Rafe Kelley is the founder of Evolve Move Play and one of the top Parkour coaches in the world. He has been a movement teacher for 10 years, having practiced various martial arts since he was a small child, gymnastics starting at 15, and Parkour starting at 23. In addition, he was lucky enough to grow up on the end of dirt road surrounded by woods and spent his childhood climbing trees, hiking up stream beds, swimming, and throwing rocks and sticks. In this Exist Anew podcast, Rafe shares his valuable insights into the importance of incorporating Parkour, play and roughhousing into our lives. Please check out EvolveMovePlay.com and like Rafe Kelley on Facebook. Continue Reading
I’m an often frustrated consumer. Much of what I see is over-priced, low value, abundantly packaged junk produced for fictitious needs. On top of that, most of it is shipped from some ridiculously distant location from a company or corporation that has little regard for the well being of anything other than myopic profitable interests. I can’t help but increasingly toil over my buying decisions. In good conscience, as well as in practical form of protest. Even armed with this perspective, it’s not often I feel too great about what I’ve purchased. But I have to say, what I just bought makes me feel pretty good.
What is it you ask? Continue Reading
Join us as we discuss the confusion and frustration that arises when searching for knowledge amongst so many sources of information. Is this frustration and confusion the result of becoming alienated from our tribal pasts and ancient wisdom? Continue Reading
Terry Jaymes has over 20 years experience in radio, television and stand-up comedy. He is currently the co-founder and co-host of The Lex and Terry Radio Network. He also hosts the Terry Jaymes Alive Podcast where Terry is being called “The Anthony Bourdain of the motivational world.” In it he shares personal stories of success and failure with his ever growing list of amazing guests. He also tours across the country with his unique brand of inspirational speaking. Continue Reading
Have you ever experienced that moment when you were “on”, “in the zone” and just “feeling it”? Whatever it was, ping pong, chess, running, jiu jitsu, writing, you felt smooth, connected and most likely profoundly calm and satisfied. It’s a pretty amazing feeling, and it’s lost when you try to control it, worry about making it last, and become too caught up in the outcome of the action rather than the process. What if these same rules applied to happiness in our everyday lives? Continue Reading
What’s it like to climb Mount Washington in the winter under extreme weather conditions? Are we missing those exceptional experiences in life that tear through our complacencies? Is there anything to leaving a “legacy?” On this podcast we discuss these topics and more…
Also, check out some highlights from this year’s podcasts below. We have had some remarkable guests! Continue Reading
Sometimes it’s fun just to be an observer; to pick a really busy place, somewhere you would normally run from, take a seat and watch. You might find yourself noticing something fascinating you otherwise would not have noticed. Maybe something surprisingly beautiful or curious. In many cases, you may find yourself annoyed, thinking the world, and people, are plain nuts. If the world contained just a fraction of your logic, maybe everything would be much better? While you may be 100% correct, the temptation can be to elevate yourself above those who you observe. To see yourself beyond the shenanigans and futile endeavors of the “masses.” Continue Reading
For this Exist Anew podcast we had the honor of speaking with teacher, best-selling author and violence expert Rory Miller. Rory shares powerful insights into violence and life while fielding our typical “big” questions. He offers some intriguing responses that you want to hear.
Please check out his website Chiron Training here. As well as his books, including the highly acclaimed work, Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence.
In this Exist Anew Podcast we are joined by former professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter, BJJ black belt, coach and owner of The Academy in Portland, Maine: Jay Jack. Jay shares his unique and brutally honest insights into philosophy, religion, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and life.
Exist Anew Jay Jack Podcast Audio:
When seeking to live a better life, eventually you must combine your capacity for individual choice with an understanding of the obstacles of your environment. In this podcast interview, University of Southern Maine Professor of Criminology, Dusan Bjelic, discusses how we live in an environment where an inverse relationship between wealth, power and criminal punishment exists and how prevailing ideologies are an attack on human freedom, evolution and nature. Based upon his account of the current status of the world, Professor Bjelic speaks to the prospect of hope and his answer is both provocative and grim. If you disagree, we want to know why.
Written by Aaron Bilodeau
Holy shit I have to get away from this. The proverbial “this.” Insert whatever nonsense you can relate to yourself.
It’s fall. It’s beautiful. I have to get away.
So I drove, and my drive led me to the White Mountains; a familiar and scenic ride I have made alone many times before. When I need to get away it’s like the car just drives itself there.
I get there and the view is surreal. This season always seems to evoke an intellectual harvest, an internal ripening, not limited to the apples, pumpkins and other vibrant yields we know autumn for.
But then I realized I never actually made it there. I mean, I was there, physically, hiking a mountain, but I was being dragged away. Dragged away by a mind that thought it better to look for opportunities for pictures, ideas for posts and other “captures” of the experience. The worry of not letting the experience get away, of needing to translate it into a neatly packaged information byte that our social media minds attempt to conform every experience within, weighed heavily.
I still haven’t actually gotten away.
Would the hike be as important if I didn’t take pictures of it and declare my experience to others?
Would I be taking full opportunity of my ability to self brand if I didn’t demonstrate to others where I was and what I had done?
“Get a load of me! You need to know that I am on a mountain! You need to know that I am living a vibrant life full of magical experiences!”
Humans have always needed to escape. Walkabouts and journeys, to the mountains in particular, are well represented in literature throughout time. They are driven by the deep human intuition that problems cannot be solved completely entrenched within the problem itself. The pilgrimage, the trek into the mountains, both literal and metaphorical, to seek spaciousness and perspective, is a vital facilitator of human freedom—and it’s not happening anymore.
This is what I was realizing.
With each step my mind pecked away at my “transcendent” experience by reminding me of my time limitations. Henry David Thoreau stayed in the woods for over two years and here I am fretting over an afternoon.
It’s a sorry excuse for “getting away” when you have to work the next morning.
It dawned on me that not only do most of us lack the time and means to truly walk away; we also take the relatively brief moments of refuge from life we experience and turn them into social media commodities. We hack away at our experiences until a neatly packaged sales flier in promotion of ourselves can be expressed to the world (or however many friends or followers you have.)
This post is not about critiquing social media. It’s about our acceptance of lost freedoms. Most choose to accept or ignore our more overt losses of freedom: unequal distribution of wealth and resources, declining rights, manipulation and destruction of our food, water and air. More so, we have lost the freedom that comes from temporary escape and spaciousness– when every nook and cranny of our experience and thoughts might be used to improve our standing in the social tribe.
When we are gone-we are never truly gone. And our loss of ability to get away may be in direct correlation to our willingness to accept less freedoms. When we can’t create distance, both physically and mentally, we lose the capacity to see the absurdity of our current situation.
You will often read or hear of people who have “walked away” and their experience affords them the ability to see the prison most of us live in. They warn us that if you never leave it, the bars will start to fade and eventually you won’t see them anymore.
One day you may not consider it a prison at all.
Written by Beau DeCourcy
Have you ever met such extreme emotion spurred on by nothing more than a memory that it weakened you to the point you felt you could barely breathe? Did the intense emotion frighten you? Did you open up to feel this moment completely, or did you attempt to escape it? And if you did try to escape the feeling, why?
You have to be open to feel true emotion; to recognize willingly the totality of your short and fragile existence. You must also be strong to understand there is a deficit in your life when you desensitize your emotions defending your identity. Many of us try our best not to experience these feelings completely when they occur, and there seems to be a popular attempt to avoid these powerful emotions because they may get in the way of our plans for success.
Making cents out of life
It’s nearly impossible today to have a profitable career and be able to spend the majority of your time with friends and family. Because of the prevailing definition of success, we become hopelessly distracted, and increasingly emotionally numb in attaining it.
As a consequence of the Neolithic context we have created, there’s a growing disconnection from our understanding of mortality and thus what is important in our lives. Increasingly, we are taking for granted that we will live well into our 80′s, and there will always be tomorrow to reconcile our deprived relationships. For many of us, unfortunately, that day of reconciliation may never come.
Why is it, for most of us, it now takes a tragic awakening spurred by a bout with cancer or death to temporarily re-establish deep, familial connections?
The dreadful news grips our thoughts and begins to erode our veil of immortality, exposing the future for the mirage that it is. Suddenly, distance from home is no longer an accomplishment; rather it becomes an obstacle of emotional agony. Forcing us to question: maybe we were never meant to be so distant? Maybe our prolific communication technology is not as fulfilling as we believed it to be?
Loneliness: the new American debt crisis
More and more of us today, feel, probably correctly, happiness is difficult to obtain without the need for financial stability, so we work like hell to avoid even the faintest experience of poverty and scarcity. Somewhere along the line, paradoxically, we have turned our need for financial “stability” into the reason we cannot become happy. But we know no adult ever fondly looks back at their childhood and says: “I remember that year when my dad hit six figures!” More likely they’ll remember when he spent his last ninety dollars that week on an old, beat-up, Styrofoam sailboat, and finished the evening learning to sail with you on a small, remote pond.
Will we ever learn when enough is enough? When financial comfort has been established so that we can leave our competitive charades behind us and allocate the majority of our short and remaining existence to experience the love of our family and friends? Can we eventually ascertain that more expensive things are meaningless, especially if they are not able to be shared with those we care about? Or, has “enough” just simply lost its meaning amongst the noise of the rat race?
Numbing ourselves down
Are we trading in and suppressing our true feelings to make it easier to be “successful” in life? To venture into the world and away from those we love? And do we falsely believe Skype, phone calls and texts can maintain wholesome connections?
We cast ourselves out into the vast expanse of the earth searching to legitimize our existence with accomplishments, and in doing so we replace our family members with acquaintances, bowling leagues and book clubs, as if to share in our hidden loneliness and inadequate connection to our Neolithic tribe. But even when we do make it home on occasion, why doesn’t it feel wholesome? Maybe trying to compress a year’s worth of feelings into a week holiday with our family once a year is overwhelming!? And we wonder why our meticulously, portioned experience with loved ones is confusingly frustrating and painful.
Choosing love over luxury
Learn to care less, much less, about mainstream notions of success. That’s my advice.
For most of us, achieving an “admirable” level of monetary value and social capital requires us to become, at least partially numb to our primal familial needs. If we allow ourselves to become numb, we may attend a university thousands of miles away for status alone. We may take a job that pays 10k more per year despite it being three thousand miles away from the nearest loved one.
Life is simply better when time is more abundant than money. Don’t believe me? Ask your mother if she would rather have you buy her a car with big-city money, or simply be near enough to make a trip home every Sunday evening to visit with her.
The next time you find yourself attempting to suppress a physically weakening, powerful emotion, feel it completely instead, and understand it may be trying to tell you something; that you’re living out of context with your primal needs. You will have the choice to brush it off and regain your numbness, or you can give in to it and let it guide you to change. There is always that choice. It’s not an easy choice to make today, but be warned, it may cause you to act in opposition to your bank account.
Written by Aaron Bilodeau
How do we create freedom? This is not rhetorical. Seriously, ask yourself. Hell, creating freedom is in the tagline of this website, so I should know the answer, right? Actually, to be honest, I’m just as confused as you.
Surely we have to start with even defining freedom. And then, isn’t freedom vastly different for everyone? In fact, doesn’t one person’s concept of freedom potentially enslave someone else?
Like any good philosophical question, this inspires some ambiguity…
The dilemma of work. It’s become a prevalent topic here at Exist Anew and something we all seem to struggle with on a complex variety of levels. Can we be truly free if we must work countless hours to “succeed?” And have we been conned into thinking that “hard work” is in our best interest and connected to our meaning, purpose and value as a human? Can there be a fair system of work to support so many people?
We were honored to have University of Southern Maine Professor of Philosophy and author, Jason Read, join us for a podcast conversation to shed light on these topics and more. Professor Read engaged us with some powerful thoughts regarding work from a historical, societal and individual perspective while discussing the importance of Philosophy within this issue and at large. We have had the honor of speaking with some truly insightful and provocative guests as part of the Exist Anew podcast series and this conversation with Professor Read was no exception. We want to thank Professor Read and encourage you to check out his blog www.unemployednegativity.com and for more information regarding his professorship, go here.
By Beau DeCourcy
Doesn’t it seem we are missing a deeper connection to each other? It appears the “easier” our lives become, the harder it is to trust, love and support one another. As we close the gap on eliminating our basic struggles (food, water, shelter) through technology and government welfare, do we distance ourselves farther from each other? Continue Reading
This podcast discussion was inspired by a question we received from Frank, one of our readers. Frank asked us an interesting, complex and difficult question. To summarize: isn’t their much to be gained from the advent of agriculture and thus it’s precipitating technologies? And if so, is our existence improved through these struggle-reducing technologies allowing for increased leisure time and creative exploration?
The answer, on the surface at least, seems apparent; without a doubt, yes! But as you delve deeper into the topic, you may question your neolithic pre-conceptions as we do. Are we, in fact happier, healthier and more enlightened beings in our post-modern state? Or is a hunter-gatherer existence also capable of great (natural) technology, creativity and happiness?
Please join us in this discussion by listening and sharing your response in the comments below or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is a result of recent discussions with a number of people who practice the Paleo Diet. For the record, these discussions were polite and the dialogue centered on pursuit of evidence and application of logical actions in the diet. Grains were a primary focus of these discussions and I pointed out that wild and heirloom versions are not the destroyers of health as some authors have asserted (you can read the article here). Most pertinent is that real-world observations of wild and traditional people demonstrated certain grains were part of healthy diets, diets that produced vital people and (more importantly) well-formed children. Modern grains, such as wheat, are a different matter—I concur with restricting or eliminating some of these foods. As I noted in the previous article, restricting all grains is an over-simplified message. I would politely argue the real message should be: eat less grain (i.e., diversify your diet), choose wild and heirloom types, and select gluten-free kinds. Continue Reading
Written by Beau DeCourcy
Over the past few weeks I have been experiencing what some would call writer’s block or the resistance. No matter how long I sat trying to get ideas down on “paper” nothing would bare any substance. I know this is a problem when this happens. It’s usually a symptom that I’ve become hopelessly distracted again. But most frightening of all it means I’ve stopped evolving as a being. It is as though I had been plagued and infected with the sickness of distraction.
Maybe that last sentence was a little too deep for some to take serious, but please bare with me for a few moments. All I ask is you avoid Facebook notifications and texts, while I explain just how nefarious these distractions can be.
Simply put, when you live a distracted existence, you do yourself and the world a disservice. Allow me to explain… Continue Reading