The Mirror of Community: Seeing Ourselves Reflected in Others’ Eyes
Get ready for an extraordinary episode of Elements of Community! Join Lucas Root as he invites Caitlin Doemner, a nomadic entrepreneur who has mastered the art of rebuilding communities on the open road with her family. In this episode, prepare to be captivated as Caitlin and Lucas dive into the raw and authentic aspects
On this episode of Elements of Community, Lucas Root sits down with Caitlin Doemner, an entrepreneur and world traveler who has rebuilt a community on the road with her husband and three children. After uprooting from their home to explore 60 cities in 60 months, Caitlin shares how contrast allowed her to discover home wasn’t a location but where her people are.
Caitlin and Lucas discuss how common language, shared projects, and contributing to one another created community among strangers in new places. They debate whether automated infrastructure offers comfort or masks our facelessness, wondering how we can build more authentic human connections. Caitlin reveals how contrast creates clarity and appreciation, helping her feel at home even in unfamiliar surroundings.
In a powerful moment, Caitlin calls modern society’s automated lifestyle and propensity for mental illness ‘luxuries of automated community’. She reflects on how seeing and being seen by other humans makes us fully human, leaving listeners with the question: how can I allow myself to be seen more fully and avoid contributing to the facelessness? Tune into this extraordinary episode of Elements of Community for an unparalleled exploration of the essence of true community.
Other subjects we covered on the show
- How rebuilding the language used within her family helped transform them into a true community.
- The transfiguration from common activities to communal activities through shared projects.
- The insight that contrast helps gain clarity and appreciation for the familiar.
- The debate about whether infrastructure built by society allows us to become “machines”.
- Caitlin’s realization is that community is what makes us fully human.
AND MORE TOPICS COVERED IN THE FULL INTERVIEW!!! You can check that out and subscribe at https://pbp.li/eoc48.
If you want to know more about Caitlin Doemner, you may reach out to her at:
[00:00:00] And we’re live, Caitlin, welcome to the show. Thank you very much for joining me. It’s kind of funny cause this is our third try. And sometimes when I go through three tries, you’re not the only one. I’ve gone through three actual tries to get live on a show. Although it’s not live. But sometimes when I go through multiple tries, I’m like, yeah, maybe it’s not supposed to work out. And sometimes I’m just like, maybe it is supposed to work out but differently, differently than we had planned.
And I think that’s the case with you this time. It’s differently than I had envisioned when we first talked about you getting on the show.
So I have really enjoyed getting to know you over the last, somewhere between six months and three years. There are some things about you that I really appreciate. You’re not the only one I’ve had on the show who is also [00:01:00] a big time traveler. And the way that you conduct your life is inspiring to me because, you know, I think people should have. Really important goals and rebuild their lives around those goals, like traveling the world.
And I invite you to talk a little bit about that. In addition to that unlike me, you have always been an entrepreneur whereas I went through a period where I was in corporate and then graduated myself into entrepreneurship. So, and I find that inspiring too. With all that out there in the air, how do you like to introduce yourself?
Hmm, thanks for the invitation. Yeah, so you’ve mentioned the world travels and the entrepreneurship. So that’s as good as place to start as any my husband, Mike and I have been full-time entrepreneurs building our company VirtualCoachingSales.com for about 13 years, building and managing sales teams for people like Deepak Chopra, Ali Brown and other leaders in the industry.
About four years [00:02:00] ago, we sat down. Yeah, we’ve been really blessed to work with some incredible people. And at a business retreat probably four years ago, we sat down and said, what is this all for? What are we working so hard to build? Why are we doing this? And we thought about what we wanted to create and we said, well, it really would look like traveling the world.
And so we decided we’re going to set the intention. We’re gonna do 12 months of travel down through South America. And then we’re like, well, what if we did 24 cities in 24 months? And then we discovered we really wanted to do 60 cities in 60 months, and it just kept expanding and spiraling. So two and a half years ago, we took our three kids who were five, seven, and nine years old at the time, and we hit the road.
We did a road trip across the us jumped down to Mexico, traveled to the bottom of Argentina, jumped down to Antarctica for a couple weeks over to Southeast Asia for several months. Did a road trip [00:03:00] down from. Down the east coast of Australia. Now we’re back home taking care of family for a little bit and then the plan is to finish up with Europe, Africa, and India.
In the next two years. And so, Yeah. One of the things that just made that really easy to your point is when you know what you want, everything else in your life gets very simple. It just streamlines it down and it really gets clear when you’re making decisions, what’s important, what’s bringing you closer to that goal, and what’s pushing you further away from that goal?
So it took us about two years. To line everything up. We had to get Michael’s oldest son out of high school. We had to get the youngest one out of diapers. We had to get the business to the place where it could sustain itself, even if we had intermittent wifi. So there were a lot of logistics that we had to move around to make it possible, but it’s absolutely been worth it.
I love that. It’s funny, when I decided to graduate from corporate, it took me about two years to really get things lined up too.
If there’s something there.[00:04:00]
Yeah, and my question is it an internal adjustment or external adjustment? Obviously probably both, but that kind of as a thinking of a gestation period for life transformation, that it probably is the about the right timeframe for that.
Now that, I mean, that opens up some thought I, that isn’t the rabbit hole I want to go down today. But that’s fun.
Amazing. So when you left, this is where things get fun. I think when you left, you walked away from a community and rebuilt your entire life around being a nomad.
How did you bring community into your life while you were on the road?
Hmm. That is a really neat question. Because we did we uprooted from our family in Southern California and we just hit the road and. The way it’s easiest to think of it as like a root [00:05:00] ball. Like we just kept rolling and so all the roots had to go internal. So the five of us became very close.
The first couple of weeks, let’s be honest, the first couple of months were very rough because spending 24/7 with people that you usually only see at like before you drop them off at school and after you pick them up from school.
And we had to be much more intensive about. Setting boundaries and clarity in our communication. Much more intentional about teaching courtesy and compassion for one another because everybody’s tired and everyone after Red Eye sleeps and everything else. So, we as a family had to seriously strengthen our ability to communicate effectively which I know is one of your elements of adulthood.
And so, yeah, complex communication was critical as we started to evolve, like learning how to read each other’s emotional signals. And then I think the other thing that I found is [00:06:00] wherever we go, where we find friends. Oh, we are so thirsty. We put roots down immediately. So when we came back from Antarctica, we stayed in an Airbnb in Ushuaia southern most city in the world.
And in our apartment complex there was a family with small kids our kids age. And so they happened to speak enough English that we sort of invited ourselves into their game of tag and they invited us to Christmas dinner cause it was. Christmas in Argentina and, oh man, just as a side note, holiday dinners without community sock.
We did Thanksgiving dinner in Veloce with like cheese and wine because they didn’t have any Thanksgiving foods and I was like, Oh, really missing home and family. Like, it’s amazing how our holidays become touchpoints for this experience of family and community and the [00:07:00] nostalgia that sort of builds up around a particular holiday.
So we were, it was very nice that we got to do Christmas with new friends. They welcomed us in. Totally different though, right? The sun is still up at 11:30 at night. The kids are not even like, we’re not even sitting down to dinner until 10. And that was early because they were doing it for the silly Americans who eat early dinners and the kids all stayed up until 1:00 AM to wait for Papa Noel to arrive and it was just a completely different experience of Christmas.
But we bonded with that family so deeply that when they’re like, well, we’re only here for a week or two, and then we’re going up to Bahia Blanca, would you like to join us? We’re like, heck yes. Like, we’re coming, we’re follow. So we just sort of followed their family around Argentina for several weeks because we didn’t wanna let them go.
And then we had to fly home. So it was, but yeah. So when we do find friends, same thing in Bali. As soon as we made friendships, [00:08:00] it became home. And I think that’s my takeaway. We started this journey looking for our forever home. I have this postcard in my head of forests, mountains, and a river where I wanna put my homestead and like settle down, put like a permanent forever home.
And we’ve been looking all over the world for it. And what I’ve come to realize is that home is where your people are. So we have a home in Ushuaia. We have a home in Bali because that’s where we’ve built relationships and now home is wherever we are. So our close-knit root ball and home is wherever we find humans that we love and care about.
And so, yeah, it’s really expanded how we think about home, how we think about family. And which is what you call community. So yeah, it’s been beautiful.
That’s so cool. Home is where your people are. [00:09:00] Wow, and the story that arrives there is fantastic. Cause your postcard, I’ve been there.
I can tell you where that is. But it’s not where your people are.
Well, I plan on importing my people. Once I find it. We’ll just take them and bring them and put them on the land with us.
Yeah. Some of them, then you’ll.
Many as we can. Yes. Yeah.
Then you’ll have your tight-knit root ball.
Exactly. That’s the plan.
Unfortunately, anywhere I go, I have a tight-knit root ball.
Every time I said the word root in the last 10 minutes, I had that realization.
So I can’t use that as a barometric for success of having built community cause my tight-knit root ball goes with me everywhere, especially when I don’t comb my hair in the morning.[00:10:00]
I think you should call your community the root ball.
Yeah. And no hair combining.
Yeah, no, for us curly haired people, that is not a good long-term solution.
Yeah. Yep. Thank you. If you don’t mind me asking, had you experienced community in a way that felt the same before you went traveling?
Not much. The instance that’s coming to mind is when I spent three months in Oxford. Again, interesting that being displaced from the thing that you think of as home is what preceded finding the first place that I ever felt at home. So,
Now I’ve been to Oxford. It is a lovely city.
Yeah. And they had probably 20 of US American students holed [00:11:00] up in this beautiful English manor on a hill overlooking the spires and called the vines.
And we made friends with the students when we were going to classes and such. But it was really those 20 students. We made dinner together, we watched every episode of friends together. We my friend Matt would play the piano and we would have singalongs in the living room together. We would come home to freshly baked pies and we would bike into town and then bike home together and just doing life together.
It was exceptional. Like we built life-changing friendships in a very short period of time. And yeah, I like my own family of origin was never that experience of community that I found there. And yeah, coming home, it was the first time I’d ever experienced nostalgia. [00:12:00] Like I had never looked back, I had always looked forward.
And that was the first time. Experienced homesickness. So yeah, it was a weird experience that I had to go halfway around the world both times now in order to find the thing that I was looking for.
Huh? What a gift. You found it?
Yeah. So you did things together. What else did you have that really made it home, cooked together, sing together. What else?
Yeah, I’m comparing the experiences of the vines with our friends in Ushuaia to see what the similarities are. Food. I mean, I’m Italian, so food’s always gonna be at the center of every community. The dinner, the dining room table is critical.
Away from the camera, my nose is still poking you, [00:13:00] so you know.
But for me, I think the family dinner coming around the table together. I feel like that’s just the microcosm, like what’s happening there is not eating. Like what’s happening there is communing. Which makes perfect sense why Jesus decided to have a last supper and turn it into communion.
Like this idea that we come together around bread and wine and this is a symbol of us. Partaking of each other’s lives in a really deep, transformational way. There is something that gets transformed. This is not food for just your body anymore. This is food for your soul.
Yeah, I don’t know. I’d like to. There’s probably more than that. I’m just trying to think of what it is. What allows you to have that experience of connection with complete strangers and [00:14:00] how, why is that easier than people we’ve grown up with our whole life?
Do you have an answer for that?
I have some. Yeah. Well, the first is when you’re outside of the country, the fact that you share a language becomes stark contrast. And one of the elements of community, of course, is common language. So as 20 Americans in Britain, you all sharing a language is the stark contrast the same thing in Ushuaia.
You said these were, this was a family that had a whole bunch of kids and spoke enough English, so now you had a language that you could share. Now you could’ve. Chosen a family that doesn’t speak English, and you could have learned enough Spanish to speak with that family, right? So you would have built a common language if you’d made different choices, but the, the shared language opened it up.
And when you grow up with a whole bunch of people, you all speak exactly the same way, about [00:15:00] exactly the same thing. So there isn’t any contrast in your shared language. So it makes it less exceptional. Then when you have, let’s say, a best friend or family, go ahead.
No, I was just thinking about like, it sounds like we have to take our root ball out of the context in order to appreciate it. So I’m thinking of like family road trips except usually you’re hating each other by the end of the car ride.
But that idea that you would have to see your family in a different backdrop for you to appreciate that the communication that you share is distinct and shared by contrast. So it’s interesting that contrast is what,
Well, that was the first piece. But see, when you went on the road, you even talked about this, the first thing that you had to do as a family was rebuild your family dynamics in order [00:16:00] to be able to appreciate the new experience of being a family on the road. And part of that was you said it courtesy, which is changing the language that your family speaks.
Speaking of family speaking, you might hear munchkins in the background cause it’s summer break and. We are all in the house together.
I hear munchkins. There’s no need to hide them. So by rebuilding the language that you speak inside the family, you changed from being people who share a house.
Oh, I see. Okay.
And blood perhaps into a community. My guess is that you did other things along the way. You went from sharing a dinner table together to communing together over food and that there was actually a meaningful [00:17:00] change. From before the road trip to after the road trip in how you handled your food.
You mean with our fingers,
Right? Okay. So,
And I’ll bet that if you think back to your time in Oxford, the same thing happened when you all first started. Sharing space. At first you just shared space and then you all sort of made a conscious choice to more than just share space. So the language was an impetus, but it wasn’t the thing that made it was just one of the elements that made it.
So what I’m hearing is this, like transfiguration from the common. To the communal. So we’re taking normal language, [00:18:00] turn like common language to communal language, common food to communal food. Yes?
Okay. What else? What else did we do while we were on the road? Guess?
Communing over food is a form of a project, but my guess is it’s not the only one.
So you started doing things like when you would get to a city that you wanted to explore, you would instead of all of you going your own separate ways, you know, one kid’s going to soccer practice and another kid’s going to their friend’s house, you all chose together to go explore together.
Which is a choice you could have made when you were living in your hometown, but you didn’t.
And equally, when you got to a new city, you could have made a choice about doing things individually, but you didn’t. You all chose to do it together.
[00:19:00] They couldn’t. Sometimes we did. But yeah, that is an interesting, and do you think that that’s cultural, that in the United States our roots go out instead of in. Or is it just when you’re in a single location, it makes sense that your roots would go out no matter which soil you’re planted in.
But you do that anyway. Exploring is a part of being human. And even when you lived in your hometown before you created the community of your family, you still did exploring. The change wasn’t the exploration, the change was choosing to do it together as a family.
You go out to coffee with your friends, you go out to the movie theater with your husband. You go out and try out new restaurants you know, kids go meet friends, you go for walks. Like exploring is not novel. [00:20:00] And when you get to a new city. Exploring the things that you are exploring. The search for novelty is no different than the search for novelty when you were in your home city.
Ironically, when everything is novel, you start searching for the common. Like I have an almost insatiable appetite for new things. And once I was, it was, it took 18 months. For me to finally say, you know what? I think going home sounds great. I think being in one spot for a few months sounds fantastic.
But it took 18 months of seeing different sites at different times and different people and different languages almost every week or every other week. That level of change was what it took for me to finally appreciate the familiar. It was interesting.[00:21:00]
Yeah, cool. Shared value. So communing over a meal is shared value, but it’s not the only one. I love to use the example of hugs as shared value. Now, here’s my question. How did you establish fair shared value in Oxford?
Now are using shared value or shared values like what? Are you like, we contribute to one another or we have the same attitude, perspectives, worldview.
Okay. So I think it’s the example of doing things for and with each other. So, the other girls making pies and sharing them with everybody. They could have made just one pie, but they decided to make them like 10 [00:22:00] pies and do pie nights every Monday. And Matt could have gone and practiced the piano on his own, but instead he invited the entire house to come down into the living room and do a sing along.
We could have just sat and watched friends in our own bedroom, but we invited everybody to come watch them with us. So is it that each of us has the things that we love to do anyway and we’re inviting others to come and share and partake of our area of brilliance? Is that kind of the direction that you’re heading?
And Ushuaia, it would be, we invited them over for dinner and then they invited us over for dinner. We got to play games together. But is the contribution, does it have to be tangible or is it like conversation? [00:23:00]
Right. So for us, when we’re surrounded by,
Conversation, hugs. Kids playing together in that case is actually shared value to you and to kids.
Oh yeah. Well, that’s what I was gonna say. You said if you could learn enough Spanish, I’m like, Argentinians, don’t speak Spanish. At least not recognizable to this Mexican Spanish speaker. And so even though we knew Spanish, we were surrounded by people who could understand us, but we couldn’t understand them.
And so with all their whys and LLS turning into sounds it, the Argentinian Spanish just is almost unrecognizable to my ear. So just having a person to speak to and like. Talk back to me and have that experience. Yeah, when we are here in the United States, you take that for granted. You are like, okay, but how good is the conversation?
Right? [00:24:00] If I’m gonna call that this conversation is a contribution to my soul, it better be a really good conversation. But there it was like, Hey, you and I are able to communicate about the weather. This is a win. So any level of communication was contribution in that context. Yeah.
So I have a couple of different meals in my life that I remember really above and beyond all the rest. I have my anniversary meal where my wife told me that I looked like death. People on this podcast have heard this story and other, you know, you’ll hear it again probably.
Really truly above and beyond any other meal I’ve had. My dinner my wedding dinner my wife and I have been to a five star, five diamond. Chef’s table meal, like extraordinary, like mind blowing. Also, it cost over a thousand dollars. I’m not gonna be doing that very often. I’m glad I did it. [00:25:00] Like, that meal was amazing.
And then I went you know this about me. And some of you know, I’ve talked about it on my podcast from time to time, I hiked half the Appalachian Trail and in one of my particular legs of hike I skipped a town cause I was on a roll. Like I flying through. And I ran out of food before I got to the next town.
And I, you know, there were some people that were hiking with me and they were on their way to the town, so they were low on food as well, which, you know, none of us were close to death. It wasn’t particularly terrible. And also it had been two and a half days since I’d eaten anything and I’m sitting there in the lean too, and they show up and I’m chilling.
Like it’s okay. Two and a half days I was nowhere near death. I probably still weighed over 190 pounds. So like but you know, we all sat down over a meal. They scraped together some hamburger helper and some rice and lentils. And truly to this day, that’s one of my top five meals ever. And it was [00:26:00] hamburger helper, like really, you know.
There is nothing special about it ever. And that was one of my top five meals in my entire life. And inside the context of the stories that you are sharing right now, Caitlin, it’s interesting to hear that contrast and that’s sort of becoming a theme in this conversation here. It’s interesting to hear that the contrast is itself.
Part of what makes the experience special. When you can’t talk to anyone, just being able to talk to somebody is such a huge value that it created several weeks of travel plans for you just because you could talk to them.
When you can talk to everybody now you start looking for a different level of value, right? You look for the contrast.
And one of my top five meals in my life is truly a chef’s table five star meal. And another of my top five meals in my [00:27:00] entire life was truly hamburger.
And it was the contrast that made it so.
Yeah, that makes sense. The proverb that came to mind as you were speaking was better, a small serving of vegetables with love than a fat and calf with hatred. This idea that it doesn’t really matter what you eat it’s who you’re sharing the food with. I would imagine that even if you were eating a thousand dollars dinner with people who you did not like or enjoy it still probably wouldn’t be in your top five meals.
It might be top five most memorable.
Memorable stores. Like as in, let’s never do that again.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Gonna spend that on a meal. It’s gonna be with someone I really enjoy.
Yeah, exactly. I like that.
Cool. Interesting contrast is becoming a theme of our conversation now.
Contrast for the sake of [00:28:00] clarity and appreciation, I think that makes sense.
Yeah. And contrast created your first feeling of home.
How does contrast continue to contribute to your feeling of home today?
I think being back for the last nine month. So when it was supposed to only be three I think having now the contrast of being on the road, of being on our own, of being just the five and now being back in our old house the contrast of our travels makes me appreciate in one location, getting to have consistent wifi with a consistent [00:29:00] backdrop for my videos.
It also makes me appreciate having family. So we’re going to dinner with Michael’s family tonight. We’re gonna do a barbecue. It was kind of a, Hey, do you wanna get together? Yeah, let’s do it. So we didn’t have to do months of planning to make sure that this date lined up. It was just, Hey, we happen to all be in the same space.
Would you like to go eat? Yeah, absolutely. Let’s do that and so we can throw it together and hang out. And I have talked about the fact like when you only get a certain amount of minutes with a person, you wanna, it’s like that feeling like every minute must count as opposed to when you’re like, we’ve got our lifetime.
We can afford to watch a B level movie and waste 90 minutes. Not a problem. So I think having the freedom for frivolity is an interesting experience that being home again. Allows us to enjoy the casual in a [00:30:00] way that we don’t when we’re on the road, we have to be in a location abroad at least three weeks before it becomes okay to do the mundane things, right?
So if we only have three days in a city, it is back to back sight seeing because we wanna take every Instagram photo and check every list off the bucket list item, off the bucket list before. We have to hit the road. But if we’re in a place for three weeks, now we have to go to the grocery store and we have to go to the bus stop and we have to do normal life.
So it takes us a long time to get to that place of the casual, the familiar, and here when we don’t have a sightseeing itinerary that we have to accomplish in a certain amount of time. We get to just relax and say, Hey, you know what sounds great. Taking a nap. You know what [00:31:00] sounds great? Like not doing anything important today.
I do like nap.
So yeah, I think there’s this that, yeah. Right? We share that. So the contrast of. Constant change, constant awareness, always being on and attentive versus now the luxury of autopilot, if that makes sense.
Of autopilot. Isn’t that cool? I don’t think luxury.
That’s because when I saw are in it before seven.
Right. I gotta tell you, you know, I’ve spent a lot of hours on the road over the last year and a half and autopilot is absolutely a luxury.
Well, in your case, it’s actual auto driving.
But yeah, you think about just from a hierarchical perspective, what needs to be in place for your brain to not pay attention to its surroundings, like the physiological needs are met, the psychological needs are met. You are fed and safe, and you’ve done this thing enough times.
That it is not requiring like prefrontal cortex decision making energy to navigate what you’re about to go through. Like how many of our ancestors ever got to experience that?
Fun. I love it. Yeah, I wonder if that’s a gift that you can give to community or maybe it’s a gift that is contributed to from community.
Well you need to feel safe. You need to be fed. Your psychological needs to be, needs to be taken care of. It’s almost like the luxury of autopilot is only available through community.
I’d buy that.
Otherwise it’s the curse of autopilot.
Interesting. So community is the only thing that allows you to achieve that state, even if you’re a loner. Right? Even if you, like, I’m thinking of my neighbor that I grew up with. He’s been single his whole life. Never interacted with our cul-de-sac. Went to work every day, came back, we never saw him. But even that level of [00:34:00] chosen solitude is only made possible by the fact that he had people to construct his house, people to maintain the roads, people to get the food, people to hire him at work.
People to pay him money so he buy the food so he could drive on the roads to get back home, right? So we’ve sublimated our community experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary, right? That the infrastructure that we’ve built as a society, we’ve, oh, this is an interesting idea. We’ve done so much of the community building that we no longer need faces associated.
With the benefits that used to come exclusively through a faced community. So we saw this a lot in Guatemala, we had a flat tire and this angel just appeared out of nowhere and helped us change the tire. And we tried to pay him and he said no, and he walked off. And we realized in Guatemala, you need faces, [00:35:00] you need human, actual people to come and rescue you because you do not have a phone number that dials a Triple A, that sends an anonymous human to come and do the work for you.
Like your network really is the determining factor of how well you’re able to live and you’re close enough to the survival line that like, if you don’t have that community, You are not going to experience a very good quality of life. Now, we have corporations. We have entities, we have Vaughns and Caltrans and our employers and Triple A.
We have entities that we are in community with, but the actual individuals are replaceable parts now, which is an interesting idea that it’s, we’ve built a machine that allows us to act like machines.
What a powerful statement. We’ve built a machine that allows us to act as machines. Is that what you were running away from?
When I say it like that, I think so. Like when I say I have this insatiable appetite for change, I think that’s what I’m revolting against, right? I don’t want. That I don’t want to be on autopilot. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and like, you know, I only have a handful of memories that actually stand out.
Most of what I did was the same routine, doing the same thing in the same place, in the same way with the same humans. Like, yeah, it’s that does scare me, I [00:37:00] think, to not pay attention to my own life.
I think that would scare me too. In fact, that might be also what I was running from.
Hmm. When were you running?
When I left Wall Street.
Yeah, I had a nice little Acme cloud of dust behind me when I took off the sound.
You run all the way out over the cliff and like we’re hanging in midair for a while.
And I looked back and I was like, oh, thank God. And then I started to fall.
And like all entrepreneurs, I built my parachute while I was falling.
Amen. It’s the only way to do it. You gotta jump off the cliff, otherwise it’s not gonna work.
The airplane will stay on the ground even if you build it in all of its details. Yeah, a hundred percent. So you were running away from your own machine experience?[00:38:00]
Absolutely. Without question. Yep. And I’ve talked about it that way. I’ve never actually used it as a, I’ve never said machine experience. I’ve said Wall Street to me was the antithesis of human.
Which is machine. And it’s interesting the way you look at it, the autopilot that we make possible becomes the antithesis of human, the faceless machining of our lives.
Makes us faceless.
Yeah. If everyone else is faceless, so am I.
Because we need to be seen in order to see ourselves
Contrast is in fact the theme of this episode apparently.
Apparently. So the machines can’t see us. So It’s like we’ve lost our ability to see ourselves, that the community, when I can see you and you [00:39:00] have a face and I’m looking, I can see myself reflected in your eyes. Now I have an identity, right? But by creating a society of faceless support, there’s no mirror left for me to see myself reflected.
And so I think that’s probably why we see. So much mental illness is we don’t have somebody to look us in the eyes and say, I see you. I know you. I appreciate you. Like, so yeah. I think your thesis, that community is what makes us human. I’m understanding it on a different level as a result of this conversation.
And I agree. Community, I actually had a really big argument with love, not shouting and screaming, but a really big argument with one of my closest friends, Dan, recently about exactly that [00:40:00] mental health. The mental health experience that we have in this country is made possible by a lack of community.
Oh. Fascinating mental health as a luxury right alongside our automated lifestyle, like autopilot and mental illness are the luxuries of,
Of automated community. Hmm. Whew.
I think that’s a mic drop moment, I think.
That does punctuate the conversation you and I have just had, doesn’t it?
Well then with that, I use three questions to end [00:41:00] all of my interviews.
The first is for anyone who’s been inspired by this conversation and can’t wait to reach out to you, what is the one best way for them to find you?
I probably send me an email, Caitlin, C-A-I-T-L-I-N, at EcstaticWay.com. Probably the easiest way to get ahold of me.
Amazing. Second question. This is my favorite curve ball of all time. I use it because it was used on me and I loved it. The question is if there was one question you wish I had asked you but have not, what would it be?
Oh wow. That is a curve ball.
Huh? You couldn’t like maybe give this to me beforehand. What is the question? What is my favorite color? That would’ve been a [00:42:00] nice, easy question for me to.
Are you telling me that your biggest interest coming out of this conversation would’ve been an easy question?
Huh, interesting. Oh, I wanna go back onto autopilot. Hmm. That is a very interesting way to interpret what I just threw at you. Dang it. Okay. I wished you had easy asked me an easier question. That’s fascinating.
That is fascinating.
You can’t accuse me of not listening.
You do. You listen exceptionally well. Okay. All right. Now I’m just gonna go and be convicted.[00:43:00]
Yeah. Caitlin, thank you for joining me.
Wait, what was the third question?
What’s your favorite color?
No kidding. Mine too.
See we found common ground. Salvage it.
We do that? Yeah. Do you have any parting words?
I think what I’m walking away with is how do I allow myself to be seen more fully, what does that entail on my part? Where am I contributing to the facelessness?[00:44:00]
That is a mic drop moment.
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Lucas is the host of Elements of Community. He is a community growth strategist and works with mega companies like The Pokemon Company to help build and foster community. This podcast is Lucas' way of giving back what he has learned about the magic of building and growing community.
Join Our Inner Circle
Like what you hear on the podcast? We have more secret recordings from every guest. We keep the microphone rolling after the podcast is done and get our guest to spill the beans on the best tactics for growing their communities profitably. You don't wanna miss this.