Category: Positivity In Mind and Body


 

 

Published on Jan 3, 2014

“I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time,” Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) “I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

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I Am Happier, Heavier

Posted: 01/06/2014 10:08 am

 

Rachel Oh Uiginn Estapa

It’s not insane to believe that once you lose weight, life gets better.

For years, I heard stories from those who have shed pounds, recharged their lives, never felt better, and speak so confidently that once the weight was gone, they became the person they were meant to be: a thin and happy one.

I do not doubt their happiness when they share their story, but I also don’t believe that by losing weight, they have some superior knowledge about happiness that us heavier-folk don’t. How do I know this? I’ve been fat and thinner. And I’ve been at my happiest, heavier.

End of high school and into college, I was BIG and used to decline attending parties because I didn’t remotely have anything cute to wear, so I hid behind sarcasm and baggy shirts. And dating-wise… wait, WHAT dating life?

Midway through my freshman year of college I joined Weight Watchers and the gym, becoming obsessed with both. Within seven months, I lost 55 pounds, fit into a size ten and even felt sexy for about fifteen minutes!

But as the scale dipped lower and the compliments on my weight-loss wore off, something else emerged: I felt exhausted, disappointed and still unhappy.

“Ugh, I just can’t keep this up…” I recall saying to myself after a Weight Watchers meeting, of which was my lowest weigh-in ever. I felt defeated and broken that after all my effort, not much beyond the scale changed.

 

Read More Here

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Starting my blogging day off on a beautiful note. I stumble across this video and wanted to share it with all of you.

Deborah Cohan is an OB/BYN who has been scheduled for Double Mastectomy Surgery. Her love for life is amazing. This flash mob in the operating room was done at her request. Cohan requested that friends and family make videos of healing joy of themselves dancing to Beyonce as well so that she can watch them during her recovery.

“I have visions of a healing video montage,” she wrote. “Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies. Are you with me people?”

Her joy and love for life are inspiring. May her positive energy and her love of life bring her many years of joy with her children. Blessings of Love and Light to Deborah and all those who made it possible for her to celebrate life in her very own unique way.

You can read messages from Deborah’s fans dancing in solidarity on her CaringBridge page.
~Desert Rose~

……….

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Reblogged from :  echosfromtheabyss
Read More posts  from echosfromtheabyss  Here…..

                                                                            Rainbow Spirit

                                                        D. Sharon Pruitt Pink Sherbet Photography

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 Prevent Disease .com

September 23, 2013 by TARA LASERNA

Regardless of industry, profession, town, city or nation, highly effective and happy people share many of the same perspectives and beliefs and they act on those beliefs.

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.
The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his or her effort so it actually takes two weeks. Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time and allow fluidity. They don’t stress about time and because their perception is more fluid, time does not become their focus and tasks become more manageable.

2. I understand balance.
They know that the terms money and success are not interchangeable. They understand that people who are successful on a financial level only, are not successful at all. They have an off switch. They know how to relax, enjoy what they have in their life and to have fun. Their career is not their identity, it’s their job. It’s not who they are, it’s what they do. Unfortunately we live in a society which teaches that money equals success. Like many other things, money is a tool. It’s certainly not a bad thing but ultimately, it’s just another resource. Unfortunately, too many people worship it.

3. The people around me are the people I chose.
Choose the people you want around you and don’t let people you don’t want around you choose you. If the people around you make you unhappy it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. They’re in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you–and you let them remain. Kind people like to associate with kind people.  It’s about aligning yourself with like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team. They create win-win relationships. A mean boss will only attract people he or she can control where a boss that empowers will attract people that love to be empowered. The former is a disempowering relationship while the latter is an empowering relationship. Know the difference.

4. I’m never bored and I never complain.
Complainers, whiners and those who refuse to take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof) often meet their demise in this respect. They bore easily because they are too busy pretending life has to meet their expectations instead of them reaching out and being passionate about every experience. It’s about being busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, effective people are out there getting the job done. When you are living the life you choose, complaining, whining and boredom don’t exist.

5. I have never paid my dues.
Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis. No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring. Remarkably effective people never feel entitled–except to the fruits of their labor.

6. I ask the right questions.
They consciously and methodically create their own success by asking the questions that will make them more productive, creative, with a more positive mindset and empowering emotional state.

7. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me.
Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time though, it’s you. And that’s okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. But they found lessons in failures, not problems or misery. That’s why they learned how to be effective. Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

8. Clarity, innovation and focus.
They have clarity and certainty about what they want (and don’t want) for their life. They actually visualize and plan their best reality while others are merely spectators of life. They innovate rather than imitate. They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’. The focus and apply themselves.

9. Volunteers always win.
Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more. That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships–to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do. Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Effective people step forward to create opportunities. Remarkably effective people sprint forward. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.

10. Not only good communicators, but the best communicators
They are good communicators and they consciously work at it. They are more effective than most at managing their emotions when communicating with others and they are not slaves to these emotions. Ego does not rule their lives. They have identified their core values (what is important to them) and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of those values when speaking with others. Their ethical behavior is sound.

11. I address the solutions, not the problems.
People have a tendency of creating more problems than solutions which hinders their effectiveness. They can only see obstacles where as others just have a way of seeing past them and getting right to the solutions that no longer make a problem….well, a problem anymore. They are solutions seekers, not problem enablers.

12. I am humble and happy to admit my own mistakes.
They apologize when they must. They forgive and they are confident in their ability, but not arrogant. They are happy to learn from others and see other perspectives than their own. They are happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

13. I set higher standards for myself.
This in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results. They don’t rationalize failure. While many are talking about their age, their sore back, their lack of time, their poor genetics, their ‘bad luck’, their nasty boss and their lack of opportunities (all good reasons to fail), they are finding a way to succeed despite all their challenges.

14. I finish what I start.
While so many spend their life starting things that they never finish, effective people get the job done – even when the excitement and the novelty have worn off. Even when it ain’t fun.

15. Being multi-dimensional, amazing, and wonderfully complex
They realize that not only are they physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. They consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels inside and out. They don’t hang out with toxic people and they don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of. They do what they can do advance themselves to the best of their ability and never look back, even for a second, because the past is no longer within their control. They plan for the future in harmony with their present state of mind and don’t overplan or overanalyze because they understand that thought processes are constantly evolving and forever growing.

Tara Laserna is a Reiki master, energy healer, meditation and wellness coach.

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Non-Compliance: A Spiritual Revolution

July 10, 2013 | By   

Flickr-non compliance-puroticoricoChris Bourne, Openhand Contributor
Waking Times

People of the world rise up
Right now, people around the world are speaking of rebellion against this unjust system that not only supports our lives, but controls them. Rioting is happening on the streets of Istanbul and in Brazil, the people are rallying against inequality and poverty. That’s not to mention the ongoing protests in Europe and other parts of the world about austerity cuts. On youtube and other social media there’s much blame for our political leaders and also the bankers. But who is to blame really? And can anyone really control us? If we bring this system down, what will we replace it with?…

Shouting at reflections in the mirror

In social media right now I’m constantly seeing new films about revolution, about bringing the unjust system in which we live down. There’s talk of taking to the streets in protest just as people around the world have begun to do. I feel for them greatly and my heart is with them: if it serves your soul to peacefully protest, if it is the highest expression of you, then you must do so. But there’s much more to it than just protesting at what we want to change. Unless we’ve truly changed ourselves and found a more equitable way of living for all life, we’ll simply re-create the same thing on the outside that we’re still holding on the inside.

The system we live in is one of exploitation. It is endemic, right through, from governments to the banks and corporations that effectively steal mother earth’s resources and then sell them back to us for labour. People of the world are caused to sell their labour cheaply and in so doing, transfer resource wealth from the many to a few. We’ve spoken consistently here on Openhand that such a system is not only lining the pockets of the world’s rich and powerful, it’s also dehumanising us and destroying our planet at an alarming rate.

But here’s the thing, the system is in place only because we continue to support it. So taking the streets and campaigning loudly – unless you’ve first changed within – it is simply like shouting into the mirror. We are the ones who have been buying the products produced by the companies that control us. We are the ones supporting huge agro-businesses which are destroying the oceans through GMO and non-organic food production. We are the ones who support the oil and drug companies by consuming stuff we simply don’t need. So campaign to change the government yes, but what will you do about the corporations that really control us?

All we need is “Non-Compliance”

In our recent video Transformation of Humanity, we spoke of confronting and changing the system through “non-compliance”. You and I could begin an absolutely unstoppable revolution that would change the world for the better of all life and we don’t even have to take to the streets to do it. As Gandhi fought for Indian independence through non-violence, we can take a leaf out of his book through “non-compliance”. He made personal choices that became an example to others. So he chose to wear a home-spun clothing in order to encourage self-sufficient village industries and thus help alleviate poverty in India. If we stopped buying clothes produced in globalized sweat-shop servitude, that creates wealth for the few who then control us with it, that would immediately start tugging and unraveling the threads of the controlling matrix in which we live.

Likewise, if we chose organic and not GM food, we’d stop contributing to the destruction of our oceans and our top soil eco-systems. In the process, we’d stop lining the pockets of big business who then buy the politicians that pull the wool over people’s eyes, plus we’d find ourselves more healthy in the bargain and our consciousness would expand through the reduction of internally polluting excito-toxins. If just a small percentage of us had the courage to do this, whatever the apparent extra cost might be, the financial system would collapse very quickly bringing with it globalised destructive business and many (if not all) of the corporations that control governments and us.

Right now, we are living not in one world but two. There is the old one of the old values, injustice and inequity. But we can also access another world through the choices that we make. If we choose non-compliance with the old system in everything that we consume, then we’ll find ourselves increasingly accessing a higher vibration. The new world becomes increasingly a reality for us. We’ll feel it in our hearts, our consciousness will expand and what’s more, as more people do this, we’ll accelerate the collapse of the old system around us.

Openhandway

So do you feel revolutionary? Do you feel it’s time for change, real change, non compliant change that serves the higher good of all life? If so, a way will reveal itself to you. When you find the will to change and be open in your heart, immediately choices will be presented to you, today. They’ll speak through the synchronicity surrounding your feelings. Is it right to buy this or that? If you expand through your desires and contractions to the moment, a surrendered openness arises from which “Right Action” simply yearns to happen.

No one is saying you have to give up everything of the old system immediately. Since the old system practically owns all of the natural resources, we’re going to have to compromise. We may still have to use the car, but how much? We may still fly but how often? From my experience the soul is compromising, but it simply doesn’t pay to compromise the soul!

Here at Openhand we call the approach “Openhandway” or “openway for short. It is a way that not only serves our own higher good, but also the higher interests of the planet too; we feel increasingly lighter, more expanded and joyful in the process. So do you wish to change the world for the better of all? Then I advocate ‘non-compliance’ with the current system, and instead, allowing this state of surrendered openness to guide you.

Now. And always.

Chris

About the Author

Chris Bourne – At the age of 40, I was involved in a life threatening car crash in which I thought I would certainly die. This precipitated total inner surrender and a rapid reconnection with the conscious life force through all things.

I found myself suddenly able to experience and contemplate through multiple dimensions of reality to see the deeper purpose of life itself. It was then I began to fully realise my true reason for being here.

During the crash, time seemed to slow right down and I was guided back through key moments of my life. I was realising that every moment in our lives has but one underlying purpose – to reveal an aspect of truth about ourselves to ourselves. I was beginning to dissolve every belief and value our society had conditioned within me.

This was my initial awakening to the magical unifying consciousness of the soul. Over the eight years that followed, I was guided through four other inner ‘Gateways’ of consciousness. I have since come to know the process as the five key expansions on our journey of Enlightenment and ultimate Ascension into multi dimensional living – our divine birthright.

My consciousness expansion however did not end there. It continued to blossom and expand. I became acutely aware of a highly evolved, benevolent presence, working through the weave of life since the dawning of time itself. I have come to know this Group of Nine intimately. It guides my life and is the basis of Openhand itself.

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Peggy Atwood

Published on Jan 30, 2013

A song I wrote when I visited the site after 9/11; always thought a little heavy, but it is time to get it out there. All photos taken from the web, if there is any infringement, please contact me, I will include credits. Included on my CD “Renegade of the Light Brigade” during the remix and urging of the late, great Steve Burgh.

Originally posted on http://akkaoldfart.wordpress.com.:

Serenity

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
- Reinhold Niebuhr, Serenity Prayer,1943

One of the most important questions to ask ourselves, as dissidents, is how to stay sane in such an insane world. When delving into the dissident world, it is easy enough to get so depressed that we can no longer function. In fact, the closer we look at this horrible world of ours, the more attractive suicide can become.

For those of us though, who have no choice but to function, the Serenity Prayer above certainly provides a very helpful piece of advice. There is no point fretting over things we cannot change. That only prevents us from changing those things we can. The tricky part though is how to distinguish…

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Published on Feb 4, 2013

The story that inspired “The Blind Side” has a real-life happy ending.

Good Morning America : ‘In a Heartbeat’: The Tuohy Family Story

Uploaded on Jul 9, 2010

The family behind “The Blind Side” has written a book about its experiences.

A Conversation with Adam Campbell: A Taste For Life

by Richard Whittaker , Jan 16, 2013

Conversations.org

It was one of those bright mornings we’re blessed with so often in the Bay Area. No matter that it was mid-December. A week earlier, I’d been ambushed by Pancho Ramos Stierle and Sam Bower and told that I had to interview one of the visitors staying at Casa de Paz, Adam Campbell. Neither Sam nor Pancho twist my arm very often and when they do, I’m immediately intrigued. Both possess inspired vision—Sam is the founding director of greenmuseum.org and Pancho, a founding member of Oakland’s Casa de Paz at Canticle Farm. And both are close friends from among the servicespace.org community.
Now the morning for the interview had arrived. I found Sam and Pancho and Adam all in high spirits. But before sitting down together, I couldn’t resist a quick walk around Canticle Farm, four houses on connecting lots that stretch across a city block in Oakland’s Fruitvale District, and a great example of urban permaculture. Sam wanted to show me the latest house they had acquired. “But we have to go through the chicken coop to get there,” he told me. I take such moments as incomprehensible blessings. There is a front door, but getting to the new house from the adjoining backyards required passage through a chicken coop.
There was offbeat magic afoot, and it was picking up momentum. Bending down to get into the coop and with chickens scattering under our feet, we came to a gate in a backyard fence. And voila, we were in another world where I was startled to see two of the biggest prickly pear cactus plants I’d ever seen. One towered above a dilapidated old wooden garage. “Look at those fruit,” Sam said. We picked a ton of them and gave them away to the neighbors.” Giving away to the neighbors is one of the main activities at Canticle Farm, part of their strong community building practice.
Soon Sam and I were back in Casa de Paz with Pancho and Adam. Pancho handed me a slice of fuyu persimmon from their own trees as water for tea was reaching a boil. The energy in the room, I realize now in thinking about it, had to do with the joy of right action, of sowing the seeds of community and loving kindness. I was standing with three ahimsa warriors and feeling grateful for my good fortune.
After a while we all went upstairs to the big room to set up for the interview. No tables. No problem. We found a drum to set the recorder on. And all of the sudden, the four of us were pounding out a rhythm together. No one had to ask, “Are we having fun yet?” Finally, we got some chairs arranged and sat down, “But first we have to watch this video, hermano,” Pancho said, opening his laptop.…

Richard Whittaker:  We just finished watching this beautiful little video about a group of people in Paraguay turning trash into musical instruments. And you said, Adam —

Adam Campbell:  It reminds me of the irrepressibility of the human spirit. And that even in the midst of everything unraveling around us, in the end it will be beauty that saves us

RW:  That’s a beautiful idea and I hope it’s true. But tell me something about yourself.

AC:  Gosh, there are so many ways to tell a story. Okay. I was born in southwest Missouri in the town of Branson. The people there like to call it the country music capital of the world. I think now it has about 8,000 people. And Branson gets almost six million tourists a year. I think it’s the second biggest tour bus destination in the United States. It’s this crazy American anomaly in the hills of the Ozark Mountains next to two lakes. It’s a strange and wonderful place, really. There’s beauty and joy and wonder there. And it’s also kind of a microcosm of what I’ve seen happening all around the world. But it took me traveling around the world before I realized what I had experienced in my own hometown. I’d say that’s of people wanting an authentic cultural experience, and realizing that the modern paradigm doesn’t really provide it. So when they find a grass-rootsy, homegrown place—a group of people who have lived in a place and developed something over a long period of time—people realize its value. Unfortunately, then they often try to commodify it and destroy what was there in the first place.

RW:  Right.

AC:  So for me, growing up, it was hillbilly culture in the Ozark hills much like what West Virginia represents. I wasn’t a hillbilly growing up, but I grew up surrounded by that. My parents grew up in the city, St. Louis and Kansas City, and they moved down there before all of Branson, with a capital B, happened. We were there before that and I saw this relentless development taking over. My favorite grove of trees was taken down for a Long John Silvers. The tree that I was sitting in for my senior picture, one of my favorite trees, got taken down for a parking lot for a mall.
But it was also a beautiful growing up childhood. I look back on that with nothing but love and I realize that there was also grief and desolation, as a part of that. Going back now is really difficult. All of the sacred places I had there have been destroyed.

RW:  So for the record, how old are you, Adam?

AC:  I’m 35.

RW:  And you said that you had to travel the world before you really understood what was taking place in Branson and going on all over the world. Can you talk just briefly about your travels?

AC:  I had a public school education, Branson High School. Then I went to the University of Missouri. I went five years and got two degrees—in math and English. And I really loved my experience.

RW:  You covered both ends of the spectrum.

AC:  Yes. I was undecided and was taking all the courses I could. I would go through the course catalog and pick the courses that sounded really interesting. I was pushing for the development of the soul and following my wildest dreams and just letting it unfold.

RW:  Where do you think your confidence came from that it would be possible to follow your dreams?

AC:  I think there are three or four roads that connect, trails maybe—or maybe tributaries. That’s a nice metaphor, isn’t it?

RW:  It’s good. Tributaries, very nice.

AC:  I began to realize that there was cultural story all around us of what we were supposed to be doing with our lives: you’re supposed to do good in high school so you can get into a good college. Then you do good there so you can get a good job. And you get a good job so you can make a lot of money so you can retire early. And then you can finally do the things you want to do with your life before you die.
I just thought that was ridiculous, besides being insulting to the human spirit. Why not just do what I want to do now, and have that be in service to humanity?

RW:  That shows you could think for yourself. Now where did that come from?

AC:  I would have to attribute that to my parents. I feel like I was born into having my own spiritual teachers. Early on, at about seven or eight, I remember having this moment in church. We went to the Disciples of Christ Protestant church. We were in the belt buckle of the Bible belt down in southwest Missouri. And I remember having this realization. I felt like, well, I couldn’t send somebody to eternal damnation and punishment just because they didn’t do what I said. So would someone who was infinitely more loving and wise than I am, do that? That didn’t make any sense at all.
This was the first moment of like wait a second. So I brought that to my parents. And they just said that’s a really good question. I remember the feeling that I was allowed to ask this question, and that some questions don’t have easy answers.

RW:  That’s beautiful.

AC:  And then also, my parents had been on their own path out of a very conservative Christian tradition on both sides. By the time I was nine or ten, my mom had gotten around to reading Autobiography of a Yogi, which was so far from where she had started. There’s this really funny story. She was watching Donohue one day and he had this Eastern guru on the show. Donohue was trying to get him and he was able to deflect every question and give an answer that really made sense. My mom was like: this guy knows something that I don’t know. She had that moment. And the only thing she remembered from the interview, something to hold onto, was “yoga.”
In the mid-70’s in Branson, yoga was satanic. I mean really, it was! So she had this dilemma. Of course, this is a generation before the Internet. But my dad was a professor and so she had access to the college library. This was a very small liberal arts college called School of the Ozarks. So she went into the library and found a book on yoga, but she was embarrassed to actually check out the book. So she got like 12 other random books and stuck it right in the middle. And when she got home she couldn’t touch it for two weeks. She kept on walking by and she’s like—I can’t open it. If I open it, I’m going to hell.

RW:  For people in these fundamentalist religions there’s a tremendous amount of fear to opening your mind just for a moment to some other possibility. I mean, that’s a real journey, don’t you think?

AC:  For sure. And it’s a two-sided coin. There’s fear on one side and certainty on the other side, and both prevent us from moving into the mystery of the unknown. So either way you’re blocked off from engaging in the realm of life, the actual realm of life where the laws of the universe are immutable in a way, and also unknown to us, but we have access to it and it can flow through us.

RW:  Right.

AC:  And we don’t know how it works. All I know is that my experience has told me that we’re part of something bigger than us. There’s that power that flows through me when I feel connected to it that gives me strength beyond just my own personal strength.

Pancho Ramos Stierle:  And that’s how you describe the gift economy. The first time when I heard you saying that, I was like what? Are you serious? This is what gift economy means to you?

AC:  Yes. So the gift gives us access to that. But that’s a major tangent.

RW:  We need to talk about the gift economy, for sure. But I really appreciated your story that in Branson yoga was satanic.

AC:  Yes. You can imagine in that world the possibility of opening up that book could be a sin that’s unpardonable, that you’re going to drop through the trapdoor to hell which you’ll never escape from. What a metaphysical realm to be vying against!

RW:  Absolutely. So you had been bequeathed some tremendous gifts from your parents, as all of us have been.

AC:  Right, which I honor very much. So by time I was reaching junior high level I began to ask even more questions. Like the Bhagavad Gita and Dhammapada and the Bible were all right next to each other on the bookshelf. And we were still going to church every week, too.

RW:  Yes.

AC:  So a friend comes over to visit my mom one day and sees the yoga book on the table. “Oh, you’re interested in yoga?” And she’s like, “Oh, no. I have no idea what that book is.” And he says, “Oh, before you read that, you should talk to Bob Hubbard because there are a lot of dangers in yoga.”
Bob was part of a singing group called The Foggy River Boys, and before that, the Jordanaires, the back-up singers for Elvis Presley, and he was a respected elder in the community. So she nervously calls him up and does the dial, hang-up thing. Because what’s she going to say to him? She doesn’t know.
So finally she dials one day and he picks up, “Hello.” Dead silence. “Hello?” And finally she’s like, “Hi Bob. This is Pat Campbell. You don’t know me but, umm, we have a mutual friend who says you know about yoga.” And she’s mumbling. He says, “What do you want to know?” And then she said it just came out of her: she just said “the Truth.” There was this long pause and he goes, “Then I can help you.”

RW:  Wow.

AC:  So they started this group called the Friends of God. They would read different kinds of books which, at the time, were kind of edgy and they started diving into the mystics and the metaphysical world. So by the time I was 12, I remember telling my mom, “I want to be a mystic when I grow up. I want to do God’s work.” So I think that atmosphere had a lot of influence on me.

Pancho:  To this day.

AC:  To this day. And it’s funny, I was on the phone with them and they say, “Adam, how did you get so interested in nonviolence?” I was like, “That’s your guys fault. You’re the people who told me about Martin Luther King and Gandhi and Jesus. They are supposed to be my mentors and heroes and they were not passive, compliant people who were just kind of lying down and letting the state roll over them. They were leading campaigns of radical love. And that leads us into resistance in the empire at some point or another, unfortunately. I don’t have a desire to interfere, I just have a desire to live into the principles that I feel called to live into.
I would love to be in the world where Peter Maurin said it’s easy to be good. But I think it’s actually almost impossible to be good in our culture. That’s another conversation. One of the moments that really got me on the path I’m on came from realizing that we have absolutely no information about, or access to, generally speaking, where the stuff is coming from in our lives to meet our human needs. Where is our food coming from? Where is our shelter coming from? Whose building is it? Where is our water coming from? We actually have no idea. The average person doesn’t have a clue, which is just a reality.
We don’t know where it goes when we’re done with it, which means we’re complicit in supporting all kinds of systems of which we have no knowledge. So I have no idea who is growing my food or how they’re being treated and what they’re being affected by.  All of those relationships are severed. So, if I was going to boil down Jesus’ message that was taught in my Protestant church, it was just to be a good person. And that’s what I wanted to do. Then I realized it was actually impossible for me to be a good person in this culture. Because I didn’t know what effect I was having on the people who were supporting my livelihood. I was getting zero feedback on the people who were growing my food for me or building my shelter for me. I actually didn’t know.
If I kick Sam in the shins, I’m going to get really quick feedback on whether that was a good decision or not.

RW:  Right.

AC:  I can know, and so I can modify. In our culture today we have opacity, zero feedback. So we just move into this way of being, which is fundamentally irresponsible and immoral. We don’t even know it. We’re ignorant of our own immorality and complicity in an irresponsible system, which I think is devastating—because I think people really want to be good.
That fills me with sadness and grief, actually. Only recently I’ve realized that an incredibly important and imperative part of our healing in this culture is grieving the fact that we’ve all been complicit in these systems without our asking for it. You know? Without our knowledge of it, in some way. And we’re in it. There’s not a viable alternative. This goes back to my story earlier of realizing this cultural story, which I wasn’t interested in. So okay, I just won’t live that story.

RW:  That story. So what is the cultural story, again?

AC:  The cultural story is do good in high school so you can do good in college. So you can get a good job. So you can make money. So you can retire early. So you can do the things you want to do before you die.

RW:  Okay. Exactly.

AC:  Which is dumb. I want to live out the alternative. So I began to look around. What’s the alternative? And there wasn’t an alternative, at least growing up in Branson, Missouri. If you’re lucky enough to be able to go to college, you go to college. If you’re not, then you don’t. You do whatever else you can do. So I went to college, which I loved. But the whole time I was looking around. I had this different understanding of how I want to be moving in my life, but I had no idea what it would look like.
And I’m having these debates with my friends who think that a degree is a pragmatic direction to get a good job. Right? I wasn’t interested in getting a job—except I did apply for the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile job, which I didn’t get. And then I graduated.

RW:  Should we stop and hear more about that?

AC:  It’s not really worth the tangent. Well, you get to drive around in this silly thing; you’re autonomous. Kids love you. And you get to have a good time. Joseph Campbell said, “We never lead the life that we expect or imagine.” And sometimes I give great thanks for that. All the times I’ve been on unexpected detours have been incredible gifts.

RW:  That’s a beautiful statement.

AC:  Yes. So I graduate and I have this intuitive feeling—first, that I don’t actually know what I’m going to be doing with my life. And second, that I’m missing half of my education. I realize I don’t have any experience of what’s happening in the world—or the experience of myself in the world, which are both fundamentally important.
So I decided to go experience the world. I wanted to go to as foreign a place as I could imagine just to see what would happen, to see what would come out of me. So I went to Nepal and Tibet. I figured that would shake me up a little bit. And then I kind of figured it out from there.

RW:  Now how long were you there?

AC:  I was there for two months and then I went to Thailand and Cambodia for two months. Then I went to South Africa for two months. And then I went to Greece. I was only flying into Greece to go to the Middle East, but I got caught in Greece, and you know, adventures happen. So I was there for two months and then I went to Morocco for a month. And that was a little bit shy of a year. Then I went back and visited friends on the East Coast and eventually made my way, completing the circuit, back home to Missouri.

RW:  When I talked to Peter Kingsley, he said that in whatever place you’re in, there’s a way of thinking. It’s just in the air, and that you’re constrained by that place’s way of thinking. Does that make sense to you?

AC:  Yes. I feel like that’s undeniable. You can experience that by going from house to house down the street. And that expands to the culture, as well. And it’s true that it constrains your thinking. I mean it gives you a certain set of lenses with which to look at the world. And there is the ability to completely shift that by going to Thailand, for instance, which operates very differently—or South Africa—from what I was used to in Missouri.
And I don’t think constraint is a bad thing. It’s necessary to give us form and to move us into action. I think it was Stravinsky who, when he got composer’s block, he would limit himself to four notes. Then creativity would come out of him. So I think we’re in this actually constant balance between resisting the constraints put on us by our culture and having the deep appreciation and gratitude that there are constraints—because then we don’t have to make infinite choices every day. So I think both are in play all the time.

RW:  How did you get here to Canticle Farm?

AC:  I’ll take the short answer on that one. I was living at the Possibility Alliance, which is the community in northeast Missouri where I live now. And I came out to a wedding in Oregon.

RW:  Maybe you should say a little bit about the Possibility Alliance before we go on.

AC:  We’re an intentional community. Every person living there would probably describe it in a subtly different way and I’m not the spokesperson. It’s still forming and a really interesting project.

RW:  How many people are involved in it roughly?

Adam:  There are six or seven full-time members there. And then this coming year there are going to be seven to eight apprentices. Then we’ve been getting about 1500 visitors a year.

RW:  When visitors come, what does that mean—a visit to the Possibility Alliance?

AC:  It could just mean swinging by for the day to get our three-hour tour. Or it could be living with us for two weeks as kind of a more official visitor session. Or with some people it might work out that they stay a little bit longer. Some people just stay for a few days.

RW:  So when they are there, what do they do?

AC:  So they’re attracted, generally speaking, to visit us because we are a 110-acre farm in northeast Missouri. We’re very much inspired by Gandhi and integral nonviolence—and the idea that there is a three-tiered system for integral nonviolence. First, there is personal and spiritual transformation and ridding ourselves of violence and becoming full vessels of love. Then there is the second tier: constructing the world we actually want to see. And then, often, actually doing that leads us, as I said before, straight into the face of the modern paradigm. So often there will be political action and activism based around that, which is the third tier. That’s Gandhi’s view. I don’t want to get too far off tangent. So what we’re doing is an integral nonviolence land-based project. We are living without electricity and without petroleum, as much as possible. So we’re doing kind of a radical bio-regional and local project based around becoming full vessels of love and working for the uplifting of all beings.

RW:  Are you off the grid? Do you have solar panels, and things like that?

AC:  Well, we have zero electricity. There’s no electricity on any of the 110 acres at all.

RW:  Really? Wow.

AC:  None. Not even batteries. Well, actually we have bike lights. As we say upfront when people first come to visit, we’re an experiment. We’re trying something that, at least in the United States, hasn’t really been tried in at least the last 100 years. So we’re doing the best we can and every day we’re failing at it—and getting better at it. Anybody who comes is part of that experiment. And we invite their feedback. We don’t have cars so we’re biking around.

RW:  When you’re on the street.

AC:  Yeah. And we’re completely free of judgment about that. There is no dogma in any of this. We’re just having a great time trying to live out a different way of being that we feel like is a fundamentally better way to live, because it’s more connected. It’s more responsible. It’s more healthy. It’s more vibrant. It’s more participatory, and it’s more fun. And people who come give us the feedback that this is really true.

RW:  I’ve never met anybody until today who is living without electricity.

Sam Bower:  And no dinosaur juice.

AC:  And as little petroleum as possible. Yes.

RW:  So when the sun goes down, it gets dark. Then what do you do for light? Candles or?

AC:  We make our own candles out of a mix of beeswax that comes from a local bee place, apiary. I just call it the bee place. The industrial food system is so crazy, right?—the way that they fatten animals up on purpose. They’re feeding ruminants corn, which of course, don’t eat corn, at least that much. Then the first thing that supermarkets do when they get the meat is cut the fat off and it gets thrown away!
So we go to the local supermarket to get their trash fat and we render that into lard. Then we can mix it with beeswax.

RW:  Well, that’s amazing.

AC:  Can I say one more thing about light? [yes] I’ve experienced myself feeling very different. I think this is really interesting. Jerry Mander wrote a book called Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. And one of his points is that the body ingests light. Like we turn sunlight into vitamin D. So the light that hits us affects us in very particular ways. And science has shown this to be true about circadian rhythms and things like this. In the world of the city there is artificial light everywhere, whether that’s from screens or whether that’s from lights that get turned on in the daytime or at nighttime. And between the natural light that I’m around at the Possibility Alliance, just from the sun and from fire, what I’ve experienced is that I feel more like a mammal.
That might sound kind of funny, but an hour-and-a-half after the sun goes down, regardless of what time of year it is, it starts to feel like midnight. And all of us, it’s like wow, we’re starting to get a little tired. In the wintertime, of course, the sun goes down about 4:30 so we’ll stay up with candles for a while, reading or just chatting or maybe playing some games or something. But my body moves into a different rhythm.
I get surprised when it’s no big deal for people to stay up until 12:30 around here with the lights on. I do it too when I come back in the city. And I realize my body is acting in a totally different way than it normally does.
It feels very different to be sitting next to candlelight and writing a letter after dark than it does to be sitting in front of a computer screen after dark. I know that after two hours in front of a computer screen, I feel gross regardless of the content that has been put through the screen into my brain. Just the feeling of it, it’s like I have to go shake it off. I need to get outside. And I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way. So I just want to say that the feeling, the physiological experience, not just the aesthetic experience, is very different.

RW:  I wanted to ask what have you learned from this radical shift in your relationship with light? It’s exactly what you’re talking about.

Read Full Interview  Here

I’m not  a big  fan  of  American Idol, but this audition was beautiful.

~Desert Rose~

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Lazaro Arbos Auditions – AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 12

Published on Jan 17, 2013

Florida resident Lazaro Arbos has had to overcome a speech impediment he’s suffered with since he was six years old. Today he follows his dream of being a performer by auditioning for the judges.

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