We had the good fortune of connecting with Valdon Ross and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Valdon, what role has risk played in your life or career?

The more I avoid risk taking, the smaller my world becomes and the more I doubt myself. When I repress my desires and avoid taking risks, I experience more anxiety and dissatisfaction. Through risk taking, I learn to trust my abilities and realize my potentials. Through risk taking, I learn that I have the skills to brave existence and create the life I desire.
The point of risk-taking isn’t about the outcome — the point is using my abilities as best I can at a given moment in a given situation. I can always learn and grow from a situation in this way, particularly by learning to respect my limitations just as much as my strengths.
There is a tremendous amount of freedom I discovered through developing a growth-oriented relationship to life. Many of my worries, habitual judgments, and self-limiting behaviors simply evaporated. I enjoy guiding my clients towards the discovery of this same magic.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I’m a therapist who provides counseling for Creatives, Seekers, and the Inspired. I am also an Artist + Performer who has taken the non-linear path in life, so I know about the healing work and journey from my own experience. This also gives me a lot of fun projects and intriguing ways to blend these two interests together.
One of these projects, is one that was delayed by the pandemic and it is the one I’m most excited about — The Imaginrium. It’s a mobile, immersive art gallery and intimate event space that provides a sanctuary for creativity, wonder, and self-expression.
Another project on my horizon is creating some online course materials — which will include a free skills-building course on developing and practicing self-love and guiding folk on the journey to Be Yourself. If that interests any of y’all who are reading this, please be in touch and I’ll let you know when it rolls out later this summer.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

I’m definitely going to take you to a Stories With Spirit show from the fantastic storytelling duo of Cooper Braun and Rachel Ann Harding. They’ve been doing Zoom events through the pandemic as well, and I cannot recommend them enough. Seriously, you don’t know how much you need this.

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to find my favorite mocha in the area, and after sufficient exploration I discovered Ampersand Coffee Roasters in Boulder (or rather Gunbarrell). They roast everything in house, the staff are fun, and you don’t need to be a coffee geek to appreciate it. (Though if you are, you should definitely check them out!)
If you prefer tea (which I do) or you also want some grub, I always have to take folk over to the Dushanbe Teahouse. The building was built with ornate geometric and floral patterns in Tajikistan, shipped here, then re-assembled, which is a great story to round out a great experience.
Lastly, Boulder also has what we call a Legal Wall for graffitti. There is often some really impressive pieces and letters up on that wall, and it changes all the time. I find this is a good way to introduce folk to graffiti, the history and lineage of writing, elements of style, and how street art is very different from yet forever indebted to graffiti. I like to do this before showing people the sweet murals in the area, because it also serves as a way to bring up racism and classism through issues like gentrification and cultural appropriation while challenging stereotypes. It is fantastic to have so many public art murals in the area, but they would not be such a big thing if not for graffiti.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I need to dedicate my shout to Viktor E Frankl, particularly for his essay “The Case for a Tragic Optimism” that concludes his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

I also wanna give a shout out to the nameless people throughout history. Too often we put all the emphasis on the person at the forefront without recognizing all the people behind the scenes.

Website: www.valdonross.com

Instagram: @valdonross

Image Credits
The photo of the Imaginarium sign give credit to Matt Merino | Basik1 Desgin who designed and created it!

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.