radical art/work: meet filmmaker-storyteller-coach Cara Jones

Welcome back to our radical art/work series, in which we feature an artist-activist who's crafting a stellar project you should really know about, someone whose labor of love gives me hope in humanity at a time when we are needing art and artists more than ever. 

I've been itching to feature this rad creator for some time now, and am so glad you get to meet her.

Remember, we're talking:
Radical: as in rad, fab; really cool shit, dude; as in strike at the root, rebuild, recreate, revolutionize, baby

Art: as in artist, activist, visionary; as in grassroots source of creativity, inspiration, service; as in maker of beautiful thoughtful intelligent things; as in one who is not afraid to get her hands dirty or raise hell

Work: as in soul work, as in labor that does not suck, as in the kind of holy inspiration that keeps you up late at night and wakes you again at 3am burning with ideas; as in, the opposite of Marx's late-capitalist notion of alienated labor; as in, I f*cking love my job
(More on that here.)

This week, meet filmmaker-storyteller-coach Cara Jones.

I've been thinking so often lately about the stories we choose to tell our children. In particular, the soul-stories we present as the heart of faith, of service, of love, of God; of what it means to live meaningfully in the world.

Cara's work speaks to the heart of that challenge: learning to reconcile the stories we heard as children with the free-thinking adults we have become. Do yourselves a favor and follow her work. You'll be so glad you did.

What's your medium?
Film and writing 

What's your latest project?
Second Coming the Documentary: a film about my journey growing up in and leaving the Unification Church (aka “Moonies”), a religion known for arranged marriages and mass weddings. 

Who's your target audience?
Anyone who struggles with finding their own path different from the family or culture they were raised in. 

Three key words that shape your art/work:

Who or what introduced you to this medium?
I spent 8 years as a television news reporter until the day came I couldn’t do it anymore. More here. I now run a small film company and personal story coaching business working in various mediums. 

Where do you live and how does your home town/region affect your art work?
San Francisco….a city once described as one of the few left with magic still inside it. I feel more alive and supported for who I am here than anywhere else I’ve lived.

Public or private school education?
Public with some years of Catholic School where I played the Virgin Mary in the school Christmas pageant despite being the only “Moonie” kid in my class. 

Do you have any kind of spiritual practice? What does it look like?
I’m a new mom and carving out time for spiritual practice is its own kind of act of God, but 7 is my lucky number and so I try to get 7 minutes of meditation in each day: just long enough to feel my butt on a cushion and a few breaths moving through my body…and just short enough that I can’t justify not doing it. I also try to get in similarly small daily doses of writing in my journal and yoga… even if it's with a baby crawling under my back bends. 

Three books that changed your life:
The Untethered Soul: I bought this book more than a year ago and am still making my way through it because its so deep I can only read a few pages at a time.
The Alchemist: because we each have a personal legend and “no heart ever suffers when it goes in search of its dreams."
The One I’ve Been Working On Forever: that is my own memoir I’m not sure if I will ever publish it but the writing has provided healing and illumination. 

Three artists you admire:
Maya Angelou: “Still I Rise” and the life she lived to write it and so much more
Cheryl Strayed: I got to retreat with her and she’s the real truth-telling deal
My mom: 74 and still drawing in her planner 

Three causes you're passionate about:
Empowering women’s voices
Inspiring and informing via the art of storytelling
Using the ugliness of our times to evolve personally and collectively  

Three teachers who taught you something important:
Mr. McCann: my high school English teacher who once invited the class to stand up and clap after a piece of my writing. Whenever I doubt myself, I still try to hear it.
Bepok: these are the first letters of all the men who have broken my heart. Without them I never would have healed what I needed to in myself and have the family I’m so grateful for today.
My 1 year old: every day teaching presence, patience, and how to handle more challenges and beauty than my body and heart every imagined possible. 

Virginia Woolf famously said a woman writer needs a room of her own. What do you need to create your art? Any non-negotiables?
An internet connection so slow I don’t bother trying to distract myself online. I purposely set up my office this way. 

One thing that pisses you off:
Desensitization in the world and myself. 

Shittiest job you've ever had:
Selling wind chimes in strip malls for my church. 

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
You are both special and ordinary. Know this for yourself and don’t waste time waiting for others to remind you. 

Secret pop culture crush:
Elisabeth Moss from Handmaid’s Tale, disturbingly captivating series with a badass female lead 

Biggest challenge of your art/work?
Telling my truth knowing that it could unintentionally hurt my parents. 

In five years, what does your art/work look like?
I can only hope that my story is still evolving with me…and that I am using what I’ve learned to empower other women to get their stories and voices out in the world. 

Website and social media links where we can follow you and learn more about your art/work?




Friends: Cara is the real deal. She has so much to offer. She's the kind of woman who daily inspires me to be more, create more. You can read more about her fascinating story in her essay from The Washington Post.

On that note: who else do you know and love doing radical art/work out there? Send them my way at rachel@rachelmeyeryoga.com. I've got a long, diverse list of radical artist-activists lined up for this feature (who are currently hard at work scribbling out their answers as I write), and can't wait to get them in your face. 

But I know there are more.

So let's lift up the good being done right now in the world. It so often gets lost in the chaos of the day-to-day.



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