Monday, November 17, 2014


ABC Legacy’s In the Gap 

Invites the student into the Live Your Legacy NOW progression from Passion to Purpose and Idea to Impact. Students embark on a Hero's Quest and ask the bigger existential questions "Who Am I?” and “Why Am I Here?" as they work together in a 12-week program with other students, college interns and professional mentors in the Bradford Mill Community.

In Howard Thurman's words, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."  In the Gap is an interdisciplinary experiential learning environment for those who want to take a year to discover what they love and what makes them come alive.

Thus, using technology mindfully to enhance the spirit of collaboration, ABC Legacy students and intern identify their passions and ideas, use their creative energy, and Live Their Legacy NOW with purpose and impact.

The following strands are woven together: Technology Awareness. Mindfulness Practice. Creativity. Passion to Purpose. Idea to Impact. Through readings, discussions, and exercises one finds direction and discipline to follow a path of inquiry. Students learn about non-profit organizations and foundations through engagement with their causes. Options to shadow a worker and internships occur within the Bradford Mill Community in preparation for the remainder of the year which may include moving into the broader world whether a service trip in Guatemala, working for an NGO in South Africa, a train trip across Europe, or an internship in Silicon Valley. 

The 12-week program culminates in a celebratory reception where participants share their legacies in a variety of entrepreneurial, artistic and/or social forms. The goal is for it to be meaningful, impactful and sustainable. It could be a TED talk, a social action initiative, a photography show and/or a new company. When not in one of the 12 week programs from Sept -> Nov or Feb -> April, participants are members of the ABC Legacy Incubator in physical and virtual form, where their community continues whether in Concord or halfway around the world.

Live Your Legacy NOW 

From ABC Legacy Internships, Senior Projects, Gap Years; to Start-Ups, High Tech, and Innovation Centers; as well as schools, after-school, and community groups.

The Cycle: 

“When you're working on a start-up or creative idea, a book proposal or a campaign, and things are moving fast, it's intoxicating. We don't want to stop, we think we're in the zone, but we may be in a technology dopamine high. We need to stop and breathe, even if we don't want to. 

In order to move from passion to purpose, idea to impact, we need to take the tech breaks and practice mindfulness to focus and attend, integrate and synthesize. Emptiness helps us get in touch with our intuitive, creative self. Once we settle, BREATHE, and ease back into the parasympathetic nervous system, we can go back to the technology."

Technology: You get jangly, distracted, and ineffective. It's too much technology, too much information. Creative start up juice has run amuck. 

No Technology: You MUST close that laptop and step away from the computer. Leave your phone and go for a walk. Get outside.  Change your environment.

Mindfulness Practice: Go to your yoga studio. Meditate. Walk in nature. Run. Bike. Swim. Clear your head, and become quiet, spacious, empty so you can hear your own thoughts. Stay away from the technology for awhile. Digital Detox for an hour, a day, a weekend, a week, or longer.

Creativity:  Intuition bubbles up. Collaborate face to face. Bounce ideas off each other. Write your ideas. Talk about them. Read a book. Sit and ponder. Passion to Purpose. Idea to Impact. Mind Map. Sketch on the whiteboard. Make a plan of action.

Technology: Then go back to Technology and use it mindfully, until you get all jangly, distracted and overwhelmed, and the process starts again.

Entrepreneurs, students, high tech employees, actually most people need a visual of the cycle to put right on their computers phones and iPads. It is too easy to work 24/7 with the demands of 24/7 connectivity. 

Reading along with research and curriculum to support the cycle:

Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Focus by Dan Goleman
Power of Now by Eckert Tolle (or equivalent mindfulness book)
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence by Deepak Chopra
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
Breaking Out by John Butman
How To Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and their Big Ideas by David Bornstein
Dragonfly Effect: Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker

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