Ep. 10: Risk


ON THIS EPISODE:

Today we explore the beauty of risk and we let in you in on our latest risk. We REALLY follow-up with a Jadyn and her miraculous healing and Dave takes you on a thought-provoking (& potentially controversial) 'Deep Dive'. We also introduce you to companies that are changing the world through innovation and creativity. And… you don’t want to miss the new unicorn horn rating systems in the ‘On the Screen’ segment.

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Opener -

I’m Morgan Hansow and this is my husband, Dave - we’ve spent the last 20 years on a wild adventure that’s taken us to Africa, the Oprah show, and Hollywood.

Welcome to Chasing Unicorns… a podcast about giving ourselves permission to chase our dreams, explore our faith, and figure out who we are, all while trying to keep our crap together!

As Creatives, Humanitarians, and Parents, we’re learning (sometimes the hard way) that the hustle and pursuit of the elusive unicorn will never satisfy.

Each week we explore what it looks like to live authentic, passionate, and connected lives while being a part of a movement that’s trying to transform the world through story + grace.

 

Overview of today’s show -

Welcome to Chasing Unicorns! Today we explore the beauty of risk and we let in you in on our latest risk. We’ll REALLY follow-up with a Jadyn and her miraculous healing and I’ll take you on a thought-provoking (& potentially controversial) deep dive. And we’ll also introduce you to companies that are changing the world through innovation and creativity. And… you don’t want to miss the new unicorn horn rating systems in the ‘On the Screen’ segment.

Episode 10… Double digits Baby!!! We’re entering a whole new dimension of unicorn power!

Oh my gosh, you sound like the guy in the lab coat at the beginning of the Cinemark XD movies! We only have Cinemark theaters in Redding so if you haven’t seen it, it’s where this guy is demonstrating the power of the upgraded moviegoing experience in the XD theater - he goes into all the technical reasons why the movie is going  to be awesome - like the screen, sound, projector, etc, and then he says, “But to be honest, it’s probably the unicorns” and then it’s this epic scene where all these unicorns release power from their horns

Ha! Can we find a link or include the audio for that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quePV0CVMTA

Yeah, I’ll see what I can do…

You’re the best!

Oh thanks, Babe!

Yeah, I’m assuming it’s a given that people know we do everything in-house, but Dave edits the podcasts and he does an epic job and he’s learned a whole new software in the last 3 months as we’ve launched the podcast.

Thanks for the flattery! And Morgan here is the Producer of this podcast...she works each week laying out an outline and making sure we’re all set to record. And that is true, just like every venture or project we start...we find ourselves having to learn new skills

Well that’s actually a great intro into today’s topic...

 

So let’s jump into our ome (Office) Huddle - Talk about what’s surfacing in our current pursuits—both personally and professionally—as a Husband/Wife duo and today that centers around the topic of risk..

Over the years, we’ve always been advocates for taking risks and if you’ve been around since our days working in Uganda you might remember the slogan ‘There’s Beauty in Risk’ we often used - we even made T-shirts with it back in the day. I don’t know that I’d classify ourselves risk-takers when we were starting out 17 years ago. Yes, we started early and got married at 19 & 20, but I wouldn’t say that was a risk (although I’m sure there was some people who might have thought it was). For us, stepping into marriage at an unconventional age was done with more of a gut-level spiritual confidence. And for our first 3 years, we were college students who volunteered with middle schoolers through the ministry of YoungLife. I wouldn’t say we became risk-takers until we made the decision to move to Uganda. I think that was our catalyst into a life of taking risks and stepping out.

I disagree. I mean I agree that we’ve lived this life together as risk-takers, but looking back I would say that all our quote/unquote “risks” were taken with that gut-level spiritual confidence you talked about (which we now understand as God talking to us as Spirit - His Spirit living in us) and if that’s the case - I think we can confidently classify getting married so young and even deciding to have a homebirth with Asher as risks…(both of which preceded our moved to Africa). I think without even knowing it we began to exercise our risk muscles when we were starting out together.

I’d agree with that... I think that there had to be some sort of risk muscle already strengthened before we made the move to Uganda with a 2-year-old, 10 suitcases, and no place to live. And you raise a good point about exercising our risk muscles because we’ve most definitely found that each risk we take strengthens that muscle of ours a little more and therefore each subsequent risk becomes a little easier because we have exercised those muscles and built them up over the years.  

Right, and that’s not to say that the risk factor ever diminishes - inherent in stepping out into something new or unknown is a risk of failure - but it does allow for a sense of recall and confidence. Because there is often so much unknown and fuzziness when you’re stepping out and taking a risk, there’s something empowering to remember you’ve been down this road before (and you survived, regardless if things did or did not go according to plan). It’s like a gut-level feeling of knowing, like ‘oh yeah, I remember what it feels like, I’ve been here before. It’s gonna be okay.’ It’s like exercising - you strengthen your muscles so you’re stronger and it becomes easier but when you push yourself with new challenges and weight you still feel it - you still feel the burn and desire to quit - but you have confidence because you’ve done it so much and know you that the discomfort it temporary and you have what it takes so you endure and push through.

Yeah that’s good, and you and I have been having these conversations about risk lately because we are once again finding ourselves stepping out in risk in a new pursuit.

And it feels really raw and vulnerable to even be sharing because when you say ‘new’, it’s real new...it’s something we’ve taken the first step in less than 2 weeks ago and there are no givens at this point.

That’s true. It even feels risky sharing it on a public platform because there is a big question mark looming over the project - something that’s completely outside of our control. While we can’t give all the details, we’ll fill you in with what we can…

So the backstory is that 6 months ago we read an article in a magazine (a magazine that had already been out a year and a half when we were first given it last Fall). This article was about a young man and his story absolutely wrecked me the morning I read it. As soon as Morgan got up I had her read it and we were both awestruck. At that moment we both had an overwhelming sense that this story needed to be made into a movie.

Yeah and over the years I will say that we’ve talked more and more about stepping outside of documentary filmmaking and trying our hand at drama. While this story is 100% real and could be a told in documentary format, we both immediately knew this story deserved to be reenacted with Hollywood actors and told in a theatrical dramatic format. So for 6 months we kept this story on the backburner and every once in a while one of us would bring it up. It’d show up on our radar as we dreamed about what’s next and there’d often be random times that it would pop into our heads or hearts - usually at a church service or after watching an impactful movie. And everytime we’d say something like, “We should reach out to him and ask him about telling his story,” and then we’d do nothing because that seems like an awkward conversation and we don’t really know how to do that.

The Story literally wouldn’t leave us alone and if you listened to our special Travel Diaries podcast from a couple weeks ago you’d know that some of our greatest projects, adventures, and businesses have been hatched or started when we’re traveling. While during our time in Lake Tahoe, we had told the story to our friends we were adventuring with and they too were in awe so the next morning we decided to take the awkward first step. I reached out by email telling him a abit about us and sharing how impactful his story was and then I asked if he’d be willing to set up a phone-call with us.

And then the fear set in...I say that half-jokingly because it kind of did. In a moment of feeling empowered we were invigorated—we had taken the first step of initiating connection and it was exciting, but in the back of our mind were those crappy naysaying voices that were trying to belittle us and get to us to quit before we even began… you know, voices saying we had no qualification. Voices that reminded us that a $15-20 million dollar budget is impossible. Voices that made us feel small, inferior, and hopeless. But here’s the thing, I would say that this is ‘the thing’ that you and I have felt the most united and certain about in the last 6 months. Even though we know this is a long term project and MASSIVE undertaking, every time we talk about the possibility, we become impassioned and lit-up.

Yeah, and I would add that it honestly feels like a ‘for such a time as this’ project. I think our experiences have made us uniquely qualified to tell this story. So we did have a phone call last week and it went really well. I don’t know that there’s a ‘rule book’ in asking someone for the rights to tell their story (I mean maybe there is) but we just felt like we had to take the first step and ask. We gave him our background and told him how God hasn’t allowed us to stop thinking about his story for the 6 months and we told him that we  honor him but we just had to be obedient to take the next step and reach out. Honestly, we were super relieved (and surprised) that he hadn’t already given his rights to someone else. He said he’s had multiple people over the years tell him that ‘his story needs to be a movie’ but he’s never felt like it was the right timing or people.

So at this point we’re just waiting… waiting for a hopeful ‘yes’ and in the meantime we’re praying for timing and making ourselves available for questions and he’s going to his family and talking to his board. He said he’d really love to meet in person and so we’re also trying to figure out a potential trip to drive down to LA in the next couple weeks to meet iup since he’s in country. So there’s our latest risk!

Yep, there you have it! And there are no guarantees. At this point we can’t do anything else but wait and pray (and dream and start researching the art of story and writing screenplays). Even 18 years into adulthood and working with risk muscles that have been well-conditioned, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary. We’re continually having to fight off the belittling and pessimistic voices of fear (that sometimes masquerade as logic) but we are also acting out of that place of internal gut-level confidence that we’ve come to know as God in us.

You know, it reminds me of that awesome typography artwork you bought me for Christmas a few years ago that we have hanging front and center in our living room. It says: “Everything in life that matters requires risk.” We keep that in front of us and we keep people around us to encourage us because even though we do have well-conditioned risk muscles like you said, we know that the easier road is to always choose comfort and predictability. So that pretty much sums it all up - in a not so small nutshell, that’s what’s brewing and percolating in our lives.

And as always

 

Let’s talk some GOOD NEWS - splices of what’s going right in the world

Even though we’re ‘hardwired’ to respond to bad news, we think it’s our mandate to be people who point out out the beauty and truth in the world wherever we see it

DAVE - In East Africa this past week…. More specifically in Rwanda, the very car assembly plant was opened! Volkswagen opened the plant, which of course not only allows for some of the very first brand new cars in Rwanda to be driven, but will also creates a thousand new jobs.

We know from personal experience how hard it is to get a good vehicle in East Africa… so the president of Rwanda decided it was time to stop that.  He says that although most of the cars will be for export to other African nations, Volkswagen is working with local leaders and business to create their first ride-sharing app, and partnership since companies like Uber haven’t made their way to most African countries yet.

When I saw this, I was thrilled… because of our experience in creating jobs in for the most vulnerable in East Africa - I knew how rare opportunities like this have been in the past, and hopefully… this is a sign of the what’s to come!  

MORGAN - This week I was reading about an organization called Parley and some of the innovative things they are doing through arts, culture, and economics to protect our oceans. Their mission is to create a space for innovators, influencers, and world leaders to raise awareness (and ultimately create change) for the many threats against our oceans and their ecosystems.

Initially I was captivated by and article I came across about their partnership with Adidas shoes creating shoes from salvaged ocean plastics (including nets) and then as I looked up the organization I saw that they’ve got a whole slew of projects and partnerships. Their partnership with Adidas extends beyond shoes -they’ve made upcycled ocean plastic wearable and have incorporated it into Major Soccer League jerseys and yoga wear. And just last month Parley teamed up with American Express which is going to be the first credit card company to make its cards primarily with salvaged ocean plastic debris. I just love Parley’s founder’s philosophy - Cyrill built the organization around the idea that creativity catalyzes change faster than awareness alone.

I couldn’t agree more! I think it’s worth saying again, creativity catalyzes change faster than awareness alone. You can talk about something until you’re blue in the face and gain a few devoted fans/followers or you can put your energy into innovation/creativity and create something that has talkability and starts a movement. If you know our backstory, for 7 years we used consumerism to create economic change in Uganda through the sale of handmade jewelry and handbags that we designed and imported under the brands SUUBI and EPOH - it started with a need for consistent incomes and then we got creative and innovative and we started something that’s still creating change 11 years later even though we’re no longer the ones running it so we’ve seen firsthand the power that creativity has to create change. As far as the environment is concerned, I think we’re all aware there’s some nasty stuff affecting our planet and too often I think it gets politicized, but I love that Parley’s message is the AND - the awareness of the multitude of complex ocean threats AND the invitation to be a part of the solution through your purchase power (or your choice of credit card) - if you want to know more about Parley - we’ll put a link in our show notes, or go to their site: www.Parley.tv

 

Deep Dive with Dave…

By geological studies, we seen that the universe is roughly 13.5 billion years old.

The Old Testament of the Bible was written nearly 3,000 years ago.

The New Testament was written 2,000 years ago.

The Protestant Church, which is the faith tradition we come from is only about 500 years old. A Blip.

So… either God just decided to begin speaking in the last nanosecond of time to a small portion of people, or there’s a good chance He’s been speaking for a lot longer in other ways.

One of the interesting things I’ve noticed from being in a culture of people following the Christian tradition is that often there is pushback, or a sense of discomfort in acknowledging the value of other faith traditions or religions. I guess this happens in any group… I mean, I remember asking a very devout Republican to point out one good thing that President Obama did during his tenure. He couldn’t bring himself to do it…. He just couldn’t bring himself to say one good thing over an 8 year period of being president. That should sound some alarms for us. Anytime we can’t point out one good thing (with a straight face and clear conscience) of a person or group of people…. There may be something we need to check.

 

But back to my original topic -  in Genesis 1, it says “God Created the Heavens and Earth… and the spirit of God was hovering over the surface..” So, if that happened billions of years ago… I have never understood why we, as Christians, would have a problem with other traditions…. That have come up since the beginning of time, being able to point in some way back to that initial truth of God in their own language.

Now, before someone listening begins to shout back at me and call me a heretic…. All I am really saying is that if we truly believe that there is a creator behind everything, then we have the unique opportunity to call truth out wherever we see it.

When we see grace extended, or love given, or the serving of the poor…. Whether they come from a Christian, a Buddhist, or an atheist; If we believe the spirit of God has been hovering since the beginning of time throughout all of creation, then you and I friends have the ability to point out the beauty of these things wherever we see it. It doesn’t have to be labeled Christian in order to have value. The value of truth is intrinsic in it’s very nature.

We get to be the kind of people who point out beauty and truth everywhere we see it. We should be the biggest fans, not the critics, of everything that reflects the nature of God… which is love.

This week, once again we wanted to give you an opportunity to shop the LGHtv store at 40% off… We’ve just added a few new items, so get them out.

 

Holy Moments - segment where we reflect, reminisce and remember the most ‘Holy’ moment of our last week.

DAVE - On Friday, my great uncle Ed passed away, and although we were heartbroken to see him finally lose his battle with Cancer…. I have to say that the way he lived his life and how he chose to live in his last months was awe-inspiring. I’ve never witnessed someone so wholeheartedly choose joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. Him and his wife Larky would post online the countless times they were in and out of the hospital over the past couple of years and each time it was followed up with an encouragement to all of us to choose life and enjoy those around us. I can honestly say that I am a better person because of them. So my holy moment this week came as I realized he finally no longer needed to battle for his health. It came when I realized that life is short. And it came when I realized that a marriage like theirs, and hopefully mine… filled with a love that is incredibly rare, speaks so loudly to a world that needs more love.   

MORGAN -

Okay, before I share my moment from this week, I want to follow up on my holy moment from Episode 8 in which I talked about Jadyn being diagnosed with several cavities (7 to be real). You can go back and listen to get details but essentially I wanted to give her practical advice on things TO DO to care for her teeth AND her first response was “Yes, I’ll do all that, but I’m also going to pray that God takes them away.” Well, we have a miracle in the house folks!!! Whether it was a straight up divine healing or a difference in medical opinion, we were all in relief and amazement after the kids had their 2nd opinion dental appointments back in Colorado! Isn’t it crazy to think that God’s in the business of healing ALL things, including cavities!?!?

So this week, my Holy Moment was most definitely a seemingly small shared moment between Asher and I...Our son, Asher’s love language is physical touch—He’s a cuddler—total cuddler! Anyways, I was having a rough day on Sunday, I don’t know what happened, but as I was getting ready for church, my emotional state snowballed (I think it started when I got on the scale and weighed myself (which I NEVER do - usually our scale is in the garage somewhere but it was in the house b/c we had used it to weigh bags for traveling - this last week we decided to consciously start to eating healthier, and so I was totally bummed when I saw my weight hadn’t dropped at all after a week of saying no to sugar, dairy (which I don’t eat anyway), and all grains/starches. From there I started a downhill spiral of thought patterns, making big generalizations about my life (which I’m sure I’m totally alone in doing) and by the time I got to church I was so emotionally fragile that I pretty much cried off/on the entire service. Later that afternoon after we’d been home awhile, Asher pulled on me as I was walking by with a load of laundry. I told him I’d be right back and when I got back he pulled me in for a big hug (at 13, he’s bigger than me already) and whispered this to me: “God’s got good things planned for you!” I think I started crying all over again in his words of comfort and hope -- total mushy mom heart. I just love the young man he’s becoming and foundation he’s building! And I love that we’re entering the stage where there’s reciprocity in what we have to offer other! Parenting only gets better - I think the advice we heard from our friend Al Hrubes when Asher was born holds true - “Every stage IS the best stage!”

 

On the Screen - in which we visit and review what we’re watching this week

To escape the 110º weather we’ve been having we’ve continued to put our Moviepasses to good use.

I took Jadyn on a date to see Incredibles 2 and then Morg, you took Asher the other day…

Here are my thoughts on it and let me preface by saying that while I did watch Incredibles 14 years ago, I wasn’t a diehard fan and I wasn’t eagerly awaiting the sequel… So, I enjoyed the the film, but honestly, it wasn’t anything that really stood out. Again… let me say, I didn’t really get into the first one, so I may not be the best judge. But it was a fun movie, although not incredibly memorable for me. Please don’t hate me fans of the movie!

Well, I’m in the same camp as Dave… I saw the film years ago and enjoyed it but it was not my favorite Disney film. I called the twist a quarter of the way into the film and for a major Disney release I was surprised that they pushed the boundaries on a children’s movie - which is obviously why they had to go to a rating of PG - there were a few curse words, some pretty intense and almost sadistic fighting scenes, and there was implied drinking (although I will say I think Elastigril has good taste drinking Old Fashions which is one of my drinks of choice). And at 2 hrs, the movie was a little long for my liking. I came out of the theaters saying, ‘yeah, that was good’ but I wasn’t left wowed or thinking about it or talking about it - well, that’s a lie, I did pretend my sunglasses were my superhero mask when I got in the car!

I really think we should start a Unicorn Rating System - Last week you said ‘out of 4 horns’ but I really think we should make it out of 11 since that’s our magical number, how does that sound? So I’m gonna say that we give Incredibles 2 7 horns.

Morgan and I went and saw Oceans 8 during a 24 hour date extravaganza!!! Our kids were each staying with friends, and we took full advantage of it… and honestly, was just a fun summer heist movie with a strong female cast. It was entertaining and if you liked all the other Oceans movies, you will love this one ….  We’re giving it 8 horns.

And lastly, Morgan and I also went to ‘I Feel Pretty’ - the Amy Schumer film the other night while the kids went to see ‘Ready Player One’ again. I went reluctantly and to be honest, I really liked it. I laughed way too hard and I’m sure I was annoying to the other 3 people in the theater. If you don’t know this about me…. I tend to laugh a lot, laugh easily, and laugh pretty loud. So at “I Feel Pretty” I laughed a ton and was able to get into the storyline. It was a beautiful picture of where our true worth comes from and how nothing is attractive as someone who is confident and loves themselves. What did you think babe?

Let me start by saying I love seeing comedies with you because of your laugh and the way you don’t care! It gives me freedom to enjoy the humor and laugh myself! There were a few scenes in which we were hunched over in laughter. I know Amy Schumer has a certain label in the world of comedy but this wasn’t a raunchy film by any means. It also won’t win any awards, but like Dave said, it had a great message about dropping the glasses of judgment—and self-judgment—and seeing ourselves in all our glory. It’s a charge to believe the best about our identity, our bodies, and our capabilities. It also drives home the message that you can’t love others unless you love yourself. Despite the critical reviews it received, every person I’ve talked to that saw it loved it so I think it deserves 7 horns!

 

Listener Feedback/Questions/Insight

This week we got tagged in a Listener’s #Morganization project. Ashlee from North Carolina is going to town tackling her bookshelves - way to go Ashlee! We love that your getting stuff done!!!!

We love hearing and engaging with you as our Listeners- We really do want to hear from you!

What are some ways you’ve seen creativity be a forerunner in creating change?

Maybe you have a differing opinion on our movie reviews, we want to hear them.

Or maybe you have a comment or reflection or a disagreement with my Deep Dive - please share!

Tell us about risk in your life - how it’s stretched you or changed you. Maybe you have a story of a specific risk you took or can give some advice on how to combat the fear that trails behind risk...

Or tell us what you like and what you connect with in Chasing Unicorns podcast in general

We want your voice, feedback, input and suggestions

Please go to: ChasingUnicornsPodcast.com - record an audio message

OR send us an email at ChasingUnicornsPodcast@gmail.com

 

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Brought to you By

“Today’s show has been brought to you by the word ‘Risk.” First and foremost, we let go of the past - of shortcomings and failures, realizing we have a choice in whether they make us bitter or better. “Everything in Life that Matters Requires Risk” It’s true! So today we encourage you to identify one risk that you’ve been keeping at bay and put it in front of you. We implore you to face the risk head on with eyes to see the fear that masquerades itself as logic or comfort. And as you see the fear may you know the love that crushes that fear - empowering you to act and take the first step or the next step. May you find yourself reveling in hope as you exercise your risk muscles. May you be filled with gut-level spiritual confidence of the Divine dwelling in you and may your response to its presence give way to life, renewal, and a newfound hope. You ARE strong,  powerful and courageous. What you believe changes the world and the risks you take matter (not only to your heart but to the hearts around you). So go for it! Risk away - you were created for more and you have what it takes! The world needs you fully alive!

Closing/Signing Off:

“Until next week...keep embracing the mystery, asking questions, and giving yourself permission to enjoy the process. And watch out for those freakin’ unicorns...they’re glitzy and shimmery and full of crap!” ;)

 

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