How Wisdom 2.0 Inspired Me To Visit My 6-Yr-Old Self
By Amy Adams
I was beyond excited to attend Wisdom 2.0 L.A. – a two-day gathering at Wanderlust Hollywood that explores ‘conscious entrepreneurship in the digital age’. It really couldn’t have come at a better time, as the day before the event, I worked my last day at a job that I probably should have left over a year ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but hoped I’d find a nugget or two of inspiration for the crossroads I found myself in.
As I walked into Wanderlust, there was a palatable yogic buzz in the air. Looking around at the other attendees, outfits ran the gamut from Lululemon pants and flowy tops to jeans and casualwear. I was right in line with my favorite yoga outfit and was ready, notebook in hand, to breathe in opportunity and soak up the ‘wisdom’ being doled out by the likes of Mallika Chopra, Russell Simmons and Irene Au. I was also seeking new connections and advice to help meld my yearning for creating positive social change in the world with the very real task of paying rent, buying food and spoiling my nieces (ok, they’re super cute and I just can’t resist).
After introductions by Soren Gordhamer, founder of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, Psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais joined Soren on stage. He spoke of finding mastery through life philosophy. What Dr. Gervais meant by this is that each person on the planet views life through a unique lens and maintains a philosophy that shapes their life decisions. When forming the framework of this philosophy, it can be very helpful to travel back to when we were children and reflect on how we approached situations and challenges then.
Dr. Gervais stressed that when we consciously look at the way we make decisions, what we stand for, and what our values are, we understand the core of who we are.
I’d actually never written down the philosophy of my own life before. I knew innately what values I held true and how I perceived things, but this task was never one I consciously thought to do. I started thinking about how when I was 6-yrs-old, I was the victim of a bait and switch art heist. The beautiful finger painting I’d worked on all afternoon was stolen by another little girl and replaced with her dismal excuse for art. I realized my intolerance for injustice had started there!
This memory was only the beginning of this exercise, but it brought an insight to mind that really helped guide me. Actually putting pen to paper and being mindful of our life philosophy takes work. But the payoff, especially in stressful or untenable situations, ensures the foundation of who you are is solid.
Next Russell Simmons entered and all heads turned. The ultimate entrepreneur/rap mogul/mindfulness advocate, philanthropist and yogi sat next to Soren and offered the simplest of words: “Operate from a comfortable seat and do the things you love.” Again, it takes work to get there - “work is the prayer, not the result”.
Simmons stressed that each experience makes us - we are the sum of our parts - and to understand the origins of doing the things we love, to understand what we thought about and dreamed of as kids should not be pushed aside because of our inexperience or age. Instead of the advice you would give to your younger self, flip it and ask what advice would your younger self give to you now? What still holds true today that did back then?
Applying this to my life, I thought about what I loved as a kid and how those things guided my decisions to present day. I loved acting and putting on shows. I loved exploring and jumping into leaves. I empathized strongly with others and cared deeply when people I loved got hurt.
Obviously we are not the same people we were as children, but our approach to life and the lens we view it through began the moment we were born. Mikki Willis, founder of Elevate Films, articulated this point quite well in his talk. His boyhood dream of being a superhero didn’t come to fruition in the way he thought it (ever) would. But in the midst of his second day of no sleep volunteering at Ground Zero in the search for life, he remembered this dream and it helped him see the beauty in humanity during a horribly tragic time. The material world can’t hold a candle to the human bond, the relationships we create and the support we’re capable of giving each other.
There were a number of other extraordinary speakers throughout the event with topics ranging from how mindfulness cultivates focus to how your business can change the world. Creating the culture and curating a better world takes time and it is not accomplished without community and consciousness.
Not until after the gathering was over, did I realize the through line - the experience of Wisdom 2.0 and the speakers and people I met inspired me to travel back in time to my childhood self—a red turtleneck-wearing 6-year-old who loved make-believe and show tunes. Each speaker and conversation I had with others at the event sparked insight into the foundation of my goals and passions. I have always loved the arts, and have always wanted to make a difference. Traveling back to my childhood helped me gain a fresh perspective on this unique place I was in my life. How I felt about the world as a child, what my dreams were and how I saw the world became paramount in understanding my next move. It can be for yours too.
You can also join Wisdom 2.0 for an evening in SF exploring mindfulness in a constantly connected age. There will be a meditation, panel and community conversation co-hosted by Wisdom 2.0 Founder Soren Gordhamer and Loic Le Meur, CEO & Founder of Leade.rs. Early Bird Tickets are available for $30 through October 21st. Learn more and register here...
There is also a Wisdom 2.0 Annual Holiday Party happening in SF on December 15th, 2016. Learn more and register here...
Amy Adams, the author of this post, is a co-founder of Sisu Creative. Sisu Creative is a socially conscious branding and production company. To learn more visit: www.sisucreative.com.