Tag Archives: freedom

Banned TED Talks — banned by TED? Really?

banned-TED-talksWhen I heard that there were TED Talks that were banned, I never assumed that TED (who’s mission is: “to offer free knowledge & inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers”) was the one banning them (or pulling them out of mainstream view). When I heard that the talks included Sarah Silverman, Eddie Huang as well as Graham Hancock, I could kind of figure out why. Those are names that became famous for saying what others wouldn’t say or for doing things others wouldn’t do, (along with genuine talent, brilliant thinking & various accomplishments too of course). But when I heard that Rupert Sheldrake was included in that bunch, it really made me suspicious. It made me think that maybe there was content that higher powers didn’t want us to hear or know. [When I say ‘higher powers,’ I mean people that are ego-maniacs & want to control the population with what we collectively consider power: ownership, inheritance, knowledge, fame, resources or money. When we collectively no longer consider those things or types of people powerful, they won’t be. Until then, we play the collective game. The important thing, is to remember it’s a game you chose to go along with, by agreeing to the rules — living within the rules, modeling yourself after the rules — you have agreed to play.]

Relaxing into life & letting go, being open to various possibilities, giving up a false sense of control, not pretending to know it all — make a great number of people quiver (not just TED, which is why they banned some of their own videos). When dogmas are challenged, or the beliefs people hold dear are perforated, they lose their footing. They panic. They create enemies (in order to justify their dogmas & beliefs). And to be clear, we all do this in various ways about various things we believe in to get us through our day-to-day lives. But why do we need dogmas, beliefs, or things we want to feel certain about to get us through our lives? (Both religion & science fans are included in that question.) Why do those concepts feel like good footing or a powerful structure for us? What about those ideas or thoughts allow us to feel secure? To feel secure, like we know what’s going on, or have a handle on things?

science dogmaWhat if Rupert Sheldrake was right, & we could just say, everything is always changing.  And we could be lighthearted about it & flexible — open to possibility. What if we became more fluid, more all-encompassing, more all-embracing & unconditional? For many, it’s a scary thought. They think with real openness, equality & freedom, the world would go mad! They’d think we would be living in a crazy world, where anything goes, & life is chaotic. Well, it already is! And maybe it is, because we are so fixed. Unbearably rigid to the point where we cause our own suffering & ruin. We are bound to concepts & ideas & beliefs that aren’t working for us. How do I know they aren’t working? I can look at lives in general, I can see how people eat-up entertainment & are always starving for distraction. As well as the need to medicate or mask everything — as they search for lasting peace, love & joy outside of themselves, in things that could never give them what they truly want.

I can also look back at TED Talks & review the 5 most watched TED Talks to date (updated by TED on November 8, 2012). Almost all of them deal with the very subject that Rupert Sheldrake is addressing & mentioning: “everything depends on evolving habits and not on fixed laws”, “thinking less dogmatically can open things up” & “our minds are extended beyond our brains”.

“The fact that I was banned actually confirms what I am saying…”
— Rupert Sheldrake

There is a lopsided way in which we are living, where the material aspect of life is the be-all, end-all. Thinking & living like that doesn’t allow much room for play. And please don’t say “We live in such a creative playful time! Look at the artists & the creators of our culture, as well as the opportunities for them!” As a ted censorshipprofessional artist or creative person, I know all too well how orchestrated it is. And as for our culture, there isn’t a democracy. We can talk about the government & law & rights & all sorts of things, & wind-up at a dead end. I see a culture of people wanting to be happy & looking for fulfillment in the mass accumulation of things (or select prized things & positions). I see people desperate for approval & a place to belong. And lets not forget the billions working at jobs they don’t love, but feel like they have to take that sort of work on (in order to play the game we all created).

There has to be an easier way. And as I experiment with the words Ease or Effortless in my life, I begin to see more & more that I was sold a bill of goods. I was sold junk concepts that never worked, never felt right, & never gave me a sense of real freedom or joy. The more I look into “not everything depends on fixed laws”, the more I bravely step into the unknown; the more I feel free; the more life feels universal, connected & unlimited — instead of individual, separate & fixed.

Embedded below is the talk by Rupert Sheldrake that TED disapproved of. (Just listen to the clapping & praise Sheldrake got after his talk at the TED conference. Now why would they ban it? It was obviously greatly approved of by the TED conference itself. –Interesting.) And below the video, is a letter that Sheldrake wrote to TED in response to TED’s actions & comments regarding his talk.

Rupert Sheldrake
March 18, 2013

I would like to respond to TED’s claims that my TEDx talk “crossed the line into pseudoscience”, contains ”serious factual errors” and makes “many misleading statements.”

This discussion is taking place because the militant atheist bloggers Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers denounced me, and attacked TED for giving my talk a platform. I was invited to give my talk as part of a TEDx event in Whitechapel, London, called “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” That’s where the problem lies: my talk explicitly challenges the materialist belief system. It summarized some of the main themes of my recent book Science Set Free (in the UK called The Science Delusion). Unfortunately, the TED administrators have publicly aligned themselves with the old paradigm of materialism, which has dominated science since the late nineteenth century.

TED say they removed my talk from their website on the advice of their Scientific Board, who also condemned Graham Hancock’s talk. Hancock and I are now facing anonymous accusations made by a body on whose authority TED relies, on whose advice they act, and behind whom they shelter, but whose names they have not revealed…

[For the uncensored full scoop on Eddie Huang’s TED experience, in his own words, Click Here. For more information about the Sarah Silverman TED situation, Click Here. To watch Graham Hancock’s banned TED Talk, Click Here. If you would like to see a full lecture of Rupert Sheldrake’s titled Science Set Free, Click Here.]

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Filed under tv & video, unlearning

Definition of Freedom

aimee cavenecia text face

I’m not one to be chatty, or to call all the time. I really like personal space, solitude, & time to reflect. As a result of this, most of my communication ends up being online. Often I get emails from friends, family, or people that know me through my blog. All of these emails are appreciated & valued — but when an email is personal, when it’s deeper, digging into heartfelt feelings or fears, this is when an email really stands out. This is when I want to say, “thank you!” Because through your open sharing, I too have opened up. When I receive these types of emails, I really wish I could include everyone in on the conversation. But the conversation is private — between me & another person. So, what I do from time to time on this blog, is I only post my response. My reply to the email, without any background information on the conversation, or any details about who I am corresponding with. Below you’ll find an email reply I wrote this week. Hopefully by only reading my response, you will feel like you were part of the conversation. Because to me, you were. I feel like everyone is part of every conversation that I have. (Because everyone is in my heart.)

Hey XXXXX,

Explore this this year.–>“I didn’t trust myself to just go with the flow.”

It’s a big one. Flow is EVERYTHING. It’s the real deal. It’s the essence. Don’t leave this lifetime without getting to know flow, without trusting the unknown. It’s like living a lie your whole life, and never looking truth directly in the face. It’s the ultimate of being fearless.

I heard something good yesterday. An interviewer asked someone what their definition of Freedom was. The person replied, “the absence of fear.”

In this world we have all sorts of daredevils and ‘ballsy’ people bragging and showing all sorts of outward fearlessness. But VERY FEW can be with inward fearlessness.

For most, it’s way too scary. For those that have made it their life-work or their practice, to trust the unknown — they can finally be themselves — they can experience (or be) causeless contentment. Real freedom; bliss, internal peace. A place that money, will or talent can’t buy. It’s Grace — unknowable, unpredictable, unfathomable — and effortless.

One can’t push or muscle their way there. It doesn’t work like that. All one can do is humbly let go, and trust fully — totally surrender. Every moment is an opportunity for us to do so. Every minute is another chance. And the good news is; we don’t have to go anywhere, buy anything, or do anything. It’s always right here, right now.

Wishing you the best year ever! :) Explore the Unknown! Be fearless! Meet what’s inside, the real you that is unseen, and oftentimes, unheard. Be with it, listen to it, trust it. It’s not just in you, it’s everywhere. Finally seeing and meeting yourself, you finally meet the world. You feel the love and the peace that has always been there. All along.

I’m glad you are XXXXX. :) That is great news.

Love you!
A.

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Filed under emails, peace & bliss, power & courage

NEVER SORRY

never sorry ai weiwei

A few days ago I watched the documentary about artist & activist Ai Weiwei. It’s called, Never Sorry. Midway in the film there is a quote that really stood out for me. Ai Weiwei was answering a journalist’s question, he said, “Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away. Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a country.” Upon hearing that, it made me think of so many types/levels of freedom I have experienced. After experiencing them, there really is no turning back.

There is one experience that stands out the most. It was the experience of ‘no thought’. Or what felt like ‘no thought’. It’s very difficult to determine, or to put into words. There really is no successful way to do it, but I will try. (A little challenging to put a ‘no thought’ or ‘no words’ experience into thought & words. Crazy of me to even try.)

As I think about this ‘no thought’ experience, the question does come to mind, “How did I know I had no thoughts unless there was a thought about having no thought?” But regardless of this question, I will explain the experience, because that is what is was. Or maybe it wasn’t an experience. I don’t know what it was. I just know what happened & how it felt in the moment.

I entered a New York city subway train, as I usually do for transportation from Brooklyn to Manhattan. I sat down. My eyes were seeing, & my ears were hearing, & my body was feeling, but there was no internal dialogue about it. There was a full train, full of people & noise, plenty of things to mentally comment on & judge critically — but there was no judgement, no commentary. I literally sat there for a period of time with absolutely no desires, or thoughts on anything. No judgements, no preferences. Not even an identification as a separate self. There was seeing & listening & feeling, but no one to take a personal interest in it.

As I sat there, there was nothing. Just a profound feeling of peace & balance. I’m not even sure I could call it a feeling. I was nothing more than openness or emptiness. And as a result of that, I could say that I (or the moment itself, I’m not sure how to identify it) was what I would imagine absolute peace to be. It was perfect. Everything was.  Not a single thing was good or bad, nothing needed to change, or stay the same. There was no preference or attachment at all. No investment, no interest, nothing to gain or lose, nothing to protect, no one to pretend.

After some time, I snapped out of it. The internal dialogue, the preferences & requests, the likes & dislikes, the need for security & meaning — it all came flooding in. The thinking & processing, the obsessing & focusing, the mental babble & commentary — it was all back. But for the previous moments it was gone (I’m not sure for how long it was, because it felt timeless).

It was bliss. Not a bliss based on joy or happiness, but a bliss of absolute clarity & emptiness — which felt like prefect wholeness & balance. I will never forget it. And I can’t help but imagine what it would be like to experience it all the time, …or at least more often. But then again, there goes my mind; full of desires, creeping in constantly with a personal interest — determined to make the moment as it is, just not good enough. Having the awareness to see it do that though, is kind of charming. Like the ego-mind is an active character in a play. A very sweet & endearing character, that the viewer can easily sympathize with & be entertained by.

There are other times that I have felt an unforgettable feeling of freedom. They are pretty simple, & they might be fairly easy to duplicate: Rejecting society’s constant push to pimp people into becoming brainless consumer machines. // Ending my former career without a new career in mind. Totally taking a leap of faith. // No longer keeping photographs or keepsakes of my past. Releasing them & their significance. // Saying ‘No’ or ‘Yes’ when it’s considered unorthodox or a huge risk by most standards. // Staying clear of the media’s constant need to bombard people with drama & bad news. // Fully accepting that one may never know why, or how, but trusting life regardless. // Being ‘moved’ or effortless, allowing life-force or Universal Will to dictate every step or path.// Putting my needs second to someone else’s, that might need attention or extra care in the moment. // Donating, selling, or disposing of, almost all of my creature comforts & possessions. // Embracing life & loving unconditionally, without a second thought.

The last line is freedom to me: “Embracing life & loving unconditionally, without a second thought.” Never mind no-thoughts, or even the opposite: feeling like one has a personal sense of freedom based on anything physical (even one’s own life). Loving unconditionally, embracing all fully — to me this is freedom. In that, why would there ever be a need for an apology? Who would be sorry, or not sorry — what significance or importance would it have? There would only be love. There would only be life! As it is. In the moment. Without apologies.

That being said, continue to explore what freedom means to you. Continue to explore the depths of love. (I will continue to explore freedom & love as well. I consider it my life’s work.) See the film about Ai Weiwei by Alison Klayman. Be an artist & an activist in your own life (treating your life as your greatest statement, your greatest creative work). Share what lights you up. Share what you are passionate about. Enjoy being alive. Relish it. See it as a gift. Be grateful for all of it. Regardless of what is understood or not understood. Put unconditional love to the test. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be empty. Be the space for something great to happen. Allow spontaneity & inspiration to take over. Don’t be afraid to begin again. And again.

ai weiwei never sorry

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Filed under art & film, revolution

No Past, No Future, No Problem

“When you say to someone ‘you’re history’ it doesn’t mean that you’re a part of it; it means that you’re obliterated. That’s what history means.”
— Unknown

I think my Change the Meaning of the Past post (on January 8th, 2012) was too brief & too fast. I got a few comments from readers that it was hard to catch all that Alan Watts was saying & they also wanted more to read. Well, I can’t slow Alan down & I can’t transcribe the whole video, but I can write a bit more about the topic & post an additional video for you.

The Alan Watts video that I embedded in this post gives a bit more detail & has good pacing. It’s quite relaxed & fun to watch (especially Alan’s printed pants).

To me, the bottom line of what Alan Watts is saying is: THE PAST IS THE RESULT OF THE PRESENT. I could probably talk about that sentence for an hour. Actually, I know I easily could. But for now, I want to take it in another direction. (Because you can watch the entire 6 part video on Alan’s view that I embedded above, & get almost an hour of talk about that sentence from him.)

I want to share a different take on: being, living in the present, & staying out of past/future based thinking.

To me, suffering is only possible if your mind is in the past or future. If you are truly in the present, suffering is not possible.

But someone might say: I am in extreme physical pain from an illness (or physical injury). I am completely present. This pain is happening right now, & I am suffering!

My question for you would be: but are you comparing how you feel right now to a time when you were not in pain? Are you comparing how you feel or how you look, to the past? Are you comparing the predicament you are in right now to a time when you were not in it? Are you adding to this moment thoughts about the future? Thoughts based on fear? Like: what if I never get better? What if this gets worse? What if I am never the same? Why is this happening? What if I die? What if this takes a long time? What if I lose what I have over this? What if I never feel good again? — Also, let me ask you: what is your point of reference for pain & pleasure? Is it not based on the past? So in my opinion, it’s not the pain (illness, injury, or situation) that is making you suffer — it’s you. It’s your thoughts. Thoughts overrun by past & future based thinking.

Try it out for yourself today. Or better yet, try it out for yourself this week. Set aside a piece of paper. Every time you get stressed, or feel uneasy, or feel that unwanted emotions are arising — make a note of it. I want you to write down what what you are feeling & thinking. Go into detail. After that, I want you to write down what is happening in the present. Write down where you are & what is TRULY happening in the present moment. Not what you are thinking is happening, but what is really happening. Just note the facts. Don’t paint a picture of them. Just write down the basic facts without adding meaning to them. At the end of the day, or end of the week. Go back & see if those detailed thoughts & feelings about the situation matched the basic facts of the present moment. And if any of the fears that were noted in the detailed thoughts were as scary, as uncomfortable, or as painful as you thought they would be.

Alan Watts has a quote that ties in nicely to what I was just sharing with you:
[Being free from the past] simply involves a change in your thinking. It involves in other words; your getting rid of the habit of thought whereby you define yourself as the result of what has gone before — and instead, get into the more plausible, and more reasonable habit of thought. In terms of which; you don’t define yourself in terms of what you’ve done before, but in terms of what you’re doing now. And that is liberation from the ridiculous situation of being a dog wagged by its tail.

Just remember: no past, no future, no problem! :) Stay present. See what is happening now as a gift.

[To watch the entire “Time and The More It Changes” video (in 6 parts) from Alan Watts, click here.]

[Photo of the “No Past, No Future” tattoo is from the F*ck Yeah, Tattoos! blog.]

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Filed under awareness, great quotes, tv & video, unlearning

Racism, Hatred, Trauma, & the Mind

Interesting thing is: I’m half German. My mom is from Kiel, Germany. She has blonde hair & blue eyes, & is the definition of unconditional love for me. She loved/loves me so much, there was no way I couldn’t fully take on & see how powerful Unconditional Love is. For me it is the ultimate truth. But as a young child, I wasn’t thinking of that sort of thing. All I saw & knew, was what I was learning from people, all people — what I heard them say, what I saw them do. I soon began to see that I had a light brown face, with dark eyes, & dark coarse hair, & I was an outsider. I remember being in school & seeing racist events take place. I remember reading books about the heinous acts that white people committed — I saw it on the evening news as well. There was even racism in my own family, not only on the white side, but on the brown side as well. (Lots of brown people hate themselves, & that leads to hating the ones that look just like them.)

All of this caused so much pain & suffering for me. I was basing my life, my choices, & my development on it. All of it was real, & all of it was painful. And all of it is still here. But I am at the point now where I see it as a story. A story that doesn’t exist — just like the past doesn’t exist.

This week a car crashed into another car, right in front of my apartment building. After impact, one of the cars accidentally jumped over the curb onto the sidewalk & nearly drove straight into my building. I was in the bathroom when this happened. But just the sound of the car crash alone sent me into a traumatic state. It shook every cell in my body for a split second. I felt death, I felt terror, I felt suffering, I felt fear. And this was triggered only by a sound! Remember, I couldn’t see anything because I was in a closed room. The reason that a simple sound can send me into a state of panic like that is because I experienced it in the past — I lived it. I was in a serious car crash, so I know first hand what that sound is, & I know how it feels. But the truth is: it happened 15 years ago, yet I still live a tiny part of it everyday, & on some days, like when I heard that sound, I re-live all of it.

It’s like that vinyl record I mentioned in a previous blog post, you can’t help but to play a tune that has been etched in your soul. The good news is: at this point, I see that there is a way to change that. It can be changed, with Awareness. If I just notice — notice that the song, or the story, or the past is playing. If I can catch it & say: “Ah, I know this tune! It’s just notes. All it is, is notes.” If I do that, I can play another tune, or I can enjoy the silence & love what is in THIS MOMENT. What is present now. How it feels to be alive now. How it feels to love now. How it feels to be grateful for what is happening in the present, right now. — What a difference that is! Don’t you think?!

So I think real healing comes when you can love it all. When you can say: “Oh, I’m thinking something that isn’t true”, or “I’m feeling feelings that are based on my thoughts”, or “I’m in the past (or future) & not in the present, for what it is now” — & then effortlessly & gently bring oneself to a place where it feels safe, at peace, & whole.

Healing is a beautiful thing, but you have to think that the process is beautiful too, otherwise, how are you going to get there? Have patience for not only your process, but for everyone’s process. We are all healing. And we are all waking up to the power of Unconditional Love. As well as the power of truly being alive — which can happen only in the present.

The two videos I featured are of the work of Byron Katie. To say that her work is powerful is an understatement. She speaks & gives clarity on every topic that you can imagine.

If you would like to see a short film on the life of Hitaji (the woman in the first video, who later attended Byron Katie’s school as a guest), here is a link to download it: Hitajis-Journey.

To see part 2 & part 3 of the “Fear of War” video from Israel, click here & here.

If you would like to see other videos from Byron Katie on other topics click here or here.

The amazing illustrations are artwork by Michelle Forsyth. Visit her website for more details & a full view of her trauma painting series.

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Filed under awareness, fear & challenges, more love, tv & video

BE (YOU)

Very little of what you think & do is actually you. Trust me on this. And if you don’t, test it out for yourself. Set a timer for every 30 minutes one day. When the timer goes off, write down EXACTLY what thought you were thinking when the timer went off, & write down what you were doing at that moment as well. You will be sadly surprised to see all of the thoughts that are based on programed or learned untruths, & how much time (or rather, life) is spent focusing on either work (for the sole purpose of making money) or guilt related busy-ness.

Don’t you want to free yourself of this? Aren’t you tired of being someone other than yourself?

You might ask: “What is being me?” or “What is being free?” or “What should I be doing if not working for money or doing things because I should be doing them?”

The first two questions are great, but the last one answers itself.

What Is Being Me?

Being you is beautiful. It’s when you don’t need to do anything, or be anything. It’s when you just know, without question. It’s when you follow your feet & your feet follow your heart (& your mind just tags along for the ride). It’s when you trust that you are supported. It’s when you feel so much love, that you can’t believe that much love is possible! It’s when you wake up in the morning free & empowered & relaxed. It’s when you are free to be! —- To put it simply; your beingness (not your doingness) is you being you. The way you love unconditionally is you being you. When you are silent & at peace, this is you being you. Those moments of freedom, simplicity & bliss are all you.

Now you have another question: “But what about when I’m enraged or angry, this is also me! Isn’t the me that isn’t at peace, or isn’t being love, or isn’t oneness or awareness me as well? What about when I am depressed & I am suddenly able to create great works of art, this is also me! What about when I have lost a loved one & I am in tears, this is also me! What about after I’ve been taken advantage of & I’m full of anger & resentment & fear, this is also me! — No, that is you under the influence. I don’t argue that those are also beautiful states of humanness filled with emotion. I don’t argue that the contrast of those feelings or experiences bring a richness & a texture to life. I don’t argue that the contrast between painful experiences & enjoyable experiences lead us to a greater appreciation. I don’t argue that the terrible experiences in our lives make us stronger & (hopefully) wiser. I don’t argue this one bit. I’m in full agreement with you. But where I draw the line is by seeing that & telling you that, these are not pure states.

When I say they are not pure, I mean they are forced by outside influences. They were not created out of thin air, something brought them on, & that something was outside of you. The states that I talked about previously, when I described what it’s like to be you truly being yourself, those examples are of you in all of your pureness & wholeness, without anything extra. Without the influence of anything or anyone. —- Example: When was the last time you were completely enraged for no reason? When was the last time you felt cheated by nothing? Yet I can come up with numerous examples of when I smiled or even laughed for no reason at all. — Do you understand the difference? Truly being yourself is unconditioned, while not being yourself is.

Everyday I get some sort of impression of someone who is suffering. It can either be from the media, or on the street, or from a friend or family member. The one thing they all have in common is that they are suffering over things that aren’t within them. They are suffering over things that have nothing to do with who they truly are. And they continue to carry these pangs or these burdens as if they have to — & they don’t! Just as simply as they picked them up, they can let them go. But — only if they can see that they are holding on to something that isn’t real.

What Is Being Free?

Being free is being fearless. Fearless from the guilt & the ties & the programmed way of being that you were raised to live with & live in. The ways that have been ingrained in you that you see as truth (because it’s what you have experienced or seen), but it’s just you playing a record. These songs (experiences, lessons, traumas, or habits) have been ingrained in you like a grove in a record, & unfortunately you can’t help but to play these tunes over & over again.

Like I said before, some of these songs built out of pain are beautiful. These dark experiences have made you beautiful & strong. But they are also painful to carry or play out repeatedly (be it in your head or in your life —- same thing). You are enslaved to these false ideas if you can’t stop playing their tune. They run automatically as a way of being & dominate your life & experience. It’s like being trapped in a vicious cycle.

Freedom is being free to choose. To start from a place of unconditional beingness, of unconditional love —- a place of nothingness. To be able to choose freely & live spontaneously in the moment is freedom. Having clarity, feeling at ease, being self-sufficient, experiencing wholeness, connectedness, love, joy, peace —- to be able to be these under any circumstance or situation is freedom. It’s power! And this power is who you are when you are just being —- you.

Do you want to try it? Do you want to create a radical change in your life? Do you want to unlearn what you have been taught? Do you want to unplug yourself from the outside & tune into what’s inside?

This can happen overnight. This can happen in an instant. This can be a spontaneous realization. But I’m not going to promise you that. I don’t think you or anyone else has any control over it. That sort of instant awareness is Grace. It can only be granted; not bought, not taught, not learned, & definitely not pushed to happen. You can only get it when it is given, & only Grace can give it. That being said, what I can promise you is a gradual uncovering of your own truth. Yes, your own truth. You will know truth when you hear it, or see it, because you will feel it. Not in an emotional sense, or in a dramatic sense, but in a heartfelt resonance sense. You’ll just know without question & you’ll never forget. You may fall back on your programmed automatic way of being from time to time, but you’ll never forget who you are.

[The blog text is an except from my new ebook, Revolutionary Being. It will be released in the spring of 2012.]

[Pssst! After putting together this blog post I found a really great video by Mooji that I feel ties in really well. Please give it a look for additional thoughts on this topic: VIDEO LINK ]

[The illustrated quote is by Monique Duval, Compendium.]

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Filed under transformation, unlearning

Home Sweet Home

This week I took a little trip & stayed in a vacation home near the beach. It was a minimally furnished beautiful apartment with no telephone, no internet, no television, no doorbell. I loved it there. At first I was a little worried about giving up my internet connection (read: addiction) for 10 days, but you know what? — it was great. I was totally at peace.

More & more I get this feeling that I should try something I never have before & that is; living outside of the city. I’ve lived on opposite coasts of the United States my whole life: the Bay Area & New York City. I’ve never lived off of the beaten path (except in my lifestyle & work), never lived outside of town, or near an old grove forest — actually, I’ve never lived more than two short blocks from a major post office to be specific. I grew up two blocks from a post office & I currently live only one block from a post office. Things over the years have been pretty consistent & pretty convenient, I could say that much for sure. But it would be nice to branch out & try something new.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me about this wonderful website called Free Cabin Porn. No, not that kind silly, it’s literally cabins. Or more like alternative housing: eco-friendly, artistic, unusual, old-fashioned, or clever homes. When I look at the pictures, I see myself there. I see me, just sitting there. Just being. Nothing fancy. Nowhere to go, no one to be.

I like the idea of moving closer to nature for many reasons: I like the idea of mixing the modern with the primitive. I’ve always loved contrast & opposites. To me it’s the spice of life. I like the idea of being part of the world, but not in it. The internet allows me to do this in so many ways (Yes, I still want the internet in nature!). I can connect with everyone & be “seen” without actually being there. How amazing is that?! It’s so me. I like the idea of going to sleep to the sound of the wind instead of cars. I like the idea of going to bed early & waking up early. It’s not often, but I have had a few experiences of going to bed at 8:30pm & waking up at 3:30am. It felt so right. I slept so deep & sound, & I woke up content & complete, ready to start the day & welcome the sun. I like the idea of collecting water from a spring. I like the idea of growing my own food. I was at the Farmer’s Market two weeks ago & I bought a bunch of home-grown micro greens. After eating them I felt so relaxed, content & balanced, it’s clear to me that I should be eating like that all the time. Mass produced mineral deficient greens from grocers do not measure up.

I like the idea of moving closer to nature in general & will continue to let it marinate until it manifests. I’m not sure what the future will bring or be for me — but whatever it is, it’s perfect.

No matter where one goes, there they are. The source of unhappiness or discontentment is always from within, not without. Ultimately, we should be at peace no matter where we are. But a few cute birds, a quaint home, a cool breeze, a best friend, a cozy bed, & some good food does help. (*grinning*)

The bottom line is: home is where the heart is. Make sure your heart is in the right place & make sure it’s the number one thing on your list. If you have this priority in order, all else falls into place effortlessly. If you don’t believe me, check back with me in five to ten years. I’ll test it out for ya.


“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“In the West, you have bigger homes, yet smaller families; you have endless conveniences — yet you never seem to have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don’t bother to cross the road to meet your neighbours.” — Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

“I’ve come to believe that we can blend the best of age-old folk wisdom with the best of modern knowledge to create a world of incredible beauty — a world of caring, creativity and joy.” – Bill Coperthwaite

“There’s nothing in the world that can compare with sitting with your best friends in a close circle, under the spell of the fire, watching the flickering flames and having a wonderful time together.” – 1959 Boy Scout Handbook

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Kahlil Gibran

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