Adam and I met somewhere between Kamloops and Toronto during a long wintery Greyhound bus ride in late 2009. The bus broke down, too many timbits were consumed. Eventually that journey was over.
Adam is a poet, storyteller, and solution-focused coach. He has spent numerous years studying closely with indigenous tribes in North and South America. Currently he resides in Ottawa Canada where he studies Anthropology and Psychology.
Thank you for taking time to share with us, Adam!
If your life had a mission statement, what would it be?
I do : ) And I have been developing the practice of reading it every morning. It's a compass that leads me north and gives me the strength and courage to meet life's challenges.
Here it is:
I am a spirit.
Through writing, teaching, and leading, I inspire and empower a movement of people committed to using their gifts to be of service to this earth, and together we co-create strong and powerful communities that walk in harmony with one another.
Could you please share something beautiful you learned during your time in Peru?
I spent nearly 4 years in Peru working with the indigenous medicine people in the Amazon Jungles. Throughout my time there, I learned so much. I saw people from all walks of life come to be healed by the wise medicine men of the jungle. I saw fourth stage cancer cured before my eyes, lifelong traumas released. I saw what miracles are made of. Do you want to know what that is?
I know It sounds cliche, but it's the truth.
Love heals all things.
That's what I learned. I learned that love is a lot more than a feeling but made up of many different things. One of those things is our focused attention. In order to heal, we have to be present. When I saw these people that came with cancer, I noticed that they came with humble open hearts. They were willing to face their pain and they showed up fully and completely. This requires focus and incredible commitment.
When we show up half way, Mother Earth will meet us the other half. And she will provide us with all the medicines we need in order to grow and heal.
That's what I learned from the jungle.
If you could change one thing in this world right now, what would it be?
If I could change anything it would probably be the mindsets of everybody that saw the world as "US" vs. "THEM" to a mindset of compassion and understanding. I believe that nearly every conflict arises from misunderstanding. I believe that if we can find the strength to develop the capacity see the world from the "others" perspective, much of the conflict that we see in the world today will be alleviated.
Just think: if you were in your persecutor's shoes, lived all their pain, and had all of their life experiences, you would act in the very same way they are acting. In my experience, the reason people inflict harm on one another is because they themselves are hurting inside.
So if we can develop this muscle of understanding, we will give birth to thoughts filled with compassion. And it is only through this type of thinking that we will able to positively shift the globe as a whole.
Albert Einstein said "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Thus, if we want to change the hate we see in the world, we need to develop our reservoir of love. Understanding and compassion we will help us do this.
From where do you get inspiration when you write poetry? What does that process look like?
Silence is where I find inspiration.
For me, poetry is not about writing. It's more about listening. Life has all the answers, I just have to pay attention to what it's telling me.
It is in that still space that magic comes through, the writing is done for me.
All of life begins speaking to me. The tree tells its story, My breath sings a song, every moment shares its sacred tale.
What do you do when you feel stressed and depleted?
Meditate, jumping jacks, dancing in place to "Kool and the Gang."
I like to work in 30-minute chunks and take 5-minute breaks. During that time I tend to do one of those things to keep me energized and focused. It's amazing what 5 minutes of deep breathing will do in combatting stress. A friend of mine wrote an amazing article on the subject if you want to check it out.
What role do animals have to play, do you think?
Animals are part of this earth and can serve to teach us how to live. If we watch them, we can learn a lot. Just look at the deer and see how she teaches us to walk gently on this earth. Or the geese, and see how they train us how to lead. Each one has a lesson to share, we just have to pay attention and notice.
Are you listening to / reading anything really inspiring right now?
I like to listen to a podcast by Tara Brach as well as read the words of Thich Nhat Hanh. Both are mindfulness teachers as well as social activists. I am always inspired by people that are able to meet conflict with courage, love, and compassion.