With our friend and author/illustrator/singer/all-around artist extraordinaire, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, we discuss Perceiving together (also the meaning of Synesthesia), and overcoming adversity is the topic. We discuss thriving in life and building a toolbox for overcoming anything in life. We get into the concept of HOW WE ARE SEEN vs SHOWING PEOPLE WHO WE ARE. And of course, we get into the etymology of today's topic: OVERCOME.
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Transcript:Perceiving Together and Overcoming Adversity with Our Friend Vanessa Brantley-Newton
[00:00:00] Fawn: Hello everyone. Welcome. Hello? Hello. Hi. We are here today with our beautiful friend, Vanessa Brantley Newton. She's here with us.Hi Vanessa. Thank you for coming
[00:00:16] Vanessa: Thank you for having me back Excited to be here with you. All
[00:00:20] Fawn: today's
topic is perceiving together and overcoming adversity, and there's so much to say there's so many ways we can go with this.
I just wanted to talk about my tantrum that I had a few days ago. So Vanessa, I either have major tantrums by myself in the bathroom or the greatest epiphany's in the bathroom. I don't know what it is. It's my conference room. It's my place of worship in a way, like I just get messages in the bathroom or I send messages And a few days ago, I was so, um, I don't even know the word for it. I was just having a tantrum. I was so frustrated. And afterwards I was so embarrassed. Cause I was, I was yelling all kinds of profanity to myself and I come out of the shower and you all were quiet.
You and the girls. Yeah. And then I felt worse. I felt like, oh my God, I am the worst human being. I'm the worst mother. I'm just the worst. And then, so I excused myself from dinner and I said, you guys just have dinner by yourselves I'm not, not eating. And I went in the corner, sitting at my computer in the corner, at my desk . I texted Holly and I just said, help, period. And then I kind of told her what happened in the bathroom. And then I feel like a terrible person and a terrible mom for having the kids hear me have a tantrum to my all by myself. I wasn't talking to anyone. She pointed out that when you don't realize how thin thinly or stretched out, what's the word, I forgot the words you're stretched thin to the point where you don't even realize it, when you have tantrums like that it's for you to realize that you need to take care of yourself.
We talked for two hours on the phone. Wow. You know, that's how best friends do. That's what good friends do, right? Holly can totally spot all my lies. Cause you know, I'm like Holly, I'm worthless, nobody cares. I'm a no good such and such. And she's like, no, that's a lie.
And she'll give you the list. A friend is there to give you a list of who you truly are because the really good friend loves you for all your parts. Like I read, uh, I don't have it in front of me, but I read this thing about this little girl at age six, who wrote, I'll say it on another show, but, but she wrote about the, what is love.
And she said something like love is when you're missing teeth and you're not afraid to smile. 'cause, you know, I have to go get it actually. Oh, I wish I had it in front of me.
It's about not being afraid to smile because you know, your friends will love you for all your missing parts, you know? Like they love you no matter what, all the missing parts. And so once that happened and I cried and cried and she set me straight, I went to bed. I actually slept cause I have insomnia, but I, I actually slept.
And when I woke up, I had this epiphany that started from the bathroom. Right. And , it was about how we're seen it's about adversity. Yes. But it's about how we are seen versus showing people who we are. It's different from who they think we are based on their limited views, whoever they are.
However way they see you is based on their limited experience and their limited point of view. And so what was happening with me that one of the things that led to my tantrum was it was about changing beliefs. I ended up doing an early morning meditation on changing beliefs and I was asking myself, what belief can I change about myself?
What is it that I'm believing right now? And I really couldn't come up with the answer, but I went into the meditation and then it just struck me. what I got was this, what I got was we become what people see us. W, how do I say this? We become what people see us as if we keep replaying things that happened to us.
So for example, I keep replaying certain things that happened to me over the course of the last 10 years. The last 10 years have been really weird. And I don't mean the weird that we spoke about in our previous episode, which is magical. It's fate. The etymology of weird, means fate.
It means destiny it's magic. It wasn't that. It was like weird as in for some reason, I started attracting a lot of hate and racism coming towards me in ways I had never experienced before. I got weak, you know, I'm tired. I'm a new mom and I'm exposed to I'm vulnerable to so many other things that I never saw before.
So in a way I'm trying to prep myself to see what's out there. What are the dangers out there? What are the thoughts out there that I'm not, seeing, because I'm, I'm oblivious in a happy way. And I'm like, and I told myself, I can't be happily oblivious. I need to know what is going on so I can protect the family.
And so the last 10 years, certain things have happened. That have been kind of outrageous, like the things that are said to me, uh, things that have been done that are extremely racist. And so I keep playing these things that happen and it doesn't have to be about racism. It could be whatever is of adversity for you.
Right. But for me, it was replaying all these scenarios where people treated me in a certain way, so I could understand why they did that. Did I imagine it? No, I didn't. Why did they do that? Was it because of something I did? Was it because of the way I was dressed? Was it because, I mean, was I extra tan that day?
I don't know. I, I mean, just like going over it over and over again in my head, in my heart, trying to replay what happened so I can make sense of it. The adversity, the, the racism, whatever it is. And thinking about the things that are set to us by other people. When you keep replaying that and it reaches your heart, we begin to assume that limited and often case untrue identity, you know what I mean?
Do you guys know, do you understand what
[00:07:49] Vanessa: I'm saying, Matt?
[00:07:51] Fawn: And so, because they see me as a maid, even though I've introduced us as, hi, I'm Fawn. This is Matt, my husband. We are your neighbors across the way, you know, I'm a photographer, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. They would still see me and say, Maria, Maria, and think I was the maid that was showing up that day.
Because they're not looking at me. And so I, I think to myself, well, maybe I'm the maid. And so I walk around the house. I'm like, am I just, you're maid you guys like, I'm the only one that cleans the bathroom around here. Like everything, it bleeds into every aspect of my life. And I start assuming that maid identity that some ignoramus, placed on me without seeing me properly.
So I started to remember who I really was in this meditation when I started to realize, oh my God, I've assumed this identity that this ignorant person put on me. And I'm going to change that belief system and remember who I am. And I'm an eternal force. I'm a powerful multicultural entity here to bring love and friendship to the world.
I am extremely powerful. I'm an artist. I am a speaker. I am here to show you who I am.
What I want to talk about today is showing people who we are. But everyone, I know you all know, Vanessa, Vanessa is the most amazing artist.
, you all know Vanessa Brantley Newton. Go to the show previous to this. I just want to read your bio. I want to read you her bio. Sorry, Vanessa. I'm going to take time to do that
because I just, I love, I love Vanessa so much and I go on and on and let me just read you, her bio listened to this. Vanessa Brantley Newton was born during the civil rights movement and attended school in Newark, New Jersey. She was part of a diverse, tight knit community and learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment at an early age. Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was the first time she saw herself in a children's book.
It was a defining moment in her life and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, vanessa includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader. Vanessa celebrates self-love and acceptance for all cultures through her work and hopes to inspire young readers, to find their own voices. She first learned to express herself as a little girl through song, growing up in a musical family. Vanessa's parents taught her how to sing to help her overcome her stuttering.
Each night, the family would gather to make music together. With her mom on piano, her dad on guitar and Vanessa and her sister Coy singing the blues, gospel, spirituals, and jazz. Now, whenever she illustrates, music fills the air and finds its way into her art. The children she draws can be seen dancing wiggling and moving freely across the page in an expression of happiness. Music is a constant celebration, no matter the occasion and Vanessa hopes her illustrations bring joy to others with the same magic of a beautiful melody.
Vanessa Brantley Newton is not only an illustrator. She's an author she has over. We talked about this last episode. How many books? Well, I said 78,
[00:12:13] Matt: but I was wrong. And that was illustrated 78, but it was more like illustrated. I think it was in the eighties. It's probably in the nineties.
[00:12:20] Fawn: It's in the nineties.
How many books are there, Vanessa?
[00:12:25] Matt: Nice. Yeah.
[00:12:27] Vanessa: 92.
[00:12:29] Fawn: So I want to figure this out. You guys, I want to figure this thing out. Let's fix the world today. Let's build a toolbox for overcoming whatever it is that is hurting you in life. We're going to overcome it.
And before we get into that, I have the etymology of overcome and adverse. It's quite beautiful. Vanessa talk, and then I'm going to let Vanessa time.
[00:12:58] Vanessa: Okay. So
[00:12:58] Fawn: "OVER" old English, O F E R. It is beyond, above in place or position higher than. "COME" is elementary and transitive verb of motion. Old English is C U M A N: to move with a purpose of reaching or so as to reach some point, to arrive by movement or progression,
also move into view, appear, become perceptible, come to oneself, recover, arrive, assemble. That was just one word. COME. Now, "ADVERSE" the old French- means contrary, opposing, antagonistic, unfriendly, folks, unfriendly, contrary, foreign. And when you look at the Latin, which is ADVERSIS, it means turned against, turned toward, fronting, facing. If you add AD plus VERTERE, it's to turn, to turn back, be turned, convert, transform, transform.
That's what got me too, Vanessa. Transform. Translate. Be changed. The PIE root, W E R we talked about this word with our weird friend, right? The weird friend. So from the PIE root, W E R, means to turn to bend. And so there you have it now let's fix the world.
Vanessa, what do you think?
How, yeah, no, no. I just feel like, when you go through things, I go through things. I always think, what would Holly do? What would Vanessa do? What would Vanessa think of the situation? I always ask you cause we're in a marriage together.
I'm like, what do you think what's happening? So I don't know Vanessa, with all that's happening in the entire world, right now, everything, everything that we're all going through, all the dislocations, all the racism, all this stuff that's been happening, all the disease and the financial hardships and the pandemic, all of that. How are we making it through?
We did a whole show on how we come out? How do we emerge from all this? You know, kind of like a hibernation. I feel like. In a way our society has been in hibernation. How do we come out of this? Everything has a hibernation period. We even have had it in our societies where like all of a sudden we woke up and there's the Renaissance and all this beautiful art came about,
and all these new ideas came about. Volcanoes go through hibernation. They come back. They explode, right? We did a whole show on all the different ways of hibernation that exist in life. And I feel like we've been through a hibernation and in a way we've been living through a nightmare.
How do we wake up? How do we act? How do we overcome all this adversity?
[00:16:18] Vanessa: You know, Fawn, I wish I had the answer. I really do. I wish I had the answer. I really don't have the answer. But I'm going to say this. I believe that a lot of the transformation, I don't want to say changing the reason why I don't like change or I don't like the word change; change is something I do with my clothes. I was going to put in the washing machine on the wash machine and wash it and whatever change the outfit I'm gonna wear something totally different. But when you want transformation, you will go through your closet and you will pull out all the things that no longer serve you. Uh, and you will either find a way to recycle it or give it away or somehow move forward and get the things that you probably, you know, you, you need.
And I've said you, several times, this starts with us. This really starts with us. All of us have been raised in different ways. Some of us have come from homes where racism may have been taught. When you see somebody that looks different from you, and it's not just, you know, that they can see an Iranian or an African-American or whatever, sometimes even white on white, it can, be, oh, his hair is too long or she's too fat or she's, you know, whatever.
And so there's all kinds of words that start coming at us from people, but it really is how do we view ourselves? How are we feeling about who we are? Uh, we want other people to respect us, but we don't have respect. We want other people to bring us in, but we won't even bring our own selves in. We won't even give ourselves permission to live; to have our own life to say what we need to say to be who we need to be, because I don't want to embarrass my parents or I don't want to embarrass my spouse, my mom, my lover, my friends, or whatever, you know? And, and so we shoved down a lot of our light. We shove it down and it is, well, I don't want to be, this, guru happy go lucky all the time, because now that's getting a bad rap.
You know, if you are, if you're a happy go, lucky, that's getting a really, really bad rap right now. And, unfortunately, um, I feel sorry for those people, cause I'd rather choose happy over, over anything. It's to choose happy and to, choose it well, not that everyday I'm going to wake up excited and all that kind of stuff, but at least getting to a point where I can center myself through meditation and prayer and the affirmations that I say to me in the morning, I am a person who had been through a lot of adversity, a lot of adversity, you know, and it is not just the racism that is in the world, but it's even the racism that I endure, even in my own community where if you're too dark, you're not going to get a husband. You're not gonna, you know, you're not gonna get a girlfriend if you are, if you're too dark, but then, you hear from our own people, I don't mind calling it out. You're "Come here with your little black self" or your, you know, the N word or whatever. That's my, you know, N word, you know, or that's how they talk in the community.
But as a child in seeing what was on TV, even in the black community, if it wasn't light-skinned, it was considered not acceptable. Something's wrong. So for many years, as a child, I walked around thinking something was wrong with me because I have brown skin and I would even hear it.
Like I said, from my grandparents, my father's mother who, um, they were, and you always hear this in the African-American communities. We had Indian blood or whatever. My grandmother was Indian. I've got the papers to prove it. She was Indian and African-American because they mixed, but the thing is, is that she had her preference of color in her grandchildren.
So all my lighter skinned cousins who had what was called "good hair" they were accepted me, however, not so much. And she wouldn't, she would make it very, very plain and it was the saying, but you can still hear sometimes in the African-American community um, "if they're darker than this paper bag, don't bring them home"..
And so, dealing with that adversity when it's close to you, it's very hard, but then going out in the world. And I shared before how we were the second family in a white neighborhood and they let us know right away. We don't want you here. We don't want you here. They didn't care that my father and my mother worked, two jobs each. They didn't care that we were good kids in school.
They didn't care any of those things. My skin blocked them from getting to know me or anything. It's something that if I allow it, it can come back in and rush in over and over and over and over and over again until one day I decided I wanna change this energy here. Because we all, whether you believe in energy or not, you can say, oh, I I'm not into that foolishness.
Energy believes in you, negativity belongs and believes in you. Positivity and optimism believes in you as well. Pick one. And if it's going to be the negative thing, know this honey, it's going to come back a hundred miles an hour. If you are thinking, oh, everywhere I go, people always confronting me or whatever.
That is the energy that you're putting out. It's like when I go into conferences and I really checked the room before I get ready to speak, I really kind of stand there and I feel the pulse of the room. Is it one of excitement? Is it one of whatever? Is it one of adversityI've gone to a bunch of SCBWI conferences, for the whole of my career. And. Usually I'm the only, maybe one of five black people that are in the room.
[00:22:15] Fawn: What is it? What does it stand for?
[00:22:18] Vanessa: The SCBWI, which is the society of children's book writers and illustrators and it is an international thing.
So it's not just here in the United States, but it's all over the world. And when I come into the room, like I said, I'm usually one of five, maybe black people. And it's like over 2000 or 2,500 white people. And you kind of look around and like, well, where are the other people? And then I had a couple people walk up to me, "Vanessa, why don't more black people come to this conference?"
And I cocked my head like, really,
You gotta be far reaching. We gotta be far reaching. And and not afraid to reach across the table to somebody that does not look like us. It is not enough for us to say, well, I have an Iranian friend. I have a white friend. Well, I have an Asian friend. No, you don't have to say it. If it's active in your life, trust me.
If you were invited, you and Matt were invited to my house, you would be so comfortable because there would be somebody there that looks like Matt, that looks like you, that look like your children, because that's the world that I live in. But to tell you that adversity has not been a part of that. And let me just say this too. Adversity is not as bad as we think it is.
It's not. Rejection sometimes is our indication that we have outgrown people, a situation or whatever, and we're just some of us too comfortable with staying in the mess. We're too comfortable with it. Everybody hates me. Um, nobody likes me. I want to eat some worms, you know, what was going to, you know, stay there.
And it's by choice. It's your choice though? It's your choice. It's not other people. Well, they won't let me, well, they won't let me, they won't let me, will you let you? Will you let you see something different that it is not always other people. It's the fear that we're emitting out of our pores; our spiritual pores that attract those people that want to attack us because they can sniff it.
They can sniff it a mile away. I walk in the room. I don't, I don't give a flip about design or nothing. I don't, I don't care. Okay. I walk in the room and my sheer happy will either make you run the other way or all you want to do is drop your stuff and hug me. It's the truth. It is the frequency that I live under is one of joy, one of love, one of acceptance, one of not just tolerating people; I love to celebrate people. Like today is Matt's birthday! Happy birthday, Matt!,
[00:25:06] Matt: thank you. Thank you.
[00:25:08] Fawn: That's so true. And that's so true. And that's why it's so good to have a friend to catch you in a lie and say, Hey, Hey, Hey, snap out of it. You know, break it up because you're falling into the trap of someone else's thoughts. You, you know, even if you attracted it, even if whatever, it doesn't matter, if you're in a situation like that, you have to snap out of it.
And thank God. You know, if you look around, there are friends. It may not be a friend you think like, you may think, I don't know this person, but there is someone around you. It could be a squirrel that will snap you out of it and let you know, whoa, this is not, you show them who you are.
[00:25:52] Matt: Yeah. And sometimes it's just being who you are. You don't even realize what you're projecting out there and people react to it.
[00:25:59] Fawn: And don't let them, don't let them influence with their prejudice, who they think you are, you got to, and it seems like a lot of work. It seems like, oh my God, I have to constantly fight.
Or I have to constantly prove something. No, you just have to live who you are instead of getting in that trance of going, oh my God, they think I'm a maid or they think this, or they think that enough, like, no, just live it.
[00:26:30] Vanessa: I will tell you, I, um, I took Zoe to the met in New York and at the time I just purchased the Louis Vuitton bag. And it was my first one, my last one, probably only like that again, but I, I, I treated myself to this bag. And we're walking through the museum. I'm nicely dressed, you know, uh, very simple but classic. I go into the museum store and when I walk into the store, there are two east Indian women standing at the counter.
An older white woman has the same bag that I have and she opens her bag and I watched them, she opens her bag in the store to get some tissue or something out, and they ignore her. They just, you know, she's, she's just getting them out of her bag. I do the same. I put my bag on top of the little counter and I open it up and they immediately swore I was stealing something.
She's stealing something. You should've saw these two poor women running around the store. Oh my God, what are we going to do? What are you going to do? She's stealing, she's stealing. She's stealing. Oh my God, she's stealing. And I just watched them. I just stood there and I watched them because, you know, I'm a people watcher.
So I just watched them and it pissed me off so bad because they were taught this as well. They were taught this. This is not just them. This is what they'd been taught. I'm artists. They don't know that. I come to the MET at least three, four times a year to see the shows or whatever. I'm a member, you know, And that they think I steal from the MET, just kind of threw me over.
I went to the desk and I put the handbag on the counter. And I said, um, ladies, ladies, cause I had to literally get their attention because they wouldn't even look me in the eye, said, ladies, calm down. I said, do you need to go through my bag? And now everybody's in the store has turned around.
They're like what? You need to check my bag. No we don't. No. I said, no, I think you need to check my bag. And I held the bag open for them. The embarrassment was for me gone because this is something that I deal with all the time, all the time. Uh, you know, I, I get it. Listen, you know, we don't want to talk about.
Real things happened in the world. There are real black people who steal, but there are real white folks who steal. There are real Asians who steal. There are real Hispanics and Indians who steal when they go to the store. I get it. But the thing is, is that I was so in touch with my own self. Honestly, they were apologizing when I was walking out of the door.
Oh, we're so sorry. Don't apologize now, you know, I wanted to get mad, but I couldn't, I couldn't, because I know that this was taught.
[00:29:32] Fawn: Remember Matt, that same thing happened to us. So Vanessa, we were living in Sausalito, California, and it's like, it's a very cute, adorable little town right across. I was going to say right across the street from San Francisco, you know, it's across the bay.
And so we lived there and, um, usually on Friday nights, when Matt would get off from work, we would as a family with Elle and Allegra and there were very little, we would go out and have date night. And we're vegan and it's so funny before the show, we were telling you about how sugar is not vegan and, you know, so we don't have like normal treats, like most people do, but there was, um, because Sausalito is so touristy there, there was a remember that candy store we went to, you know, the, have the touristy candy shops where it's just barrels and barrels. It's quite beautiful, actually. Right? All the different colors and everything and the textures. And so it was fun for us to just look at stuff like that and maybe find the one vegan thing that would be there that we could buy.
And, um, the store was owned by a Persian couple. And now my background is Persian and I speak Farsi. And so, but they didn't know that. And again, she, she assumed stuff on me and I'm not necessarily walking with Matt who is totally like tall, you know, almost blonde blue eyes. And then I'm the opposite in all ways.
And so I'm walking around and I'm with the girls and everyone's of course, very like, you know, the girls are very respectful. We're not touching anything, but, um, and it's so weird for me to even explain to you folks that we were not misbehaving. We weren't touching anything. We were not loud. Like all the things like people assume about certain cultures.
And so this woman, the owner of the store turned to her husband. And she said, and we were the only ones in there by the way. And she said in Farsi, I want these, I dunno, something equivalent to the N word. I want these people out. Oh wow. To her husband. And I looked at her and it's, it's interesting how your body chemistry can change with some words.
And so I went from happy-go-lucky with the kids and the girls were out on date night with Matt, you know, daddy's home, we're out and about ; out on the town looking at pretty things to all of a sudden I'm just frozen with rage and I couldn't get home fast enough. And I just wanted to cry like all these emotions at the same time.
And so I don't remember exactly what I told her, but it was in Farsi. And when she heard the Farsi come out of my mouth and tell her. I didn't tell her off in a mean way. I just respectfully said no lady. No, thank you. And I, and I turned to Matt and Farsi and I said, we need to go right now. We need to leave the store right now.
And she, I looked at her face and she was floored. And like you were saying, Vanessa, she was apologizing and trying to hand us candy. And in Farsi, I said, we want nothing from you. I will not accept any, anything from you ma'am. And we left. But to this day I still have rage. Like what the, what is wrong with you people?
[00:33:17] Matt: of course I'm completely clueless because this is all happening in Farsi.
[00:33:20] Fawn: But you know, a few Persian words like that is true. You know, the word for HOME NOW!.
[00:33:30] Vanessa: Oh my goodness. It's unfortunate, but you know, this is what I'm talking about. We have to get to the center of us seriously, even in how we were raised. Like I said, some of us were raised to think certain things that are wrong and it's a part of us. It's the DNA is the part of your record, if you will.
It is when we decide to flip the record over to the other side, let's see what's on side B and side B can be filled with some wonderful things. First of all, you get to know who you are. What is it that you like about you? Because sometimes we're looking for people to like us, but we don't even like us, And that's a process that is a process. It is a process of finding out, you know, and only that's the thing just because you have something going on with you or whatever, doesn't make you a bad person. It's just that you have something going on with you. It may take a little while. It may not be no six week situation. It may be two, five, 10 years to work through it.
But if you commit to do it for you, because you matter, it's the best gift that you could give yourself. And that didn't happen for me until I think right after I buried my daughter. All bets were off me trying to please other people and make other people feel better. Uh, I, I just lost a baby, was home from the hospital about three days in, and my godfather came to visit and I was still crying very much teary and everything else.
And he comes in and he is a deacon from our church, you know, so, you know, he's going to come in with scripture and the word and everything else. He comes in, you need to stop crying. And I just kind of looked at him and he goes, that baby is in a better place. And when he said it, it took everything in me to stay down.
But I jumped up off the couch and I told him, I said, let me explain something to you. And I was very respectful. I said, you are not a woman. You have not laid in labor for hours only to give birth to a dead baby that you can't take home. You can't name; your breasts filled with milk and there's nobody to give it to. How would you know how I feel?
And yes, while I know that baby is probably with the Lord. It still hurts. Like hell. I have to name this baby. I have to plan a funeral for this baby. I have to mourn this baby. And you just like, just get over it. My mom and dad were so embarrassed. They did not support me like they should've. But I had the balls to stand up for my own self to say, I don't need even my mom and dad to stand up for me.
I'm going to stand up for me today. And that's what I want your audience to do. When will you stand up for yourself? Because what we do is, we take on this mentality of I'm the victim, I'm the victim, the victim, the victim, we're the victim all the time, victim by choice some of us, because you have the strength. And please hear me.
I don't want to hear what if I opened my mouth something might come up and I might not be able to say... practice what you need to say, practice what you need to say. It might be getting in the mirror in the morning and saying, you know what? I am here for me. I am here for myself. I respect me. I love me. And you might not even believe that when you first started saying it, but I guarantee you.
If you continue to say it over and over again, it will change your energy . People will respect you. Even if they are hating. They will know that one right, there, not really don't need to say anything to that person because of the energy that comes off of you. That's it. That's the thing. What are you radiating at that you're attracting these types of people. I don't attract these types of people anymore. I don't. It's because I wiped off the magnet. If you will.
I wiped the magnet off that was attracting those things, because I was always saying, oh, they hate me. They don't like me. You know how it is. It's tough for black people. They hate all black people. Do you hate you, Vanessa? No, I don't hate me. Do you think you're a nice person? Absolutely. I'm a nice person. And I talked to myself out of it, so I know y'all are laughing, but it's okay.
You know, girl, you can do anything you put your mind to. I certainly can.
[00:38:09] Fawn: Vanessa, we talked to each other's selves in this apartment. Like if you, if you were just looking at us like with a camera, like we were, uh, a reality show, you would laugh so hard because all of us, Matt, I do it. The girls do it. We all talk to ourselves.
Like I say, like in the bathroom, me in the bathroom, we're always talking to ourselves,
[00:38:34] Vanessa: you got to, you have to embody choice and find something too. The thing is, some of us love the negative because now, because it feels good. We love being negative because we know the negative. If I expect negativity, it's going to show up.
I can always count on it. But that positive thing we don't know about that too, because when I say something positive, you know, it feels good for the second, but then somebody is going to come they're going to say, somebody's going to take it away. Focus on the positive. That's the thing, because you're allowing yourself to be taken right back to the negative over and over and over again.
And so you get that because you expect that. expect something different. I expect that when I walk into this place today that people are going to see me. They're going to not ignore me because I will not be ignored. They will say right things to me. I'm going to have a great day. I step on the side of the bed in the morning and I decree my day. Today is a great day. Today is a really, really good day. I mean, it's an especially really good day today and I'm going to be fine. I'm going to do what I have to do. And I'm going to say what I have to say. And I'm going to keep shining my light. There is not a time when I say it did I go to the store; the man at the meat counter, smiling, just cheesing wait, I was waiting for you. Did you hear that I was thinking about you? Some of them don't even know my name, but they see my face when I go to the market. I know everybody that works in my supermarket because I'm smiling. I walk in, it's like, oh, let me tell you. Don't don't buy those here, buy these over here. And it's because I start off with that.
It starts with me. It has nothing to do with them. I don't care if you're a hater, you can tell me you're a Trumper. You don't like black people, you all black people to leave and go back to Africa, all that. But you got to come back to Africa with me too, because you African. Absolutely.
[00:40:30] Matt: Absolutely.
It's like, it's like what? I always say. It's like, if you're on a bike and if you're on your mountain bike and you're on the trail and you focus on the ditch, You're going to go in the ditch. If you focus on that straight line, that's going to take you to a really nice sweet spot for a jump or whatever.
That's where you're going to go. Your reality follows your intention.
[00:40:47] Vanessa: there you go. There you go. Your reality follows your intentions. What you think about you bring about and what you talk about, you walk it out. And so I tell people you're always talking negatively, especially for artists.
If you're always around people who want to criticize and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, then it's not art because it's is whatever you need to get far away from those people run, run, run, run, find the people who celebrate and even will tell you the truth that you know what that needs a little bit of work, but, you know, we can work together.
That's something that's going to help you. Not somebody goes out, it sucks or whatever, and they walk away and just leave. You told me that it's up, but you're not going to give me anything adversity. There it is right there. You get past it by choosing to move past it, choosing to be happy, choosing to smile.
They used to tell me when I was a kid, you shouldn't smile. And I was like, why? They said your gums are black. And so you shouldn't smile. I shouldn't smile. Lord helped me. Now. I'm a grown woman. I'm smiling all over the place. Oh, I don't care about black gums. I don't care about any of that foolishness. But like I said, if you stay around people, I got away from people like that.
What told me Vanessa your smile is beautiful. When my husband told me, he said, I love to see you smile more than me eating. And my husband loves to eat. He said, but your smile does everything for me. What people compliment me on all the time; god, that smile, you have it. Just lights up a whole room. I'm a person who was told never to smile.
It was really about our choices. Who we are, get to the root of who you are and yes, it's going to be scary. Absolutely. Do it afraid. Do it afraid, but do it. It's the best gift you can ever give yourself is to face in and to look at you first, before other people behold you.
[00:42:40] Fawn: Do you find that we need the 90 second rule. How, when you experience trauma or something that is negative, something that is painful. If you allow yourself to feel it for 90 seconds, that it will completely leave your system, biologically you need the 90 full seconds of experiencing that.
I was just listening to this person a couple months ago where she was like, she has to offer bad news to families. Like if someone gets into an accident, they've died and she has to go tell the family. She says, it always takes 90 seconds. And then they're like, okay, what do I do now?
Also Vanessa, have you heard of Dr. Mario Martinez? He documented the fact that the group of people who have the highest case of diabetes is not who you think. Out of all the people in the world who have diabetes is the Tibetan monks.
And it's because they don't allow themselves to experience, um, the pain or the, the, the anger. Thank you. I couldn't find the word they, because they skip the anger and go straight to compassion. And you do need to release it. You do need to let go of it. And when you don't, I think that that negative force becomes, uh, a chemical addiction in your body.
And I think that's why we, we tend to keep harping on the negative. Whereas like with me, like I kept harping on the same scene over and over again. And of course it attracted more foolish people coming at me again until I released it and I'm going to knock on wood. It hasn't happened in awhile, but I'm knocking on wood.
[00:44:27] Vanessa: we'll just keep saying the positive thing you are attracting and you are light. That's the beautiful part about you. That's what I love about you and Matt, both of you are light. You are pure light and in that don't dumb down your light to make other people feel comfortable.
You know I don't mind telling you all that I'm a woman of faith and I've told you all this before. I believe that when we show love, you know, people yell, oh, you know, whatever you guys are a blended family. I don't like to say mixed, you know, so much as blended blended is, is different. It's something about when you put banana and strawberry together, they become one.
You can't separate the other, it's all in there together. And when I look at you and Matt and what you represent, you represent this beautiful blending of the world and how it should be. You know, the thing is, is that so many have been taught, oh, you should only marry white, oh, you should marry only this. Oh, you should marry only that.
And here we are a family, and that's what matters more than anything else is that we choose to love. Here we are. Let's continue to walk in love and to be loved. And yes, like I said, there are days when you're going to be to hell with everybody.
I don't, I don't like you right now. I don't like you right now, but that's just for the moment. And then once I calm down, I'll get back to square one. But, it really is what we say, how we feel the level of what we feel, the frustration you feel with yourself. And I'm going to say to your listeners, having to deal with adversity.
Everybody has their opinions. It's about you. It's about you taking care of you. This is a time to go inside and check on ourselves, check on what, what we've been taught.
That's not serving us if it's not serving you get rid of it. If that thinking is missing and hear me. I know the news media will hate me for saying this, but I don't really give. Sometimes. All we hear is rehearsed horror over and over and over and over. And that's going to you a little bit of news in the morning.
Maybe you don't need to get a little bit of the news in the morning, maybeyou need to do your own newscast. Today, I don't care if it's raining, but I got sunny weather in my house. Thank you. Yeah, I'm really, really good. Today, somebody's going to bring me a cup of coffee. I don't know who it is, but you know, someone's gonna bring me a nice cup of coffee, you know, and expect that expect some good things.
You may find 20 or $30 in the street. That'd be awesome. I expect the check. If you haven't done anything to get one, but Hey, I'd rather you expected the check to, they expect doom and gloom because I'm telling you as parents, we give it to our children. We tell them what they're not going to be.
Oh, don't do that. Don't do the other thing. My mother and father, they loved me, but they, like I said, they could not support me in my art, but it was when I got a mind to support myself and my art. I'm going to do this regardless of the people who support or don't support. You don't support, that's fine.
Not a problem at all. And I'm not angry for it. That's the thing we want to hold in the anger and be angry with people because of their choices. It's their choice. You want to control. And you can't control everybody. Now, there's some people, yeah, you're into controlling, I ain't going to controlling. I want people to be able to do what they want and be okay.
That's what you want to do. Fine. Is it working for you? Okay. Now I know if you need my help, I'll be over here. It might not be here when you come back, but, you know, Hey, that's your choice, you know? And, and, and let them have that. That's your choice. My choice is to be a woman of diversity and to see diversity and to have friends of all cultures and ethnicities.
I don't like to say race because we're, we all belong to the human race. Thank you.
[00:48:24] Fawn: And it's interesting. One of the things I think about is all the labels that are out there, and I can see that it's important because we need to be seen. And a lot of us are, um, all of us, actually, I was going to say, a lot of us are, but all of us are marginalized in some way or not seen enough.
And I think that's why we're having so many problems with economy, with our entire culture, everything, it all comes down to the fact that nobody's feeling heard or seen. Right. And, um, that's the main issue right there.
[00:49:02] Vanessa: It's magazines, it's newspapers, it's real estate it's products.
It's all kinds of different things that kind of scream that you don't matter. As a child, not seeing myself in picture books really spoke very, very loudly to me, without anybody saying anything that I was not even worthy to go into a children's book. And I remember the day that I got to seeEzra Jack Keats and you parents who are listening, please go and get this book.
Uh, even adults should read this book it's called "The Snowy Day" and it would be the first time that I would ever get to see myself in children's books because in the sixties, 1963, the year that the book came out,Ezra Jack Keats was a Jewish man who lived in the ghetto, he did not live in the fancy neighborhoods that most white Americans at the time, lived in.
He changed his name to Ezra Jack Keats, because he did not want to be kind of sought out as, oh, that's a Jewish artist, that type of thing. So he changed his name, but he lived in the hood. His muzes came from the children that lived in his building. He would watch the little kids play in front of his house and they would inspire him.
And then he went through , a Life Magazine. And he saw a picture of a little boy, a little black boy, and he put it on his wall in his studio. That picture stayed on the wall for 22 years before "The Snowy Day" would come out. When A Snowy Day comes out uh, before it even comes out, uh, Viking press or emailing or not emailing him, then
they're writing him. And they're very concerned because the character is black. And so the editor writes, we want to know, you know, it's 1963, you know, the civil rights movement. Are you trying to make a statement? And he said, I'm not, he got so angry. He said, I'm not trying to make a statement. I'm saying Peter should have been there all along.
What little boy or little girl, a child that lives on the east coast doesn't look forward to snow. Now I know there's a small percentage that probably don't like snow, but for the most part, all children love snow and they look forward to it. The book is about this little black boy, who just happen to be black, who just goes outside and he sees the big boys playing , but he's too small to play with them. He takes a stick and he hits the tree and the snow falls down and plop right on top of his head, and when he gets home, before he leaves the snow scene, he packs a big, and I remember doing this as a child, he packs a big snowball and he sticks it in his pocket because he really believes he's that he's that innocent. He believes that in the morning that I, when I wake up that snowball will still be there. His mom takes him in and she washes him and takes off his clothes and make some more warm and everything.
And then he goes back and he feels inside of his pocket that the snow is gone, but tomorrow is another day and he gets to go and play out in the snow again. It changed my life. I remember Mrs. Russell reading me this book. She knew that I learned differently from everyone and she picks me up and she puts me on her lap and she opens the book to me.
I'm almost 60 years old. The pictures are still freshly indelibly painted on my brain. I can't wash them off. I don't ever remember all the words to the story, but I remember every last picture because my mama had the same gingham yellow house dress that she wore same hair bun every it's the same, same clawfoot bathtub - all of it.
You know, the wallpaper that he even used in the collage part was the same wallpaper that we had in our home. So it was like Peter was a friend and I just found my friend and I wouldn't get to see this book until 19 69, 19 70 was when I would first get in to see the book. And it validated me with somebody sees you, you are seen.
[00:53:14] Matt: Right.
[00:53:16] Vanessa: You do matter. Somebody saw me and put me in a book. And that is why I love that man. I mean, I've told the story hundreds of times and every time I tell it, I always cry because I appreciate the love that this man had for children. And I so want to be, I call him my mentor. I still want to be like Ezra, Jack Keats, where every child that looks through a book that I do, looks and says, Miss Vanessa saw me. She saw me.
That means everything to see a beautiful purple flower in a field of all yellow and you miss it. You're not doing that. I'm going to walk right over to that purple flower and pick it. You know, it's, it's, it's the same thing for children, adults. We deserve to be seen. We deserve to be heard we're human beings, but it's time for us to care and care for ourselves.
So take the initiative and do something special for yourself by saying that you can, you matter, you're going to do this, you can do this. You can do anything you put your mind to do.
[00:54:25] Fawn: It's about that recognition. And that to me is what I've been working on with this whole friendship movement is that it's about getting to a place where you recognize
the wallpaper, the shoes, the coat. Recognize that there are all these clues out there and everything is a puzzle that comes together in such a magical way. Like the way I met you, Vanessa was because I met two other podcasters sometime ago and we were taking a class together and we out of like a hundred people recognize each other enough for us to be brave enough to reach out, to say, Hey, here's my email.
Can you email me? And then we started emailing each other. Then we started zooming each other in private and there's three of us. We just recognized each other from, I don't know when. It's not from this planet, it is not from it's from all universes. And it was to such a spiritual degree that we decided, okay, the next time, next Friday, when we see each other, we're going to take turns and describe everything that we saw from the time we were born.
And then I said, from the time before we were born, I want to tell you everything. And so we, we took notes, we took notes and we realized, and by the way, we're all living in different corners of the planet. We've never met in person yet. We're best friends now. And we talked to each other several times a week, but we had that recognition.
And when we started taking notes, we realized, oh my God, what? There were all these clues from the time we were born that led us together. And so we call each other, the mystery of us, we're going to have a mystery of us meeting. And so I said, guys, I want to write a children's book about this because it's about weaving in and out of time that we've been together this whole time, that if we just look, we can recognize all these clues and realize, oh my God, that's been there all along.
That's been a clue in my life this whole time. And because of these women that I became friends with, they led me to you, Vanessa, because I'm like, I don't know how to write a children's book. So then I took your classes, Vanessa, and everything that I see in you. It's like, it's a total recognition of family.
And that's what true friendship is. It's recognizing each other. It's a homecoming, that's it? It's like one big family reunion.
[00:57:14] Vanessa: That's awesome. And that's what I, that's what I'm talking about. It's, it's big mama standing on the porch and everybody's invited in.
Friendship is so important when we can be good friends to ourselves that we can be good friends to each other, and we'll attract, trust me, you will attract those right people. You will attract those people who celebrate each other, celebrate themselves, celebrate you. And that's, what's most important to me. I'm about those who are about life. You know, I used to say, I love that person to death. I don't say that anymore. I love them to life. I love you and Matt to life. I love my students to life.
It is what I want for us, you know? So I'm careful, even in those words, you know, but the whole year I love you to death. No,Love you to life!
[00:58:08] Fawn: Vanessa. We won't even eat things with certain words on them. That's how, that's how words are so important to us. Like there's a bread out there that we won't eat, even though everyone raves about it.
But it's about it's this guy's killer bread. Don't say the name it's this guy's killer bread. We're like, we're not going to eat that. Like it's so it's it's to die for. We're like, well, we're not going to eat that either.
[00:58:36] Matt: No wicked ales
[00:58:37] Fawn: either. I know Matt loves beer. And so there's a wicked ale
[00:58:42] Matt: so much like really like heavy, hectic words attached to beer.
[00:58:51] Fawn: It has, everything has a vibration, like Vanessa says.
[00:58:56] Vanessa: Everything has a vibration, everything. That's all, like I said, whether people want it accepted or not, it accepts you you're saying it.
[00:59:08] Fawn: I'm sorry I interrupted. But I was going to say, and you see them like you, Vanessa, when you see words, you see color.
Right. I certainly do. And that's part of like, it's so funny because I decided to like, have the show be about perceiving together. It's about perceiving yourself. But if you have that perception of what the truth is that it will be like a snowball effect. It will build, and we can perceive together the right thing, the beautiful thing.
But perceiving together is actually the Greek definition of synesthesia, which is what you have. Can you explain that? So how do you see like, what is
[00:59:49] Vanessa: I'm very sensitive to certain, to certain things. Certain smells certain sounds yellow is my power color, but yellow is the color that, um,
[01:00:00] Fawn: hold on.
Oh my God. Allegra's favorite book when she was a baby was yellow is my color star. She was always gravitating towards yellow.
[01:00:11] Vanessa: I'm sorry. Yeah, it is my power color. It is the, uh, the color that gives me energy and life. I love, I love it. Pink is another color, but peak, you know, has a sound to it. And it sounds like bells.
Uh, blue is the feeling and the sound of harmony. When I hear blue, especially when I hear singers sing. Um, that's what I'm looking for. If I can see the blue note, that's that that's different from me, you know? Um, uh, other things like army green army green is a color that does not work for me. it makes me feel some kind of way.
I don't particularly care for, um, won't even wear it. Won't where it, it looks good on everybody else but just does not feel good and does not look good on me. black is a color that gives me life as well. If not this hole or negative anything, it's very, very powerful to me, but it's also the color that I see when people curse at each other.
Synesthesia is again, the ability to see, smell, feel, taste, and hear color, but also to taste words. And so words don't need to be black when they come out of my mouth, they need to be filled with light. So yellow is what I see. Like if I'm going to draw a picture, I would show a yellow light coming out of my mouth.
Or rainbow of colors, because I want you to feel a little bit of everything. Now, not every color or every, um, uh, every Color doesn't have a sound for me. Sometimes it's a texture that it will take on, you know? So, it's very strange. It's been disruptive. It's gotten me in trouble as a child, my mother and I were being, um, they thought I was being rebellious when I would eat certain things and it had nothing to do with, oh, that's a vegetable.
I don't want to eat it. It was the texture. It was the color basically. So, it's had its wonderful times, you know, and me creating, I love creating with synesthesia. I want to put every color I can find on a page, but just the same, there are certain colors. Nope, certain words and I'm, I'm a shut down type person.
You start saying stupid stuff. I don't, I, I just get quiet. And when I say stupid stuff, I'm talking about, oh, uh, uh, are all white people crazy, and I'm not gonna say, oh, black people steal. You know, they're horrible. People now might say something to that because I'm black. No, my best friend of 12 years is a country white boy from Texas.
He loves the ground I walk on and I love the ground he walks on.
We don't even refer to each other as friends, we're brothers and sisters. And it shocks people when we go out and they go, even if think we're husband or wife, when I go that's my brother.
yeah, the cowboy move here then. That's your, that's your brother. Yeah, that's my brother.
It's the most nice, nice response
has, you know, some people don't know what to do with it. Did I? Oh, okay. Um, you know, I don't care. That's that's family to me. Right? Our family, our friends. Sobina and her or her husband who were from India, they they'd come and they stayed with us. And my mother took Sabina in like she was her daughter. Now, my mother knew nothing about how hiijabs covered or anything like that, but she made sure that she had every piece of material that she needed. This is what I'm talking about. Friends who get you, they love you. They're there to care for you. Protect you. Celebrate. And you them, that's the biggest, it's about you.
You, you, you, you, but in return you give them the same kind of love and celebration.
[01:04:23] Fawn: Can you guys talk, I want to go find that piece of paper and we're going to wrap this up. I'll be right back while we're still rolling. I'll be right back. Hold on.
[01:04:31] Matt: Oh my goodness. Uh, and so it's interesting synesthesia on some level is combining almost different emotions or different, sensations together.
And so I find it interesting that there are some times, like when I'm listening to particular pieces of music, like the hairs on the back of my neck, stand up in that good way.
[01:04:54] Vanessa: Right. I love it. Oh my God. You are, you are so in my wheelhouse right now, Matt, because that is everything to me is chords! Chords are everything to me, they are like, I tell people all the time, especially for artists who don't like to have music, playing whatever. And I'm like, you don't understand music can be that other paint on your pallet, the invisible paint, there you go. And make people feel. And so I'm a person, of course, I love listening to certain types of music that have different chords to them.
And, to tell you that, that doesn't help me to paint the most vibrant pictures is to have on some Sarah Kang or a Moonchild or, Dizzy Gillespie, or, you know, um, uh, Nina Simone, those things are just the paint. That's the other paint that makes me feel! When Nina Simone is singing birds fly in the high, you know, how I feel
you know, when, when she's given me that I can feel it in my chest and it just makes me want to paint even brighter blues because of it. You know? So music is just, like I said, that other, you know, I don't care if you're a poet. I don't care if you're a writer, a cook, try, try it to some music or watch what happens.
[01:06:22] Matt: And my kids, honestly, they, it drives them crazy because every time we're like watching a sporting event or whatever, and they're singing Star-Spangled banner, if they don't hit that, gosh, darn note at the end, I am
[01:06:36] Vanessa: upset
me too. I'm the same way. Like give it, give it, give it to us. I want, you know, I,Whitney Houston mess us up, but I'm just saying it is the same thing Matt, for, uh, for me, it is the hitting that.
[01:06:57] Matt: they do, but it's crazy because they have to start the song like, oh say, you have to start it so low to be able to hit that note and keep it all together. And it bugs me that more artists don't go for it.
[01:07:12] Vanessa: No, they don't. They, they don't, but it's, you know, it's, it's a different time to a different time now where mediocrity is fine and mediocrity kind of lives right at the bottom.
But when you decide to go to the top of the air as much thinner, and so, yeah, everybody's not able to do it, but, I hear you. I, it, nobody, my tai chi master, in the morning sometimes he'll have me sing because he says the vibration is so good. He said, I just love how I feel. He's I can feel it in my stomach when you sing, um, he would ask me to sing the star Spangled banner.
Dang. And when I would get to the land of the free,
you know, he would, he would be like
but he loved it. He loved it. He said, it's something about you hitting that note and taking us to the next level. He said, I can feel I can do my Tai Chi now that that's. That was awesome. That was awesome. I never expected that
[01:08:32] Fawn: you guys a long time. Did I already talk about this with, I was listening to, I think it was NPR years ago and they were, they were documenting the levels of, frequency, the energetic frequency.
I don't know what you call it, but they were, using. The Beatles as opposed to the Rolling Stones and they, they did the vibration and they said that the Beatles had the highest level of love Vibration. Whereas the rolling stones had the lowest. Yeah. Um, it's really interesting.
[01:09:07] Vanessa: Isn't that amazing? I mean, um, frequency is real.
Oh, that's my old cat. I have, I have a new baby cat two and they're both trying to take over my desk, but, um, yeah, you know, the Beatles were, you know, I want to hold your hand, you know, uh, songs that were about love, you know, um, you know, rock in other ways can, can do that. It would be nice for your audience to kind of do a test, play some different needs.
And see how you feel, see how, you know, what's the energy on it. Does it, does it make you feel good? Does it make you feel or, you know, wanting or, you know, try, try it all. See see what's out there out there. I love positive music. So I played,
[01:09:58] Matt: yeah. I have a hard time listening to everything I listened to. I like to believe is positive.
Yeah. Yeah. And that takes me to my central thought on the whole show, which is, you know, always ask yourself with everything and I'm stealing from Vanessa now. Is it working for you? Yeah, the answer is yes. Keep doing, if the answer is no
[01:10:19] Vanessa: Change it. Change it. Transformation, transformation is something so different than change.
Transformation says I can never go back to that. Once you find out what it is that you're going for, go for it. Don't let anybody stop you. You don't need anybody's permission to move forward in life, to do what you need to do for yourself. You give yourself permission. Thank
[01:10:44] Fawn: you. We need to hear that on replay right there, over and over again.
Is it working
[01:10:49] Vanessa: for, you know what, just
[01:10:53] Fawn: so you guys are, I ran away. I came back. I have it. Should I read it? Yes. It's not different from what we were talking about, but it goes back to friendship and, and before we go, I want to say, thank you. Thank you so much, Vanessa. Once again for gracing us,
[01:11:10] Vanessa: for having me.
[01:11:12] Fawn: Vanessa's information is right there in the show notes, guys, all the links reach out. Um, okay, so here's what this, uh, six year old said the question was, what is love? I saw this on the internet somewhere. Her name is Emma K., and she wrote this a few years ago, but back then she was age six.
The question is what is love? And she says this, she says love is when you're missing some of your teeth, but you're not afraid to smile because you know, your friends will still love you, even though some of you is missing,
[01:11:54] Vanessa: oh, now, now that one needs to go on a t-shirt that needs to be a big poster that we can, we can put in our offices and, and, and to look at and remind us because uh, friends should be able to see friends fall apart, have a really bad meltdown.
And still love you enough to say, okay, your dress is in your panties. We're gonna pull your dress out of your panties now and put your wig on straight. Okay. You good? All right. Let's get to. You know, that's the kind of friends I'm looking for. I'm looking for friends. I can see me at my very worst, but people that deserve your vulnerability, everybody does not deserve your vulnerability.
And so you really need to be at least keen on yourself that you can feel who's for you. And who's pulling for you. And who's not maybe so much either. Maybe no, you don't
[01:12:49] Fawn: share. You need to know what kind of friend they are. We, we base our whole friendship movement on Aristotle and the Nicomachean ethics.
I'll just blurt them, blurt them out really quick. Before we go, we've talked. We talk about this all the time on our show, but there are three kinds of friends. One is your friend because of how they feel when they're around you. Uh, the number two friend is they're friends with you because of what they get from you.
They're getting something from you. But the third friend, this is what Emma describes is the third kind of friendship is people that are friends with you because they just love you wholly as a whole everything, the missing part, everything. Yep. And so that's what we strive for is number three, that's it. And, uh, Vanessa love you.
Love you more have loved you in and out of time. Everything about you. You are a beautiful. Beautiful. Everything. A beautiful artist, a beautiful friend, a beautiful speaker. So inspiring you make the world
[01:14:04] Vanessa: so much better.
[01:14:08] Fawn: Okay. Well, we have to wrap it up because I know Vanessa, but I had to leave like a while ago.
[01:14:15] Vanessa: kept her on, well, you know what? I will, I will be up at 12 midnight tonight drawing. So I'm so sorry to finish, but it was such a joy being with you and Matt, Matt, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Matt.Happy birthday to you.
[01:14:35] Matt: Thank you.
[01:14:37] Fawn: Thank you. All right. We'll see you in
[01:14:41] Vanessa: a few days.
Logic can’t get you out of something that emotion has gotten you into. Fawn and Matt discuss the difference between logic and emotion, the importance of speaking, being heard, the state of the world, how to hear what is really going on and how respect plays the role in all of it. From mixed martial arts to Aikido to Nascar, to Nicomachean Ethics, Matt’s super-secret formula for pick’em survivor league (NFL), to becoming like bamboo, the art of friendship is further unpacked and by the end of the episode things really go deep with one of the big reasons for how our society has become touched by the loneliness epidemic. Make sure you lean in towards the end of the episode for the revelations of imposter syndrome. ...
How do you handle criticism when it is beyond the simple critique? How to hear the good voices telling you, that you’re great, and why do we get stuck on the attacks and become unable to hear the good? Fawn shares her personal experience with her career, being a woman of color in an unkind, white dominated art world, how she was treated, resulting in her fighting back and making a radicle turn in her work , how she does business, as well as how she relates to people. Listen to the funny and revealing stories of the art photography world and her experience out in the bush on the border of Kenya and Ethiopia, how Matt’s code blends in to this issue and how to move forward while staying true to yourself. “Emotion builds Taj Mahals. Logic says F you and walks away. There is a certain element of compartmentalization. There's a certain element of looking holistically at your life and saying, does my life suck or does my life rule? If your life in general rules, one tiny little piece of one tiny little piece of gray sky, isn't going to affect it.” Everybody has moments that they suck, and everybody has moments that they rule. It's a question of what you focus on grows; where you want to spend your emotional currency. ...
Nugget and pearl of wisdom from Santa Monica Days: Iraq and Iran – the adventures of turtle/babysitting. Fawn’s Santa Monica friends (Anders and Liz), named their turtles Iran and Iraq to bring peace to the Middle East. The reasoning for the choice of their names was that every time they called their turtles lovingly by their names, they not only sent their turtles love but they held loving kindness for the Middle East at the same time. Words have power. Fawn and Matt begin relating words, numbers, zeros, ones and computer coding. Matt corrects Fawn and says as a programmer, he thinks “all things are code, code is not necessarily math. It’s Boolean logic and saying it’s a bunch of zeros and ones fails to convey the true majesty that is.” This week’s topic is about the first time you felt the power of friendship and what it did for you and your life. The alliance that we talk about this week is all about the sense that together, you’re able to do ANYTHING. You can overcome racial injustice, you can overcome economic injustice. You're able to overcome any obstacle or any hurt in front of you, TOGETHER. This is why we began this friendly movement, because we’ve found that our society has really deteriorated as far as people really being together in neighborhoods, offices and at home, and how in-person friendships, walking arm in arm is now rare. Friendship and the alliance that is created within that sanctuary are incredibly powerful and we wonder why it has disappeared and why we've become so disconnected. Together, we can create great beauty, peace and strength and have a kinder, healthier, richer, more compassionate ...