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EP33: Exploring Emotional Landscapes: Chris Gaither on Intimacy and Environmental Action

“We talk about artificial intelligence all the time, right? What about natural intelligence, that intelligence that's in us when we slow ourselves down and allow ourselves to pay attention to that wisdom that we're carrying around all the time.”

- Chris Gaither

One of the foundational ideas behind this podcast is that intimacy has an infinite set of facets. It can be experienced in so many ways. And each of them carries a form of native intelligence, which we often need to slow ourselves down to recognize.  

My guest this week, Chris Gaither, offered one of the most expansive explorations of intimacy yet. Chris shares about his experiences through multiple filters. He’s an environmentalist, a divorcee, a father, a coach, and an organizational leader, among many other hats he wears. 

One of the biggest truths that Chris speaks of is how we tend to live in a mode of extraction–trying to get what we can from the resources around us, both in nature and the relationships in our lives. This deep theme about human need and the often harmful ways we go about meeting it, sits at the heart of Chris’s explorations of how to be regenerative, rather than extractive. It’s a lesson that we can all look at, hopefully with the same grace and willingness that Chris shows.   


On the Illusions We Hold About Separateness:
"The way that I think about intimacy is that it is what happens when we start to let the illusion of separateness disappear."

On the Planetary Call for Intimacy:
"So the more that we practice intimacy, the more we recognize how tied together we all are, how we're all in this together. And the more we feel that, then the more called we feel to take action and to actually help the health of the planet, because you can't separate the health of each one of us from the health of the environment that we're in."

On Divorce and Forgiveness:
"If my dad was the villain in that story, which he was for a long time, does that mean that I'm the villain now? And it gave me tremendous compassion for my father over time, to start to realize that everything is more complicated than it looks like from the outside. My marriage was. Everything is more complicated from the outside. And I think that's a big part of what intimacy is. It's wading into the depths of something and recognizing how rich it is."

Connect with Chris: 

Regenerous (his company):

More About Chris: 

Chris Gaither is an executive coach and public speaker. As co-founder of Regenerous, he helps corporate environmental sustainability leaders drive wide-scale change and replenish their energy to do the work the Earth so desperately needs. To all his work, Chris brings his fierce love for planetary healing, his storytelling expertise, and his leadership experience on Apple’s Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives team.  He is a member of the Climate Coaching Alliance, the Humanitarian Coaching Network, and the Forbes Coaches Council.He lives with his wife and teenage son in Berkeley, California, where he proudly serves on the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s board of directors.

Question for Listeners:

Who is one person that you can think of right now who might find this episode helpful? Go ahead… send them a link. You might just strike up a new and meaningful conversation with them while you’re at it!  


The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.

Editing & Production Services by JRS Young (my son).

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