In this episode of the Changed Podcast, Madeleine Ryan, author of A Room Called Earth shares her view of the world, and the beauty that is life and being alive on this planet. Her story of pivot focuses on the moment when she committed to being a writer, and offers inspiration to those who don’t quite feel like they have fully embraced who they truly are in the world just yet.
Madeleine Ryan is an Australian writer, director, and author. She is the author of the newly released debut novel, A Room Called Earth. She lives in rural Victoria. But for our conversation with each other, we were separated only by a screen. For me, it was as if we were sitting across the table from each other.
Madeleine self-identifies as an autistic woman, but I would describe her as a bit wise, and somewhat magical.
I have always believed that understanding the views of people who think differently is worth the time because diverging views can be a gift, particularly in team settings, ideation, and so on.
While the term neurodivergent came up, I will be honest that I am unclear as to the meaning. Who’s to say what’s normal? What are the acceptable parameters for thought in the modern world? In my mind, we are ALL different, with our own beautiful gifts to offer, so it’s likely no surprise that this is the direction that much of our conversation took.
Madeleine’s novel, A Room Called Earth, also struck me as a completely relatable, very feminine piece of writing. An absolute pleasure to read and a celebration of the human experience from the magical and ethereal down to the nuts and bolts.
Set in the course of one day, this book takes us into the inner narrative and outward experiences of one woman as she prepares for, attends, and interacts at a party… essentially in real-time.
I highly recommend this read.
My takeaways from this conversation
Life is Magic. You’ll hear Madeleine say this, and I truly believe it, “It’s great you’re here. Life is magic.” While it’s true that not all experiences are the living equivalent of a mythical unicorn… I do think that a lot of what we take for granted in this life is truly miraculous. AND the more we can pause and appreciate the gift that simply existing on this planet represents, the more we can contribute to others’ experiences here being lovely and rewarding.
Action is required to reap the greatest reward in life and work. While I do not adhere strongly to the idea of destiny, and Madeleine seemed to strongly suggest that actually yes, each of us does have a destiny here (a truly comforting thought)…. we both agree that “we have to be active players in our destiny,” as Madeleine so eloquently observed. Life presents us with opportunities but it is certainly up to us to take them.
There may be quite a lot to learn from a fig tree, and Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy by Sad Guru sounds like an interesting read.
What about you?
What did you take or learn from this episode? Send your thoughts about this episode or the show in general by clicking here.
If you haven’t listened yet, then I wish you happy listening! Or if you prefer watching on video then I wish you happy viewing!
If you like this episode of The Changed Podcast, I suspect you will also enjoy this conversation with improviser Shannon Stott, who talks about letting ‘the divine’ (whatever that might mean to you) be your guide!