Category Archives: me stuff

Intro email to a coaching client

“Just to put it out there:  Personally, I often get the instinct to want to impress people, especially ones who impress me. But I want you to know that I love you profoundly, already. Your truth is perfect. Nothing you have ever done is a failure to me. No quirk is a weakness. Whatever you you are called to share is welcome.  If it is honest, it is impressive.
And I will work on remembering that for myself, as well.”

“Supportive Knights & Warrior Princesses”

I have spoke in the past about seeing your partner as their highest.

I told the story of how I have fallen into a relationship role where I try to protect my partner from harm, pain and suffering.

This doesn’t sound like a bad thing.

But it does not allow the other to grow.

Sure, you don’t want a seedling to get trampled,
But if you keep it inside it will never get the wind, and direct sunlight it needs.
It will grow weak and never become the flower it is meant to.

One of the hardest things about loving someone is seeing them struggle.
We anticipate their struggles and try to protect them.
Nobody likes to see someone they love stress or suffer.

My instinct is always to fix or change the situation.

But I have learned that true love isn’t about being a knight on a white horse that comes and saves the princess. Real love is about holding space for that princess to be a warrior – and seeing her strong and powerful – even when she can’t see it herself.

Support her? yes.
Save her? no.

During the early chapters of our relationship, I put lots of effort into being this new kind of modern night. A support knight. I reminded her of her potential and refused to accept her declarations during times of frustration.

And she grew.
Into a powerful warrior princess.

She was an intern when I met her. She became an entrepreneur. Over the next 2 years she grew a company, a brand, and a reputation. She won awards and got press. She blossomed into a such a dramatic vision of success that she became a source of inspiration for others.

And she caught the bug. With her success, her vision grew.

She devoured trainings, seminars and books. She worked with coaches and studied mentors.

Somewhere along the line, I got scared again.

I started to focus more on her struggles. I worried more about the obstacles.

Now to be fair, she fell into this trap, too. I think the path of an entrepreneur is a challenging one. How do you focus on constantly making your business better – while not becoming obsessed about what is wrong? How do you enjoy the cone while being constantly vigilant about removing crap?

I see this in all the entrepreneurs I know. The good ones are the ones who can enjoy the process of crap-removal. Instead of constantly being in a state of Oh-No! More problems!

I also think it is critical to take time, and make an effort to focus on the good whenever possible. To take a moment every day or every week to remember what is going right, what has gone right, and what wonderful potential lies ahead.

At FreshRealm, we do this with an organization-wide gratitude circle. And it makes MASSIVE difference. There are literally hundreds of things that need to be done. And we would suffocate under the weight – if we didn’t take time to appreciate the path – and our fellow teammates.


Empath
I’ve always been slightly annoyed when people say, “I’m an empath.” Is that really a special power? Like, “I’m a compassionate person.” But as I look at the struggles I have with my partner’s stress, maybe this what they mean. And maybe some people do feel others experiences deeper than normal. When I mentioned this to friend this week he said, absolutely – it is your greatest strength – and weakness.

It is this empathy – this experience of anothers pain – that makes me want to fix, to save… and sometimes to run away.
It contributes in huge ways to my fear of commitment. The idea of tying myself to pain and suffering outside of my control is terrifying.


But this is my classroom. This is the advance course I must take right now.

A recent status report showed that I got a little off track. I forgot the importance of faith. Forgot how love means believing in someone’s potential.

I forgot that Love is ACTIVE. It is much more than accepting them and loving them AS IS (although that is part of it.) It is the conscious mental thoughts of seeing a person as the highest version of themselves. Of seeing through their ego doubts, of refusing to believe the small voices in their heads (that they may share with you) and refusing to listen to the small voices in your head that you may project on them.
This is the Love Warriors duty. This is the heart-centered path of honor. This is the way of the Supportive Knight.

I lost my way, m’lady, and I will work to rejoin you on your glorious path.

-John
march 3, 2014

2013 In Review

Every year I write up a year in review. I.e. Here is the 2011 year

2014

Designed and Performed Opening Ceremony at Leyenda (with Krista Richards)
Keynote Speaker at TVIA (Teen Volunteers In Action) Senior Send Off

Participated in UCSB “Personal Branding” Career Event
Keynote Speaker at Congregation Dor Hadash Temple MLK Jr. Day
Keynote Speaker at Planned Parenthood Staff Event
Gave talk & Lovers Nest Opening Ceremony at Lucidity
MC’d Lucidity”s “Rising Vibes” Event in Santa Barbara
Spoke at LA Decom & SD Decom (Youtopia)
Moved (sorta) to a new town (Ventura) for the first time since college.
Got a paycheck for the first time in years – as a legitimate Executive.
Started doing Weekly “Gratitude Songs” and leading Gratitude Circles as part of Goodness Fridays at work. (Many more professional-related things that I’ll save for a different conversation.)
Celebrated another year of 1stSaturdays.org – with events in SD, LA & SF. And volunteer numbers breaking 90 smiling people at times.

New Job. New City. New Flow.

Six months ago I was living off savings, while launching a Joy Coaching practice and working on an outline for a book. (Read: LOTS of hours on Facebook)
Everything was going according to the leisurely plan I had worked out with my Coach, Karpo.

But the direction of my Flow changed overnight.

I was recruited to come work for FreshRealm – an ambitious startup in Ventura backed by a NASDAQ publicly traded fresh food company.
Caption
(This logo is one of the first things I was responsible for.)

By “recruited” I mean that the CEO, who went to Burning Man for the first time in 2012, sought me out after seeing my “Playa Tips & Tricks,” 1st Saturdays & TEDx videos. When he learned that I went to high school with one of the co-founders, it seemed meant-to-be.
I wasn’t looking for a job. But when I met Mike, I felt a connection. There was a series of synchronicities that made me feel called to work with the team. The co-founders all had genuine, heart-centered agendas -and impressive backgrounds, too.

Mike & Me

I originally agreed to a 6 week contract job. It has now been 6 months and I have the title, “Co-founder.” How serious is it? I just gave 30 days notice to my San Diego landlord. (Although I am still spending most weekends in San Diego with Brandi.)

In the last 6 months I have worked harder than I ever have before. I have pushed myself past my limits. I have learned a ton. I love my work.

I am in charge of Branding & Company Culture. They value my Burning Man roots, honor my Hug Nation commitment, and I get to use the word “Love” in the office. A lot.

Wait…”Love?” What does FreshRealm do?
A: We have invented a Shipping System & Vessel that allows fresh food to be distributed nationally.
But the better question is the one that made me feel called to work with this team in the first place.
Q: WHY do they do it?
A: To demonstrate that the world works better with Love: Love of self, Love of the planet, and Love for one another.

Love is not a finite resource. It doesn’t have to be preserved or rationed out. We believe that, even in business, more efficiency can be achieved with more Love.

Everyone at FreshRealm is on a path to be more loving, connected, & authentic people in the world. My job is to make sure that is reflected in our culture and communicated through our brand. Hopefully it will resonate with you.
Because, if you’re reading this, YOU are one of those people opening you heart and striving to be more loving, connected, & authentic. Thank you. It matters. You matter.

Whether or not you ever order from a company that uses the FreshRealm Vessel, I would still love to have you connected to what I’m doing with the team there. (Like the gratitude circle during Goodness Fridays!)
I feel like I am channeling my book writing & coaching energies into a corporate adventure. Super challenging – but I am considering it research for the final chapters of that future book. I am learning SO much. And I think significant change can come through the transformation of corporate consciousness.

This hectic schedule has meant being online much less. But I still do Hug Nation every week (Now on Mondays.) Once FreshRealm launches, I plan to spend more time in Social Media again via the Goodness Friday & FreshRealm pages.
I’d love it if you rode along with me and “Liked” either or both of those pages. (Of course, feel comfortable hitting “Unlike” at any time if I post things that don’t interest you.)

So grateful for this adventure. So grateful for YOU.
Love,
John
Wearing my Big Boy pants

For the record…

Q:

My son wants his hair colored brightly and I’m not sure how to do this without also dying his scalp as his hair is about the same length as yours. How do you do it and what dye do you recommend : ) thanks you for input, he’d love a bit more expression on his head I think, I’m sure you can relate

A:

Well, you have to bleach first. The brand “SPLAT!” that you can get at a wallmart or CVS (and has my face on it) includes bleach and dye and is a pretty good solution.
I use more a bit more professional grade bleaching products from a beauty supply store (40 weight developer and powdered, on-scalp bleach – if you want to ask for it.) And a color called atomic pink from a brand called Special effects (that I order off the internet.)
But the easy answer is: Splat! kits.
Have fun and PLEASE send me a pic if he does it!
Put Vasiline around the hairline and ears to minimize dying skin. But the reality is your scalp will get stained..for a day or 2. 🙂

TEDx

The lessons of Grandpa, Gratitude, and Gifting have become a way of life for me. An I am starting to see the affect of these ideas on my life and in the world
‎Pink Heart, my Burning Man camp, is making an appearance at events on boths coasts in the coming months. And next month 1st Saturdays SAN FRANCISCO CHAPTER will host its first event – while we host ours in San Diego.

I am seeing the ripple effects of Love… of “Selfish Service”…and everything I put into the TEDx talk…actually HAPPENING. My eyes are filled with tears and my heart is soaring.
I hope you enjoy.
And if it touches you, please share with a friend, a local reporter, and everyone that could smile more and be more in the world.

Past Blast

Just found an old box of photos and journals from when I was 20-23 years old. That was the chapter where I first tried drugs. It was truly an experimental phase – I practically had a lab coat.

It was also right after my profound experience on a Turkish Mountaintop. I just found a list of “Beliefs” I wrote down and am blown away by how little has changed.

1) The experience of living is the ultimate miracle.
2) The “object” is to experience the world as intimately as possible. As free from socialization as possible. With a child’s eyes…with wonder and excitement.
3) Following you mind, not steering it, can be rich.
4) People are infinitely more similar than different. And this “sameness” is the spiritual link between all living creatures/things.
5)Optimism, wit, and open-mindedness are more important than intellect.

(There are also some sexual observations…but I’m keeping those private for now.)

Life in Overdrive

Screen shot 2012-09-15 at 5.06.25 PM

I have a cameo in this fun BM 2012 video: http://youtu.be/ArReDU84GhI (at 0:22)

Featured in this fun podcast (at 12:50): http://borealismeditation.blogspot.com/2012/09/peace-love-and-verbal-abuse-borealis.html

“The Pink Path” helped cheer up a bad day: http://artfulartsyamy.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-get-over-your-bad-days.html

Doing 3 min on stage here: http://www.lovestockfestival.com

The Hugmobile sighting in an article on SD Canyons. http://www.teawithlemon.com/2012/09/greentech-geek-those-damn-canyons.html

My pic of my family used in Craiglist Scam (and in the New York Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/nyregion/the-nanny-scam.html?_r=1&hp (follow up story on my family coming out next week)

photo credit in NYT