Lisa: 00:24 Hello my lovelies, I’m so thankful you’re here with me today and I’m super excited to introduce my guest. Her name is Christine Marie Mason and she is a bright mind, a bright force, a huge heart, a musician, a beautiful singer, an entrepreneur. She’s a speaker, an organizer of events and communities, and the author of two books, “Love in the Face of Everything” and “Indivisible” with yet another book called “Bending the Bow”, which is just about to be released. So welcome, Christine! I am so excited to have you with me today here and I have to imagine that my listeners are thinking, is there anything this woman doesn’t do?
Christine: 01:12 Well you forgot about parenting and that one is probably the biggest one of all.
Lisa: 01:16 What! How did I do that?
Christine: 01:16 I don’t know!
Lisa: 01:19 Just one of the most important things that we do in our society– raising up the next generation– but I guess I just got a little carried away with the main point I was trying to make, which is that YOU are a true polymath. You are a multi-potentialite! You have your hands in so many beautiful areas of existence and creativity and business. I’m just really amazed and so curious to know how did you do it, how do you do all the things you do while also being an amazing mother…of four kids and two step-kids, right?
Christine: 01:52 OK, well my kids are grown now, but I would say I got very lucky because I had them as a very young woman. There wasn’t a lot of debate about when’s the right time to do it and so as I was bringing them up, I was also growing up myself and I was very tuned into what it felt like to be a young person under the thumb of the overarching society where they wanted you to kind of form so much and that you really didn’t have much of a voice and I attempted from a very early age to be more curious about what their innate gifts were and to bring them to do a lot of things and to see where they find their joy and then to let that thing on a fold. My goal is to make them as internally aligned as agentic and in choice and creating from what they were naturally gifted to do, so that they would have a happy life.
Christine: 02:43 They would have a life where the things that brought them joy matched what they were skilled at and how they made their living, so you know, now they’re adults and one’s a fashion designer in New York who’s got a successful company, one’s a performer and writer in LA. The other two are working together on a fitness and nutrition startup and I couldn’t be more thrilled not because of what they do only, but how they do it…with a great amount of love, good people in their lives and still, I mean, they’re now between 23 and 32 and I talk to them or text them pretty much every day and it’s really a joyful time. We’ve shifted from parent-child only to being friends and allies and creating things in the world. It’s really amazing. But no, they’ve always been integrated into my adult out life and integrated into the outside life. I didn’t really treat them like children. You know what it’s like, you want them to be exploring all of the assumptions about the world around them and finding, you know, being able to love and to work and thrive inside of a culture that, you know, frankly, could use a lot of help.
Lisa: 03:48 Yes. I definitely know the desire to have kids who are free and testing the standard mainstream beliefs about how they should be and how we should be as parents. Uh, I do know from meeting your kids a number of times that they’re really truly amazing young adults in their ability to, to be connected and communicate and they’re just warm and obviously loving and giving human beings and clearly have a strong connection with them, which is beautiful to see.
Christine: 04:28 Thank you. They are very delightful. I actually take a lot of wonder and delight. Like wow! I know there’s a lot of bias when they come, you know from you, and you watched them learn how to crawl and now they’re doing standing backflips in a way, metaphorically and literally if not about parental pride. I really am taking delight in the life force that runs through them and that they’re a continuation of all of us but they’re also a completely new thing and I try as much as possible to see the world from their point of view. And it keeps me so curious and young.
New Speaker: 04:59 So I know for sure that a number of my listeners are high-powered, high ambition, people who want to do things in the world and are doing things in the world without compromising their close relationships with their kids. So can you say a little bit more about how you’ve managed to balance all of these different and seemingly divergent but possibly not so divergent based on what you’ve already said, components of your life.
Christine: 05:25 A few things that just popped to mind. You name something important in the serial nature of like, it’s not always the same. They were very clustered in age, so when they were very small, there is a certain set of coping mechanisms a little bit differently and you know, in my ability to branch out into the world and do impactful things got more expansive as they aged. But when they were very small…you know, Hillary got lambasted for writing that book, “It Takes a Village” but actually it did take a village. You know, they had coaches, they had grandparents. At that point I was still active in the church; They had pastors, music, teachers, acting, you know, all the stuff around school. We were super engaged in a very small and local school community, so I never felt that I was isolated and that the job of parenting or mothering was all on my shoulders and that is still as valid today as it was twenty years ago is how do you expand and put yourself in a network of other parents and elders and people who are engaged in doing things for kids. Don’t go it alone in any way. I feel that the technology of connectivity, the social media, everybody’s always present. It makes you feel like people are present, but that in some ways the level of just sheer mobility is actually makes it more difficult to be grounded and in-person and to take the time out to make those local connections. And so it might be more difficult now, but it’s more vital than ever to do in-person connection. We also did parenting co-ops and I remember that being really helpful. The other strange thing, um, I graduated from business school when the kids were like 4, 5 and 6, I think the older three were 4, 5 and 6, and I went to work for a global consulting firm and it was a really a plum job but impossible job to do with young children. And I went to my boss and asked him to put me on some in-town projects and he said, he said, no, basically. You have to play it like a man or you’re not going to play. And that was the catalyst for me becoming an entrepreneur. I basically decided right then and there that if the system is designed with a masculine model and I’m supposed to this and it doesn’t fly with the rhythms of life, the rhythms of my day, the rhythms of my children’s needs, I can’t stay home, if someone’s sick and work from home, I can’t, you know, be at the parent teacher conference, then that’s a bad design. And I’m going to design something where I’m the boss and I can do what I want. And that’s how I ended up starting my first company.
Lisa: 08:10 I absolutely love that. Thank you so much for sharing that story. I think it’s a really good example of how we need to create new models because most of the current ones prioritize the business over the needs of our families.
Christine: 08:55 Yeah. And over the need for sovereignty and agency in my life. I’ve often thought that the way I run my day is fine for a CEO but if I had been a manager or a director or something like there somewhere in middle management where I’d had to be accountable from 8 to 6, forget it. I would never have been able to have done it. Now that’s changed in the intervening 15 years or 20 years…But not that much! This is highly tied in to not just gender-based leadership but also capitalism. An economy of slavery effectively, like I own your time from here to here. You’re wholly accountable to me. It’s not a trusting that the individual is bringing their gifts and their own internal accountability to getting the goals of their work done and will accomplish it to the best of their ability, in the best way that they can. It’s a whole level of non-collaboration and disrespect that’s inherent in not allowing an employee to control their time, you know. But that’s a, that’s a much broader conversation.
Lisa: 09:23 Clearly we have to have you back. So can you talk a bit about your experience as an entrepreneur in the companies you’ve built?
Christine: 09:29 Well, the first one was I figured I’d just go part time and uh, I’d do the same work that I was doing and I would just, you know, see if any of the clients that I had could use me part time and the response was so phenomenal that I went back to my alma mater and found other women who wanted the same thing. Aand I had about forty women who were all MBAs who we farmed out to various corporations who needed people to fill spots. So it was a staffing model initially. And that was great then one of the clients wanted to take most of our women in house, and at that point I transitioned to start starting my first tech company. At this point, I really didn’t have any, uh, self management skills like emotional regulation, meditation. I had none of those practices. And so I was incredibly physically depleted. And one day, uh, I ran into a friend of mine on the road and he was also a very high-powered person and he looked exceptionally fit and strong and beautiful. And I said, what happened to you? And he said, Yoga happened to me. You look terrible, you’re coming with me on Friday. And you know, that was the next big shift. If I had designed, basically I run myself ragged in order to be in control, but didn’t learn the replenishment skills. And then the next major shift was I can run my life, I can be an excellent worker and I can do it with a calm, cool, collected, joyful center that came from adding in self care practices to every day. And uh, and so that was the next level. And I will tell you that a lot of stuff that was unimportant fell away when I began that. So I was, I was in addition in those early years, like in my twenties, being a crazy homemaker. I was the kind of person who was stenciling the driveway and packaging my own spices. That all fell away. That that was definitely no longer part of the priority. And so the, the culling effect was I’m here to be fully alive, be with my children, be a good lover and partner to my husband and to make this company grow. For awhile that was the ball of wax and even though I was curious about a lot of other topics– I really wanted to learn more about science, appreciate philosophy– I really had to stick to my knitting for, you know, until they were in high school I would say. And then there, then there was sort of another inflection point on the time available.
Lisa: 12:00 I mean there’s so many women I know who have such great ambition, so many amazing ideas and really struggle with doing it all at the same time. Having it all and one of the things that always occurs to me is to remind myself and my friends and the people I know and my listeners that there are seasons that we may not do it all or have it all at the same time, but we can potentially consecutively have everything we want in our lives with the right focus and the right practices and the right community and all of the things that you’re talking about.
Christine: 12:45 Having it all…that whole phrase! Yes, on the seasons thing. Yes. But also there’s a quality of like, the legitimacy of mothering as a major task or parenting is a major task that is basically co-creating the future of the world. If you want a connected, grounded, beautiful, aware of other’s community, got to begin young and that is not a task that you want to farm out to to just anybody. You want that to be something where you’re deeply engaged and so to bring the respect of that work back. I don’t think it’s an accident, but so many young women are like, I don’t want to be a mom.
Lisa: 13:11 I have to say this is such a pet peeve for me because I do think that parenting and mothering in particular is super important and we do live in a culture that just does not honor and reward and recognize, that does not compensate that really important role. And yes, there are so many young women women I hear saying they don’t want to have kids, and young men too, and I feel so sad about that because my own personal experience is that there is no more life giving, intense, difficult for sure, but beautiful and life-changing and self-changing role on this earth, so I hope my kids have kids because I don’t want them to miss that experience. But you’re right. The more our culture does not value it, the less young people think it’s a viable option and the less opportunities there are for finding ways to support women getting to that place of fifty-fifty, the more likely young people and young women in particular are going to forego the experience.
Christine: 14:16 Yeah, I mean I have to say something. The fact that we started out with that topic, I was like, Oh God, here we go. It’s going to be reinforcing the stereotype that women are about parenting and motherhood and that’s the topic. So even to have that self editorial about the fact that that’s how we began; even though it is the most vital thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve done some cool stuff, but this is most vital thing. We are at a great inflection point for that. I think as disappointing as it was to see the country elect a man who was abusive towards women, doesn’t respect women as, as difficult as it’s been to see the #metoo hashtag explode across the screen, there is something happening and by acknowledging the amount of a backlash that women get when they speak, when they share their voices. I think I mentioned to you in a a little bit about this perception that why would I want to put myself out there for the kind of misogyny, attack, criticism that, uh, women who are visible in the public sphere receive. And so a lot more mid-level voices, expertise in science, expertise in the arts, creative voices of all kinds are like, you know, I’ll just do my work over here, let them then go out and get the recognition. I feel like there’s a lot of voluntary advocation of the opportunity to speak that may be driven out of fear of backlash. And I think that’s changing. You’re helping by being a female voice in podcasting, but also you have an obligation…like on the stages that I’m engaged in, in influencing or impacting, I’m always looking for balance now. I don’t care if it’s perceived as affirmative action or bias or whatever. I want at least fifty percent women voices and and minority voices. I want to see more. If you really want to understand what the world is about, you’re going to get such a selected biased, less rich, less diverse experience by just getting the white male voice. And those guys are amazing. I don’t have anything against them; I married a couple. But I have to say, you know, it’s just a drag. Like let’s hear from that because I do think it’s a much deeper perspective. So I would say to women, put yourself out there without, without fear of being self-promoting or egotistical and also knowing that you have allies, if in fact there’s retaliation or people are… You now have the ally ship of most of the women in the country. So we’ll come to your defense if that happens, and a lot of good men too. So that’s part of it.
Lisa: 16:52 So Christine, can you talk a little bit about your own personal experience because I’m really curious after reading “Indivisible”, where you talk about your experience in your own family, how you came to be such an amazing mother and accomplished person and confident women.
Christine: 17:10 That’s such a big question. For people who haven’t read the book, I think it would be helpful to give an outline. The book is about my own experience of how do, where do I fit in this world? Why? Why am I engaged in so many things and yet often fill feel so alone. Why is it so hard for an individual or a small family, the nuclear family to make it in today’s economy…how are we related? And as I started to research the neuroscience and biology of connection between human beings I also started coming across some understanding of human violence and began to see that human violence was the ultimate form of disconnection from another being. You have to really be disconnected from your own humanity, and from others, in order to do violence to someone. And it started waking up a lot of things in my personal experiences, like I talk in the book about moving 17 times before I graduated from high school, my mother leaving quite often when I was young and then her being murdered in a violent crime when I was 11. And that foundation of, What is going on in this crazy world? How do I fit in? Where do I belong? …led into looking at: What are the foundations of this connection and economy? Where did the idea of this pathological individualism that seems to have arisen in America, come from, you know, what are the religious and industrial bases for that disconnection? And then how does it show up? It shows up in isolated families, it also shows up in isolated elders and punitive rather than restorative justice. It shows up in our disconnection to the environment. So the first part of the book is my narrative, how I got to these inquiries. The second part is: Here’s all kinds of reasons why I’m not the only one having that experience. And then the third part of the book is investigations and ways that people are trying to create new forms of community and new forms of economy that begin with this foundational understanding of our deep interconnectedness so that, you know, the book is saying exactly what I was saying in the beginning about you can’t raise your kids alone in a vacuum and expect yourself to be replenished, supported, or feel like you’re part of a web. You have to actually reach out and create that. This society is not that supportive of that. So you have to make it happen yourself. Redesign your work in order to make that happen.
Lisa: 19:50 So jumping back to something you just said about the prison system being punitive. I know you do work in the prison system with incarcerated violent offenders. Right? So can you talk a little bit about that experience that seems just so amazing and challenging and um, potentially life changing on so many counts.
Christine: 20:11 Oh my gosh. Tomorrow we have 150 new graduates of the program in San Quentin. So, I’ll be in San Quentin tomorrow and then again next Friday with another 150. So foundationally, what you need to know about the justice system in America is that it’s punitive. It basically says you have free will, you’ve done this bad thing, we’re going to put you in jail and you can rot in jail or maybe we’ll give you some programs that when you come out you’ll be a productive member of society. But we have 70% recidivism. That means seven out of every 10 prisoners come back within eighteen months. So an alternate view, which is dominant in the Scandinavian countries, and there’s a lot of this in African culture too is to say no, no…when you are hurt that you could hurt someone else. What we do in this time of your incarceration is we attempt to restore you. And that is a much deeper approach to, you know, we don’t want to just give you trade skills. You know, the wounds you carry or not are not just ones that you have inflicted on others, they’ve been inflicted on you and probably trans-generationally. This is all supported now through epigenetics, through family systems theory, etc. I mean, I have to say the experience of going in the first time was so shocking! I had been teaching yoga on the side for a lot of years. It was my sort of my hobby. I began teaching in a fighting gym which was a very unusual population to teach yoga to…I loved It so much that I wanted to teach it in prison. So I went to this yoga in prison training program with a guy named James Fox, just a long weekend. At the front of the circle was a man who said, my name is Rusty and he’s like, this beaming guy. He’s very calm, emanating love, and he says, “My name’s Rusty. In the summer of ’77, I murdered a woman. I spent thirty-four years in San Quentin and now I’m out and I’m turning violent offenders into peacemakers in the community that I came from. The cycle stops with me and the first thing I want to do is apologize to anyone in this room who’s been the victim of a crime” and he went around and made eye contact with each person and then he got to me and I started weeping because my mother was killed in the summer of ’77 and I’ve never received an apology and so he hit me in the heart. How powerful it was for him to be able to sit there and be accountable, apologize, understand the impact it’s had and the guy sitting next to me was the overall founder of this program in San Quentin and he invited me to come in and stand in for victims. He said, “If you have the capacity, could you come in and stand in for victims in our victim-offender dialogue portion of our class?” That happens at the end of their year of programming and I went in and it was stunning. It was. It was because they also tell their stories, how they came to do their crime, what their crime was, and by this point, they’ve done a tremendous amount of emotional investigation into what had happened to them. They’d been examining the toxicity of the male role belief system that they were brought up in and they were really becoming committed to being peacemakers in their own right. So long story short, that program has now paroled almost two hundred men, and more have gone through the program. And we have not had a single person returned to prison, not once. They are out in the world doing incredible work and so impactful that the state of California has invited us to go to all of the presidents in California, and this is my sideline charitable work, but probably the most important thing and it absolutely emphasized for me, this idea of what you separate and isolate will perpetuate that. if you don’t look at it and deal with it, you can’t lock people up and put them in a corner and pretend that they’re the way they existed wasn’t born in a system of which were all apart, so by not looking at that, you don’t ever deal with the root causes, then you perpetuate it. So I’ve begun to see restorative justice absolutely as a victim’s right tissue that knowing how painful it is to lose someone to violent crime, you’re number one thing should be to figure out how that doesn’t ever happen to someone else and if crime is a family system outcome, which in most cases it is violence as a family systems disease, then that work and it’s been wonderful and it it, it’s, it’s a three really created a consciousness around some the ecology of being a human being that you don’t exist in a vacuum. So, this, this piece is so vital. Once you begin to see yourself as just a single node in living web where the field between you is not empty air, it’s like a connective tissue. The air between you is a connective, almost fluid, field in which you’re all operating and impacting one another all the time. Once you start to see that you’re never an island, legitimately, it changes probably every aspect of your life,
Lisa: 25:16 So somehow something in you, something in your life experience allowed for you to take painful experiences in your life and convert that into a deeper understanding. Something that served you.
Christine: 25:29 I mean losing someone early makes you really conscious of death, but coming to an understanding, a cosmology of what is your relationship to other beings, planet, how do you fit into this thing? When you get to the point where you feel like your core essence is the same material that everyone else has made up, that you are all that legitimately believing that what happened, few Lisa is happening to me. Then I can. I can no longer wish, harm or revenge to come to anyone because I’m only wishing and I myself. It also means that when you have success, I’m overjoyed for you. It doesn’t make me less because you’ve had success and so you, you, you start to have a real, a very different palpable engagement with the joys and concerns of others.
Lisa: 26:23 We’re all connected. We’re, we’re not separate. So can you talk a lIttle about how you’ve integrated that kind of understanding and wisdom, I guess, into the practicalities of your life, your business, your entrepreneurial endeavors?
Christine: 26:39 Well, um, I’ve been gradually changing my money life to only include people who are interested in a self-awareness. I’m taking responsibility for their actions and wanting to live that way. So, uh, it’s, it’s not dominant. Like I think there’s still a lot of, I’m not good enough to prove how good I am. Let me beat the other guy. but there’s still a lot of that and it’s still, if you’re taking venture money, you know, you’re, you’re rapidly out of control of the way you operate your business. You’re beholden to Investors who are beholden to their limited partners. And so it’s difficult to have the kind of sovereignty and agency if you willingly start something, capitalized it at a small level and build it the way that you want to. It’s people you want to hang out with. My work life today is pretty much only with other people who are interested in self exploration and self realization that we encounter in customers and we encounter in hiring and in a lot of other situations, people who aren’t doing that work and it’s very interesting to see how quickly if you’re just showing up and being authentic and being kind and transparent and curious and not competitive, how quickly people relax and in the sanctuary and space that you create for them, they want to work with you. They adapt and I have had nothing but positive experiences, but I had to shift. I had to live my own values in order to experience that shift. I think there’s still plenty of the rest of it going on.
Lisa: 28:17 It was bootstrapped companies?
Christine: 28:18 No, the first, the first three were venture funded area. seventeen million for one, twenty-eight million for another. You know, raised a lot of money and built big teams, hundred plus people, but when I saw how quickly you, you were, you were performing for somebody else’s outcome. I decided that the next one I did was going to be friends and family and bootstrap. And the other thing that happened in between the time that I started those early venture-backed companies at the time that it started, the more recent things is that the cost of starting dropped, uh, you know, maybe I would say dropped by ninety percent. So when we were first doing trading platforms in the cloud or software in the cloud or whatever, you had to spend millions and millions of dollars on servers and custom software, you know, all kinds of things that you don’t have to do that anymore. It’s a lot of paper-based processes. Basically. You can get the exact same infrastructure that you to spend $10,000,000 on fifteen or twenty years ago for about 100,000 dollars now. And so the cost of starting went way down and you have all of these tools for nimbleness. So the ability to earn a return or build a good product and building a company is significantly higher now and the risks are lower in so many ways. Like I can test some contest, an idea with usertesting.com, uh, you know, and know it for a couple grand. I can know whether it’s going to fly, you know, things like that, so no longer, no longer takes as much capital to do it. So everything since then has been bootstrapping and you only have to get it to a certain milestone of proof of concept and proof of revenue in order to be at a pretty good valuation where you can get additional investment without having to give away control. And that’s where I try to do Is I try to get it to a point where selling a major share isn’t required in order to get working capital.
Lisa: 30:10 What’s now? What’s next?
Christine: 30:12 Well, I’ve been this beautiful place now. My kids are grown. I sold the main business last year. Sold my house, I’m free as a bird. So the projects that I’m picking right now are really about self-expression, and hitting some of the notes of connectivity, the rebirthing of the feminine. My partner and I bought land in Hawaii to create a center for integral integral activism because I believe the inquiry into who you are as an individual, the mastery of yourself, your mind, your ability to snap out of whatever it is that’s causing you distress and reclaim your piece, is great, but it doesn’t stop there like it’s not just for personal wellness. It becomes significant when that ability to stand in the world and create change in systems and institutions and to help other people and to basically reach out and transmit in a very practical way how to do that. But that’s a skill set that we’re not trained in. So , the kind of teachers that we have coming are people who talk about, you know, radical self love as a political act, how to organize a movement, learning through great activists throughout history, how our beliefs about death influences the quality of our activism and our impact now. So the center is getting underway, so I’m learning a ton about all that. And I have this line of feminine care products that are launching all around honoring and not medicalizing or sexualizing a woman’s private organs. How to be in a relationship with your own body. That borrowed from all kinds of wisdom traditions worldwide from Chinese medicine and even the northern European caucasian white witch herbal knowledge, that was sort of killed off through reclaiming that and making these beautiful products with the incredible team of men and women mostly in Los Angeles. So that’s my first non technical product line that’s launching. And then I’m writing that allows me to investigate the mindsets of great change agent and understand what their patterns and systems and how they were able to sustain themselves and lead in the space of social operation and um, you know, oppression in general and backlash. How did they hold their center and do these great things. All the projects I’m taking on right now are in direct response to an area that I’m super curious about. We still run the magazine “Enter” which looks at technical innovations, ai, robotics, virtual reality, all that stuff. But the projects that I have, my, you know, are my daily phone calls and conference calls are driven straight out of what I’m learning and what I want to create in the world. It’s incredible privilege. I would say that all the best projects have been that way. I had, um, I had a moment in 2013 I think when my husband was coming off of Stage 4 cancer treatment. It was a really incredibly difficult time and I was having, you know…it was difficult for me to understand why making a software product that made a corporation marginally more effective was worth one breath more of my life. And I had to make a choice then to leave that sector and what was worth doing. You know, it wasn’t just, you know, I have built up all of these great skills on how to grow companies and how to do this stuff. I didn’t want to abandon those skills. They’re rare in women. To found and lead and grow. But I also wanted to reconnect it to sort of the larger things that matter in the world. And I had this moment where I experienced what it was like for him to be in this place of vulnerability and the depth of his suffering and the sort of perception of all the suffering of humankind. And that the only thing worth doing in this lifetime is to reduce human suffering or to create more joy and beauty and the things you weren’t doing or were doing weren’t impacting one of those areas. Then don’t do that, so from the last four or five years, all the projects that I’ve taken on have been directly in line with medial things offering or creating beauty and have been in line with things that I’m truly naturally driven to be interested in and that has made it feel likely not work, which if you can find the pathway in a business you’re crafting or a job you’re taking from someone else to figure out the questions that you want to live and the meaning and mission of the work that the company is doing. It’s such A difference in your overall happiness. I mean for me as a creative force, never been a disruptive for us. It’s never felt like work. It’s just a framework or a vehicle in which to embody the creative force.
Lisa: 35:11 Absolutely. A vision to aspire to. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’m still really intrigued by how it is you manage to accomplish so much in your life and I’m wondering if you could dig a little deeper into the structure, the habits or the mindset that allows for that.
Christine: 35:27 I’m lucky. My processing power is fast, you know, I mean, that’s got nothing to do with me. I was born that way. And so I can get a lot done in a day. I also put a lot of time into doing things that give me an energy level that allows me to live the way I do. You know, I practice every day. I meditate every day. I eat great. I don’t toxify; I’m not drinking or smoking or anything like that. So my physical body is really high energy and that’s pretty much been that way my whole life. I have often thought what would it be like if I was one of those people who could dive into one subject and go into the lab and make a breakthrough finding after twenty years of toiling on a problem and get a Nobel prize and how amazing that would be. It is just not the way that I’m wired. I am iconoclastic and polymath and skip across a lot of things and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s making sense, but then it will converge and I believe that this convergence of integration is my particular gift, but it’s also I believe a very feminine way of being in the world…to take things from various places and bring them into a wholeness. It is all of these things. So if I’m going to ask the question, who am I in the world? How do I optimize my performance? I could ask that question from the perspective of wisdom teachings and spirituality, but I could also ask the question of neuroscience or biochemistry. I could also ask it from a cultural perspective and go adventure around the world or, or just go adventure around my hometown and ask other people what their experiences are. But all of those perspectives converge on understanding the one question that initiated the searching. I don’t feel like they’re separate. So I feel that the idea of having a lot of interest is often a false sense of separation in and of itself that, you know. It’s a piece! We’re not taxonomize beings and you can start to see how it’s related a pretty quickly when you asked the same question from all wearing all of these different use, different hats. I read this book a couple of years ago. It’s a horrible, difficult book to read. It’s called, um, “You must change your life”. It’s a seven hundred page history of the way of what humans relationship to novelty has been. And the quote, the title is taken from a quote by [Rilke]. But the idea that change or innovation or personal growth is a good thing is a very new idea in human history…like within the last three hundred years. And even then it’s, it’s often not considered good. We’ve spent a lot of time understanding that these are the foods that can eat an adult, poison us, do not try to change that. We’ve spent a lot of time figuring out the ceremony brings the rain…what is wrong with you!? So you get this challenge that arises in the 16 and 1700s around inquiry, and a very different way than any time in human history. And that’s continued to accelerate the very idea of self development. The fact that you can jump classes, you know, social stratus or economic classes, it’s only an idea from the 1900s. Just get that wrapped into your thinking as you know, in my answer to this question. To come into a full growth mindsets, a risk tolerant growth mindset. If I screw up, I can recover and I’m resilient. I can figure it out again, that mindset or I know that I’m blocked here. I’ve got something that I need to be learning here. I want to go at it with full force. That mindset is in me has become a cultivated power. Like if I hit a block and I started to get a little gloomy or like really challenged by it, I just go into straight up inquiry. What is going on here? I’m going to find experts, learn about that and try to um, go over it. That’s how this last book came up. The book on “Bending the Bow”, the one that’s coming out was a direct response to when the society looks like it’s dark and desolate and not moving in the direction of justice, how did the great people do it? How do they hold themselves up in the face of all those things? The whole book was born out of that question and so because I had hit a growth limit in myself on that question. So growth mindset, which is a limited term for living in wonder and curiosity.
Lisa: 40:22 It’s interesting that you mentioned inquiry because one of the focuses for me in doing this podcast is looking for the themes that empower people and allow them to create interesting things in their lives and have success and have fulfillment and more of everything they’re looking for. And I keep seeing the theme of inquiry come up. Your probably the third person I’ve interviewed in the last week or two who has mentioned inquiry in some form or another, whether they use that terminology or something else.
Christine: 40:54 I think that inquiry will help a lot in the political situation that’s happening. One other thing. It’s the quote-unquote “diversity thing”. Diversity tolerance. I’ve been on this land, you know, and at every day I go out on the land and there are things that I have never seen before in real life world. Linea, this other stinky fruit that’s very disgusting, but apparently has medicinal properties.Gorgeous flowers, things that I’ve never seen firsthand. And that is what I think is missing as we have these tribal breakouts of racial division, gender dIvision or whatever it happens to be. The diversity attitude isn’t one of tolerance. It’s one of amazement and wonder, oh my god, that’s what a human can be too. That’s a different kind of human! That’s a different kind of culture! What amazing variety of creativity and beauty and joy is possible in the human experience. That’s what I want to see; Diversity tolerance not because it’s respectful, but because it’s amazing how many different kinds of humans there are. So I feel like even the dialogue around diversity and tolerance is highly limited by the way we see the world.
Lisa: 42:11 Thank you so much for takIng the time, Christine, and for sharing your thoughts, your deep thoughts and your experience that is so rich and so informative and inspirational. Can you share a little bit about how people could follow you if they’d like to know what you’re up to?
Christine: 42:30 Well, I have a little website. It’s at xtinem.com.
Lisa: 42:35 I’ll include that in the show notes and facebook.
Christine: 42:37 The facebook page is “Indivisible”, the name of the first book. I’ll probably change it because the next book is coming out, but for now it’s Indivisible. The book is on Amazon and all the usual places. Come see us in Hawaii.
Lisa: 42:52 Oh yes. It sounds amazing. Say a little more about the vision for that.
Christine: 42:55 It’s going to be group-oriented. Individuals will be able to come, but it’s aiming to bring in groups of 20 to 40. We could have more people if we do overflow housing. The main gathering space is quite large. We’re aiming for next October. I’ve booked a few people you might know. Tamsin Smith, Sonya Renee Taylor, Adam Bower. Yeah, you’d love it. Love it. Lovespring Salons all those years in San Francisco and a little bit of the TedX, but applying it to walking away with real skills to change things. So come, come and bring your beautiful family.
Lisa: 43:33 We will be there. Christine, thank you so much for taking the time. It’s been really, really great spending this time with you. I don’t get to see you enough in real life, so greatly appreciate your spirit, your energy, and all you do In the world.
Christine: 43:47 All right, thank you so much.
Lisa: 43:49 So that wraps up the first episode of the Superpower U Podcast. Thank you so much for being with me on the journey. I hope you found Christine Marie Mason to be as inspiring as I do. She’s an incredible example of someone making an impact in the world and doing it with grace, beauty, artistry, and connection. I’ve put everything we talked about in the show notes, which you can find at LisaBL.com/1. Please do leave us a review on iTunes, subscribe and come back next week. I’ve got another great episode planned and I look forward to seeing you then.
VO: 44:27 Thank you for listening to this podcast. Please subscribe to the show on iTunes and get more information at LisaBL.com.