What part of town do you live in?
How long have you lived in that area?
I have lived in the area since I moved to Miami. I lived in Coral Gables proper from 2006 to 2008 and then I bought my house in a neighborhood called Coral Gate, which is what I like to say ‘across the street from Coral Gables.’
Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Yellow Springs, Ohio, which is the home of Antioch College. I lived there until I was 18 and then spent a year in California at Stanford and then moved to Seattle and then to Miami.
What was the impetus to move here?
Look outside! I was living in Seattle and I’m not a winter person. I like the sun. I went to Jamaica for vacation in December and realized you could actually live in a warm climate. On the flight back coming back from Jamaica, the woman I sat next to said I should think about moving to Miami. She said, “there’s all this Latin culture and it’s wonderful!” To this day, I still feel like she was like a little piece of the divine that like showed up inside of a person to implant the thought in my head.
Tell us a little bit about what you do for a livelihood, what you do during the week.
I am a professional speaker, author, and a creativity consultant. I spend a lot of time doing outreach for future speaking engagements and dealing with inquiries that come in – like the one in Greece that I just finalized on this morning – and also developing my content. I also spend a lot of time flying all over the world to give keynotes and workshops on creativity and how to do your best work through silencing your inner critic.
What is ‘your inner critic’?
The inner critic is that voice in your head that comes up when you’re doubting yourself. That voice that tells you it’s not a good idea, that people are going to judge you, or when you think “I’m stupid” or compare yourself to other people. It shows up in many ways and prevents creative flow.
So, how do you silence it?
One of the ways to silence your inner critic is to be aware of what you’re thinking when you’re thinking it. A lot of it has to do with mindfulness and understanding that the inner critic is really just a series of habitual thoughts and that at any point in time you can choose to think something different.
Have you mastered your inner critic?
Oh, for heaven sakes – No. I’m working on it, but It’s a kind of constant vigilance.
How did you decide to focus on helping people?
I used to be in technology. I wrote my first book in 2009 on web design and web development. While I was working on the book – from the moment that I started until pretty much the very end – I had to deal with my inner critic every single day. I got to the point where I was sick of feeling afraid that I wasn’t a good enough writer and designer and that my ideas were weren’t clever enough.I was tired of being afraid that people would going to find out that I was a fraud. So I finally looked into how to get rid of self-doubt. I started reading and it resonated with me so much. After I finished writing the book and started on designing the website, I went into this amazing flow state. For the first time in nine months, instead of having all of those doubtful inner thoughts, I was just in the zone. Everything was coming to me. And afterwards I was like, “if I could just bottle this up and help other people feel like this, that’s what I want to do with my life!” And, that was my inspiration for deciding to focus on speaking about and teaching creativity, and ultimately writing my second book, Banish Your Inner Critic, which came out in 2017.
How do you get into a flow state?
The ironic thing about getting into a flow state is that you can’t control it. You can set up the circumstances, make sure that you’re in a space where you’re not getting distracted, have a balance of skill and challenge, but then you have to let it happen naturally. There’s a neuroscientist that studies people doing improvisational jazz and hip hop, and he’s shown when you’re in the flow, that the part of your brain that is essentially your inner critic is silent.
Have you studied improv?
Absolutely! I studied Improv for two years at Just the Funny. Improv is great because it teaches you how to get out of the way. It really helps you trust yourself and your ideas. And, it really helps you trust other people. You realize that there are no mistakes and everything you do can be useful. I use improv techniques as a teaching and training tool. Most of the workshops that I do are based on applied improvisation exercises.
How often do you come to the market?
I come down to the Pinecrest Market about every two weeks or once a month.
What is your ritual when you come?
I love your booth. I love going to Margie’s. I’ve made friends with Lisette who owns Lily B – the cosmetics booth. I love Lemoy and the pottery people. I go there and it’s like visiting friends. I just love going and being part of the community.
What are your favorite things from LNB Grovestand?
I like everything. Recently, I’ve become addicted to the Rainbow Smoothie. Adena indulges me with tasting all of the smoothies before I buy one every time. I love the Turmeric tonic. I love your guacamole, and your avocados are amazing! I love it when you have mamey – oh baby. And, I love you guys, because you guys are great.
What have you made with ingredients from our stand?
I made a black sapote pudding. Take a coconut and make a cream with the water and meat. Mix with dates, vanilla, Himalayan sea salt, some raw cacao and the black sapote. It’s insanely delicious! I’ve also planted your turmeric and ginger and now have a mini turmeric farm in my backyard.
What do you think our market is missing?
Farmers! I think the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market is missing farmers. There’s too much junk food and there are several faux farmers that have displays you would expect from a farmer, but they’re not actually growing the produce.
Where do you like to go out for food and what do you like to order?
I love St Roch Food Hall in the Design District. I love Vietnamese noodle soup, and there’s a stand with great pho and bahn mi sandwiches. And then, there’s an Israeli street food place across the way from them that has this great whole roasted cauliflower with amazing dipping sauces. And then, there is another seafood place there with a fantastic mahi-mahi sandwich with shaved fennel.
Where do you go for a special occasion?
One of my favorites is Michael’s Genuine. It’s old school, but so far I haven’t found anything to replace it. Michael is a really nice guy. They also have a roasted cauliflower dish with a parsley sauce that is amazing.
What do you think are areas best kept secret is?
I feel like the best kept secret in Miami is that there are really great down-to-earth people here.
What is a worthy splurge?
Your Rainbow Smoothies.
What’s a good rainy-day activity?
Making handmade herbal soaps. Or, making earrings.
How do you make soap?
The most basic recipe is oil, sodium hydroxide and water. Then you can get a little more detailed with what kind of oils you use, because different oils have different kinds of properties when it turns into soap. The basic soap base you add adding herbs and essential oils to make it smell good. I make my soap from scratch.
And your earrings, do you sell them?
I do. I have an Instagram account for them called @earringlovedesigns. I started making earrings because I can’t find earrings that I think are interesting. I only use natural and semi-precious stones and often make my own earring hooks too. As you can tell by the name of my brand, I’m in love with earrings, and am a little obsessed with them. I’m proud to say that I’ve cut down my collection from over 100 pairs to about 80 pairs.
What community groups and events do you participate in that you might share?
I belong to a group called Miami Made, which is a group of conscious Miami entrepreneurs. I like to go to events at the Venture Cafe, which is a community for innovators and entrepreneurs. There’s a great organization called Code Fever, which my friend Felicia Hatcher runs, which helps to turn urban youth into digital creators and not just digital consumers. They teach urban kids coding and software development skills.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
How do you do all the amazingness that you do? I just want to commend you for just making such wonderful healthy products and providing people with a way to nourish themselves on so many levels. I really appreciate you guys.
Would you share a pitch about your business?
Sure! If you’re interested in either having an engaging and entertaining keynote speaker at your corporate event; or want to increase employee engagement, enhance team collaboration, and up-level leadership through creativity and silencing the inner critic, please give me a call! I also do coaching on speaking skills and how to get started as a speaker.
Is there a question that you might like to pose to our community?
How can we make Miami an even better place that good, solid, down-to-earth people want to come and stay? We need this so much!