storytelling

Q&A, values dissect, recap, rants, storytelling

Values Dissect with John Brennan, Photographer

In the thick of it, I knew that this is why I’m here. I mean not necessarily for nude photography. But an extension or application of something to pull me out of my body and my mind. In the light and dark of my subconscious, I wanted to explore the realm of radical self expression, self love, vulnerability, awareness, and connection with mind-body-spirit. I wanted to be free and unchained from all of the “should’s” and "shouldn't" dialogue from my past. Ironically, in stark contrast, within reality, John has me chained and tied in handcuffs with my hands above my head in blissful surrender. I’m exposed but not broken.

John shows us the pictures. I noticed my body at first and found it to not to be the main focus. It was within the faces. In Johns photography, he captures humanity. What it means to be raw and completely human and at peace.

This is Day 2 of Burning Man. This is just the beginning. I’m grateful for this experience that catapulted my understanding of self love to make room for more enriching tales to follow...

As we were dressing back up, John pulls me aside. He invites me to visit him back in Santa Clara for more individual photo-shoot sessions. I’m flattered but mostly perplexed. I had to ask, “Why? Why me?” He says something to the extent of “unconventional beauty” and how his mission is to spend the rest of his life capturing what that is for people to witness.

So a week later after Burning Man, I find myself with a strong impulse to drive to Santa Clara and connect with John. He’s a wise character. And I am tenacious and relentlessly curious.

Go with the flow, explore, and find yourself along the way.

He was on board with the Q&A interview. Here is John Brennan, the man who makes people see something in themselves they never saw before. This is the man who Goes with the Flow.

Here is his life story arranged from a lovely conversation as we pick his 5 values up together. 

Q&A, purpose, values dissect, storytelling

Values Dissect with Elizabeth Markle, Founder of Open Source Wellness

According to Elizabeth Markle, Psychologist, the experiences of isolation and disconnection are some of the top drivers of mental illness. Below is a Q&A where we discuss the values and resources of connection, abundance, and purpose, and how they apply to health and wellbeing.

The current health care delivery system is fundamentally lacking in its ability to deliver on the personal and collective behaviors that underlie health and well-being. Doctors and mental health professionals make “behavioral prescriptions” on a daily basis: Get more exercise! Eat healthier food! Reduce your stress! But there’s no pharmacy where patients can ‘fill’ these prescriptions.

Imagine if your doctor could prescribe you a membership to a community that facilitated health and wellness behaviors (healthy food, physical exercise, stress reduction, and social support) while also cultivating the enduring foundations of human flourishing like belongingness and opportunity to contribute to others? What if there was that behavioral pharmacy where we could actually get the lifestyle medicine that we need?

There is! It’s called Open Source Wellness, the future of healthcare and it is Powered by Connection.

storytelling

WHY BE RELENTLESS?

I am relentless about what I want to achieve. I am far more yielding, flexible, and relenting on how I achieve things. The concept of "relentlessness" can help or hinder any objective, depending on how you apply it. Define your objective (your why), and you will find there are often several paths to achieving that objective. 

So, what are you chasing? What's important to you right now? What are you working on, and why? 

Big questions right there. Ones most people don't stop to consider often, but ones that weigh heavily on your mind when it seems your whole existence is at risk. That's where I found myself on June 8, 2008. 

I had woken up in the ICU of South Nassau hospital, a few towns over from where I grew up. I was 17 years old and annoyed. There were so many things going on in the world and here I was, stuck, lying in a bed in the middle of the afternoon! Unfortunately, my body had just been slammed around between a windshield and rough pavement, so I had no choice but to just lay there and think.   

Everything hurt.  

feelings, storytelling, rants

A BOLD REFLECTION ON DESIRE

So in relentless “growth lies in the discomfort zone” fashion, my intention is to now dive deep into the bottomless pit of my soul and tackle that latent sleeping monster inside and push out my desires from within.

I want to plunge into this wreck, derive power from acknowledging the past damage that was done, and come back to shore finding the secret treasures that prevail. I want to hear what I want and pursue it; and I want to do so while giving zero fucks for what other people think.

By leaning into my desires, I hope to liberate my power, joy, self expression, and connection towards myself and others.