Josh Ross: Taking a Leap to Pursue a Dream

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Josh Ross: Taking a Leap to Pursue a Dream
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From web developer to Hawaii photographer, Josh Ross did what many of us often daydream about. He picked up his life and moved to the small Hawaiian island of Maui. But as Josh tells in his interview with Andy, it’s often easier said than done.

Living in the Bay Area of California, Josh had a comfortable salary as a manager for a team of web developers. He bought a house out in the countryside, and it seemed like his life was mapped out for him. But as time went on, he realized that maybe this corporate slog of stressful days wasn’t the life he wanted for himself after all. After a vacation to Maui, his feeling for moving became more resolute, and he started planning his big change of scenery.

Fast forward to 2017. Josh, having lived on the island for less than 2 years, is pursuing his passion of photography as his full time career. Josh and Andy discuss the pros and cons of moving to a small island, what it means to pursue your passions, and how embracing island time can be restorative for the mind and soul. Check out their full interview now.

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Bearcloud: Painting Earth Visions

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Bearcloud: Painting Earth Visions
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Born on a reservation in Oklahoma, Bearcloud was surrounded by his ancestral culture every day. It wasn’t until the age of 7 that he moved to a suburban area of Amarillo, Texas, and experienced some real culture shock.

His creative outlet was painting and drawing, and he never stopped pursuing this passion. Bearcloud notes that he was always drawn to the beautiful raw nature of Sedona, even before he had ever been to visit. And as luck or fate would have it, he would later move there to open his gallery, showcasing his original works of art.

Bearcloud and Andy discuss how the Indian culture and ceremonies of his childhood influence and inspire him to create the paintings that are so profound. From the beat of the drums to the visions he sees during meditations and vision quests, Bearcloud’s talent is truly a gift to all who see his work. In this podcast, you’ll hear fascinating stories about how Bearcloud once refused to sell a painting for $50,000, how he keeps himself humbled, and what his paintings truly reveal to those who view them. You can listen to the full interview here.

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Bearcloud [Prologue]

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

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]
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(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!

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Also mentioned

 

Lily Wong [Prologue]

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Lily Wong [Prologue]
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(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
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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]
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(An audio prologue to Andy’s conversation with Kai Lenny.)