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HANA BUTLER

Q. What advice would you give a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

1. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

2. Say “yes” to things that most scare you. If it makes your knees shake, it is probably the right choice. Choosing what is comfortable will not inspire change or growth.

3. You are not a unicorn; life doesn’t just consist of magic, sparkly poop. Your shit really does stink and you need to work hard for what you want.

4. Engage with the world in the way you want the world to engage with you. “Let the beauty you love, be what you do.” – Rumi

5. It really is all about relationships: be genuine, authentic and always work on compassion for you, others and the world. Love is truly all that matters, but you can only love others as much as you love yourself, so embrace all the clichés you know about this and “trust the process.”


Q. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: what questions do you ask yourself?)

“Get up and out!” Especially after having my son, this has been an important mantra when I feel stuck or uninspired. I have always found energy, creativity, joy and inspiration from nature and even when the weather is not the best, it is crucial to just “get up and out of it.” The “it” being many things: the clouds, the funk, the boredom of the mundane or the laundry. Put on the boots, put my son in the backpack (free weight training), a collar on my dog and get outside. The movement of my body helps bring peace to my mind and sharing the wonders of the world with my son can reset my negative mindset any day.


Q. In the next 5 to 10 years, what area(s) of your life do you most desire to grow and improve in? By growing in this area, how would this possibly effect your life and those around you?

Navigating the world of balancing a career, marriage and raising tiny humans is the work of my life right now. I have been spending time re-defining the word “freedom” and what it looks like in this every day, mundane life of raising a family, getting food on the table, money in the bank, teeth brushed and everyone where they need to be. This looks so different than my idea of freedom in my twenties that was more about what is the next trip or place to go and very much all about ME! My husband and I refer to the next 5-10 years as our “empire building” years. We have a house to design and build, 20 acres to maintain and cultivate, a wild little boy to cuddle, love and guide, our marriage to nurture, adventures to plan and experience and our careers to encourage and support. For me, it is not so much about saying “yes” to everything anymore, but a living in a mindful way of engaging with the mundane elements of this messy, wild, beautiful daily life and working on presence, gratitude and knowing freedom is breathing in and breathing out with eyes wide open.


Q. In a different world, let’s say in a parallel universe, what would your alternative career be? Why?

I have so many of these it’s hard to choose just one. I would be a professional surfer, a travel and adventure writer, Grand Canyon river guide, children’s book author, yoga teacher and wellness coach. Of course, all of these are still options and I expect to be living/surfing in Hawaii in the winters, rafting the Grand Canyon in the summer while spending shoulder seasons traveling the world writing children’s books and adventure stories all while doing yoga in the next 10 years. Look for my best-sellers any day now…

Oh yes, in a different world, I’m really a mermaid.