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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Fields’


Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Imagine three plus days at a summer camp for adults. Image a summer camp for creative souls, entrepreneurs, and change-makers. Imagine a weekend of connecting, listening, learning, playing, creating, laughing, crying, painting, meditating, hugging, experiencing, and living with the fullness of our being. Imagine showing up as is – raw, vulnerable, happy, sad, worried, emotional, curious, anxious, hopeful, and playful. Imagine a weekend of community building, deep learning, reflective meditation, mindful conversations, and new friendships. Imagine a weekend of homecoming, soulful humanness, and joyful play. Imagine a weekend of being with allies of love, connection, and community. Imagine all of this – that’s Camp Good Life Project (CampGLP).

Imagine a weekend where conversations can be about loss and longing, place and space, love and liberation. Imagine a weekend where our day can start with meditation and end with a collaborative puzzle. Imagine art as a way to connection. Imagine art as a form of contribution and celebration. Imagine uplifting murals of hope. Imagine learning about how art can heal. Imagine a community mural with 400+ campers. Imagine getting a piece of that mural to take home. Imagine the other half of the mural going to an art project with refugees.

Imagine noticing what gives us purpose. Imagine noticing the hard things in our life right now. Imagine noticing what keeps coming back and letting it be. Imagine noticing the struggles and what makes it worth it. Imagine noticing what we can do to serve. Imagine possibility. Imagine creating possibility for others. Imagine showing up. Imagine shedding what no longer serves us. Imagine being in the home of our heart.

Imagine a conversation on race and liberation. Imagine knowing our whole and complete truth. Imagine giving up something in order to belong. Imagine belonging. Imagine settling down into being uncomfortable. Imagine beginning with our own liberation. Imagine reconnecting with our humanity. Imagine being curious about what we have lost. Imagine reclaiming our wholeness. Imagine not being defined by place. Imagine touching into the suffering of our own being. Imagine the desire to know ourselves. Imagine taking care of ourselves.

Imagine listening. Imagine where conversations can lead. Imagine being seen. Imagine celebrating. Imagine mourning. Imagine releasing. Imagine inviting. Imagine welcoming. Imagine welcoming ourselves home.

Imagine asking, “What If?” Imagine living with openness.

Imagine celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with 400+ people from around the world at a summer camp for adults. Imagine CampGLP.


Much love and gratitude to Jonathan and Stephanie Fields, the Camp GLP team, crew, and volunteers for letting us live all of this and more.

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From One Ember – Fire

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

nofire2016It’s a Thursday night in the Catskills. Almost 400 people have traveled from around the world for a summer camp for adults, known as Camp Good Life Project (Camp GLP). The evening gathering includes an all camp bonfire, full of s’mores and singing. While most of the campers are in a team-building activity, I am in my room sorting stuff, calling home, and getting my instruments ready. I bring my djembe from home in the hopes of playing at the sing-a-long.

I walk to the area where the campfire will be as it is right near my room. A small group of folks have gathered and are trying to keep the fire lit. It had rained earlier in the day and the ground is wet. Most of the flames are now just smoke. The camp staff who lit the fire have left along with all the supplies.

The small group scrambles to get the fire lit before the massive group of campers come to gather. I bend down and hold out my hands to hold space. Campfire and all, it is still a fire. It’s sacred. The bonfire is the big kickoff for the weekend. With hands open, I send my blessings to the fire. I look to my left and a woman is bent down blowing into the open space. She starts moving sticks and creating an opening for the fire to catch. Other folks are frantically looking for a lighter, matches, anything to help keep the small flame going. There is a sense of nervousness that the fire will go out. Some suggest we use lighter fluid. A few of us look up and ask that we wait to see if we can get it going by using nature, our intention, and the wood in front of us.

Smoke – more smoke. The fire is slowly going down and what seems to be a small ember is left. Again, the offer to get lighter fluid is suggested. I look now to see my new friend Pam circling around the fire and we both agree that we ought to wait and see if we can get it going ourselves. We realize we have some paper from the s’mores to use that to help get the fire going. I start a small low chant to bless the fire and I realize more people are circling around us.

Ember – one ember. Just as it seems the fire will be out altogether, there is one spark of light. Someone calls out in the dark that there is one ember still going. A few folks blow on the ember and we open the logs a little to give it more air. The ember takes and more glow begins to light up our campfire.

Fire – we have fire. The fire grows up and out and we begin to clap and hug and laugh. Most of the campers hadn’t realized the effort to get the fire going. All the fire starters gather closer to the flame knowing it was just smoke with one small ember.

Love – we are love. It took many hands. It took patience. It took our great will to not give into the easy solution (luckily, there was no lighter fluid nearby) and to just BE with the fire. It took time for everyone gathered to realize this was more than a camp fire – this was a sacred fire. And oh, how the fire danced for us.

The lessons of the fire are always right in front of us. Just when you think everything is at its most darkest, there is always an ember of light. The fire waits for us. Our breath holds great power. Lean on one another and bear witness. From nothing is everything. From one ember – fire.

Dedicated to Pamela Slim who shared in the sacred fire ceremony. Fuego.


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Am I Brave Enough to Be Me?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

I am sitting on a cabin step in upstate New York with a woman from Vermont who I met less than 48 hours ago. We are both participants in the Camp Good Life Project (Camp GLP). It’s my third year at this summer camp for creative souls, entrepreneurs, and change-makers. It’s a weekend of wisdom, deep learning, creating, playing (color wars + dance parties), meditation, yoga classes, and an outrageous talent show. More than that, it’s a weekend of deep connections, soulful humanness, and joyful play.

As we sit eating our veggie pizza, we laugh about our experiences from the weekend. We talk about how we have witnessed being vulnerable, feeling safe, being connected to our core values, playing our hearts out, and experiencing deep love without judgment. When asked what her biggest lesson of the weekend has been, she looks me in the eye and says she is leaving with the question, “Am I brave enough to be me?” I exhale. My eyes fill with tears. Her eyes fill with tears. We just sit together and listen to the question without rushing to any outcome or answer.

BeBraveThe question of being brave enough to be me has been part of my meditation since leaving camp. Am I brave enough to be me? For three days at camp, the answer was a resounding yes. I felt brave enough to hug friends and strangers, to (belly) laugh, to cry with people I met for the first time, to dance and sing, to drum publicly at a bonfire, to make my own mala (prayer beads), to nap under a tree, to take long quiet walks, to watch birds and share the joy of it with campers, to listen and bear witness to stories about longing or grief or dreams, and to share my deep passions and fears.

The world has too much fear spreading and camp is a reminder that something else works – bravery. The kind of bravery that asks people to be themselves, to show up fully, and to tune into their heart and live from that place.

It takes great bravery to:

What all of these (and the many more) moments of bravery exemplified is the ability to fully show up – as is – just the way we are. It was the experience of being able to laugh and cry in the exact same breath. We can be brave and doing it afraid in the exact same moment. And we can do it together. This is what it means to connect deeply, live soulfully, and play joyfully.

Am I brave enough to be me? I take another exhale. I share with my new friend, “I needed a detox from snarkiness and cynicism.” It’s easy to be a critic; the real work is showing up and doing it afraid. Brave enough to me means fully living my values of generosity, connection, vulnerability, creativity, and spirituality.

And you? What comes up when you hear the question: Am I brave enough to be me?

This is dedicated to Jonathan and Stephanie Fields, the Camp GLP team and volunteers, all the campers and everyone living bravely.

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Raise the Volume of Love

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

“Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.” ~Jonathan Fields

What happens when you bring 250 people from all around the world together to immerse in inspired learning, to connect on deep levels, and to play like a kid? Magic. Pure magic.

I signed up for the Camp Good Life Project as soon as the invitation came to my inbox and couldn’t wait to experiences of 3+ days of learning bliss with writer, entrepreneur, and venture builder,  Jonathan Fields.

Before the Camp Good Life Project this past weekend (known as Camp GLP), I had some life changing experiences. In June, a good friend found out she had a brain tumor. In July, my mother-in-law passed away. And by August, I was running a NYC mentoring program solo. Plus, a foot injury, fatigue, and dizziness slowed down my exercise.

By the time I was ready to leave for Camp GLP in September, I felt worn down, exhausted, and still full of so much grief. I decided that since the camp was only a 90-minute ride from my house, I would still go. So I threw clothes in a bag and packed my journal, flashlight, and my drum in the hopes that a few days away would rejuvenate me.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with big smiles, bubbles, and a warm welcome. I thought, “I can do this. I have no idea what I am doing, but I can do this.” Later I was greeted with big hugs from Stephanie and Jonathan Fields.

welcome_campersThe weekend was a chance to reconnect with my love of service, creating community/tribes, and leading heart-centered work in the world. And for 3+ days, I had the chance to immerse myself in ways that would engage my mind and heart like I never did before. There were workshops on time bending, tea-blending, hand-lettering, mindfulness, podcasting, book-binding, visual branding, crowdfunding and so much more. And if that wasn’t enough, there was so much time to PLAY! The camp included a bonfire (with s’mores!), color wars, swimming, rock climbing, wearable art, and a talent show.

By the end of the weekend, I realized it wasn’t really a matter of “doing” anything. I just needed to show up – as is. And whether singing at a bonfire or writing in my journal or crying by the lake, it was perfect. I realized it wasn’t about not knowing what I am doing, but rather it was about being all of me.

Camp GLP was a powerful experience – not just because it gathered beautiful world-shakers and makers together. But Camp GLP was powerful because there was reminder throughout the whole weekend to ask and listen for the power of living a Good Life.

The weekend was a deep experience of what can happen when we gather with intention, inspiration, service, and practices of the heart. It really is life-changing.

As I sat writing and coloring in my visual journal in the Capture the Wow class (with the awesome Cynthia Morris) and the Hand-Lettering class, I kept drawing and writing the words, “Raise the volume of Love.”

As soon as I wrote the words, I relaxed into my beingness realizing I had all I needed for my life, my business, my work and my connection to nature and Spirit. I am (still) learning to integrate my heart-centered work with all the emotions of the heart. And my Good Life Project is becoming more clear – to raise the volume of love.

Camp GLP was more than a weekend or an event. It’s what one of my friends would call “a happening.” It felt like a movement – a stirring towards alignment meeting action.

So, when people asked me what I learned at Summer Camp GLP, I smile, and say:

Raise the Volume of Love!

Big shout out to Jonathan Fields, Stephanie Fields, the Crew, KC, Cynthia Morris, the volunteers, and all the campers at CampGLP! Thank you for raising the volume of love.

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Failure That Matters

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The author and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields recently posted a blog, Why Failure Must Be on the Table, which describes the experiences of failures as gateways to opportunities. He writes, “Entrepreneurship–or any process that seeks to evolve the status quo–requires you to regularly test commonly held limits and beliefs. The natural outcome of this is that sometimes you’re right, other times you’re wrong. Either way, you never know until you get out of your head and take action in the world.

The potential not just for failure, but failure that matters, failure you feel, must be on the table. If it’s not, then what you’re setting out to do is either so safe or so devoid of the potential for impact that success might allow you to check a box on a piece of paper, but beyond that, nobody’ll care. Including you.”

We must know that what we are embarking on has the capacity to fail and yet give us as entrepreneur’s incredible lessons to grow and stretch. It’s the learning process and taking the leap that distinguishes the success stories to the stories that never get told. At times, it may feel like ‘a leap of faith’ but it brings us closer to the edges of our dreams. We push ourselves and do it afraid, because not doing it is more painful – and we fail ourselves.

Fields adds in his blog, “So, yes, living, acting and deciding to move forward in the face of potential failure isn’t easy. Especially when it requires you to go all in. And especially later in your lifecycle when you’ve got more on the line. To risk success in art, in business, in love, in life is, indeed, a bit terrifying.

But really, what’s the alternative?”

What is the alternative? Take the risk – and be willing to leap into failure that matters.

Mary Anne

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