Meeting Joseph Jaworski

by Calvin on April 12, 2014

In 2011 when I’d just broke up with my wife and decided to move to the United States, leaving my children behind in Denmark, I came across  Joseph Jaworski’s book Synchronicity.

It made a deep and lasting impression on me, because in the book he describes his divorce, how he met his new wife through synchronicity and a deep feeling of knowing and feeling of having met before. And because he describes his quest to create a leadership academy that is based on a world view of unity consciousness, of the interconnectedness of everything in the universe, and allows for intuitive knowing, synchronicities, and multiples minds coming together to act as one. 

This was exactly what I wanted to create, only not for leaders, but for entrepreneurs, and here was someone who had done it, a couple of decades before, and who had gone through many of the same trials and tribulations himself.

The book had been sitting on my virtual e-book shelf for a while, but three weeks ago in Miami, I brought it out again and started reading a few passages.

Then two nights ago, crazy things started happening.

Calvin and joseph jaworski

I was at the Conscious Capitalism conference in San Diego, talking with a great guy, Andrew, a new friend I’d just met. He started talking about this old, white-haired guy he’d shared a table with over dinner, who even at his late age was intently taking notes, asking him to repeat what he’d just said, so he could get it down correctly. Andrew was really impressed with his radiance, and the fact that he was a continuous learner.

He couldn’t remember the man’s name. He’d never heard of him before. But he seemed to be some author who the other people at the table looked up to. Something in me felt compelled to find out who it was, and so Andrew started looking for his business card. And he looked. And looked. And looked. Asked me to hold his drink. This took several minutes. Several times I was about to say “never mind”, but I didn’t. Finally he finds the card, and the name on it is … Joseph Jaworski.

I was dumbfounded. I had no idea he was going to be there (even though he was one of the speakers). To be honest, I’d kind of thought he was dead by now. But he wasn’t. Andrew had just met him. Alas, he’d already left for the night.

I asked one of the organizers, and he said he didn’t really know him personally, but he thought he might have a session the next day. I of course knew I had to go to that session.

So before the session began I go up and talk to him, and tell him how much my book meant to me, but without really sharing any of my story. I really wanted to connect with him, but I don’t know how. My default response is to either put him on a pedestal and just express gratitude and how awesome I think he is, which is fine as long as it goes, but also doesn’t foster much of a real connection. Or to say “I don’t need this”, and not have any interaction at all. Which also doesn’t foster any connection, real or not-real.

During the session I ask a question that’s on my mind, about how they apply this intuitive knowing in practice during a business meeting. I get three great answers from the three people on stage.

After the session I go up and talk a bit again, and this time I decide to summon the courage to tell him about my dream of creating a spiritual entrepreneurship school, to ask his advice, to ask for his card, and to ask if I can have my picture taken with him. All the voices in my head say it’s stupid and I’m just annoying and should go away, but I go for it anyway. Still, I leave felling like we didn’t establish the connection I wanted.

Think about it. I’m clearly meant to connect with this man. I get the instruction to go to this conference, but fail to notice his name on ticket, so the universe introduces Andrew who can gently point me in the right direction.

The conference was Wednesday to Friday at the beautiful Paradise Point resort in San Diego. We decide that Phoebe will join me, and we’ll make another small vacation out of it. Tonight, after the conference is over, Phoebe and I go out to eat at the restaurant by the water. As we walk in the door, right in front of us is Susan, Joseph’s business partner, and her husband, Christopher, who I happened to be doing a sharing with during Tony Schwartz’ session this morning (Tony Schwartz is “the energy guy”). I say “hey, you’re Joseph’s business partner, right?”, and she says “yes, we’re actually going to have dinner with Joseph, he’ll be here any minute, you guys should come over and say hi”.

Hello, Universe, it seems you’re speaking to me again! :)

We get seated at tables very close together, and throughout the dinner I’m looking straight in the direction of Joseph, and he’s looking in my direction. Towards the end, I know I’m going to have to go over there, but I don’t want it to fall flat again, so Phoebe and I talk it through a bit. I have to find a new strategy. I realize that one thing that’s worked for me is to tell personal stories. People respond really well to them. They always end up saying “wow, thanks for sharing, that’s a great story, I can really relate to that, that’s really valuable to me”. I’m a great storyteller, too. Alas, I’m such a good storyteller, I’m even excellent at telling myself stories about how people don’t care, and that I’m imposing on them, and that it’s wrong to talk about myself.

So we finish our dinner, and we go over there and say hi. Joseph immediately stands up, alert, open, and ready to engage. We chat a bit, and I share the story of my divorce, how Phoebe and I met, how she agreed to move with me to the US after having known me for just a few months, and how all this was going on when I read his book. Christopher immediately replies with “wow, great story, thanks for sharing”. Instant manifestation!

We end up talking all five of us for about ten minutes. And this time there’s connection. It’s real. We agree to stay in touch. We exchange cards (again), and Phoebe notices Joseph taking extensive notes on my card. She couldn’t see what exactly he wrote, though.

Afterwards, Phoebe tells me how I completely stopped breathing the moment I stepped over there. I went straight up into the illusory safety of my head. It seems I still have a lot to learn about connecting with the heart and the whole body. But I’m so proud of what we did, and grateful for what transpired tonight.

Most of all, though, it’s a reminder that this synchronicity stuff is real, and that the Universe is both loving and patient. When I didn’t get it the first time, I was given several opportunities until real connection could be made. The Universe is awesome. Literally.

Thank you Susan, Christopher, Joseph, and – not least – Phoebe, for a wonderful moment of connection.

Life loves you.


Extraordinary entrepreneurship

by Calvin on March 12, 2014

A couple of years ago, I came across the book Extraordinary Knowing. It’s an incredible story. The author, Lisby, is a psychoanalyst, deeply rooted in science. Her daughter plays the harp, and one day her harp is stolen. The police comes up empty-handed. No trace. A friend suggests she tries a dowser. Lisby thinks it’s crazy but got nothing to lose.

She finds one, 2000 miles away, and talks to him on the phone. He says to send a map of her city to him (this is before Google Maps), and she does. A few days later, he calls back, and tells her exactly which house the harp is in.

That’s still not good enough for a search warrant, so instead she distributes flyers to the houses in a 2-block radius, prompting them to call her if they know anything. Sure enough, someone calls. He’s seen it at his neighbor’s house. They arrange to have the harp returned one night in the parking lot behind a supermarket after hours. The harp is returned to its rightful owner. And Lisby’s life is forever changed.

She dedicates the rest of her life to researching these phenomena and try to come up with a theory for how it’s possible. She gathers a group of other scientists and psychoanalysts in a large study group. One of the requirements for membership in the study group is that each member shares a story, in writing, of an experience of anomalous knowing in their own lives or from a client.

It turns out that these experiences are very very common, but nobody talks about them, because they’re afraid of being seen as crazy, of losing their jobs, or losing funding. There’s a strong self-censorship within the scientific community keeping these experiences hidden. Once there’s a safe outlet for this, the stories start pouring out, and Lisby starts to collect them all systematically.

As techies we tend to be quite rational and scientifically minded. It’s been my experience that we don’t really talk much about these other, more ethereal aspects of life and business. What’s the soul of this product? Of this business? What does my intuition tell me here? How can I align myself with the flow of Life? How am I creating this reality around me? How can I surrender to the Universe and be of highest service? How do I need to grow in this area to better serve? Is this position really a match for this person’s life purpose, or should we reallocate? Let’s all take a moment to close our eyes and tune into the essence of this project, then share what we each experienced.

I would love to create a safe place to have these kinds of conversations. A vocabulary for talking about it. I think there are many more of us who have beliefs that don’t fully match up with the three-dimensional simplistic view of the universe. And I’d love for that to be a completely legitimate view in boardroom meetings, funding negotiations, and any other important conversation in a business.

The spiritual world view is not something we just bring out on Sundays and in speeches, and then forget about when it comes to money. If it is to have any meaning at all, it must be at the center of everything we do as entrepreneurs and creators.

I think a lot of great entrepreneurs already do this naturally, without necessarily being able or willing to talk about it. But I want us to talk about it. I want us to learn what it is that we do, so that we can share, so we can teach, coach, and mentor others. And so that we can legitimize this way of operating in the world.

If you’re with me, put your name and email in the box on the right. I won’t spam you. In fact, I very very rarely write out. But I intend to write out more in the future, because I really want to see this conversation happen. Now!

And if you’re in New York, join me for a meetup. Looking forward to getting to know you.