Category Archives: inspirational people

I Sing Because I Am Free – Thank You

aretha_franklin_thank_you

The last time I was brought to my knees in tears and gratitude must have been 3 or 4 years ago. I don’t know what sparked it then, but I do know what sparked it now. Somehow, I stumbled across a Jennifer Holliday video, and that lead me down a path of more gospel videos. I found myself in complete awe of how self-expressed the singers were. As if they were empty, a complete open vessel for Spirit to pass though. Each singer was unique, yet each signer belting out gratitude & grace equally.

I’m left humble, and speechless. Open, and so grateful for what is my life. Being grateful is very much like being loving. It’s the highest path, highest road, without limits or an end. It’s all-encompassing and powerful. Like love, it can shake you at your core and sober you, wake you up to the truth.

Someone asked me recently, what I recommend to turn one’s life around, to cause a transformation. I said only Grace can propel a real transformation and awakening, but gratitude is a sure-fire way to get someone’s life on track fast.

I wrote a blog post on Grace in 2010. My definition of Grace might be different from the average person’s. The blog post was titled, Cultivating Grace: Survival of the Most Harmonious When I talk about Grace, it isn’t linked to a religion or meant in a religious way at all. But I do consider it spiritual, and of Spirit.

In the song Jennifer Holliday sang, I heard the words, “I sing because I am happy, I sing because I am free.” Deep moments of gratitude show me that no matter what the circumstances, I am always free, and joy is always present. Like peace, joy & freedom are not things that you can physically get or strive for — they can only be known & felt. They are available always, in every moment. But it usually takes an unconditional acceptance of the world and of one’s life. Seeing the whole, instead of fragmented pieces. Seeing how divine & miraculous life is.

I’ve embedded the video of Jennifer Holliday singing ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow,’ and also of Al Green, Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin. The songs Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin sing in the videos are not gospel songs, but you can see the gospel influence in how they sing them.

Al Green

Jennifer Holliday

Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross & Aretha Franklin

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Filed under gratitude, inspirational people, singers, sunday is for lovers

Very Few People : Grimes Quote

Grimes_ Claire Elise Boucher

Very few people on the planet have the opportunity to even follow their dreams at all. Most people live in poverty, or in communities where the repercussions for behaving how they want are a lot worse than just people talking shit. If doing what you want is an option for you, you should do it, because you’re one of the few lucky people who can. And even if you fail, you will be in a better position than if you’d never tried. Every horrible thing that has ever happened to me has added integrity to my art and improved my understanding of the human race.
Grimes.

(The very people Grimes speaks about is me & you. Just wanted to make sure you knew that.)

Filmed May 30th, 2011 at The Sub in San Fransisco, California.

Grimes, is a Canadian producer, artist, musician, singer-songwriter and music video director. You can find out more information about her through her website, wiki page, and Tumblr account.

Grimes - Artist  - Production

Grimes Artwork

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Filed under artists, great quotes, inspiration, inspirational people

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: Tomi Ungerer

Far Out Isn't Far Enough Tomi Ungerer

I love watching documentaries. I’ve made quite a few posts on Sunday Is For Lovers sharing my favorite documentaries. More than not, the list is full of documentaries about artists. This week I found another great one. It’s about Tomi Ungerer. If you are unfamiliar with his name, once you view the film and see his body of work, you’ll recall seeing his artwork throughout your life. His body of work is enormous. Be it children’s books, political posters, artistic pornography, commercial works — he’s done it all. And all of it is outstanding.

Tomi Ungerer political worksThe title of the film about his life is Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story. I saw it on Netflix. But I’m sure it’s available through numerous outlets. Below I’ll post a quote I enjoyed from the film. I identified with it in so many ways.  It brought me back to how I felt as a youth, and how I feel currently as an adult.

“…When you’re faced with this kind of historical contradiction — what is liberation? What is fascism? What is dictatorial? And this is what I found out as a child very, very early. Everything was just absurd. The war is absurd. People are absurd. The grown ups are absurd.”

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The Work of Adam Harteau

Adam Harteau collage

Adam Harteau photo

A close friend of mine shared the work of Adam Harteau with me recently. She (Genevieve) thought I would like his blog Our Open Road — and I absolutely do.

Adam Harteau is no longer looking to raise funds for his 2012 Kickstarter project, but I recommend you check out the video on his Kickstarter page. I think it’s a great example of what he & his work is all about. In my opinion, it’s about Life. Life with a capital L.

Adam Harteau photography

Adam Harteau our open road

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Filed under art & film, inspirational people, world travel

Charles Eisenstein, Important Questions & Economics 101

sacred economics 101

“If you were to take a poll today of our species asking what are the truly most fundamental questions that pertain to human survival and prosperity, such as, I don’t know… What really supports human life? How does food grow? What energy is? What creates and reinforces good public health? What defines a useful or detrimental belief system? You can rest assured that the vast majority would have more concrete answers about baseball statistics, fashion trends, sitcom plots, and religious scriptures. Not to demean the cultural pleasures and creativity of expression that creates enjoyment in this life, but we have a distortion of priority, that has proven to be incredibly detrimental to the future of our sustainability on this planet. Where the majority facing clear mounting problems not only doesn’t understand what the root of such problems really are, they don’t even know what to questions ask. And today, there is no grater destructive ignorance at hand than the vastly delusional concept known as modern economics…”
Peter Joseph (creator of Culture in Decline)

“It’s a mistake to live for the premise of security. We are here for more than just surviving.”
Charles Eisenstein (author of Sacred Economics)

This week I feel more like reading & listening than speaking & writing. So I’m not going to give my thoughts, or go into detail about why I selected those quotes to share with you. If you want to know more about Peter Joseph’s quote, watch Economics 101. <–just click that link
But I will leave you with this video of Charles Eisenstein on London Real. It’s embedded below for you. I hope you watch it.

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Ricky Jay & The Greatest Magic Trick

ricky jay magician

I thought I would love it, and I did. I just finished watching a documentary of Ricky Jay (world-renowned magician). I wanted to see it in the theaters here in New York, but I missed it. Luckily, I just found it on Netflix (it’s also available on Amazon). The title of the documentary is Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.

I’m attracted to films like these because I’m interested in that which can not be explained. Things that are better seen, felt, experienced, practiced. Things that can not be put into words to satisfy one’s intellect. I like worlds within worlds and people that push boundaries. Life is mysterious, people are mysterious. The masses forget this, as they struggle to push themselves into prefabricated molds society creates.

We aren’t meant to intellectually know everything, just as we aren’t meant to behave or look exactly alike. Everyone is a bit of magic. Something mysterious and undefinable — something that is best experienced directly.

What is life but a huge magic trick? It’s the greatest illusion (maya), yet we are emotionally tied to it, tethered — sitting on the edge of our seats, wondering how it all works, worrying about what will happen next — taking it seriously, very seriously. We try desperately to understand it, tame it and control it. Driving ourselves mad in the process. Losing joy, spontaneity and wonder because of our resistance to the possibility that we may never know what is behind it, how it works, or what it all means.

But what if we saw life itself as a work of art. What if we just surrendered to its artistry, and allowed it to unfold — living our lives with full presence, full attention, full wonder, as if watching a magic trick?

I love watching masters at work. They always make it look effortless. I watch them in awe. And instead of desiring to be skilled like them in a specific area, I want to be that proficient, that graceful & steady, that effortless — at life.

To be a master takes practice. And isn’t it interesting that we get to live a day over and over and over again? It’s as if we are given the chance to master a day. How many days have you lived thus far? Consider each day a chance you got to practice something magical and great. Did you treat it that way? Were you dedicated, focused, fully present & appreciative for each one of those days? See your life, see each day, as a once in a lifetime opportunity — because it is.

And remember, no one can do it like you. There is and will only be… one you. So allow the magic that is you to unfold. Everyone was created to be an original, but practice makes perfect. Each day is your opportunity to practice. Stay focused.

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