Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, Re-claiming Your Attention & Relieving Reality of Its Seriousness

PLUS: Returning to Bali, Exploring Archetypes & Blood-Sucking Gnats

Hello Curious One 👋

As I tap on this keyboard, there are gigantic tropical raindrops plopping on the wooden roof, the stormy beats are punctuated by a droning daredevil mosquito as he circles above—waiting for the perfect moment to dive-bomb my fleshy arm.

Strangely I feel a modicum of respect for his uncompromising blitzkrieg and wonder if I might be able to learn a thing or two about relentless consistency and pursuit of my mission from this airborne blood-sucking gnat 🦟


🌴 Returning to Bali // after more than a year of bouncing around the Americas it feels restorative to have something akin to a home base again—especially one with such a vibrant community. I can already feel stiff creativity muscles aching to be stretched.

🎙️ Podcast News // the recent conversation with neuro-anthropologist + flow genius Jamie Wheal seems to have really resonated (listen here) plus there two juicy new episodes that just dropped (more below).

🫁 Nervous System Mastery // I’ve been quietly tinkering away on a curriculum that builds on my resilience research & breathwork protocols—designed to share a comprehensive, evidence-backed and highly practical program that I believe has the potential to be genuinely transformative for both leaders & coaches.

👑 Exploring Myth + Archetypes // I’ve become somewhat (very) obsessed with the rambunctious mythic writing of Martin Shaw, learning about the sacred and the profane as well as diving into the men’s mythopoetic movement initially founded by Robert Bly. These thoughts haven’t yet coalesced into coherence but I can feel a deep dive essay brewing in the coming weeks.


Alright, that’s all for now folks—if you feel drawn to reply with a sentence or two, please do so and either way, I hope that you are thriving and living from a place of aliveness.

Stay Curious Out There!

~ JM

📸 Sunrise over Mt. Agung, Bali, Indonesia 🌋

🎙️ Ep #28 // Overcoming Imposter Syndrome & Re-Claiming Your Attention with Award-Winning Poet Max Stossel (link)

Max Stossel is an award-winning poet (whose short films have been seen over 40 million times) advisor to Tech for Humanity, successful filmmaker and all-around wise human who I'm grateful to call a brother.

In this poetic + lyrical conversation we explore:

🖋️ The journey that led him from designing notification systems at a social media company to exploring the art and science of attention.

📱 The dangers of smartphone addiction + practical questions as users that we can be asking ourselves.

📝 How he describes his work as a blend of poetry, standup comedy and storytelling.

💔 How he's found the courage to lean into painful experiences and get curious about heartbreak.

🦅 How his writing workshop on avoidance and imposter syndrome led to my publishing a short poetry book.

🙋‍♂️ His experience and insights from leading men's groups and how this work has changed his life for the better.

Listen here


🎙️ Ep #29 Effing the Ineffable, Re-Imagining Love & Relieving Reality of Its Seriousness with Alice Frank (link)

In one of the longest and most wide-ranging episodes to date, this conversation is with filmmaker, poet, relationship coach and utterly unique human being Alice Frank—who is here as she says to proudly "eff the ineffable".

Her book 'My Real Name Is You' has been loved by Eckhart Tolle said 'My favourite poem I ever heard' and Jason Mraz who shared: 'Her words are alive the same way notation can fly off a page and become sweet music.'

I'm slightly at a loss for words attempting to describe the ground that we covered but I will add that she is one of the most present people I've ever met and has a truly astounding capacity to articulate the great mysteries of life.

Here's a sampling of where our conversation led:

✨ Her spiritual awakening that lasted for a decade and what her experience was of being no-one (and the challenges of living so deeply in the present)... followed by what she described as her 'breakup with god'.

😆 Why we lose touch with our sense of play and why we should strive to 'relieve reality of its seriousness'. I loved that one of her favourite mantras is 'Can you imagine if it mattered? Can you imagine if it mattered?'

❤️ Her journey from the depths of polyamory to more recently getting married, reframing un-conditional love to 'all-conditional' love & how she now coaches couples to remember what this even means.

🎴 Her current meditation practice and why she created a 'silent retreat in a box' — a beautiful series of mantra cards to create your own home meditation retreat (definitely check this out!)

Listen here


🔗 Et Cetera

❓ How to ask useful questions

🌎 How to think beyond ourselves

🧊 Antarctica now has a ‘true south’ flag

👀 In praise of looking closely via Craig Mod

🎙️ Superb podcast exploring Mythic Masculinity

❤️ Love in a time between worlds (journal paper)

💡 Tips for how to prioritise project ideas (deep dive)

📹 The wisdom of trauma (must-watch documentary)

🧠 Scientists dig into the brain’s curiosity mechanism

👨‍🎓 Why cohort-based courses are the future for online learning


📝 Parting Poem

物の哀れ, もののあはれ (the pathos of things)

What if I were to love the wild,

The way that I adore my lover

When liberated from perspectives

That anaesthetise a capacity

To live in that fierce heat

Of inevitable disappearance.

//

What if I could love the humpbacks,

the hawks and the brown bears?

As if they too were drenched

In a fertile impermanence,

That is both a blessing

And a heartfelt reckoning.

Would tears of grief erupt from the skies?

Would an infinite ribbon of colour flood the horizon?