Interview: Isolde Hilt
He was a very successful business man, who had everything you usually wish for: a prosperous agency with 25 employees, big clients like Daimler, Bosch or Porsche. You had a Mercedes parked in front of your door, ate lunch or dinner at fancy italian restaurants. And suddenly it all changed …
Oliver ‚Wyld Rose‘ Kyr had left this life in Stuttgart to start travelling the world as the Pegasus Family with his wife and daughter. In our interview he talks about how they attempt to make this world a better place.
It was the year 2008. What happened back then?
Life mercilessly took me into the dark void. It all started late at night with a heart attack. An elephant sat on my chest, stinging pain in my heart, numb arm. The typical symptoms of heart attack. But in the emergency unit they told me it wasn’t a heart attack. They can find out afterwards. I had two more heart attacks that were no heart attacks. Then severe panic attacks, allergies, food intolerances, deep depression. I watched myself dying. Got myself into the diagnostic clinic in Wiesbaden and they examined me completely. Then the doctor smiled and said: “You are 100 % okay, we found nothing.” But of course that wasn’t a good message for me because I felt bad, very very bad!
What happened then?
I saw a psychotherapist who, during our 7th session, said there would be no 8th session. “Why? Are you moving away?”, I asked in fear. “No, I have the solution”, she replied softly. “What will I have to swallow?”, I said reflexively. She just laughed: “Leave your company. Tell your partners that you stop working for the industry.” “Yes” I agreed, “actually I thought that I might do this in a year or so.” “No: today! Now!”, she replied. And I understood: either abandon my complete (material) existence this very afternoon and restart from scratch, jump into the ice cold water or finally disappear in the dark void that was dragging me into desperation for months.
And so I did it. Put my credit cards and the office keys on the table. And left, tears running down my cheeks, my body trembling heavily. My partners and employees staring at me in disbelief.
A big step …
Yes. But the moment I closed the glass door of our agency behind me and stepped out into a sunny afternoon, the symptoms disappeared. All of them! This very day! And I understood that for years my soul had wanted to tell me something. But I hadn’t listened.
Starting a new life, at a new place … that was the plan. You and your wife moved to Berlin. What did your life look like?
Well, I thought now I had understood where to direct my life to. I wrote and directed an independent feature film. This deeply filled my heart then, 2010. And so I decided to try the film industry. I did not realize then that I entered the next rat race. A rat race with red carpets and fancy film parties and selfies with ‘stars’, but then: a rat race. I needed some years to realize my mistake.
So, eventually you noticed that even though the sector you were working in changed, your lifestyle did not …
Yes, because I was again dependent on the opinion of others, making a lot of money and in the end to caress the ego. ‘Red carpet’ instead of industrial robots and filming cars passing by, but in the end the same trap. A painful but necessary lesson for me.
How did you manage the big step from your favourite appartment in Berlin to being on the road as the Pegasus Family?
Our daughter Bonnie was one year old when we found out that we had carcinogenic asbestos in the beautiful apartment – where we had planned to live in for at least 20 years. The landlord company understated the health issues of course and we had to sue them for renovating the flat. During the nine months of the lawsuit we lived out of three travel bags; in the basement of friends’ houses, student rooms and Airbnb flats. Because we had to continue paying the rent to avoid a countersuit.
After 9 months they had eliminated the asbestos and we moved back in. And marveled at the 101 boxes full of stuff that the moving company brought back in. What was that? What had we needed these things for, all these years? Three travel bags had been enough to be happy …
And suddenly it clicked …
Yes, suddenly we realized: Your possession possesses you. During Summer 2015 we then decided to change the world. Within the frame of possibilities of a small family, of course. To stop blaming politicians, lobbyists and society in general but do something. To make this world a better place for our child, for all children on earth. We sold, gave away and donated almost everything we had and moved into a campervan, travelling through Europe and Russia for two and a half years. Before we started into the next adventure in Central America …
„What happens if I start writing my life myself instead of letting it been written?“ This is the sentence you use to present the Pegasus Family. What happens?
You accept responsibility. Responsibility for your actions. And you become independent from the opinion of others. This, of course, is a process. This doesn’t happen overnight. You start to decide out of love instead out of fear. You yourself make decisions, no longer the voices of your parents, family, friends or society. And you switch off the autopilot, because where he had taken you hadn’t made you happy. And once you have overcome the fear of this self-responsibility, an unforeseen, deep love for life spreads within you.
Your lifetime project is called „one planet. one family“. What does that mean and what was the starting point to that?
With our books and films we want to raise awareness in people. Awareness for the fact that all life on this planet is our family. And that we should treat them accordingly. 2016 we had filmed the documentary ‘Citizen Animal’, on the rights of animals. And when we thought about the next film, we found that our brothers and sisters who have roots have the same problems. So we moved to Central America and filmed ‘Root Republic’, a film on the consciousness of plants and trees.
Today I know that we had set an example for these people. That they could have lived their dream, too.
A complete u-turn … How did your family and friends react to that?
Few encouraged us. Many shook their heads. “And where will the money come from?” Today I reply silently: “And where will the love come from in your life?”
They accused us of being irresponsible parents. All we wanted was to live a gipsy’s life, crazy hippies, all that stuff. Today I know that we had set an example for these people. That they could have lived their dream, too. That life is not “the way it is”. But that we ourselves may and can determine how we want to live. We proved that “yes: it is possible!” And it scared them. Because this door opens for anyone, if you follow your heart …
At the beginning of 2017 you decided to give animals a voice. „It´s just an animal …“ In your film „Citizen Animal“ you say, that this attitude towards animals bothered you. What are the most important realizations from that movie? How did it change you?
We deeply realized, through our own experience, that animals are not inferior to us humans. That their consciousness is not only equal to ours but wider. We ridicule dogs, call them “stupid” because they love their human fellow even when he or she beats them. And always come back, wagging their tail. Now I know that they are teachers, teachers of unconditional love. And they keep being our teachers no matter what the situation is. Like cats who want to teach us independence and freedom. Animals are straighter than humans. “But an animal cannot compose Beethoven’s 5th’” we were often challenged. “Well, can you?”, we replied
The award winning documentary holds a mirror up to ourselves that is hardly bearable. What reactions to Citizen Animal did you receive?
The vast majority of feedback was very positive. We had decided to refrain from bloody scenes from slaughterhouses and such. We did not want to blame anybody and show humans as being devilish. And we wanted to open hearts. And according to the feedback we received together with our co-producer Robert Franz, we were successful.
The next project „Root Republic“, which was awarded the prize for best documentary in Venezuela deals with plants. You did not research a lot but approached the subject intuitively – step by step. That brought you to South America…
In English they call it ‚serendipity’. We always just start filming and trust and follow life. Life knows better than we do. Of course we do have a rough plan. In Mexico we bought an old Volkswagen van – Palomino Carlos – and it took us all the way to Panamá. And then the filming locations just found us, automatically. You meet people, tell them about your project and they, for example, know the founder of an orchid rescue station in Guatemala who also is the founder of the ‘Guatemala Volkswagen club’. And so on …
After this study: how do you feel about plants? What can we learn from them?
Plants are more than meets the eye. There is the web of roots and funghi, the information highway of the forests that connects all the plants. Plants help each other, warn each other from varmints or forest fires. Old trees help the young ones with nutrients once they need support. The legend of the “merciless fight for a place in the sun” is a myth.
And then there are the plants’ “spirits”. Their souls, I guess. With whom you can communicate and who are our guides and doctors. If we allow them to be. We live in the mountains of Perú and here we have zero Corona deaths. The people here who live by the ancient traditions heal with the power of the plants and ask us why the nobody is using their old remedies to heal the infected.
You can love plants, either as a species or as individuals! You can ask their name and sing songs for them. And you can ask them something and receive answers in the most unforeseen and magical ways. A plant in Colombia has once cured all of my allergies in one night.
„Who in our society is neglected?“ That is the leading question at „one planet. one family“. In your third documentary you draw attention to microorganisms. What is the fascination for you about them?
That, basically we are not an “I” but a “We”. We have more microorganisms in and on us than body cells! And when we take care of our microbiome (the sum of all micros, for example in our guts), it will be the best health bodyguard there can be. But if we neglect and kill our microbiome with constant radiation (cellphone, Wifi, …), industrial food, stress and heavy metals it cannot protect us any more. The “Little Big Family” is our most valuable friend and also our invisible but irreplaceable family.
Looking back today, what are you most grateful for?
For the many encounters with people who follow their heart. And for the beautiful and deep friendship with some very dear plants. And for the lemon tree who, last year, revealed my place on earth to me.
Your guiding stars are your heart and love. What are the most beautiful experiences you had because of that?
When life (once more) crashed all of your plans and goes for something completely different. And this turns out to be much better than what you had planned for. And when people get in touch with us and say “Thank you for opening our heart”. Then we know we are on our way.
Do you miss something about your former life?
No. Some friends that I would love to see more often which is difficult due to our travelling. But then we have friends all over the world who have enriched our own lives a lot. And if you only meet once a year, there is always a lot to share …
But if my priority #1 is always “making money”, then my heart will always come off badly.
Everybody has to find his or her own path. If somebody feels like the path he or she is following is not the right one, what would you tell this person to do?
Change your priorities. Always we are being told: “Yes, if I had the money …” We also did not have the money. Every now and then we were next to being broke. Yes, it is important to have money. In the world that we have created … But if my priority #1 is always “making money”, then my heart will always come off badly.
Did you find everything you wanted? Do you still wish for something in your life?
Life is a pearl necklace of lessons. If you’re refusing to learn one of them, it returns in a different shape. Until you learn. “Why does this always happen to me?”, asks the human. Well, because you don’t learn. Because you keep trying the same strategy and then are surprised to always have the same result.
I have learnt to talk to plants and trees and I am an apprentice of an indigenous shaman in Colombia. I have friends all over the world and have experienced a lot of different cultures. My daughter wakes up every morning and smiles, looking forward to each new day. We live a happy life. But still I do have a deep wish inside of my heart: that people finally are daring to open their hearts. Because then we will set off towards Eden.
Anything else that is important to you?
Don’t jam your children into tiny boxes of fear, only because you had been jammed there before. Guard their joy for life and their innocent curiosity. Please do not bring them under the constraint of being a “valuable member of society” and doom them for a life of sadness. Let them discover their talents by themselves and most of all teach them to believe in themselves. Let them find their own answers and show them each day how proud you are of them. This is the way of the heart – the only sustainable there is.
Oliver ‚Wyld Rose‘ Kyr
Filmmaker, Author, Ambassador of the plants
For more information: www.thepegasusfamily.com
On this website you will find the documentaries „Citizen Animal“ und „Root Republic“ for free: https://oneplanetonefamily.is/?page_id=3163
The film „Little Big Family“ can be watched here for free: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPEFawGfcRU&feature=youtu.be
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