Practicing Wonder with Jeffrey Davis: Spotlight Q&A
1. Please share what you do in 10-15 words:
I help people expand their impact with integrity and with doses of wonder.
2. Why do you do what you do?
It’s profoundly rewarding to witness people respond to their current life’s purpose with agency and humility, openness and wonder.
3. What are you currently fascinated by in your work?
I’m tracking the social dimensions of how we experience wonder — how wonder momentarily or long-term dissolves our biases and opens us up to one another, whether in our families, workplaces, or among strangers.
4. How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?
I have come to this path by virtue of first following poets & philosophers and then dedicating myself to Zen practice and then the integrated teachers of my principal teacher Sri TKV Desikachar.
One aha moment was when I was studying yoga in South India with my teacher. During afternoon break I would go to a nearby burfi (Indian candy) shop where a young man who worked there would always pull me up a chair, give me chai, and ask me questions … even though he did not speak clear English. When he asked what I was doing in his neighborhood, I tried to explain to him what yoga was. Finally, he nodded and said, “Ah! The art of living!” That statement reflected back what I have pursued much of my life and what my teachings in tracking wonder and even in the branding world are all about.
5. What book(s) did you like reading this year?
This year I enjoyed reading: Radical Dharma by Angel Kyodo Williams; A Life of One’s Own by Marion Milner; Upstream by Mary Oliver; Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung Kim-Pang; The Art of Wasting Time by Alan Lightman; The Energy of Prayer: How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh.
6. If you’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat before, what is one surprising thing about the experience for you?
I’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat for 11 or so years, and I’m still surprised every year by how I instantly feel at home the moment I step off the boat and into the ashram gardens.
Jeffrey Davis is a creativity expert, writer, and speaker. A branding and creativity consultant, he is the founder of Tracking Wonder Consultancy and hosts the Tracking Wonder podcast. With his team, he guides mission-centered organizations to flourish and artistically adapt to times of challenge and change.
Author of The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices As Muse for Authentic Writing, Jeffrey writes online columns for Psychology Today and the Creativity Post. Jeffrey is also the author of Tracking Wonder: The Surprising Path to Deep Purpose, Creative Fulfillment, & Effortless Mastery (forthcoming 2021, Sounds True). A student of spirituality, he completed his yoga teacher trainings within two yogic traditions and was a student of Sri TKV Desikachar of Chennai, India.