Gary Hirsch

ACL 055: Gary Hirsch

Gary Hirsch is an artist and co-founder of On Your Feet, which improves organizational dynamics and teaches business skills through principles of improv. He is also the driving force behind Botjoy, a project to spread joy and courage throughout the world with an army of hand-painted robots.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Gary shares great stories and insights that weave between the worlds of art and business, including:

  • how the principles of improv can improve the way that people interact in teams,
  • a key lesson that has stuck with him that “sometimes you just have to play,”
  • experimentation and being curious,
  • embracing a creative process where someone else finishes the narrative,
  • why he wants other people to “steal” his ideas,
  • getting out of the way to allow your creation to flourish in unexpected ways, and
  • learning to check ego, press the “pause” button, and be present in the moment.

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Transcript

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Victor Saad

ACL 054: Victor Saad

Victor Saad decided to take his education into his own hands and handcraft a unique personal educational experience called the “Leap Year Project.” He is now crystallizing his vision for reinventing education by building a new school called the Experience Institute.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Victor discusses his thoughts about customized experiential education, including:

  • his personal journey that led him to rethink pursuing a traditional MBA program,
  • developing a personal “Leap Year Project” that valued experience and connection over content,
  • lessons learned from selecting experiences, financing the project, and asking for help,
  • inspiring thoughts about what he values “if I started a school…”
  • lessons learned, and a compelling vision for an alternative educational approach called the Experience Institute,
  • how authenticity and individuality plays into reinvention.

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Eric Proulx

ACL 053: Erik Proulx

After unexpectedly losing his job as an advertising executive, Erik Proulx embraced documentary film-making, and made a compelling film called Lemonade about several people who – in Erik’s words – lost their jobs and discovered their callings.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Erik shares reflections about his journey as a creative professional, including:

  • learning to separate who you are from what you do,
  • perspective on making inspiration actionable,
  • not knowing how to accomplish a vision, but trusting that the necessary help will show up when it’s needed,
  • paying attention to the inner voice that urges us to pursue a significant project,
  • learning not to simply swap one identity for another, but rather embracing that the sum of our experiences make us who we are.

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Transcript for ACL 053: Erik Proulx
Diane Allen

ACL 052: Diane Allen

Diane Allen has been a professional violinist for decades, and is now drawing on her experience in the music world to empower women to become more confident communicators.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Diane shares stories about how her music career has intertwined with her personal journey, including:

  • the perseverance and hard work needed to make it as a musician, and that talent didn’t come easy,
  • insights that she’s gained and shared as a music teacher,
  • how getting involved in Toastmasters brought new skills and fresh enthusiasm into her life,
  • learning to stretch her business in new ways, and to grow in new directions,
  • the value of coaching to serve as an external mirror for personal insight,
  • being aware of energetic pulls, waking up early, and excitement for projects,
  • how she wants to leverage her experience to be of service in the world.

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Diane is also extending an offer for some free coaching to A Congruent Life listeners: just contact Diane, and let her know you found her on A Congruent Life!

Eloquent Expression Coaching certificate

Eloquent Expression Coaching certificate

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Jared Seide

ACL 051: Jared Seide

Jared Seide facilitates increased cooperation, empathy, and understanding within groups through his work at Center for Council, spanning circles as diverse as schools, businesses, service organizations, participants in social conflicts, and prisons.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Jared shares stories from his personal journey with Council work, including:

  • how his background in dramatic arts and quest for storytelling led him to Hollywood, where he became disillusioned about the lack of authenticity,
  • how the aftermath of the LA riots allowed his daughter to discover her voice in a surprising way,
  • how the concepts of Council are old and comfortable across cultures and backgrounds, and simple in principle but deep in practice,
  • the ancient elements and simple intentions of holding Council,
  • the effects of Council work in Rwandan genocide healing and prison populations,
  • the impact that this work has had on his personal journey and perspectives on living authentically.

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Heather Thorkleson

ACL 050: Heather Thorkelson

Heather Thorkelson calls herself an Architect of Freedom, working with others to carve their own path, conquer “comparisonitis,” and create successful, meaningful businesses that support their lives.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Heather shares stories about:

  • developing resilience from living abroad at an early age,
  • the danger of comparing ourselves to others, and strategies for addressing that,
  • tapping into our personal “genius work” that gives us energy and meaning,
  • the critical distinction between self esteem and self worth,
  • finding courage to change situations that are not congruent with our values,
  • acknowledging that years in a corporate job had dulled her senses, and being patient to rediscover a sense of aliveness,
  • constructing a business to support her life, rather than the other way around, and
  • walking her talk by being willing to pause her business to pursue an adventure in Antarctica.

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Emilie Cortes

ACL 049: Emilie Cortes

Emilie Cortes discovered that outdoor physical challenge provided an unexpected boost in her own self-confidence, and a balance to the stress of her high-powered career in the Bay Area. She ended up leaving her finance job to empower other women by leading them on outdoor adventure trips.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Emilie shares stories about:

  • being very successful in her career, “but not feeding my soul,”
  • the unexpected lesson she learned from hiking Half Dome: “nothing at the office is going to seem scary any more.”
  • how a physical injury created an extended opportunity for reevaluation of her life,
  • the value of a coach in developing clarity, and in catalyzing change,
  • the challenge – and benefit – of being willing to ask for help,
  • the restorative impact of being disconnected and immersing oneself in the natural world,
  • surprising herself with the power of visualization, even at a subconscious level, and
  • sharing the wisdom she’s learned about breaking down boundaries and not holding ourselves back.

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Emilie is offering a 10% discount on Call of the Wild’s Everest Base Camp trip for listeners that sign up before August 1; just mention A Congruent Life in the comments field when registering. And follow Call of the Wild on Facebook to learn about free local outings in Central Oregon.

Transcript

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Danea Horn

ACL 048: Danea Horn

Danea Horn has had significant health challenges since birth, and has let illness become her teacher in profound ways. She wrote a book called Chronic Resilience to support others in being more self-compassionate during the stress of illness, and in a stunning act of love, recently received a kidney transplant from her husband on their 11th wedding anniversary.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Danea shares profound insights from her life journey, including:

  • learning at an early age that her chronic illness was not a burden,
  • changing her expectations about what her family would look like,
  • learning to be willing to truly grieve the things that she needed to let go of,
  • her direct experience with the power – and limitations – of positive thinking,
  • embarking on a book project to share her journey and the stories of other inspiring women,
  • receiving news of her kidney failure on the day of her book release,
  • the amazing gift she received from her husband, and her reflections on that experience, and
  • ultimately being compassionate about our own humanity.

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John Bardos

ACL 047: John Bardos

John Bardos and his wife sold or gave away all their possessions in order to live a nomadic travelling lifestyle focused on contribution and connection.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, John shares about:

  • gradually questioning common lifestyle beliefs in his own life,
  • how a “short trip” to Japan ended up lasting 13 years,
  • creating a clear intention with his wife, and setting a one-year plan to accomplish it,
  • his strong focus on contribution and connection in his travels,
  • the perspective he has gained on abundance, lack, and simplification,
  • the self-imposed stress that we create by worrying about money,
  • how awareness of the balance between giving and taking has made him more conscious of his environmental footprint,
  • discovering ways to be of service even without particular expertise in a given area, and
  • reducing suffering by being present in the moment.

Links from the Show

John recently shared a guest post on A Congruent Life: A Story of Human Trafficking. Learn more about The Human, Earth Project on documentary filmmaker Ben Randall’s website.

Transcript

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Lydia Smith

ACL 046: Lydia Smith

Lydia Smith walked the Camino de Santiago at a pivotal time in her life, and felt called to create a documentary film called Walking the Camino in order to inspire people to follow their own path of discovery and transformation.

In this episode of A Congruent Life, Lydia shares about:

  • deciding to walk the Camino de Santiago during a crossroads in her life,
  • her insight that everyone has their own pilgrimage to take, and that the “real Camino” starts at home,
  • taking a leap outside her comfort zone to direct her first feature-length film,
  • inspiration from the people that she chose to feature in the documentary,
  • persistence to stick with the multi-year film project, from filming to production to now promoting and sharing it,
  • dealing with the illusion that aligned work will be easy,
  • the importance of self-care,
  • letting go of judgement, and realizing that she was capable of so much more than she thought.

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