When it comes down to it, I moved to the Pacific Northwest for two things: the people and the nature. I’m lucky that my new-ish hometown places me close to lots of my favorite West Coast peeps, two of whom are Pace Smith and her wife, Kyeli.
Just a few days ago, Pace debuted her brand new, beautiful website (designed skillfully by Margie Merkevicius). Since I’m now on the West Coast, Pace invited me to take the photos for the site, and I got to head down to Portland a couple months ago for a day of photography fabulousness and laughter with Pace and Kyeli (who shares my name, if not its spelling).
I asked Pace if I might share some of the photos we took together here, as well as an interview, because I admire her philosophy and wanted to share a bit more of her wisdom with all of you. I hope you enjoy her words just as much as I do.
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Pace, tell us about you!
I’m a geek! I used to be all up in my head, and now I lead with my heart . . . but I still get to be a geek. (; I love to play Dance Dance Revolution, and I’ve recently acquired the odd hobby of carrying my friends. Like, literally picking them up off the ground. (Kylie’s note: She’s not kidding; here’s evidence!)
I know your work is incredibly meaningful to you. What makes this work so important, both to you and other people?
My work is Pathfinding – finding your heart’s calling. It’s deeply meaningful to me because when I’m on my path, I feel fulfilled and purposeful, like I’m making a difference, regardless of whether I’m reaching thousands of people or simply acting kindly toward one person I meet on the street. And that’s also why it’s so important to me to share this work with others. I know how much it’s meant to me to find my own path. Now I want to help others feel the same way.
What were you doing before you started down your current life/career path?
Ha! I was a computer programmer working for an artificial intelligence company. I fell in love with the dream of truly intelligent artificial intelligence. I wanted to be part of changing the world. But now I feel that it’s more important to change the world by bringing more heart into it than by solving brainy problems.
How has your life changed since you’ve started doing this work?
I’m more compassionate. I’m more open. I feel more complete – I used to have this “Is this as good as it gets?” feeling every once in a while, and that’s gone now. I cry more — but it feels pure because I don’t resist it. And my life has gotten WAY more interesting.
Do you have a favorite practice that brings you back to yourself when you start feeling lost? If so, what is it?
It’s called Remembrance. It’s a practice I learned from the Sufis that helps me center myself in my heart whenever I feel jankety or stressed out.
What is your absolute, hands-down favorite resource that you like to recommend to your clients and students?
The Wisdom of the Enneagram, by Riso and Hudson. I’m a total Enneagram fangirl; it’s such an amazing tool for self-knowledge and personal growth. I send a copy of this book to all my Pathfinding clients before we start working together!
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Pace, thank you so much for sharing your story and your gorgeous, smiling face. To find out more about Pace and her life-changing work, visit her at PaceSmith.com.