Yogi Blair Darby: Vortex Yoga Hiking

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Yogi Blair Darby: Vortex Yoga Hiking
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Yogi Blair Darby is not your typical yoga enthusiast. Though well practiced in a variety of yoga methods, both in modern and traditional practices, his success lies in his ability to help others see Sedona, Arizona through a whole new lens.

After spending his entire life in the beach town of Venice, California, Blair, his girlfriend, and son packed up and moved to the beautiful red rock adorned area of Sedona, where his passion for energies and yoga would reach new and unexpected heights. His love for yoga was ignited in the late eighties, when he met “the most amazing yoga teacher” he’d ever known. He was eclectic, passionate, and brought a charismatic multi-modality experience to all of his students. As Yogi Blair puts it, he could take you there.

After the move to Sedona, Yogi thought he would have enough in savings and investments to allow him a year to explore and enjoy the area before returning to work. But with the financial crisis of 2009 looming, he decided he needed to start working much sooner than he anticipated. While he still enjoyed yoga, he wanted to take it to a different place and incorporate new practices and teachings, including hiking, integrating color and sound therapy, and utilizing crystal photonic light therapy’s beneficial healing properties.

Yogi Blair has become a true traveler’s must-do activity in Sedona. Most of his clientele are out-of-towners looking to get more in touch with nature, themselves, and the mysterious energies that Sedona has to offer. He attributes his success to word of mouth, his meticulous attention to detail in his tours, and a great web presence on Yelp and Tripadvisor.

During his interview with Andy, the two take a hike together and practice some yoga and breathing exercises, where Andy expresses feeling and seeing everything with a noticeable new clarity. Yogi Blair helped him be in the moment and allowed him to experience heightened feelings, even something as simple as the wind blowing by. Yogi Blair’s dedication to the craft of connecting with the earth, healing within nature, and experiencing Sedona’s many energies is ever apparent to all who tour with him.

Links

Yogi Blair Darby [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Yogi Blair Darby [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Yogi Blair Darby.)

Lily Wong: Digital Nomad, Podcaster, Professional Tourist

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Lily Wong: Digital Nomad, Podcaster, Professional Tourist
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In this episode Andy talks with Lily Wong, the creator of an extraordinarily popular Mandarin podcast that’s been downloaded over 20 million times in less than 3 years!

Lily is many things—a non-profit entrepreneur, an instructor of English teachers in Taiwan, a public speaker, and a philanthropist. She’s living her dream of using her experience and knowledge, through her Fly With Lily podcast, to help people become the best version of themselves, and live their own dreams.

How did an introverted and relatively sheltered girl from Taiwan overcome many obstacles—two of them instantly life-changing—to become a world-traveling entrepreneur and podcasting media mogul? Listen to this episode to find out!

Links

Also mentioned

 

Lily Wong [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Lily Wong [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Lily Wong.)

Kai Lenny: Ocean Sports World Champion

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Kai Lenny: Ocean Sports World Champion
00:00:00 00:00:00

Kai Lenny is a 24-year-old superstar in nearly every water sport you could name. He’s a seven-time stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) world champion, two-time kitesurfing world champion, and a multi-award-winning big wave surfer, tow-in surfer, windsurfer, and hydrofoiler. As Kai and Andy talk at length today, you’ll learn more than the mere distinctions between each water sport, but the mental challenges and style integral to a world champion’s success.

Growing up in Maui, Hawaii, with parents who shared his adoration for both the water and athleticism, Kai and his younger brother found themselves at the beach as often as possible. Kai’s lifelong obsession with the ocean has come to the point where, no matter where he travels in the world, he finds a way to surf in some fashion—even if that means finding rapids to ride in Montana.

As Kai’s technical skills came to match his passion, he’s practiced the “silent art” of separating himself from a crowd and bringing his individual take to the water. With critical surfing mentors like Kelly Slater and Robby Naish playing a significant role in his life, Kai has learned to thrive on pressure and find a level-headed calm in even the most thrilling moments of his career.

In his conversation with Andy today, Kai reveals why each water sport he pursues is far more of a lifestyle and purpose-driven endeavor than it is a traditional sport, and the reasons why he could never train and perform at his expert level without his avid team of sponsors, supporters, mentors and family members alongside him.

Links

Also mentioned

Kai Lenny [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Kai Lenny [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Kai Lenny.)

Bashiri Johnson: Celebrity Percussionist, Producer, Educator

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Bashiri Johnson: Celebrity Percussionist, Producer, Educator
00:00:00 00:00:00

Today, Andy talks with the brilliant musician most widely known by chart-topping artists themselves: Bashiri Johnson. Bashiri has recorded and/or performed with artistic legends including Beyonce, Madonna, Whitney Houston, the Rolling Stones, Michael Bolton, Cher, Duran Duran, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Barry Manilow, and Michael Jackson.

Growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY in the 1960s and 70s, Bashiri was a talented risk-taker, self-described as “always in motion, never still.” Since he first started formally playing percussion—as opposed to jamming out on chairs and desks—in his freshman year of high school, Bashiri has played everywhere he could. In fact, Bashiri was so driven to perform, he even snuck backstage at a Miles Davis concert to see Mtume—then asked for percussion lessons. As luck had it, Mtume agreed to hang out with Bashiri, which led to a three year mentorship that served to launch the rest of Bashiri’s nonstop creative lifestyle for decades to come.

Not only does Bashiri explore his near-meditative approach to his “first listens,” but he describes some of his favorite memories at length, including adding a twist while recording “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandroff, recording on a Miles Davis song, performing live with Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall, and working alongside the iconic artist, Michael Jackson. In his characteristic candor, Bashiri reveals the key personality traits that drove him to share what he loves most with the world.

Links

Bashiri Johnson [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Bashiri Johnson [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Bashiri Johnson.)

Greg Lawson: Love Of The Planet Through Photography & Principle

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Greg Lawson: Love Of The Planet Through Photography & Principle
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In this week’s discussion, photographer Greg Lawson takes Andy through his museum-like gallery in Sedona, Arizona, to explore the fundamentals of his philosophy on human nature.

Our conversation with Greg is unlike any you’d have with a traditional photographer. Although Greg got his first camera when he was 14 and has worked as an artist ever since, he views the physical process behind his work as more of a technicality; a naturalist discoverer at heart, rather than a “photographer’s photographer.” He will leave the country on a whim, for one to four weeks at a time, to simply drive, experience new cultures, and photograph whatever speaks to him. Greg is on a mission to share the positive side of the world with others, and photography helps him achieve that goal.

His latest project, “The Principle Movement,” emerged from the idea that principles—like empathy, integrity, loyalty—are the basis for our positivity. He believes a greater focus on principles would allow for a more just society. More than anything, he highlights the beauty of human nature, and why people at their core are the same.

Links

Greg Lawson [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Greg Lawson [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Greg Lawson.)

Kimi Werner: World-Class Free Diving Spearfisher, Culinary Chef, Speaker

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Kimi Werner
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In today’s conversation, Andy talks with Kimi Werner, the U.S. National Spearfishing Champion of 2008 who transformed her passion for discovery and the sea to inspire others and travel the world.

Kimi grew up in a family of six, in a small shack in a secluded area of Haiku, Maui, where her best friend was a pig named “Muddy.” She may not have had any close human friends beyond her family before she moved to a more traditional neighborhood at age seven, but Kimi always believed that as long as she could explore the wild natural world she would never feel alone.

When she wasn’t roaming free on land, Kimi was underwater. At age four, Kimi began to watch her father free dive and spearfish for food. Seeing firsthand how fresh food brought her friends and family together, Kimi discovered the joy of cooking creatively at a young age and later attained a degree in Culinary Arts. Throughout her time in Oahu, she actively pursued her love of painting by taking as many art classes as she could and, for nearly four years, became an art teacher.

After quitting her teaching job in her mid-20s, Kimi re-discovered her own passion for spearfishing. The ocean had long been a source of sustenance, inspiration and adventure, and Kimi found herself longing for the life she once knew in nature. During this period of time, she trained on her own, honed her free diving skills, and started to be mentored by and work alongside elite professional spearfishers and free divers. As a result, Kimi can hold her breath for 4:45, and at free-dive to depths of 159 feet.

Only a few years later, she became the U.S. National Spearfishing Champion—and then her art really started to sell. She soon started to win international competitions and gain multiple sponsorships; however, it wasn’t all that much later that Kimi purposely left the professional world of competition and faced one of the biggest challenges of her life.

Kimi still pursues all of her passions, including being a sought-after speaker. Her daily life is a pure fusion of her talents, rooted in sustainability and geared toward a healthy future for our global community.

Links

“Dive Simply,” Kimi’s underwater fun with just one rock:

Photos and more

 

Kimi Werner [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Kimi Werner [Prologue]
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(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Kimi Werner.)

Beth Marcil & Mariabruna Sirabella: Spiritually-Based Living

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Beth Marcil & Mariabruna Sirabella: Living From The Heart
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In this week’s epsiode, Andy has a unique and spiritually-focused conversation with two people—one of whom lives and works in Maui, the other who is visiting, and both of whom embody the Maui spirt—Beth Marcil and Mariabruna Sirabella. Check it out and enjoy a dialogue about live freely lived, 2nd senses, and the interconnectedness of everything.

Beth Marcil is a widely-recognized visual artist and creative workshop facilitator. An honor graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, she’s adept at a wide range of approaches in multiple mediums. From the serenity of Hawaiian taro patches, colorful foreign marketplaces, and traditional landscapes to naive, whimsical works of art, Beth Marcil interprets the essential spirit that brings a people or a place to life.

Mariabruna Sirabella, MS, LMFT, has a Laurea Degree in Communication and Performing Arts from Bologna University, Italy and a Master in Counseling from CSUS, California, and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist based in California. As the Translation Coordinator and lead Trainer for SoulCollage, she’s found the SoulCollage process to be an enduring source of personal truth, guidance, and a universal bridge she has shared with hundreds of individuals worldwide.

Links

Beth Marcil

Mariabruna Sirabella

Beth Marcil & Mariabruna Sirabella [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Beth Marcil & Mariabruna Sirabella [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Beth Marcil and Mariabruna Sirabella.)

Juliette “Joules” Brown: Portrait of a Young Visual Artist

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Juliette “Joules” Brown: Portrait of a Young Visual Artist
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A chance meeting on a beach in Maui led to Andy’s conversation with Juliette “Joules” Brown, a young multi-medium visual artist.

Recently, Joules decided to take a break from university to recharge her spirit and travel across Australia in a van. In this episode she’s just returned from that trip, and she talks about that adventure and the waking-from-a-dream experience of returning.

Andy and Joules also talk about her art, informed by love and lust and loss, her parents’ divorce and her own breakups, and the freedom and structure of dance.

Works

Splice 2015

Demon Series (“Ex-Demon 2016”)

Couples 2014


Untitled 2012

Resistance (video)

Amit & I

We Made You We Will Conquer

Letting Go (Animation)

Links

Juliette “Joules” Brown [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Juliette “Joules” Brown [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Juliette “Joules” Brown.)

Edwin McCain: Life Of A Hit Singer/Songwriter 

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Edwin McCain: Life Of A Hit Singer/Songwriter 
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This week, Andy talks with the artist behind three enormously-popular wedding songs—Edwin McCain. His hit songs “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask For More” are both favorite “first dance” songs, and his song “Walk With You” is always a moving choice for the father/daughter dance. Edwin’s songs have formed the soundtrack to some of the most pivotal moments in people’s lives, that couples and their families will always remember.

Edwin first gained industry attention with his indie album Solitude. He toured extensively with Hootie and the Blowfish, then signed with the same label (Atlantic Records) to release his first major-label album Honor Among Thieves. His second album Misguided Roses, spawned his first major hit single “I’ll Be”—it was featured on the TV show Higher Ground and the movie A Cinderella Story, then absolutely exploded when featured on Dawson’s Creek. His next big hit was his recording and performance of Diane Warren’s song, “I Could Not Ask For More,” which first appeared on the soundtrack of the Kevin Costner/Robin Wright movie Message In A Bottle.

Links

And more…

 

Edwin McCain [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Edwin McCain [Prologue]
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(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Edwin McCain.)

John Soderberg: Sculpture, Empathy, and a Life of Service

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner John Soderberg: Sculpture, Empathy, and a Life of Service
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In this episode we talk with John Soderberg, an artist with a passion for bronze and the human experience, at his Arizona ranch.

To say that John has a unique perspective is an understatement. Not only did John graduate from high school in Bangkok, Thailand, but he’d circled the world eight times and visited more than 40 countries before that. During that time, John and his family visited the world’s great museums, galleries, cathedrals and temples.

When John was five, his mother Betty held him up so he could touch the foot of Michaelangelo’s Moses. He experienced his first epiphany, and was amazed at the ability of sculpture to move people centuries after the artist was gone. He dedicated himself to art, started painting in oils at age five, and studied teakwood carving with Thailand’s leading master, a Buddhist monk, from age 12.

When John came to America for college, he found himself a stranger in his homeland. He dropped out and painted in the riotous streets of Berkeley in the 60s, enlisted in U.S. Marine Corps in 1970, and after receiving his Honorable Discharge worked as a machinist during the day, and painted and made jewelry at night, and eventually moved his family to Flagstaff, Arizona, to work in a bronze foundry to learn the art and craft of sculpture.

Since his “starving artist years”, John has become renown for both his bronze sculpture work and his dedication to helping others, with a focus on children and women in need. His daughters, who became known for their sculpture work before their father achieved any professional success whatsoever.

Links

 

John Soderberg [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner John Soderberg [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with John Soderberg.)

Jack Roderick: A Pioneer of The Last Frontier

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Jack Roderick: A Pioneer of The Last Frontier
00:00:00 00:00:00

During his more than sixty years in Alaska, Jack Roderick has been a truck-driver, small business entrepreneur, lawyer, teacher, and author of Crude Dreams: A Personal History of Oil & Politics in Alaska.

During 1967-68, he served as regional director of the U.S. Peace Corps in India, and in 1970-71, was government relations advisor to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (TAPS). Elected Mayor of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough in 1972, he served until the City of Anchorage and the Borough unified in 1975 to become the Municipality of Anchorage. Roderick is now writing his memoir.

Links

Jack Roderick [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Jack Roderick [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Jack Roderick.)

Sylvia Weinstock: The Queen of Cakes

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Sylvia Weinstock: The Queen of Cakes
00:00:00 00:00:00

It’s hard to overstate how glad I am to share my conversation with Sylvia Weinstock with you. I am thrilled that you’ll get to spend some time with her, as I’ve been lucky enough to.

If you’re in the wedding business or familiar with it, Sylvia needs no introduction. Sylvia Weinstock reinvented the tradition of the wedding cake, and for 37 years she and her team set a standard for wedding creations—quality, workmanship, pride—that few have matched, and few will match.

In this episode I talk with Sylvia about her amazing life and career in the wedding business, her philosophy on both, and about this amazing time in Sylvia’s life as she closes one chapter and opens a new one.

Links

Sylvia Weinstock [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Sylvia Weinstock [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Sylvia Weinstock.)

Dr. Michael Olding: The Art of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Dr. Michael Olding: The Art of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery
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Dr. Michael Olding, MD is the director of the Cosmetic Surgery Center at The GW Medical Faculty Associates, and is chief of Plastic Surgery at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He has over 20 years of experience as a surgeon, is one of Washington’s premier cosmetic surgeons, and is ranked in the nation’s top 1% of cosmetic surgeons by US News & World Report.

In this episode I get a chance to have an in-depth conversation with a master of his craft, who clearly loves what he does and cares deeply about his patients’ outcomes and the quality of his work.

Links

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Dr. Michael Olding: The Art of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery
00:00:00 00:00:00

Dr. Michael Olding [Prologue]

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Dr. Michael Olding.)

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Dr. Michael Olding [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

 

Brent Birckhead: Sax and One Musician’s Journey

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Brent Birckhead: Sax and One Musician’s Journey
00:00:00 00:00:00

Under the tutelage of Louis Tibbs and Charlie Young, Brent Birckhead has become a dynamically versatile saxophonist of many genres. With a unique style born of his deep passion for the art of music, Birckhead has established himself as one of the bright young musical voices of his generation.

Educated at Howard University (BME, MM), Brent was named best blues/pop/rock soloist and outstanding instrumental jazz soloist by Downbeat Magazine as part of the annual Student Music Awards.

The Baltimore native’s talent earned him the honor of gracing the same stage as many legendary performers including Benny Golson, Joe Chambers, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Cyrille, Eric Benet, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Earl Klugh, Bob Baldwin, Frank McComb, Wale, Dwele, Gregory Porter, Bilal, Lauryn Hill and many more. He has also performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues such as Blue Note NYC, Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, Beacon Theater, Ginny’s Supper Club, Smalls Jazz, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, 9:30 Club, Highline Ballroom, Key Club LA, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Billboard Tokyo and Osaka, and the Apollo Theater.

In 2014, Birckhead joined the faculty at Morgan State University. He currently resides in New York City.

Bashiri Johnson, mentioned briefly in the conversation with Brent, is a brilliant percussionist who will appear in a later episode.

Music

Links

Brent Birckhead [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Brent Birckhead [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Brent Birckhead.)

Zoila Fajardo: Tolerance, Love, and Raising a Transgender Child

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Zoila Fajardo: Tolerance, Love, and Raising a Transgender Child
00:00:00 00:00:00

Zoila’s story about her child’s inner struggle and their relationship is moving and profoundly inspiring. Although English is her second language, she speaks more eloquently than one can possibly imagine.

The situation she had to face, embrace and deal with was one of enormous proportions and with various implications. And how she did it was awe-inspiring. Her story is also an opportunity to support tolerance and specifically in the transgender community. Zoila is obviously a wonderful speaker and a sort of activist in the LGBTQ community, though her message extends far beyond. And so I can’t recommend her enough for speaking engagements, interviews and whatever else it takes to help her be able to get the word out—her word out—and in a more expansive way.

And for anyone dealing with prejudice of any kind, and particularly if you are struggling with feeling different, in this complicated world, then this is also a story for you—to help you know that you are not alone and that it is possible to not only survive your struggle but also to subsequently thrive. I encourage you to “like” the Extraordinary Ordinary People Facebook page and engage in a community dialogue through the comment section.

Links

  • Contact Zoila Fajardo [email]
  • PFLAG: The United States’ largest organization for parents, families, friends, and allies united with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer
  • Gender Spectrum: Gender Spectrum helps to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens
  • National Center for Transgender Equality: The nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization, winning life-saving change for transgender people
  • TransLatina Coalition: Advocate for the specific needs of the Trans Latin@ community that resides in the U.S.A.
  • Mazzoni Center: Meeting the unique health and wellness needs of the LGBTQ communities in the Philadelphia region
  • Trans-Parenting: Support and educational resources to parents and their advocates raising a gender independent child
  • Trans United Fund: Committed to building the political power of trans and gender-expansive communities and our allies to advocate for trans equality
Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Zoila Fajardo: Tolerance, Love, and Raising a Transgender Child
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Zoila Fajardo [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Zoila Fajardo [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Zoila Fajardo.)

Jeremy Safron: Music, Magic & Martial Arts

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Jeremy Safron: Music, Magic & Martial Arts
00:00:00 00:00:00

About Jeremy Safron

Jeremy Safron is a devout champion of nature, eternal student of the martial, meditative & mystic arts and a musician, author, teacher, and inventor. Jeremy has initiated innovative ideas and alternative angles in the fields of yoga, culinary arts, fitness and sustainable living. Jeremy’s permaculture farm known as Avalon offers WWOOFing internship experiences on Maui where they host the Haunted Haiku Hike an Interactive outdoor theatre and Mythological Creature Sanctuary for Halloween as well as farm exotic fruits and healing plants year round. He is best known for his books The Raw Truth and The Fasting Handbook, and for creating the Dragon Yoga system, the Unpredictiball—a reflex training game and for being one of the founding fathers and pioneer of the Raw Food Movement.

Links

Jeremy Safron [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Jeremy Safron [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Jeremy Safron.)

Windcloud: Living, Loving, Aging with Grace

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Windcloud: Living, Loving, Aging with Grace
00:00:00 00:00:00

Windcloud is the definition of an extraordinary person. He is over 90 years old though looking at him one would never know it. Viewing photos of him dancing, you’ll see how limber he is and how effortlessly he seems to move. And his memory is razor sharp.

Being conceived, in the “summer of love,” Windcloud’s mother did not know who the father was and she sent him, at a young age, to a Catholic boarding school outside of New York City. When he was finally able to fly the puritanical nest, he joined the Coast Guard and then left to travel the world, discovering the wonders of music, which unleashed his passions creating an outlet for years of pent up emotions.

After he and a girlfriend unexpectedly had a daughter, they got married and Windcloud settled into domestic life, which he eventually found did not suit his untethered lifestyle leading to divorce. At 42 years old, he sold and gave away all his possessions, though gifted his precious music album collection to his daughter. He and a new girlfriend moved and traveled Mexico and Guatemala.

In 1967, once again alone, he moved to San Francisco and led a vagabond lifestyle until he heard about a group of around twenty-five people building a sort of education and parent-based commune in Berkley. Soon, they were gifted a plot of wild and unruly land in the mountains of Mendocino, where he stayed for twelve years.

The next step, in his journey, brought him to Willits, CA, where he worked as a shopkeeper in a small community led by a guru-sort of Indian woman. This didn’t last long and finally, at 60 years old, he found himself in Maui – his true home – where he has lived ever since for the last thirty plus years. There, he learned about living a simple lifestyle, and further delved into music, helping to connect with himself, to be present in the moment, and connect with community.

Today, he is discovering “the gifts” that come from having age slow him down. This is a man who has truly experienced all life has to offer, still is, and has accumulated great wisdom to inspire us all.

Windcloud [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Windcloud [Prologue]
00:00:00 00:00:00

(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Windcloud.)

 

Welcome from Andy Kushner

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Welcome from Andy Kushner
00:00:00 00:00:00

Links

With thanks to

Charles Wiltgen, who is my brilliant show producer, editor, strategist, creative partner and great friend. I honestly don’t know how I would do this show without you.

Sean Low, my business consultant since 2011 who has helped me to structure my businesses such that I can truly let my creativity live and breathe and fully experience my vision and dreams.

Rebecca Steele, my Executive Vice President of Andy Kushner Entertainment Design, who essentially runs that business so effectively that I can even give the time and focus that allows this show to exist.

Shout out goes to my friend of 40 years, Lee Silverstein, also a fellow podcaster, for inspiring me to finally get off my ass and attend my first Podfest conference, created and run by Chris Krimitsos, and then to start my other show, which led to this one.

To Cindy, my sweet and generous cousin: I can’t thank you enough for offering your beautiful home in Maui, to me, while you were away for what became a magical month for me. I don’t know if I would have had the inspiration and deep level of serendipity, that touched my heart and soul while there, which led to this creative outlet of expression for me. Thank you thank you thank you.

My mother, Lorraine Kushner, who nurtured the artist in me as a child and young adult and who continues to be a great source of support and inspiration as well as a tremendous role model for living a happy and fulfilling life.

Alyssa, who is the best daughter a father could possibly ever hope for. You make me so proud and I love you with all my heart and soul!

My brother, David Kushner, who is a deeply talented narrative non-fiction writer, journalist, screenwriter and whose love and support I am forever grateful.

To Shelley, thank you thank you thank you for all you did to help create an environment for me to continue to build my music business, and especially in those early growth years..…wow!

To the memory of my father Gilbert, a brilliant Applied Anthropologist, devoted father and role model for living a life of passion and service—I miss you deeply.

I dedicate this show to the memory of my brother, Jon, who himself was an extraordinary person. Though your life was short-lived, it was still nonetheless a life fully-lived. I believe one gift resulting from the experience of having you as one of my younger brothers and the experience of then losing you is what helped give me the capacity for a deep sense of empathy without which this show would not exist.

There are many many more family members, friends, and mentors whom I wish I could list…just know that your love and support means more than you could possibly imagine.

And last but not least, to YOU: Know that no matter what struggles and challenges you go through, that your life is indeed extraordinary and may you find continued inspiration through these recorded conversations. L’Chaim!

Contacts

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Welcome from Andy Kushner
00:00:00 00:00:00