Influences: a chronicle. - Kristen Kalp

Influences: a chronicle.

These are the books, people, programs, products, and miscellanium (YUP I MADE UP THAT WORD BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS) that currently influence my personal life on a regular basis. (This post chronicles the business products and subscriptions that keep everything running smoothly if you want a more nuts and bolts, less subjective read!)

I’m absolutely fascinated by knowing more about the people who influence people I think are nifty, so I figure you’re like me and want to know what’s getting my attention these days.

::insert genie-like ‘your wish is my command’ gesture here::

First up: the body.

I find having a physical body challenging and annoying most of the time. GAWD, you’re hungry again? You need what? Water!? Really!?

I find taking care of my body frustrating at best and exhausting at worst, which is why any moment that I find myself enjoying my body, I take copious notes and pass that information along to you, lovely reader person.

Wim Hof. I’ve already explained my great love of this method, as it helps me deal with my depression while acting as both a meditation practice and physical practice each day. I can’t sing the praises of this dude and his work enough, so lemme just say one more time: Wim is awesome. Crazy awesome.

Floating. You get naked, then float in a densely-salted tub of water for 90 minutes, without any sensory or auditory stimulus to distract you from being alone with yourself. My first session was absolutely lovely and absolutely terrifying in equal measure. (I’m going again soon.)

NYX glitter eyeliner.  I love make-up, but generally I was resigned to looking the same every day. You can only switch up your eye make-up and call it revolutionary so many times before you’re bored, right?  WRONG. You can wear lovely colorful eyeliner and then cover it with glitter eyeliner and then your whole make-up world is different.

Avocado oil. My aesthetician, Kelsey, recommended buying half an ounce of a fancy oil for $78, but I read the reviews and they said to try avocado oil first, since it’s cheaper, fresher, and chemical-free, and I’m so glad I did. The wintry terrible horrible skin that’s dry and irritated is at least 60% clearer than usual this year.  For $9.95.  Try it yourself.

Next up: books and people.

Books are my lifeline. They are often my introductions to people who later influence me through in-person events and the like. I’m currently re-reading Big Magic in preparation for M-School, which is your personal invitation to Hogwarts.

The Blue Sweater is currently on my nightstand and I’m devouring it whole. One woman explores the world of big finance, then takes it upon herself, over the course of multiple years and failed experiments, to found the Acumen Fund, revolutionizing worldwide micro-lending to women along the way. While most nonprofit stories are inherently interesting, the way they’re presented in print is often dry, condescending, or both. The Blue Sweater is a well-written, utterly engaging book that I highly recommend if you wanna change the world.

Shaman Healer Sage is on my nightstand, too, and I’m reading it slowly so as to fully absorb its message. Part how-to manual, part spiritual guide, part adventure tale, this book is one that you savor like the finest dark chocolate, one small bite at a time.

Rob Bell continues to create the only podcast I listen to every single week without fail. Not because he’s a Christian pastor (though he is), but because he’s so damn wise about all things life and living that he could just as easily be a Buddhist, a Muslim, an atheist, or a Jewish teacher and I’d keep listening. He draws from a deep, deep well, and his delivery on the podcast is absolutely enthralling.

The only blog I’m reading with any regularity is one Yes and Yes, which features the witty and lovely and engaging writing of one Sarah Von Bargen. Go forth, love upon her, and see what I mean.

I’m considering getting a Rollei camera because of this guy. And because shooting film is fun and because sometimes, I miss it.

Also, Dr. David Mehler at Vikaz is a secret shaman who practices network chiropractics. After a single session with him at a retreat I attended, my body gave up alcohol and dairy — against my mind’s will, I might add — by reacting violently to both of them. This is actually immensely helpful, since now instead of dairy tasting lovely and wonderful, it hurts to eat, it hurts to digest, AND it causes horrible acne. When body added pain to the entire process, it gave me the ability to stop consuming dairy once and for all. David reports that bodies often make choices like this of their own accord and that he is simply the catalyst for such changes. He’s a modest man, but he’s fucking magical, and if you can get yourself to New York City for a session with him, I recommend it. Later sessions have helped me make massive inroads against my depression, have helped me to feel more connected with my body instead of resenting it for existing (oh hello, overachieving academic brain), and have helped me to make wiser food choices without having to go on any diets or read all about all the ways I’m doing food wrong.  Get yourself an appointment here.

Finally: spirit and travel. They’re linked, obviously!

I’m a member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, because there really is nothing like sticking your face in art to remember that life is for the living, art is for the making, and joy is for the having at any given moment. I tend to visit museums in short doses of less than 90 minutes, so having a membership removes the guilt of having to ‘get my money’s worth’ on any given day.

I’m playing more with Flying Kites this year than ever before, both by collaborating with the founder on a secret project and by making a trip to the Flying Kites school and dormitories in Kenya soon.

Hugs,
K

P.S. You should totally check out M-School if you’re secretly magic. (Hint: if you’ve read this far, you are.)

P.P.S. Here’s every muggle service I use to keep my biz online and operational.

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