Month: July 2017

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Our Purpose.

We exist to help you get the most out of every day. 

From the minute you wake up, to the time you go to bed, you get to choose how you spend your every minute. From what you eat, to what you do, each decision shapes your life.  Many of these decisions revolve around questions. What value will this bring to my life? What should I be focusing on? Am I happy?

Finding the right questions for you, at the right time in your life and in a way that is easy, is our goal. Because the individual who is grounded, clear and focused is the individual who can perform at the highest levels and can make an incredible difference in the world. By helping one, we help many.

Ultimately, we want to make sure you one day look back feeling proud of how you’ve lived. If we can play a small part in helping you reflect and grow each day, well that’s good enough for us. Because by being a better you, you make the rest of the world a better place. And ultimately we all win.

Thank you for taking the time to understand our “why”. Hope to connect with you during this journey!

Marc Champagne
KYŌ Cofounder
Toronto, Canada

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Spiritual Direction with Lacy Clark Ellman

Lacy Ellman is a spiritual director and runs A Sacred Journey, a website she created focused on incorporating spirituality and intention into people’s travels and daily life. Lacy is passionate about guiding others along their life journey and helping them find their true selves. As an entrepreneur who has developed her own brand and provides classes, writes a blog and offers a spiritual journey product line on Etsy, she is constantly experiencing moments of self-reflection for both herself and her business. She consistently asks herself and her clients questions, and although some of them seem simple, she believes they are the key to unlocking big truths; Truths about ourselves and our lives.

 

Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction? Lacy explains that what she offers is a one on one relationship with her clients, similar to a life coach or to therapy. “What it focuses on is the movement of God in your life… It’s about being intentional in everyday life.” Lacy shared that encountering God, and being mindful, doesn’t have to only occur in a church or on special sites, but rather can be experienced in our everyday life and simple tasks. From cooking daily meals, to time spent with family and friends, to days at work, these are all opportunities for mindfulness and spirituality.

Lacy’s role as a Spiritual Director is to help her clients experience a time of mindfulness. “My role is to hold a space for them and find that sacred thread of meaning that’s woven about their experiences and help them journey deeper to their true self.” She teaches people to be more present and the importance of slowing down and paying attention. [SL1]

'True spiritual practice is paying attention.' Click To Tweet

The Invitation to Show Up

Recognizing the importance of mindfulness is the first step, but knowing where to start can be difficult. Mindfulness means paying closer attention to what is around you and what is in your mind and it begins with a willingness to learn. “The invitation is to show up,” shares Lacy.

Along her own personal journey, Lacy’s discovery of spirituality was a paradigm shift. Growing up, she was taught that prayer was about bringing things to God, when really, one can just sit in God’s presence and just be. Lacy explains how this is similar to mindfulness and meditation. “Just be. You don’t have to do.” A tip she has for beginners is to take an everyday task or habit, such as having your morning coffee, and use that as a chance to meditate.

'Be in the moment and don’t do anything. Just be with the task.' Click To Tweet

The Importance of Asking Questions

No matter your life’s journey, it is important to ask yourself questions. “Questions help you locate yourself,” explains Lacy. “The questions that you have are the questions of your soul.” She explains that these important questions are deeply embedded within ourselves and they are all clues to who we truly are.

Whether you write your responses to these questions down, discuss them aloud or just sit and ponder them quietly, learning how to consistently ask yourself questions is a learning process. “The process of asking yourself questions, of being inquisitive and curious, is an ongoing practice.”

 

Lacy is passionate about what she does and is grateful for moments when she connects with others about spiritual direction. She likes to think of these moments as a “spark”, and they inspire her passions. “Those sparks remind me of what I’m enthusiastic about; Bringing others into the conversation feels like a launching pad for things to come.”

Lacy’s Questions for KYŌ (App):

  • Is this what I want to be doing?
  • What will make me feel better?
  • What truly nourishes me and my life?

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Cold Showers, Spring-loaded shoes & Letting Go with Kevin Rose

When one of the founders of Digg says he tries to start every day with a 1-minute freezing cold shower, you take notice. Sure, it’s your first instinct to ask Kevin Rose about tech investments and entrepreneurship, but like many of us, his accomplishments don’t define him. Thankfully, he was kind enough share some of the lessons he’s learned through the years.

 

Once a Builder, Always a Builder

When we asked Kevin to describe who he is as a person, he stumbled. We were expecting a long list of accomplishments that includes credits like working at Google Ventures and investing in (at the time) startups like Facebook and Twitter. But instead of sounding like a LinkedIn profile, Kevin explained how he’s constantly evolving, both personally and professionally.

“I never have a concrete answer for that because I’m changing all the time. I’m always learning,” he says. “But ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a builder trying to invent things.” Whether he’s building a new app, or building a successful team, Kevin’s instinct to innovate is quite consistent.

'When I was a kid, I once opened up my tennis shoes to put springs in them so I could jump like Jordan' Click To Tweet

 

Outgrowing Ego

As a successful entrepreneur, tech investor, and podcaster, Kevin has learned a lot in his career. But one piece of advice he would tell his younger self is to, “let go of the ego and ask the dumb questions. Ego only gets in the way of achieving things,” he shares.

Setting the ego aside isn’t easy, but the ability to let things go is something Kevin is starting to master. “What I realized in my 30s is that I would try to plan and control things. But as you get older you realize there’s so much out of your control,” he explains.

 

The Art of Letting Go

Kevin is a natural planner. Whether it’s in his personal or professional life, he likes to plot things out and know his next move. He used to think he could define happiness before it happened, but as he got older he began to realize that, “You can’t have these hard and fast rules about happiness and life. There’s too much structure there to take the randomness that occurs.” And it’s this ability to embrace the randomness that’s helped bring balance to Kevin’s life.

 

Mindfulness is the Ability to Float

When it comes to being mindful, Kevin meditates as much as he can. He reflects and thinks about a process that allows him to obtain balance both personally and professionally. But meditation and living a mindful lifestyle didn’t come over night, it was something he realized later in his career.

'It’s about accepting what is.' Click To Tweet

“The best analogy is swimming. When you’re in the water and you start grasping at things to hold onto, you can tire yourself out. But if you let go, you can just float,” he explains. “It’s about accepting what is. Learning these principles has allowed me to relax and appreciate the day,” he says.

With regards to letting go, Kevin is also a big supporter of journaling and the concept of reflection. “Journaling is a form of self-therapy. It lets you release feelings. It’s such a powerful tool that anyone can use and it’s something you can do on your own,” he says.

Kevin is currently developing Oak Meditation, an app that trains people on how to meditate. “I found that a lot of the meditation apps tell you what you can do and when, but I always wanted something that could help me get trained up so I could go on my own,” he says

And when you look at his career in technology, his investments, and what he’s built since those spring-loaded tennis shoes, carving his own path is something Kevin Rose is pretty good at. To stay connected with Kevin head over to THE JOURNAL, a monthly newsletter with product reviews, podcasts and articles.

 

Kevin’s questions for the KYŌ App:

  • Am I finding balance?
  • How can I empower someone else today?
  • If I’m building something, what’s my insight?

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Pace of Life with Tara Mann

We at KYŌ use Basecamp daily, allowing us to accomplish a high level of productivity and reach our full potential. Basecamp is a program that encourages mindfulness in the workplace and helps create a calmer office environment and work lifestyle. So, we were quite excited when we had the chance to sit and talk with Tara Mann, a designer at Basecamp.

Tara has a passion for technology and user-centred design. She has always paid attention and been attracted to the subtleties of design. Whether it was a bowl, a watch, or shoes, she often collected things she liked as a child, not realizing she loved design until later on. Gaining a formal education at design school in college is when she realized she could combine her love of technology, apps, and how humans think with design. She discovered interaction design, and a passion was born.

'I love all aspects of design.' Click To Tweet

Pace of Life

One question Tara often asks herself is, “Am I happy with where I’m living?” As someone who has moved to another city for a job, she finds it strange that people often move just for work. “To me, the city I live in is so important and affects me mentally on so many levels. It’s crazy that I moved out of the city I loved into a city I didn’t want to live in just because of a job.”

She explains the importance of figuring out what pace of lifestyle fits you and your personality best. For example, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and NYC – three cities Tara has lived in – all have very differently paced lifestyles. Tara believes that being mindful about which lifestyle works best for you will make a big difference in feeling fulfilled and at peace.

'What pace of lifestyle makes me most happy?' Click To Tweet

 

Balancing the Work Day

As somebody who works from home, Tara has the freedom to complete tasks as she desires and make her own schedule. However, setting boundaries and figuring out a balance when working remotely can be tough. She enjoys going for walks and takes breaks to remain composed and relaxed throughout the day.

 

Mindfulness; A Work in Progress

Living in a constantly connected world, and working in a fast-paced workplace can make it difficult to be mindful, but Tara acknowledges how Basecamp is helping her and others be more mindful. “Basecamp is a product that forces you to think before you write and be mindful in that way.” Tara also recognizes that mindfulness is something to constantly work on. “It’s something I haven’t totally figured out but I’m interested in it and figuring out how it fits in my life and my work process.”

 

Tara’s Questions for KYŌ (App):

  • What are my professional goals?
  • Why do I live where I live?
  • What pace of lifestyle makes me most happy?

 

We’re a proud customer of Basecamp. This software has literally changed our lives and the way we work at KYŌ. – Marc Champagne (KYŌ Cofounder)