Inspire Friday Issue No. 26

The birthplace of jazz, jumpstarting your meditation practice, ice balls in Finland, diversity in the outdoors, and more…

New Orleans and the birthplace of jazz. This week we journey to New Orleans with Aloe Blacc, star of America’s Musical Journey, to get a closer look at the rich musical history of this great city. Film director Greg MacGillivray and composer Steve Wood share how musical greats like Louis Armstrong captured the spirit of the city and why music brings us together. Watch here.

Breathe in, breathe out. As the new year gets underway, one way to feel calmer, clearer, more content, might be to take up meditation. The friendly 8-part docu-series Headspace Guide To Meditation on Netflix will help you get started, offering up techniques and guided meditations to jumpstart your practice and an overview of all the benefits. At 20-minutes per episode, it’s an easy introduction. You owe it to yourself. Watch trailer here.

Rare sighting: ice balls in Finland. Amateur photographer Risto Mattila was walking on a beach in Finland when he stumbled across a rare sight: tens of thousands of ice balls covering the shoreline. Apparently this phenomenon occurs when ice pieces are struck repeatedly by rough waters and cold winds. Another example of nature in all her mysterious glory. Read more.

Supporting diversity in the outdoors. People of color often go unrecognized in the outdoor world, and there is a growing movement to change that. Online publication Field Mag put together a list of 101 Instagram accounts you should follow as a way to celebrate diversity in the outdoors and support some amazing people doing cool things in nature.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself putting on your own hiking shoes and heading out the front door. Read more.

Be a better you in 2021. If you are looking for ways to be a more productive version of yourself in 2021, here’s a list of 7 podcasts that will help keep you motivated to crush all your goals all year long. There’s something here for everyone, whether your a seasoned business person looking for new inspiration or an entrepreneur working on your first startup. Go for it. Read more.


Every week, MFF president Shaun MacGillivray shares what is inspiring him now, his favorite book recommendations, podcasts, articles, short films, docs, quotes, trends, innovative companies, people, and entrepreneurial stories.

Revelation in the Outback. “I absolutely loved this book. Mutant Message Down Under tells the story of one American woman’s experience while on a four-month walkabout with Aboriginals in the Outback and how it changed everything for her. It is spiritual, and you get a profound sense of our connection to nature and something larger than ourselves.” Available here.

The business of beer. “The tale of how the beer company Samuel Adams got started is another fantastic entrepreneur story. The ups and downs, what founder Jim Koch learned over time, and his perseverance to make things happen. He also tells his personal story in a funny, light-hearted way. Lots of great lessons here.” Available here.

And for further inspiring reading recommendations…
Visit Shaun’s “Never Stop Learning” reading list.

Celebrities in Ecuador. “In 1966, when Jim Freeman and I began our production of Free and Easy, our first adventure was a six-month trip to South America, where surfing was relatively new (or completely unknown), depending on where you were. In Peru, as well as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there were already some surfers, but fewer than a hundred. In most locations in the seven countries we visited, no one had ever seen a surfboard before. We were the strange outsiders in these coastal towns. In Ecuador, the locals were so excited that they invited us for an interview on their local radio station. Here, we posed for a photo (left to right: Mark Martinson, Jim Freeman, the radio station DJ, myself, and Dale Struble). Dale spoke Spanish well, but the other three of us spoke only haltingly. The show was definitely a mixture of English and Spanish. And probably a lot of laughter. At the time, Jim and I were serious college students who had dropped out of school for a year to make this film. I think it was clear though, after the nine months we spent shooting it, that we had learned far more on our adventures than we would have on campus.” – Greg MacGillivray

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