the happiness of pursuit interview with Chris Guillebeau

A quest can bring meaning, purpose and fulfillment to your life.

Gemma Stone Happiness of PursuitChris Guillebeau crafted his love for travel into a quest — he intended to travel to every country in the world by the time he was 35 and he did. Then, he wrote a book about it.

The Happiness of Pursuit is not just a book about the adventures Chris encountered while on his quest. He also tells stories of other people who have embarked on a quest.

There are stories of …

… A man who had undertaken a vow of silence for 17 years
… People who walked across entire countries or continents
… A man who became a real-life ninja {and another who became a real-life James Bond}
… A family that cycled from Alaska to Argentina
… A woman who cooked a meal from every country in the world
… A young man who adopted his wife’s quest after she died

The message embedded within the stories, philosophy and theory of the book is, a quest can improve your life. 

In this interview Chris and I explore the intersection of engaging with a quest and life design.

The Happiness of Pursuit challenges us to make our lives meaningful, snap up your copy at Amazon.comBN.com or Chapters.ca. A bookstore is a great place to get one too.

If you’re in Calgary on October 14th, meet me at the Crowfoot Terrace Chapters at 7:00pm for The Happiness of Pursuit book party. Register right over here.

You can expect a super hug from me, words of wisdom from Chris and possibly cupcakes!

If you’re not in Calgary, check out his complete book tour right over here.

Chris is smart, funny and generous. His values of community, adventure and service are infused into everything he does. Connect with him in real life, you’ll be glad you did.





questions for navigating the unconscious

Our unconscious mind holds a great deal of power over us.

It makes decisions on our behalf, it guides our thought patterns and emotional reactions and it creates the filters we see the world through. Jung said it best, until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

I have come to honor and respect the unconscious.

If we were free from the influence of the unconscious mind, life would work out as we planned. We’d make appropriate decisions, engage in proactive behaviors and the life we dream of would easily become reality.

Unconscious patterns rule us.

When you are in a moment of suffering, self-sabotage, or conflict ask yourself,

When have I been here before? What does it remind me of?
How is this a pattern? What patterns do I engage in that undermine my best interests?
What role am I playing in my drama? How is this connected to my history? 
How am I reflexively functioning in the world? What reactions are on auto-pilot?
Ask conscious questions, uncover conscious answers.

The questions you ask and the answers you discover will define the story of your life.

May these questions bring you closer to living a life you love.

To your liberation. Always,







10 books that could deepen how you love

After more than a decade of  helping hundreds of clients love themselves and their lives you could say that Love is my quest.

The most important lesson I have learned is to choose love over fear. Again and again.

The rules of love and fear can be found in a tangle of a hundred billion brain cells and amongst complicated electrical currents and signals. Love emanates from the brain, but its reach extends further. Love and fear influence all human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

The world is full of people who struggle with living from love over fear. I was one of them and I have worked with many others. Living a life we love depends upon resolving the struggle between love and fear as quickly as possible. Whether we live in a state of love or a state of fear changes everything. Love and fear make us who we are and create who we become.

Here are ten books that could deepen how you love yourself, others and your life.

jpeg-1Forty Rules of Love

“Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we have not loved enough.”



jpeg-1What Do Women Want

“Women’s desire—its inherent range and innate power—is an underestimated and constrained force.”



jpeg-1Anam Cara

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.”


jpeg-1Getting The Love You Want

“You can’t have a great relationship unless it’s emotionally safe; it has to be predictable and reliable. You need to be able to count on the fact that when you’re around your partner you’re not going to get hurt or be criticized, put down, or shut out.”


jpeg-1Coming Home To Myself

“Healing depends on listening with the inner ear – stopping the incessant blather, and listening. Fear keeps us chattering – fear that wells up from the past, fear of blurting out what we really fear, fear of future repercussions. It is our very fear of the future that distorts the now that could lead to a different future if we dared to be whole in the present.”

jpeg-2House of Belonging
“Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own. There you can be sure you are not beyond love. The dark will be your womb tonight. The night will give you a horizon further than you can see. You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up on all other worlds except the one to which you belong. Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you. ”

jpeg-1The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

“In the Love Lab, the relationships that were happy, the ratio was 20:1 of positive to negative expressions when simply conversing. A relationship is a contract of mutual nurturance. Relationships have to be a rich climate of positivity.”


jpeg-1Book of Hours

“I live my life in growing orbits which move out over this wondrous world, I am circling around God, around ancient towers and I have been circling for a thousand years. And I still don’t know if I am an eagle or a storm or a great song.”



jpeg-4The Wisdom of No Escape And the Path of Loving-Kindness

“A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet.”



jpeg-3Silent, Sacred, Holy, Deepening Heart
Hurrying toward nothing
the only thing worth answering is Love.
Happening into Loving
the only thing worth being
is Love
is Love
is Love.



This is the final post in the summertime book love series. Click around here to find even more great books ::

classic books for deepening how you live, heal, create & love
10 books that could deepen how you live
6 books that could deepen how you heal
7 books that could deepen how you create


With love. Always. Forever.






7 books that could deepen how you create

Summertime is my time to create.

I see fewer clients, travel less, and reduce my speaking gigs. I spend more time communing with nature and connecting with my soul-family.

This summer, my creative spirit has been devoted to writing a book. Today, I’m writing to you from a place my heart will always call home. British Columbia.

In this space, I am inspired to share with you seven books that could deepen how you create.

This is part four of a five part post on books that have changed how I live, heal, create and love.

Part one :: classic books for deepening how you live, heal, create & love
Part two :: 10 books that could deepen how you live. 
Part three :: 6 books that could deepen how you heal


jpegMade to Stick
“The stars of stickiness are the students who made their case by telling stories, or by tapping into emotion, or by stressing a single point rather than ten.”




jpegArt of Non-Conformity
“The concept of deferred gratification, or sacrificing now to save for the future, can be helpful in setting aside money in a retirement account for old age. It can also serve as an effective rationalization for life avoidance.”



jpegSacred Economics
“Ultimately, work on self is inseperable from work in the world. Each mirrors the other; each is a vehicle for the other. When we change ourselves, our values and actions change as well. When we do work in the world, internal issues arise that we must face or be rendered ineffective.”



jpegSteal Like An Artist
“You don’t get to pick your family, but you can pick your teachers and you can pick your friends and you can pick the music you listen to and you can pick the books you read and you can pick the movies you see. You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”
jpeg-1Succulent Wild Woman
“Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief, and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human is an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees. The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.”
jpegLet your Life Speak: Listening To The Voice of Vocation
“We must come together in ways that respect the solitude of the soul that avoid the unconscious violence we do when we try to save each other that evoke our capacity to hold another life without dishonoring its mystery never trying to coerce the other into meeting our own needs.”



jpegThe War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles
“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.”


Up next, the final post in this series, 10 books that could deepen how you love.

Until next time, may your creative spirit be liberated,







6 books that could deepen how you heal

Over the past twenty years, I have been on an epic journey of exploring how to heal the mind, body and spirit.

In the past, there was a desperation in my search — a longing for more answers, craving higher credentials, impatiently gathering better tools.

I was compulsively searching. I wanted to know more, to be better, to have enough. This pattern was is service of love, but it was driven by fear.

This pattern is coming to a close.

To honor the ending, I will commit to Love, in all her forms.

I’m crafting a ceremony with a Wisdom Keeper to integrate where I’ve been so I can deepen into where I am going.

This is an ending. And, a beginning.

Here are six books I have gathered along the way — may they help you end what needs to end so you can begin what you are ready to begin.

jpegDying To Be Me

“Being myself allows the wholeness of my unique magnificence to draw me in those directions most beneficial to me and to all others. This is really the only thing I have to do. And within that framework, everything that is truly mine comes into my life effortlessly, in the most magical and unexpected ways imaginable, demonstrating every day the power and love of who I truly am.”


“I actually detest the word happiness which is so overused that it has become almost meaningless. It is an unworkable term for science or for any political goal such as education, therapy, public policy, or just changing your personal life.”



jpegJust One Thing

“Try seeing good intentions in strangers walking down the street—or an airport. You’ll see lots of courtesies, efforts to do a good job, desires to understand or be understood, loyalty to friends and causes, fair play, and kindnesses. This practice makes me happy, and gives me a stronger sense of our common humanity.”


jpegBroken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.”



jpegFeeling Good

“After all, this is how you learned how to walk. You didn’t just jump up from your crib one day and waltz gracefully across the room. You stumbled and fell on your face and got up and tried again. At what age are you suddenly expected to know everything and never make any more mistakes? If you can love and respect yourself in failure, worlds of adventure and new experiences will open up before you, and your fears will vanish.”

jpegThe Shadow Effect

“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”

Part one :: classic books for deepening how you live, heal, create & love

Part two :: 6 books that could deepen how you heal

Coming up ::

7 books that could deepen how you create
10 books that could deepen how you love

To endings & beginnings.


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