Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom helps people realize their unique importance. Using my knowledge of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, my experience with therapy, coaching, somatic healing, and personal growth I create products to help you discover, develop, and express the elements of your identity critical to your health and your contribution to our world. My goal is to research, develop, and disseminate these materials so that every individual can reconnect with their uniqueness, realize their passion and purpose, and live the life they were born to live.
My stories and experiences about relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, etc.
If you are interested in therapy and coaching. Either for yourself, someone you love, or just because you think it’s cool. Gretchen Winterkorn is a wonderful person for you to meet, and you can check out her short video below.
I am very lucky to see some cool people doing these KEW interviews, and I really enjoyed listening TO and talking WITH Gretchen.
Relevant to the Are vs Should Problem, Gretchen and her family just simplified their lives in a huge way, moving from NYC to a flower farm in upstate NY. Pretty major life shift. Pretty awesome opportunity for simplifying things. For focusing less on the SHOULD and more on the ARE, huh?
And Gretchen is super at sharing her thoughts about this move, and the more general AvS issues in our lives.
You can tell she works with people. She is a natural. I hope you feel the same connection to her listening or watching her talk. It just feels good, and the information is helpful to boot!
Though the material Gretchen shares with us is relevant and helpful to our individual personal growth journeys, it is her relatability (is that a word?) that is going to win you over.
You can find out more about Gretchen, her family, her work, and her flower farm at www.birdess.com
Depending on how you define ‘uncomfortable’, 100-200 million people worldwide can’t meet their basic needs. Folks are born into societies and cultures where they are doomed to fail. Millions of people on this planet will live their entire lives worried about dying, finding food, or having a safe place to sleep. These are enormously huge problems that I truly don’t understand. Nor do I understand how complicated the solutions are.
But I do believe one thing: if we wanted to solve these problems, we could. We could at least make them better. And I truly believe that the solutions begin within each one of us.
To solve these problems we need to fix ourselves first. We each need to put on the proverbial oxygen mask so that we can take care of ourselves so that we can take care of each other. And right now there’s a lot missing from that equation.
First, many of us don’t care about ourselves. Some of us are so sad, stressed, malnourished, hungry, or whatever to take the luxury time necessary to change our beliefs, habits, and behaviors. And I’m not judging, that’s understandable.
Second, many of us who DO have the luxury of pondering our existence just don’t think it’s important to do so. Many of us are too wrapped up in our jobs, iPhones, addictions, or whatever.
And last, most of us wouldn’t know what to do if we DID figure out how to change ourselves because the rest of the world is out there running on autopilot. Once we figure things out, we need to share it with our community – and many of those communities just don’t exist any more.
What I’m trying to say is that I truly believe the Are vs Should Problem is the CAUSE OF and SOLUTION TO, all of our problems. That might be a stretch but let’s just go with the idea that this concept might help us solve some of our problems.
See, I think if we can figure out how to reduce our time spend doing things we feel like we SHOULD be doing then we would have more time to ponder who we really ARE. And if I think we can make that shift in how we spend our time, we will find out that we actually crave connections to our brothers and sisters. I think we actually are inspired to do good. I think we do actually want to share resources instead of horde them. I think we do actually want to take care of our planet. I think we do want to spend our lives finding solutions to issues like world hunger instead of becoming investment bankers and stockpiling financial wealth.
But I’m a naive naval gazer. Or I used to be. And now I want to be again.
I want all those things to be true so I’m believing all those things to be true.
And if you follow the assumptions I’ve made thus far:
DNA is the precursor to human magic and MUST be fully expressed.
Expressing our individual uniqueness is our human purpose.
Reducing the things we feel like we SHOULD do frees up time and space for us to do the last thing.
By becoming the people we are destined to be we will realize, as a species, the way things used to be.
Peace and happiness result from more ARE and less SHOULD.
The CHALLENGES we face as humans can be solved.
Then maybe you’re interested in learning more? That’s what I’m here for.
Please take the time and let me know how you feel.
Are you an analytical person? Do you think science is a good way of answering questions? Do you also believe there are things science CAN’T answer?
Do you struggle from a mix of pragmatic and spiritual beliefs? Do you consider yourself to be pretty smart?
Do you have a strong distrust for the status quo? Have you ever felt like a non-conformist, whether by choice or just because?
If you answered any of those questions I think you’ll enjoy this episode and KEW in general.
My goal is to share a pathway toward reducing struggle, suffering, dissatisfaction, and restlessness to improve our lives.
Like any good ‘scientist’, I am stating my assumptions and baseline beliefs prior to establishing a set of techniques to bring more peace, calm, and satisfaction to our lives.
This will serve as a partial foundation to future episodes that will focus on things we can do to improve our time on Earth, make sure our voices are heard, influence each other, and start to solve the bigger problems.
Please follow me here on the blog, subscribe to the podcast, and follow the YouTube channel. There’s a lot coming up you won’t want to miss.
I am extremely excited for you to meet Neil Bjorklund in this week’s Are vs Should Interview Series. Unlike most KEW interviews, I knew Neil prior to having him on KEW. But probably not as well as he knows me, as he is my coach.
I have worked with Neil for a little over a year, doing somatic healing work using the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model. Neil has all sorts of other training in healing past trauma, improving one’s life, and personal growth, but we focus primarily on IFS.
I ‘discovered’ Neil through a haphazard path. As a teenager I read a series of books by Carlos Castaneda and a quasi fictional character named Don Juan Matus. This was my introduction to the Toltec lineage of central American people, but I was mostly interested in the psychedelic drugs. Later I realized that other folks were interested in actual Toltec history and wisdom, and I found work by Gary van Warmerdam, who was a student of Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the Four Agreements. I finally arrived at Neil because Gary endorsed Neil on his webpage.
Though I have always been interested in personal growth, I always considered it to exist only in the world of licensed psychologists and therapists. I didn’t think coaches, healers, helpers, aids, assistants or persons acting outside the realm of the ‘American credentials system’ would be helpful. I had a lot of suspicions and worries about being sold snake oil.
Prior to Neil I had experimented with online coaching, receiving instruction from Mandy Napier whom I interviewed early in 2021. The experienced opened my mind to ‘non-traditional’ lines of healing. My interest in Toltec wisdom coupled with the circuitous path toward Neil led me to seek his help. And I’m glad I did.
Neil’s pathway, however, makes mine look fairly linear. But I’ll let him tell you about that. I’m pretty sure Neil has done and experienced all sorts of things I know nothing about. But this interview gives you a pretty good glimpse in to how he lives his life, the kinds of things he thinks about, and what it means to have a high degree of self mastery.
I’ll stop there and let Neil tell his story. I hope you listen, watch, and enjoy.
As we figure out exactly what is happening at KEW, which is mostly coming up with workable strategies to help analytical, empathic, and intelligent folks live calmer and more relaxed lives, it’s necessary to state our assumptions and identifying elements.
In any good scientific endeavor (and this ISN’T science, but I’m trying to take a standardized and similar APPROACH) it’s nice to state your assumptions up front. It tells the reader/listener/viewer/colleague where your head was when you began.
Usually assumptions are peer-reviewed, or at least things you’ve discussed with other people so you know they aren’t ridiculous – and that most people will not have trouble accepting them so they can move forward with the rest of your material.
For example, if you were trying to illustrate that COVID is a conspiracy, and you stated the assumption up front that ‘all liberals are stupid’, that would not be sound. Half your audience would not believe you, and part of the other half would be suspicious. Sure, some folks would be all in, but you get the point.
In this Episode I’ll lay out as much as I can about things I believe to be true and necessary before we move forward to the ‘how-to’ Episodes related to the Are vs Should Problem.
Neil Bjorklund shares his mind with us this week. Neil works with folks using the ‘Internal Family Systems’ model that I talk about a lot. I am personally working with Neil on my own spiritual journey, as many of you may know.
Neil shares a ton of insight ranging from Ecological metaphors about IFS and ‘multiple selves’, to why we think the way we do, to (most importantly) what we can do about it.
You have probably never met anyone quite like Neil and I truly think you will benefit from listening or watching this interview. And it’s really fun to see him riff from topic to topic. It’s a free-form mind fest and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.
You can learn a little more about Neil while you wait for the full Episode (coming this Thursday on KEW).
Below is a brief snippet from our interview where Neil compares Ecosystems to our Selves: