want to reflect and refract the light onto places where they need the attention, where I don’t need it.

“When I’m the person in front of the microphone, and I’m the person in the light, I want to reflect and refract the light onto places where they need the attention, where I don’t need it.”


(continued) MP: What is one truth you know for sure? DC: Wow. One truth that I know for sure, for me anyway, is that the more you know, the more you realize that you don’t know. Every time I’ve learned something, I’ve realized there are a million more things I don’t know about the thing I just learned. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons, or biggest things you’ve learned on your journey? DC: I think that it’s much more important to do than to say. And you learn that a lot from your kids, who are watching you, you know? Living by example – that’s always a better teacher than trying to preach. You should do what you’re supposed to do and hope that that ripples out. And speak up when you’re supposed to, as opposed to trying to write prescriptions for the way people should live. People ask me, “Do you think people in your position have a responsibility…?”

That’s a hard one for me to answer. I can’t say that if people don’t do that, they’re somehow irresponsible or shirking their duties. I don’t know about that. I just know I would feel like I would be shirking my duties if I weren’t doing it. But that’s me. I think other people find other ways to get involved, to do things that have effects that aren’t immediately quantifiable, but they still are contributing. I can’t quantify it either, but I know I’m doing something I can feel good about. It’s not a pure, altruistic gesture. I feel better when I do it. MP: Is there a way that you maintain your center in the middle of chaos? DC: I think having good family and friends really helps to ground you. If you look up and no one who’s around you has been around you for the past 20 years, and they’re all new people, I think that’s a problem. It’s important to keep the people who know you well around you. It helps center you.

Kids clearly help center you because you can’t impress your kids. People are like, “Oh, are they so excited because you’re in Ironman?” My kids couldn’t care less. They like it when I hang out and play dad. I impress them by playing video games with them and doing well. Your kids humble you. MP: What are some of your current projects? DC: I’m getting ready to direct a movie this summer based on Miles Davis’s life, and that’s a huge undertaking. So, fingers crossed for me on that one. MP: Is there a website that we can go to for any of the causes you’re involved with? DC: I’ve been working with John Prendergast, who I co-wrote the book with, at the Enough Project ( And of course Everyone better join my team and Power Down...

“Living by example – that’s always a better teacher than trying to preach.”


For ElephantS and Country – On And Off the Pitch Interview with International Football Star & United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador

Yaya Touré INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

now – endangered species, the climate, etc.?

Yaya Touré: Off pitch, I keep things simple. I enjoy spending time with my family. I never forget my roots and regularly give back to children in West Africa. I support several youth associations, and I am also involved in the protection of the forest in my country [Ivory Coast]. When away from home, I mostly miss people and enjoying a good laugh with my peers.

YT: My biggest concern and main engagement with UNEP is focused on endangered species and illegal wildlife trade – mostly elephants, rhinos, etc. Currently poaching threatens the very existence of the African Elephant, and my worry is that if we do not act NOW, we could be looking at a future in which this iconic species is wiped out. The illegal wildlife trade threatens not only the survival of entire species, such as elephants and rhinos, but also the livelihoods and, often, the very lives of millions of people across Africa who depend on tourism for a living.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? YT: Saving the world happens one person at a time. Be at the front of the queue. Each one of us has to work hard to achieve our collective dream for a healthier planet. MP: Why is protecting the environment personal for you? YT: The environment is everything that makes up our surroundings and affects our ability to live on the earth – the air we breathe, the water that covers most of the earth’s surface, the plants and animals around us, the overall condition of our planet, and much more. Protecting the environment is really important to everyone’s welfare – that of our children, as well as that of the future generations.

I also support other United Nations environmental initiatives such as the Food Waste Campaign: Think.Eat.Save and Reduce Your Foodprint. And of course World Environment Day! MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? YT: On the pitch and for life generally, I keep my center by remembering that I am part of a team and if I don’t do my part, I let down not just my team but everyone who follows it. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life?

Being one of the “The Elephants” [the Ivory Coast national team] – the magnificent creatures, full of power and grace, yet in my country alone there may be as few as 800 individuals left – I am indeed well placed to fight against poaching. People need to make a stand and be clear that trading in ivory is immoral and unacceptable.

YT: Knowing how lucky I was and how much I wish everyone had the same opportunity.

MP: What are some of your biggest concerns right

Sometimes people fail to see that individual decisions have universal consequences.


MP: What truth do you know for sure? YT: We can all be weak, but we all have to make a conscious decision to be strong.

Time is running out for African Elephants. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. YT: 1. As UNEP Goodwill Ambassador for Illegal Wildlife Trade, I have committed to contribute in raising general public awareness, as well as inspiring broad, positive, committed action against illegal trade. It is an ongoing and tough fight, but I believe that if we all join our hands, we can conquer! 2. Fighting for the Premier League Trophy, of course. 3. World Cup in Brazil. Not necessary in that order, but those are my main projects at the moment. World Environment Day is also upon us. Play Team Yaya and Purge Plastics! Go to: wedchallenge. com or Yaya Touré, is an Ivorian international football star who plays as a midfielder for the English Premier League club Manchester City and the Côte d’Ivoire national team, “The Elephants.” He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011 and 2012, and Ivorian Footballer of the Year 2008 and 2009. Touré has a distinguished international career with 74 caps for Côte d’Ivoire, representing the team in their first appearance in a FIFA World Cup in 2006, and again in 2010 and 2014. When he is not in the field, Touré has an interest in social and environmental activities. He is married with three children.

Saving the world happens one person at a time. Be at the front of the queue.

Currently poaching threatens the very existence of the African Elephant, and my worry is that if we do not act NOW, we could be looking at a future in which this iconic species is wiped out.


The symphonic sounds of nature awaken every cell in my body and, in that moment, without a doubt, I am truly alive.


Interview with United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador

How the Star of Lost & the Vampire Diaries is Saving the Planet Interview: MARANDA PLEASANT PHOTOS: RENEE SCOTT Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

MP: Why is protecting the environment personal for you?

Ian Somerhalder: “What doesn’t” is the better question… The world is so tremendously spectacular that every visual, sense, and sparked connection swells my unrestrained passion for life. I find I feel this the most when I am immersed in nature and sliding into the bloodstream of the wilderness. The symphonic sounds of nature awaken every cell in my body and, in that moment, without a doubt, I am truly alive.

IS: Growing up in rural Louisiana, the ecosystem around our home wove harmoniously into our family and into our daily life. Every life lesson that trickled its way into my being came from a mutually respectful relationship between the environment and my family. We were raised to appreciate the teachings of animals and the untouched magnificence of raw natural beauty. This understanding of our precious and complex ecosystem has carried me throughout every chapter of my life and is a significant column of my identity.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

MP: What are some of your biggest concerns right now?

IS: Strangely enough, very little makes me feel vulnerable these days. I hit my absolute apex of vulnerability when I returned to my home state of Louisiana, during the Gulf oil spill disaster, and witnessed mass devastation to every demonstration of life surrounding me – from grass, trees, bayous, insects, to animals and people – we all felt demolished. Overcome with a raw, true vulnerability, so deep and echoing, I knew I never wanted to feel this way again.

IS: I really appreciate this question, because it provides an opportunity to explore a new way of thinking. Often we at the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) are asked what our main focus is – whether that be deforestation, species preservation, the health of our waters, etc. The way we understand it is that all of these issues are interdependent, so if we were to focus our attention on one particular problem and neglect the others, we would fail to see the true scope of our current global issues. The changes made in that form of thinking are limited and self-contained. Instead, if we recognize the interconnectedness of the changes our planet needs, we become true solutionaries and our united power is unparalleled.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? IS: More than ever, it’s very apparent that we are strapped for natural resources. We configure and reconfigure to try and find a way to maintain these natural assets, when, ultimately, we are overlooking the most abundant, dynamic, and powerful resource we have available to us – our youth. The youth have a prodigious talent for inventing progressive ideas and alternative courses of action that elude the jaded, in-the-box minds of worn-down adults. If we take our youth seriously, provide tools to strengthen their natural prowess, and empower them to make the changes they want to see in the world, then this planet and her creatures have the chance to heal and flourish.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? IS: We all exist in a time of widespread exponential growth. We are busier than ever. When things pile sky-high on top of each other, I try to take a moment to: breathe, smile, repeat. This mantra helps me align to the reality outside of the superfluous noise. Visualization is also essential. Whether it’s physically having a visual of what you want to accomplish in front of you, like a running list or a vision board, or PHOTOS: renee scott ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 27

(continued) mentally visualizing and taking time to meditate, having a vision of what you are running for keeps you from running for the sake of running. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? IS: “It’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know.” A dear friend and colleague of mine once said that to me, and it has profoundly altered the mode in which I understand connection and interaction. Your strongest ally or your greatest teacher may be sitting within reach, unbeknownst to you. Collaboration – the ultimate intertwining of skills, passions, and knowledge – is what concocts the most shatterproof forms of changemaking. When we unite our impassioned voices, the echoing power is magnificently deafening. MP: What truth do you know for sure? IS: We will, at some point, reflect back on our rampant acceptance of speciesism with profound regret. Our journey to understanding that all demonstrations of life possess equal value is a slow and harrowing one. The will to live that possesses us to create medicine, to become firefighters or teachers, is the same will to live that is woven into all living beings. We are all dropped into our lives on this planet with a limited amount of time and cosmic understanding, yet we know one thing for certain: we wish to live. We share this yearning for life and love with all the beings that fly, grow, slither or swim amongst us. Ultimately, it will take a pooled shift in consciousness to reach that next level of understanding, and I believe our youth can guide us there.

If we take our youth seriously, provide tools to strengthen their natural prowess, and empower them to make the changes they want to see in the world, then this planet and her creatures have the chance to heal and flourish.


MP: Tell me about your latest projects. IS: First, I am really excited to finally be formally designated as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador this year on World Environment Day, which I have been supporting for the last several years. I really look forward to working on a number of environmental priorities, including climate change, resource efficiency, and a campaign against illegal wildlife trade; a trade that is currently decimating elephants, rhinos, and many lesser known species like Pangolins across Africa. I was shocked to learn that as many as 30,000 elephants are being killed every year to fuel the ivory trade, despite an international ban since 1989, and that 60% of forest elephants have already been wiped out. At this rate, experts say populations will become extinct in the next decade. No one needs ivory. Currently, with ISF, we are proud to be developing and growing our U Factor program, which empowers our youth to identify their passion, cultivate their talents, and amplify their purpose. We had our pilot event a few months ago and were joyously overwhelmed with positive feedback. We also recently launched ISF’s Emergency Medical Care Grant for Animals to provide assistance to rescues and animal care agencies who are working tirelessly to heal our four-legged, or sometimes three-legged, companions in need. We will be unveiling some new phenomenal initiatives that combine forces between the untapped power of our youth and the infinite wisdom possessed by animals. Stay tuned! Bad boy vampire, who first experienced death on the island in Lost, now seeks empowerment and unity between global changemakers to heal and protect our planet and its creatures. Activist by day, blood-sucking brother by night, lover of action and an admirer of words, Ian is ultimately an artist at heart.

Collaboration – the ultimate intertwining of skills, passions, and knowledge – is what concocts the most shatterproof forms of changemaking. When we unite our impassioned voices, the echoing power is magnificently deafening.


interview: maranda pleasant

Environmental Protection: China, Kenya, and the World Over Interview with United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador

Li Bingbing on Elephants and Ivory Poaching


Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Li Bingbing: I used to think hard work made me come alive, honestly. I used to have a daily work schedule with millions of things on it and I thought, “this is wonderful,� until two years ago when my younger sister (Li Xue) had a son. To me, my nephew is the angel of my world. It is my absolute happiest moment whenever he smiles at me. I have stopped working 24 hours a day like I was before, and I rush back home to see him whenever I can after work. That always makes my day.

All I want to say is that life is very fragile. We should live every moment and cherish what we have been given. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? LB: We do have responsibilities, as we live on this planet. It is our one and only home, which we are obligated to protect, to keep as beautiful and harmonious as it is. It is really for everyone to do so, including you and me. I love raising awareness and encouraging people to take action for World Environment Day because it demonstrates how individual voices can become a global chorus for change. Last year in China, I helped introduce UNEP’s campaign to reduce food waste on World Environment Day. The government took notice of food waste issues and now, when you over-order in a restaurant, you are encouraged to downsize. This is where people can really impact policy and vice versa! MP: Why is protecting the environment personal for you? LB: I only started to understand the concept of “environmental protection” 14 years ago. I was an ambassador for a charity event, and the staff told me that the consumption of disposable chopsticks in China, per year, could result in the devastation of unimaginable acres of forest. I was born in northeastern China where we have the privilege to see forests just outside the window. And I thought, I am going to do something because I cannot imagine my hometown without forests, and I cannot imagine the earth turned into a desert. From that day on, environmental protection weighs the same in my life as my professional acting career. MP: What are some of your biggest concerns right now?

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? LB: Last May, when I was in Kenya on a mission to discover the plight of the African elephants, I saw a dead elephant in one of Kenya’s natural reserves. Around her were footprints of her baby elephant. This was just so sad, as three days before, perhaps the mother was still taking the baby around to play and to drink water. In her mind, she probably was thinking they had a life of decades to be together. However, the poaching happened so fast and everything collapsed. Without the protection of the mother, the baby elephant is likely to die too. That moment changed me.

LB: Air pollution is my biggest concern right now. Maybe because I live in Beijing, and in this city we have such severe challenges due to bad air quality. It has affected our daily lives and health. I do not go outdoors because of it. I desperately hope that we can improve the current situation. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? LB: By sticking to my principles and what I firmly believe in – I always have my own attitude towards everything in life. I wish to create trends rather than follow them. My daily routine at the moment is really just a combination of work and family. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life?

“It may surprise people to learn that one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory.”

LB: Perseverance is my biggest lesson. When I started to get involved in environmental protection, my people didn’t take it seriously and they never considered it important. But today, people look at what I do and they truly recognize those efforts, and eventually they join you as “environmental activists” too! MP: What truth do you know for sure? LB: It depends on what context we are talking about. Take charity work for example; the motivation of my various charitable activities is neither for fame nor profits. It is my sincere wish that, through my efforts, more people can realize how important it is to protect our planet and to start to act for a change. As the Ambassador for WWF Earth Hour, I still vividly remember that there were only 80 buildings in China that participated in Earth Hour in its first year. Six years later, there were 170 cities and thousands of buildings that participated. We are still growing strong. I am encouraged by the accomplishments we have made together and they make me proud and more determined than ever. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. LB: I have recently been busy with the promotion of my new movie by Michael Bay, Transformers 4, and I definitely invite you to watch it! I also recently launched a UNEP and Save the Elephants film, On Elephants and Ivory Poaching, shot in Kenya, which I encourage everyone to watch. It may surprise people to learn that one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. Li Bingbing, one of China’s most popular actresses, is well known for her achievements both on and off the screen. Throughout her life, Li has been involved in charitable efforts where she can “practice what she preaches” and promote the need to lead a responsible life. Although Li’s philanthropic efforts have included various causes, activities and beneficiaries over the years, she focuses on carbon emissions reduction and environmental protection. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 31

“All I want to say is that life is very fragile. We should live every moment and cherish what we have been given.”


Coral Brown, Photo by: Bethany O Photography 1.877.747.7202


Rufus Wainwright

ON Passion, Opera, and Taking Care of the Earth Interview: Kristi York Wooten

Rufus Wainwright is an enigmatic singer from a family of Canadian-American musicians. He released his selftitled debut CD in 1998, and has recorded seven studio albums full of piano-based songwriting and emotive vocal performances, which have earned him a Grammy nomination and two Juno awards. On the heels of his recently released Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright, Wainwright is enjoying family life and writing his second full-length opera. Kristi York Wooten: In the past couple of years, you married your German partner, Jorn Weisbrodt, and became a father. Big changes. How has becoming a parent changed your view of the world around you? Rufus Wainwright: I have a three-year-old daughter, which makes me more environmentally conscious. For me, it’s about the future. I remember when I was a kid, we had these long winters and fall was cool and leaves weren’t brown really early on in the season. I don’t know if that means anything, but it seemed like a different world, especially growing up in Canada. Climate change has always been sort of my main focus. I think also with [what happened in Fukushima, Japan]


(continued) there’s still a lot to think about in terms of what’s coming down the pike into the world’s oceans, too. KYW: You’ve had hits with original songs such as “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” and “April Fools.” You became hugely popular for your live recordings of tunes made famous by Judy Garland (2007’s Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall). Now, you’re writing operas. When was that seed planted in your mind? RW: When I was young, my mother [folk singer Kate McGarrigle] brought home this recording of Verdi’s Requiem and we listened to it from top to bottom. By the end of it, I was a completely different person. It was literally a requiem mass for my former self. I was about 12 or 13. The Requiem just totally hooked into what I was going through emotionally – discovering my sexuality right at the time when AIDS was devastating my community and dealing with intense parental situations. I always felt like that moment of first hearing the Requiem was akin to when people my age got into the music of Nirvana. Verdi was my Nirvana.


My greatest experiences in the theatre and the most religious experiences in my life – of which going to the opera is one for me – have been with the Romantic composers’ repertoire: it’s Wagner, it’s Strauss, Verdi, Puccini. That era gets me every time. KYW: You wrote an opera called Prima Donna in 2009, now you’re working on one called Hadrian. How’s that going? RW: Great. There’s a book called Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar from the

“I have a three-year-old daughter, which makes me more environmentally conscious.”

1950s. It’s essentially a fictionalized memoir of what Hadrian might have written, loosely based on real history. Because there’s so little known about the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who knows? I like the fact that you can take these figures from the distant past, especially from the era of the Roman Empire, and so many elements are still relevant. Whether it was Hadrian’s sexuality (to be gay in those days was not easy) or that he created Palestine (which is still a big issue today), this ancient story hasn’t changed much. In terms of writing opera, I wanted to revel in the grand tradition of the art form. A lot of people will say we should focus on subjects that people can relate to and there are no budgets left for choruses and this and that. And dancers – are you kidding me? I’m a gay man. I need dancers! [laughs] Seriously, I take the opposite approach, which is that opera needs to be a total escape from real life. To relate to what we’re going through today is fine and dandy, but it’s really about being transported and completely swept away by a romantic notion.

Interview with Musician:


on Being Shy, Delaying Gratification, and Choosing Love Over Fear Maranda Pleasant: What makes you feel vulnerable? Griffin House: Besides being naked in extremely cold water? Social situations. When I’m trying to talk to people at a party or in a formal social setting it is pretty awkward for me. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, but I’m definitely an introvert to the extent that I gain energy from having space and being alone. But the catch is that when I get on stage I seem to transform into an extrovert, and I feel very at ease talking to people. I’m more comfortable up there for some reason. I don’t know how it’s possible to feel less self-conscious when I’m on stage than when I’m in a room talking to someone, but I do. Also, for some reason, I won’t let my wife catch me praying. If I hear her walking in when I’m on my knees, I’ll quickly get up and pretend I’m doing something else. I have no idea why. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? GH: Love is the answer. What’s the question? MP: Tell me about your latest project. GH: Well, my latest album is called Balls – which is a decision I still stand behind 100 percent.

It’s been almost a year since Balls dropped (pun intended) and I’m right in the middle of writing and finishing new songs for a new record. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? GH: My biggest life lesson has probably been that often times I don’t know what’s best for me. And if I am walking through this world always trying to get what I think I want, it could turn out that what I thought I wanted was not what I really wanted at all. So even if my grand plans succeed, I end up with a bunch of stuff that turned out to not make me feel happy and important and successful like I thought it would. I try to trust that there is something bigger than me, and I try to be willing to look deeper at things and have more patience than I’m used to. Delayed instead of instant gratification. Taking the focus off of what I’m getting and putting it on what I’m giving. Trying to choose love over fear. Light over dark. I am at the very beginning of this but lately the ball has started to roll. Griffin House is a singer-songwriter from Springfield, OH. He’s been recording and touring since 2003 and has nine studio albums. Featured in film and television and on the CBS Sunday morning show, House continues to write and record and tour the United States. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Jane and daughters Clara and Emma. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 37

interview: Maranda pleasant



Giving Back By Fostering Pride Q:

Maranda Pleasant: Sustainable Recycling Solutions (SRS) is a social business with a mission to create a lasting recycling industry in Haiti. How did you become involved with SRS?


Mike Shinoda: A childhood friend of mine, Andrew, was working for a non-profit, and after the earthquake in Haiti, he told me about the situation down there. They’ve got a 75% unemployment rate, a 50% illiteracy rate, and a cholera epidemic, but no recycling program. We thought a recycling program set up as a social business would be a sustainable way to help address those issues. That’s how SRS was born.


What inspired you to set up SRS as a business rather than a non-profit?


Since both of us have worked in the non-profit world, we know how hard it is to sustain – you have to constantly be looking for donations, hosting fundraisers. We also guessed, based on our experiences in Haiti, that the people there would respond better to a paid system that wasn’t “charity.” They want to feel the sense of pride that comes from earning a living. Who doesn’t? At the end of the day, our staff is Haitian, all the way up to ownership – one of our partners is Haitian, and our plant manager and all his staff are Haitian. That brings a sense of pride as well.



What has been the most rewarding part of your involvement with SRS?


Knowing that we’ve already recycled 4 million bottles in a little over a year. And we’re still growing.


SRS recently received a grant from the Clinton Foundation. How has that changed the business, and what was it like meeting President Clinton?


We were in a really tough spot before the Clinton Foundation came through with the grant. When we began, business was successful – too successful. We were bringing in seven times more plastic than we had anticipated. That was the problem; we couldn’t sustain that volume of traffic. We couldn’t pay for all the plastic being collected, and we were worried about having to turn collectors away. With the Clinton grant, we’ve built a robust support structure, and we’re ready for the years to come. President Clinton was gracious with his time, and is deeply committed to the Haitian people and the cause of bringing sustainable, responsible, social business to the country. Our conversations were inspiring.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with

SRS in the next ten years?


I want to close our loop in Haiti, by implementing processing and manufacturing locally. I want to take plastic waste and turn it into goods that can be sold there or shipped internationally. I also want people abroad to care about the social and environmental impact of the goods they buy, and realize that a shirt, toy, or backpack made from plastic collected by these people in Haiti is doing more good in the world than a product made from virgin materials elsewhere.

Q: How can people get involved with SRS? A: At this point, just follow us on Twitter

or Instagram, @srshaiti, and support the products from recycled materials we’re making. Products will start to be announced this year.

Q: What’s the latest with Linkin Park? A: In March, we just put out a brand new,

visceral, six-minute rock song called “Guilty All The Same.” Rather than a traditional release and video, we premiered it in the Shazam app, and we partnered with Microsoft to make a playable and remixable game on their Project Spark platform. We just announced a tour; 30 Seconds To Mars and AFI are joining us. Our new album comes out this summer. is the website for Sustainable Recyling Solutions Haiti. All Linkin Park tour and album info can be found at

“I want to close our loop in Haiti, by implementing processing and manufacturing locally. I want to take plastic waste and turn it into goods that can be sold there or shipped internationally.�



ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers


We just need to find something that everyone believes in, that everyone realizes is greater than all of us and our human history combined. Perhaps it is the universal quest for understanding.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Sameer Gadhia: Performing. It is the place I feel most natural, most at one with myself and my intentions. I am usually not thinking of anything else, and if I do, I imagine it floating away right past me.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? SG: Sharing art. Sharing a piece of you that cannot be objectified, that is so truly you. It is scary releasing new music to the public, because as soon as you do, it becomes a shared receptacle to which others can attach their own opinion and meaning. What makes it scary is also what makes it worth doing.

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

SG: Let’s find a way to love each other. Seriously, it can’t be that hard.

We can even be analytical about it, and work on a cost analysis model. We just need to find something that everyone believes in, that everyone realizes is greater than all of us and our human history combined. Perhaps it is the universal quest for understanding. I guess that is pretty hard.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain? SG: I worry myself sick about it, and then I either get on the mat, or

get on my bike, and just stop thinking. Sometimes it is hard to let go, and in this modern age, letting go is considered a sign of coldness and a weak mind, but I think it is the exact opposite.

Frontman Sameer Gadhia On Mind-Body Connection, Letting Go, Universal Truth, and Yoga PHOTOS: LAUREN DUKOFF ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41

“Can we disconnect with our human understanding of the world, and just have an understanding of it, or are we chained and limited by this one body, this one mind?”


MP: Tell me about your latest project.

SG: Our second album, Mind Over Matter, tackles actually a lot of what

this interview is about. Where does the mind and the body begin and end, where is the first point of contact; is there something to be learned by it? The album broods on the idea of self-destruction, and how there are very few things that will destroy you other than yourself and your will. Obstacles become monsters in your head: evil, horrible creatures. Obstacles are sometimes good things. Sometimes they just ARE – not characterized as good or bad, but just as things like ancient, mossy rocks that are a part of the human experience. Can we disconnect with our human understanding of the world, and just have an understanding of it? Or are we chained and limited by this one body, this one mind? Can we combine it all? Is there Universal Truth, Knowledge, Love, Understanding? Is what unites us precisely what none of us knows – maybe even just the idea of us not knowing it?

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

SG: I try and get on my yoga mat at least three times a week, and if I don’t, things start to unravel. I admire routine and ritual, but I am not inherently good at keeping a schedule. I eat at different times every day, I wake up at different times, I change my mind about things I was so sure of the day before. Perhaps I am too passionate, too willing to bend the rules in the name of fun, or to pass the time, or who knows what? Being on stage is truly what puts it all into perspective, and after I get on stage, I take a moment to reflect, and I am set for another 24 hours.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? SG: That there is no ONE right way, no ONE surefire path to success, and that it is usually the path itself that should be most cherished.

MP: What truth do you know for sure? SG: I think, you think, we think.



Music Is a Place to Go To Interview with Singer-Songwriter

DAVID GRAY interview: maranda pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: Where do you pull from when

MP: Does it feel different creating this new piece of work than, say,

David Gray: I don’t know. I guess I’m just a heart-on-sleeve type of human being.

DG: This album feels like spring. It’s like a rebirth. After the cycle of

you write?

In terms of writing, I think something happens to you, and you think, “Oh I’m going to write about that. That’s an emotional event.” But obviously, if you keep going, and it’s something you do with regularity, you’ve got to find other ways to write. You can’t just be reactive to the things going on in your life. You have to imagine, and you have to plunder other people’s work, books, poems, ideas, observations. It’s amazing, the amount of detail and thought that goes into just an average day. Between the things you see on the news, or on the subway, or whatever, it all gets in there. You sort of shut most of it out, but it all goes in. So, in the creative act, you kind of reach down and look for things that will, when put together, create an emotional effect. These days, I probably work a little bit more in the abstract. It’s not just a narrative structure that I’m looking for to tell a story. Anyway, I don’t know where emotion emanates from exactly. I’m full of it, that’s all I know. I don’t really know why I’m such an emotional person, that’s just how I was born. It’s a problem. [laughs] It’s not easy to be married to me.

something you released five years ago?

touring for the last couple of records, I felt pretty exhausted creatively. When I first sat down to write after that, I was a bit bored of myself. I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want: I don’t want to just repeat myself. When you set that as your guide for what you’re going to try to do, obviously it is challenging. So, this album was a problem. It took me a long time to get into it, but once I began to find new ground, new vistas opened up, and something really special happened. My producer, Andy Barlow – he comes from more electronic music – played a huge part in that too. His brief was to not let me make the same record I’d made before, and to take me out of my comfort zone. He was good to his brief and he’s really stood up to me courageously, in a creative sense, and dragged me, kicking and screaming sometimes, out of the comfortable world where I know exactly what I’m doing. But I think the best things happen when you’re reaching – in life, and not just in music and creative things. That’s what ended up happening. As I say, I had a few successes and I began to see there was a whole new world of possibilities emerging,


(continued) and that’s what I feel like I’m living in now. A whole new world of possibilities. I’m absolutely flooded with a raucous energy to get out into the world and tell my story again. I feel like this is spring. After a period of shriveling, out come the leaves.

MP: Is there something you’ve struggled

with in your life that’s played a big part in your development as a man and as a musician?

DG: I find everything a struggle. [laughs] MP: Is there something particular about this new album, Mutineers, you really love?

DG: I love this record. It’s hard to pick one thing off it. But I think some of the songs can just take you to another place. Making music is an act of reclamation, to reclaim what’s precious from this sordid world of overexcitement, hyperbole, and corporate blandness. Everything’s stolen. Everything precious – be it a kiss, or be it James Brown – gets misappropriated to the aid of the advertising executives. So, an act of reclamation, somewhere else to be: that’s what I want my music to be. Somewhere you can step into. A place. Because that’s what music is for me. It’s a place to go to.

Making music is an act of reclamation, to reclaim what’s precious from this sordid world of overexcitement, hyperbole, and corporate blandness.



on Fairy Tales, Summer Camp, and Finding the Joy in Life


Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Lisa Loeb: The smell of roses, my children’s bright eyes and smiles, laughing with my husband, walking on the beach, using my hands to do crafts or play guitar, brainstorming, and drinking coffee, really good coffee. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? LL: Earthquakes. And singing songs that I don’t know very well on stage. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? LL: Stop fighting. Everyone’s a person too. And take care of the Earth, please. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? LL: I talk to friends about it, I write, I breathe, and most of all, I put it in perspective. MP: Tell me about your latest project. LL: As far as projects I put out there, my grownup album, No Fairy Tale, is my most recent album project. It’s a collection of songs that sounds more punky/poppy/rock than other projects I’ve done. The album was co-produced and instigated by Chad Gilbert from the punk band New Found Glory. It has a lot more energy than other records I’ve made, and even includes some tracks written and sung by Tegan and Sara, one of the bands who inspire me when I write. I also released a book-and-CD called Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ and Shakin’, the second in my series of illustrated books with music. These are collections of songs to sing and dance along with, and are classics from my summer camp days mixed in with originals that I wrote with Dan Petty and Michelle Lewis. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? LL: I try to get enough sleep and exercise, try not to make mountains out of molehills, and vent a lot. I have a good team to support my work. I also do lots of mundane things, which will center me. I don’t have a very routine life; the kids’ activities, our nightly routines, and morning routines are about as routine as it gets. In the middle of it all – other than my morning coffee, toast, and trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night – each day is different.

“Don’t force things to happen. You can work towards things and keep yourself open to things, people, and opportunities, but you can’t and shouldn’t try to control everything.”


MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? LL: Don’t force things to happen. You can work towards things and keep yourself open to things, people, and opportunities, but you can’t and shouldn’t try to control everything. Also, if you haven’t noticed so far, I think sleep is really important. MP: What truth do you know for sure? LL: There are many different ways to look at a situation, and it’s important to look at things the way they are. MP: How does your music reflect some of the struggles in your life over the past few years? LL: The song “No Fairy Tale” tells my story. Going through the hard things leads to a richer life than just trying to make everything perfect, or worse, pretending things are good when they don’t feel right. I’ve done that more than enough times. There’s a song that Chad Gilbert and I wrote together called “Walls” that deals with that terrible feeling I used to get of walls physically going up when I couldn’t express myself. I felt this especially when it came to important feelings that were sometimes embarrassing to get out. I don’t experience that anymore. The song “Ami, I’m Sorry” reflects the struggles I had with depression and being overwhelmed. It took getting adequate sleep and focusing on the good things and purpose in my life to get through that. MP: Why is summer camp so important to you, and to kids in general? LL: Summer camp was a place where I felt like myself that wasn’t like school. There were no grades, we got to try lots of new things, and I

PHOTO: Kevin Westenburg

started to play guitar at camp. It was a place for acceptance and learning to be a part of a community, but also learning to be yourself. I want that for all kids, but some kids don’t have the opportunity to go to camp. I want to help. MP: How is your life different now that you’re married with kids? LL: I have so much joy in my life. I love my husband and kids so much. So much love. I’m also more focused now on spending more time at home and in town instead of going on tour. Because of that nesting, I find that I’m even more into writing and creating. Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb has recorded eight acclaimed albums after releasing Stay (I Missed You), including the Grammy-nominated, gold-selling Firecracker. In addition to her latest children’s book-and-CD, Songs for Movin’ and Shakin’, she is the author of Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling), which won a Parents’ Choice Award. Lisa’s dynamic career encompasses music, film, television, an eyewear collection, awardwinning children’s recordings, and work on behalf of her charity, the Camp Lisa Foundation. Born in Maryland and raised in Texas, Lisa now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children, Lyla and Emet, and their two cats. Visit Lisa at www. and follow her on Twitter @LisaLoeb.




ERT : Maranda pleasant




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

Body Love. Human Connection. Works in Progress. Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Mary Lambert: Human interaction. I thrive off of the vulnerability of other people and allow my own self to be vulnerable. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? ML: Speaking honestly about pain and trauma, as well as being present in joy. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? ML: The sentiment that everybody is hurting. As soon as you make eye contact, you share a connection with them – that’s what the beauty of humanity is, our connections to each other. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? ML: Songwriting and performing. The process of navigating, analyzing, and putting it all into a creative export of songwriting, and then, in turn, performing it and seeing how it can transform other people positively is really uplifting. MP: What’s been one of your greatest struggles? ML: I’m clinically bipolar. That’s something I have to deal with every day, and have to deal with in this industry, on the road, and find stability in that. It’s a process. I’m always a work in progress.

ML: I always pray before I perform, and I make sure I have a private space for five minutes after I perform. That routine of performing is really important to me because of the emotional intensity that I give. I take a candle with me everywhere I go and light it in my hotel room. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? ML: I have learned so much this year, and I think that all the lessons I’ve learned collectively bring a maturity to myself. Something I have learned is the importance of being vulnerable and honest, but simultaneously recognizing the importance of self-care and protecting my emotional well-being. MP: What truth do you know for sure? ML: I don’t think anyone can ever really know what is real or not, if we’re going to get really spiritual and metaphysical. But, in terms of this reality and this world, not other universes or worlds, I’m sure of my own trajectory and what I’m capable of doing. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. ML: I released my EP, Welcome To The Age of My Body, in December, and, on that EP, I was able to talk about a lot of things that are really important to me. For instance, “She Keeps Me Warm” is the single, which expresses a universal love story beyond sexual orientation while also including female pronouns to provide a context for lesbian couples. The other song that was really important to me is “Body Love,” which is a poem about the importance of self-care and about the state of selfdestruction – not just girls’, but humanity’s. I am thrilled with the success of “She Keeps Me Warm” and have been freaking out every time I hear it on the radio. I’m currently working on my first full-length album in LA with Eric Rosse (Tori Amos, Sara Bareillies), Benny Cassette, and MoZella. This album has been integral for my growth as a human being. I’m so incredibly proud of my team, the songs being created, and the environment in which they are being created. I’m exploring new territories sonically and lyrically, and it has changed my perception of songwriting in general. I am beyond excited for a fall release. I will be heading out with Gavin Degraw and Mat Nathanson from June to July on my first real solo tour. MP: Tell us about your new video for “Body Love” – about the concept and direction, filming the video, and what the video means to you. ML: I’ve wanted to make the “Body Love” music video for at least two years now, from when the song was originally released. The song is a core part of my identity. Even when I’m having a shitty body day and don’t feel confident, I have to perform this song for shows. That forced confidence in a song spawns catharsis, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I have wanted to put the proper visual behind this song for a long time. Jon Jon Augustavo is the director, and he’s a dear friend of mine who directed the “Same Love” music video. We collaborated on ideas for how this could be most impactful. We decided to shoot portraits of people with different body types, the majority of whom are women, and rather than be exploitative or showing “broken” women, we wanted to show honest women in all their forms.


that’s what the beauty of humanity is, our connections to each other.


ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

interview with kevin griffin of

better than ezra on Children, Magic Moments, and Meditation Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Q: Maranda Pleasant: What makes you

come alive?


Kevin Griffin: Seeing my children in the morning as they come down from their bedrooms makes my heart come alive. There’s just no better moment in my day.

Q: What makes you feel vulnerable? A: When you have children, it’s like having

your heart beating outside your chest. You can drive yourself crazy wanting to protect them and make sure that nothing harms them. It’s a feeling of vulnerability that you can’t get around sometimes.

Q: If you could say something to everyone

on the planet, what would it be?

do to change things. Life happens on life’s terms. Then, I go for a run.


Tell me about your latest projects and why you’re passionate about them.

A: I have about four different endeavors

I’m going after right now. They all excite me in different ways. I’m all about keeping as many irons in the fire as possible. I’m writing music, trying to write a book (aren’t we all?), putting a festival together, speaking… It keeps life interesting.


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

A: I wake up early enough every morning

to have some alone time. I have an app called Simply Being that’s made for meditation.

A: That perfect day, that magic moment

that we’re all waiting for, is right now.

Q: How do you handle emotional pain? A: When I’m really stressed emotionally,

I say to myself that there’s only so much I can

“After all, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

I do that for 5-10 minutes in the morning. Somehow, it helps make the chaos of life have some sort of definition. Exercise, too, keeps me able to deal with everything and not get too stressed.


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


Discovering that the less I think about myself and the more I think about what I can do for others, the more I get out of life. Ultimately, it makes me a happier person. You have to give it away if you want to get it back. After all, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

Q: What truth do you know for sure? A: That we are all the same. We have the

same hopes, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. Kevin Griffin is the lead singer and founding member of Better Than Ezra, who will be releasing their eighth studio album later this year. He is also a multiple award-winning hit songwriter, who has scored four #1 singles with numerous artists and recently wrote two songs on Christina Perri’s latest album. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 53


meshell ndegeocello A Singer-Songwriter Survival Guide INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT


Your yes means nothing if you can’t say no.


aranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

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

Meshell Ndegeocello: Today? Lightnin’ Hopkins, espresso, my son’s artwork.

MN: I practice, I walk for many, many blocks, I wear a coat a little too light for the temperature, I stay home.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

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

MN: Everything else. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? MN: Talk less.

MN: Your yes means nothing if you can’t say no. MP: What truth do you know for sure? MN: That no one knows anything for sure.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain? MN: Badly.

Meshell Ndegeocello’s upcoming album, Comet, Come to Me, will be released in June.

photos: jason rodgers ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 55

Elba Velasquez and Emelin Cabrera, Guatemalan girl leaders and stars of ¡PODER!

Nigerian woman and child

Let Girls Lead: A Conversation with Denise Dunning

Rosana Schaack, Let Girls Lead partner in Liberia

At Let Girls Lead, we believe that girls are not victims – girls are powerful leaders and inspiring agents of change.


interview: maranda pleasant

Nigerian women and children at the clinic

Maranda Pleasant: What drives your passion to empower girls? Denise Dunning: My commitment to empower girls began when I was 12. I was riding on a train in Argentina when a teenage girl boarded, carrying her baby and dragging her toddler by the hand. They were ragged and very poor, and they walked through the train begging for money and food. No one helped and everyone just looked away. I felt so angry and ashamed that there was nothing I could do to help them. That experience is one of the seeds of Let Girls Lead, an organization I founded in 2009 that has helped 3 million girls attend school, stay healthy, and escape poverty. MP: Why is it important to invest in girls? DD: World Bank research demonstrates that girls are the key to ending global poverty. However, there are still 600 million girls who suffer from violence and who struggle to eat, go to school, and see a doctor when they need one. Investing in girls is the most effective strategy to reduce poverty and improve global health, but only two percent of international funding goes to programs supporting girls. Let Girls Lead is working to change that. MP: What does Let Girls Lead do? DD: Let Girls Lead invests in leaders and organizations in Africa and Latin America that empower girls to transform their own lives, families, communities, and the world. We’ve created an incubator model to invest in visionary leaders doing powerful work, and provide them with the resources, training, and funding to drastically scale their impact. We invest in leaders like Rosana Schaack in Liberia. When we met her, Rosana ran the only safe home for girls in Liberia, giving 25 girls a safe place to live. Through Let Girls Lead’s training and funding, Rosana learned to advocate for girls’ rights and launched a national campaign to pass Liberia’s Children’s Law. Thanks to Rosana and Let Girls

Lead, 600,000 Liberian girls are now legally guaranteed education, healthcare, and protection from violence and child marriage. At Let Girls Lead, we believe that girls are not victims – girls are powerful leaders and inspiring agents of change. MP: You and your team have also created a new film – can you tell us about it? DD: Yes, ¡PODER! (“power” in Spanish) is the true story of Elba and Emelin, two indigenous Guatemalan girls who stood up for girls’ rights, transforming their community of 26,000 people and their nation of 14 million. Overcoming poverty and discrimination, Elba and Emelin raised their voices and advocated for laws and funding to support Mayan girls’ health and education. The film premiered at the UN, and screenings are taking place around the world. MP: What is next for you and Let Girls Lead? DD: Let Girls Lead is increasing our focus on girls’ economic empowerment globally and here in the US. We’re also excited about Champions For Change, which saves the lives of women, newborns, and children in Nigeria. In Nigeria, one in 13 mothers die in pregnancy or childbirth, and 12% of children die before reaching the age of five. In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Champions for Change leverages Let Girls Lead’s successful model to build a movement of Nigerian champions advocating for improved reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health. MP: What can our readers do to get involved? DD: We’re building a global movement for girls, and we need everyone’s help. People can donate, support our work with girls, and learn how to host a film screening by visiting our websites www. and, and by following us on Twitter @letgirlslead and @C4C_Champions.

PHOTOS: (top left & Bottom Left) Let Girls Lead (middle & right) Mark Tuschman ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 57

Interview with

Rosanne Cash on Coping, Writing, and Savoring the Pleasures of Home INTERVIEW: Kristi York Wooten


Rosanne Cash is an author, essayist and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of Johnny Cash, but has carved her own musical niche out of an inimitable blend of folk, pop and country across a dozen albums. She is also a mother to five children. Her latest release, The River and the Thread, was written with her husband, John Leventhal, and explores her family’s roots in the Deep South. PHOTO: Clay Patrick McBride


Kristi York Wooten: The

success of The River and the Thread seems like everything is coming full circle for you. How does this album reflect where you are in your life at the moment?

Rosanne Cash: It’s a more

complete picture of my worldview. Isn’t that the goal, as you grow older? That you start reclaiming those parts of yourself you didn’t recognize or didn’t think were there all along? That’s what happened when I made this record. While visiting places in the South with my heart really open, I realized how important people in certain geographical spots were to me, what they symbolize, how I’m still connected to them and how much they are a part of my ancestry, both musical and real.

KYW: Would you have the same career if your dad hadn’t been Johnny Cash? RC: That’s a difficult question. Think about all of the families where the father is a doctor and the son is a doctor or generations of coal miners. Why did they go into that line of work? Because that’s what they were taught. Or was it in their genes? It’s not an either/or question. It’s both. I was inclined in that way. I was sensitive to music and poetry, and it was around me growing up. KYW: You wrote an essay in the New York Times recently about your song, “When the Master Calls the Roll,” and you compared songwriting to time travel. Tell me how songs are time capsules. RC: Like Thornton Wilder said, time is not a river, but rather a landscape that you step in and out of. I’ve always found that true of creative work, and I’ve heard so many songwriters and writers in general say the same thing. Linear time disappears in this kind of work. When you’re going into the realms of your self and trying to tap into the mystery of this creative source, linear time kind of falls away.

“you start reclaiming those parts of yourself you didn’t recognize or didn’t think were there all along.”

KYW: You’re such a wordsmith. Does writing a book or an essay flow as easily for you as songwriting does? RC: Half inspiration, half perspiration. I have the idea of what to write about, but then there’s the work of writing it and editing it. There’s always that moment when you realize what it’s going to be. You might have an overarching theme and you need to fill in the blanks – and then there’s this “Aha” moment when you see where it’s going. That’s the most satisfying part of writing. KYW: In Composed, you wrote about your 2007 brain surgery to alleviate symptoms from a Chiari Malformation. It took you a few years to recover. What were some of the personal coping mechanisms you used to get through that time period?

RC: I had to regroup. I thought I’d be better in three months. I thought, “I’m a resilient person, and I’m really strong, and I’ll just bounce right back.” How long it actually took me to recover was really depressing. I wish someone would’ve told me that it would take two years just to get back on my feet. I’m still in physical therapy, which I love. I did learn how to not push myself so hard. That was a revelation – how to

“I did learn how to not push myself so hard. That was a revelation – how to be nicer to myself.” be nicer to myself. I couldn’t listen to music with lyrics for the first few months after the surgery, because they were too complex and disturbing. So I listened to a lot of classical music. I didn’t really want to read, either, so I listened to books on tape or watched movies. I also re-taught myself all of my childhood piano pieces. It helped me repair my brain.

KYW: On your Twitter profile, you refer to yourself as a “NeoFolkBuddhiscopalianpaganPostFeministProgressive.” I wanted to get your take on this quote from Robert Wright, the first African-American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, who is a lover of music and words like you are. He says, “Song is closer to the soul than intellectual assent to the idea of God.” Is that true? RC: He’s my man! I’ve always said that art is a more trustworthy expression of God than religion. It’s a natural human impulse to create. You stand in front of a great painting and your heart just opens and your mind expands about what’s possible. That, to me, is a connection to what God is.



Interview with Sarah DeAnna, author of Supermodel You:

The Self-Made Model on Creating Your Own Destiny Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: Is there something in your life that you’ve been told you’re too much of? Sarah DeAnna: Personally or professionally? MP: Let’s do both! SD: Personally, I’m probably too independent. I don’t know how to do group settings very well, or travel in groups, or wait for someone before I do something. I know what I want to do and I want to do it right now. It’s bad, but it’s how I’ve always been, because I basically raised myself. And when you’re modeling, you’re always alone and you’re traveling around the world, so you have to go at your own speed. Professionally, I’m too edgy. I’m too strong. This is my look, you know? But it’s too fierce. People don’t relate to my face. I’m not this beautiful, bombshell girl people can see themselves in. Which is good for high fashion and not good for commercial. MP: What do you do to stay centered in the middle of chaos? SD: If I need to, I’ll take a minute, close my eyes and say positive things to myself. Everything happens for a reason, no matter what. If you accept that, whatever happened, no matter how tragic it is, it’s going to be okay. Something good is going to come out of it. Instead of thinking about how bad you feel in that moment, always look beyond it. That is very empowering. MP: What is it in life that makes you feel emotionally vulnerable? SD: Everything makes me feel vulnerable. I don’t like to share the dark side of myself and my life. If I’m thinking negative things – hating on my body or whatever – I prefer to write something about loving your body and loving yourself, instead of feeling bad. But one definitive thing? Talking about my family. MP: It sounds like you are very self-made. Is there anything you want to say to that? SD: I don’t believe that you are your family, or that you are your past, or your genetics, or your anything. I believe in the ability to create your life. Who you were was just an experience that made you desire what you’re desiring today, but that is not who you are. That, to me, is so powerful. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 61

“Instead of thinking about how bad you feel in that moment, always look beyond it. That is very empowering.“ Sarah DeAnna


Chuck Palahniuk Cynicism. Acceptance. Humility. interview with Fight Club author Chris Grosso: Where does your funny – and what many would call, accurate – cynicism come from? Chuck Palahniuk: My cynicism? Consider that I was born in 1962 and carried as an infant through the “World of Tomorrow,” as staged at the Seattle World’s Fair. Everything seemed possible. TWA was selling tickets for their first flight to the moon. The Jetsons cartoon family lived in a house almost identical to the Space Needle. At the age of twelve I toured Expo74, the World’s Fair held in Spokane, Washington in 1974. Instead of space travel, the new emphasis was on: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. By 1974, the Vietnam war and American politics were a mess. The inner cities were wrecked. The optimism of my childhood was replaced by the cathartic disaster movies of the 1970s: massive ocean liners, towering skyscrapers,

the Statue of Liberty, all of humanity’s greatest achievements were depicted being wrecked by tidal waves, fires, earthquakes or nuclear war. Romantic Fatalism presented itself in other films. The Bad News Bears lost. Rocky lost. In Saturday Night Fever, Travolta won his dance contest, only to discover that it was rigged. Successful horror movies such as The Omen, Burnt Offerings, The Sentinel, and Rosemary’s Baby all promised a future of continuing evil. The same architect who designed the Seattle fair’s futuristic Science Center, with its lacy Gothic arches and spires, Minoru Yamasaki, was hired to design the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Seattle had promised fairgoers a glimpse of the world that would exist in 2001. That year eventually unfolded as something less than the dream we’d imagined. CG: You’re undoubtedly one of the great writers of our day and have legions of readers, yet you seem to have remained completely unfazed by the author/rock star

BY: CHRIS GROSSO syndrome and totally accessible to your fans. What do you attribute not getting caught up in the ego stuff to? CP: Take my word for it: I was a huge prick for the first couple years of my success. To me, my achievements proved that my friends and family members could also realize their own dreams – if only they’d work harder. So I pushed and harangued the people I loved to become painters, musicians, writers, etc. Whatever they’d once hoped to become. Eventually my well-intentioned bullying drove them from my life. Since then I’ve come to accept people as they are. Chris Grosso is an independent culturist, speaker, freelance writer and musician. He created the popular hub for all things alternative, independent, and spiritual with, and continues the exploration with his bestselling debut book, Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 63


I could go to a desert island without a football and survive happily, but if I had to go without music, I think I’d end up killing myself. It fuels my soul. It always has.”

interview with:

Joe Elliott


on Music, Humor, and Contributing to the Arts

Q: Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? A: Joe Elliott: Music and soccer. They would be my two major

passions. And, as much as I am a huge soccer fan, music just kills it when it comes to importance. I could go to a desert island without a football and survive happily, but if I had to go without music, I think I’d end up killing myself. It fuels my soul. It always has.

Q: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? A: Humor is actually what seems to do it. Everybody in this band

gravitates to a certain behavioral pattern. It works for us. When we get into a situation, we’ve probably been there before. There’s not many new situations. It’s still the same old problem – lack of communication. What we tend to do is quote classic lines from classic comedy in the context of what we’re dealing with, and it cracks everybody up and we calm down. Humor is an amazing way to talk people down off a ledge.

Q: How do you process emotional pain? A: The same way as everybody else does, I think. The most recently Q: Tell me about what you’re doing now. I’ve had to deal with that, on a real personal level, was with the passing of my father in 2011. You’re never really prepared, you know? You see A: Well, I’ve got two projects I’m juggling at the moment, like mock death in movies every day, but when it really happens, you’re not used to it. Most things in life, you get better the more that you do them, but this is one of those things you don’t really want to get any better at.


If you could say something and have it be heard by everybody on the planet, what would you say?

A: Jesus, off the top of my head? [laughs] Just follow your gut. If you seriously believe that something is the right thing to do, if you are so convinced that your stomach is knotting up every time someone suggests an alternative way of doing all this, take a deep breath and just say, “You’re wrong.” You don’t just go with a majority because it’s the majority. You go with it because it’s right. If it feels right, do it.

some demented circus act. I’ve got the new Down ‘n’ Outz album coming out on the 22nd of April. It’s called The Further Adventures Of... It’s the second album that we’ve done. And Def Leppard – in February, we were in Dublin, Ireland, at my studio, writing new material for a record. We thought we would get three or four songs, and we came out of there with twelve, which is amazing. About twelve new songs in a month, for us, is ridiculous. We’ve never done anything like that in our lives.

Q: What do you want your legacy to be? A: Being a good contributor to the arts. Making some kind of

contribution that people can hold up and go, “You know what? The boy did good.”

As long as it’s legal.

PHOTOS: Maryanne Bilham-Knight ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 65


ASHER ROTH Swim Naked and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

Being naked in water – there’s nothing better. It’s primal and freeing.

Asher Roth: Skinny dipping off the island of Anguilla. Being naked in water – there’s nothing better. It’s primal and freeing. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? AR: Unfurl your brow. So many people walk around stressed, or upset, or confused, and they make that face, where they scrunch their brow. Just recognizing that your face is clenched and unfurling your brow will instantly make you feel more relaxed. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? AR: Write a song about it. I’m a pretty happy dude, and don’t let much get to me. If something does, I don’t like to hold onto it. Holding onto negativity makes you sick, I strongly believe that. So I release negativity by writing. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? AR: Breathe. Then have a drink. My occupation doesn’t really allow for routines, but I’m pretty consistent about tea in the morning. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? AR: It’s just not that serious. We tend to harp on little things, or worry about something, when, really, it’s just not that important. If you have a roof over your head, and you’re healthy, and your family is healthy, that’s all that matters. Don’t let the little things get you down. MP: What truth do you know for sure? AR: Life goes on. MP: Tell me about your latest projects and album. AR: I’m in a great place creatively. Stimulated, and inspired, and free to create what I’m passionate about. My new album, RetroHash, is the first in a line of projects that consist of me simply creating music with friends and sharing it with the world. Asher Roth released his first single, “I Love College,” back in 2009, and is excited to release his second LP, RetroHash, on April 22. He relocated to LA this year and you can definitely hear the influences of his new city in the upcoming album. It’s still Asher Roth, but with some new, fresh sounds. photo: Brock Fetch 66 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Interview with the Star-Crossed actor

GREG FINLEY It’s All About Love & Laughter [Maranda Pleasant] What makes you come alive? [Greg Finley] The love of my family: to make them proud and to support them in any way I can. [MP] What makes you feel vulnerable? [GF] I feel vulnerable whenever there is something I truly care about. It can be a role I want, a girl, a friend – anything that I put my heart and soul into. [MP] If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? [GF] “Be excellent to each other.” (Ha! I had to take that from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.) [MP] How do you handle emotional pain? [GF] I deal with emotional pain like every Irish guy: I keep it inside, and then it comes boiling out when I can’t take it anymore. Another outlet is any form of exercise, which always makes me feel better afterwards. [MP] Tell me about your latest project. [GF] My latest project is the CW series Star-Crossed. It’s about aliens who crash on Earth in 2014 and are imprisoned for ten years. A group of us finally get integrated into the school system with humans as part of an experiment, and chaos ensues. I play Drake, an outwardly tough guy with a good heart. He’s very conflicted about co-existing and starting relationships with the humans, which makes him go through an emotional roller photos: corey nickols 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

coaster. I’m very lucky to play this well-rounded, complicated character every episode. [MP] How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? [GF] I keep my center by having a routine of physical exercise (going to the gym or playing sports, particularly basketball), and talking to my family every day. If I have them and my health, I’m good. [MP] What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? [GF] I’ve learned so many lessons over the years… It’s like that old saying, “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger.” I’ve had a few very good friends pass away at a young age, and remembering them always reminds me to love as much as you can every day, and that life is about the effect you have on others. [MP] What truth do you know for sure? [GF] The one truth I know is that life isn’t always fair, and at times it can be hard; the only thing to do is love and laugh. Greg Finley stars as Drake in the CW series Star-Crossed, which airs on Monday nights. He is also known for his role as Jack Pappas on The Secret Life of the American Teenager (five seasons). He has most recently guest-starred on Law & Order, and is currently in pre-production on the independent film Danny Boy, which he wrote, produced, and will star in. You can follow him on Twitter @GregFinley.

“The one truth I know is that life isn’t always fair, and at times it can be hard; the only thing to do is love and laugh.”


ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

Q (Maranda Pleasant): What makes you come alive? A (Kellee Maize): Writing, love, yoga, meditation, singing

and dancing on stage with my girls, recording, and spending time with friends, family, my beloved, and pets.

Q: What makes you feel vulnerable? A: Releasing new music always makes me feel vulnerable mostly

because there is such a wide range of emotions...excitement, fear of judgement or being misunderstood, relief, and anticipation. Often by the time I release something I’ve written, I’ve changed, but it’s a great exercise in trusting and letting go.

Q: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would

it be?


Choose love, forgive yourself and others, welcome diverse beliefs and views, and be kind to yourself, the planet and all that is on it. Know you have the same value as any other person on the planet and will help make the world a better place.

Q: How do you handle emotional pain? A: I am regularly adding to my tool belt because there is always

much more to learn. Generally, it’s a mixture of contemplation, expressing the pain to someone I trust with an intention to release it, meditation, deep breaths, heart focusing, hugs, tears, and working to put my focus instead on what I am here to do, what I am grateful for, and what I love. By giving, listening, and helping others, you can find much satisfaction. I have been in women’s circles for many years, which really helps me understand that I am not alone and that we all experience similar low and high points. My mom is also a HUGE inspiration to me to get up and get it together.

Q: Tell me about your latest project. A: I am working with Toyota on a campaign for their hybrids

because I have been impressed with Toyota’s hybrid technology for years and saddened that it isn’t catching on more. Then of course I have new music. I just released my fifth album and am working on the next one. I have a book out on Amazon called Integration, which also the title of my third album. It is an open-at-random book of lyrics with amazing visuals.


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


I go in and out of routine depending on what is happening in my life, but I almost always do some kind of meditation, movement, and breath work each day, particularly heart-focused breathwork. I try to stay conscious of what I am eating and thinking, and to read books or listen to things that help me. I have built a community and network of friends and family over the years. I think so much of our


Interview with Singer, Rapper, Activist, and Entrepreneur




“All anyone really wants is to be unconditionally loved, be at peace, be accepted and belong. We must turn inward and do this for ourselves and KNOW that we belong, even when we are alone.”

A: All anyone really wants is to be unconditionally loved, be at Frontman Sameer Gadhia peace, be accepted and belong. We must turn inward and do this for ourselves and KNOW that we belong, even when we are alone. I am fairly certain that art, music and innovation are keys to peaceful and On Mind Body Connection, positive evolution. We all have this gift, so I say express your SELF. Q: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life? Letting Go, Universal A: Giving unconditional love to all is the most important thing I Kellee is a singer, rapper, songwriter, activist and entrepreneur living in can do. Pittsburgh, PA. Her music is conscious and is inspired by and touches on Truth, and Yoga environmental and world issues, equality, spirituality, empowerment, feminine ungroundedness comes from lack of community. Recently I have been learning various mudras, chants, songs and ceremonial processes to add to my day-to-day routine, as well.

Q: What truth do you know for sure?

energy, love, mysticism, yoga and meditation. She just released her fifth album in 2014. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 71

ORIGIN Series: Different Artists // Same Questions // Powerful Answers

hit new band:


Interview: Maranda Pleasant


Well, you only need the light when it's burning low / Only miss the sun when it starts to snow / Only know you love her when you let her go.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

Mike Rosenberg: Writing new songs. When you’re on to something really special and you can’t put the guitar down. I think I feel most alive and tuned-in in those moments.

MR: Bury it like any other respectable Englishman. [laughs] No, I guess that’s where the songwriting comes in. It might not come out straight away, and it sometimes doesn’t really help at the time, but it’s an amazingly productive outlet.

MP: Tell me about your latest project.

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

MR: It’s a cross breed of Bulgarian gangster rap and Indonesian gamelan. It’s going to blow people’s minds.

MR: I try to eat well and exercise. It certainly helps, but sometimes I definitely fall off the wagon and find myself crying into a bucket of fried chicken.

Actually, truth be told, it’s just more of the same depressing singer-songwriter stuff. My new album, Whispers, comes out in June, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? MR: Live shows. As I play without a band, there really is nothing to hide behind, and I think the vulnerability is part of what makes it work. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? MR: Everyone chill the f*ck out!

MR: Over the years, I think I’ve become a better listener. It’s completely necessary for not only the songwriting process – quite a few of my songs are based on the stories of others – but in life generally. I think listening is what truly allows you to grow up.

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

“As I play without a band, there really is nothing to hide behind, and I think the vulnerability is part of what makes it work.” PHOTOS: jarrad seng ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 73

Keith Richards

Sara Bareilles

Keb Mo

David Hidalgo





laying For Change is a movement born out of the idea that no matter how many things in this life divide us, they are never as strong as the power of music and inspiration to bring us together. For the past ten years, a small crew and I have been traveling the globe with a mobile recording studio and cameras, recording and filming musicians live and outside. We travel from city streets to subways, Indian reservations to African villages, and into the Himalayan Mountains. Our new CD/DVD, Playing For Change 3: Songs Around the World (out June 17), includes over 180 musicians from 31 countries. Throughout our travels, we have learned that some of the greatest music and art in the world exists in some of the poorest places, and some of the happiest people live with almost nothing at all. The

Kids dancing at Playing For Change

Mark Johnson in Congo

“Stop and listen to the universal power of music and bring that positive energy with you everywhere you go.”

Playing For Change videos offer people a window into this world that we share and show us that no matter who we are or where we come from, we are all united through music.

Our fourth annual Playing For Change Day is September 20, 2014. Last year, we hosted 350 concerts in over 50 countries on the same day, all to support music education.

This human connection continues with the Playing For Change Band, a group of 11 musicians from nine different countries, joined together to bring the Playing For Change message from the streets, to the stage, to the hearts of the people. The band’s music transcends any one style and, together, they tour the world, combining influences and cultures and creating a world where we are going to make it as a human race.

We live in a world that walks over homeless people on our way to work like they don’t exist. We have far too many starving children and warring nations. What is there to remind us of the power of the human spirit? As a human race, we come together for birth, we come together for death, and what brings us together in between is up to us.

Playing For Change also includes The PFC Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting music and art schools around the world. Today, there are nine music schools in six countries, and this is just the beginning.

Stop and listen to the universal power of music and bring that positive energy with you everywhere you go. Mark Johnson is the co-founder of Playing for Change. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 75

Mountainfilm in Telluride:

speakers. filmmakers. conservationists. leaders.

What Does Wilderness Mean to You? MountainFilm in Telluride: May 23-26.

Vance G. Martin


President of The WILD Foundation Wilderness is both ecology and culture. We need to remember the countless fires into which we stared for two million years, the substance that formed our bones and the experiences that configured our DNA. When that memory lights up, we will remember ourselves as part of nature – and the destruction will stop.

david rothenberg

Musician, Philosopher and Writer Bug Music (author), Song From the Forest (music supervisor), Song of the Cicadas (writer) Nature at its purest, most beautiful, most musical, and most real is the place where I get my greatest inspiration and where I wish I spent more time. The Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer wrote, “The wild does not have words. The unwritten pages spread themselves out in all directions!” You cannot speak its power. That’s why I try to make music out of it – because music goes where no words can go.


Programming Assistant at Mountainfilm in Telluride, Yoga Instructor

Wilderness is where the spirit grows. It is nature existing as her truest self and calling you to do the same.

Eugénie Frerichs

Writer and Photographer The Wilderness State There was a time in history when “wilderness” didn’t mean anything. Everything was wild. There was no opposite – and so nothing to define. I like that. But today, it’s a thing to protect fiercely: an old-growth forest, the time and space to think (the wilderness of the mind). It’s vital and scarce. Modern life – we all know this – is nuts and mostly paved. Wilderness is the great elixir. The antidote.


kenny laubbacher Director at Invisible Children Take Away Film: Uganda My life feels fickle In the ageless vastness of a forest My dreams meager Amidst mountains And the swallow dies to Feed the trees Whose dewdrops catch on Sun-kissed leaves, which Aphids drink ‘til Cursed as swallow feed, Repeat.

Founder of Fractivist Dear Governor Hickenlooper

SARA DOSA Director of The Last Season

Wilderness A cosmic body of principles Welcomes me Accepts me in her arms Does not judge me Listens to my concerns Nourishes me Always awaits my arrival Make me strong and gentle Shares her medicine chest Guides me through life Wilderness – My inseparable companion

Wilderness isn’t a discrete territory of forests and mountains, unfettered by human interaction. Instead, wilderness is a place – or a set of ideas – that defies definition; it is something that cannot be contained. To be in the wilderness is to be amid the unknowable or to willfully break the boundaries of that which is known. So, for explorers and storytellers, the wilderness is necessarily ripe with unpredictable discovery.

And I am grateful: I shiver when cold. I dance when happy. I hurt when I feel loss. Colors shift. Days break. I choose life in this Fullness I have found.

“Wilderness isn’t a discrete territory of forests and mountains, unfettered by human interaction. Instead, wilderness is a place – or a set of ideas – that defies definition; it is something that cannot be contained.”



Owner at Stoecker Ecological Producer & Underwater Photographer for DamNation

Programming Director at Mountainfilm in Telluride

A refuge for wild animals and undeveloped landscapes. Rivers free from dams. Robust runs of wild salmon that feed our forests and oceans. A place to leave civilization behind – to reset the mind, camp and boat with family and friends, and recognize what’s important. A link to the past and a guide to the future. A place to preserve and defend.

Many languages don’t have a word for wilderness. In Thailand, where I lived for a few years, khwam pen pa, or “the state of being forest,” does little to conjure up the subtleties of our American idea of pristine, wild and inspirational – almost mystical – nature. It makes me wonder: Does it do us harm to separate wilderness from humanity? Don’t we have wildness inside of us?


Mountainfilm in Telluride:

speakers. filmmakers. conservationists. leaders.

What Does Wilderness Mean to You? MountainFilm in Telluride: May 23-26.


Owner at Uncage the Soul Productions Mending the Line

Wilderness means freedom of spirit and mind, and is the purest form of home I know. Working as a filmmaker and photographer, I often bring wilderness into my storytelling, which allows me to share some of the special connection I have with those wild places. This is a privilege and an honor. In a solo sense, though, the wild places that surround my home town of Bozeman, Montana, harbor the quiet content that I hold for retreat when I am standing in the hustle and tear of our human world. Wilderness is where I levy my energy from and where I return to recharge. Photo: Nick Wolcott

Within areas we have set aside as wilderness exist isolated pockets of deep remoteness, defined by the challenge of access, absence of cell coverage, lack of light and sound pollution, and great distances from cities and roads. It is these oases of remoteness that represent the authentic wilderness experience promised 50 years ago when preserving places “untrammeled by man.”

BEN KNIGHT Lynx VILDEN Founder and Head Instructor at the Living Wild School

Wilderness – where time walks at a different pace, where light and shadow are not in competition.


Filmmaker at Felt Soul Media DamNation, Red Gold, Eastern Rises Three gummy bears left. That was it. Lined up on the tent floor like the receiving end of a firing squad, their time had come. Several days had passed while waiting for the storm to clear for a view of Cerro Torre. I had food for two more days, but the candy hadn’t been rationed with care. Town was far, and I was desperate. I prefer my wilderness with chocolate.


Professional Adventure Technician, Photographer and Writer at Max Lowe Media // Winter Light and Summer Light

KATIE LEE Activist, Author, Folksinger at Katydid Books & Music Wild, wildness, wilderness. The word receives additions while the subjects, the passions and places lose ground daily – along with the very idea of what wilderness is…was. The life I’ve lived was made complete by a special, wild place, no sooner found than dammed by the hand of man. Yet passions lie far out of reach and will go on and on – long after the subject is gone. Don’t forget that.


ALEX HONNOLD JAMIE WILLIAMS President of The Wilderness Society Wilderness is home, where I go to reconnect with myself and be inspired by the beauty and mystery of nature. There is nothing like venturing into big, wild places to awaken our sense of wonder, to focus the mind, and to revel in adventure. Venturing into the wild with others has also given me some of my deepest friendships and the reward of achieving something through collaboration and teamwork.

Professional Climber and Founder of Honnold Foundation // Sufferfest Wilderness means quiet and solitude. No people, no bustle, no craziness. For something to feel truly wild, it should contain a certain unknown, an edge of adventure that’s both inspiring and frightening. I’m drawn to vastness – big open expanses in the American West and dry pine forests in the Sierra Nevada – but anything can feel wild if it separates me from normal life. Wilderness just means being fully taken by nature, submitting to the greater world around us. Photo: Ben Moon

Stash Wislocki I grew up in the hills of western Massachusetts, where my father was a land conservationist and shared his love for undeveloped land. But it was in college, when he took me to the Rogue River in Oregon, that I met true wilderness. Seeing miles of undisturbed river corridor and abundant open space defined my understanding of wilderness and remains with me to this day.

jared diamond

Director Dear Governor Hickenlooper

Artist & Educator at San Francisco Art Institute The presence of hope. It is that space, free of anything man-made, where nothing stands in the way of me being fully present, inward-looking, with all my senses experiencing the life I have. Wilderness offered me a sense of hope and comfort, even as a child. As Wallace Stegner said, “The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it.”

Professor of Geography at UCLA and director of World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International Guns, Germs, and Steel

Wilderness to me is peace, beauty, excitement – and birds.


Mountainfilm in Telluride:

speakers. filmmakers. conservationists. leaders.

What Does Wilderness Mean to You? MountainFilm in Telluride: May 23-26.

ben stookesberry

david hanson

david holbrooke Expedition Kayaker and Filmmaker with Eddie Bauer // Walled In Wilderness is a place that thrives in the absence of civilization. It is where I am forced to play by the rules of nature, where every decision can be distilled down to pure survival, and the trivialities of modern life fade as I go deeper into its heart. Here, the land is only bisected by the rivers that run free from source to sea, and my imagination sees infinite possibilities for adventure.

Festival Director, Mountainfilm in Telluride

Writer/Director at Upstream Project Who Owns Water

The 1964 Wilderness Act lyrically defines wilderness as “untrammeled by man.” So if I venture into the wilderness, have I unwittingly un-wilded it? I don’t know the answer, but I believe that I’m in the wilderness – not legally, but existentially – when I get far, far away from the everyday ruckus of my overstuffed life and find myself feeling so wonderfully, naturally small.

I’ve felt the vast, raw power of wilderness on a 10-acre sandbar, humming with humidity in the middle of the Lower Mississippi River, just as much as I’ve felt it halfway up the lonely, sterile, frozen flank of Denali. It’s a place where nature rules, knocking us humans down a rung or two on the ladder. I value the blast of intimidation, self-reliance, alertness, and connectedness that slaps me awake in a wilderness.

florian schulz


Explorer in Residence at National Geographic

Wilderness is a place where my imagination can wander into a world not dominated by mankind, where my eyes can rest on virgin landscapes, and where wildlife has the freedom to roam. True wilderness is a window into an ancient world in balance. It serves as a reminder that humans are only one species in this incredible web of life. Nowhere else but in wilderness do I feel more alive!

Wilderness for a Canadian is a series of neighborhoods, albeit unusual ones where caribou and grizzly outnumber people, but neighborhoods nevertheless, where man, woman and nature have come to terms with each other, forging a community of the wild that can only thrive within the luxury of open space. Wilderness is a place where the gestures and sounds of animals have meaning, where the flights of birds, as if a cursive script of nature, a vocabulary written on the wind, carry messages to the world.





Including: Douglas Brinkley, Jared Diamond, Sylvia Earle, M. Sanjayan, Cheryl Strayed, and others.

© Florian Schulz


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