Jackson Hole took me by surprise. When I made the choice of where to spend my annual education budget, I knew this is where I wanted to go, but I had no idea how much this place would spark my imagination and capture my heart. The wild, bold beauty of this Wyoming destination was the backdrop for this fall’s CurveJump and it made an impact on me that will resonate for years to come.
CurveJump is a gathering produced by a radiant couple, Alex Hillinger and Megan Beck. Alex is an old friend who I met in Seattle years ago when he ran marketing for DJ culture channel Groovetech (Here’s a funny old article in the Wall Street Journal about that time). Alex and Megan are super-connectors who have the unique gift of listening for people’s greatness. I’ve been blessed over the years to know them, attend and speak at some of their events in Seattle and San Francisco. Alex started using the name CurveJump for his consulting business last year, and wrote about it on this piece on Medium. In short, it’s the idea of celebrating those who jump curves, take risks in the name of progress and use their powers for good.
CurveJump is an event that’s taken shape over many iterations of gathering artists, athletes, technologists and all kinds of creatives and entrepreneurs together. It’s a community actively shaping ideas into reality, coming to learn from one another, explore and get inspired. In the past few years Alex and Megan have become an integral part of Jackson Hole’s cultural evolution, so what a perfect environment to curate an experience and introduce us to the town. The idea behind CurveJump is like an “unconference” in that there is just enough structure to constellate the attendees, with a whole lot of space for organic flow.
The theme of our weekend together was “Making Space for New Perspectives”. There’s something powerful about getting out of your regular rhythm into a new environment that really allows for the quality time to reflect on the story that is unfolding, look at how you are solving problems and infuse your process with new ideas. Of course the alchemy of the group is the magic you can’t necessarily predict, but with the right combination of experiences for us to interweave, connections are made and something bigger than the sum of its parts is born.
Over the course of the weekend, both scheduled and impromptu events provided unique avenues for conversations revolving around embracing one’s personal experience as a vehicle for storytelling, building products with an authentic purpose and being a part of a community that is raising standards of how we live and do business. Inevitably, being in the natural beauty of Wyoming among people who have dedicated their lives to the stewardship of the land also infused a visceral connection with our responsibility to living sustainability. We were treated to a series of MasterClasses to explore different artists’ journey of excellence - on grilling with family ranchers Carter Country Meats, 19th century wet plate photography with Lindsey Ross and the beauty of the perfect cocktail with Death & Co. Different groups of people broke away from the town center for hikes, hot springs, skeet shooting, yoga or fly fishing.
Over the weekend, Alex & Megan gathered everyone for four structured group sessions, and teamed me up with Seattle entrepreneur Ben Winters for one of the conversation/interview-type jams. These sessions wove together many themes that had started to emerge organically among the group that weekend – around life shifts, mindfulness, boundaries, conscious relationships, human performance, our place in history/herstory and the power of vulnerability. Over the last few months I’ve been inquiring about and researching the topic of how one’s work (job$/biz) and Work (dharma/purpose) are connected, and what behaviors are supporting the evolution of that relationship. It was thrilling to move forward in my discovery process with a wider audience.
Curvejump reinforced how vital it is to step back and assess my current point of view - especially how my ideas about success and failure are ever-changing concepts. Life is a grand experiment, and I’m sooo lucky to be part of a workplace and an expanding community that supports this exploration.
The next Curvejump event is planned for February 2017 in Jackson Hole. For more info reach out via curveju.mp.