Episode 7: Being Brave is Funny

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What do you get when you mix spunk, humor, and a great pixie hair cut? You get a comedian from Brooklyn with an insatiable hunger for life.

Chani Lisbon is one of eleven Jewish Orthodox children, and her affinity for comedy stemmed from an innate curiosity to poke and prod and ask “What would happen if?” What would happen if I wore lipstick on a Saturday? What would happen if I turned the light on when it’s supposed to be dark? What would happen if I did this? Or that?

What WOULD happen?

By following the answers, Chani’s story teaches that no matter how far away you may go, your roots may always lead you home again.

Listen in at ShapingSapiens.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/shapingsapiens
iTunes: http://apple.co/27kLANw
And YouTube shortly. xo

Photo credit: Madeline Vu

Lunch on the Redwood Highway

Car parked off the Redwood Highway in California. Overlooking a hidden valley inhabited by honeybees and pine.

This is the spot I stopped to have lunch at on my trip up the Pacific Coast back in August. I was en route to visit the Redwood National Park that day. (Oh, Mazda3, how I loved you so!) The following journal entry is taken from that moment. It’s also the first piece I chose to read at an open-mic night after five years of stepping away from the stage.


Just had lunch off the side of the highway on a little turnout that’s so beautiful and comes up so quick, you’ll miss it if you’re not looking out for it. Luckily, it was waiting for me. The honey bees, the pines, and I all dined together. They were very pleasant company.

A thought occurred to me as I was eating: one day my children may read my journal. Actually, this thought had been forming in the back of my mind and nudging at me since I started this trip. So, now I realize that I must acknowledge you, my children. You are nowhere near being born yet. I haven’t even met your father. I’m writing to you now as Amelia, a 25-year-old free spirit traveling up the Pacific Coast along the Redwood Highway.

I want you to know how much I love you, and I don’t even know you yet. I want you to know how much I love life. I want you to know how amazing I think the world is – how beautiful and awesome it is. I want you to know that I am living my life to the fullest and how I am doing the very best I can to be a human being on this earth. I want you to know that even though you are not here with me now – I feel your presence. You’re whispering to me on the winds through the pines, embracing me through the warm sun on my neck. I feel you here, you familiar strangers.

The world is an incredible place. Eagles are soaring. Crows are laughing, and cars are passing by chasing their own destinations.

I want you to also know that I have a framed picture of Jesus with me. I printed him out at work on computer paper and put him in a light blue frame. He’s been traveling with me, too. I want you to know that my spiritual journey has been a long one – it has not always been easy to have Jesus in my life. Man-made religion corrupted him for me, and for many years, I did not wish to acknowledge his presence. It upset me to even say his name or hear other people talk about him. Now, I understand that it was not Jesus I was angry at but at the men and women who perverted his message and his teachings.

I am now working on my relationship with Christ. And he has been a very patient friend. I do love him so.

My hope for you, my children, is that you can know him, too, and form your own relationship with him, as well. Or with Buddha or Krishna or Muhammad or with whomever else you wish. Because it is through that relationship, dear ones, you will find God. Source. The Universe.

Christ is my guru, my friend, my teacher, and through his teachings I am learning to find peace and happiness in the world – and more importantly, within my Self.

I hope that wherever you are reading this that you know how much I loved you even before you were born. You are here with me now as I write these words, just as I am with you as you read them.

Back to the road. By the way, I just finished listening to the Forrest Gump soundtrack, and now I’ve started the America’s Greatest Hits album. Ventura Highway is your grandmother’s favorite song.

Photo credit: Amelia Isabel