Category Archives: transformation

Mel Robbins: 5 4 3 2 1 …Go!

mel-robbins-5-seconds

Gotta love Mel Robbins. How could you not? She’s gives a super-easy to-the-point 5 second trick (technique) to change your life. Plus, she reminds us not to use the F-word. No, not that F-word! The other one.

mel-robbins-instagram

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Possibility of Relationship by Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard - Possibility of Relationship

There is so much I want to say about the video that I am posting today — but I can’t. I am flying out the door to meet my sister for a camping trip. I’m excited to see her, and I’m also exited to be in nature. Where I live is natural and quiet, but I often like to go deep. I love cool breezes and silent surroundings, and if I can get it on a deeper level, I will go for it.

Back to the video. Don’t let the soft sounding title fool you. The Possibility of Relationship doesn’t have much hook or bait. But I will tell you, if there is EVER a video to watch (rather, listen to) that can change and transform any relationship (even the one to yourself), this is the video to do it. I can’t get enough of it — and it’s over 3 hours long! Each time I view it, I get something new. I hear something I haven’t heard before. I hear it as a piece to the puzzle or an ‘ah-ha’ — I hear it intimately and profoundly.

In the near future I will write a blog post dissecting the video a bit. But for now, acquaint yourself with it. Allow it to marinate for while. The longer the video plays, the more interesting and intriguing it gets.

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We Are Creators

aimee cavenecia

I was watching a short film last night about an artist, and the artist said “Humans are creators, that’s what we do.” While I find that completely true, I would like to add to that — we are human beings. We actually be before, and while, we create. And with no arms, no legs, no resources, no senses, would we be creating? Would we not still be a human being? In that situation, we might be imagining. But I bet without a doubt, we would be present to our essence, or true nature, which is to be. Being brings us back to our spirit — what we are behind it all. That being said, I do feel that what human beings do best, is create. And let’s not forget, we are always being as we are creating.

For 7 years I was in a cycle where I felt absolutely no desire to create, or to contribute to the vicious cycle of obsessive consumption that our society is currently drenched in and based on. I felt completely dead to it. It actually repulsed me. It still repulses me. But… I am now feeling that creativity has endless possibilities, and it is deeply rooted in our being. One’s life is their most creative work. Or in the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

Intention is everything. What is the intention behind a lot of what is eye singlecreated today? Is it simply to make a sale? Or is it created to contribute to someone’s life in a meaningful way? Was it truly created out of a genuine love for people?

Everyone knows the difference between a thoughtfully handmade item, or a mass produced item with no soul. The difference between the breakfast a grandmother would make for her grandchildren, and the breakfast these children would be served at McDonald’s. The latter of both examples are a form of manipulation. A form of deception. And many of us eat it up. Many of us are addicted to it, we can’t imagine life without it. (And you can include most luxury brands in there as well, they also have an agenda that isn’t the sweetest one. I’m not just referring to junk products or foods, I’m referring to anything ‘heartless.’ Anything that has a bottom line at the expensive of a compassionate beating heart.)

Back to intention & creation. So I’m feeling more creative these days. I’m also getting clear about what I want in life, and I would like to offer that to others. I started an Etsy shop called, The Rainbow Farmer. It was my way of selling my personal things, as I prepare for a big move from the city to the country. I’ve absolutely adored this process. It’s been so exciting and so fulfilling for me. And it’s still happening. Everyday I look forward to chatting with people online, or taking my turquoise ringsregular trip to the post office. It’s been fun. It’s brought some ‘life’ & creativity back to my life. Designing a little vintage shop, photographing all the items, writing about them, etc.. It pulled out a dormant creative beast. It’s given me a lot of new ideas I want to try.

My plan is to continue selling the vintage items in my shop, to sell them out completely — then, slowly transition it into personal & spiritual handmade items by me. Items that I would buy for myself, or make for myself. Items that a mother would lovingly make for her children. Beautiful handmade items with personality, personal attachment, sensitivity, depth and history. That’s the idea. I’m going to give it a go, and see how it unfolds. I’ll definitely keep you posted on the process.

And don’t get me wrong, I really like the idea of selling vintage items as well. It’s eco-friendly shopping, it’s thoughtful & considerate shopping that can save the world. When buying vintage, we are simply reusing what has already been made, using what we already have as a people. The combination of handmade quality items, along with vintage items, and whole-some (unprocessed) foods, is the way I want to live. I’m going get creative with all of it, and I am going to make it my lifestyle. After The Rainbow Farmer turns into a handmade shop, I might open up a vintage shop again. We’ll see. I have to see how everything plays out. I’m just filling you in on what is going on with me.

What is going on with you? How have you been evolving and changing? What direction do you see yourself heading in? What are you creating for yourself & others? What do you enjoy sharing?

[If you want to check out my Etsy shop, click here. If you want to support it and purchase something, use coupon code AIMEESFRIEND20 For 20% off anything in the shop. And say, ‘hi’ and introduce yourself in the customer notes on the purchase page. :) I want to connect with you! And if you want to open your own Etsy shop, and get creative in your own way, use this link http://etsy.me/19wnJJm You’ll get 40 free listings for your shop. You can open your own shop for free.]

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Getting Wild: Wild Edibles & Medicinal Plants Tour with Wildman Steve Brill

wild man steve brill

Last weekend I was on a mushroom foraging tour in Connecticut. This weekend I was on a similar wild edibles walk in Manhattan. Yes, Manhattan. It was held in Central Park. And believe it or not, there are all sorts of things you can eat in Central Park. Some of the things are more known, and you might be able to find them in stores or open markets. Other things are more rare, but only because they fell out of use in our modernized monoculture that corporations have established for us. This is why I am learning about wild foods, foraging and medicinal plants. I want to unplug and remove myself from the corporate monopoly. I’m not going to totally or abruptly unplug from society, but to slowly transition physically & mentally into a more independent, but ironically more ‘connected’ way of being. Instead of being connected & tethered to big business, I’ll be connected with people, animals & plants — nature.

lambs quarter black walnutsThis weekend’s wild edibles & medicinal plants tour was lead by ‘Wildman’ Steve Brill. He is famous in New York for his foraging tours, and for his vast knowledge of this subject (he has been teaching and leading in the northeast for 31 years). I have to say, the suggested donation for the tour was 20 dollars and it was the best 20 bucks I ever spent! I walked, I laughed, I had a great time. But in addition to that, I learned a lot of valuable information and I even got to take wild edibles home with me. Some of the goodies I got to take home were: Black Birch, Sassafras, Black Walnuts, Lamb’s Quarter, Kentucky Coffee Tree Seeds, Dandelion Greens, Poor Man’s Pepper, Wood Sorrel, Common Evening Primrose, Spice Bush Leaves, Ginko Berries, and Asiatic Dayflower. Some of the things I collected can be used to make tea, others can be eaten as is.

black birch leaves teaWhen I got home after the tour. I felt so good. I felt more connected to the earth and to people, and more importantly, more connected to myself on a deeper level. I also felt inspired to continue learning and felt like I was on the right track. And, I got to make myself a wild salad! I used my Lamb’s Quarter (tastes like spinach, but better), Asiatic Dayflower (tastes like string beans), Dandelion Greens (tastes bitter & yummy in moderation), and my Poor Man’s Pepper (tastes like lettuce with pepper). Along with other plant veggies (Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Green Lentils, etc.) and sea veggies (Wakame Seaweed) I already had in the fridge. It tasted great! I really enjoyed it. Tomorrow I plan on having Black Birch tea for breakfast from the leaves I collected. I’m excited to try it.

I’ve you want to meet me on one of Steve’s tours, I plan on going to the following tours: October 5 & 19th, November 3rd & 30th. You can also check his calender for other dates that might suit you better. These tours only happen as weather permits from March to December.

And if you know of any walking wild edible tours I should check out, just email me or leave a comment below.

[Wildman Steve Brill photo snagged from Kid Champ.]

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AimeeLovesYou aka The Rainbow Farmer (sowing the first few seeds)

butterflies nature

Over the last few weeks, I planted my first seeds of being The Rainbow Farmer. The name was given to me by my partner & friend, and it’s basically a term of affection/poke-fun-at-Aimee tease. The rural land that I hope to move to (not sure when, maybe in the next year or so) has the name Rainbow. It’s the land’s legal name. So since I plan on cultivating and living on that land, hence the name The Rainbow Farmer.

As I make a transition from city dweller to country farmer, there is a whole list of things that need to be put into place. I’m slowly working with each to-do item on the list, and doing the best I can. The items on the list vary greatly, some are things I can do and cross off rather quickly, while other items require more time. Some of the things are also experimental, and are in place just to see what happens and where they might lead to next.

new seed unfurlingI started a new blog, and I opened a vintage shop. Both of these things are crucial parts of the city to country transition. On the new blog, (appropriately titled The Rainbow Farmer), I will share whatever I’m interested in or inspired by, as well as how my projects and experiments are coming along. And hopefully the actual move from city to country, featuring the process of setting up a self-sustainable off-the-grid home.

The vintage shop (The Rainbow Farmer on Etsy) currently features all of my personal things that I want to sell. These are things that I am not taking with me on the move. And I will continue to add to the shop as I continue to evaluate my things and reduce my belongings to the bare minimum. The shop is also instrumental in other ways, it helps to raise money for the move and for The Rainbow Farmer projects (like creating ‘how to’ & DIY videos, as well as helpful digital books, and possibly if the store really takes on a life of its own, it will help fund meditation retreats on the land — helping people get in touch with nature, each other, and themselves).

Like I mentioned in the first paragraph, what I’ve planted are only my first seeds, just a small sprinkle, the tiny beginnings of a few ideas/projects. I have no clue what might come of it, or in what direction it might grow. But in whatever unfurling and the beginningdirection it grows, and whatever fruits it may bear, my goal is to pass it on. To continue to share how I am living and what I am learning in a practical way, so that anyone that wants to live a little closer to the ground can do the same. You might not be able to move closer to nature, but you can be reminded of your own true nature. Your innate intelligence. What is always with you and in you, but forgotten in the hustle & bustle of city life.

When I was visiting the land in July, I thought, “I’m not sure if I can do this, I have no idea how! I’ve been in big cities my whole life.” I had to calm myself and reassure myself that it’s very much like riding a bike. The balance is already within you, you just need to surrender and work in harmony with your surroundings. Sometimes you need training wheels to slowly build your trust. Sometimes you need to fall to learn. Sometimes you just need someone to cheer you on, and tell you you can do it.

We can all benefit from a similar process/practice, to get us back in tune with our own innate intelligence and abilities. Finding our own sense of balance, and what it means for us (individually) to get back in touch with nature (with our own nature, and nature itself). I learn and benefit from you, and you from me, everyone from everyone. Before we know it, if we continue to trust & try & fail & cheer, we’ll all be experts in what it means to live more sustainably, more naturally — and what it means to have fun in the process.

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No Longer Strangers: Richard Renaldi, Odd Couples, Unity & Us

Touching+Strangers+ Richard Renaldi

When I look around, I see more diversity. I don’t think this is just because I live in New York. I know what it was like here 20 years ago, and I feel like there is a closeness that wasn’t here before between living beings: various animals together, various people together, and various animals & people together. It makes for a beautiful landscape. I myself am the result of a mix of races, and I never felt more common or more accepted than now. I’m not saying there is not racism or speciesism. There definitely is, and it’s heartbreaking — but slowly healing and getting better.

animals unitedI saw the most wonderful movie recently. I saw it on Netflix (but you can watch the full movie on PBS for free I believe, via this link). The movie was called Odd Couples. It’s not referring to romantic partnerships, it’s about friendship partnerships. And it’s not about people, it’s about animals. Judging by the cover, it looks like a boring and odd movie, but I will tell you — it’s not boring and unityit’s a gem. Please see it if you can. It’s very heart warming, entertaining and inspiring.

This week I was telling a friend about the movie. He asked me if I knew the work of Richard Renaldi. I said I didn’t, and he told me I should check it out. That it too is about odd couples, but ones that the photographer brings together as art. Well, I did check the photographer and his work out, and it definitely is thought-provoking-mind-opening-awareness-raising art. Watch a CBS video of the artist at work with his subjects, click here to view. (PS, Richard Renaldi just finished his Kickstarter campaign. He attempted to raise 10,000 dollars to produce a fine art photography book titled Touching Strangers. Instead of raising the 10, 000 he planned on ….he raised 80,000 dollars. Obviously people resonate with this topic and want to see more of it in the world.)

odd couples animalsThe world is changing. The weather is changing. The unknown is becoming a known and widely discussed topic. People are questioning their lives and their future. It really is time to join forces. To realize living beings (animals, people, everything alive) are not independent of each other. They not only depend on each other, but thrive when they realize that they actually are each other — all spinning on the same planet, all relying on the same diversitycycles, all vulnerable to birth aging death, all wanting to feel good. When we realize this, we are free. Free of mental constructs, ingrained beliefs and genetic predisposition.

Let’s continue to open our hearts and expand our awareness. Let’s continue to leave behind old ways that no longer serve us. Let’s see and envision a new world. Let’s support those who are working towards creating  a united compassionate world. Let’s live it fully in our own lives more and more each day. Let’s have fun pushing boundaries. Let’s laugh and love while making the impossible possible.

[All photographs of people are by Richard Renaldi, all photographs of animals are not. I put the photos of animals & people in collage form just for this blog post, to enable the reader to see more than space would allow.]

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Too smart for your own good? When all else fails, it might be time for a miracle.

albert-einstein-miracle-quote

There are so many people, that are so smart, so knowledgeable about what is going on in the world (or other important topics); but at the same time, they have allowed their brilliant mind to paint them in a corner. They fully acknowledge the power of knowledge, but they have completely forgotten the power of a miracle.

“Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.”
– Pablo Picasso

We could say that religion diluted & twisted the use of the word miracle, to use it to their benefit. Most religions paint a picture that miracles happens through God (a god they labeled & created), or through their religion, or through some dogmatic concept. As a result, many people lump miracles in with religion and think that both religion & miracles have little to no merit. Some scientists have also influenced people’s view of the word miracle, they have trivialized it or view it as hogwash. For them, because they can’t fully comprehend it and because it can’t be repeated over & over & over (and predicted), it simply doesn’t exist. How many things have happened for you that you couldn’t fully understand, or that you couldn’t repeat or predict? I find that life is full of unexplainable & unpredictable situations & things. Life itself is a great example. “Why are we here?” seems to be an unanswerable question, even for the brightest mind.

albert-einstein-lifeI think that the best way to form an opinion about something is to get to know it personally. To meet it in life, to experience it firsthand. Not by writings or findings by others, not by data or theories or tradition, but to see it with your own eyes, or feel it through your own body. For it to happen to you, while you are fully aware.

When I look at my life, I can see so many miracles. Things that happened that seemed impossible initially. Things I couldn’t predict or create. Things that I or others said “no way” — that later happened with ease. No crazy work or insane pushing & pulling to cause massive change or to make something happen, just a steady flow in the right direction. Sometimes that flow starts with small consistent steps, sometimes that flow happens by simply getting out of the way (which usually means, getting your mind out of the way). In either case, without us dominating or manipulating a situation — things happen. Incredible things.

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control.”
– Albert Einstein

I personally think that in years to come (maybe many, but eventually) people will fully embrace miracles. They will be able to tune into them and work with life’s flow & power. This is a quote from Why Science Can’t Accept Miracles (Even if They Really Exist): “Since earliest times, people had regarded lightning as supernatural. Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning was electricity and furthermore devised a way to control it. For the first time, a phenomenon went from supernatural, not just to natural, but to something controllable by humans.”

When I say miracles, I’m not speaking to any specific ones. I’m definitely not speaking to any biblical ones or any based in tradition or mythology or storytelling. I’m just addressing: the things that happen just in time; the things that happen when all hope is lost; the things that happen so perfectly, that they seem intentional; the things that seem to only make sense in hindsight; the things that make us scratch our heads; the things that make us humble; the things that make us give thanks with full gratitude. If you are familiar with any of those things, that is what I am referring to.

Albert-Einstein-HappyIt does take a certain amount of awareness to experience or acknowledge miracles. Being on autopilot, being distracted or constantly busy, feeling your life only happens according to the ‘facts’ you learned in school, thinking that you always have bad luck, and great things or easy solutions only happen to other people, living from a place of preoccupation with fear or cynicism — all of those will bring down your level of awareness, and will cloud or dull your abilities to see/feel/hear in subtle, yet very powerful ways. Also, instead of experiencing the depth of a multidimensional existence or multidimensional reality, you might dwell in a boxed-in one-dimensional mindset, which creates your sense of reality and limits you.  Like the Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

I’ve met many people that say they have no idea how to follow their intuition or to listen to their gut. I’ve also encountered people that question why adverse things happen to them over & over again. I think both challenges have to do with a level of awareness. Being still & going deeper, practicing more expansive hearing/seeing/feeling, learning to make space for subtle sounds & clues to be acknowledged — all are very important. When subtle feelings or clues go unnoticed or unheard for too long, they can turn into something very dangerous & alarming. Often, health scares were present as subtle clues before they turn into life threatening situations that can take over one’s life, or take one’s life altogether! The same goes for relationships. Minor problems unacknowledged (unheard/unseen) early on, turn into major unavoidable problems that can take a lifetime to fix, or can end relationships forever.

  “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ”
– Albert Einstein

The state of our planet is another example. Our level of awareness was (and still is) minimal. We didn’t see/hear/feel what we were doing to ourselves or to the planet early on. The result is, eventually it will be alarming (it is already in many ways.) It will change our lives drastically and take a lifetime to fix, or …we’ll just be wiped out eventually. Humanity will be a thing of the past, as the planet goes on and heals itself without us. But if we were more subtle, more sensitive, more aware, more observant early on, in the early stages, we might have changed the way we were being to avoid the mess that we are in now. But then again, it takes a certain level of awareness. And again, miracles could happen at the very-very last minute to our benefit. But one never knows.

“We are the miracle of force & matter making itself over into imagination & will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.”
– Ray Bradbury

I don’t recommend waiting for miracles, and I don’t recommend dismissing them either. A healthy sense of balance between the subtle & unsubtle is all I think it takes for one to live powerfully. (It’s like being a perfect balance of spirit & form.) I think taking action (small steps consistently) and living with a sense gratitude for everything, is very helpful & very transformational. As well as, practicing being still. Slowing down (the body & mind, this includes all fears). Making & taking time to just be. Practicing hearing/seeing/feeling, learning to make space for subtle sounds & clues. All that I mentioned are excellent ways we can raise our level of awareness. Our culture is so dominated with loud sounds, constant movie watching, video game playing, TV viewing, as well as, shopping, eating, socializing & working in excess — that one rarely has a chance to get still or just be. To be quiet and to listen not only to the subtle sensations that are there, but to the clues, answers, or gifts that are being given everyday.

We can sometimes be so preoccupied, so programed, so afraid, so hasty, that we can simply gloss-over everything — even our own life. Including all of the once-in-a-life-time opportunities that come with it. We are living in a very interesting time. Things seems to be happening faster than ever. And as a result, I believe that people are learning & adapting faster.  I’m very excited about all of it. If there was any time to think that miracles exist, now would be a good one. If there was any time to get humble and ‘tune in’ to the existing power of that which can’t be predicted or explained, now is a good time. But regardless, one can always benefit from a bit of unlearning. Abandoning old pattens that no longer serve one’s life, as well as moving from a heavy way of thinking & being, to a lighter more refreshing one. Being open & flexible not only feels good, but it can make space for amazing things to happen — inside & out. Enjoy how expansive your mind & your life can be. Try it, and see what happens.

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