Walk Outs Who Walk On share their stories about how and why they chose to walk out of limiting beliefs and to walk on to invent and experiment with new ways of creating change. By sharing their stories, they strengthen our own courage, resolve and commitment.
Share Your Story BLOG POSTS
Author: Cleo Petric
I am seating in a lecture hall at Middlebury College, listening to Bayo Akomolafe on “decommissioning whiteness.” Absorbed in his thoughts, and simultaneously immersed in my own, I ‘walk out’, further out of my certitudes, ‘walk on’ further into uncertainty. Toward the end of the lecture, one professor introduces themself, explaining that they linger for intertwining spirituality with science, and is in search of initiatives to do so. I am pulled by that intervention, introduce myself, and express my curiosity toward his interest. The conversation organically flows in depth; and as it does I am caught by one of his sentences: “I fear to talk about these things within the framework of academic institutions, I fear to be judged.” It feels as if my neurons have been swaying along with that narrative forever. Naturally, with confidence, I respond: “I believe that the change in academic settings need to start by voicing out the repressed narratives of our community, exposing ourselves in the vulnerability of that fear, which will grow our strength. I want to bring these voices together.” I usually ponder for hours about such initiatives before sharing them, but here it feels different; an urgent flow is waving out of my consciousness, pouring into this professor’s consciousness.
The next morning, I tell a friend about the lecture and this conversation. She responds: “I wish truly isolated people could experience what this lecture enabled you and this professor to experience. I wish this liberation of repressed narratives on that matter was not only happening in small liberal arts colleges.” The feel of this freshly shared bursting bud makes us want to see the grown up flower, feel its traits and celebrate its immensity. We want bigger than the conversation in an environment that facilitated it. Our yearning for radical shift makes us want for this collective sentiment of isolation to metamorphose now. But but but…we also know that we’ve gotta start somewhere!
I thus take this opportunity to pause and recognize my community as it is; embrace the privilege, the support, the guidance and openness of that community, rather than let guilty and hopeless thoughts weaken this yearning for radical change.
I walk out of this brief journey at Middlebury, increasingly eager to connect with that sentiment of repression, isolation, fear… and walk on, more profoundly embodied in uncertainty and curiosity, having no idea how to create a space for scholars, intellectuals, professors, students, academics, artists, nerds, that feel unheard in their difference of knowing. Walking on feeling groundingly trusted and trusting.
On the Walk Out Walk On journey, at some point we often wrestle with questions of right livelihood. In my own life, I’ve noticed that it is not easy living the future now when I’m confronted with economic scarcity. So I feel blessed to have had the opportunity the past two years to do this work as a steward of the Walk Out Walk On community—a community that is deeply aligned with my values, beliefs and worldview.
Author: Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris
Friend and walk out Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris has been sharing with us stories from her community in Warfhuizen, Holland for the past several months. In her last post, Walking (on) the Talk she talked about her work with a neighborhood organization looking to shift a dangerous local traffic situation. She wrote about the challenges of showing up as leader-as-host vs. leader-as-hero in the meetings. Here’s an update from Sarah about what’s been happening.
“A ‘learning-exchange’ was taking place all the time as the boundaries of age, culture and socio-economic background simply vanished in the process of our mutual friendship.”
– Vipul Shaha
A little over a year ago, Vipul Shaha was living in the United States and had just completed a degree in educational psychology from Harvard. In the eyes of many, the world was his oyster—filled with opportunities to start changing things for better. Yet Vipul himself was not so sure about this. Despite his desire to be constantly learning about “‘cutting-edge’ theories and innovative models in education,” he had a sense that his learning edges were to be found elsewhere. So he decided to embark on a self-directed “Year On” adventure in his native country of India.
Not so many moons ago, in a land that bridges East and West, modern and ancient, 40 great souls travelled for days and nights from all corners of the globe—from Palestine and Canada, Brazil and Australia, India and the U.S., Nigeria, Mexico and many more—to gather in Anatolia (Turkey). This remarkable encounter was called Giftival: a meeting, festival, inquiry and commemoration of the practice of gift culture. If you will indulge me, dear readers, I’d like to spin a tale for you of a magical moment I lived during our days in Istanbul.
Reflections from Kailea Frederick on our weeklong Walk Out Walk On workshop at the International Youth Initiative Program (YIP). The piece was originally posted on Kailea’s blog, harnessyourbreath.com.
This was a much anticipated workshop for many of my fellow Yippies, although I had never previously heard of Walk Out Walk On. We had just emerged from the exhaustion of our two week Permaculture Course, and I was feeling like my purpose of being here had been swallowed whole. So with a half day of rest between courses we arrived Monday morning into what would unfold for me the resettling of my bones and heart.
Author: Haikaa Yamamoto
My name is Haikaa, I am a multicultural singer-songwriter and author and I am absolutely passionate about empowering people. So many of the problems in our world that bother me either arise from or feed on disempowerment. As an artist, my music centers around themes such as self-acceptance, assertiveness, love and surrender.
Author: Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris
Walk Out Walk On is not just about communities in poor countries. The issues arising on these journeys are hyper relevant to anyone wanting to live and act more consciously in these times. I’ve read the book, and studied it in detail because so many points resonated for me. In order to digest as well as share the material I’ve also written fairly extensively about several topics (leadership, start anywhere follow it everywhere) on my blog. But the acid test comes not from writing about it, but living it. I got my chance when asked to join a small group of neighbours to try to remedy a dangerous traffic situation locally.
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Author: Murtaza M Bootwala
After walking out from my corporate job as a steward from Hilton Towers Mumbai, I had the question: What next? And what’s the purpose of my life?
With these questions, I travelled different parts of India to meet people who are working towards a better world which gave me hope that Yes! a better world is definitely possible. Now, my vision of my life is: “Catalyzing the co-creation of a thriving, just and a sustainable world.”