On Vancouver Island.
Jonaven Moore is the man who went inwards and walked away from a world we would all dream of. He talks of mushrooms, slowing down and finding your centre.
Welcome to the Lawless Podcast. This is episode 1 and today we're going to talk to Jonaven Moore. I started this podcast because of Jonaven's best friend Ryan Daley. He passed away last year and I know Ryan would be very pleased if he knew Jonaven was going to be my first guest.
Jonaven is probably best known for his times on a snowboard. He was sponsored at the age of 12 and went on to have a huge career spanning two decades. And then he just walked away from the dream that I believe we all have… to be paid to play. I think that is part of why he is so fascinating but he is very complex man and I drove out to his property on Vancouver Island to record this podcast. Jonaven Moore, the most gentle soul, ruler of everything with full confidence.
He's actually very good with power tools and making tea and I'm a dedicated my entire podcast to his pizza oven hottub - so stay tuned.
Andrea: This tea is delicious and you said it was, what did you say it was made out of?
Jonaven: Just a couple of medicinal mushrooms in it. There's tremendous versicolor, turkey tail which is the local mushroom we have all over in the forest. The saprofite or decomposing mushroom that eats trees but it's got all sorts of anti-cancer properties too. Paul Stamets (who’s conference I just went to) recently told me that he used it to help cure his mother's cancer. The other one that's in there which is Ganoderma lucidum are the reishi mushroom which has been known for thousands of years throughout China to be a very powerful immune booster. They consider it as the mushroom of longevity of life. Those are both in there.
Jonaven: What do you think?
Andrea: This is where my business mind comes in. I think, Jonaven, we need to make this. Hahahaha
Jonaven: Oh, we are not the first and only just learning other people's wisdom.
Andrea: Yes, I know. But, you are the bridge to other people. My mom had cancer and that’s when I started to learn about cordyceps and mushrooms. Actually coming here and listening to a podcast that you posted, I thought, oh wow there's 5 million mushrooms in the world this is crazy.
Jonaven: Way more fungus than plants.
Andrea: And then he was saying that we are fungus and the amount of information coming in my head, I thought that I'd have to listen to a podcast like 5 times, just like half the rate.
Jonaven: There is a movie coming out that he's been working on with a friend for about 10 years called The Fantastic fungi. It should be out in the spring and it's going to be phenomenal. There's a bunch of material in it from work that they've been doing at John Hopkins University around using psychedelics and end-of-life care and treatment of different traumas, PTSD, etc. Essentially plant Spirit medicine.
Jonaven: There’s finally acceptance within mainstream medical culture. But then also information regarding the potential evolution of our organism in conjunction with other plants, fungi which makes sense when you look at patterns of evolution history.
Andrea: The kingdoms. Wild. I did an Iboga ceremony before and that was very healing and interesting. I think it was two years ago and now I only now feel like I could go back and like to do it again.
Jonaven: Are they using Iboga to treat opioid addiction?
Andrea: They do. Yes. But it could be for whatever you need. When I did it, there were three other people there and they were all battling addictions. The guy who I did it through, he was a Shaman and it came into his life because he wanted to get clean (sober). It had such a profound effect on him and then he ended up going to Africa and studied with the Bwiti tribe, and doing the work. I did it in Squamish but he does it out of Vancouver now.
Jonaven: Were you involved in that to work on addiction issues of your own?
Andrea: No, it was more a part of healing. It was kind of addiction. I see that maybe I do have some addictions more centered around work and other things. Which almost feels like that stuff is coming from some deeper things that I kind of need to heal or work on and expose.
Jonaven: Absolutely. Most of the addictions come in so many different forms and are to cover-up or really to isolate us from feeling... so we have an uncomfortable time dealing with.
Andrea: And that is hard when your addiction isn't necessarily mainstream or not even looked upon in a negative light or it just takes different things happening in your life kind of exposing it I guess.
Jonaven: I think one of the most common ones is the busyness of our culture that we all accept as normal but it's very obviously an addiction to keep us from feeling things and it's a different coping mechanism.
Jonaven: But it is socially accepted one.
Andrea: Yeah. Or the things people can put up on a pedestal or admire you for and that's kind of where I'm at a little bit for sure. It's funny because when I decided that I want to do a podcast, I made a list with 40 people I wanted to interview and I have this date I wanted to launch by and then I was stressed and now this was something I wanted to do for fun and now it's taking over my life, I need healthy boundaries. I can't hate the podcast, I can't hate my inspiration, or creation or whatever it is that I want to do but it's my process for getting there.
It’s interesting growing up, adulting.
Jonaven: It is.
Jonaven: Fabulous in many ways. I think a lot of it is coming to terms with living in your own skin. You know, being okay with you are and then following that in the different ways your life intrigues you.
Andrea: Yeah. How have you found comfort in your own skin?
Jonaven: A lot of that has come through kind of self-reflection looking where I’ve come from. It has also to do with acknowledging my own addictions and essentially the traumas that have played into that and the ways that those still affect my life currently. I'm trying to understand as those things come up and then live in ways that are sometimes not always comfortable but perhaps more healthy just because I’m trying to move out of patterns in your life that is not necessarily healthy but often more comfortable for us to existing to give that little more depth to meaning I found.
I’ll talk to sport a little bit and I found a lot of my identity in my life as a border of sorts of the skateboarder, snowboarder, surfer. There's many really positive things that it brought into my life. If I really sit and look the most beautiful things that it brought into my life where people, connection with the tribe of people that I found doing those things and I think those ones are the most beautiful things that sports can bring us is into power of connecting with people, you know, team sports. If a group of people that we come together with and even a lot of the extremer independent Sports. You know, for instance if you're go to kayaking, or even skydiving there's usually a group of people that you're surrounding yourself with, doing that lifestyle.
I think it's interesting to know when and I think it’s often culturally driven that we move striving for perfection or excellence we sometimes leave the power of those connections behind to chase our own excellence at sport. In that we can tend to isolate ourselves to live in a way that's risky to where we endanger those connections, endanger our own life.
I think for me, if I really look at it, I grew up essentially the product of a fractured family and was able to foster my self-confidence, my self-worth through sport. The part of the most powerful for me was the people that I met along the way of doing that. I can recollect when I was a teenager and I had different options of how I was going to pursue my sport and I was never really competitive person. I didn't want to compete against people that wasn't really, I don't have a code of these competitions and everyone is very serious and businesslike and it didn't feel like a community. I feel like a lot of people that wanted to stand on top of you, stand on top of the podium, and do better. For me I found a way where within my sport I could go and spend time with my tribe and we would all put each other up.
One of the other snowboarders that I was with landed the trick. The photographers made money, the filmer made money and we would all elevate each other. That was really beautiful but then I think there came a point where the social influence was that I had to be the best until there was a point where I had to even leave a lot of these friends that I've made to go and pursue excellence. In that was where I really started to question what I was doing. Another point where I started questioning what I was doing was essentially when all of the other people around me started dying doing what I was doing because we were oftentimes not necessarily doing it. It became more about stunts and about anything else and stunts to feed some sort of an appetite or drive that wasn't actually mine when I started to look at it better.
I think that makes a lot of just coming into my own skin has been like looking at that. Doing some letter reflective work doing some counseling work some addict healing work and starting to realize also on this has been really profound for me too is that I knew this intrinsically when I was doing board sports. People ask me what do you love about this the most? And the part that I always loved the most was, and I will speak to this is like your brain somehow turns off. When you're in something in your holy present surfing on a wave her down a mountain.
You essentially force yourself into this presence often because you're in a scenario where it's dangerous or something like that, that you have to be and so that was one of the magic of sports for me and the other magic was the power of that connection. Then automatically I realize that this the lack of connection that I had when I was a child in my family dynamics had led me to go and search that out and strive finding it in other communities which for me happened to be sports. Through I think culturally and socially concerned paradigms I followed that to an end that was ultimately dangerous and didn't necessarily foster that connection that I had found in it initially and then I was essentially striving to find and had lost ever since my childhood.
Jonaven: Learning about the nature of those Dynamics has been really intrinsic about understanding the skin that I live in.
Andrea: Yuh. Do you think that this vision of like perfection is like this an ideal Utopian version of Jonaven? Like is that why you are striving towards perfection for?
Jonaven: I think that it is really to say there's one thing that I'm striving towards in my life right now currently it has to do with the power of community and surrounding myself with conscious humans. I think that essentially some of the emotional needs around connection that weren't meant in my childhood, I have really strive to find my life in the relationships that have in there. Not necessarily an intimate relationship sometimes they show up there but just in the community of people that I surround myself with and so I found that a lot of our culture is by default of dealing with their own things eventually becoming unconscious through our bar culture which is never essentially felt like home to me. Those people that are finding ways in their life to become more conscious and reflect and simply create community, create connection, those are the things that I strive for myself right now.
Andrea: Yeah. When you started to feel that shift when you're in board sports, it was there something big that happened? Like, did you have an accident, or it was just the accumulation of keep losing people?
Jonaven: That was one in the other processes that I've been through because I essentially I had in many ways this dream life that I had always been told that I wanted. I always told myself that I wanted and there's very few people that would understand my rationale when I was trying to explain that I was going to essentially give away my sponsorship contracts and my ability to travel the world as a professional snowboarder. At some level I had this interior voice that spoke to the lack of meaning that I was finding in my life that I was living. These powerful connections with humans that I had in the media Community around me I was having to leave to follow and pursue and I just got to the point where I couldn't lie to myself anymore about what felt meaningful but it was really hard because within most of the people that I would talk to, they didn't necessarily understand that because we have been sold very well this idyllic dream of what we were to aspire towards.
I think that in many ways it's so much simpler than what we're sold you know. Yeah, I think that is the most profound meaning of existence for you know. You don't have to leave all the people that you love, you just need a community of people that supports you and allowed to feel seen and heard and be yourself and explore the things that you're curious about.
Andrea: Yuh. Did you leave snowboarding before, like how did you feel about snowboarding before you left? Like, did you fall out of love with it? Did you start to resent it or was it just?
Jonaven: No, I don't think I ever, I definitely don't resent it in many ways I would look at my relation to it in the same way that I think some people would look at the relationship to let's say, alcohol.So there's some people by their nature were they can have a couple of drinks and I can be social and I can say that's enough in that was perfect for my experience and you know they go to bed at a reason for an hour and they carry upon the rest of their life and they still have a healthy family dynamic and everything else. There's other people that can't do that and once they get started, there's something in them it keeps going and once they've had two drinks they want five and a little bit was me with snowboarding and I had to come to terms with that I swear it was really hard for me to go out and snowboard at a moderate level. Once I got there I would want to go to this level that I had always lived at. So rather than trying exist in that place was easier for me to surround myself with other experiences of my life and not have to just to be okay with knowing that, that track was perhaps more powerful than I was able to continue playing with.
Andrea: Yeah. It’s interesting. It's like even more we're talking about how long we've known each other for? But I think because you were gone, kind of like, I was friends with all of your friends, but you were out like doing that stuff. Yeah, it's interesting how much of life you do miss sometimes or not miss like you're having a completely different experiences and stuff. But yeah healthy boundaries.
Jonaven: I think it looks so, it's been really interesting experience for me because and I don't really entirely understand it but I grew up essentially with my father not being around the whole lot. And through snowboarding I had all of these amazing male role models come into my life and it took me having probably a dozen of those male role models all died before I was really able to look at and start questioning who I thought I was involved in. There's something bizarre about it because every single one of those they were beautiful humans that amazing moral values and virtue and presence and they love to be outside and they love good conversation and they weren't afraid of living and I think for me it took having lost all of those people that I had the most intense connection with, to go maybe there's some you know what I'm doing that I should second-guess and I think part of that also is that I felt like I had actually always live to a more radical elements within my sport than all of those other people and I didn't entirely understand why I have made it and they hadn't which on some level is lack I think but it just became are you know it's reality and I couldn't deny it. It’s probably like it's time to pursue other things.
Andrea: Because I think of you and I like I didn't research you or this is all just like intuitively is that you're quite young like when you started to really get into snowboarding and stuff and you had like a lot of like older mentors and people like take you maybe out of, or maybe bring you into like the bigger mountains and in that sort of thing.
Andrea: Which is kind of why I didn't know if I was like going to speculate if you were like an old soul or goes like sort of like cultivated and nurtured within like that dynamic or your mum because she was a ski guide right?
Jonaven: I think my experience has been often people that I've met from challenging or sort of fractured early life family dynamics have essentially I’ve been forced to grow up quickly when they were young. So I think this terminally come up within our culture that speaks to old soul, and is often just speaking to that, and it's those people that for whatever level they for whatever reason they grew up in circumstances were they had no other choice.
Jonaven: That’s their circumstances.
Andrea: I heard a story about that last week about like, when you're a kid and you were kind of forced to be to growing up really fast that you're also kind of resourceful and resilient and I just wrote this thing about building like a life on cardboard boxes as your foundation because it's kind of you have like maybe when you're that young and then it kind of like works for a long time, but then you kind of got a little bit bigger and then you crash down through a few layers and it just kind of threw life, it kind of keeps getting affected in different ways until it's just like a soggy.
Andrea: I was a kind of bored and I was just thinking deeper and yeah I don't know. You having these like life experiences that you kind of know that may be a few things aren't quite as stable as they could be, but then you have to like keep piling that layers, filling that layers, but I don't know but it's also those things that make you so resilient in your life.
Jonaven: I think the value of perspective too and so you know I could be completely beaten down having lost so many friends in my life and I don't feel that actually. I feel really lucky to have had all the experiences that I did with them and I also feel like I have a perspective on my life specifically because of having lost those people, where I don't take any of my life for granted. You know Ryan who passed away this summer. He and I almost died together in an avalanche almost 10 years ago. And every, so often, since that event we would look at each other and we were like, well, it is all about us anyway and we really did live differently when you come to terms with your own mortality and realize that it is fleeting and there's a different magic and a spark in it when you realize it's not going to be there forever.
Andrea: Mhhhmhmm. Definitely. There's something about like profound time to like that, like I love when people cancel on me last minute, I don't tell people about that though, but I'm like, oh, well now, what can I do and it just like lights up a whole new you like opportunity here.
Jonaven: And I think that speaks to, sort of the place of mind and where you're coming from whether you're acting from a really like got a fear-based place or where you have kind of developed acceptance of where you are. You know somebody could cancel on you and you could be resentful or hurt or feel like you know you weren't important enough that they would make time for it, which to me this is a really like defensive space they are existing from or you could exist from that opposite space where you like, wow, oh yeah, they cancel this is opportunity and what am I going to fill the space with now which I think you're really lucky if you can exist in that space. I think it speaks to sort of an adaptability and openness to allow you to see what the universe presents us other than feeling hard done by it.
Andrea: Yeah, then there's another part where I fill my time with too much stuff. So sometimes I was like, OH, good opportunity now I can get that done or you know like it's, I think that busyness and breaking that down and it is like the bigger thing going on with me within it. There so many there so many layers and levels and things within it.
Jonaven: The first step is acknowledging that and if you have it perhaps the next time it comes you know you notice it come up to you, could feel those something busy or you could go for a walk in the woods.
Andrea: Totally. There you go, it is a nice therapy session for me Jonaven.
Jonaven: I think, going for a walk in the woods is something that just triggered this for me because something I've been thinking a lot about lately is sort of our choice of focal point and so where do we choose to focus. I've conferred a thousand walks in the woods. Just recently I went to a four-day mycology conference on mycelium study mushrooms. We would go foraging and I realize that I've never walked through the woods like that. I was doing is I had no place that I was trying to go and it's so different than going for a hike through the woods where you have a destination they're trying to go to. But if you walk into the woods and your whole purpose is actually just moving as slowly as you can and trying to look at the little things to find these pictures that have been there all along and once you start to get there, you realize how many things are living all around you, that you are walking on and then are falling on you and you're brushing against and all you had to do is slow down and change your focal point.
Jonaven: And all it like, this whole world exists around you that you had no idea. I think that's a really good example of the way that we walk through so much of our life where it's all there.
Andrea: Head down.
Jonaven: Totally. We just are choosing to walk past it and so there's something that's really so magical about the consciously slowing down a little bit and changing or your focal point exist.
Andrea: Yeah. And doing that allows you to focus better or clear, like it's a clearer focus. Right?
Jonaven: I think there is something for many of us that's scary in it because I think when we do slowdown is when we come into touch with our own feelings. Which is I think we're a lot of our own hurts and pains exist and I'm sure for me now, part of the reason why I loved this really fast-paced life snowboarding that I was doing is it was stimulating all these dopamine neural transmitters that were keeping me on this high but it also kept me from feeling some of the more subtle things that exist in my body that you don't necessarily notice until you do it slowly and quietly.
Andrea: Yeah. After my mom passed away, I saw a therapist and he really illustrated that to me, like all this type of sports I like doing and all that stuff and it kind of let me found my way to it but to sum up it was just like it's such a way to feel without having to feel. Because you get all of like those sensations and all.
Jonaven: Well, what I think also too, our nervous system needs a way to release energy, when we have passed lived you know, for instance traumatic experiences of some sort and they can be very simple you know, developmental traumas where we didn't get enough emotional nurturing or they can be more intense later in life. Traumas, whatever they are, but these things will reside in our nervous system and our nervous system is trying to bring us back to a state of equilibrium and calm and in order to do that it needs to release energy and we didn’t unknowingly self-medicate ourselves and try and release that through these essentially sports medicines you know.
I know for me now that I can look at it and all these like when I go through the six acceleration, I would tremble and I would like scream and let off steam. But since, always after a really intense day snowboarding or after an intense day surfing or whatever it was, I could sit at the end of the day and finally feel calm and relaxed it's because I needed to let off that energy in some way and I didn't know that but my body knew it and it was figuring it out whatever it was that it knew that I could.
Andrea: Mhhhmhh. I guess though at the end of the day you're able to relax but what if you don't have that like built-in right and then when you're out there and your body is, you know pumping extra blood into your muscles for you to like live. If you're taking it to the next level and there's fear and then you are in like a prolonged or in intense like stressed out state, like your nervous system I think it's been like you need that piece, that restoration or I think when you get really busy, that's like a piece that you're missing.
Andrea: I think about it like carbon offsetting you know. Because you never going to not want to be able to do like those sports and stuff but you really need to make sure that you have like the time of restoration or reflection.
Jonaven: Yeah, I think ultimately our body craves to exist in that own space. It’s just, or finding whatever ways they were able to get there through our own different processes.
Andrea: So when we were talking before about addiction, like do you feel like you are a naturally addicted person like you have addictions?
Jonaven: I have a really beautiful article here, about addiction that I was going to give to you and you'll need to read before you leave today.
Andrea: Ok. Because you are not giving it to me if you just let me read it.
Jonaven: Exactly. I would agree that most addiction comes from environmental circumstances and when we lack certain emotion social connection in our lives, we find ways essentially to self-medicate our hurt and that is what addiction is. My last snowboarding trip that I ever did was to Japan and I found this amazing book while I was on that trip. In many ways that trip did not go that well for me, it didn't have a great dynamic with some of the other players are on the trip but I did find this book while I was there. The book was drugs from chocolate to heroin and everything in between and I was fascinated by this book and I got into it and you know. And drugs have been a part of my life in different ways. But part of the book at the end too, a cut into all of these physical drugs but then it started to speak to the other drugs or addictions that are in our life and he spoke to extreme sports that acts as you know that being their drug and I think this was one of the first times that I've really had this idea presented to me. I started to realize that addiction and drugs come in so many forms you know people can have a shopping addiction or you know like everyone really has a coffee addiction that we don't talk about.
Andrea: I’ve never had no coffee.
Jonaven: Ok, you’re one of the first that I know. And it was interesting because in this article he spoke to a lot of the people finding the same thing through their addiction which was sort of a peace of mind or a presence where those voices that bug them all the time, they thought about all the things they did not necessarily want to think about when they are away, when they are in that space within their drug which was entirely true for me that's what I always said when I was on the face of a wave I wasn't thinking about my family dynamics or you know I owed money do any of those things but I wasn't clear space and the author of this book suggested that, people that are self-medicating on heroin find that same space through their drug and likely the people that are in whatever their addiction is, it’s helping to isolate them from those other things that they don't necessarily want to get into and he also suggested that even some of the spiritual seekers, that spend a lot of time meditating, they're actually after the exact same thing. They're just working on how to quiet the mind and exist in that clear space where we can be present in our lives than acknowledge and learn how to heal from some of our addictions. Those are a very powerful moment in my life.
Andrea: Mhhhmmmhh. Do you remember the author?
Jonaven: No, I’ve wanted to find that book since.
Andrea: Yeah. It’s interesting. I was looking at a, have you ever seen that thing on the internet and it's an experiment where an artist does like every kind of like 30 different types of drugs and then draws, and it's really fascinating but it's crazy. I think alcohol is actually the craziest one. Like, when he draws it's so like dark and crazy and like some of it it’s just like dog. You know like it's like from psychedelics to like really hard core stuff. It was really interesting. It was probably a vice or something. I'll find it for you.
Jonaven: And so it’s so interesting that you bring up psychedelics because I don't know what it is in my brain chemistry but I think part of the reason that I got into extreme sports for instance is that I had low dopamine receptors in the brain and so it needed a lot of a stimulant for me to experience feeling. I've always noticed that I would drink alcohol for instance and I get really tired really quickly and I was the guy that would fall asleep at parties after having a few drinks and get drawn all over and that was always me. Even I noticed quickly with marijuana when I was younger that it was the same thing I created like I just got really tired and psychedelics were the drug that always really spoke to me because it really stimulated my senses and my creativity and it's really interesting because I think some of the most powerful experiences of my life have probably been on psychedelics where I've really been able to look at some of my own patterns. You can't escape yourself when you're on those things. That's one of the points that I've ever noticed and you also really break out if your neural pathways. These another rats that you’ve been stuck in for a long time and I know it's just interesting to me to know that, that was something that I had clarity on when I was really young and then you know at most things I didn't think it was healthy to do a lot of that and all the stuffs that are really great quotes around that's where he said it's amazing to go to the buffet for dinner but you don't want to eat at the buffet every night. It's not going to be good for you, it's an experience that's good for you. But it's not a healthy way of living which is exactly the same of that way that I look at psychedelics and still actually healthy I find to have those experiences in every few years maybe. Like let's look at the patterns that are going on in your life that you're not seeing otherwise. It’s also interesting too that people that I resume in this conversation, the most with I find are people that are taking the time to do reflective work and to look inwards and think a lot of people that are really involved in drinking alcohol and these other things are really, it has the opposite effect of that. There's not a lot of reflection going on. It’s sort of telling the senses instead of bringing it to the surface.
Andrea: Yeah. I turned into a wild animal when I drink. I think I've had two drinks in like the last like four months because I've just, it’s funny, at my birthday party people were sharing stories of me and a quarter of them were like just wasted. It's interesting but it only happened like once or maybe twice a year I'd get to that level but it was pretty bad.
Jonaven: And is so fascinating to me because it speaks to the difference of our brain chemistries and so something that has one effect on you may have a totally different effect to me.
Andrea: Completely. Because like, psychedelics are mushrooms like to me they're just very peaceful and I feel very calm and I can just sit and I just watched and I’m just very happy and that's all. I've never liked weed because it makes my brain like explode. I'll look at your table here and I'm like, oh, how did you build that? What’s that made out? Or what’s that? I wonder what kind of finish is on this. You know, like did you paint it by hand today. Like yeah, that speeds up my stuff. It's interesting. There's this other books too. I got to find out this books. Because there is this book and it was done by I think a psychiatrist and he says how people will self-medicate based on like what they are like, if they have a mood disorder, they usually gravitate towards this drug. You know like for different like chemistry and balances they’ll find the drug that they need. So it's interesting.
Jonaven: Absolutely. I'll speak to a second or for a moment to the psychology conference that I went to recently. And part of it was so amazing about that is, the divergence of people that were at this conference and something that I've noticed, just a little bit boring to me is when I get stuck in a dynamic where everyone around feels like they're in my demographic age culture, whatever. And this was mycology conference, it was the exact opposite of that. And there was an agriculturalist. And there was a pharmacologist and there was natural medicine doctors in Chinese medicine doctors and there was psychologist and psychotherapist and the spectrum of people was completely across the board. There was people that have travel there from Mexico and Connecticut and all over. And it was so fascinating to see how this one thing, you know that idea of mycology and mushrooms that are affecting our, to see the way that it has impact on the residents and so many different fields. And so there was a psychologist that are looking to using certain mushrooms in their Psychotherapy work, psychedelics and Psychotherapy. There was agriculturist, they were interested in using mycelium to restore nutrients to farmland. There was people that are interested in mycoremediation using mycelium to remove contaminants from soil to digests pills, to digest disease spills because they want to make mycelium that can process these things that nothing else can. There was people that were interested in it for its ecological benefits, fighting disease and fighting cancer. The one thing that I really noticed that this conference, it was interesting to me was the idea of mycelium as a web-based network of connections throughout our ecosystem and what we were doing in this conference was creating essentially a web-based network of connections across fields were the underlying link and all of us is that everyone was conscious and was interested in the way that what they were doing affected everything else. It was really an amazing network that came together around the idea of mycelium which is based on networking. So that was fascinating to me.
Andrea: That is. Where was it?
Jonaven: It was in Cortes Island at a place called Hollyhock.
Andrea: I’ve heard of Hollyhock.
Jonaven: After a long one I’ve took, I finally made a space for me.
Andrea: Totally. That's awesome. I figured that it have to be somewhere where you could be foraging in the woods. That's definitely how I felt when I lived in Whistler, I never really felt super settled and when I move to Squamish I met my next door neighbor who didn't like a loggers whole life and was like this beautiful musician but he saying racial slurs and I was like, he’s kind of awesome, he’s just himself.
Andrea: And I was like, Oh, this is a true community. It's interesting.
Jonaven: I've really found that's important to me to being here, being around some older people on some younger people and just having perspectives around that are different than your own, I think that's healthy.
Andrea: Mhhhmmmhh. But often like a very similar disposition you know like a sort of like when you can kind of like talk to each other and relate to and that's what I like being able to connect with people. I actually go to a gym in Squamish and one of the guys there he's 70 and he’s just like my hero. He's so funny and he's so awesome and he just like, go friend. He is my favorite person in there and then there's like 20 year olds like I like that's like half a century.
Jonaven: And what is it about this man that you’re drawn to? What are those qualities?
Andrea: Oh, he's just, he's really funny. He's been smoking weed he told me on his 71st birthday it'll be fifty years and I'm just really interesting because I think he went to school, like he was the teacher about like of English lit and stuff but then I think he ended up leaving that to work in construction to like make lot of money and he drives like this little like red convertible Porsche and he's just really like loose and nice and you feel like you're very like for you with his love and just a prolific facebooker likes to you know like I can see how that so can I like shifted him a bit. Yeah, he is just kind of always interesting but also his approach to the gym is like, I would say he probably spent most of his life in pursuit of perfection because he takes it to the next level like because he just doesn't stop and that is his goal, I guess, being there. And I'm like well, I don't want to hurt myself at the gym I'm just here so I can be stronger in like the rest of my life or whatever. And yeah, he has a different perspective I guess and just different like life experience and he just love life too I would say. He always ask me about my dog and my sister and I myself and we just shared experiences like the diverse diversity and I think of it at the gym you know just like living in rainy Squamish it's nice some days when you don't know you're not doing like a lot of sports or things, you know but you still go there and you still expense some energy. I've never been a gym person before but it's there's something about like the community of it and it's fun, games and stuff.
Jonaven: I felt for some while, I know lot of people to try escape around winters and I thought for some while, I actually love the change of season in the darkness in the winter I think that it really forces us to do other things in our life and in many ways to go inside and to become creative. And if I was to speculate I think probably a lot of the reason why such fantastic art came out of the native communities of the Pacific Northwest is in the winter time it's cold and it's raining and you go inside and you have this energy that needs to go somewhere. I know that for me for instance I read a lot more in the winter time because it's less hours in the day and then forced to go inside and the brain wants to do something. I actually think that the climatic seasons are an amazing way such a force us to find our creativity which actually speaks to me also the idea of boredom and I think something was really dangerous in our culture right now is just the accessed information that we do have but not necessarily really stimulating information but sort of shallow low-level stimulation and I've read a lot about the importance of allowing for instance children to be bored because it's in boredom that creativity really starts to take over.
Andrea: The mind wants to be entertained. Growing up I used to read like a lot of Like, English classics and in England very similar to sort of environment temperatures and stuff and a lot of rain but with it comes a lot of darkness because I remember reading like some study about more people prone to like suicide and things like that without sense of the sun. That’s like all those things I can I said you can you can go another direction. But I find if I have a lot of physical like I'm just doing sport there and just outside all the time like I can only do it to a certain level and then I'm bored of that and then you have to go inwards. It’s interesting.
Do you find it like when you were snowboarding and that you are travelling all the time that you had lots of time to recharge within that? Do you think that if you went back you could have like moderated it more or lake had different boundaries?
Jonaven: The really interesting thing about that for me is that in reflection some of my most important time was actually when I was injured which for me happen quite frequently. Almost once a year I had fairly major injury that I had to go in for surgery. I have been through 20 surgeries in my life.
Andrea: 20? Wild.
Jonaven: In that, being injured time it was like a forced slow down and I would be stuck in the bed with you know you know my knee having just been operated on it and it was in a lot of that time that I read some of the best books I've ever read and I just had my mind open to different ideas and also I was forced to but I sort of learned how to slow down in that. And initially I was really resentful that I was injured and I could get back out and do the things that I love doing right away. By the end of it it's weird but I actually sort of didn't mind getting injured because then I was like oh well I can't worry about all those things that I would only worry about and I guess I could have just relax and drink tea and read books.
Andrea: Yeah, nurture that other side. The offset. Interesting and not surprising I guess. Oh, was it that your jaw was that one, or what do you think is the biggest injury that you had that like affected your life?
Jonaven: The jaw is definitely one of the more traumatic experiences my life that I've been through and something yeah one of those things that I probably will continually for the rest of my life after work on. It's reasonably well now but not perfectly and so I definitely harbor tension in my jaw. It’s hard for me to be in a dentist chair have a lot of traumas come over on that.
Andrea: Just because do you want to explain what happened exactly or is it too traumatic?
Jonaven: No, I've been out in the back country and I have gone to a big off of jump and I had landed really flat and compressed to wear my face went into my knee and essentially me and my jaw shattered broken 1233 places for with a dental alveolar fracture or my four front teeth that folded back inside the bone dislocated on one side and I broke about half of my teeth. I knew that I would start going into shock quickly if I had to stay out there I also knew that I was conscious and get myself really bad concussion and so I explained, but not being able to talk for a while talking through such a broken teeth. I told my friends what day it was and that I was conscious and I said that I'm going to get on my snowmobile and get out of here because I don't have to wait for helicopters because I will start going in shock.
Andrea: Because it was all just your face?
Andrea: And where were you?
Andrea: I was picturing that it was in Alaska by Brandywine is good, it’s doable.
Jonaven: But it was way back there.
Andrea: Wait, what year was it?
Jonaven: If I could remember it right it was 2001 and so I had almost spilled myself out there and I would get about so far and my mouth was like a pool with blood and I couldn't speak because my jaw didn’t really worked, my tongue don’t really work.
Andrea: Oh my gosh. Were you wearing a helmet?
Andrea: Yeah, I don’t really picture you without any helmet.
Jonaven: So I would just like lean over and let all the blood run out of my mouth so that I could keep my airway open and I managed to get to the hospital like that.
Andrea: You drove yourself?
Jonaven: Well, I drove my snowmobile in my truck and then my friend Brad drove me to the hospital. And checked myself in. It was kind of the last that I really remember, except that I woke up in a after that I woke up in Vancouver General all by myself. I think in a lot of my reflection on the incident what was hardest about a lot of it was simply going through it on my own. Lot of experience my friends have been amazing about getting me there but waking up in VGH by myself and then further waking up after my surgery by myself were both hard and I put my mom through a really true a lot of shit like my whole time growing up I kept injuring myself all the time and so it's interesting because there got to be a point where my momma told me, she's like I can't deal with this anymore like I don't want to know if I'm not coming to the hospital to do with you broken. This just can't keep going on and so this time when I was 21 and shattered my face, it was just an option for me to actually don't think I even told my mom I had injured myself or maybe a couple of weeks or week after or something like she called me and then she's like how could you sound so strange? And I was like, oh my teeth are shattered, I had an accident. And so when I woke up in VGH by myself there, the surgeon was explaining to me. Basically he said, son you've done a really good job here and your jaw's broken in several places and we're not sure exactly how we're going to fix this you might have scars on the outside of your face. The two breaks on the wings of your jaws are underneath your facial nerve, so we don't want to do damage to those by trying to play them you know you'll lose control of your face but we need to figure out how to put all this back together so it works and we're going to do the best we can but you need to be aware of all that and you know I just nodded my acknowledgment and then he asked me if I was claustrophobic. And I was like, no, no, pretty good that way. All you need to know that you're going to wake up and your teeth are going to be wired shut and some people have a hard time with that. And I was like, no, I should be fine you know, I got through a lot of stuff.
So that sort of the last I remember of that part and next I remember is waking up going through an adjustment and coming to consciousness and breathing and I’m like, oh my teeth are wired shut this feels weird but I'm okay I can breathe. I remember getting up and I grabbed my IV and I walked into the bathroom and that what is the weirdest thing because I looked in the mirror and I actually didn't recognize myself. Looking in my face and I was so swollen it looks like I would look if I weighed six or eight hundred pounds. My ears out on my cheeks and my cheeks out on my shoulders and I was just like, this is ours like looking in a marshmallow but I guess I was in there. There’s no question that it was traumatic in itself and you know there’s a lot of emotional things that came up around that. And you think very quickly about your ability to find a maid and all of these different things.
Andrea: At 21, it's all beyond.
Jonaven: Of course, those are the important things. I went immediately from that I took my IV behind, at the back to my bed and right as soon as I sat down on my bed I started to get sick to my stomach and I started to vomit uncontrollably. But my teeth were wired shut and it only take a moment for my mouth that fill up the vomit had nowhere to go and I'm still vomiting so then I started spraying it out of my nose but it was sort of like half almond and half-blood that I was vomiting. It’s like you got a picture that I just woken up straight out of surgery and I'm all by myself in a foreign hospital. I didn't think that I was claustrophobic but at this moment when my nose is now burning and my mouth is full of something and I can barely breathe out and I was starting to get claustrophobic at this point. It took a while that I hit the buzzer and the nurse came in and she did not calm the scene down, she was thoroughly upset when she walked in and screamed and ran out and came back and tried to clean things up. A long story short isn't she probably doctors back I couldn't talk so I just had to sign language on them that I needed a pound of paper to be able to communicate with them. I asked them through this to cut the wires so I can fill all these things out of my mouth and they explained to me that there been such lacerations in my mouth that essentially my mouth have been bleeding through the whole night after the surgery which would have been slowly pulling into my stomach and it clotted in my stomach made me sick to my stomach. This mouth full of something that hadn't eaten in 24 hours, but it was filled up, and entire contents of my mouth were actually blood clots that is why I vomited up. I realized I couldn't chew because my teeth were wired shut and I couldn't get them out. And essentially what they said, there was three of them, I will never forget in there, they were like, we're really sorry we just put a lot of effort into putting you together this way and you're going to have to figure out how to swallow those things and that's our only option and I left and they walked away and I spent quite a while there trying to figure out how to deal with all these things in my mouth and I couldn't choose them and I couldn't do anything and I tried to push them out the gaps in my teeth and I can do that are like blood clots are tremendously.
Andrea: Tense and ..
Jonaven: Tenacious thing, you can't break them down. Eventually what I realized is that I could use my tongue to sort most of them to one side and I would have to swallow them one or two at a time not vomiting all the while again. Eventually I did that and I got through and that experience was powerful in so many ways I mean I've always been sort of a quiet by nature thing but I spent a full month after that inside of my own head because essentially I couldn't talk to people.
Andrea: That's why I originally thought it was like a force meditation.
Jonaven: It was. If I was quite before that I'm definitely more quiet after. Yeah it changed of course my life in many ways and I don't think that all of them are destructive.
Andrea: Yeah. It’s the fabric of you. Yeah, wow. And then after that how long after did you retire?
Jonaven: It took me a long time. So I was so driven at that point that injury was in chains.
Jonaven: January or February of that year and at that point in my life I was convinced that I needed to be the best in the world than part of that was getting my film part done which I have been working on when I hurt myself and so within three months of my accident, the bone structure healed and I was back in Alaska to film again and I got a mouth guard made so that I didn't have to worry too much about it. Again I will never forget this one Travis Rice was my snowboard partner on the film trip that I was on. For whatever reason one of the first things we found was the step down jump that we're going to shoot and I had hurt myself on a step down jump and Travis Rice and I made this thing and then we stay at the top and we rock paper scissors to see who would go first and I lost and I got to go first and this was the first thing that I had to come back to after my injury from the exact same thing only three months later and rather than seeing that lunacy in the endeavor that I was involved in. I felt like I needed to get back on the horse and prove myself by doing this and I survived and I didn't do it again which is nice but it was an interesting thing to come back from.
Andrea: Did you stop it? Wow.
Jonaven: Yeah, but it took six or seven years after that until I decided that it is time to do other things. I think in those moments it's really, we can be so attached to what we thought was important to us. That it's really hard to be able to reflect on that.
Andrea: One of my friends was talking about like that attachment the attachment theory of you'll do anything to have that attachment that you either had or didn't have when you were a child and forgo the common sense and like anything your own like in pursuit of that. It's interesting breaking it all down and then have some fun like familiar in like primary it is. Do you think though after leaving snowboarding like did you fill did you fill it up with like surfing?
Jonaven: Initially I did. That was my transition drug, I call it. There's no question about that. I think, yeah, I guess what I've been striving towards this just to find endeavors and connection to feel like they're healthy.
Andrea: But do you think that these endeavors are having a healthy relationship with it?
Jonaven: Yeah. Probably it’s the second having a healthy relationship with it and so you know just trying to maintain perspective like I still have to go out in the ocean and surf but there's other meaningful things in my life and if it feels like what I'm doing is really taking me away from those other things or even risking my ability to come back to those things then I finally got to the place where I can see that now. Acknowledge and choose not to do things.
Andrea: It’s crazy when you can get so focused on something and then completely lose sight of what even why you wanted to do it in the beginning or but those driving forces were or I guess just you change to and you evolve.
Andrea: When you were talking before about doing those sports and getting into, like those moments for you just like completely present do you think that's like a flow state to start it and it doesn't just have to be in sports but just maybe building stuff and you're just like in that rhythm?
Jonaven: Yeah. And I think it is such a beautiful thing to be able to exist in that place. It is a flow state and I think so much of like my learning process has been coming to terms that we can find that in so many places in our life and really healthy places like I feel like we've been in this entire conversation or my brains not rattling off about all these other things but it's just like you're entirely present and where you are and what you're doing is meaningful and you enjoy the connection that you are having with somebody.
I noticed a long time ago that I would have those moments with people at the farmers market or somebody I didn't know but you were just like having the most beautiful moment with this person. My friend Chris Banza passed away while not while ago, I and him would have tea and breakfast and it was just like profound is nothing else matters there's no I said I wanted to be and I think realizing that, that flow has a potentially to exist in all of the places in your life.
Andrea: Slowing down.
Jonaven: Yeah, and acknowledging the significance of all of the moments and being thankful for those things. That's really powerful thing when you can come to that in your life.
Andrea: It just makes it so much richer.
Andrea: In Tofino the lady at the co-op check out I forgot what we were talking about and then she's like, oh from the city, and she’s like, yeah and she said I forgot how long she said it took her for being on the island until she somebody's just said, there is nowhere to go. So, you know, just be here because I think I was telling her how I feel like I'm on island time here and someone told me that's a bit of an oxymoron for me to be on island time but I'm loving it.
Andrea: But it’s like that force meditation. Like forcing yourself to be still. Yeah, it’s hard. Even though I don't know if I'll ever be still coming to your property here and looking at all your projects and some things, its like just gets my brain explodes. I get so excited. I was like, oh, you can fabricate metal? I want to do that. Yeah, I think so, for sure.
Jonaven: I just went to this really awesome book launch last weekend. It was called Woodworkers along Salish Sea something to that extent and it was amazing and there's a bunch of featured female Woodworkers in there that were so incredible. All of the woodworkers in it where amazing but there's beautiful girls that they've curved and balls and all sorts of things. It’s quite incredible. It’s inspiring for me to see the divergence of people that are featured in there.
Andrea: Yeah. I've been thinking about my addiction and would like digital stuff and that being like the field of my work and how it sort of just like taking over like a lot of my life and so trying to find a healthy boundaries with them then okay well maybe I can’t have screens after 7 p.m. Then I just have to do more like art and creative things but then I was thinking about how my neighbors would like me using power tools at that hour? I love my brat brad nailer and my tools I think I could make anything with that but I think it would be good to have some other.
Jonaven: I think what is important is to set certain times for things.
Andrea: And yeah, it’s funny, my little sister has down syndrome and I gave her my old iphone because she just got a smartphone and then she had data and then she got really out of control on Facebook and like posting weird stuff like her address and just like a little bit too much like. I remember when morning waking and on Facebook it would tell you know, like Adele Helleman is now friends with Jonaven Moore and 123 other people and she was like going lots of it. But then she was like, disconnecting from everyone like in our family and she was her whole attitude changed and she would just be like in the corner and just like so consumed because she's probably about seven developmentally and then we kept like trying to give her like a break and talk to her about it but she just couldn't control herself and then I remember writing on Facebook like what do you do, or like at what age is it appropriate or how do you control your children with Facebook or with cell phones in this kind stuff . Then some just said you give them a phone when they're mature enough and I was like all that sucks because she's probably never ever going to be matured enough for it.
So yes, we have to take it away from her and she was like livid for 72 hours like just like in pure torment and then my brother said after 72 hours she kind of just like relaxed. It’s like you could just see her relaxed back into her nervous system and she became herself again.
Jonaven: What a fascinating experiment.
Andrea: And now, she has her own instagram account and she uses it on my phone so I gave her my phone and so she get to feel it and everything and then but it's like it's healthy because I'll take it away from her. Just being able to see her in that under that microscope that's what I've always felt bad for her because her whole life is under a microscope right like everybody is examining everything. She doesn't get away with anything but I'm sure we're all the same you know we all have like that unhealthy. I'll be like touring and I'll be in a cabin and I'll just keep checking my cell phone think it'll take like a few days before I'm like okay like there's no.
Jonaven: Me too.
Andrea: You can, you are all good.
Jonavan: I think we are all susceptible to that. I live in the woods and I get caught in it too.
Andrea: Well, like what you're saying before it's fast and our attention span in it is just distracting. I was thinking to maybe airplane mode after 7 p.m. I don’t know. It’s funny.
How old were you when you started like competing snowboarding?
Jonaven: Probably, I think I was sponsored when I was probably 12 or 13.
Andrea: Oh, wow. And then when did you retire?
Jonaven: Just before I turned 30.
Andrea: Oh, wow that's a long time. 18 years.
Jonaven: I so thankful for all of it. It was amazing and I think of something that's interesting to look at to is, there actually no part of my life that I would change. A lot of it hasn't been easy but it's been an incredible ride feel like who I am is entirely a product of all of the lessons that I've had to learn along the way and there's no other way that I would have got there.
Andrea: I agree. I think most people can, I think in the moment I feel so hard and you don't know how you're going to get through it then you got to that other place. For all of it to make sense. Like I've lost a lot of people in my life and yes I'm one of those holes just never feel and they're just get deeper or let you know all the people following and that's just like scar tissue and sensitive.
Jonaven: I think that's an interesting notion when you hear people talk to the idea of getting over something and I think there's a lot of things that we just never get over and I think they become a part of us you know. And there’s different holes where you know, I think it’s okay to have a memory of someone that you'll always miss forever until we acknowledged that, that's real and true. I think there's a lot of things that aren't talked about and I think the ideas of loss and sadness or one of those that I think it's totally okay to have those feeling like, we all have them and I think that often and opening and talking about them are ways for us to find connection and the things that move us past them something it's also been coming up for conversation with me lately are all these ideas of isolation. Just feeling alone I think that's something that is so common culturally and I think that a lot of our life is really structured towards doing things independently and we need to create our own separate house and family. Especially as we get older if things haven't necessarily worked out where we have a partner or these different things I think it's really common to all of us to feel very isolated and alone and then we have sadness from having lost people and I mean the reality is that we’re only going to keep losing more people as we get older. And that's how it works and I really do feel like the most powerful thing that we can do is create community and connection in our lives where can we realize that it's okay to be sad on some levels and find people that you can talk to about that and establish the connection that moves us past those things.
Andrea: It’s kind of like your tree houses or draw bridges you know. It’s like building the bridges between all that because we are essentially all alone. That is the way we came here and that is the way we are leaving.
Jonaven: You got it. But I think consciously more than anything, something that I’ve been trying to do with my friend Adam that we’re talking about last night is, really consciously trying to create space and time and community where we can all hang out together and then breaking down some of the fears and barriers that we personally have towards that of letting go of the idea of having your name on a piece of paper that connects you to where you live you know and maybe by choosing to live in community you don't necessarily get to own that house for that piece of land and just seeing where around fears and culturally designed parameters affect the way that we are able to create connections and meaningful community in our lives.
Andrea: Interesting. Kind of think about that in the office, or like in cities or I remember going to this yoga class and there was like a hundred and fifty people in it or something. I remember feeling so anonymous in it almost feel as if I go throughout sinners like 10 people it's like so intimate.
Jonaven: Absolutely. I definitely think about that because I feel like cities are really interesting place because I think you can be surrounded by so many people but really feel so alone in that. Because you're not necessarily connecting deeply with any of those people. You can feel like you just get lost.
Andrea: Even in the city, which is like a retirement community, I'd say just walking my dog this morning every single person smiled and said hello to me. In Squamish I don't really get that every morning like probably more than I would in the city.
Jonaven: I think that's magic when you can be so far walking down the street and people look you in the eye and smile and say hi. Really it can be one of the most profound things that there is.
Jonaven: Thanks Andrea.
Andrea: Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. As I told you before that I kind of force a little bit to do this for our good friend Ryan Dailey.
Jonaven: Thanks Ry.
Andrea: Well, he was, like how he would said like a button for sure, at his celebration of life, I was like, oh damn, like, I have to do it now but I'm not going to do it what he told me to do it. I’m going to do it on my own terms but it can be just inspired by him you know. I’m not certainly blogging it I’m doing podcast.
Jonaven: Well I love that you've invested in equipment.
Andrea: Yeah, Let’s see where it goes. Yeah, it’s funny. Okay. Well, thanks Jonaven.
Jonaven: Thank you.
Well, there you go Jonathan Moore, I can hardly wait to go back to your property.