Avary Kent

Avary is a purpose driven person who believes that, "your time should be going towards resolving something." As a child, Avery's mom used to always say, "if you're looking forward to retirement, you're doing the wrong job." Growing up, her mother was a pastor and left the church to work with a nonprofit during the AIDS epidemic in the 80s. This was a hugely formative experience for Avary as it demonstrated to her how precious life is.

Avary developed the belief that, "it's a waste of time to follow other people's scripts for what your life should be - you write your own script for what is meaningful to you based on what will make you happy and what will make you come alive." This has dictated much of Avary's life and career, describing both of these facets of her journeys as non-traditional. Her family consists of her and her husband, and their best friend David. The three of them co-parent her daughter together.

"I thought I was gonna cure AIDS, that was my total focus, I was one of those kids who was like the most single minded single track. I rushed through school because I assumed I had another seven years of school for PhD and I was going to be in school forever. Then I had the realization that being a scientist was not actually the right work for me and I was very lost. Fortunately, I was working for the university at the time so I was able to audit a socially responsible business class. And that's when like it was like, oh, this is how you change the world."

The questions that drive Ezra's work are: how does transformation happen and what are the experiential conditions that drive meaningful and impactful transformation. Ezra believes that in order to understand these nuances of transformation he must first unpack why some rituals are better than other. This is why Ezra creates.

When Ezra has an interaction with another person he wants them to feel seen and heard. "A lot of people hear but they don't really listen and so I try to be fully present in a conversation and hope that people feel seen and heard, with empathy and curiosity."

An experience that Ezra hopes to redesign on Talk Social is a birthday celebration. Virtual birthdays since the beginning of the pandemic have been "excruciating" so he would love to make them a more positive and enjoyable experience.

"I've been on a very complex and interesting spiritual journey. That's the primary locus of where I've explored that question 'why' and also explored the kinds of experiences that push you to your edges. I find that's where the interesting stuff happens - the edges."

Check out Ezra's work at ritualist.life.