Well this is pretty goddamn profound.

“You are what you love and not what loves you.
When we were kids, all we did was play. We literally just played and we did what we loved to do. We created. We were drawing all day, we were singing all day. We didn’t care what people thought about us or what our ex-girlfriend was doing. We didn’t even care about that stuff – who we were gonna get to date us or what’s the boss think at the company; we just did what we loved to do. We created and we played all day. Literally, all day…

There’s a level of effortlessness that shows up by you enjoying the process of working on yourself. That’s the goal of life, and when you do that, the results will show up when they’re supposed to…”

– Kyle Cease

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“I never decide if an idea is good or bad until I try it.

So much of what gets in the way of things being good is thinking that we know.

And the more that we can remove any baggage we’re carrying with us, and just be in the moment, use our ears, and pay attention to what’s happening, and just listen to the inner voice that directs us, the better.

But it’s not the voice in your head. It’s a different voice. It’s not intellect. It’s not a brain function. It’s a body function, like running from a tiger.

…Being open to using your instincts instead of going, “Oh, that’s not going to work.” Or listening to the part of your brain that goes, “Oh, that’s out of tune.” Or the part of your brain that says, “That’s too loud.”

You have to shut off all of those voices and look for these special moments — these moments that you accept you have no control over.

So much of my job is to not think — to be open to what’s there, and then use my intuition to see where it takes me.”

-Rick Rubin from a fascinating interview… check it out.

 

 

Integration + Biomimicry

April 19, 2013

This is why most technology (esp medical technology) is not sustainable or healthy in the long run – it is not integrated.

If it’s not integrated and holistic, it will have unintended consequences, negative side effects that are equal and opposite counterbalances to the gains attempting to be made.

“Natural ecosystems do not forget about anything; they embody integration. Everything has a specific role, and this diversity of function must be maintained to keep the healthy equilibrium of the biosphere. Unlike linear problem solving, nature always comes up with complex and integrated solutions. These solutions do not rely on simply one organism or function, but rather a network of many that are prepared to adapt. Linear problem solving creates a solution for one problem, whereas in biology, nature is anticipating many. That is why an understanding of biology can play a crucial role in the process of design science. By injecting biological understanding into the preliminary phases of the design process, the designer’s foundation for problem solving can be more integrated, and hopefully it will be easier for them to create a whole systems solution.”

by Griffin Goldsmith, from the Buckminster Fuller Institute

“One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside.”

-Tenzin Palmo, 1943

Clutter and confusion come down to a lack of faith, a lack of trust in something greater in yourself, a lack of belief that everything will work out perfectly for you.

Hasn’t it always worked out for you? Even when it seems something horrible happened, didn’t it have an equally beneficial flipside, of growth, learning, opening, wisdom, compassion, help from others? It has for me! And until we change our beliefs – ie whether or not the Universe is a friendly place, whether or not we’re always provided for and taken care of – we will continue to be unhappy, even if it’s just a simmering, low-grade dissatisfaction that you can’t quite explain, can’t quite put your finger on.

The Release List

1. Red dress I bought in Buenos Aires after coveting it for a few  months; I wore it once and probably won’t wear it again. Luckily I don’t do that often.

2. Thermos – I wanted it do drink yerba mate out of my gourd+bombilla but it made the water taste really metallic-y. Yuck.

3. Lipstick – Bought at Whole Foods eons ago. Before I started boycotting them.

4. Nail file – I know, lipstick and nail files are piddlly things, but I’ve stll got 26 days to go!!! Gimme a break! I also want to ditch my last remaining lipsticks I’ve been carrying around as I never wear them. It’s good to start slowly.

5. Reading lamp – bulb broken, and I don’t need it anyways since my first-edition Kindle broke and I now read on my iPod touch. Backlighting’s hard on the eyes but it’s convenient.

 

The Keep List

1. My Macbook …

2. Deodorant! (Lucky you!)

3. Nail file, handed to me today by someone who didn’t know that my old nail file is pretty much useless. Manifest!

 

I did go more utilitarian on my Keeps today for some reason, and I realized that I want to stick to the LOVES instead of the NEEDS. So I’ll go back to the LOVES  tomorrow. I get the feeling that I don’t have that many LOVES… interesting.

I do really enjoy how slow and non-threatening this process is. I always feel like I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff, and then overwhelm kicks in so I don’t even start the process.

Five things a day is so small, so easy, so doable. Not that it still doesn’t take me awhile to choose; it still does. But it feels much better. Less pressure. Less terror.

 

P.S. Here are the links from the video:

Artist Lakshmi

The Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness in Italy

Artist Sandro da Verscio

It’s True!

March 2, 2013

“Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”

– James Allen

Photo by me, Italy 2013

Photo by me, Italy 2013

Setting Inner Greatness Free

February 24, 2013

“The word education derives from the Latin educare, which means “to draw forth from within.” Unfortunately, much of our educational system has fallen into the regime of “pound in from without.” Real education recognizes that each student embodies genius unique to him- or herself, and the goal of learning is to set inner greatness free.”                                                            -Alan Cohen

Every morning I read the day’s entry in ‘A Daily Dose of Sanity’ by Alan Cohen. I started back in 2007 with ‘A Deep Breath of Life,’ also by Alan. He’s one of my favorite spiritual/self development authors for his insight and sense of humor.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m here to do: my purpose / soul’s calling / what I choose to create / how to use my gifts and enthusiasm and energy for the highest good. AND how to ‘survive’ in this material world – how to get paid (and be open to receiving) doing what I love. Getting over the fear blocks of not-good-enough and just GIVING, being of service, creating all the value I can for others.

Synchronistically, I took a break from writing this entry to attend the ‘sermon’ at the Ceremony of Light (like mass, but the Ananda Ashram version), and today’s talk was about education. The guest speaker was a man who’s the head of the Education for Life schooling system, inspired by Paramahansa Yogananda.  He spoke about how education up to this point was focused on suppression rather than encouraging the unique, individual growth and development of children; he spoke of the gifts and examples of love and trust that children have to offer, how children have higher vibrations than most adults, and how they’re naturally closer to God.

As a bright and talkative child, I received years of negative conditioning in school, being frequently punished, isolated, sent outside or to the principal’s office for not sitting down and shutting up. I’ve had to work hard to undo these internalized messages of wrongness, and am still doing the work today. Probably due to my experiences, I’m fascinated by the movement towards child-centered education, unschooling, and child-driven schooling. (check out an amazing TED talk here).

These last few years I’ve been teaching myself to tune out the negative conditioning and follow my bliss, follow what excites me, do what I love, and trust that everything will work out. It’s often uncomfortable, stressful, scary and challenging, but as my life becomes more and more what I want it to be and I feel freer and more fulfilled, the more I feel that I’m on the right path, and the easier it is to trust.

I was not raised and educated in a system that encouraged me to “set my inner greatness free,” but as an adult, this is what I’ve chosen to be my life’s work. And my life’s play. I hope that our children and future generations won’t have to do all of the un-doing that I see myself and many others having to do; the work of un-schooling, de-programming and healing.

Trust is still the biggest challenge at the moment – trusting that I have value to give, that I deserve to receive in return, and that if I continue to follow my bliss/intuitions/dreams, that everything will work out.

I’ve been moving beyond my fearful perfectionist/protectionist/procrastination habits and creating – like the building the temporary website for the Academy www.awakeningartsacademy.com and putting together this video – my first attempts at building websites and editing videos. I’ve also made more necklaces and will be posting them online, available for sale.

Garnet & Onyx Prayer Wheel Necklace on Snowy Buddha

Garnet & Onyx Prayer Wheel Necklace on Snowy Buddha, Feb 2013

And, inspired by my soul-sister and amazing blogger China Brooks, I’ve added a donation button at the bottom of my blog. Over this past year and a half of nomadic traveling and self-discovery, many have told me that I’ve inspired them. I know how good it feels to give, and I’ve been told that if you don’t allow others to give back, in a way you’re stealing from them – stealing the opportunity for them to show their appreciation and support, and to receive the gift of giving.

So, if you ever feel so inspired, I will happily and joyfully accept your donations!

I’m full of gratitude today as I transition into this next phase of my life, setting more and more of my inner greatness free! Thank you for coming along with me on this journey…

“Everyone has a bankable talent. You came to earth for a purpose. On the deepest level you are here for a spiritual purpose, to discover your identity and your value in the cosmic plan. You also have a form of expression in the world, to serve others while fulfilling yourself. Do not stop until you have tapped into your talent and expressed it. It is why you are here.

Talents are valuable only if you use them. If you “hide your light under a basket,” the light doesn’t get to do what it was created to do. If you ignore or deny your talents, the world misses the blessing you were born to bring to it, and you miss the spiritual and material reward you deserve.” – Alan Cohen, ‘Trust Your Talent’

“Never underestimate the power of any act of courage or kindness. When you live in alignment with your true self, you send out ripples that affect the entire universe.” – Alan Cohen, ‘Thank You For Eating The Cake’

I’m a Maker, Baby

January 19, 2013

I realized today as I was walking through the snow that I am a content producer. I love to make stuff, and I love to share. When I’m going down the path of fear, I just consume stuff I find online and regurgitate it on Facebook and Twitter; some people say I post too much, some thank me for all the inspiration I fling about. But it’s not fulfilling.

I read so much, I listen to so much music, I take so many many pictures and videos, I have so many ideas to write about, I have so much jewelry crap I’ve been dragging around the world with me and hiding in my suitcase.

When I can shake The Resistance, when I’m allowing myself to be led up the path of my heart, I’m creating.

I’m starting to unblock. These past few weeks I’ve been making videos, making mash-ups, making mixes, making websites, making jewelry. I’ve been singing, playing harmonica, playing guitar, playing my chicken egg shaker. I’ve been creating. I can feel the floodgates opening. It’s about time.

I wonder if the inspiration is coming from the snow. I’ve never lived in snow before, and it’s certainly conducive for keeping one inside… creating.

Today’s Daily Dose of Sanity from the as-named book by Alan Cohen:

“God lives in your heart. If you take your heart to church, there God is. If you take your heart to the woods, there God is. There comes a time in every person’s evolution when he or she must decide the truth for him- or herself. You are the one who has to live with yourself, and the closer you live to what you believe to be true, the happier you will be and the greater the contribution you will make to the world.”

Lone tree near my house, somewhere in the Italian countryside, Italy 2013

Lone tree near my house, somewhere in the Italian countryside, Italy 2013

Today.

January 18, 2013

Morning maté and eggs laid fresh by chickens that live in gypsy caravans
Crostini and raw honey with roommates sussurating in French
A still duo-chrome world outside the windows with white snow draped thick on black branches
Fog and god misting over the mountains…

QP-I-hope-you-live-web

“Every time you appreciate something; every time you praise something; every time you feel good about something, you are telling the Universe: “MORE OF THIS, PLEASE!” You need never make another verbal statement of this intent and, if you are mostly in a state of appreciation, all good things will flow to you.”
– Esther Abraham-Hicks*

This crisp blue-sky autumn morning, as I walked down the Italian country road I live on, headed towards the Temple of Light for the Thursday morning purification ceremony, I listened to Radiolab’s newest podcast about how you can change your DNA by being grateful and feeling good.

The story was actually about what happens when rats lick their babies, but it all come around to the fact that feeling good => releases serotonin in your body => changes the epigenome of your DNA and REMOVES proteins that block the healthy expression of your genes and behaviors… Feeling good changes your DNA for the better, and Appreciation and Gratitude are the most effective ways to feel good.

I hope on this Thanksgiving day, wherever you are in the world, you spend some time in appreciation and gratitude, and that you’re feeling good. Sending love!

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”
– Meister Eckhart*

The Temple of Light at Ananda Assisi, Fall 2012

*quotes from the fabulous www.TheDailyLove.com

NOW.

October 25, 2012

I was reminded by a beautiful woman today that we are essentially love, light, and ecstasy. I know this, but I don’t yet totally believe that it’s the truth about ME, and I am constantly forgetting.

Which is why I read spiritual and inspirational stuff every day. Which is why I meditate every day. Which is why I try to do as much yoga as I can. Which is why I’m living in a spiritual community with a bunch of other people who are trying to live this truth. Which is why I collect quotes.

Like these:

“Live each moment completely and the future will take care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each moment.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda

“Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. Peace is all around us — in the world and in nature — and within us — in our bodies and our spirits. Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
– Eckhart Tolle

BE HERE NOW.