Dorothy West, 61, at her home

Throughout this interview, you will likely notice a number of longer-than-usual pauses between questions. And that is because I am processing what Dorothy just said. I don't know that I've ever had so many revelatory moments in a single conversation before. Casey recommended Dorothy to me and she promptly and happily accepted and invited me into her home. We got into real talk right away and, after quite some time, I had to insist that we do the interview for fear that Dorothy might have to repeat herself for the interview. And then after the interview, we dove right back into it. I probably should have just left the recorder on because I found much of our continued conversation to be profound. Dorothy gifted me with her wonderfully unique and refreshing perspective and I will do my absolute best to keep a firm hold on her words of encouragement. She is a life coach... should you be looking for one.

Who are you and how would you describe yourself?

I am a conscious creator. I was not always; I grew up on the cultural prescription for what life is supposed to look like. And, luckily, about midway through an average lifetime, I recognized that that was an illusion and that I could and do create my own reality. That changed everything from even the way I'm answering your question; it changed everything. So, there's the personal responsibility of knowing I create my own reality and the liberation - knowing that I can state my own purpose and attend to it and not be attached to anything that's not. Beyond that, I mean, I can tell you the roles - I fill lots of roles. But who am I? I'm a conscious creator. 

What matters to you?

The highest possible frequency that we can move through day to day - that's what matters to me. I think people are our big, untapped resource. I think that relationships provide our evolution. And when we walk by each other without recognizing that, it's a big waste. That when two or more of us talk about something other than appearances, we start to tap into the potential of raising the frequency and living as all that we are as opposed to this teeny tiny percentage of that. So, people matter most to me. I think when we explore the value in our relationships and in our potential, everything else gets handled. When we're looking at each other as valuable and all the potential of contribution, stuff like our relationship with the planet, our relationship with the future - all that gets handled. Once I know you, I don't want to hurt you. Once I know who you are and what your gifts are, I just want to support you. 

What does community mean to you?

Community, to me, means that we're actually intentionally living together. So that what's good for you is good for me is good for everybody. I actually moved across the country to have that - to participate in an intentional community. It takes the focus off personal benefit and puts it on relationships, on supporting each other, and not being so isolated. 

What concerns you?

I don't focus a lot of my attention on what I don't like, so I can answer the question by looking at where I think I could have impact. Big impact, for me, is an evolution of the education system. Where the message is delivered early that we're unique, powerful creators with contribution to make. Not pegs that need to try and fit into predrilled holes. Along those same lines, art of all kinds - personal expression and art of all kinds - as much as possible for as much of the day as possible for every child everywhere. I don't really care if it's sidewalk chalk or something structured in a classroom, but that personal expression that's an art form being introduced early with a lot of plentiful time and resources and space. I think a lot of the resistance that we find is our resistance to being prescribed the expectation that we're gonna show up a particular way. I think that's what we're resisting - globally, that's what we're resisting. And I think if we just open that up and give everybody space to express who they really are, it would take care of most of the resistance that we're finding. When we feel seen and appreciated, it makes it easier for us to love and care for others. So, yeah, give a kid a crayon. (Laughs) When you ask a little kid what they think about something... I think more of that; asking everybody what they think and what they see instead of delivering a message that there's an expectation that's outside of you for you to fulfill. And that's across the board - that's all of us. But certainly I see the biggest potential of talking to children that way - like that they have great wisdom inside and we want to know what that is. 

Social injustices have a central theme of inequality. What's going to be the thing to bring people together to focus on the root of that problem instead of working on the many forms it takes? And what's your role in that?

I love the question! Okay, my first answer is that if we talk more about what we want and less about what we don't want, we find more commonality. It becomes more broad and, at the same time, more specific; it's for everyone and it's the same thing. So, I think the first thing is to stop fighting something and be for something. I don't know if that's enough of an answer to the part of your question, but I'm happy to circle back if it isn't. What's mine to do is to refuse to give my focus or my attention or anything of mine to anything I don't want. So, I will not participate in anything that's a fight against something. But I'm happy to participate in something that's for what I want. The other piece of that is as long as we name an enemy, we're continuing to create a right and wrong polarity - us and them. To think that there is someone who's not effected by the suffering of someone else - that's an illusion. If there is suffering, we are all effected. So, you might get out of your lifetime believing that you weren't effected, but you were. And certainly anybody you left behind will continue to be effected. You know, I had a great conversation with one my - I have three amazing, brilliant sisters and one of them - we were having this conversation about what does it mean to be born a white woman in the '50s? There is an inherent privilege to that. And what are we gonna do with that? And she and I talk about that often - about how do you leverage that kind of privilege that was unearned, certainly, in this lifetime. And I think that's a big piece of it. I think that it's easy for us to talk about what we don't have or we don't have yet and marginalize our rank - whatever that is; somewhere in your life, every one of us, somewhere there's rank - and if you can own it and take responsibility and leverage your rank for the benefit of everyone, most of that crap goes away. Sorry, that makes me feel a little emotional. 

[Post interview, I brought up the use of this word privilege. I've come to develop a seemingly unpopular perspective on this word, which I will share with you. Hopefully I can put the words to it to accurately explain what I mean. I see the word privilege as meaning an extra benefit or a surplus or a more than. The "white male" is often the target this word gets thrown at. 'White males are privileged.' When I hear that, it doesn't resonate with me because it seems to me that white males are getting the treatment that everyone else deserves. And I don't see it as a privilege to get the baseline. So, in talking about it in that way, we are actually doing a disservice to everyone who doesn't get the same, basic, deserved-by-all treatment. I don't think anyone is advocating for taking things away from white males. It seems to me that people are just wanting the same treatment. Equality. Equity. Fairness. So, we will be better served and will more quickly correct the situation if we start righting the wrongs of mistreatment and disadvantages. Dorothy's use of the word "rank" made a lot of sense to me. One's rank varies. And we can and should use our rank responsibly.]

Do you have a sense of purpose?

I do! (Laughs) My purpose is to raise the frequency on the planet. And sometimes that's easy as a smile and sometimes that's tearing my heart out to get the words just right in something I'm gonna put out. And sometimes it's speaking when it feels a little risky. But that's my purpose - to raise the frequency. It's to share with every person I come across that you are a creator. You have value in you to express. And if you take your focus off of money for just 24 hours, you get in touch with it faster (laughs). 

Where does your motivation come from? 

I'm liberated from the belief that I'm just a human being. I believe I'm a spiritual being having a physical experience. That's not original (laughs). And I'm cognizant of that. So, I don't want to waste any of my lifetime. And by waste, I mean if I've got repetitive thoughts - that tape running in my head - that feels like a waste to me. So, I want to be on to something new; I want a new experience; I want to have a lot to take with me when I leave this lifetime: fun, relationships and experiences, an hopefully positive impact. But, the driver for me to jump out of bed is the unknown joy that's gonna unfold in my day. 

What do you want more of in your life?

I want more... more people. More collaborations. More waking up. More ice cream (laughs). Like, meeting you today is... that's to me... you just blew up my life, blew up my world. Meeting you has that much impact for me; that much joy. 

Do you have anything else you'd like to put out there?

Yeah, you know what's coming to me to say is it is our expectations that limit us. If you think you know what your next week is gonna look like, you've pretty much eliminated the surprises; you've eliminated the magic. And you've set yourself up to be disappointed. So, I could say that to watch that your expectations are pretty much setting up what's gonna happen next. And if you could relax your grip on your expectations, you'd be opening up space for more magic and more opportunities and more fulfillment.