Tag Archives: video

What If You Stopped Going Outside?

what if you didn't go outside

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Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee — Again.

comedians in cars getting coffee chris rock

I featured Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee about a year ago on this blog, and shared how much I enjoyed watching it. Well, it’s happening again. Part 2. The second season. I watched all the episodes, and the only ones I really liked (a lot) were Chris Rock (by leaps and bounds) and Sarah Silverman (not a close second, but heaps better than the rest).  You can find all the videos on the Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee website, including my two favorites. They posted Chris Rock’s video first and Sarah Silverman’s last. I think they were trying to start and end the series on a high note. –It worked.

comedians in cars getting coffee sarah silverman

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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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Empowered by One Change

sarah+britton+vegetarian

“What does one change look like? What is one thing you can do today to improve your health?”, said Sarah Britton (holistic nutritionist, chef & blogger) during her TedTalk in Amsterdam.

I would like to change that to: What is one thing you can do today to improve your life?

Sarah is one example how one change can not only positively impact one life, but many lives (see video embedded below and link posted above.) Every one of us has the DAILY OPPORTUNITY to make a change in our lives — and as a result, change many lives. The world is in the state it is in because of the choices we have made. Do we want to keep choosing in that direction, or do we want to choose something different? The same goes for our individual lives. Do we want to keep them as they are, or do we want to create something better? If I told you that 15 years from now, your life would be EXACTLY as it is, every single part of it the same. sarah+britton+green+smoothieWould you be super happy, or would you feel some disappointment? If you wouldn’t be filled to the brim with joy about it, it means there is room for change. It means that you could feel better, and those around you could too. And if you have the opportunity to create something new on a daily basis, why not accept the opportunity with open arms, and celebrate it with a little courage & gratitude? What would your life look like if you did? What would the world look like if you did?

“With every bite of food we take, we are voting for the way we will look, for the way we will think, and if course the way we will feel. Our food becomes us. Literally.”  – Sarah Britton

I would like to change that to: With every choice we make, we are voting for the way we will look, for the way we will think, and if course the way we will feel. Our life choices become us (creating our self, our life and our world). Literally.

[Photos by Sarah Britton, even better pics on her My New Roots blog. She’s a great photographer! You can also find her on Facebook & Twitter.]

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David Blaine Nailed It

david+blaine+magic+trick

Charlie Rose: You never tell how you do things, do you?
David Blaine: No, I don’t think that’s what it’s about.
Charlie Rose: It’s about what? It’s about the joy of illusion?
David Blaine: It’s about the moment when people aren’t thinking about anything. There’s no, …there’s no logic. You’re just only reacting to the moment, and you’re stripped away of everything, you’re left open. That’s what it is, I think.
[That excerpt was from a 1997 Charlie Rose interview, when David Blaine was only 24 years old.]

david-blaine-cardsThis is why David Blaine inspires me. He nailed it. He said it. He knows it. Life itself, the life we all fear, overstress about, work extremely hard at, feel insecure throughout, and think that we need to win because we might lose — that life — it’s an illusion. And the ones that find bliss, and find balance, well, they aren’t lost in their heads, they’re in the moment, fully present.

Some people come to that realization the hard way. For them, it means being stripped away of everything before they can fully be present to what is. Sometimes that means literally stripped of what they value most (health, family, money, friends, partner, property, etc). But more often, it just means being stripped of concerns or concepts that only get in the way of one’s own bliss.

Being open is flow, it’s allowing yourself to be moved. Instead of being taken over continuously by habitual thoughts & programmed patterns, you are free — you are no longer bound by what you think you know. Knowing differently, knowing deeply, knowing better, happens when you pull yourself out of that box, or when life itself does it for you.

So many of us awaken to the beauty, mystery & gift that is life only after natural disasters, losing loved ones, devastating disappointments, near death experiences, or anything so moving that it completely knocks some sense into us and awakes us from our slumber. Heavy heartbreaking (more like ego breaking and heavy heart opening) experiences are really effective in waking people up. But not everyone needs to do it the hard way. There are some people that can do it while they still live an average everyday life, without severe ups & downs or scares. I’d say, let’s do it that way! Don’t wait for a hard wake up call, wake up now! Be open now. Get out of your head now. And fall in love with everything & nothing — with nothing but the simplicity & purity of every moment.

Every moment has infinite gifts and eye opening experiences, and deep deep stillness that puts us in touch with the mystery & source of all life. It both humbles us & empowers us. But in order to see this, we have to be awake, we have to be open. Like David Blaine says, his work offers glimpses of this. If you watch the people that he performs for, they are so focused, so wide-eyed, so still, so grateful, so full of joy, so full of wonder — this is what life is all about! This is available at ANY moment, under ANY circumstance. It’s always with us, around us, and in us. But we have to see it. Life itself is magic. You are magic! It’s all a gift. But you have to be open to fully receive it, to fully enjoy it.

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Unlocking The Truth: Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins Rock!

Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins

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.)

unlocking the truth band

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!

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EVERY BOLD ACTION IS A RISK

bold activist community action

A friend brought a video to my attention (embedded blow) a few months ago. It was about a man some people call James Cataldi, some people call crazy, and some people call Birdman of Inwood. I was so moved by his story that I hung on to the video. I saved it in my email Inbox because I knew I would feature it on my blog at some point.

This week I came across two more videos I found inspiring. (Video links at the end of the blog post.) They reminded me about the Birdman video, and I thought that the three videos shared a similar message: DON’T BE LAME. DO SOMETHING TO HELP. (My apologies for using such a teenage slang word. But it just slipped out of my fingers while typing.) But there’s also another message that the videos have in common: EVERY BOLD ACTION YOU TAKE IS A RISK.

I mentioned it in a previous post, how so much of what we do is centered around money. Our whole life seems to be planned around how to make a pay check. But what happens when we start thinking in another way? It seems that communities come together, nature allows its natural resources to flow, and people feel a sense of real accomplishment & contentment, a sense of peace. But often, this is not what is wanted by the people that are still fixated on a paycheck or a monetary payoff. take risksSo what does one do? In my opinion, you get smarter. You don’t work harder and you don’t give up. You simply move with nature and you work more intuitively. You allow the forces (man-made or natural) to work with you and not against you. Just like water and a rock, there is a way around everything. Like Bruce Lee used to say: “Be water, my friend.”

There is also another Bruce Lee quote that is great when one is debating on whether or not to risk: “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” In order to go beyond the familiar, beyond the comfort zones, or beyond the lines that our culture has drawn in the sand and insists we should not cross because of dire consequences — we have to see for ourselves what is best for us. We have to live our own truth.

As you all know by the unpredictable weather, things are swiftly changing & acclimating. We are not an individual entity that can live separately from nature. Everyone must adapt and tune in. Listen. Get still. See where your heart is telling you to be. See what changes you need to make in order for it to happen. Yes, there will be risks. Yes, there will be fear. But trust that you will be fine. We are ALL going to die one day. There is no escaping that. Life, as we know it, in this body, is for a limited time. So with this precious time that we have left (not knowing if it’s days or years), why wouldn’t we go for what is important to us? Not just the stuff that our culture is teaching us is important, but the stuff our heart says is important. Go for it! What do you have to lose?

save the farmSave the Farm Documentary – The film is about 14 acres of farm land that was developed over 13 years in South Central, Los Angeles. The lot was ordered to be bulldozed over by the city officials. It was brought down to a pile of dirt — all trees removed and left like barren land. Julia Butterfly Hill, Alicia Silverstone, Daryl Hannah, Willy Nelson and lots of other (activist) celebs are in the film, side-by-side with the local people. You will be surprised to see how many people came together in solidarity to save this area of farm land. The story is very touching, discouraging & encouraging at the same time. You have to see the film to know what I mean. It’s on Netflix. You can also find it for free on Hulu. (The highlighted words are direct links to the film.)

Time’s Up Nothing Yet Community Garden Video – Just like the story about the farm in LA, on a MUCH smaller scale, it happened in Brooklyn this week. A community garden was developed on a vacant lot (under different circumstances of course), and it didn’t last long… see for yourself, watch this video. It’s just another example of people having different goals, different agendas — and select people using their power dismantle noble agendas for various reasons (not always justified).

On that note, let’s close with one more Bruce Lee quote: “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” Try it. See how it not only enriches your life, but the lives of others. Find a way to practice following your heart and moving in an intuitive way. Do something to help (any noble cause that appeals to you; help anyone or anything that needs your support; make your community & the world a better place). You can’t lose!

[And if you are interested in reading more about how to overcome challenges, read this blog post: Your Biggest Obstacle Doesn’t Exist. It’s full of helpful tips.]

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