“Just see it done, feel the happiness & joy and never look back!” said James’ mom on Kickstarter to Laura Miller, as she tried to raise 10,000 dollars to start her business Sidesaddle Kitchen (officially, with a commercial kitchen, permits, etc.) in 2011. Well, James’ mom was right, she exceeded her Kickstarter goal, and she never looked back.
It’s not often I come across news or videos in the media that light me up with full confidence about the future of humanity. But this week I did! :) With a big smile, overflowing heart & pure optimism, I came across Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins of Unlocking The Truth. They are a local hard rock band. (Or should I say heavy metal band?) Living not too far from me, in Brooklyn. This is just another reason why Brooklyn is so badass. (See my previous post, Brooklyn is Badass.)
Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins (& they now have a third member, Alec Atkins) say the main goal of their band is to encourage people to be themselves, and to not feel intimidated by what others say. It’s such a great message for the times we are living in. People are overwhelmed & bombarded with the government, authority & our society’s constant need to push people through cookie-cutter forms. Just like in nature, awe-inspiring beauty is always found in diversity. But let’s not forget that this is where incredible strength is cultivated as well. Remember, wild plants are the strongest, with the most potent healing properties. For us to embrace ourselves fully, to nurture & love who we are individually as well as collectively, and to openly share this gift with others — this is real power. If you could do this, if we could do this, if everyone could do this — the world would really rock — and life would be so much more fun!
You’ve got two great opportunities to take a stand, & to share an enlightening experience with me & many others.
Join us. Don’t be shy. We need you! It won’t be the same without you. Really.
On August 27th, there will be a rally at 11AM in New York City to make a stand for clean water (instead of fracking). Stay tuned to either the Don’t Frack New York Facebook page, or my Aimee Loves You Facebook page for the rally location & details. And if you can’t make it, please spread the word. This issue is everyone’s issue. We all share the same water & air. One world, remember?
On September 1st (Labor Day weekend) I’ll be co-hosting an all fruit party with Chris Kendall in Central Park. We had the party last year, & we are having it again! We’ll be meeting at 11AM for the fruit party (or arrive at 10AM for a free yoga class with Chris). We’ll be meeting at Sheep Meadow in Central Park. You’ll see us on the big rocks across from the volleyball court. Don’t be socially late or you’ll miss the durian festivities! Stinky fun for everyone!
Life was good this week. And when people share a deeper part of themselves, when they aren’t afraid to reveal the truth, or share what they love, or express what resonates with them — life gets better, richer. It gets fuller & more powerful.
This week I revisited a website. I was pleasantly surprised that they posted two new videos that I had not seen before. These films were so personal, so intimate, so truthful — that it left me feeling fully alive. Fully in touch with my humanness. That feeling is inspiring for me. I love having these kinds of moments & interactions with people. Be it in person one-on-one, or through someone’s work, like a film.
I embedded three films from that website for this week’s blog post (& I embedded another one on my Facebook page). Watch all four of them if you can. They are all quite unique.
“I live with all my heart and soul. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’ve given something away, to the people.” – Gabriel Angelo
As most of you know, I am originally from Northern California. I grew up in the East Bay, across the water from San Francisco. I moved to New York in the summer of 1996, with the idea I would one day return to the Bay Area. Well, I ended up loving New York City so much, that that day never arrived. And I am sorry to say, that I am quite out of touch with what extended family is up to back home. It’s been many years since I have spent quality time with anyone outside of my immediate family (which I stay in contact with).
Interesting thing is, yesterday I received lovely news from my sister. She sent me an email that read: Have you seen what our cousin is up to? She attached video of Gabriel Angelo playing the trumpet. I thought, “Wow. What a cutie. What a talent!” His spirit was truly undeniable & charismatic. As I looked at him & pondered his name, it sounded familiar, like I knew it from somewhere else. Then it occurred to me that I knew it from Twitter. Gabriel tweeted “Hi” to me (@AimeeLovesYou) back in February. I replied to his tweet by saying “Thanks for the hello, Gabriel. Lots of NYC energy sent your way.” But I honestly had no idea that he was family! I just never made the connection. (Unless I see the last name Cavenecia, I never assume one is related to me. If I see Cavenecia, I know immediately!). I often meet people through my blog & Twitter. People frequently reach out to say hello, to promote their work, or to ask a question. I assumed it was one of those typical encounters when I received a tweet from @MasterBlasterG (Gabriel Angelo’s twitter name).
I replied to my sister’s email. And received a reply from her featuring another video of Gabriel, this time with his mother. Gabriel’s mother (who is married to my first cousin on my father’s side) has always been dedicated to her children. So when I heard that this was her son, it didn’t surprise me. I always assumed her kids would be bright. But I was thinking smart, intelligent — not playing the trumpet, decked out in Brooks Brothers suits! But nonetheless, it made me smile that the hard work & dedication she put in, provided the nourishing environment for a talent to grow & a unique character to flourish. I’m so proud of Gabriel, his mother & his father. Such a wonderful gift. The love, the trust, the hard work, the talent, the challenge, the dedication, — it’s all a gift. And I am so glad that they are brave enough to share it with the world, & to see that fearless service is the key to life. A life of service is the highest calling. To dedicate yourself to the joy of others, is truly Divine.
I’m going to present videos & photographs & information about the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS – also #OccupyWallStreet or #OWS, written as Twitter hashtags). Following that, I’ll write a few words on how I feel about the global need for change & what I think is on the horizon. And lastly, at the end of this post, I will leave information on how you can support the OWS movement.
Occupy Wall Street, New York City
I received a FAQs sheet at Occupy Wall Street being held at New York City’s Zuccotti Park (formerly Liberty Plaza Park) near Ground Zero. What struck me is that the sheet clearly read: “We are not a protest movement. We do not protest against things, and we do not have one or two simple demands. We are a movement which does call for accountability, however – accountability to ourselves and to our country.” To me the key word is: accountability. Personal responsibility for all aspects of one’s life is very important. This movement stems out of people who are tired of living in a country that calls itself a democracy when it is not. And now they have held themselves accountable for being the ultimate source for creating this democracy.
It continues, “We must be accountable to ourselves. First and foremost, we are calling upon ourselves, and upon one another, to wake up and employ our power as citizens: to participate rather than observe, to raise our strong voices together, rather than complaining feebly in isolation. We cannot ‘whine’ about the injustices wreaked upon us if we have been complacent and silent in the face of these injustices. We must take responsibility for our own futures – and here at Liberty Plaza, that is exactly what we are doing, by modeling the kind of society in which everyone has the right to live. Here in Liberty Plaza, having lost our sense that we live in a democracy, we are reclaiming its practice.”
The next paragraph states, “Our government must be accountable to us, and corporations must be accountable to the government. We are saying definitively: We no longer live in a democracy, and we refuse to accept that. We seek an end to the collusion between corrupt politicians and corporate criminals, as democratic and capitalist institutions have become conflated. (*1) As such we must see major advances in the area of the relationship between corporations, and people, on par with the amendments which outlawed slavery and assured civil rights to all people regardless of race, sex, or class…”
I wish I could type the whole FAQs sheet out for you, but this blog post would be way too long (-it’s too long as it is!) So, I will just add one footnote that belongs to the paragraph above, I think it’s important.
*1 “In the United States, the right to become rich has become collapsed with the very notion of liberty. From the time we are children, Americans learn to confuse democracy (a system of decision-making and governance), with capitalism (a system for regulating and releasing money flows).”
Occupy Together: Occupations all over the USA
All over the USA “Occupations” have been popping up from city to city. It’s steadily growing in the number of supporters & in the number of locations.
I was so proud to see this video of my hometown, the East Bay in Northern California. The video is from Occupy Oakland (aka #HellaOcuppy).
No doubt about it, there is much more to come. Not only in the way of government reform, or even epidemics & environmental concerns – but in each one of us individually in a way we haven’t been challenged before.
We will eventually find that there is nowhere to turn for a sense of true security & peace. At that point it will be obvious that it can only come from the one who is seeking it.
The only thing we can truly change is ourselves. The only place we can truly find peace is within us.
Looking for answers or solutions outside of oneself never works in the long-term.
At the same time, yes! – Occupy Wall Street & other movements are important & necessary. Especially when it comes to waking people up & taking them out of their comfort zone – their automatic way of sheepishly & passively speeding through their lives. It makes total sense to be forward moving & create the external changes needed at the moment, but after that, the work just gets deeper.
Otherwise, everything reverts back to the way it was. The work will not be done until we have uprooted the source of the confusion & suffering within us, & cultivate a new way of being.
In my opinion we need a balance between the tangible side of ourselves & the intangible side. Our culture is so wrapped up in the importance of materialistic things, or external things (anyone or anything outside of ourselves). But it is the intangible experiences of love, harmony, joy, generosity, trust, balance, peace, & more, that truly make us happy, that make us come alive & make us feel whole.
Love, harmony, & joy are states of being & they can only be experienced & generated from within. The only one that ever has control of this is us. Each one of us has the power to create & maintain these states of well-being.
For lasting change, the most important revolution that needs to take place, is the one within.
Creating a daily lifestyle for ourselves that is meaningful & healthful, as well as building communities with others based on the values & qualities we believe in, this is what change in action is all about.
So let’s #OccupyLove! #OccupyBliss! #OccupyJoy! OccupyAwareness! #OccupyMindfulness #OcuppyPeacefulness #OccupyOneness!
The ways you can support Occupy Wall Street or other Occupations near you…
Every Occupation needs something, the most important thing you can give is you. Share your love & support by physically being there & by sharing your intentions (what you intend by showing your support) with others. If you aren’t able to be there in person, actions like: donating money, food, blankets, hygiene supplies, drinking water, rain gear, tarps, tents, etc, can also be a great way to show your support. So can blogging, taking & sharing photographs or video, spreading the word, & doing whatever you can to contribute.
To send a donation to Occupy Wall Street in New York, their shipping address along with a link for information on their current needs is listed below. There is also a link to all other city Occupations in the USA.
The UPS Store
C/O Occupy Wall Street
118A Fulton Street #205
New York, New York 10038
“As I go through all kinds of feelings & experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: “What do I really need right now to be happy?” What I come to over & over again is that only qualities as vast & deep as love, connection & kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.”
– Sharon Salzberg