Awesomeness

DREAM DAY

The design, creation and execution of Dream Day with The Future Project was an inspirational launching point for what would one day become, the Experience Method. I dare you to watch this video and not be moved. In the weeks following, when you hear that the halls of the Future Schools are echoing with talk of Dream Day, dreams, new projects and awesome Future Coaches…you know they did not sit in an auditorium waiting for their name to be called:) That is not how it went down. It was four hours of you are special, you are awesome, you are loved and YOU are going to be GREAT.

The Future Project (New York, New Haven and DC) featuring Dream Directors: John-Michael Parker, Laura Winnick, Tim Shriver, Kleaver Cruz, Shantae Edwards, Maritza Alracon, Christian Shaboo and Frank Brady.

WITH Future Fellows and Future Coaches meeting for the very first time.

THIS is the Extraordinary Experience from which it all begins…

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LAUNCHING: Experience Method

Your experience on this planet is a privilege and should be intentionally designed

The Experience Method’s mission is to transform the condition of humanity to a state of widespread aliveness, creativity, freedom and joy, through the ubiquity of extraordinary experiences. The experience of being alive no longer something you simply survive, but a magical place where your needs are met and you move through life with ease.

The foundation of Experience Method is creating a conversation around the intentionality of experience; a commitment to chronic aliveness for all human beings and supporting the intrinsic value of the human spirit. Founder, Megan Janel Zimmer, has made it her own personal mission to create positive, transformative intentionality about the way you experience the world. When you are taken care of, when your needs are being met, when you are not worried/trying to figure out/confused you move through life with ease.

These results are achieved through a commitment to Extraordinary Experiences. We live in a world where almost all of our experiences are mediocre to poor. Mediocrity diminishes our aliveness, it tells us subconsciously, exactly how important and valued we are. Yet, it is possible for all experiences to operate on the level of extraordinary to superior. Ultimate life-changing experiences should not be limited to every few months or years, they should happen everyday. We remain unaware that the extraordinary is just within reach.

Experience design is an emerging discipline, so integrated that it can incorporate cognitive and perceptual psychology, linguistics, architecture, product design, theater, fine art, information design, brand strategy, interaction design, service design, and design thinking. This art form has limitless application across industries and lifestyles. What if even a small awareness of this integration was permanently incorporated into our everyday experience? We are living in a time of transformation.

Experience Method is playing a big game, to champion the intentionality of experience throughout the world. With the creation of a consulting firm that will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, a workshop series that will teach experience design, and a corporate initiative to infiltrate the consumer-facing world, we will begin to effect the lives of millions of people in an astonishingly short period of time. It will become standard practice that all experiences are well-thought out designs, with the intention to produce specific feelings and an overall state of aliveness.

The Experience Method’s goal is to create this possibility for all of humanity; experiences are 100% about people. No matter who you are, you can practice experience design in both your personal and professional life. The Experience Project is the possibility of feeling safe, important, special, respected, valued and loved, every moment of your life.

Holding a Mirror Up to Nature

ARCHIVED June 6, 2011

Going to the theater is nothing like going to the movies, but other than the obvious, it is often difficult to explain why. Today, I might try. On Sunday afternoon I went to see a Poetic Theater Productions piece called GOLIATH, which is being presented as part of the Planet Connections Festival. The reason I went was to offer mutual support to the show’s director, Alex Mallory, who is one of the first early adopters of Theater Connects. I had never met Alex in person, nor seen any of her work, so I was interested and excited to see what this would become.

Sunday was a theatrical experience; one I am not likely to forget anytime soon. My experience of GOLIATH reminded me in full force the power of theater in certain circumstances and the range of experiences had by each individual audience member. Now, sometimes theater (and art in general) is just bad and the whole audience is bored and in pain; nothing is perfect, it happens. To be fair, I was a little bit afraid of what would happen here, poetry has a slightly more exponential ability to be dull when it is bad. Just like listening to actors read Shakespeare who also have no idea what they are actually talking about, which leaves you confused, and yes bored.

But Sunday was not one of those days, because for me, Megan Janel Zimmer, GOLIATH was a magical transcending powerful experience. If I must admit, I was actually in tears about 10 minutes into the play, all the while thinking to myself….”seriously Megan? It just started? And your already a basket case? What?!?” It was true. [So lucky for all of you there are still 4 more performances].

Now back on topic, the reason that this show affected me so much was that it held a very harsh, accurate and well-acted mirror up to the experiences of my own life and lives of those closest to me. I saw my mother, I saw my brother, I saw my father and I even saw me. The power of the theater is that you are not voyeuristically watching someone in another world experience a story (like in the movies), but you are GOING through that experience with that other human being who standing anywhere from 12 inches to 50 ft in front of you and unless you are made of stone it affects you the same way everything that happens to you or the people around you does on a daily basis. I cannot expect that every audience member had the same experience that I did, how could they? But the fact that a mirror was held up to nature, a mere 6 ft from my chair, had me praying I did not look like a raccoon when the lights came up.

I do not write reviews, but suffice it to say, GOLIATH was beautiful. The characters were real, while speaking in a poetic ensemble that made everything they said, more powerful. The set is also made of 3 milk crates and some paper. In the discussion period afterward, I had my turn to speak and the first thing that I said was “All I keep thinking is ‘I wish I could bring my family to see this.’ Because the words spoken by “the mother”, were quite close to verbatim the words my mother also said when her son was shipped off to war and the words that weren’t, were even more powerful because I knew in my heart that those were the things she was thinking.” (I believe this is the first time I cried) My father never spoke the way this “father” did, but he certainly expected my brother to grow up, man up and shed all weakness, insanely proud of him when he enlisted. Anyway, I could go on and on, but don’t have the space, nor do I want to give away the story.

Theater holds a mirror up to nature. When it does so for you, it is one of the most powerful things you can ever hope to experience. We are not all the same, but a mirror reflecting back at one, is a portal for the other.

Go see GOLIATH

The Fear and The Lesson

ARCHIVED March 20, 2011

I love the fact that currently my work doesn’t feel like work! I would just like to say, that going after something you believe in, with everything you’ve got is kind of the best thing ever. No fears, no doubts, no hesitations. Now the previous sentence is far from easy; it takes a lot of work. We are all human and the fear/doubt/hesitation thing is almost what we are brought up to do. But every now and then, a little bit of blind faith never hurt anybody.

I read a lot and I talk to people a lot; so I often can’t remember where I read and/or heard a certain thing that stuck with me. So, I can’t site this…but I remember being asked to make a list of things that I would do if I could not fail. Kind of like that magical potion from HP 6. It turns out to be a really interesting list — what would you do if it was impossible for you to fail? Well, I made this list a few months ago…and found it in one of my notebooks yesterday. Turns out, I’ve actually already gone after at least half of them. A life without fear, or the courage and judgment that something else is more important than fear, is what will set you free. It has probably been over a year since I accepted this to be true…but it has taken this long to find a way to put it into practice. I’d say it has taken a lot of trust in myself, living by ‘you don’t get anything that you don’t ask for’ and acceptance of possibility of failure. And that failure is SO NOT the end of the world. (I totally used to believe that it was).

No one is truly fearless. But the cliche of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ can actually become a lifestyle, if you work hard enough. Also remembering that nobody is perfect and you will always have days or situations that freak you out enough to hold you back. I think that’s totally okay, as long as you recognize that in that moment, the fear took over, and you’ll do better next time. That is all anybody can ever hope to do…learn.

MJZ