Amy Birks

www.diannaritola.com, email:revdianna@diannaritola.com

 

Rev. DiAnna Ritola is an ordained Interfaith Minister and Dianic Wiccan Priestess and author of the book Mismatched Luggage: Unpacking Your Sexual Baggage for Your Spiritual Journey.
 

Her work is about shifting the focus of our individual prisms, finding new facets from which to shine while staying centered in the truth of our deep Self to celebrate what shines most clearly and brings the most pleasure: to Call Your Facets Home.

Find her on the web:

facebook.com/Rev-Di-Anna-Ritola-1454152664810933

www.instagram.com/rev_di/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/rev-dianna-ritola-53b27bb4/

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Imperfect Transcript

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  00:02

Hello, my dear friend, Amy.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  00:06

Hello, my dear friend, Cheri.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  00:07

Hey, I'm so excited. This is going to be a phenomenal conversation and if you've listened to any of my other podcasts before you know that I really don't take notes. I just get started because I know I'm going to have an amazing conversation with my guest. And let me tell you a little bit about Amy. Can I start with that?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  00:27

Are you asking me? Yeah, please bring it

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  00:30

Okay, good. So, Amy and I met and you've heard me say this before but she [inaudible 00:36] and I knew that this was an amazing woman. And when I heard her speak about this specific thing, I thought we've got to be friends. She's got a lot to teach me, I need to be in her orbit. And she talked about living and designing her life to be simple, effective, impactful, but the word simple. And I don't know about you, when you hear that word simple as long also in combination with being impactful and being successful. She got my attention. Amy, you got my attention with that. Did you know that?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  01:13

I'm so glad. I mean I think you've told me but I love that makes me really happy.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  01:19

Yeah, well, we've gone on, you've heard my introduction. I told you a little bit about Amy in the introduction and we've gone on to become good friends. I've worked with her, she's been my coach and she's been my friend but today, she's going to enlighten you. You're going to enlighten me in this conversation. So, first of all, where would you like to start? When I asked you to come on here, did you have any idea of what you might want to talk about?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  01:51

I mean, I feel like every conversation that we have is always so awesome and deep and rich and fulfilling. And when I thought about what your podcast is really about and by the way, thank you for all the wonderful, lovely coffee. But the thing that I was really thinking about was the idea of on purpose and the word purpose in general because it's so deeply ingrained in me and who I am and my story and the work that I do and the transitions that I am making in the work that I do and the people that I work with. And so, the idea of purpose and intention and being driven by purpose has been just such a theme for my whole life. And so yeah, we can start anywhere. But I feel like we can talk about yeah, I'm open to wherever you want to go.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  02:54

Well, I love what you just said because sometimes I even confuse myself. There are times in my business I think about purpose as in what am I here to do and then sometimes I'm thinking about on purpose meaning doing things intentionally. And so there's this double meaning to purpose and purpose. And I'm never quite sure what I mean in the moment. So why don't you start, I'd love to know how did you get here. Give me a story. Tell me a story about how you became an entrepreneur or how you knew that this was the life you wanted to craft or maybe it's a story about when you weren't crafting it the way you want it. Like go into the archives friend and find me a story.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  03:39

Alright, you're opening a can of worms here. I'm going to go for it. Yeah, so it's a great question. I got picked up the other day from the auto body shop by a young kid, 21 years old at enterprise who was driving me back to the place to get my rental car. And I always asked the people that I connect with in situations like this, how they like what they do. Do you like working for Uber or do you like working for enterprise and what’s it you know, tell me more because I'm just super curious. That's part of who I am. And so, he was telling me and I was curious about whether he was on a career trajectory with the company because enterprise is one of those companies where you go and they develop you and they only hire from within and all that stuff and promote from within and he said, I'm not sure and I could hear in his voice because he was telling me that he wasn't really sure and he's done a few different things. And he wants to travel, he wants to like go to California and things like that. And I just felt compelled to tell him a little bit more about me in that moment because what I could hear in him was something that felt so resonant to me and who I was when I was at age which was, I don't know what the fuck I want to do with my life like I don't know. And when I was young, it felt like such a shameful thing. You're supposed to know, right? Like I go to high school and then when you leave high school, you're supposed to go to college. That's just what you do. And I remember there was a girl in my graduating class who was taking a gap year and she was going to go travel in Europe. And so, I asked her at the end of the year, I was like oh, where are you going to school next year? And she's like, I'm not I'm going to travel and I was like what? What are you talking about?

And so, like this idea of I think having options at all and being driven by curiosity was just kind of like what I naturally was interested in doing like let me try this, let me try this. But I carried with me a lot of shame around that at the time when I was young thinking no one's supposed to have this all figured out. And so, this was kind of what I relayed to this kid was you can figure it out. Like I spent my 20s and much of my 30s kind of trying a job here, trying a thing there, doing this like I worked in retail, I worked in restaurants, I worked in banking, I worked for nonprofits, I worked in fine dining, I sold cars, I worked in corporate finance. Like, I tried all these different things and when you look at them all lined up next to one another, it seems very haphazard. It seems like I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't have the initiative to like stick with something or whatever. But in reality, I was seeking and I was looking for purpose. That's what I really was at the base of it all I was looking for a more purposeful life. And because I knew that I was being called to something bigger than what I was experiencing in life like I know I'm here to do something. And what I'm learning over the course of my lifetime and in recent years especially is that I thought I was the only one that really felt that way like I'm here to do more. What is it? I don't know but it's something but like I think that's the human condition. I think that's our poll is to like decide well I am going to do more. What is that thing that could be more or the things if there's multiple.

So anyway, what I told this kid was that I did all these different things and then they all set me up so perfectly for what I do now in business and like who I've become as a human and all these different skill sets that I picked up make me this amazing like I got this amazing amalgamation of skills that make me amazing at what I do now as the consultant and coach and co-founder that I am but all of that has been driven so much by purpose and wanting to live in a way that allows me to be more purposeful.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  07:58

I love that. I want to come back and underline and underscore some of the things that you said that were so important because again, I'm listening to you through the ears of our listeners and thinking who might be picking up on this and I think that there were several ways that folks might resonate with this whether you're in your 20s 30s or 40s. But we tend to think people are supposed to have answers or even if that's not it, we tend to conform I say [inaudible 08:25] into what society wants and it's much easier to just pick a lane, would you just pick a lane please and do that. But when you're outside of that and while you were talking, I was trying to look up that quote of jack of all trades, master of none. But it goes on to say but oftentimes better than the master of one. I just learned this yesterday there was only quote half of that freaking breaking quote.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  07

That's amazing. I had no idea there was more

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  07

Yes, a jack of all trades is the master of none but oftentimes better than the master of one.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  07

I love that

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  07

I know, I just learned yesterday that we have just picked up this part again to corral people and to pick up the lining. And so, what you were highlighting for me is because I tried to cram five years into four years of college. I had five different majors. I didn't know I wanted to do. Finally, they said you've got enough credits to leave. I'm like okay but I didn't know what I wanted to do. And so in our short sample of two were 100% of people who didn't know what they wanted to do right.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  09:32

That's enough.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  09:34

And so what happens with that I think is that some folks continue to pursue like you did because you have the natural sense of curiosity. Others might fold and just get one right. But you kept going and I know this about you as my friend, you are super curious. Were you born that way?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  09:55

Oh, yeah. I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood but I'm I imagined that I was. And then I didn't really identify it to actual curiosity because again, I kept having all this self-judgment about the not knowing and that. So that was one of the other things that I relayed to this to this kid was and know that it's okay. You're not supposed to know and be kind to yourself about it. Just be curious and be willing to do that like let go of the baggage. Like if I could have gone through my 20s without all that weight like carrying that around like this weighted blanket, these chains of guilt and like oh, I should, I don't, I’m not enough because I don't like all that stuff then it would have been a whole different type of experience for me.

And what's interesting about what you just said too is that about the idea of like the seeking and the curiosity and all that stuff is that and then the quitting or the I'm just going to conform because I can't right that. For me, it would have been so easy for me to stay on that trajectory and I don't know what prevented it. Probably my relationship with my cousin Wendy who really, she's like my older sister and she kind of set me on a more spiritual path to really like knowing myself and having a desire to know myself more early in my 20s. And so that I think was again the pull to purpose like to knowing myself to knowing how I could be of service to the world was like that was always there and all of the jobs I kept thinking like that was the litmus test was how am I doing more for the world in these various jobs. And I kept rationalizing that and in my very last job and I started my business and then I ran my business for about a year and a half before I quit my corporate job I did as a side hustle. I had this great job, it was like such an awesome gig and I worked in corporate finance and I was like project manager, strategist, supporting projects that helped 150,000 team members across the entire footprint of the company or nationwide. And it was like a remote job with great pay and a great team. Like I was checking all the boxes except for the one and I kept trying to make it check that box of purpose was purpose. Like how am I actually helping the world and so I would say well, I'm serving all these team members and they're serving the world and if I can make their jobs easier then they're going to be kinder and more whatever to the people that we're serving and that's millions of customers and so I kept doing that. But it's like when you're in a bad relationship and you just keep saying well, this and this and this is great. And if only he could also be this and this right as I was like that and I just couldn't hang on any longer and so I got to a place with my business where I was having a volume of work that I couldn't do both anymore and I finally had to say no, this really isn't enough. This is just not enough. My business feels like it is fulfilling that purpose. Like I'm serving people who are purpose driven entrepreneurs like these are founders who are creating companies that are doing amazing things in the world and are serving the world in a good way. And if I help them grow then we are actually doing good things in the world like that was actually a thing.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  14:05

Yeah. And I'm going to go back if I can and I don't think this is what you said and before we talk about your business. But I would say that even when you were in that corporate world, you were making impact but it wasn't checking the box off for you. There are folks who are in corporate jobs and are doing work that may be labeled as something that may not look purpose driven. But if a person shows up to that role they've chosen from a place of real authentic and happiness right then it checks the box but it didn't check the box for you. You had a different place and thank goodness you were I'm going to say brave enough because it took courage, right? You walked away from little checkboxes.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  14:52

Yeah, I'm going to receive that because it did. There was like within me, my own fear of what if I can't make this business fly and I'm the primary breadwinner in our family and oh my God but then on top of that my now ex-husband was like he didn't articulate in this way but he was really scared of what would happen if I left and thought I was crazy for walking away from something with that much stability. And the interesting thing too by the way just on a tangent of that is that I think that what's so funny about this idea of stability that I'm using air quotes right now is that “when we're employed by someone else, there's no stability there anyway, right?” Like I've worked for this company and in all likelihood if I'd stayed another year, I probably would have been laid off because of the way that things went with that company. And anytime there's been any instability in my business, it's only and always ever been because of me and my mindset and like what I'm afraid of right like that's always ever what it's about, how I engage with my fear.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  16:07

Exactly when my first husband asked for a divorce and among the many reasons that I cataloged but that was not a good idea. I was like oh my God, I've lost my retirement which was like 30 years away. And my friend said to me, you didn't have that yet. You have no idea. There was this vision, there was this idea of stability for my future that really didn't exist. It was just something I told myself instead of what was right in front of me and then I love this part that you said and I love how you own this so clearly is that the anytime I've had a problem, my business it has come down to me to you right? And so, say more about that. I got a lot to say.

 

 Speaker: Amy Birks  16:56

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I mean anytime like my business has upped and flowed. I've had my consulting business for eight and a half years now and the great news is that I'm still doing it. I haven't had to take other work or get a job or do anything like that. I'm still here even through the pandemic. But there have been times where my business has flagged where it's been harder for me to find clients or anything or the interest has been lower and it's not for lack of doing. It's not for lack of activity. It's for lack of faith and trust and lack of non-attachment to outcomes which we have talked about.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  17:49

Thinking of saving the recordings of every coaching session I've ever had. It’s like holly girl you're just doing but where's the faith? I'm like look what I'm creating.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  18:01

Oh, yes. It's so funny what we do to ourselves though. We think that we're somehow the masters of our own domain and that because we are in control, we must be doing, doing, doing in order to make things happen. And the reality is and I think that this is something that we've all been confronted with very acutely over the last 18 months is that we're not in control of anything at all. It's all up for grabs and let's just get more comfortable with that. And the more comfortable that we can be with the idea that we're just not like we don't have to be afraid and fear is always this is something that I learned from my coaches, Jeff and Kelly. Fear is just a future projection. Like it's something that we're projecting into the future that we're worried about that isn't here yet. Like, you're 30 years to retirement, right or it's some variation of something in the past that we're reacting to and that when we can just be here and be present and all of this sounds very trite but it's so effing true.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  19:02

It’s trite but t's true. I mean it is and it's not trite but it sounds trite. I was working with a client this morning and the whole bit of our work has been how to be in the present moment that we're actually so comfortable or so it's such a habit to be in the past lamenting our choices in the past, worrying about the future that we forget to be in the moment which is the only one we've got. Again, it's it sounds like a hallmark movie.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  19:33

I know. It's so true and there's like so much practicality to that too because it becomes a drain of energy and becomes a drain of resources when we're so focused on what ifs and oh God I'm so worried and it creates the experience of right now to become so unfulfilling and not fun and like worrying is this thing that is just a total waste of energy and so when I have been able to be here right now like I notice when I'm scared or when I'm afraid or like anytime I have this thought like my mind says you got to do more, Like I feel there's a sensation that I actually feel in my body and I've gotten really good at paying attention to this stuff because of my coach Kelly. And so, I pay attention sincerely to what's happening and when I'm like I got to go do, that is like motivated by fear that I'm not doing enough or that the result that I want isn't going to come and I feel it in my body. I feel like butterflies in my stomach, I feel my body get tighter, I clench my butt like while these things are happening in my body and then I remember oh, let me just take a deep breath, let me notice that this emotion is here that I'm just afraid of something, we just pay attention to that, I'm going to let it be here for a minute and then it's going to move and then I'm going to respond to whatever the imminent threat is that I think is actually here. Oh, by the way, it's probably not an imminent threat anyway.

But my business is a result of me like I am my business and so the decisions that I make for how I show up and how I take action and all of that stuff when I do it from a place of fear, everything stops. It doesn't ever work. Even in the last couple of weeks like I had a couple of clients need to put their stuff on hold and I was like it's fine. But then I was looking at my bank account I'm like oh, this feels rough. But in reality, it's all fine like there's plenty of money in the bank. There's 1000s and 1000s of dollars, all the bills are going to get paid. There are all these other things in the works, there's all this stuff that's happening and that it's just my projection that gets in the way and so I felt physically in my body that stuff moving up and like I better go you know reach out to a bunch of people on send a bunch of emails and try to do some outreach and do, do, do and I noticed that and I thought okay, how can I just be comfortable and kind of ride this wave of discomfort. How can I ride out this discomfort right now I'm not trying to fix it or fix this future projection of mayhem and death and destruction that's on its way imminently and instead let me just know. I'm just like putting a lot of value on an idea that doesn't actually exist right here right now and then what does exist right here right now is that there's money in the bank. I got an awesome house, the power is on, I got food in the fridge, my kid is happy, the bills are paid, everything is good so let's just be there and trust and have faith and just know that the blessings are coming and then when they show up however small they might be. I picked up a dime on the ground the other day and I said yes thank you and then guess what? Funding that I've been waiting for my startup is like the approval came, it's coming right, a new client drop like that and it was because I changed how I was showing up it just became like I got this.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  23:12

It's okay. I just got to really underline this. First of all, have you heard me share what my acronym for fear is? (Find Evidence of your Actual Reality.) And that's what you just did where you go ah and I had to do the same thing this is when this download came to me for fear was like oh my gosh, lights are on house is nice, food in the fridge, money in the bank because all of a sudden get swept up in this fear to get triggered by maybe you lose a client or maybe whatever happens. And I love how first of all, you've trained yourself and I know this has probably come by being conscious and being aware. But you have gotten it's so clear like I can feel it in my body right. Before it really gets way out of control, that's what I heard as you told your story is that you feel it in your body and then you create that pause, you breathe, and you create the pause before you go into reaction mode which I think is brilliant. That's how we reengage with the part of our brain right? That's not going to be [inaudible 24:19] brain like “oh” perceived danger lost a client or they moved on. You go pause and then you did an assessment then you throw the eff out and it sound like things started to come back right? Did I summarize it?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  24:36

Yes, exactly. Yes, that is what happened and it couldn't have happened if I hadn't right taken that and admittedly, I started out in the in the swirl oh shit, there was oh shit but then I noticed it. I noticed what was happening. I saw my thoughts, I felt it in my body and then I was like alright. And then it would come back like the swirl would come back and I come back to my tools.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  24:58

I want to share a story and I'll be brief about it but it's how I ended up working with you Amy. Do you remember? It was about a year ago and I had created a coaching program and I had also put out a pitch for another big piece of work and the underpinning of both of those programs were fear and neither one of them made and I was devastated because I thought if I just put it on paper and I just fill this program and I just get this five-figure gig for this thing then all my dreams will come true, all the [inaudible 25:38]

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  25:39

Right and like you had kind of the double whammy because you have the projected fear in the future and then you have the guilt from the past and like the story that drive on that.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  25:48

I have a story that I can never fill my program and guess what I didn't fill my program because you know what I kept thinking I'm not going to fill my program and oh my God, I need to fill my program. And I wanted to say that story because I just had this intuitive hit that there's probably a listener or two or 20 or 50 who can resonate with even when we set goals that sound good and right but if the undercurrent is fear, if the motivation is because you said this other word a few minutes ago that we kind of skipped over. But when you said I don't get attached, you said I trust not from a place of lack but you said something to the extent that I trust of the outcomes and that has really worked for you. It works not even just for you right, it works.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  26:42

Oh yeah, universally it works but you have to be able to really like untangle that stuff and for me that journey as you know because you and I have talked a lot about this was tricky because I thought that there was like some enlightened state that suddenly I was going to snap my fingers and oh I figured it out. I figured out how to surrender and how to not be attached. It was like my mind was trying to figure it out logically and it's not a logical thing. It's a state of being and it takes practices right like noticing what's going on in your body, having awareness of what your mind is doing, paying attention to those things and in so doing then you get better at it and then suddenly one day, I didn't have an aha moment like the sky is parted and the angels are singing. I actually just thought oh wow, I don't feel that anxiety about money or clients or whatever anymore. I feel this must be what surrender is, got it. Now I get it but there wasn't like that moment where suddenly I was like oh now, I understand. It was like oh, I've been doing this for a while. I don't experience that thing anymore.

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  27:59

I've had the same experience where it wasn't that I noticed that when I did it. I noticed after an event was over and I realized what I didn't do [inaudible 28:10]

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  28:09

Exactly, I know back to simplicity what I think is so interesting is that it's our minds that want to make everything hard and complex. But I thought what is so great is that if we can know that that's the case that our mind is like doing the best it can to protect us from stuff that we have like evolution hasn't caught up yet, right? Like there is no saber-toothed tiger around the corner. We don't need to go into every circumstance with our like amygdala on red alert if I think it's their amygdala, our lizard brain saying we're going to be in trouble if we walk around the corner so we better be prepared. It's not death on the other side of everything but our brain perceives that it is no matter what and so if we can know that that's the case and then our brain is making everything complex because it's trying to do its job and protect us from the saber-toothed tiger around the corner then we can I think soften and maybe even be kinder to ourselves to say oh, got it. I see what you're doing there brain. We can keep this up. Like we've talked a lot about my business model with my consulting and coaching business that it's just the three C’s is I care and I'm curious and I want to connect and that's it and like my whole I don't do traditional marketing I mean none of that stuff because I'm just not interested in that and it's too complex and I just want it to be easy.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  29:48

And you know how many times I came back I'm like but is that enough? That's not enough C’s. I don't get it. What must I suppose to do and I’m like Cheri, care, be curious and connect but Amy and I just want to stick a fork in my head but it is that simple and I will confess, I get it much more now than I did but my brain wanted to make it hard or wanted to do. But what you are really describing Amy and I've always understood it this cognitively on some level but I'm starting to get it that this is all you got to do. It’s an inside game. Living on purpose frankly is an inside game and then you're told or inspired or lead on what to do. Would you agree with that?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  30:43

Yep. 100% Yes because we have room for that to be available because we're not so muddied by the fear of the projection from the future or the guilt of the stuff from the past or whenever. We're just here and we're able to be responsive instead of reactive which is something that I know you talk a lot about and so it really changes the game when we can like be open to the idea. This is one of the things that when I'm discerning whether somebody is a good fit to work with me or not for growth strategy, consulting and coaching. I'm looking to know that they are open to the idea that growing their company they could be doing it in an easier, more effective way and that they actually like the idea that it could be easier. They're not going to be holding on to like old traditional paradigms for how they market, how they sell, how they upgrade. That they're like no, I really want it to be easier, I want my job to be easier, I want my team's jobs to be easier, I want all of that. And that the idea that like connection is a key for that to create that ease, that they'd be open to that too.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  31:59

You know I think that's a great distinction and I know for me and I know it's true for you. It's just as good for folks like were not a good fit right? But you really are a growth strategist for people whose at least within the top three is make this easy, right? I mean, having impact but that sense of caring connection and curiosity. But I wish there was a word for ease that started with C because that's also how I see you. And my guess is you've chosen that because not only is it make for a happier life for you but it's also more effective

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  32:44

100% Yes, all of those things because I have a business that supports my life, my family. We have an amazing life. Everything is awesome. And I don't work that hard. I work like I don't know 15 hours a week maybe and we got all the things paid for. I live in a beautiful house in the Hudson River Valley. I've got a car like all the things everything is all great and what's also awesome is that it's given me bandwidth and capacity to be able to focus on a new venture and to be able to build a startup and that's again, all around purpose like it's all around impact and purpose.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  33:22

I'm sorry, I interrupted you but I'm watching the clock. I want to hear from your words. Tell the folks more about that work. I mean if there's anything first of all about your work as a growth strategist that we haven't covered, if you want to say anything specific and then if you want to share about your startup, I want to hear about it.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  33:43

Okay, good. I'll give one for each and hopefully I'll be brief. So, the work that I do as a coach consultant is usually with founders of companies that are driven by purpose and they are in a place where they've figured all the things out, they've got money coming in, they're generating revenue regularly but they've hit some sort of a ceiling on how much they can scale based on the capacity that they have. And they're like, we know that we could do more with this but we don't really know how to figure out how to do that or they're also looking around at the landscape and they see that there are a million opportunities in front of them and they're a little bit overwhelmed by which direction to take and they don't want to pick the wrong one from a strategic perspective. They want something that's going to be on the trajectory that's going to take them to their bigger vision and they just want a little bit of help along the way.

So yeah, then the village is the new thing and yes, it's amazing. So, I don't know if maybe this is true. I think this is true of you. I think we've talked about this and perhaps for your listeners but I have spent the last eight years in my business and if I'm being really honest probably my whole life looking around and going where are my people, where are the people that are like me who have that same pole to purpose, who want to make a bigger impact in the world who maybe are trying to do that and since I've had my business it's been a big thing. It's been like the resounding cry for me is like where are my people and I've picked up lots of little like one off communities here and there that are amazing you know and it's great but every time I find these communities I keep thinking why don’t the be social change people know the conscious capitalism people and why are they hanging out with the BLM folks and where's Cheri’s people in all this. Like they should all be hanging out together because to me like my GPS brain is always looking for the exponential potential as like the end goal and so to me when all these awesome people that are here for purpose driven impact, social impact whatever reasons like the people that are like us who wants to make the world a better place if more of them could find one another and collaborate then holy wow, the exponential impact in the world gets crazy. So anyway, that's part of the intention with the village is to be a platform for people like us to find one another so that they can collaborate and make exponential impact in the world together

The other thing that I know is true for people like us or tends to be true for people like us is that we're feeling a bit disillusioned with a platform like Facebook as being the place where we congregate anymore. There's a values mismatch or we feel like the energy there just isn't right or whatever

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  36:35

[inaudible 36:35]

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  36:39

Right exactly and then we've got other places where communities can land like a mighty networks or other slack or things like that but then they're siloed and so the village is kind of this amazing opportunity that creates a space for people like us. It's really geared towards purpose driven impact, social impact, leaders of communities and their people to come and hang out and find one another in a space that will resemble Facebook in a lot of ways in terms of how they can hang out, how the leaders can get exposure to new members all that stuff but also from this like really values driven you know, your privacy matters, good vibe type space and that's also a very high touch experience.

So, I'm super excited about it because I think once we start bringing people into it which is going to happen imminently then oh my gosh, the potential for impact in the world just goes.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  37:38

Through the roof and so I just want to say that I've been a part of hearing about this vision for the last couple of months so this isn't brand new to my ears and what I just need to reiterate and underline is that what she said that and I keep having this quote that says “you're the sum total of the people you hang out with the most” and this idea again not to silo necessarily but to go where are my people, where the folks who we can hang out with who on their list of things to do today is make the world a better place and not rolls their eyes when they say that but it's a genuine authentic interest and because this podcast is going to live out on the innerweb. It's 2021 right now and this is launching near the end of 2021 but it hasn't as of this moment but it's coming soon and so it'll be at the village. I will have stuff in the show notes and I’ll try to keep that updated. I'm so excited personally for the world all of the above.

So, I've got a couple of questions as we start to land the airplane as I like to say first of all, is there anything that I haven't asked you that you'd like to share?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  39:06

You have not asked me what my favorite karaoke song is?

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  39:13

Well, it was the next question but great go ahead

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  39:17

No it’s not

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  39:22

What is it? Blinded by the light.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  39:23

No, that's a good one. No, it's bust a move by young MC. I actually was challenged to recite it on a podcast once which I did. [Cross-talking]

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  39:41

The last time I ever did karaoke was in Escondido, California at the Lawrence Welk resort. Did you know there's a Lawrence Welk resort?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  39:51

I am familiar.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  39:52

Yeah, I grew up watching him on Saturdays and there was a lot of older man with white belts and white shoes on and then those of us who are sexuality educators at the Lawrence Lakota. Okay, what is the part of your routine that keeps you centered? Do you have any part of a routine or a practice?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  40:16

I have so many. I think I mean right now I would probably say paying attention to me like being aware like we were talking about earlier paying attention to what I'm feeling in my body, paying attention to what I hear my mind say and trying to do so from the seat of the observer instead of like I am my mind. And then I guess alongside that because I can never pick just one it would be curiosity and that is always I think my best tool for staying centered is just being curious without judgment.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  40:51

Yeah, I knew that would come up but I'm so glad it has because it has. Now that you've gifted me with and this past year has changed my life, I believe far closer to curiosity and it ripples out. I bring it up with every client I have. We just this morning would be curious [inaudible 41:08]. Who are your go to mentors and authors? Are there any like that [inaudible 41:18] or who you go to for?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  41:18

Yeah, I mean, you're one of my one of my go-to’s for any sort of advice and coaching for sure.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  41:28

I was expecting you to say like Bernie brown or something like that. That’s fine

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  41:31

Yeah, let's start with you because your perspectives are always so right on. And then from a more mainstream perspective I would say you and I both love Tosha Silver especially when it came to surrender and some of the stuff that we're talking about. She's always been really useful for me. I read untamed by Glenn and Doyle. We've talked about that a lot. I was really resistant to it at first but something about it just spoke to me and I listen to it on repeat every now and then I'll just put it on in my car and listen to it. I think her message is really spot on

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  42:13

I'm glad you underscored that. I've heard several folks who resisted it I think because it became so mainstream. That was so full of living on purpose. It's so much in alignment with what we talked about here. Let's see if I have one other question. My last and final question is which is it for you dark or milk or chocolate?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  42:37

Dark because I'm a vegan. But also, it’s the best. It is just the right answer, there's just no other option.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  42:49

I haven't met milk chocolate people on this podcast. I still love them.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  42:57

Yes, but we judge you harshly

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  43:01

[Inaudible 43:01] Okay. Amy my gosh, I have pages full of notes from our conversation. I wish I could summarize the takeaways but if I could actually, I'll let you. Is there anything you want to say in summary before I have the closing comments?

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  43:18

I will just say that number one, I think that anytime we have the opportunity to be self-reflective with kindness to ourselves, I think that's such an amazing tool. I am using curiosity as a tool, I think it's great but the search for purpose and using simplicity as a way to get there I mean I think it's a path worth journeying and that we shouldn't judge ourselves for getting it wrong or not doing it right or not doing enough or not being enough and that we have the opportunity I think always to continue to soften ourselves and come inward, look at how we're showing up and how we can just be more responsive and less reactive and be present. This is like let me let me just say all the cliched things they're going to say. That’s what I want to end on.

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  44:23

Those are true things. And so, you couldn't have said it better. And so, as I think about I kind of use my intuition when we're doing this and I'm always curious in my mind of who I think might be listening to this. And I think for anyone who has been listening that feels like they don't know the answer to what they're supposed to be doing, I hope you've heard Amy say that she didn't know either and I wanted to say this earlier that there are three possible answers to any question and it's yes, no and I don't know and I don't know is a valid response and that you are perfectly perfect where you are there. And then this idea if you resonated at all with my story and her about the doing, doing, doing might help as you take away from Amy that that is perhaps a little bit of a pain or a note to sell [inaudible 45:13] is a place where to pause or can it be easier. And then I'm just going to underscore one more time this gift that Amy has given me to put curiosity at the top of the list of the muscles to strengthen and use that is what I really hope for you the listener here is that being curious takes things out of being so serious, right? Just be curious and that brings ease.

Amy, I love you and I've enjoyed every bit. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, dropping some wisdom but next time you will have to do karaoke.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  45:53

I will next time. And I'll just add if people want to find me like reach out to me or anything like that, the best way to do that is either on my website amybirks.com or if they want to know more about the village once it's up and running, it will be join the village community

 

Speaker: Cheri Honeycutt  46:11

Beautiful. I'll put all that in the show notes but I'm glad for folks who are driving or walking to hear it amybirks.com but also all of her dates will be in the show notes. I love you, girl. Thank you.

 

Speaker: Amy Birks  46:22

I love you. Thank you