048: Jane Leyden Cavanaugh – On the Connection Between Humor and Truth


On this week’s This Moved Me, I talk with Jane Leyden Cavanaugh. Jane and I go way back. She is a mentor of mine - a friend, a guide, someone I admire and someone I have learned so much from!  I had to convince her to do this thing, which struck me as downright RIDICULOUS, because she is awesome, as you'll soon hear. But Jane is a wonderful and surprising mix of Improvisor and intentional planner.  She is a mix of deep, soul-searching questions and hilarious and light-hearted comedy. I have seen her guide a group in a quiet and reflective meditation that challenged and brought insight; and I have seen her absolutely delight a crowd with a comedic character, complete with sagging grapefruits in her shirt and a pillow in her pants.  (Yes, that's what I meant to say.)

She is a hilarious prophet - the best combination! You are in for a treat. As per the usual with my show right now (I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I think I have it fixed!), the audio isn't great - but was made so much better by the folks over at WEP!  I am grateful.

Listen to the podcast

You can listen in iTunes, Stitcher - or, if you're on the website, scroll to the bottom of the post for the player!

Show highlights: Funny and True Are Connected

[Tweet ""The goal is not to be #funny; the greater goal is to be true." Jane Leyden Cavanaugh on @ThisMovedMe"]

In the show we talked about: 

  • Jane's time at the Groundlings in L.A. - they know what funny is, and taught her
  • The connection between funny and true - developing her prophetic voice
  • The difficulty and importance of vulnerability
  • The power of imagery - inspired by Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak
  • How we have to do the work ourselves... we can't take the short cuts if we want to share wisdom.

Coaches Corner:

This is a new segment I'm playing with here on This Moved Me where I talk with people - sometimes those I'm interviewing, sometimes people I run into on the street or in the neighborhood! - about what they're working on, and how they're doing it.

Today Jane shared with us about wanting to create a new show to help heal the Catholic church. This is something she's been thinking about for a long time, and she's just in the midst of ideating... so curious to see where this goes, Jane!

This Moved Me Moments:

JANE: Jane's This Moved Me moment is this somewhat famous quote by George Bernard Shaw:

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations."

Go Jane!

Sally: My This Moved Me moment is... Jane's this moved me moment!  As Jane said - "It's like a good talk - you know it's good when your story and my story collide." Jane's collided with  me that day!

Let's keep this conversation going:

Jane is not really a Twitter gal - so this one's just between you and me. We talked about the connection between story and truth. What's your favorite example of funny and true?  Join us on Twitter by tagging @ThisMovedMe in your response.  Thanks for joining in on the conversation!


Thanks so much for listening!

My best,



To learn more about Jane:

Check out her website, The Vineyard - and her LinkedIn profile as well.


Special thanks to one of our Sponsors for Season 2 of This Moved Me - We Edit Podcasts!  They are unbelievably fast, helpful and kind.  I have received so many compliments on the quality of my show - which has gotten so much better with the help of WEP.  They deal with issue after issue that I send to them.  If you are thinking of creating a podcast, utilizing their expertise will save you tons of time and stress. (Believe me.) Click on this link to support This Moved Me, and get try out We Edit Podcasts:  www.thismovedme.com/WEP