Vector global network connection concept. Can be used as travel, communication or network concept.

Take Responsibility for Connection

It seems not a week goes by where I don’t cringe at yet another article, tweet, or comment appearing that talks about how social media, smart phones, and the internet are destroying the fabric of our social structure.

As a techno-optimist, I feel the need to call bullshit.

There has never been a moment in the entire history of consciousness that there has been anywhere near this level of connection available in any given moment. Connection with intimate partners, family, members of our value’s based tribes, even strangers – it’s increasingly easy regardless of economic status and geography to stay connected with anyone we actually want to at any given time.

But, but, being glued to a phone is NOT relating, it’s NOT connecting you scream!

Well, it may not be for you, but consider that it might be for the person you’re around who’s doing it. If you’re out at dinner with someone, and they’re staring at their phone and not you and you’re getting agitated, take a moment. Pause. Connect with yourself. Feel into the other person, and maybe even acknowledge that they’re feeling more pull to a text message, or Facebook feed than they are to you in that moment, and take RESPONSIBILITY for the connection. Awareness itself IS a form of responsibility. What could you say, or do with this person to pull them deeper into the moment with you? How could YOU show up differently to change the situation?

In my experience people LOVE connection, almost more than anything else I’ve encountered. Who doesn’t love feeling someone’s attention and presence FULLY with YOU in that very moment? So if your friend, child, or spouse isn’t with you, consider that you’re maybe just not showing up enough to pull them into the moment with you, and adjust. Presence that you’re feeling disconnected from them, ask them what they’re excited about on their phone, really just ask them anything to get them relating deeper to you. Hell, maybe even share something powerful, vulnerable, or true about YOUR experience first to really get the ball rolling.

I get the frustration of feeling when someone is not with you, I really do. I’ve been on both sides of the equation before. As an introvert, I love tech and social media because it’s kind of like an “extroversion” for introverts, but I also have the self awareness to know that there is a spectrum of connection, and so much of what has emerged in the last few years is more towards the less embodied side of it.

A tweet to the masses isn’t as intimate as a text message which isn’t as intimate as a phone call which isn’t as intimate as a video chat which isn’t as intimate as being in the same room conversing with a person which isn’t as intimate as actually being connected to them and relating to them in the present moment. But just because the earlier things aren’t as intimate, doesn’t mean they aren’t a form of connection.

The exploded techno-sphere DEMANDS integrity, with each emerging wave of technology we’re having to learn to be MORE disciplined, MORE focused, MORE honest, and MORE connected.

So, easier said then done right? But how does one actually get better at connecting?

For me personally, the most effective and potent tools have come in the form of Authentic Relating. An evolved set of tools that emerged from a few different lineages and really became their own up in San Francisco, there are thankfully many opportunities to learn and practice some very foundational tools for connecting deeper in the moment with fellow beings.

If you’re in LA, join me personally at any the Authentic Los Angeles events I co-facilitate along with a rocking team of all star friends.

If you’re in San Francisco – AuthenticSF, in Austin – Authentic Revolution, New York – The Connection Movement, Boulder – The Integral Center (my former home!) or just google authentic relating plus your town.

And if you want to go REALLY deep, go on a deep dive and take the Authentic Relating Comprehensive, the newest offering from the Integral Center. Or go all in and learn to become a facilitator of authentic relating and jump into a T3 – Train the Trainer.


Technology Vs Time

Sitting today wondering, is impermanence itself becoming a passing thing?

The concept that “all things will pass” and that “nothing lasts forever” has always been true. However the universe came into being, it’s pretty clear it’s vastly different now then it was then. Stars, planets, and galaxies have come and gone for the majority of time. Time has been the inevitable victor at every turn thus far in history, conquering everything that’s come in it’s path.

But now I ponder….is time/impermanence meeting its match?

While in a relatively fragile position right now, consciousness has so far been evolving in one direction: towards greater depth and complexity. Out of that evolving consciousness, I think the greatest interruption to the Kosmos has been Art & Technology. Two sides of the same thing – an attempt to defy impermanence.

Language, Writing, Music, Painting: our oldest forms of technology/art – and all direct attempts to circumvent impermanence. All tools to allow us to communicate through time, and pass knowledge, structures, and insight intact in a permanent way.

Now initially this was down more more symbolically – figurative ideas and concepts that have survived through the ages.

Then came the 19th century, and the first manifestations of Mechanical Reproduction.

Since that time mechanical reproduction has exploded exponentially, and doesn’t look like it’ll be stopping anytime soon.

Consider that until the birth of audio recording, throughout all human history no one had ever heard exactly the same song. Even the most perfect classical performance or brilliant bard literally couldn’t ever play the same song the same way twice. Be it tempo, pitch, tuning of the instrument, in every piece there’s millions of variations to make each performance different.

Now consider that the 2 minutes and 32 seconds from February 11th, 1963 that are the Beatles recording of Twist and Shout and likely literally be replayed millions of times since then, and will probably continue being replayed for eternity.

Photos, videos, music, and other structures that can be translated into mechanical reproduction are fighting back against time. Standing defiantly against impermanence, and really only just beginning. The oncoming tidal wave of 3d printing and Virtual Reality will allow structures to survive in even more comprehensive and predictable ways.

That said, we’re still at a very fragile point in time, where all the cumulative depth and information of consciousness thus far could be wiped out by a simple asteroid, temperature shift, or who knows what other kind of catastrophe.

But around the corner, is the very real and distinct moment where information storage becomes possible at quantum levels, and humanity creates backups of our culture by settling other planets.

The biosphere celebrates diversity, chaos, and difference. The technosphere though, celebrates uniformity and replication.

While all signs would still point to time winning in the long run, it’s fun to see art and technology continually emerging in resistance.


Tick-Tock Tick-Tock Goes the Purpose Clock

As I grow older, I’ve started to notice a subtle energy in my awareness. A pulse. A beat. A quickening.

As a man, I have the innate privilege of not being confronted with with the same biological clock as women. While advances in medical health are retiming that clock more and more every year, it’s definitely real, and definitely present for many of the women I know in my life.

While I know I don’t have limitless time in the biological sense, I don’t feel tremendous urgency there.

So I’ve been listening to and wondering what then that energy at the edge of my awareness is, and now more than ever think I know.

I have a purpose clock. I think we all do. Another heartbeat, growing louder and louder over time: Am I Gifting the world? Am I nudging this Kosmos closer to more goodness, truth, and beauty? What am I creating of impact?

As each day passes, the more I can feel the weight of how my decisions matter. I don’t have endless time, and creation takes time.

For some, I think the purpose clock is closely aligned with their biological clock – literally bringing life into the world through children. I feel that will be true for me at some point in the future, but for me first comes artistic birth. The creation of stories and artifacts in the world.

I’ve avoided feeling this clock much of my life, there’s a certain tension, discomfort, and urgency to it when I really drop in – I don’t know how long I’ll be here, and there will likely never be a perfect time or perfect project to start.

There’s only one relief to that tension, and it can only be found in the now.


Don’t wait.

Come back and watch my first feature this time next year.

What’s your purpose clock telling you?


The Paradox of Practice

13 months ago I stepped back into the gym for the first time in nearly 4 years.

I’m down 40 pounds of body fat as of early last week, which I celebrate by writing this post.

It’s been a great and illuminating learning experience, namely because it’s really taught me the value of practice as a lifestyle.

I keep an exercise log I fill out as I go through my routines. At the end of each session, I scribble down a letter grade on how I felt overall.

Truth is over 80% of them were D’s and C’s. “Lethargic.” “Didn’t feel powerful.” “Ended early.”

Taken individually, most of my workouts were failures in the sense I didn’t perform at a level I felt was full out. I took off numerous days and sometimes weeks for back injuries.

But taken as a whole, the practice worked.

No single session mattered or changed my body.

Yet all that actually changed me was each individual session.

It’s the paradox of practice.

Change is most obvious with time and presence in the moment is all one can really do.

My lesson?

Fail with consistency and change will come.

Applying this to my art is the next great leap.

Live each day as if each rep was your last!


Would You Share?

2 years after launching the kickstarter campaign, and a year after it began it’s festival run, I’m happy to say, SHARE is now available online for viewing.

It’s the first project I wrote and directed that I can completely call my own, which is a milestone for me.

That said, making it really drove home for me how so much of the battle of collaborative art is just working with the right people.  Huge thanks to the amazing cast and crew that worked so hard to make my vision a reality.

This project is the first in what I hope will be a long career exploring intimacy, technology, transformation, and the wild ride that is being human.  For all of you that donated to the crowdfunding campaign, it has changed my life.  Thank You.

The final phase for this piece is now just being seen.  You can watch it for free below, preferably on as big a screen and with as little distraction as you can manage.

Then, please share it, online and offline with as many people as you can – romantic partners, friends, family anyone who’s experience you’ve ever found yourself curious about.

My hope is you’ll find connection in the conversation it sparks afterwards.

If so inclined, you can buy it on dvd at and/or leave tips of gratitude if you’d like to support me and my future projects.  I’m writing the rough draft of a feature now, and have some more shorts and a web series on the radar for later this year.

And yes, I’d absolutely share.

If the last years of my life have taught me anything, it’s that vulnerability is a choice I never regret.


Robots teach us about being human

I saw Chappie last weekend, which despite a lot of the negative reviews I found a pretty solid “mainstream” movie. It was flawed, and absolutely fell prey to normal big budget rocket, robot, and explosion juvenile male beats, but still, a movie about consciousness! – and not only that, a movie about the development of consciousness!

Noticing how much I was enjoying that aspect of the film, it really dawned on me how awesome and important robots are as a storytelling device in this moment in time, as they work as brilliant cinematic and narrative devices to teaching 2 incredibly cool concepts:

  1. Consciousness develops over time
  2. Consciousness is more than your body

There’s something magical about being robots being used as proxies to demonstrate and teach these two radically human things, in some ways more effectively than in stories with actual humans.

Consciousness develops over time

Piaget, Graves, Kegan, Stein, Maslow, Gilligan, Wilber (a personal favorite) – there has been, and continues to be an abundance of writing and research around the idea that consciousness itself is an evolving process and that it grows more complex and with a greater capacity for perspective taking over time.

Intuitively, I think most of us think of this as particularly being true when it comes to children. A child comes into the world non verbal, fused with the mother, and then over time an identity begins to emerge – via language, speech, writing, and a capacity to understand it’s own identity. Show a child a magic trick at 5 and it really IS magic. Show them again at a later age and while they might not know how it’s done, they do know it’s a trick.

The thing is, consciousness CONTINUES to evolve past childhood, all the way through adult life. While the research isn’t exactly clear what causes continued development into adulthood (environment, personal growth, tragedy, all of the above, etc) – the above researchers and writers can make a pretty damn good case that it DOES happen.

What’s this got to do with robots and movies? Well, one of the KEY ingredients in the evolution of consciousness is TIME, and time is a tricky thing to show onscreen. For me, part of what made Boyhood so magical and unique was the actual time that went into making it – a movie that is almost entirely about the evolving self of the lead character, Mason.

The thing is, just that slice of life took 12 years to make! The alternative onscreen is often using different actors, age enhancing makeup, etc, – which can definitely work but usually end up feeling a bit cheesy or inconsistent to me.

Enter the Robots

Now, here’s what makes robots such a great storytelling device for demonstrating the evolution of consciousness:

  1. Their “bodies” don’t need to age the same way people’s do – no makeup/actor swapping/12 years needed
  2. They can evolve faster than human in more compressed cinematic time

Not having to show a robot age, or worry about how it’s “externals” have changed allows the story to really focus on and highlight the internal changes.

Chappie, Johnny Five of Short Circuit, Frankenstein (an organic robot I’d argue), the T-100 in T2: Judgement Day, Data from Star Trek – One of the great pleasures of any story involving the birth of an “artificially created” consciousness is getting to see it LEARN on screen on in the pages of a story. It’s not the outsides that are changing, but the insides. Learning to become “more human”, learning to development an independent sense of identity – this is the great fun of experiencing stories about artificial intelligence.

For cinema specifically, AI/Robots work REALLY well for showing “learning” and growth because of how fast they can do it – a story can takes place over mere DAYS yet we can see an AI go from infantile to adolescent to adulthood in its consciousness, as is the case in Chappie. So the benefits are two fold – same body, and faster learning – both of which make it easier to tell a story onscreen.

Consciousness is more than your body

The concept of the soul is nothing new, and something I could argue most people in modern culture are aware of well before adolescence. However, it gets sticky and confusing (partly because we don’t actually know) how consciousness and the soul work. That said, there is an entire history of data across all major lineages of spiritual practice that pretty cross culturally and universally agree – there is something to “us” that exists beyond our bodies, and beyond our small concepts of self. In humans our interiors and exteriors co-evolve at the same time – but again with robots we can drop the exterior part and just focus on the interiors. When we can take the “exterior” doesn’t matter part for granted, suddenly it becomes much easier in stories to explore the how the “isness” of a character isn’t from their body, but from their consciousness – and in the robotic world that consciousness can move from body to body in a much simpler to understand fashion.

While this idea of soul/consciousness is probably nothing new to long term or serious practitioners, I think it’s just awesome to see it being explored in mainstream tales like Chappie – and for the right person possibly not exposed to it in their own life – what a groundbreaking concept!

We Are the Robots

Ironically, what’s so great about writing about ROBOTS is that it’s really just an opportunity to write about our humanness – which I’d argue is really the root of all great science fiction.

My life has personally been transformed and deepened from learning about the development of consciousness – and thus it’s something I’m totally committed to expressing in the work I put out in the world. Robots, and the exploration of artificial intelligence, are two of the key ways in which those concepts are currently descending into and manifesting in current culture – so fellow writers, please keep birthing new Chappie’s into the world!


5 Years in LA

5 years ago today I rolled into Los Angeles in the mighty Truckzilla. A full life in Boulder in my rear view mirror, a fuller life in LA ahead of me on the horizon. I was resistant to moving here for a long time, partially because I’d been spoiled by the idyllic little paradises of Santa Cruz and Boulder (and hate driving), and partially because I knew that in this town, I’d have no excuses left.

Everything I want to do, everything I want to become, it’s here in LA. Walking over the stars in hollywood on a misty night last November, I remember falling in love with all of the people around me. Bros, skaters, plastics, hipsters, film geeks, burnouts, nerds like me, “these are my people” I thought. I’m not really hippie, but not really mainstream. I’m LA. It’s a mad dirty city infused with mountains and open space. It shouldn’t work, but it generally does.

It’s the most diverse town I’ve ever lived in – there’s is absolutely no “right” way to live here. It’s also the most challenging town I’ve ever lived in. Anything is possible here, but next to nothing “just happens” here. Serendipity here is a result of commitment. More than anywhere else I’ve lived, it requires strong intention to do anything, meet with friends for a drink, break into the business, going for a hike, whatever. That same energy, however, it also what makes it a town of dreamers. So many folks are going for “it”, whatever their it is: artist, healer, teacher, actor, musician, filmmaker. Not everyone will make it, but all are sure as hell trying.

It’s been a difficult transition since moving here. Nothing has happened as quickly as I’d have liked. I’m consistently feeling the places in myself where I still have so much growth to do. That said, 5 years in seeds are blossoming. Since moving here, I’ve finally made my first film I can call my own, stepped into a leadership position in the community dear to me, loved and been loved by another like I’d never been before, and become utterly clear on my purpose in life. While film will be the delivery format, my passion and purposes run deeper than that:

I’m here to help others feel more deeply while seeing new perspectives on themselves, our culture, and the universe.

Monday I deliver a very rough outline of my first real screenplay to my Men’s Group. My voice is emerging, and unsurprisingly all the things I find myself writing about are all the places of growth and gold in my own life. Writing, growing, and living are starting to feel one and the same for me.

I look forward to typing the words “it’s done” here by the end of this year. All it takes now is showing up, and having faith in the rest.

See you at the multiplex.


Favorite Films of 2014

2014 was an interesting year for the cinema. Ticket sales were the lowest they’ve been in years, so as usual folks are again predicting the death of cinema. Yet, at the same time, Warner Bros and Universal had fantastic years so take it all with a grain of salt. My hunch is we’ll see a ticket sales resurge in 2015 solely because of Avengers 2 and a the holiday timed release of a new Star Wars.

So, to continue my tradition from last year, here’s my favorite flicks of 2014:


I was smiling pretty much the entire time I watched this movie. Manages to do the seemingly impossible, transmitted both the experiences only possible in film, while also conveying the power and energy of live theater. Top tier acting all around, and an incredible production that strung together countless long takes so there’s only one real “cut” in the movie. Form and Function relentlessly support each other in this film, from casting, to the production style, to the music, etc. Didn’t love the ending, but enjoyed the ride along the way.

Under the Skin

The film I’m most excited to see again, definitely the most distinct experience I had in the cinema this year, and the one that most strongly put me in a state that stuck with me long after leaving the theater. Abstract, weird, and challenging, I love how much this film earned it’s last scenes from my point of view. A brilliant example of how a film’s structure, shooting style, and editing can all combine to transmit the state experience of the main character.


Linklater is one of my favorite directors, and the one most directly that has learned to use time itself as a character in his films. I’d been reading about this for years and it was probably my most anticipated movie of the year. A remarkable achievement that was filmed over 12 years. Some parts of it work better than others, but overall I found it remarkably affecting and incredibly restrained. Linklater keeps the story simple, and doesn’t stretch his characters beyond what’s developmentally appropriate for them at the time. A perfect prequel to the Before Series, you can roughly go straight from this right into Before Sunrise and just pretend Jesse is Mason a few years later. Love it.

Edge of Tomorrow

A terrible title that didn’t exactly do gangbusters at the box office, but one of the only summer movies that wasn’t purely a sequel. While adapted from a book, it was the closest thing to an original summer movie we had this year. Tom Cruise gets a lot of hate, and he may be a little wacky, but he sure shows up for his roles. Possibly the first movie about video games (though not adapted from a video game) that doesn’t suck, it’s the action version of Groundhog Day and I found it tremendously fun. If all summer movies were this great, we’d be in good shape. Absolutely genius editing, never lingering on a sequence too long and brilliantly cutting forward in “time” at all the right moments. A wonderful lesson in how “genius” is often just lots of practice.

Gone Girl

Didn’t read the book, but loved the movie. Finger is a great director working at the absolute top of his game. A wonderfully constructed, shot, performed, and directed movie. It’s easy to overlook how brilliantly the film manages to change our “sympathies” for various characters as the movie progresses. Another great merging of form and function, the film’s critique of how malleable public opinion can easily be controlled by mass media, the film itself does a brilliant job of manipulating our sympathies as an audience the same way. Great soundtrack by Trent Reznor too.

Honorable Mentions:

Life Itself

Heartbreaking documentary covering the last days of Roger Ebert’s life, and one that strongly conveys how deeply passionate about cinema and culture in general he was.


Wanted it to be my favorite movie of the year, but ended up just being too clunky. Loved what it was about, but not how it was about it. Some truly painful dialogue, and far too much theme being spoken aloud. However, when it worked, it was big bold filmmaking at it’s finest. The docking sequence alone is a thing of beauty to behold in IMAX, a perfect example of when the film was working and the action of the film was representative of theme: the fate of all life coming down to one simple connection / act of procreation. However, despite a few other really strong moments like that overall it felt simply too “clinical” for me.

La Dolce Vita

Old movie, but saw it on the big screen for the first time and was definitely one of my favorite cinema experiences of the year.


Not a movie I’m likely to ever watch again, and certainly not a movie that was super realistic, but no matter. This was a film so certain of it’s tone and authorship that I found it to just sizzle and sparkle on screen. Intense, dark, and fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy

As fresh a “comic book” movie as we’re likely to get for a while, I it was a nice light romp that blended star wars and Indiana Jones in just the right ways. Light popcorn fare about the ‘fate’ of the galaxy for sure, but I had a lot of fun watching it and appreciated it’s “earth jokes” a bunch.

Stuff I didn’t get to see that may placed…

Whiplash, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, American Sniper, Inherent Vice

Biggest Disappointments


A movie about the singularity and uploading human consciousness? Count me in! Except it didn’t work at all for me. Didn’t care about the characters, nothing made sense in the plot, and it looked like it was shot in New Mexico for tax credits. Bummer.


SHARE at Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival

Fantastic news!

Laurels LALift-Off International Film Festival has selected my short film SHARE to be part of their prestigious line up of true independent cinema at this years Los Angeles Lift-Off 2014! It’s the first project I’ve written and directed myself, and it’s incredibly exciting to finally be getting it out in front of audiences.

Selected out of 700+ global entrants, my film will screen at the prestigious Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival, an indie event held annually in Venice Beach, California on September 4th, 2014. The screening forms part of the wider Lift-Off International Film Festivals, which have live indie screenings in four transatlantic cities held quarterly throughout the year.
Continue reading

Gender Swap by The Machine to Be Another

The Coming Age of Technodelics

Last week Facebook bought Oculus VR, the company that’s been developing what many think is finally going to be the headset that brings VR mainstream. Oculus was already in a pretty exciting place, having raised $2,437,429 on kickstarter in 2012 and having secured John Carmack of id software fame as CTO. Facebook’s acquisition means they basically have unlimited resources behind them now. On top of that, Sony recently joined in the VR circus by announcing their own Project Morpheus headset for the PS4. Nearly two decades after the first wave of VR entered mainstream culture, phase two has clearly begun. Continue reading


Everything has changed, absolutely nothing’s changed (Pearl Jam + Time = Magic)

Everything has changed, absolutely nothing’s changed

That’s not the correct line from Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy”, but for years I always thought it was and have settled on it being correct for me.

I actually don’t listen to Pearl Jam albums that much. During off season, months will usually pass in which I don’t put on a single record. In the back of my mind, I know how good they are and that they’ll always be there. So I start to take them for granted, and slowly start to forget. Continue reading