MYX Waves

For those who have asked for the rest of the waves.

MYX WAVES

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At MYX, our Waves are the North Star that guide us toward building an inclusive co-living and learning community. It is an essential tool that provides clear expectations of how our community make decisions, treat, and show up for each other. 

Inspired by our values, our MYX Waves inform our practices, bringing them to life through our actions, holding us accountable. 

COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
We leave people and places better than when we found them

WINDOWS INTO MIRRORS
What you have never seen before can tell you a lot about yourself, if you let it

PLAY IN THE SANDBOX
Play like you are in the ultimate sandbox, but don’t throw sand

BE HERE NOW
This exact moment will never happen again – Ichigo Ichie

LIVE THE QUESTION
The question is the quest which may never end

ME AND WE
Personal development coupled with collective impact will change the world, we are all connected

DKDK ZONE
Be receptive and embrace what you don’t even know you don’t even know

AUTHOR OF LIFE
Your life is the only story where you are both the main character and the creator. Write it! Live it! 

GET LOST
Great explorers know that “getting lost” is the necessary precursor to “being found” 

Disorientation Speech

Opening speech to the MYX students. Recording to remember it.

I call it the disorientation speech, as at MYX we have issue with the term “orientation.” We generally have issues with any terms that imply a “way” or education being “done to students” instead of them owning it. At MYX we disorient students. We challenge them and allow them to “get lost” to then be found.

Opening speech, Fall Miami 01
It is with incredible pride that I welcome you, the inaugural class of MYX, the pioneers who will help define what education means and what it will look like for generations to come. 

Now let me tell you a true story of 22 strangers picked to live in a house, learn together, play together with the goal of finding their purpose and the skills to make that purpose come to life. 

At first glance these strangers have nothing in common. They are from all different backgrounds, they are at different places in their lives, some have extensively traveled, and some have never been away from their hometown, but yet they all find themselves here.

However, these strangers will soon learn that they have something very much in common, an inner drive to want more and ask for more from life. They recognize that their backyard is not the only backyard and are here to find something. That something may be a friend, a job, or even an unknown desire yet realized. But they are all here to grow and become a better self. That is a powerful common trait. 

Back in the day, when college commenced, you would be paraded into the auditorium of the university. Famously, they would say “see the person to your right, see your person to your left.” The odds is one of you will not be here at the end. One of you will not make it. This was said with pride. A “brag” if you will. And they were right. That is a factually correct statement. 30% of the students will not be there after the first semester even.

I have a very different message for you today.

 Look to your right and look to your left, all of these people are integral to your success. They are not your competition. You aren’t even taking the same coursework. You aren’t even both “freshman.” No, these people are your tribe, these people are going to be part of your success. They not only will be here at the end, they are critical to you getting there. And their  role ten years from now you can’t even imagine. They can be potentially your first clients, investors, or even better your future best mate at your wedding. 

You can now sit taller. As know this, you never walk alone, you have each other. 

While you are in “school” and will get the credentials to launch what is next for you, I encourage you to spend equally the same time on your studies as these people. They matter.

I don’t just say this as a sweet thing to say, but I say this as a researcher. The largest return on investment of higher education is network and the experience. Education gives access to people you would never meet. It allows you to build networks based on a mutual shared experience. They are powerful networks.

And each of these people right here, represent hundreds of others. Everyone here today didn’t just pop out of the sky, but are the result of other people, places and thoughts. Learn their stories and in them you will find yours.

I want to end with this…

At MYX you will see this motion (hand wave motion) often. It refers to a wave. It is our way to show agreement, but its origin is deeper. At MYX we study how people learn and perform best to make an educational experience that is truly holistic. We are not the only ones deep in this research. Our bed fellows include the US military, Google Innovation labs, and thousands of other researchers who have discovered a state called “flow” that has become the nirvana of brain waves. Many seek to get into this state. Team Six is able to operate as one due to entering a state of flow, where their individual existence is one with their fellow warriors. It allows them to work as one and accomplish things we can’t imagine without even uttering a word. And at Google it allows them to think and work together creatively to invent the tools of tomorrow.

At MYX we seek for flow and have created what we call waves to create such a state for you to flourish. During disorientation you will learn each one, but I will start introducing just one tonight. 

BE HERE NOW.  This exact moment will never repeat. This moment may be one of anxiety, fear, as you embark on a new journey, but live it. Embrace it. Be HERE NOW. THis is an opportunity of a lifetime. Own it. Lean in. Feel it. 

You are part of something bigger than yourself. You are the pioneers in creating a model of education that can give people like yourself purpose and choice. Let’s do this class of Fall 2021!

End of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it. 

Can you believe what is happening in this world?

What will happen to our children?

I get the rallying cries.

Afghanistan. Syria. The bifurcation. The right/ the lefts. The Sunnis/ the Shiites. There is so much fucked up shit going on. 

How am I? Fine.

The world is not ending. This rally is not new. Ageless actually. There is not a day that someone does not declare that it’s the end of the world as we know it.

But LOOK what is happening now?  Some may reply.

Yep. That is happening and it will happen over and over again. And for some events this may be the first time we have been able to see it so instantaneously. This is new. The power of social media, video, allows us to see the horrors that otherwise would go unwatched. Gone unnoticed by anyone but the victims. And while hard to watch…maybe like me it needs to be seen to be learned. Or rather written to be read. Recorded to remember.

It has to be learned.

And I see evidence of that. The world is learning…slowly.

While the “end” narrative is not new, the characters are different and it is much less dark. There is change.

The world is in the best place it has ever been (with the exception of the environment, but this is a newer lesson of the lessons on repeat). The world is absolutely safer. The world is the most peaceful it has ever been. People are living longer than ever. And there are cures happening faster. Sure the opportunity of this better world is not evenly distributed, but for a second indulge me in a bit of perspective. 

War is overall down, WAY down.

And from my biased perspective I believe the worst event to happen to a person where your world truly does end is the loss of a child. Less of that happening too.

Overall the world is improving. We are learning from our mistakes. One can question the speed. And for this girl who only knows one speed, FAST, it is PAINFUL. Why it takes us centuries to learn the same lessons?  Not sure, but I can say this. It’s getting BETTER.

So in the wise words of REM.

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Take a breath. Look at the bigger picture and FEEL FINE.

Tonight I sleep

I made a pact. A deal. It was a serious one. 

And today I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve done my part and God you’ve done yours. 

You saved my child and I will save the rest.

That was the deal. And today I started that work. I started a school with that mission. We will save the rest from walking in life with uncertainty. We will save the rest from feeling alone and we will help create the future thinkers who will save the world and in that end cancer.

It has been a rough 2 years, but tonight I sleep for the first time. 

If I died tomorrow I know that I held up my side of the deal. That Jacob will be okay and that the world has a fighting chance.

This mountain was assigned to me to show others it can be moved. 

This mountain was assigned to me to show others it can be moved. 

I write it twice to read it twice, as I often cry about the mountain and how it’s cliffs often get steeper as you climb. But I have a gift, I am an educator. I help others realize their dreams and find their gifts. I have now walked the walk myself. I have climbed my mountains to help you with yours.

So MYX students- my gift to you is this school. The first holistic approach to higher education. An experience to be in a community that values your worth and gives you the tools to be life ready. 

It won’t be an easy ride. 

Nope.

It will have mountains after mountains.

But you never walk alone. You have each other. You have me. And we will equip you with the tools to conquer life. 

I did it. 

I did it. 

I write it twice as it is truly absurd if you think about it. When I decided in the hospital to undertake the first rewrite of higher education to meet the 21st century, it was laughable. First I had a child with a serious illness and I’m an elementary trained educator. Ridiculous. Many of you pointed this out (rightfully so!). 

But here they are the MYX class of Fall 2021.

Maybe going through those mountains was what was necessary. Maybe it took a woman, a mother, an educator to have ZERO fear because she knows what true fear is. Maybe that was what it took for someone to challenge this trillion dollar industry that is hurting our children.

So tonight I sleep.

For Ever

I had a run in with a princess. A 6 year old with the stride of a fairy. The stride that bounces through the land as if gravity does not apply. Fairy dust is clearly involved.

I pulled her onto my lap mid stride and asked her what her secret is. Truly I was intrigued.

“How do you become a princess? What is the secret?”

I said this in my usual “Aunt Abby” way half joking, but also just looking for a place to connect with children by asking them the most absurd questions. This is where I shine. And this is where I listen. 

She was quiet for 2 minutes. I thought for a moment I got a giggle and the fire that we seated in front of her had picked up her dixie attention, but then she cupped her hand around my ear and whispered the following.

“Be kind.”

That was it. 

She then withdrew. I looked at her and hugged her and then she drew me in closer.

“If you can’t do it. Just pretend you are me and you can do it and then one day you won’t need to pretend to be me.”

And then off she went looking for shells to collect. She had shared her secret. And life as a princess seems to involve a lot of shells. So she had collections to build. Her own unique flair.

However, I have been hovering over her words for days. Playing the moment over and over in my mind. That of all the secrets hers was this. 

Be kind. 

I’ve been taken aback, because I in my heart believe this to be the case. I have taught 100’s of students this. That if you give you shall receive. That being kind and coming from a place of service, gifts will be in return.

Maybe even the gift of bounce. The gift of twirling. The gift of being a princess. A state of unaltered bliss and purpose. 

But yet…my reality speaks such a different narrative. A life of incredible obstacles and lows. Lightening striking twice tragedies when mathematical they should be impossible.  I also see the world at large and all the suffering that exists. That living in service does not make you immune to intense human suffering. That you can’t choose where you are born and you can’t make “mean” people only get cancer.

I wanted to tell her – No princess, being kind will not allow you to walk without gravity. That gravity is very real. That just because you don’t have bad intensions doesn’t mean the person to your left doesn’t either. That this will not allow you to be a princess. 

I was ready to shatter that castle. 

But she was a step ahead of me of course. She told me how to achieve it. Just pretend you are me. 

So I tried. For a day, I  looked at everything as a 6 year old that bounces free of gravity. And thank you for Ever for this secret. 

I hope you are okay that I shared it with others.  

As you are right, being kind and giving pays off in miracles. I’ve had a few of those! Truly miracles. Things that weren’t supposed to happened happened. Next time I see you I will share with you these miracles that all came from your wise words, be kind.

Camp Stack

The “Camp Stack.” I’ve seen a lot of stacks and a lot of confident arms carrying them. 

I speak of these.

This one is not owned by a 11 year old girl returning from a summer of friendships and fun, but a 41 year old woman who spends her days working and mothering.

However, I wear mine with the same inner confidence and pride. 

I’ve never given up on the camp stack. I get its purpose. I did not outgrow these trinkets. I understand that this stack means more than bracelets made and given from new friends, but means more…it is a reminder of belonging. The camp stack is a reminder of an experience that is yours alone. The first time your identity lives outside your home and that YOU did something that is yours and only yours. 

It reminds you not just of a time and place, but of your journey. One that is uniquely distinctive in its individuality.

I rock the camp stack proud. 

I no longer refer to it as a camp stack, but as flair. The choices of memories to adorn our bodies with that serve as reminders that I was there or that I belong to something. That my unique journey shows up wherever I go and these memories stack.

It is not fine jewelry. It is probably not the best accessory to a black tie event, but yet, it goes with me wherever I go.

And like the 11 year old girls in the time of August, mine too has grown with great speed this summer.

So I record here to remember this stack. This moment in time as things will break, things will fall. The stack will change as my journey does.

It starts with a leather band. It has engraven in hebrew a prayer for health and healing. This was given to me by a woman in a kabbalah class that met me my darkest point and she took this off her own arm and placed it on mine. It serves a reminder of kindness. A reminder that humanity is here to support more than harm.

Next is a recycled glass bead necklace that you can buy at any surf shop as it proceeds go to clean the ocean. This one was given to me by Jacob. However, it reminds me of the ocean more than the giver. It reminds me of my real home at sea.

Third is a metal bracelet that says warrior. It is rare that I buy my own flair, but this one I saw in long beach island at a check out counter in a bowl. Pretty random buy. It was a week before Jacob’s diagnosis in 2018 and for some reason I bought it. Why I felt the need to buy a bracelet at that time that said “warrior” as the pacifist that I am I can’t recall. Maybe at that time I felt I was battling something, or maybe I was meant to buy it for the life ahead. 

MYX bracelet. Steve printed this flair for me off our 3-D printer. It is the prototype of the bracelets our students will receive. Each with a different color bracelet representing the house they choose, the location of self discovery they selected and as they travel through our ecosystem they collect them. A physical reminder of a transformative experience that has no tangible physical artifact. How does one encapsulate finding your sense of self? Flair.

Next two are new. Only days old. Both are from my closest friend Jenna who recently surprised me by coming to Montauk with her two beautiful children. She has the girl that I never had and the two of them have a “girls” club represented by a bracelet. They have let me into their club. I wear the girls club bracelet with pride and  next to it a small trinket with the words BFF. And what girl still doesn’t get giddy when a friend calls you their best friend. We are never too old to feel special by others acknowledging that they love us. And even at 41 I blush with the idea of being “best.”

The Brody band comes next. I’ve probably written about it before. Two anchors, rope and the Brody “B” designed by Steve.

The last is yes…a paper band from a party. Gross. I know. But this one is not coming off until I manifest/ accomplish something very specific so I wear it until then. But it does remind me of the importance of “experience” over materials. How life is not a collection of things, but moments.

So mom of girls rocking their camp stack and wishing for the moment that these “dirty” camp trinkets come off, remember that they are more than string and knots. They are moments. They are reminders of a journey.

Long live the camp stack!

I got called out

I got called out.

“Shouldn’t you of all people understand?!” says Steve. 

I should…. but yet I didn’t.

Instead I push. I get angry. I get frustrated. I get annoyed that Benno’s anxiety dictates this family. It decides who we see, how we see them, and if we can see people at all. 

I even watch Benno double over in pain. He has an “anxiety spot” at least that is what he has named it. And lately that spot has been in overdrive, but yet I tell him to ignore it, to walk faster, to run even. 

Benno’s anxiety has peaked in the last few months and he has had a few episodes that have scared us. He points to his body. He points to the pain. He wants a pill to make it go away. We are lucky he is not really 10 years old, but rather is 50 so he can speak with real eloquence. He is aware that his fears make zero sense. But yet, there is no reasoning with him. He is crippled and won’t do certain activities.

And Steve called me out.

At first I was defensive. “It’s different! I know better than he does. He will be fine if we just get him there.”

And then I realized how ridiculous I sound.

I haven’t been helping. I push. I get angry. I get frustrated with another day of staying in one place as Benno refuses to travel. How I want to see friends. How I need to see friends. How his fears are my need.

“I don’t want to ruin your life mom. I don’t want you to be mad at me. I’ll stay alone by myself.”

Punch in the gut. Benno staying alone?! That is unheard of, but now his anxiety is about me. It is about how disappointed I am in him. How angry I get when he ruins the plans. How upset I am with him. 

So-I got called out by him too. 

So I am disappointed in myself and holding myself accountable.

How can someone who is going through PTSD and reads all day about anxiety living in the body not understand when their own child is showing symptoms? Nor give the sympathy that others have given to me? 

So I got called out and I write to call myself out. 

I got you Benno. I do. I get it my love and I’m sorry. We will get through this together. 

We are on to something

Just received this and want to read it over and over. All of the 24 hr days. All of the drama. All of the days I ask myself- why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard.

This is why.

This is it.

I do it for them and for you moms.

A note from a MYX parent. I record to read over and over again. MYX we are giving a gift that is beyond beautiful.

Wow!  Thank you for hosting the call tonight.

Peter is our 2nd of 3 boys  He’s our thoughtful, fiercely independent, fun loving middle son who is the life of every event.  As much as he’s tried, traditional schooling has never been the right fit for Pete.  It was clear early during his freshman year, Peter needed to follow his own path. He’s hungry for knowledge, he’s hard working, he’s probably one of the most compassionate people you’ll meet and a traditional 4 year degree was not on his path. 

We know that people are motivated to learn differently and I’ve known a traditional college was not the best fit for Peter. Initially, I struggled with the realization that Pete would tackle life without a degree.   More then that, I hated that he wouldn’t have the college experience – a time to grow up with the safety net of your parents still in place. 

Then came The MYX.  I’ve  trusted his latest find was as good as he claimed.  A school that looks at our children’s personal growth, focuses on mental health, teaches life skills and provides access to top notch education…it seemed to good to be true.  But after hearing your team tonight, following the multiple questions Peter has peppered your group with, it seems you’ve finally developed the secret sauce.  What an exciting way to approach education! More importantly, you have my son excited about learning, about this new adventure and about continuing his path to become a happy, self sufficient, productive adult.   

So I thank you. Thank you for creating this exciting opportunity for my son. Thank you for being brave enough to challenge the historical.  Thank you for developing our young people holistically. Thank you for encouraging Jackson to participate.

I’m excited about what’s ahead for my son. If I can ever be of any support please feel free to reach out. I’m confident you’ll learn quickly what an amazing young man Jackson is.  I thank you in advance for helping to shape his future.

In sincere appreciation,

My best,

Peter’s mom

Thanks Peter’s mom. I needed that. Thank you for reminding me that my work is important and that every challenge along the way is worth this. Worth giving your son the education he deserves.

Firsts

Today was the beginning of the culmination of 2.5 years of work. Today mark it down people is beginning that parents can demand MORE for their children. MYX has created an educational system that reflects the future of work and the reality that real learning doesn’t happen in the classroom, but out there in the world!

I can’t even begin to express how honored I am to be part of this team at MYX. This is a letter I wrote to the MYX family (investors and employees), but you, Nightwing, had a lot to do with this too.

So congrats to you as well!

Dear MYX family,

At MYX we help students conquer many “firsts” like leaving their home and forging their own path. The amount of “firsts” for our students will be numerous as they find their voice and start building towards a future of adulthood with the support of coaches, learning leaders and mentors.

The MYX team is also having a lot of “firsts” over the next 20 days.  We have a lot to celebrate!

Today we opened our FIRST campus, MYX Miami. Our faculty have moved in and we begin a week of professional development as we build our MYX house culture and prepare for our students’ arrival at the end of August.

Here is the team!

Eduardo (House Dean), Abby (CEO), Becca (Head of Risk Management), Jules (Chief Academic Officer), Rachel (House community manager), Kate (House Dean), and Adam (Head of Experience)

We also hosted our FIRST MYXer  with friends and family of our students via zoom. Future MYXers will happen weekly live on site where students and faculty eat dinner as a family, reflect on the week of learning, and feature outside speakers and networking opportunities. 

There are also a lot of firsts happening with our students! 

Each of our students have received a box in the mail with their MYX journal (a critical tool in our life coaching and impact work), luggage tags, and MYX stickers to decorate their laptops. 

In addition, while our students are not physically on site the FIRST Life Hack (Travel Hack) has launched through our community platform, the QUAD. The QUAD will eventually connect all of the global MYX houses allowing students access to a  robust and growing network. We have been so pleased to see students begin to connect through the QUAD as they partake in fun surveys and direct messages to their roommates.

Please take a moment and celebrate with us. 

It’s happening!

Abby

Hope

I’ve never been a fan of the word “hope.” 

“Hope” implies a passive experience. It implies no control and wishful thinking. Most things don’t happen on “hope” at least so I’ve learned. You can have positivity. You can help manifest your future, but you can’t just sit there, it does require action. You have to live it.

So hope is a sucky word, but I pick on this word for a reason. 

As I don’t want you to be fooled by the title of this invitation I’m extending to you.

I’m not inviting you to HOPE with me for a cure to cancer, I’m inviting you to be PART of a cure for cancer. 

We aren’t going to sing Kumbaya. We aren’t hoping for shit. We are doing shit. We are curing fucking cancer, because it turns out this drug that the band funded is helping these kids survive. And “these kids,” include my own. But even better news?! It’s could help other cancers too. 

Isn’t that incredible?!

Actually, it is very credible. This should not be a surprise. Of course the Band would do it. 

What band?

THE BAND OF PARENTS. Because nothing stops parents. We run through walls.

So come be part of us running through more walls and getting a step closer to curing one of the deadliest pediatric cancers and then go after the rest of them. 

If you can’t make it to the event- remember, you can still be part of it!

Zoom with us and help us raise the money to keep this research going!

Join Zoom Meeting @ 5:30PM
https://luxcapital.zoom.us/j/9179166527

Meeting ID: 917 916 6527
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