002: Maya Zuckerman - Staying humble while being noble
Maya Zuckerman is a regenerative entrepreneur, transmedia producer and co-Founder of Transmedia SF, story architect and author, and culture hacker - based in San Francisco, California.
In this episode, we talk about:
The Regenerative Narrative, what it is and how you can support this very relevant movement
Em’s Theory, a sci-fi/fantasy series that Maya is currently writing about a brilliant, opinionated particle physics student that discovers she has the power to control our futures, and must find the others like her to stop a secret shadow government who wishes to control humanity’s future
Lastly, we talk about the concept of “Topia”, which is worth the wait so stick with us
How Wolves Change Rivers (video)
Tomighty (productivity app)
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Maya Zuckerman: 00:00:00 Stay humble, you're made of the earth. Stay noble, you're made of the stars. I hold that paradox and that's, that's what I offer people and that's what I offer for myself and for you.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:00:19 Welcome to the Vitalic Project podcast where you'll learn how to find your own voice in a world filled with noise. I'm Gabe Ratliff. I'll be your host as I sit down with fellow artists, creators, and entrepreneurs to learn more about their work and how they serve others so that you can tap into your creative purpose and live a life that's drawn, not traced. All right, I'm stoked. Let's get to it. Hey guys, thanks so much for being here for this episode of the Vitalic Project. This is episode two. I'm so excited for you to meet Maya Zuckerman. Maya is a very dear friend of mine. She lives in San Francisco and she is a powerhouse. Maya is a regenerative entrepreneur, a transmedia producer and co-founder of Transmedia SF. She's a story architect and author and culture hacker. During our chat, we dive into some fascinating topics, specifically around the regenerative narrative, what it is, and how you can support this very relevant movement. We talk about "Em's Theory", is a sci-fi/fantasy series that my is currently writing about a brilliant opinionated particle physics student that discovers she has the power to control our futures and must find the others like her to stop a secret shadow government who wishes to control humanity's future. Very cool story and extremely complex. So I'm really looking forward to you hearing her unpack what this whole idea is about and how she's working through it. And lastly, we talk about this interesting concept of "Topia", which is worth the wait, so I really hope you'll stick with us and we got a lot of content to jump into here. So let's just get to it.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:02:05 All right. Maya Zuckerman, thank you so much for being here. I'm so excited for you to be on the show.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:02:11 Thank you. So happy to be here. This is amazing.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:02:14 Yeah. And uh, you are amazing. You have so much going on. I thought maybe we could start off with you just telling the Vitalic audience about who you are and you know, all the great projects you have going on right now.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:02:29 Yeah, for sure. Um, so I'm Maya Zuckerman. Um, I don't know what I do yet. I'm still learning. Um, I'm an avid learner, learner life learner. What it says on my linkedin though is that apparently I am VP of Ops and Product for a startup and I'm also advising a couple other groups on different really interesting projects, um, around regenerative design and blockchain and cool things like that. But really where my heart is, is in this meme, called the regenerative narrative and it's the story of hope. It's like if we're, um, if we're at the cusp of a huge change on our planetary system, how do we tell the story, the kind of middle way story that will bridge between the real doom and gloom that's in front of us into a potential positive future for us if we do our work. So that's really where I'd like to do my life work is supporting the planet in getting there and it's, it's um, I can talk later about it, but I came up with a concept that is surrounding the word Topia, but I can talk about it later. So ask me more questions.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:03:43 Yes. Stay tuned. Kids. So, you know, I started to research this some, but I just, I really want to hear you unpack this whole idea for me around the regenerative design, and for the audience because this is fascinating. I had not actually heard of it in this way and so I'm really interested to dive a little deeper into like what is the, what does that look like on the ground floor here and, and what is the sort of future vision for that? What, how are you actually engaging with this on a day to day basis?
Maya Zuckerman: 00:04:17 So first let's unpack the word regenerative, which means taking something that was already there and giving it energy again so it can heal itself. That's really what regeneration is about. So it comes from the biomimicry and understanding that the earth can heal itself. Sometimes what we need to do is maybe just interrupt a little bit and then let go and let the systems actually course correct. Um, so that's the framing of regenerative within it. We've got regenerative design and agriculture culture and culture and narratives and all of that that kind of take the same concept of regenerative, have actually biomimicry where we look at what is the system doing naturally that helps it thrive? Where did we interject, how do we change that and then kind of let it do its thing. So for instance, in agriculture is instead of tilling the land, which is actually not good because we're breaking a mycelium where we're moving things and not a good way, it's untilled soil. So we just put in the, you know, which unit see drops in and just put in the seed, you cover it and you don't tell the soil and he let the land do what it's good at. I'm in a permaculture. Agriculture is very, very connected to those where you don't just do monoculture, you create a system for the, for your fruits, vegetables, whatever you're growing to live in, and the system supports it's thrivability versus like going monoculture where you're dictating exactly what every moment is going to happen. And that's actually very non regenerative because what happens over time, and we're bringing agriculture is kind of the, the, the, the base of this whole thing is too much. Monoculture brings in more, um, more, um, you know, pollutants, it brings in more insects. It brings in more issues. But also if your monoculture fails, like for instance, it happened a bunch with bananas, if that Monica specific string a strand a dies, you're going to lose everything where when you have a very, um, multicultural, very diverse system in future usually thrives better. Um, that's Kinda like the, the basis of this idea. So if we look at it in culture, diverse cultures actually seemed to thrive. More cities are diverse cultures and they usually thrive more than anywhere else in the human system. Yes, there are, there issues in cities, but that's, those are systemic issues. We can still clean up, but I can still work with, but in thrivability, people feel more engaged with our community than to stand their culture. The multicultural more. They enjoy themselves more. They actually have a different way of looking at systems, not that old village ways are not the way to go, but their old ways and the new frame of mind, the diversity is better. Um, diversity of ideas is better. Uh, we make better products when we have diverse perspectives, uh, when we have very singular perspective such as when we develop things like ai, et cetera. If we don't have a diverse perspective, those systems can actually kill. And it's already happened. It happened in Arizona where a car killed a woman because it couldn't recognize it as a human. And I'm saying it for a reason. Um, so you know, when we bring in more diversity, all of a sudden we have better products, better solutions. And also it's a conversation of bringing everybody to the table. That's where the regenerative narrative is. It first starts with kind of a, what I call the intersectional journey where we get to invite everybody. We create a safe space and then we tell stories of not how we destroy this planet, or how we fight the evil people, which that's still very important and I still do that, but how do we actually create stories of what works, stories of solution stories of the bridge, the gap between what's not happening and the solutionary people that are actually doing things. So that's kind of where my work is more and more looking at those different projects that are happening in the world and how can I support them. So that's a lot. But let's start with that.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:08:26 Well, I'm still processing all that. So I guess, wow, that's a lot. So I guess one of the questions I had is, is as you were changing this narrative of how you're pushing this out, uh, how, how can others not just follow along, but how can they support this movement and be more active in it? Like where, where are the venues that you can be or the platforms people can participate?
Maya Zuckerman: 00:09:03 The first thing was just learning about regenerative design and there's so many amazing books around that. Anything from really heavy, heavy books to a, there's a wonderful book called, um, I think It's "Creating Regenerative Culture" and it's Daniel Wahl. It's one of the seminal books that really brings in the narrative perspective of it and the conversation because really like the bigger framing is, and it's, I think it's, for me, it's a spiritual practice and I'm agnostic. Atheist is the understanding that we are nature. I mean that's, that's kind of where it starts. Like first understand your nature and second thing is understand that you're not completely human. You're like, it was a 12 percent, 10 percent human and the rest of it is multicultured entities on you from mitochondria to your microbiome, to all of that. So you're actually in full interaction with your environment at any given time. So understanding that first I think is where people should start is actually just the biology of it, the understanding that we're part of nature. So if we want to actually solve the biggest issues of our times, we can't just think about our consciousness and our way of thinking. We've actually got to go back to nature and actually understand and be humble and learn from it because it is ancient, uh, or she is ancient and she has all the information that we will ever need, you know, it's all nature. So then that's where it starts. And then after that kind of self discovery and then also I think it's a mindset of shifting from shifting from there's only problems too late and says John Lennon said, you know, "there's no problems, only solutions" and that's actually what drives me. It's like, and sometimes solutions are, could become problems because you know, the fossil fuel was a great thing, you know, a solution to a problem of getting somewhere from a to b faster. That became one of our biggest problems again. So we could actually think about it as there's a, almost a circular issue when we actually develop things from a linear thoughts. I think that's another thing is like people starting to think about how to think in systems. So systems thinking is part of this because if we think in linear thought, we only see formulas that are very linear. This is not, these are not linear solutions, you know, um, and, and some of the places like there is, um, even though I've just read a research that's not a 100 that they said it's not 100 percent right, exactly what a beautiful video showed. But to start finding the narratives of talk about it, there's a beautiful video called, um, it's about when they brought back the wolves to yellowstone park. Have you ever seen that one?
Gabe Ratliff: 00:11:48 Yeah.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:11:49 And that is exactly what I'm talking about. It's like, yes, we off the walls there and it basically started deteriorating the ecosystem there. But what we did is we did that one thing which was like bring them back and then we let it go. So I think that mindset of like, yes, there are places where we need to put in our human control and then let nature take over. And I think there's a level of humility, humbleness that needs to happen. Um, it's, it's much more aligned and attuned to what the native Americans talked about. Seventh generation rights for nature of nature. That is the place where people can actually start learning. And actually having this appreciation of a, you know, it's not something that you just get, you sometimes get it or not, but it's an appreciation and a mindset change that we need to have on the planet. I mean, this is it. This is actually for our survival. So there is not a. Oh, this is a nice, sweet. So naive idea. I know it's kind of like aligned with our systems or bust, you know, and nobody's going to come to save you. It's, it's, it's very much a call to action to all of us to say what can I do? And then figuring it out for yourself.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:13:02 You, you brought to mind a couple of questions. One of them is, do you feel like in the current times that we're in and with the general landscape, either here in the states or globally, um, do you feel like that consciousness is ready to kind of push in that direction? Where do you know, and this kind of leads to my second question around technology and where we're heading with, you know, the distractions of today. Um, but there's also, I feel like great example is vinyl. I used to be a music music buyer for vinyl and there was a point there in the early 00s where that stuff was high. That stuff was um, uh, you know, that was going away. We were seeing this analog world go away and then we saw, you know, digital explode in a lot of places were closing: distributors, record stores and it's been a great analogy seeing that, that did not go away. It's actually, that's right. It's actually coming back in a much, in a very big way, you know, and it's actually holding tight with digital. (dog barks) That's right! Preach on, brother. Preach on.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:14:39 You can, you can edit it, you can not edit, but I got your question. I'm sorry about that. Nike. Yeah. Sometimes when it starts a okay, he's done. So he did there. So your question about um, you know, as an example of vinyl coming back big time and in a different way that that's like, it's so artisanal and special and all of a sudden it blows up and I think it's exactly that. And, and, and the thing is, I think the sad part of it is people are still, people actually are not understanding or grokking the severity of where we are and they're still in like, because we don't have a mature, um, you know, a mature species. We have a very very adolescent, or even preadolescence species so it thinks it can still play while the trees are burning and, and the ocean is being, you know, we're getting ocean acidification. So it's very, and I'm part of it, I'm part of this adolescent trying to grow up. Um, and um, and you know, I live in this awesome house and I can travel whenever I want. I can go to restaurants and I'm like, and I know it's temporary. I know that might not be in our lifetime, it might be just after and we're going to start feeling it's getting worse, but still not that bad. But the next generation is going to have it really bad unless we really, really, really, really a change it. But it's still going to get worse before it's going to get better at. So. So I think there's, is this kind of like, oh, you know, it's a great idea that's kind of connect to nature and let's make this better and it's just like hippy dippy idea and it's like, no, this is what we need and this is for the survival of our planet and we, you know, these ideas come back and forth and we have these kinds of things that go away and come back and is renewable a great idea and we have these technologies changing. And of course here in America we're having a major, nationalistic, very anti intellectual, very problematic government right now that is putting money against the planet. So you know, I'm going to name it that I am not seeing Republican or Democrat at this point. I'm saying, are you for the planet or against the planet? And that's it. And that's where I pledge my pledge, my allegiance to the planet. So if you're passing EPA laws against the planet, you're against me and against the planet. It's very cut and dry. There's no politics here. They're playing the politics, a narrative game that they're playing with the future of, of our descendants. I know those planets. So, um, I'm. Did I answer the question that I go on a rant?
Gabe Ratliff: 00:17:13 No, I mean, you, you're definitely going in that direction. The direction I was talking about. Yeah. Because part of what I wonder about is a couple of things, you know, I see, I see it, there's a large contingent of people that are out there promoting and acting with these amazing, um, movements, organizations, projects that are making this type of a change. You know, there's, there's the, the kid that he's no longer a kid, but he was like 16 and he built the device to try and solve for the, the, the trash pile in the ocean, right? That's now being tested and you know, that's finally come to fruition. So there's this generation that's coming up, millennial and below that's, you know, they're, they're fighting for it now. And then there were people, I guess in our generation that are also carrying the fight. Um, and, you know, yeah, I see. There's a lot of, I feel like it's a lot of the older generation who doesn't really have that, they've, they're, they're, they're expiration date is a little closer and so I feel like it's almost like they don't necessarily feel that.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:18:32 Yeah, they don't care.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:18:33 Not a blanket statement, but just I feel like that's where that comes from. Whereas we do and obviously you know, the younger generations do. So I guess what I'm wondering is, you know, speaking to that same direction you were going just around, do you feel like the urgency is high enough and that the consciousness is large enough that we're going in a direction where we actually have the ability to make a difference and to kind of stand together and do this? Or do you feel like we're still kind of in this limbo state that something massive has got to happen even more than it is now to finally get people to wake up?
Maya Zuckerman: 00:19:10 I think we're actually in the right trajectory to, to wake more people. I think in every community when it, a quarter of the people actually write awake, awake. They don't all have to do the work to change everything. So I think there is, and I think we'll know in November if we have actually in America, if we managed to kind of have this "blue tsunami", um, and even calling it a tsunami for a reason and not a wave. Um, and um, so, so during the post election hellscape, I'm one of the books that kind of carried me through those times as a book and it was great because I finished the book and then a new, his new book came out. I'm a book called "Blessed Unrest" by Paul Hawken. Uh, he wrote that in 2007 where we're coming out of the Bush era and that was another horrible era for the environment. Even in the end, he didn't like completely destroy everything. It wasn't as bad as this guy, um, but not even close to this guy. But in the book he talks about how the biggest decentralized moving on movement on the planet is all this social justice and environmental environmental movements. So, um, if we look at, and then his next book is called project "Drawdown", which is 100, uh, solutions that just came out last year, 100 solutions for drawing down carbon. So he looks at what would be all the solutions to pull down the carbon. So carbon sequestration, oh, so actually there's no carbon sequestration is much, he is more reducing carbon. So there's also an but in the book they show kind of coming attraction which more the carbon sequestration, which is a whole other movement that is happening right now and is very, very, very interesting. Um, but within the book, 100 solutions, uh, the number one solution overall is a bit boring. It's refrigeration, but you know, if we actually optimize refrigeration, we can lower the amount of CO2 blown into the, into the planet. But if you put number five and number six together, they're the number one. And that's been a really interesting solution. And what it is, is think number five is family planning that's dealing with the population and number two it. And number six was a educating women, educating girls. So, um, so again, just talking together, right? So together they're the number one. So looking at regeneration, looking at complex systems, looking at all of this conversation, you see that it's not like one solution, it's this army of solution, it's just like there's a, there's an army of, of thinkers, of, of creators, of entrepreneurs, of artists, of, of, um, a spiritual leaders. Everybody kind of beating the same drum. In September, we're going to have here in San Francisco, the Global Climate Week here, a led by a Governor Brown. And uh, before that the eighth is going to be Climate March here in San Francisco, which I'm very excited about. Um, and there's gonna be like a million events. So many events are going to be here around that a week. So, um, uh, that's gonna be a big moment here in time and, and, and again, some people say, oh, these marches don't do anything. And I'm like, actually, that's not true. Most of the people I've made in marches and there's kind of two factions are the ones who are like, I'm an activist and I'd come to the marches because I'm down and I need to Kinda like to rejuvenate with my people. And the other part is other people are. I've never marched before, but this is so important. I just decided to march today. So, so, you know, so basically the kind of the, there's the rite of passage of like when you want to do something and you don't know what to do, you join a march and there is a kind of reinvigorate your fire to continue doing what you're doing. Um, and it's really interesting because I've been, I've been to the DC Climate March, which was just one of our pinnacle marches and events that I've, I've, um, been part of. And you know, again, there are naysayers and say this is not working. It's too slow. People are not changing fast enough. And to those people, I say, yeah, I hear you and you're probably right, but how do we tell humanity that actually the thing that we have at the bottom of the Pandora box to hold to is hope to stop, stop hoping and stop showing up in a, like there's two ways that we do it. We actually lie down and die today. Oh, we keep on fighting until it kills us. And that's part of the human condition. So like I'd rather be on the faction of actually trying to do something and whatever way it is, because I think when you make waves, it doesn't matter if you one person making small ways or big core group of activists doing huge way. We're making waves and, and I think it's global, you know, the fact that we have a horrible moment in time in America that we're really hoping is gonna get rectified pretty quickly because all the signs are there. Um, or we have a global leader that's sinking it's ship. Um, uh, you know, that that gives me hope that there is so many people saying, no, this is not okay. Um, China is in a weird way, even though they just kind of been saying they should have more kids again, which is like very bad idea for like, you know, try to, you are doing so well and now you got a that's not even good get to China, but India is kind of waking up to what they have to do. I mean they can't breathe in Delhi, even when we were in, you know, you've been to Delhi, right? You didn't join us on that. Uh, you did join us on the, on the travel together, but you didn't, you didn't go back to, you didn't actually go and travel there.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:25:00 We're trying, we're trying.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:25:02 Delhi is hard, Delhi is harsh. It's like
Gabe Ratliff: 00:25:06 Mumbai as well. They're both just getting crushed with people. And I mean if they're on top of each other.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:25:11 Pollution is just, it literally is breathtaking because you cannot pretty it. So you know, it's real. So I think all of these things are pointing to people are, I believe we have enough people waking up and he talked about the younger people. There are so many of them. It's amazing to see, and they're all going like, we gotta do this now we've got a group of youngsters sewing the federal government and uh, and they're winning and they will win. I'm so, yeah, I'm at, this is what gives me hope is all of these stories and once you kind of like start laying them down and like, okay, it's not only me, there's so many people doing this.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:25:57 Yeah, it's, I agree. I think it's that, you know, the ripple effect, like you said, bigger small starts to be so widespread that it just keeps kind of grabbing momentum and pushing forward, which is good thing. Um, yeah, I, that's one of things I get so excited about, you know, my little niece and nephew, they live. I'm just like in our neighborhood several blocks over and I get to see it through their eyes, you know, uh, my niece just did this thing called Girls Rock that's every year. It's like a, you know, a music camp and they spend the week writing songs from scratch with their friends and then they get to play them on Saturday. And it's, a lot of them are like very strong women, empowered songs and so is their theme song and they got their shirts that say smash, smash the patriarchy. And so we supported them, we got shirts for that and so we're rocking those. Um, and, you know, it's just, there's these little pockets around that are doing these things and they're getting them young when they're building those, those morals and those beliefs in this principles and they're realizing like, I don't want to live this way, I want to look this way and I'm a or I don't want to live that way. I want to live this way. And, you know, just taking, taking initiative, like you said, you know, lawsuits and mean going to full extremes and saying, you know, this, no, we're, let's, let's change this tune. We're going to go to a new station. Um, so speaking to that same thing you talked about mother nature, you know, and being ancient as she is. And I, you know, I, I touched on it earlier, but I'm curious how you feel about that whole concept merged with. Because I know you're also very progressive and so I'm curious how you feel about how, you know, technology has a play in the futurism has a play with this regenerative narrative as we look back to, you know, Mother Nature as this ancient guide.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:28:10 Yeah. Yeah. So again, if everything is natural, so is so is that technology. So we cannot forget that technology can kill us and we shouldn't forget that. Um, I think what I and I live in San Francisco, so a lot of future as friends. I have a lot of singularity people, um, you know, trans humanists, like I get it. Um, but I think the issue where I'm seeing the danger in it is, you know, what the Greeks would call Hubris. It's like we believe were gods and we believe that we can actually change everything. Yet we're a adolescent species that's finally becoming technological or non God's, uh, when we get. There's a scale of civilization called the Kardashev scale.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:29:01 Not the Kardashian.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:29:04 Not the Kardashians. The Kardashev.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:29:06 Just want to make sure that's clear. Kids.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:29:09 Yes. Yeah. It's funny because I remember saying this was another interview. It always comes up, not the Kardashians. No. which is which, if we wanted to actually prove that the species is really not a high level civilization yet, it's because we have the Kardashians putting the perfect, you know, wants all of this bs stops like the reality, the reality TV shows and really, you know, that's what we have a president that's from reality TV show and we actually grow up from that stuff. Then we can actually start having a real civilization here. But um, the Kardashev scale talks about a civilization that takes its energy from either it's a, it star it solar system, it's galaxy and there's levels. So we're not even level one. We're about minus one because we've just learned in the last 50, 60 years how to harness the sun to produce energy. And right now we're not 100 percent of that. When we get to the point where we're 100 percent renewable renewable energy on the whole planet, then we could probably get to maybe level half or one because then we also, you know, I think it's also interplanetary travel, which we don't have yet. We might have some people on Mars. I don't want to go live there. It sounds really horrible. Um, I'm very much happy on taking care of this planet because it is in the goldilocks zone. The other kind of like, I'm, I'm very much about space. Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox. I love it. I love reading about it. I'm into particle physics. I think space exploration is so important, but it's important for the moment. We turn back and look at the planet. Earth rise was 50 years ago. Uh, uh, The Blue Marble was 1972, the Pale Blue Dot when the Voyager 1 left, our solar system was 1991. We're just learning to look outside in, you know, so like the whole like let's build a colony on Mars really quickly and we're going to live there, and we're going to terraform Mars. It's like, oh my God. Like I, yeah. I almost want to have a campaign with an old grandmother going like, you're not going to be allowed to go to Mars until you clean up your room.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:31:28 Yes. That's great. Let's work towards that exploration is fantastic. I agree. I agree. I'm a total sci-fi nut, and a science nonfiction nut, um, but yeah, I, I agree. I think, um, I think it's fantastic that, that, that as a kid who was still part of a generation that understood the excitement around a shuttle launch and going to space, um, you know, I remember we watched, it was such a tragedy, but we watched the Challenger and my mom was actually friends with one of the astronauts because we were from DC and she actually knew one of them and Judy Resnick, I believe is her name and she actually, I found out after I got home I was like, oh my God, mom, did you see that? She's like, we had, we actually know her. She used to live across the street from us. I was like, oh my gosh. I remember the, how impactful that was, you know, watching that on tv in your classroom and just being amazed that we could do that. And I, I still get giddy when I fly and I love to travel. You know, we both love to travel. Um, and whenever, you know, whenever a Tiff and I go somewhere, I, you know, I just get so giddy and I'm just like, I think it's um, oh gosh, I think it's Louis C.K. has the whole joke about like we're in a tin can for 30,000 feet in the air, you know, this is amazing. Like shut up, my Wifi doesn't work. Yeah. Yeah. And he's just like, you people think you're so entitled that you've got to have your Wifi in a tin can that's flying, you know. And I'm like, I'm like him, I just get so excited. So the concept of exploration is massive for me as well. But I agree. I feel like we can't just have a do over and just kind of have a planet be just as um, uh, uh, disposable as an iphone, you know, it'd be like, oh, I'll just go get the new iphone and we'll just make it cool. And there is no planet B. Yeah, there isn't an APP for that.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:33:39 Yeah, yeah. Carl Sagan and Pale Blue Dot, which is, by the way, my, my scripture. Um, so as you know, um, that astronomy is a humbling experience and, and, and he really, and that's kind of what I would like all the people who want to do this space exploration, bring us humbleness, like go explore but be humble about it. And I think that's why Carl is so important. It's because he, he said, you know, he actually said that in Pale Blue Dot, like, you know, we can go visit but we can't actually, uh, you know, we can actually stay there yet, you know, and this is the only, you know, we got to cherish and protect the Pale Blue Dot because it's the only home we've ever known. And if we don't sit with the gravity of it, we're going to lose this. And, and that is something that keeps me up at night and it makes me really sad because we have the potential to solve this. We have all the solutions. We just, I dunno, we were so immature and I'm, I'm part of it because we're like, oh wow, we're finally comfortable. I finally get to like, have my own home. I don't want to like share this with everybody else, I don't want to, I don't want to be uncomfortable again, like it's all about me and you know, and the next 30, 40 years they're going to ask us to go really outside our comfort zone and into a pretty deep grief period. We don't even know how to grieve. Well. And then in the end, the so called West. So yeah, I think that's what worries me. But on the other side, I'm seeing that the flip side of it. So, you know, in the two weeks of, in September, I'm going to go up, I don't know what it is still, but I got invited an invitation to go up and sit with Native Americans about the rights of nature. Uh, I come back and there's the climate march here, and then a week later there's a whole week of climate in information and regenerative design workshops and people are kind of flocking into the city. And then I ended up with a Jack Kornfield and Joanna Macy. I know day long, uh, um, a workshop at the Spirit Rock talking about, you know, loving the earth. So there is that here. Yes. I'm also very aware about the bubble that I live in. Cold Northern California. Um, it's an awesome bubble. It's still a bubble, but it's a bubble of possibility and it's a bubble of diversity. So within that constraints it's quite wonderful. It's quite, there's a lot of awesome possibility here.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:36:14 Yeah. So one of the things I was wondering about, you know, with, with this flock coming in September for this awesome, you know, a event week of sharing and learning and trying to push this forward. I'm curious about, this is actually a question I was going around asking about, but now you solidified it. So, you know, San Francisco has changed quite a bit with the tech boom, but I'm really interested to hear about how at the same time it's now has this very impactful movement and community at the same time. Well I guess post tech boom, but what is that all about? And like, I'm just curious about how it's San Francisco of all places. It's this massive city, it's got the, you know, the real estate has just gone through the roof and it's just, it's kind of turned into this place like a bunch of people from San Francisco have moved here. Yeah. And now here is starting to go the same way. And so I'm asking this from my own personal stake in where I'm at and you've been through it. And so, um, it's just interesting that now there's this event coming up that's about this regenerative movement. Can you speak to that?
Maya Zuckerman: 00:37:35 So San Francisco's a very paradoxical city and you know, um, my husband actually has a news article from 1999 that talks about how the tech boom is going to change and kill everything. So this was not the first time it's happening. This is one of the worst times, but it's always been a pretty. So, you know, actually it's not a massive city and it's a pretty small city. So there's, the issue is that there's not a lot of place here and there's also a lot of restriction on building and building to high. So, which is a good and a bad. Um, it also makes it a very livable human sized city. So because of that it's expensive. So you know that that's kind of the first thing about it. Yes, the tech has changed everything that changed our world, that trend you are live. It's a good and a bad. A lot of my friends have left, a lot of my friends are still here, um, alive. A lot of my friends are evolving into new ways of Housing and renting big mansions and having 10 people live there and making it work. So, so there is a lot of that happening as well. Um, there's also movement across the bay to Oakland. There is the whole bay area kind of being developed, which is a good and a bad developed a little bit differently. Um, and you know, and people are going to continue living leaving, but they're still artists here. It's not like they're all gone. Um, and there is a different feeling here, but there's also, you know, I hung with these futurists salon for two hours debating all kinds of awesome mindful things and that kind of saw the gamut between the people who are more like me, the regenerative people and the people were very much futurists. Um, but on the other side, this is a city that is going to hit the renewable renewable by 20, 30. I'm, it's ahead of time for zero waste. Uh, we have 70 percent zero waste, which means recycling. We also have a citywide compost, a which when I go to any other city and I'm like, you don't come to post. What is wrong with you? I have a compost year and I throw it into my big composter downstairs in the building that I lived in. Um, so there. Yup. Yup. There we go. Just a little. Yeah, I'm old. New roofs will have to have solar. Uh, we have the strongest led, um, a standards in the country. Um, next about three blocks from me. There is a net zero building that was built by some of my friends. Uh, so I know, I know the people who have actually developed it, so it has this like four humongous a solar panels and batteries and all that stuff. So it's got that, um, there's also something that, you know, even though it pains me a little bit, I will say it. Um, uh, there is something about if we have woke one percent and they're actually investing in the change, it will hopefully change the narrative around how do we make this cheaper for everybody not going to say trickle down because that's not it, but it's kind of like investment first actually break through and kind of show that it works and in the prep part of typing as much more expensive. Um, so, and then we have this whole thing of like farmer's markets. We have like eight farmers markets here, so supporting local communities, a lot of farm to table healthy eating. Um, possible. We, we just um, you know, we've already banned plastic bags, we bag plastic bottles, we've banned straws now. So kind of continuing in the, let's don't even get into the recycling conversation. Can we just like not have like either multiuse or compile compostable and you know, there's still a hippie outposts here. I, I go to, I'm a Co op where I can bring all my jars and refill everything. I call it a and calling it a being radically and convenient because you got to like label them and put them in and like poor them and like measure and all of that and it takes like, it takes about an hour to go shopping and in a city where I could open my apps and I have so many delivery options from any store, any restaurant, anything, you know, I actually choose to go to the restaurant. I choose to pick up my food. I choose to like choose my food. It's, it's, it's a, it's a choice and I will work around my life to actually enable that. So, you know, again, it's, it's, it's, it's all here, it's all possible. It works in a smaller city. We also have really good public transportation to point. People are going to argue with me about that. So yeah, that's that San Francisco. So it's got this like horrible saw I had and which is also homeless situation and all of that and it's got this wonderful side as well. And like I have forests in the cities, I have two major huge parks at a couple of of forest I can go to in the city. So, you know, again, it's, it's, that's why people want to be here. [inaudible] special.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:42:24 I love that. Thank you for sharing that because I really wanted to kind of clear the air about what it's like there now on the ground floor, you know, because you hear a lot too when you're not there. Um, when we're in other cities, you know, we hear all kinds of things about what's going on there. So it's so nice to hear about the impact in a positive way that's also happening there. I'm in the midst of the other things that you've heard that we've heard about over the years, you know, so thank you for sharing all that.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:42:55 Yeah, of course. Oh, the last thing we just have got an addition, the coolest park ever. It's a lifted park above the Trans Bay. So it's like two football fields. It's amazing. Like that's a future where we have lifted parks all over the study. I think it's wonderful.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:43:12 Wow. They're about to start on this massive project here that we'll see. We'll see they're gonna tear down, uh, the interstate bridges and drop it down instead of floating it so that they can connect neighborhoods. Oh, not I have a part, you know, like a long park that runs along it and so that they're actually looking at it, looking at it more of that kind of interactive way where there's, it's, there's a park along the whole stretch and it's not just these bridges all over the city. So it's going to be a very long undertaking. But the division you know is coming from a similar place.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:43:53 Yeah. So does that work smarter settings, you know, the vision for the future when we're going to have most of humanity and settings, how do we make the studies better?
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Gabe Ratliff: 00:44:35 I was wondering if you could share a little bit about "Em's Theory" and kind of do a little bit of a turn here because, uh, I'm. This is awesome. I'm really, I was reading about this and you know, as a storyteller and a filmmaker and um, I'm also, you know, script writer, um, I'm really interested in, and obviously a sci-fi fan. So I'm really interested to hear more about "Em's Theory" because it sounds like a really big project for you.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:45:04 Yeah, yeah. It's a project I've been working on for almost three years now and it didn't, it was imagined as a multip multiproduct platform, a project. And now I'm focusing on actually getting the first book out and wow, writing a book as hard and awesome and teaches you about yourself. Um, I'm in the fourth draft of it and I'm actually in the huge rewrite, kind of got a bunch of notes from my mentor and I have an editor and I'm in the. I'm, I even got stuck in the last two weeks of trying to finish one seminal episode from actually completely changing it. And it's like those kind of. Ouch, I got to change things. Yes. But I wrote them before and I don't know if you've been in that. I'm sure it's like the shot is so perfect, but I have to delete it, ya know? But I'm in that like, Okay. Um, and also, uh, I, I had an Aha moment where, so, uh, so let me explain a little bit about the story world. So "Em's Theory", the entry point is through a character is in a 21 year olds have a science, a science phd, candidates called Em and she lives in a newer, futuristic San Francisco and she has two phenomena that's happened to her in the beginning of, of the first book, the kind of basically rattle rattles her whole reality because she's a science geek and then she's a scientist and we're things that are science fiction happened to her and one of them is she starts having these very vivid lucid drains, have an, have a grandmother that comes to her and ancient grandmother or that comes to her and her drains and basically wakes her up. And um, and then the next phenomena that happens after the grandmother starts appearing in the dreams is she actually basically is swallowed by a wormhole and finds herself in a different timeline. And that kind of destroys her because you know, she's tries to basically she, she's a, she is into M-theory and string theory and the multiverse, et cetera. And all of a sudden the, she's in this whole timeline paradox but kind of doesn't really work with what with science. It's actually more science fiction, so you know, how do we bridge between science and science fiction, not everything, signs of science fiction and, and, and, and the many kinds of conversations around that. Um, and uh, and they're in there is kind of like when I've been reading about the science of the science fiction with when multiverse and timelines, the jury is out. It's not, they don't say it's the same thing. They say it's two different things. They can be in a different universe and you can be in a different timeline and what is that? So she started kinda starts going like, what the hell's happening to me? And then she starts time jumping into these multiple probabilities of, of the future of humanity and the planet. It's. And some of them are fully dystopian and some of them are fully utopian. She actually starts in utopia because it's too good. It's too juicy and perfect and beautiful and everything's okay. Um, and we all want to kind of have that, but it's not real. We got to have some grit and needs to be some technology. And this is a very non technological world that she jumps to and through the book she starts finding herself in these worlds, starts understanding her shadows within these worlds. Start finding that, you know, we're light and shadow, we have both and how do we bridge this and how do we find a world that kind of works for everybody. And the other thing is she finds out towards this is towards the end of the book first book, is that she's part of the bigger collective. So it's not only about her finding her way, it's us finding our tribe finding, but not in a tribalistic way, but finding the others that are aligned with you that want to create something good for the world. I'm sorry. Finding the others that have a higher purpose and support you to shine in your role. Um, and most of my characters are very deep empaths. These are not like super power are crazy. They're more feeling a, even though they have a few kind of like little superpowers here and there, they just have power. Um, but finding your power of finding kind of being in your own internal journey, um, and I don't want to call it the hero's journey. I called the protagonist journey and then finding the art collective and what do you, where do you fit in and how does that collective moves things. So that's, that's the story. And it's um, I like complex things. So my big task is how do I simplify it for the audience? Um, how do we create relatedness? Um, uh, you know, one of the, this path past is more about developing her relationships with others and deepening those relationships because the end of the day it's about the care community that's supporting her. She's an orphan and she has this weird life experience and if we have somebody that's kind of a outsider trying to tell their story, how do we tell that, you know, uh, she's a archetype, an Avatar of a future us, you know, and if future future thinkers. So for me it's a lot of that kind of deep exploration with her.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:50:28 Wow, that's awesome. That's an easy task. (laughs)
Maya Zuckerman: 00:50:36 I've already finished the book twice and I'm rewriting it. That's because it's, you know, for me, everything that, you know, the big thing you learn as a novice writer, as a, with everything, everything makes sense to you, doesn't mean it's going to fix them to everybody else and that's the magic. How do you translate your, your crazy mind that something that people would actually want to read and that's kind of why that's the big task and it's not easy. Writing is really hard. Um, and it's awesome as well.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:51:07 Well, and especially when you have to speak in different voices, right? In different characters in your, in your, you're trying to tell this tale, right? Their eyes and their story and their character, and then you've got your plot points that are connecting the thread across which this is going to be a trilogy. Write a book trilogy.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:51:32 Yeah. It's impossible to tell us in one book I tried. It's like no, too much. Yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:51:38 Yeah. And, and especially to be such a complex idea, I imagine that's got to be fascinating to me to, to take that high level complexity. And then B, you're simplifying it for the reader, um, but then there's this overarching arc to get to that end it's really unpacking this story that's so pivotal and important and relevant and I think that's what's so great. But it's in this story that can be approachable through this science and science fiction, duality.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:52:15 Exactly. And it's like, and, and you learn a lot. Like again, I like the whole number game that I'm playing here with nine, nine worlds, nine characters, nine going to be nine. There's also kind of a couple of nine adversaries kinda groups. So like there's kind of this light and shadow conversation but you know, it's hard. You've got nine, nine timelines. How many do I put for book one? So I even removed one and I'm like it's a beautiful world but it really doesn't fit them. Book One. Um, and then it Kinda like lets people have that experience that they don't have to jump all the time because it's a lot of erratic jumping in between worlds. And what does it do to my main character, which, you know, a overtime, she starts to actually totally losing it because, you know, we all know what, when we have this time of life where everything is heading us, where we lose our true north and, and I think that's where I want her to be, to be in this place where, you know, by the time she, uh, yeah, and I am a little bit still using Campbell's formula and the formula that was mostly used in um, and film for, for this kind of journey arc, but I'm changing a few things and I'm, I'm kind of really wanting to hone back to the village and then working on the formula of the collective journey that I've been working on and how do we bring all the protagonists tails into this collective which will be booked three where we will be told by these different characters eyes like they each are going to actually have a say in those versus just the main character, the main protagonists so far.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:53:51 Wow. That's awesome.
Maya Zuckerman: 00:53:53 Took me six years to get there.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:53:56 Yeah. I can imagine. Yeah. I know Tiff was working on a, she loves fantasy and that's kind of her escape and uh, she's read hundreds of books and so she's really well versed in the genre and she started working on what was going to be more than a multi book series and um, she got, I think she said she got about, I think it was about 50 to 60,000 pages in or a words and she realized, I think I wrote it in the wrong tense. I'm back. I shouldn't have written in this tense. Oh,
Maya Zuckerman: 00:54:44 I know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, I have a lot of stuff like that, like I've written over 60,000 and now I'm changing a lot of it. This was after two iteration, three iterations. And I'm like, oh my God, you know, you, you. And it's, those are the wanting. It becomes hard because you're like, you have to go in and do. And we put things together. Um, and the great thing is, I'm just started this rewrite a few months ago, two months ago or a month and a half ago. Um, and I'm only a chapter five, but I've rewritten and rethought four chapters really powerfully and removed a few things and kind of like, I have a direction and yeah, it's, it's not easy and I don't have a lot of time to engage with us, so me and I wish, but yeah, it's, it's kind of, it's, it's a bit crazy.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:55:31 Yeah. Well, one of the things I wanted to ask you about is, um, with, um, how do I want to put it? So when you're in a place like this and you know, it's, it's really, this is daunting, right? It's really, because you don't have as much time, you're doing so many things in your day to day and this is obviously a massive passion project. Um, how do you work through these times that are hard, like where, how do you kind of keep pushing through when you know that it's daunting, like how do you deal with that?
Maya Zuckerman: 00:56:21 So I'm a, I'm, I'm part of a woman's mastermind groups and we actually build systems around exactly how do we support things that are really hard. Um, and uh, and, and around, so one of the big things for me that happened with this book is that I couldn't write it for a long time. I like it did seven, seven episodes and that was it for like a year and got stuck. And then in three months I did 25 minutes a day and got fully unstuck and then did my second revision of it and another 25 minutes a day. And now I'm in this kind of like two hours a week. Um, so it's more just headed for 25 minutes. I use Pomodoro a lot. Uh, when I get stuck, just hit it for 25 minutes and then like whatever happens, like euro 25 minutes or you edited 25 minutes and like that. And then do it again the next day and do it again the next day and do it again the next day. I'm sometimes in a week, like the last couple of weeks and next week, you know, if I get 25 minutes this week, I've got 25 minutes this week. But it's, it's moving the needle. And then sometimes I'm like, I have time, I sit for two hours, um, so it's about for me a over a month, I need to have at least two to three weeks or a more structured and in one week if I'm traveling, etc. That's just going to break the mold. BuT if my systems are working on a kind of a bigger, larger scape, I will get there, you know, and that's, that's how I've been organizing my life. Like, you know, this week is kind of crazy. Last week was off the charts and um, and then within it I have people wanting to meet with me. I have my full time job, like, you know, I got to organize my day and because I work from home, I get to actually take know what people take a lunch break or they're driving in regular jobs. I take his extra meetings or meeting with um, you know, advising companies or, or, or doing this, etc. So it's like, it actually works well within a day so I could still get my full time and I think that's the way I'm going to probably be working for the rest of my life. Even if I take on a job that has some office time, like it's like I have to have a few days where I have a bit more flow. Um, I think it's healthier for anybody who's not doing full on need to work with people all the time. Like even within a startup, you don't not need to work with people all the time unless you're doing the dual coding thing, which is a whole other thing. Right? Yeah. So that. But that's a whole other mind. Like that's not the way, that's not my title in the way I work.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:58:52 So do you, um, so are you a firm believer in time blocking? Is that how you work? Yeah?
Maya Zuckerman: 00:59:00 Yeah, and I'm a firm believer that most of us could probably finish all of our work and four hours a day, uh, if we're really focused on us and, and sprinted well, I think where we lose a lot of time and um, unnecessary meetings, we also lose a lot of energy, productivity and creativity and unnecessary meetings. Um, most people could probably them in 20 minutes and then we waste another 40 minutes and sometimes more on bs. I like. Yeah, I think we should all move to four hour days. Uh, and then everything you do around it is to get into the, for our flow or it doesn't even have to be four hour, six hour flow. It's like two hours, take an hour break to ours. They get an hour or whatever it is. I mean, in an office, people actually work seven hours, no eight hours in, no way, only on deadlines. Like how much time is wasted, done commuting and coffee breaks and facebook and stupid meetings you shouldn't have been in. And all of that. It's so inefficient. And what are we getting? We're getting, we're getting creativity sucks. We're getting our for getting our um, our life, our life energy sucked out of us, um, and our light and we could do amazing work in four hours. That's what I really believe. I really like. I really in my life is like how do I work more efficiently that I can actually then get the rest of the time to think, write, exercise, cook, be with friends and then those four hours become so good that I could just blast through them. That's kinda like my life, my life focus.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:00:47 Yeah. That's actually one of my really big goals right now that I'm working on is dialing in my habits and blocking and rituals for the morning and the evening and stuff and just trying to figure out like what works for me because I've read so much on productivity and what, you know, all these people like Tim Ferriss and know how they deal. Like you mentioned the four hour day, you know, uh, there's a lot of correlatIon between many peoples, but I, there's so many little differences that I see. And it's what I've finally realized is that I just have to do what works for me and how my body works and how, because I'm an, I'm a, I get up early, but I'm also a night owl and so I'm conflicted. So trying to figure out how, what is early enough, what is, you know, what is, how late can I go and like be ready for my next day and things like that and how can I have breaks in the day so that I can keep that energy in the morning and then bring it into the afternoon and to whatever capacity I need, when do I want to meet with people, things like that. And it's just, it's been great to finally started to develop my own and not just be, you know, it's been great to experiment with other people's, but you know, now I'm really devoted to like, okay, what's mine? how does thIs work?
Maya Zuckerman: 01:02:10 Yeah. And what are you finding that's working for you?
Gabe Ratliff: 01:02:15 Oh gosh. I'm a great example. I do my interviews for the podcast on tuesdays so I can just be in this state and be primed for this kind of dialogue and just, it's exciting. I've had one this morning and I was just humming and then I was just even more excited to have this one, you know, and I had a little lunch break, took a little, you know, got away from the computer and um, had some good food, got some sunlight, you know, and got away from the computer screen and then thursdays is a great day for me to meet with people. Um, and then I have a creative project. I have a big client that I work with, um, several days a week that takes a bunch of my time. So, you know, I, I kind of have this flow like that. And then the weekends I carry it on, you know, it's not like saturdays. My saturday, saturday is just a day where my wife is here and we can do stuff and she's not at work. So we do, um, you know, I'll do stuff with my nephew and niece, things like that, you know, but I'll be working. So it's because it's still, it's just another day I can use that. I'm not being pulled away by project or meetings or whatnot. So that's, that's one way. Um, you, you mentioned pomodoro, is that, what is that? Just for people that don't know.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:03:31 Oh, so the pomodoro method is, um, it's kind of sprinting, sprinting method where you do 25 minutes, then you take a break for either five or 15 than your repeat, so you can actually break your tasks into that or sometimes you just like 25 minutes. I take a break even if you're in the safe, going back to the same task. So it's just like kind of a, you know. And especially with our love of social media, that's exactly when you kind of go, okay, and I'll blast on social media and then they go off five minutes and I have a little applet on my mac that is just, it's actually called "Tomighty" because I think they could have used the pomodoro branding. So it's called "Tomighty" because a pomodoro is a tomato, you know, and it's got a little tomato icon and it's, you can reset it, but it basically has the pomodoro or short break, a long break. And I love the simplicity. Like that's not my thing, you know, in the complicated world. Let's make it really simple. And um, what I found out is because of this time block, your brain is like full on focus 25 minutes and then you get to rest and that is really good for our brains because we can just be like, some people can. And of course the, depending on people on spectrum's a, some people for their spectrum of focusing for hours is great. Some people I'm on the spectrum of no, I need a lot of space. Um, which is also kind of how you use all these different tools that I use so many tools to get myself into a flow state because when I'm in there, you know, I, I'm not a five hour flow states. I'm a to ours with max flow states and then I need to get out. So we'll just think else, um, the only time it can be enough tool fault of full on nonstop forced at a flow state is let me walk in a city without a time constraint and I will walk for eight hours. Like I don't even have to like stop with sides to eat something. I just want to walk and maybe listen to a book and I'm flow. That's my favorite thing in the world. I'm walking just for hours and hours. So, um, uh, but, but you know, for anything else, especially when you're trying to get into a flow state at work, uh, this radio helps and, and I think it creates your, your effectiveness kind of triples, which is really great.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:05:55 Yeah. Yeah. For me, I know when I, when I'm trying, I love to shoot street art and when I'm traveling I just, that's what I'm on the hunt for and as we're walking around the city I just will keep going. And then, you know, Tiff will be like, hey, I'm kind of getting hungry. I'm like, oh, I'm just kidding. No, I, I actually am much better than I used to be. But I guess get lost in it because I love, I love capturing the culture of other places, you know, and just seeing, especially with street art because it's art of the people and I get to really see what is this city all about. You know, I like Paris is very different from Madrid and you can really see from the way that they address art in the city. Um, and it's awesome to capture that, you know.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:06:45 Oh, I was just, uh, some, um, I'm from Israel, so I had a very good friend of mine, gave me a, a private street art tour because he's like one of the deeper guides in street art in Tel Aviv. Um, so that was amazing because he knows all the artists and it's crazy. It's crazy. Like the layer is so unbelievable. And then we went to Porto and Porto is just, like the most whimsical, cutest street art I've seen in a year is. And, and they're very supportive of it. It's absolutely stunning with another, like it's got the juxtaposition between a very ancient old study and the whole, um, as well as a levels which is, uh, the, the tiles, the painted tiles and the street art and that juxtaposition is just so beautiful. And then San Francisco's get this whole mural thing going here where there's a legal commissions to default on huge murals on buildings. So that is very supported and we have some of the famous street artists Like do few huge murals, like two blocks away from me. There's a huge Shepard Fairey mural and there's a few others of his inner city. So, you know, we kind of like flipped it and said, hey, let's pay the artists. Like, oh my god, think about that. Pay the artist to do a mural, you know?
Gabe Ratliff: 01:08:00 To do what they do and beautify a building.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:08:03 Yeah. Again, the weird thing about, you know, you can bag in san francisco for a lot of things, but here's something we're doing, right?
Gabe Ratliff: 01:08:10 Yeah. From what you said earlier, I heard a whole bunch of things that you're doing right. So I was gonna start to head to a wind down point, but I wanted to come back to, you talked about at the beginning you wanted to come back to "topia".
Maya Zuckerman: 01:08:27 yeah. Yeah. So, so, um, so topia a first, what is "topia"? Topia is a place with a distinctive distinctive parameters or distinctive concepts and we know what it is, you know, a lot of times we have the descriptor before it, ecotopia, te`chnotopia, dystopia, all of that, right. And, um, I didn't know what to call the positive timeline or, or the, the attainable timeline at for "Em's Theory" and I'm, I'm actually pitching this proposal actually next week, which is kind of crazy. And I, hopefully I will have everything done by then a good that I reminded, reminded myself in the middle of a conversation. Um, and we're trying to come up with a name for this project. And I came up with topia and because it's a place and for me what the, the kind of story behind why the name topia calls call something out of me is because we're all looking for a place that we call home and the planet is our home, but we forgot that we kind of decided that we own our home or we rent our home while we, you know, it only is where our dog is or spouses or whatever family is or a city is. But this planet is our home. And topia is this feeling of returning home, um, epigenetically if you show, apparently there is a research around it. If you show anybody from this planet a painting or a photo of rolling hills and a sunset and maybe a little stream and a little road or little path going through, they're all going to feel nostalgia. And what they found out is that that's the "Sivana" 50,000, 60,000, eIghty thousand one hundred thousand one hundred fifty thousand years ago that's home. And we're missing that place. You know, for us. Like, I mean, not like you show that photo. We're all going, we're all kinda like teary eyes and feeling in our stomach because that's home and we're missing that place like, you know, the folsom grace and what the big religions talk about the fall from grace is when we left that place. It's not heaven, it's here, it was here all the time and we'd been looking for it for everywhere else. So "topia" is for me, is this return home and is it, and returned to the piano and return to nature, returned to what we've always had and forgot we did. And, and, and that's kind of something. And that's kind of a pinnacle thing of all of the regenerative net narrative is remembering to the rear rememory of home. Um, and, and the fact that we're all part of it and an all integral part of it, there is, you know, we're, there's a Serbian, I'm a proverb, I been just repeating and repeating because it's like, it's a mantra for me now and it completely reminds me of this concept of topia, which is stay humble because you are made of the earth. Stay noble because you're made of out of the stars. So yeah, we really are made of the earth that we come from the stars. And thIs is, I think, the paradox of humanities because we have the awareness of both and we forget both all the time because that's the paradox. The paradox is like, how do you remember your actually, funnily earth and he came from the stars. let's you and how do you stay humble within that, you know, so, uh, you know, for me that, that's what topia is.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:12:08 That's awesome. That's awesome. I love that. That's beautiful proverb and I'm going to, I'm going to borrow that. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, I totally connect with that. Uh, and it is humbling to be reminded of that, you know, I think that's, that's, um, that's a good one. I've got to keep that one around. So I'm gonna kind of dive down, um, since we kind of came full circle there with the regenerative narrative regenerative narrative, one's a little hard to say. Um, I was trying to say that the other day to someone, uh, to telling them about this interview. And I was struggling saying it, I'm like, I'm going to get this right. Um, so I was going to go into some, a little bit quicker questions, um, just to sort of get some insights from you here. but, um, I'd love to hear what is success to you? You know, six. I love how as I got older, for me, I really in this last couple of years have reassessed what that means for me. And you know, when I was younger, I thought it meant, you know, fame, money, all that stuff that a lot of people do. I'm not that I was striving for, you know, all those things in this vain way. I just thought of success is. That was what it was, um, sort of the stereotypical vision that people have. And it's interesting to me, especially with how you speak to things. I would love to hear what that means to you.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:14:00 And I struggled with the word success because we're exactly for the reason you say, um, it's like the word progress, which I have a very, uh, issue with that progress. You have to do this for progress. Well, we're progressing to get to the edge of the earth. Same as you know, there is a, I think it's a dilemma, says we the world doesn't need more successful people. The world needs more dreamers and poets and artists and creatives. And I think for me, coming back to the narrative, coming back to the humbleness is successful. You know, for me, success is, I know I'm part of a network of amazing creators and, and changers and humble and empathetic people in the world. And they make me feel so rich. Uh, you know, as, as I said at a pretty difficult week last week. And then I've got to make brunch for a few of my friends. And I was like, wow, what a gift. That's success. Success is I get to make brunch for you. And I get to just invite a few frIends and each one is more amazing than the other. And I'm like, oh my god, like you're work in the world is unbelievable. Or to be on a call with a friend and ask them and they're amazing and they do amazing work for the world and ask them how are you doing and how I'm saying, you know, thIs is, this is hard and I'm like, I know, let's just stay in the hardness together. I think that's been successful as being a successful friend. Um, I, I'd really like to redefine that word for humanity. Like a successful humanity is one that connects back to nature and, and thrives and, and moves from. And this is part of this regenerative narrative. I know it's still difficult name to pronounce, but it's the question that I have there. What do we want to be in north story? Do we want to be the destroyer or her steward? and if we want to be her stewards, that's a story of success. The success of a, of, for me moving from this extractive model of my relationship with humanity, with business, with everything into much more of a regenerative model of every time I do something, everybody gets more. And that's a regenerative model. It's like if I say something and people get happy, happy or, or it affects them or whatever, and that changes our life and then they go and change somebody else's lives for the better. That's regenerative. That's like more. So I think that's, for me, success is not from me, from everybody else. Like for me, if I'm successful then everybody else is doing better, especially the planets. So yeah. So that's for me maybe how I'd like to define success.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:16:42 What? Is there a time where you. This is going to be an interesting question based on that, but I'm curious about, is there ever a time where you feel like you've sabotaged your success?
Maya Zuckerman: 01:16:58 Oh yeah. All the time. I'm still working through the imposter syndrome. We all are. I, I think that the plight of successful people is like, we think we're imposters. We're thinking like how there I even say anything. So I think that that's part of the self sabotage, that I think that's part of why I meditate and part of why I ride and part of it's like there is, there is always a, um, you know, the mind that likes to speak to manage the monkey mind and, and it's not about, yeah, we all do and it's not about taming it, it's about having a deeper relationship with it. Um, uh, and, and it's not letting a, like if it takes control over me, that's, that usually is not my best days when we have a good relationship or an okay relationship. It's when things are better, you know, uh, and it's more about not blaming it because it's only, all it wants to do is just alert me about things but everything in the world and I need to think it.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:18:11 Yeah. So, I mean, I guess this might answer that question, but how do you, how do you deal with self doubt when it rears its ugly head?
Maya Zuckerman: 01:18:23 Depending on where I'm at, if I'm. And this is again, why practicing doing all the things around you so you create flow is so important. It's like, what's your practice? If I'm off my practice, the doubt comes in. So it's like a mutually. The how I deal with it is if I'm in a good spot, meditate, go and exercise, take my dog for a walk, like anything to lead it actually spiral because that's where anxiety sets in, etc. So I think it's a really, um, metaphor of sharpening your tools because having a good toolbox to go, oh my god, my brain's going there. How do I deal with it? Sometimes it's just like if it's a middle of the night and I had a night like that. I had an idea of the dark soul, but a week ago or less. And I'm like, so I guess this is where we're at right now. Okay. Awesome. Um, spiral. It's like you're going to do it. So I'm, I'm just going to breathe into it and hopefully by 4:00 in the morning I can go to sleep slave. He should have. WhIch is exactly what happened. It was kind of funny, like you're going to keep me up till three or four in the morning right here. It's like, yep, okay, so we're going to be worried and we're going to have self doubts and we're going to spiral. And um, and I think it was good actually because sometimes you got to have those days or nights.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:19:44 Yeah.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:19:47 Yeah. And it's like, what I. What about, what are you learning after that? Like how do you, when that happens again, what do you do or, or sometimes they just like, I give up. Go do your thing. Mine's a year just doing it to bring all the worries to the face.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:20:04 Yeah.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:20:08 So
Gabe Ratliff: 01:20:13 Let me ask you this one, and this is the one I was really excited to ask you, especially now after our conversation, but how do you think our culture, we're changing the next 100 years?
Maya Zuckerman: 01:20:24 Well, hey, I hope we survive for the next hundred years. Uh, that's the first thing. Um, I'm really hoping that intersectionality will be the way we look at the framework of the world and kind of dipping into that is letting more diverse voices out there. I think if that's kind of how I really hope it will be. Um, and I think we're already seeing that. That's the, that's a trajectory you were saying with like girls rock and desperate to patriarchy and laying. Yeah, it's, it's, I think it's happening and I think that's what's going to happen. um, I think the culture will become more progressive. Um, I think we're actually looking at. I was, I don't remember exactly the quote, but um, I was on the wilderness, it's the crooked media podcasts and it was a woman who worked with obama and there was a conversation about, you know, you think that what we're seeing now is this backlash is going to kill at all, all the things that we've progressed for. And she reminded us about the arc and that this is just a moment before it goes to the next trajectory in the next trajectory. Would think obama would be like, wow, really not progressive. How could he say those things when the next level, when the younger millennials, when the jen, you know, gen zs is, will show up and we're like, oh my god, you know, more than the boomers. The boomers were the 60 kids more, more and more and more because even though the ourselves and kind of maybe the mud millennials that are growing up now, they're not changing. They're still extremely progressive. They're not like becoming like, their parents are like saying no. Um, so I think globally the culture is going to shift more into that. Again, if we tackle the big ones, the climate change, I mean to a point and move into 100 percent renewable, uh, tackle the population issue and understand the bigger is not better and actually learn how to work with populations that are aging more and having less kids and I want to support them. I think that's going to create a very interesting culture. And that's what I'm really hoping to see. Um, gene roddenberry's said that the 21st century is going to be very difficult in the 24th century is going to be amazing. So yeah, no, I'm really hope thing that that's what we're going to learn. This is our coming of age, a century and not the full on destruction of the planet and the sixth mass extinction and Oregon and you know, what, if the planet means that I'm not gonna blame her. Like if this is it and I have days that I wake up and say, well, if this is the way we go, do it in a smart way, let's not fuck it up as we've been doing the last 50,000 or 10,000 years, you know, and it's okay. And it's like, it's okay. It's like that's the cosmic perspective. We're just a moment, ya know. So if our culture doesn't last sad, but it's what it is.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:47 Mhmm.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:23:49 It's sad because we're human and we're looking at it. That's all. That's the only reason. It's sad. It's actually in a non dualistic way. It's just as
Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:57 Right. Exactly. Yeah. So last question, would you say science or art is more essential to humanity?
Maya Zuckerman: 01:24:07 Art? Yeah. Are we had art before science. That's what frightened us. That's what got us to dream science was like science courses were the tools we're developing after our minds opened up
Gabe Ratliff: 01:24:20 Mhmm.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:24:21 Yeah. So art.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:24:24 Nice. Um, is there anything else that you'd like to say or that we didn't cover?
Maya Zuckerman: 01:24:29 Yeah, we could go on for hours.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:24:33 We could.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:24:36 Uh, yeah, the Serbian. The serbians proverb again. Ya know, stay, stay humble. You're made out of the earth. Stay noble. You're made out of the stars. Like, hold that paradox. And that's, that's, that's what I offer people and that's why I offered for myself and for you.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:24:54 Wow. So there you go. Kids. That's, that's for you. Where can people find you? If they want to learn more? If they want to support. There's the event coming up here in September. You were talking about.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:25:06 I am not part of the, I'm just participating right now, but um, mayazuckerman.com. That's the easiest. You will find me on every social media. Linkedin. Um, I think I sent you my Twitter handle. Uh, yeah. Uh, "Em's Theory" is a tab there so you can actually read more about it. It's website needs an upgrade. We'll we're trying to work on that as well, but um, but it's got all of my information including tab about the collective journey on writing, etc. So, um, yeah, there's a lot there. A lot to unpack there.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:25:39 Yeah, yeah, sure. defInitely busy. I love it. You're using all the time you got. Yep. Exactly. Well, Maya, thank you so much. It is such a pleasure to talk to you as always and uh, it's, it's so great to be able to share your mission and your message to the, to the audience and um, and uh, thank you.
Maya Zuckerman: 01:26:04 Thank you. And thank you for doing this. It's beautiful.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:26:11 Hey gang, thanks so much for listening. If this is your first time checking out the show, then thank you so much for beIng here. I hope you enjoyed it. The Vitalic Project podcast comes out bi-weekly and is available every other Thursday for your enjoyment. The show notes for this episode can be found vitalicproject.com/002, and all the links from this episode will be in the show notes. If you haven't yet, please subscribe to the show and feel free to leave a rating or review on itunes. If you'd like to be a guest or know someone that would be a great fit, please go to vitalicproject.com/guest. Feel free to share this or any other episode with your friends and family and thank you so much for listening. Until next time, keep being vitalitic!