Lisa is the Co-Executive Director of Inside Circle, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing transformative environments for justice-involved youth and adults to address trauma, heal, find purpose, and build meaningful lives of service.

We asked Lisa Blum some quirky questions to get to know her better—here’s what she had to say:



🐦 What is your spirit animal?


My son told me I was a blue jay. When I looked into it I found that the blue jay symbolizes comprehension, bold expression, communication, protection, faithfulness, devotion, awareness, loyalty, intuition, and trickery. They are also intelligent and fearless protectors who stand their ground in the face of imminent danger. I thought, not bad—a good blend of inherent and aspirational traits. That’s what you want in a spirit animal!



🎶 What is your theme song?


It is so easy for me to confuse wants vs. needs so, “You can’t always get what you want” by The Rolling Stones is my theme song. The line “If you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need” resonates for me. I’ve always gotten exactly what I’ve needed in this life—whether or not I liked it at the time!



🏝 What 3 things would you take to a desert island?


Good bread, cheese and tomatoes, obviously! That said, I would also make sure to bring one thing that’s not a thing and something I’ve been working at my entire life—a mind at peace with reality.

Suzuki Roshi, author of “Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind”, spoke a lot about embracing things-as-it-is. In other words, the practice of letting go of my evaluative, emotional discrimination of good and bad. The capacity to do this would be essential for survival and hopefully, “thrival” on a desert island.



⚖️ Where is the best destination you’ve ever been?


The best destination I’ve been to is a prison in Vacaville, California, where I was able to witness first hand the experience of being incarcerated in the United States and the experience of being an agent of incarceration. Whilst I could easily call it the worst destination I’ve visited, it did an incredible job of waking me up to the trauma that the criminal justice system as it exists today inflicts on each human being involved. It renewed my commitment to the work of Inside Circle.



📚 Which books do you recommend to others?


I highly recommend “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie. It’s based on the premise that if you change your thinking, you change your world, and while many fingers point to this truth that our interpretation of reality determines our experience of it, her process provides people with a way to actually do this. It should be required reading for every human being.

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