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Skip Into Your Own Spiritual Movement With Kim “Skipper” Corbin

By July 23, 2020Podcast
TGV 15 | Spiritual Movement

TGV 15 | Spiritual Movement


At some point in our lives, we hear our hearts calling us into a direction that, at first, may seem peculiar or impractical. However, it is in these times that it’s essential to start a spiritual movement within ourselves toward that calling. Kim “Skipper” Corbin joins Corin Grillo to talk about what it means to respond to your calling and the difficulties you may encounter along the way. Kim is a Senior Publicist at the New World Library and has been a vocal advocate of the skipping movement. Listen is as she talks more about starting your own movement and what it takes to get that movement going.

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Skip Into Your Own Spiritual Movement With Kim “Skipper” Corbin

This next guest, I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know over the last couple of years. She is an amazing human. She’s the senior publicist at the book publisher, New World Library. That is my publisher. I’ve gotten to know her and I made a real connection with her right away. I think she had me at the fact that she’s been to over ten Burning Mans. That already tells you so much about who she is and her character. I was like, “I like this girl.” She’s a super badass publicist as well for our publisher. I’m not having her on because of that, but because she created this cool movement and she calls herself Kim “Skipper” Corbin because she started a Skipping Movement.

You’re going to know her story about how that randomly started for her. One of the main reasons why I wanted you to know about this movement is because, first of all, it’s inspiring. I know many people are digging deep, working on things like their life purpose, their mission, developing their passions, creating exciting ways to serve, and finding things that they’re passionate about. Her story represents what it means to step into your true calling how odd, peculiar and impractical it may seem in the beginning. I consider her and her work an inspiration because the Skipping Movement has been featured in things like USA Today, Time Magazine, People Magazine, Newsweek.

That’s the thing with movements, you never know. That was all of our time to get anchored in ourselves, to listen deeply and to start moving in the direction where our heart is calling us. Kim’s stories are a great representation of what it takes to get a movement flowing. She also talks about the pitfalls of starting your own movement. You’ll learn her talk about The Hero’s Journey, The Dark Night of The Soul and her own grappling with all of that. If you’re curious about what it takes to start your own peculiar, interesting, fascinating random movement, this is your girl. I hope you enjoy.

Kim, can I pull a little card for you? It’s Canary Kim and it says, “Step forward now and sing your song. There is power in finding your voice.” What does that stir inside of you?

I’ve been working on a book project about my skipping calling and my skipping adventure that I’ve been on for many years and I started the book many years ago. It’s been this very long and often arduous process that has had breaks in between of a few years here and there. In 2020, I started it again and I’m working with a book coach and I feel like this could be the time that I find my voice, bring it forward and share my story in a way that will be meaningful to help other people who are saying yes to their calling and going through Dark Night Of The Soul, which is all collectively. It’s so easy to shut down or to lose hope. It’s the step right before the breakthrough.

It’s the time to dig deeper for deeper resources. It’s interesting you’re mentioning that because through this whole collective purge, a lot of people are taking their gift or their leadership to the next level, whatever that means. It’s so interesting that you started all of this madness, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. It’s coming full circle, like coming back around the band and, “Here I am.” What’s cool about the book is how much richer is it going to be because it’s many years later. I’m looking forward to seeing that. The Canary apparently has your back, Kim. Simple but sweet. It’s more validation from the spirit that you’re singing your own song and you do such a great job of supporting other authors, including me in helping our song get out there. I know that you’re going to be blessed even more with your work. Can you tell us a little bit about the Skipping Movement thing?

In 1997, for the first time, I was out with a couple of friends and one of them said, “Let’s skip.” He went skipping down the street in front of us. As I skipped, I had the full vision of starting the Skipping Movement. I was like, “I can get my Burning Man friends to skip with me for sure and then I’ll do media around it since I’m a publicist. Once the media writes about it, America will do anything. The world will be often skipping.” I have this whole vision.

It was in a flash. That’s specific.

It was a download, which is the current trendy way to say. I talked a lot about it at the time, but I wasn’t ready to skip my talk. I tried to recruit a friend to be the skipper and I would be her publicist. I was a party girl. I was not into fitness. I was not ready. That was two years before I started the Skipping Movement. Two years later, a series of undeniable synchronicities happened. I had tried to go for a run one day and I hate running. I’m never going to be a runner. My body hates running. As I was telling my coworker about this failed attempt, then that same morning she told me a story about her daughter asking her to skip with her at the mall. She said, “I took her hand and I did it, but I thought that’s weird. Adults don’t skip.” When she said that, the light bulb went off again. In 1999, it was the beginning of the whole dot-com gold rush. Everybody was doing all kinds of different things. My brother built websites and he helped me build the first Iskip.com. The vision unfolded exactly like I was shown two years before. I was in People Magazine, Time Magazine, and Newsweek. It took me for a ride, like an unbelievable and incredible.

If you read about flow, I was in the flow. It was like the right people showed up at the right time. I didn’t do any outside publicity trying to get attention. People came to me. I recruited head skippers in 70 cities because there were all these people out there who’d been skipping for years, but no one had ever gathered them together in one place. A lot of people called themselves closet skippers because they were too embarrassed to do it. The movement gave them permission to take their skipping to the streets. It’s been this incredible journey. That was the beginning of it all.

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It sounds like you had a two-year delay, but it started catching on like wildfire. I’m wondering what happened for you. You were in the flow, but sometimes when things catch on too quickly, I’m wondering, was there any downside to that?

There wasn’t any downside. There was one morning, the San Francisco Chronicle did a big story about it. I was leading a happy hour skip at market street. the Chronicle did this big story about it that came out in the paper. I got invited to be on Mornings On 2 with Mark Pitta in the next morning. I was so excited. My friends wanted to go out to celebrate the article and I was like, “No, I’m going to bed early.” I had set two alarms to make sure I got up. The next morning, when it was time for the interview, I woke up and I was like, “I woke up before my alarm,” and then I looked at the clock and it was like 10:30 AM. I was supposed to be there at 7:00 AM and to be at work at 9:00 AM. Looking back on it, I think that my subconscious knew what was coming. I wasn’t ready and tried not to deal. It’s on YouTube, it’s hilarious.

He ended up skipping without me. I always send that to my authors. When they miss an interview, he put a picture of me in the chair and he was like, “This is Kim Corbin. She’s a publicist. Her job is to help people get here on time, but I’m going to get more people to skip than she does.” He ended up doing this amazing segment, which later I ended up meeting him in a comedy club and apologize. He said, “Don’t apologize, it was the best segment I’ve ever done.” That worked out in the end. There are parts of me that maybe weren’t quite ready that I didn’t realize, but other than that, it was such a wonderful, amazing, empowering time of my life.

It sounds magical and random. Even though it took you two years because I think that somehow the “downloads” go. It’s like you get the download and then it takes you a while to discover the man balls or lady balls to do something about it. The second time around, it seemed like there was less resistance or it flowed.

I realized that I’ve gone through a whole hero’s journey with this that it’s often the case that we refuse our calls the first time or the second time. That’s important for people to think about. If there’s something that keeps coming around that that maybe you love to dance and you get all these invitations to dance and it doesn’t make logical sense or something. Those things come back around for a reason.

I want to support what you’re saying there because sometimes it can be so obscure. It’s a Skipping Movement. You weren’t even into fitness. Sometimes you get hired by spirit to do weird stuff because maybe you’re the one that’s crazy enough to get it done.

You can be called to do anything. It’s skipping. Never would I have guessed that that would bring my unique contribution.

I like that you call it the 2020 download. A lot of people are having these downloads and they’re not quite sure what to do with them. What would be your best advice for people like? I know a lot of people are having visions because the planets are calling us.

Action. I first had my vision in the second time. I was ready to put it into action. Also, the internet. In 1997, the internet wasn’t quite ready. It’s also divine timing as well when it comes around. Taking steps towards what your vision is. If it opens up, follow it and if you hit a dead-end, maybe it’s not quite right.

Maybe it’s not, but sometimes it still is because sometimes it’s like, “I’m going to sleep until 10:30.” Sometimes it’s a resistance.

[bctt tweet=”Having judgement and discontent with your body is where your spiritual journeys begins.” via=”no”]

If it keeps coming back to you, then there’s a reason why it keeps coming back.

I like what you say that it’s about action. That’s one of the things that I stress a lot too with my people is like, “You could sit and daydream all you want.” Now is the time of action for all of us to take bizarre impractical steps, like in your case. What were you trained in before that?

I was a publicist. I despise my body. That’s the way that I’ve personally changed. The most through all of this is how I’ve realized that my body is a tremendous ally and holds my joy and the way I express joy. I’ve always been a pretty positive spirit and it’s my nature, but so much of my darkness was poured into my judgment and discontent with my body for a long time. Personally, that spiritually is why it came in. I had a lot to transform there.

I know many women that struggle with that exact thing. Maybe I need to start a Skipping Movement too. This thing hits like wildfire and you’re recruiting 70 people to head up their little corner of the world to go on skipping adventures. This was many years ago, so then what happened?

It was based on this book, A Work of Heart. The author talks about when you’re embolden by a calling, you’ll charge hell with a water pistol. I was like on fire and I decided that I was going to quit my job. After that, I was in People Magazine, a literary agent contacted me and wanted to represent me. I decided that I was going to try and get corporate sponsorship to skip across the United States and reached out to companies like Skippy and all of these different places. My dad, who went to Harvard and is a total entrepreneur and logical guy was like, “Kim, how does the cash register ring? What are you doing?” I said, “Dad, I found my calling. If I leap, the net will follow.”

I believed it because it was such a spiritual calling. Unfortunately, that didn’t go so well. I ended up skipping myself and the financial ruin. I was under the misconception that my reward for saying yes to this as bigly and as boldly as I did was that I would be rewarded financially and it would be this easy path and it would come like everything else. That’s not how it went at all. I realized in hindsight that for a long time, my ego was like not engaged with the Skipping Movement. It was all spirit and I was skipping, but eventually, my ego latched on to the identity in all the media and attention that I was getting and thought that it knew the way. At that point, I disconnected from the deeper spiritual wisdom. I learned it the hard way. It’s not a reward system for saying yes.

That’s almost like what I was alluding to earlier. It’s like sometimes when it hits hard and fast, a lot of people would have the same challenge of not getting overly identified with whatever’s going on. When did you discover you were in real trouble and that something had to change?

It lasted a long time. I was working as a publicity director at Jossey Bass Inc Publishers in San Francisco and I quit my job. They gave me a lot of freelance clients. My heart wasn’t in it so I used freelance clients at first to see me through. It was two years of me being a professional skipper, where I was trying to figure all this out, working on the book and writing my manuscript. I had written my whole story up until that point and had a book proposal. It wasn’t until my agent said, “No one’s buying the book.” Thank God, no one bought that book. When I read it now, I’m like, “Everybody’s skipped like me. It will be great. Spiritual bypass with me.” It wouldn’t have helped anyone. I hadn’t gone through the full trajectory of what happens when we say yes to our callings, which is a hero’s journey.

That involves a dark night of the soul and reckoning within ourselves and realizing I have this magical inner child that I connected with through skipping, but I also have a very insecure, shy, quiet part of my inner child that’s been hurt through life. I totally ignored that and trotted my inner child out like she was a pageant child and not paying attention to the deeper stuff that was going on. Some of my own parts that needed healing, which is what the journey ultimately was about. I couldn’t have written the book then. I’m glad I started because I have it all documented for now, but I hadn’t gone through the journey that is going to help other people who are trying to see a dream or a calling all the way through. I hadn’t had that experience yet.

I remember when we had to go home to Indiana and sublease my apartment because I was completely out of money. The agent was shopping around and my parents said, “What are you going to do if it doesn’t sell?” I said, “It’s not going to sell. No way. Spirit didn’t bring me this far to leave me.” That’s exactly what happened. It took me a while. Once, I skipped so far off into the left-field to get back on the beaten path. I get fired from all these jobs. I worked for a bodybuilder, he was like 70 years old and he’d reversed his heart disease by weightlifting. We clashed. He has a huge ego and we would battle each other and he ended up firing me the day I left to go home for Christmas completely unexpectedly. I worked at Curves for women and the assistant manager thought that I was this media and I thought I was all that, which I wasn’t and trying to make it all more work.

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She ended up telling the owner that I lacked enough initiative to be a manager of Curves, which is so funny because they could say lots of things about me but lacking initiatives. It was good because it made me stand in who I am and know that’s not who I am. I went to The Learning Annex and that was for nine months, which was a super intense job of booking speakers and authors. It was amazing, but it was a lot of work and was an intense work environment. We were doing a lot of Donald Trump real estate events. That was like the underbelly of the speaking world and then my position at New World Library opened up. I’ve been there for many years now.

I found the landing place. For me, there have been many times where I thought the Skipping Movement was going to be over, but then someone would come along who was doing an amazing skipping thing that I would tell their story on my website. There were lots of times that happened. The thing that was important to me or what I learned through the Skippy Movement is what it felt like to use my life to make a positive difference in the world.

I didn’t care if the Skipping Movement went away, I thought it was going away often. It was more like, “How do I get back to that feeling of engagement, knowing that I’m part of the solution and helping to shift things on the planet?” That was the bigger question. For me, it’s the most important thing. We can all do that in big and little ways. It can be on a daily basis by being loving and using that filter. It’s great that I ended up at New World Library where it’s about that and all of us that are a part of that family are hold that intention.

It’s definitely making an impact. What advice do you have for people? I’m looking at this Dark Night of The Soul piece of what you described and what do you feel like the moral of that story is?

It’s like what you said earlier, it’s a time for digging deep and it’s not a time to retreat. There’s a Winston Churchill quote that says, “If you’re going through hell, keep going. Don’t retreat, you don’t want to go backwards.” There’s gold in the dark night of the soul. There are wisdom and opportunity there. Holding that and doing the inner work to try and excavate what needs to be excavated.

I have a little movement of my own. I have some stuff going on. When I feel into it, I feel like when you start doing work like that and creating affects in the world and touching people’s lives, it can be very provocative, very triggering. It does can be unmasked some deep shit inside of us. The part of the there’s that little girl inside of me who does not like attention. I have to take good care of her. Otherwise, she’ll sabotage my ass. In your case, she was refusing for you to get paid or something. She’s like, “No, we’re going to do this for fun.” How much of your choice to not look at monetizing? There are little easy, simple ways in the side to make little cash. How much of that was from you learning what you learn, the barter system at Burning Man?

That’s a big part of it. I also think it’s the nature of skipping. My dad would come up with all these ideas, like, “Do a membership model. Do you need to find the money river?” For me, it was very much Burning Man centered because when I first started the Skipping Movement, I was on the Burning Man media team. They were a huge reason that came to be to because they all encouraged me to keep going. They did an interview and took pictures of me. All that was my dream. It was very much about that. Even now, I do want to monetize skipping.

I didn’t invent skipping, skipping is free. Anyone can skip any time. It didn’t feel an integrity. It still doesn’t to me to monetize that specifically. At one point, I did a 21-day practice that didn’t get a lot of traction. I’ve been doing this for many years and there are lots of people out there who are enthusiastic skippers, but most of the world is still not ready to skip down the street. It is like, you have to overcome a lot of fears about being judged.

We think that people are going to think we’re crazy and all the things that come up. It doesn’t happen when you do it. It creates joy and people love it and say, “Hello.” That’s the experience in reality, but most the majority of the world still can’t skip. I liked that about it, that it’s this small, but mighty community of free spirits who get it and other people don’t get it. In hindsight, I’m glad that it didn’t become running and everyone’s skipping everywhere.

It’s a less interesting world for the rest of us because that would be so much better. I hear what you’re saying that there are aspects of our work. First of all, we take our work too seriously, and sometimes it could be this fun expression of who we are. I like that that’s what it turned into and many years running and I see that you guys are adapting even in COVID situation. I looked at the website and I thought this first language funny, which was desperate times call for unique skipping measures. It talks about how you guys or different organizers are doing different things around the world that still hosting skips, but virtual skips.

[bctt tweet=”There’s gold in the dark night of the soul. There are wisdom and opportunity there.” via=”no”]

Michelle Joni is my friend in New York who started Michelle Joni’s skipping club there and she’s gotten a lot of traction over the years. I’ve never been able to attend one of her skipping clubs. She started doing regular skipping events and that was great. We would all log in and we do a share and then she would play a song and everyone would skip wherever they were on their Zoom video. It was so fun. I wanted to add about the money and the monetizing thing that I think it’s important too for people to remember that they don’t necessarily have to pay the bills. Sometimes, we’re looking to that or we decide we’re going to start a singing career and then it doesn’t end up being enough for us to make money from it. We leave it. The inner capital that comes with doing something that we love, following our passions, and expressing our joy is we’re so much more than money. Burning Man helped me realize it and helped me ground it in this world more.

Bring Burning Man outside of Burning Man and do something cool in the world. It’s like your little branch of something. You’re bringing up such an important point because I feel like we are dismantling a lot of our institutional everything in how we view our own value in the world and in our lives. Many of us are in a way taught and ingrained that your work isn’t good if you’re not monetizing it. You can’t be an artist if you’re not getting paid to be an artist or a singer. I love what you’re talking about inner capital because I feel like we need to come back and re-imagined life for our children and for all of us, a life that is full of passion. There’s a lot of people that are very out of touch with their passion.

That’s what’s great about your work is you’re go in and listen. There is a source of inner wisdom there, guidance and angelic help that’s available to us if we tune in. It’s so much of our culture and world has not helped us to discover that, but I feel that in a way that’s a silver lining of what’s going on because, in the past, we’ve depended on the external world and the status quo to guide us. It is not something that’s very helpful anymore. You have to go into your inner authority.

We’ve also been stuck in our inner worlds. All of the drama and everything that goes around those along with being around other people has fallen away and anything that’s coming up is ours to work on. We’ve been thrown into our inner worlds. For me, I haven’t done a lot of this work. I’ve enjoyed it, but I feel for the people who don’t yet have those tools were for doing the inner work, navigating it and knowing what’s going on, when the fear, the anxiety, and all of that comes up how to deal with it. I feel these times are helping us to be more tuned in to that inner guidance.

As awkward as it is and the process has been for a lot of us. The only way we’re going to create new paradigms is that if we’re all listening to the pulse inside of us. I want to ask two ways for you to talk about your golden nectar. We want to know that your golden wisdom is from starting your Skipping Movement. I also want to know some golden nectar from being a lifelong adult burner.

For the Skipping Movement, it’s if you seek, you will find. When the Skipping Movement came in, I was actively asking, “How can I serve? How can I make this world a better place?” I feel like our world needs as many people as possible to be forces for good, big, and little ways. That doesn’t have to mean that you start a Skipping Movement or you write a novel. It’s a shift of thinking about how we go through life and bringing more kindness, love, and compassion into this world that so desperately needs it. The joy that comes with being a force for good I feel is the inner nectar from all of that.

I love that, especially the joy that comes with it because it does feel joyful.

It feels good to do good. In a way, it’s a selfish act because it gives back so much. If you go to bed at night and think, “I did good today.” If all of us could find more ways to do that, this world would be a much better place. There are many opportunities to do it. In social media is a great way. The Burning Man would be similar in a way, but more from the benefits of the inner capital that comes with living a creative life and expressing your spirit, and doing it for the sheer joy of expressing yourself and making a contribution into the world. Whether it lasts or not, the act of creativity, living life that way, and having that be your North Star is, “How can I be creative? What do I have to offer and how can I participate and be part of the solution of what’s going on? Instead of contributing to the unconsciousness and the problems.

You find peace when you become part of the solution. Even if it’s in this sweet little way like skipping. When I heard about it, it made me laugh out loud like, “It’s so amazing.” You never know. Leave no stone unturned. Thanks for that wisdom.

I love whenever I talk about skipping to encourage people to skip ten steps. If you’re not going to do it down your sidewalk, do it in your house. Remember the joy of skipping and see what it brings up in you. I love giving that challenge. It’s a wonderful way to skip to if you’re not feeling totally comfortable with it is to ask a child in your life to remind you how to skip again, because that shows them that they have a lot of wisdom for us, that they can help us and that adults are willing to be a little silly and fun.

TGV 15 | Spiritual Movement

Spiritual Movement: If there’s something that keeps coming around, you need to think about it because these things come back around for a reason.


Your website is ISkip.com. It’s a fun website. Get your skip on, everybody. Kim, anything else before we leave?

I don’t think so. Thank you for having me, for the work that you’re doing in the world. I love your angel wings.

Thanks for coming on and sharing the good juju that you and your whole team at New World Library have. In Skipping Movement, I’m so happy to talk to you about it. Thanks so much.

Important Links:

About Skipper Corbin

TGV 15 | Spiritual MovementIn addition to being a Senior Publicist at the book publisher New World Library, Kim “Skipper” Corbin has been the world’s most vocal advocate for the body, mind, spirit benefits of adult skipping for over 21 years. Her skipping movement has been featured in USA Today, Time, People, and Newsweek Magazines. Visit her online at http://www.iskip.com.



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