Improving and Deepening Your Relationships – The Midas Effect
Trapped in a life of only living what her parents expected, yet yearning to venture out in life to learn and express herself via song and dance, Susan Kasper met the man of her dreams and escaped to Canada. She began a new life as a fisher person.
In a small fishing village on the west coast of Canada, Susan’s three children were born—as well as her focus on “how people can live together and really be a family, really be a community in a way that isn’t always defaulting to some kind of a difficulty or separation”. Her focus on continuous learning led to group meetings with others and then to leading seminars focused on helping attendees build stronger, richer relationships. Her passion for leading others towards personal growth led IgNITE Magazine online to get to know and understand her mission for helping others love themselves then others.
Then something remarkable happened. Susan’s son, Dolphin, decided that he was called to help further the work that his mother had started. Thus their business, Evolve Now, became more than just a dream. When asked, Dolphin said “I’m the beneficiary of Susan doing a lot of work; that created my interest in going inside and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. This created a willingness to pay the cost of the evolution involved in getting to a point similar to where she is.”
IgNITE Magazine interviewed Susan and Dolphin several weeks ago and we share their thoughts with you.
IgNITE: Susan, tell us about your years as a school teacher in Brooklyn.
Susan: I became a teacher because that was somehow the acceptable thing I could do. So what I learned was more about what’s happening in the world, what happens in schools, what happens that doesn’t support people in really discovering themselves.
That was an awakening to see that the school was run by the secretaries. They told you what you had to do: you had to fill out forms every day and give them how many numbers did this and how many students did that—it was really odd. It prompted the question, what is education? I really cared about these young people; they were beautiful people in a very distraught kind of environment.
I knew that what I was doing in the mainstream of teaching was not doing anything for them at all. That fed this other kind of hunger. I had to discover what real learning is.
IgNITE: Dolphin, what caused you to want to work with your Mother in helping others?
Dolphin: When I was 19 or 20 I started to read spiritual books. I began to investigate and explore what it is to be a human being, to express myself with authenticity and how to navigate. Anyone can be a great person when the sun is shining and the roses are blooming, but how do we do it when it really feels crappy, when we want anything but what we have? How do we do it then?
I was fortunate enough through my twenties to work with youth. My work was around violence prevention, self-awareness, emotional intelligence and how to develop assertiveness and conflict resolution skills. All the while, this underlying fabric that was in me from my childhood wanted to go deeper, because it’s one thing to teach people skills and it’s another thing to awaken people to what they’re here for.
I knew that that is what my mom’s work was about. So about three years ago we sat down and had a conversation about what would it be like to create a program together.
Immediately after that conversation it became clear; there was a goodness that we knew was right to express and that our job was find a way to support that. How do we invest our time, our energy, our hearts in forwarding what we knew was good?
IgNITE: Many people live a life of comfort, conservatism and do nothing to change their situation even though they are not fulfilled and are not living who they really are. How would you encourage more people to do something about it before it is too late?
Dolphin: Doing this work it becomes very clear that not everyone is ready, and that it’s okay. Not everyone in the world needs to get this. It’s good to get this, but I don’t need everyone to get this. We can’t expect people to be somewhere they’re not and to be aware of, or understand something that they don’t, but as soon as they do know, it’s time to act.
Whatever the moment is where there’s a deeper clarity, there’s a veil between how you think you should live and a more true way of living becomes thin, that’s our opportunity.
Susan: We support a deepening and an opening of that something more. If that excites you, if that turns you on, if that resonates with you, then you’re in the right place, because that’s what we’re up to. Then it’s a partnership that happens.
IgNITE: Would you say that your work is driven by your purpose?
Dolphin: I was facilitating with Susan the other night and the idea of purpose came up. I think there’s a lot of confusion around what purpose is. People want to place a label on purpose, like what does that look like? So they define purpose as saving the whales, or the rain forest, or feeding the children, or whatever kind of crusade, or issue someone wants to deal with.
For me, purpose is more fundamental than that. Those things grow out of purpose. So the specifics, the content, the day-to-day decisions grow out of the purpose. For me, you can’t label it, and the way I describe purpose is like a baby that’s learning to stand and walk. It has no idea in its mind what it is to do that, why it’s important. It’s actually not even trying to do that, but there’s something inside of that baby that knows that this is what they’re there for. They’re there to reach past what they currently have, what they currently hold, what they currently can do and to move into what isn’t realized yet.
Purpose is this deep kind of inexpressible place and desire to move into the next thing that’s really possible for us.
Susan: Purpose has more of a forward movement, and meaning is kind of almost like the stuff that’s underneath purpose—like why you would have a purpose. The quality of meaning is just like a feeling of value—like the value in life—inside of you that springs into life as purpose.
IgNITE: Is reaching that value what brings satisfaction in our lives?
Susan: Yes and satisfaction, as beautiful and wonderful as it is, is more like a fruit. What has happened in our world is that people go for the satisfaction. It’s like they go for the apple and then we forget to nourish the root of the tree.
IgNITE:How do we reach people at an earlier age?
Susan: That’s a fantastic question! I wish I really had an answer for it. For us, it is to make ourselves available and to connect with parents, teachers, with people who support and guide young people. To understand what a difference that would make in their classroom, in their family.
The beautiful part of it is that even at a very young age, children know that. I did some work with a high school girl’s class, and they said it was the best thing they ever did in high school because what it addressed was something they really cared about. It’s how to be real in their relationships with each other. It was beautiful to see their response.
Dolphin: I think that there is movement in that area, and we’re definitely of a thought and of a sense that as people open and become available, there are more opportunities for honest dialogue about it and for more recognition of what’s deeper.
IgNITE: You are about to publish a book. Tell us about it—the process and the subject matter.
Susan: Writing terrifies me. It’s definitely not a comfort. It’s not something I’ve always done, and it’s not something that comes naturally to me. Yet, there’s something about it that feels very vital and rich and meaningful.
We did something really brilliant. We booked 16 days and went to Mexico. It was our way to make it happen and be a real expression of what our work is about. We wrote for five or six hours a day for 14 of those 16 days, and we came home with a very rough draft of our first book.
It’s jam-packed with goodness. Writing a book is a really interesting process. It definitely threatens comfort zones and old ways of doing things and holding things. I love the process of putting something into form, then coming back and refining it. Writing a book is a microcosm of what it is to live a life. So there’s been a lot of discovery for me in that, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with the world.
IgNITE: How will people find it?
Susan: It will be on our website for $10. All proceeds for the book are going to go to an organization called Free the Children, a worldwide educational organization. Their whole idea is that the freedom to be who people are—who children are— is the ability to learn what it takes. We love connecting with this organization and felt so resonant with what they’re doing, and we decided we wanted to offer the book for them.
Dolphin: The book will be available through our website, it’ll be on Amazon and there’s a couple other eBook sites that we’ll likely get it to. If people participate in programs with us we include it in the program because it becomes a very supportive, seamless piece that people can take with them.
IgNITE: If you had two or three things that you would like to leave with readers, what would they be?
Dolphin: That I can take care of this moment. It’s impossible to take care of moments past; I just can’t do that. It may seem like I can, but I actually also cannot take care of any moments to come. I had this theory about future compression, like taking all of the difficult moments that might come in your life and compressing them and thinking that you have to deal with them all right now. Of course you can’t, and even if those difficulties could be packed into a moment it would be too much for us, but when we drop the past and we drop the future and we come to this moment fully, we can take care of that.
Susan: If you take your hand and close it into a fist, you will feel the tightness. It’s like holding on, tensing about something, stressing about something. Then just turn your hand over, open it and let go of any kind of possibility that you could hold onto something or grab something. You just have this open hand.
If you could only do one thing in life, choose this. In any moment you can always choose this, and it’s not just on the outside—it goes all the way in. You can choose this, especially in your heart. If there’s any kind of confusion about how to be, choose this.
Dolphin: Life involves cost, and a lot of people want to get away from this truth. And more than that, give what has the most value room in our lives. We’re willing to give what is of the deepest meaning for us being here on this planet, and progress in our lives at any cost. People who come to any kind of self-discovery, personal growth or spirituality in an honest way discover this. They discover the cost and the clarity that they’re willing to pay that cost. Once we do, life becomes what it’s capable of becoming.
For more from Susan and Dolphin, find it in their new book, The Midas Effect now available at www.evolvehds.com and fine book sellers everywhere.