How Can We Love You Better?

How Can We Love You Better?

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S&H is almost 20 years old and has blossomed into a vibrant community that we attempt to serve in relevant, meaningful, fun, and practical ways. But we need to know how we can do that better. So we ask with humility and love, How can we love you better?

I would like to guide this conversation by sharing some things the team and I have been thinking about. But first, put on your practical hat so you know a little bit more about S&H.

We estimate that 200,000 people read each issue of our award-winning magazine. But we are more than a magazine: We have 150,000 unique visitors to per month, 90,000 newsletter subscribers, 300,000+ Facebook fans, and a smaller following on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Now I would like you to think about what I often ask myself: “What would you like S&H to be in your wildest imagination?”

Like many of the S&H team and many of you, I am a lifelong seeker. I have meditated since I was 18 and spent the first seven years of my adult life living in an intentional, spiritually oriented community in the woods of northern Michigan. I have gone to countless trainings, seminars, and festivals over the years, and I have interviewed lots of wise, fun, happy, engaged people who love life and wish to share their experiences with the world. And that is where I think S&H has a unique opportunity to serve you/love you better.

I have asked dozens of people in one-to-one conversions and thousands of people in seminars and groups this simple question: “Would you rather spend five minutes, in person, alone with His Holiness the Dali Lama, the Pope, or your favorite thought leader, or read every book he or she has ever written?” I have only heard one answer: “Five minutes.”

I’ve also asked Ram Dass and Wayne Dyer and others about whether meaningful transformation of consciousness can come from a book, or must it come from being in the subject’s presence. I like Ram Dass’ answer best. He said (I’m paraphrasing): “Paul, when you meet the master and are in his or her presence, something happens. A connection opens up that part of the brain that resonates with the teaching, so you have someplace to process, own, and experience what you read in a book or watch in a video.” I think that’s true. I love to read, and I love TED talks, CDs from Sounds True, and Gaia TV documentaries, but I think more about the seminars, lectures, and chance meetings where I was in the presence of the presenter, either one-to-one or in a shared experience, and where I could look him or her in the eyes and feel the fresh vibration of their words.

To cut to the point: Should S&H have festivals that we might call “New Day” or something catchy, where we offer seminars, song, entertainers, lectures, short talks (like TED talks), group yoga, great music, movies, group meditation, cooking classes, healthy and locally sourced and prepared food, and time to chat over an organic chai latte with someone you just met? We would hold these events, lasting two or three nights or one or two days, on college campuses and in fields under tents, where the parking is easy, it’s nearby, and we don’t have to charge a lot for the event.

So what do you think? Whom would you like to see or hear—speaking, singing, teaching, holding space, cooking, hanging out, giving a seminar, dancing, or drinking with you? Is a college campus or tent a good space, or would you would rather have it in the convention center or the Marriott ballroom? Would these festivals be a way we could love you better?

Email your comments to Paul Sutherland at [email protected]

How Else Can We Love You Better?

Where would you like more coverage in our magazine and online—like political activism, Christianity, brain science, emotional/spiritual intelligence, conscious business, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, or other religions? What about engaged spirituality or spiritual communities?

We will show our gratitude for your help by giving you half off if you attend one of our festivals in 2017 or 2018—just by showing that you emailed us with some comments (emails dated in 2017). In addition, we will respond to the first 100 emails by sending a copy of one of my books, either Emmanuel’s Prayer or The Virtue of Wealth: Creating Life Success the Zenvesting Way. Please put your address in the email body so we know where to send the book.

Note: If you like the idea of these festivals and are looking for a job, we will need to hire a few folks to make this a reality. Contact us if you’re interested in joining a great movement—but only if you are happy, fun, easy to get along with, communicative, not a spiritual snob, and you can travel. Email [email protected], attention: Sara.

Paul Sutherland is living in Uganda, encouraging young and old alike to push past fear, contemplate “what if?,” and include spiritual preparations alongside practical ones.

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