Chip Conley

Chip Conley is on a midlife mission. After disrupting the hospitality industry twice, first as the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second-largest operator of boutique hotels in the U.S., and then as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, leading a worldwide revolution in travel, Conley co-founded MEA (Modern Elder Academy) in January 2018 in Baja California, Mexico. Inspired by his experience of intergenerational mentoring as a ‘modern elder’ at Airbnb, where his guidance was instrumental to the company’s extraordinary transformation from fast-growing start-up to the world’s most valuable hospitality brand, MEA is the world's first ‘midlife wisdom school’ and has a campus opening on a 2,600-acre regenerative horse ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico in early 2024. Dedicated to reframing the concept of aging, MEA supports students to navigate midlife with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility. A New York Times bestselling author, Conley's 7th book "Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age" is about rebranding midlife to help people understand the upside of this often-misunderstood life stage and he was asked to give a 2023 TED talk on the “midlife chrysalis.”

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Chip Conley: Midlife: From Crisis to Chrysalis

Midlife has a bad reputation, often paired with the word “crisis” or seen as the “over the hill” phase of our journey. As the founder of the Modern Elder Academy (the worlds’ first midlife wisdom school), Chip Conley is changing this negative narrative to one that reclaims our middle years as a time of incredible regenerative possibilities. In this podcast, Tami Simon sits down with Chip to talk about his new book, Learning to Love Midlife, and how those of us amidst this phase can activate our capacities for renewal and “let our souls lead the dance.” 

Tune in for a very honest and hope-giving podcast on: The phoenix phenomenon; the anatomy of transition; the metaphor of the chrysalis; cultivating a growth mindset; the components of high “TQ” (or transitional IQ); creating space for something new; the great midlife edit; the dark night of the ego; radically shifting how you want to live your life; vulnerability and accepting help; “dancing backwards in high heels”; developing a friendship with your body; letting go—but also welcoming in; the alchemy of curiosity and wisdom; goosebumps as a sign you’re on the right path; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Chip Conley: A Modern Elder at Work

Chip Conley is an entrepreneur and the New York Times bestselling author of Peak and Wisdom at Work. He will present during Sounds True’s upcoming Inner MBA program, a nine-month training program for bringing your full, authentic self to your workplace and career. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Chip about socially responsible entrepreneurship and the movement toward making workplaces into spiritually fulfilling spaces. They talk about the modern business obsession with short-term profit and why this attitude does damage to both our culture and environment. Chip and Tami also consider what it is to pursue meaning rather than profit, as well as how to create “collective effervescence” within a work culture. Finally, Chip explains his lifelong habit of journaling each week’s accomplishments and tells the story of the biggest risk he’s ever taken.  (73 minutes)

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Ep 5 Bonus: Breathing Through

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 4: There is No Future if We Go Numb and Episode 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing, deeper into your life. 

Both of these episodes are about the second phase in the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, Honoring Our Pain for the World. This bonus is a recording of Joanna leading a meditation called Breathing Through, recorded at a retreat in 2006. In it, she’ll guide you to create space to acknowledge and honor the pain for the world that you carry without numbing or getting overwhelmed. All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is a place where you can close your eyes and relax.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

Ep 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing

Now we get to what may be the toughest part of reckoning with our planet’s situation: dealing with numbness, grief, and despair. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the many crises around us, and natural to want to numb ourselves to the pain. 

Joanna and Jess speak with great vulnerability and candor about what it takes to navigate our darkest feelings—and the strength and beauty that can be found when we honor our pain. 

Trigger Warning: In this episode, we discuss suicide.

In this episode:

  • When it feels like our pain could swallow us whole, it helps to remember that all feelings come and go
  • Desperation can take us to dark places, but we are more than our despair
  • Numbness—Jess opens up about her familiar tactic for escaping pain
  • Our pain becomes sacred when we allow it to deepen our connection with the world
  • Bonus Exercise: Breathing Through

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 4 Bonus: Breathing Through

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 4: There is No Future if We Go Numb deeper into your life. 

This bonus is a recording of Joanna leading a meditation called Breathing Through, recorded at a retreat in 2006. In it, she’ll guide you to create space to acknowledge and honor the pain for the world that you carry without numbing or getting overwhelmed. All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is a place where you can close your eyes and relax.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

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