Jeremy Rifkin: Empathic Sociability

Just discovered Jeremy Rifkin today. His ideas and wisdom speak to my own heart. Watch the video below!

“Empathic sociability… rethink the institutions of society and prepare the groundwork for empathic civilization.”

Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases.

No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the collective mental resources to truly “think globally and act locally.” In his most ambitious book to date, bestselling social critic Jeremy Rifkin shows that this disconnect between our vision for the world and our ability to realize that vision lies in the current state of human consciousness. The very way our brains are structured disposes us to a way of feeling, thinking, and acting in the world that is no longer entirely relevant to the new environments we have created for ourselves.

The human-made environment is rapidly morphing into a global space, yet our existing modes of consciousness are structured for earlier eras of history, which are just as quickly fading away. Humanity, Rifkin argues, finds itself on the cusp of its greatest experiment to date: refashioning human consciousness so that human beings can mutually live and flourish in the new globalizing society…

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Mindscraps: The Dizzy Donkey Dance

Lately, I feel as if I’m caught up in a never-ending game of pin the tail on the donkey…

The nearly non-existent trickle of income is my blindfold. Short on funds, the hunt for a decent wage is a constant distraction from my true goals. I can’t seem to see past the “no cash” dilemma. So I focus on trying to make ends meet, instead of focusing on what my heart calls me to do. And that’s the irony. The more I allow myself to stray away from my true heart’s desires… the less success I find. The more I give away my time, energy and talents to outside aims, the more I find them used, abused and under-valued. I’m so eager to help. But in my eagerness, I’m learning, that “take advantage” seems to be the law of the land. I must be more wary of where I decide to invest. Lately, it feels as if my “investments” have only been sucking me dry.

It is the mysterious adventure of life that is constantly spinning me, whirling me, sending me in somersaults. I LOVE it. I LOVE the commotion. I LOVE the thrill. I LOVE her, life. But, at times, when I come up for air, I end up dizzy and confused. I know what’s written upon my heart… but which way was it that I needed to go? Which way is forward and which way is backward again? What step is the right step toward achieving my goals?

The hope? Despite the blindfold and the dizzy dance, the donkey – representative of the longings of my heart – is still there, whether I see her or not. Grasping at capital can momentarily obscure my vision. Life and her wondrous, thrilling adventure can disorient me. Yet, nothing can rob me of what lies upon my heart.

So, with the naivety of a child, I still believe and I will still try… to pin that tail on the donkey!

A quiet moment with myself: Let the dizziness clear. Realize the blindfold is a blessing in disguise. Use not the eyes of illusion to make out the way, but the inner eye of faith, wisdom and intuition.
Continue reading “Mindscraps: The Dizzy Donkey Dance”

Mixed Media Art: Clara Berta

I found Clara Berta and her art classes thanks to a ‘Google alert’ for “Los Angeles.”

Curing With Los Angeles Painting Lessons | Comparing Fashion

By Clara Berta

Los Angeles Painting Lessons may cure you. Those who are weighed down by negative thoughts but cannot convey them in thoughts and words might be able to come across curing in art therapies…

When we create something, we give it our complete undivided attention. We immerse ourselves within the process. The music or the paint or the wood and the cake flour or the patch of fertile ground in the back garden lifts us over the difficulties we have and takes us away from ourselves, despite the fact that what we may be producing is incredibly internal. Producing art offers us something to look forward to and will take us outside of ourselves. It offers us hope…

Clara Berta is a globally renowned combined new media artist who focuses on painting lessons los angeles, classes and everything else. Interior designers simply adore this modern art and she is also most desirable for her popular collage painting in Los Angeles. For anyone who loves art, she surely does not let down!

Further delving into art has long been an objective of mine so I eagerly contacted Clara. She invited me to a free introductory class, where I discovered how much I LOVE to throw paint and whatever else onto a canvas. Perhaps I’m not making anything worth anything but I don’t care… just the creative process… the journey of turning a blank canvass into well, something, if not art… is utterly liberating!

I’m so grateful for Clara’s mentoring and her willingness to share her creative expertise with me along with her creative workspace in her own home. Clara is a most welcoming woman who takes joy in sharing her passion with others.

I will definitely see her again next week!

Police Assault Families in Honduras on Indepedence Day

I just received the following testimony from my friend Carlos, who lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Terribly disturbing and stomach-churning. Of course, I have yet to see ANYTHING about this in the U.S. news:

We, Montuca Sound System, respect every ideology, political view, religion, sexual preference, gender, and race, but we strongly condemn acts of violence such as those which occurred today, September 15th, at Central Park in San Pedro Sula. This violence occurred against an event of artistic expression in which citizens and artists were physically assaulted by members of the national police without warning or reason.

Carlos Roman, percussionist in Montuca Sound System, was attacked by three members of the national police, receiving injuries to his back, left hand, right shoulder and skull, the latter was sutured with five stitches.

Carlos, like many fellow Hondurans, had gathered downtown with family and friends enjoying the Independence Day Parade, and was awaiting the start of a Café Guancaso concert. He was conversing with the band members who were preparing for their concert, but he immediately fled the scene when the national police arrived and the first tear gas bombs were thrown at the stage. While running from the scene, he came across a woman who was weeping inconsolably because she had been separated from her 7 year old daughter during the commotion. Upon hearing this, Carlos immediately returned to the scene in search of the lost girl and it was at this point that three members of the national police intercepted him and beat him with clubs without asking a single question.

After the beating, one police officer finally asked, “What are you doing here, and why are you wearing that shirt?” To which he replied, “It’s Bob Marley,” thereupon receiving the final blow.

The park was almost vacant when Carlos came to. However, there were still members of the police lingering around the stage area where the staff of Eurosound, the company who was providing the sound equipment for the event, were working to protect their equipment. These workers were not downtown to watch the parade with family and friends or to be part of any demonstration, they were simply there to work. The police officers began to beat these workers as well, throwing speakers from the stage, and then finally bringing in a water truck to soak the remaining equipment, therefore destroying it completely.

We feel ashamed that the national police would use violence where people were peacefully gathered celebrating their country and perform such violent acts. They arrived with their wands and tear gas, leaving several injured (including children) and one dead – an elderly man who was selling lottery tickets on the sidewalk was poisoned by the gas.

The message that we, Montuca Sound System, want to send is that we do not belong to any political organization, but as Hondurans we want to make a call for tolerance, peace, and unity of the Honduran people who have already suffered greatly. Everyone is entitled to think and express opinions freely. No one can steal that right from anyone!

We want to know…

Who takes responsibility for this?

See a Spanish post and photos of the assault by clicking here.

Mind Scraps: Challenged to Become Divine Lovers?

A brief email from Caballo Blanco inspired me to respond with this:

Challenges are the training ground for restoring us to become the divine, loving beings we are destined to be.

Posting the quote as my status on Facebook (ironically enough if you see my prior post) instigated this:

Me: I do believe I’m learning more and more how to comfort myself…

Radt Dujarric: pa na platano y pa vacio jaiva!

Me: okay that’s kind of slang/alternate meaning so I’m having difficulty understanding it…

Radt Dujarric: its a matter of time B-)

“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. Since the bourgeois prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire.. Solitude is independence.” ~Hermann Hesse

Me: I agree with much of that. A strong quote. But in the end I ask… is independence what we should truly be after? Or rather, is it LOVE?

Now LOVE doesn’t comply with preferring “comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire” but it also doesn’t comply with “solitude.”

So perhaps instead of it being “A” or “B”… it’s simply “C”?

Radt Dujarric: depending on what kind of love… we all have our secret garden and sometimes love consumes your own by sacrificing it for the most common of the interests.
if by loving you manage to share the dreams besides the bed and remain being yourself … and keep your own inner space for yourself… then you’ve found it all.

Me: Wow. Beautiful Radt.

Mind Scraps: The DNA of Music… The Beginning of the End of Idolizing Talent?

Improvox is a new iPad application developed by the concert pianist Robert Taub and his company MuseAmi. Improvox came about after Mr. Taub tried to help his kids learn music. (New York Times)

Amazing, exciting… and thought-provoking.

So I’m seeing a trend here… this program which can turn a tone deaf crow into a harmonized singer is just the latest tool that demonstrates how “talent” is becoming less and less of a limited commodity. Modern technology is essentially enabling people to have “unnatural talent.”

An interesting phenomenon when you consider that our society IDOLIZES people who possess talent and talent alone. So, I ask you, if talent is no longer a “limited resource” what will our society value? As any valued “talent” becomes a technology that anyone can buy, what, then, will make people stand out from one another?

One of two things… or maybe both:

1. People with the ability to constantly and I mean constantly invent and reinvent.

2. People who love and live from the heart.

That’s my hypothesis anyway.

So, my advice to all… start stimulating your creative juices are start really learning how to live and love from the heart!

FYI: I”ve come to find that, when you live from the heart, you end up hitting a reservoir of creativity you never knew you had. Well, perhaps, we never have it. Perhaps through the act of loving we simply become the best “conductor” there is for creativity/creation.

Hmmmm… that’s a thought.

Love is the optimal conductor for creation.

Didn’t we already kind of know that?

******

I don’t know… maybe it’s just the way I see things in the wee hours of the morning.

Mind Scraps: A Bittersweet Farewell to My Dear Playa…

Before, thanks to my almost uncontainable excitement for the next step of my journey, I always managed to subdue the melancholy of a “goodbye.”

But these past few life transitions these past couple of years have left me red-eyed and profoundly touched.

I had to say goodbye to some truly remarkable people during my last hours in Cancun. Each, in their own unique and special way, left me sobbing with humility as they whispered into my ear during a powerful embrace how much the loved me, how much they’ll miss me, how much I’ve affected their lives.

“You know, invariably when you ask about someone, about who they are as a person you get varied responses,” one of my friends began. “‘Oh he’s amazing!’ one says. Or, ‘I don’t know him well’ says another. Perhaps ‘Oh he’s not so great.’ Or even, ‘Oh he’s NOT a good person.'”

“So how is it Laura,” my friend continued, “that with you I always get the same response? Everybody loves you. Do you see that? We ALL love you Laura.”

He continued to share and told me that he feels I’m here for something more, some sort of crucial mission. He didn’t elaborate but he insisted that that is why I’m here.

Then, another came forward. A young man, a beautiful and awakening soul who is only just starting to see that life is more than booze and girls. Thus, his words surprised me: “Remember Laura, you are a warrior. You are a WARRIOR. Don’t forget that. NEVER forget that. Someone places a wall before you and you DRIVE IT TO THE GROUND. You bust through it showing that NOTHING can stop you. YOU show everyone else that ANYTHING can be accomplished. Don’t ever forget that you have that power and what your example means to the rest of us. I love you Laurita.”

Upon hearing about my new found Prince Charming, a young woman I’ve known casually, thanked me for giving her inspiration and faith that the “fairytale kind of love” DOES exist. She then shared that she was just recently divorced. I had gone out with her on several occasions but had no idea, no idea what she had been going through.

At one point during our gathering, a stranger to me, yet a friend to one of my beloved girlfriends here began to unleash a stream of negativity and assumption: “L.A. is just an illusion. Broken dreams. Don’t expect much. People like me eat people like you there.” The “no’s,” “not’ss” and negativity continued to stream from his mouth.

“Stop!” I countered forcefully. “You’re full of negativity and quite honestly, I want nothing to do with it. That’s certainly not what I need right now, just hours before I leave.”

Yet he insisted and the negativity continued to spew. “Don’t expect much from your ol’ boy there.”

For a moment my ego tried to win out and I bitterly laughed as I scoffed, “Me! She who has traveled to 22 countries alone. Countries like Cambodia and Vietnam and dangerous places like Chihuahua, MX… you think I will have a problem returning to my own country? That my own country will eat me when I have found but only friends in the foreign lands that I have tread?! No I will have none of it!”

Yet his insistence continued. He began to speak over me. Then, my beloved girlfriend tried to defend him. This hurt the most. Not because of him, but because of her. She was listening to the negativity, accepting it. I loved her dearly, and this “dark thought” was something I knew she still battled with… so much. ‘This is NOT how I want to spend my final moments,’ I thought to myself. ‘I’ll go… get some good rest.’ I reasoned. My recoiling reaction startled many from the group.

“But we’re all here for YOU,” they argued, hurt.

I compromised with the decision to “take a walk” but come back. I was hoping during my walk they would realize the right thing to do… Biologist Benny, an absolute sweetheart with a spirit of gold, came with me. He let me rant and calmed my tension. When we returned the “negative energy” had simply… vanished.

More hugs, more tears, more joy and more bittersweet goodbyes…

Friendship Poem

For my birthday, a dear friend I met through Couchsurfing in Cancun wrote me the following:

Lamneto mucho no estar hoy contigo en este dia tan especial…. Tu cumpleaños!

So much I lament not being abel to be with you on this special day… your birthday!

Aveces siento que eres un angel que vino a iluminar mi vida y la de los demás Csurfers y lo

Sometimes I feel that you are an angel that came to illuminate my life and the lives of other Couchsurfers and the

Ultimo que quisiera es que llegue el dia en que no te vea mas porque se que tarde o temprano te iras de Mexico

Last thing I would want is to come the day that I don’t see you anymore because I know that sooner or later you will leave Mexico

Rompiendo los corazones de todos los que te amamos, eres una gran mujer y una gran amiga con un

Breaking the hearts of all that love you, you are a great woman and a great friend with a

Alma que brilla con una luz tan hermosa para alimentar la esperanza de mas personas como tu y como yo.

Soul that shines with a light so beautiful it feeds the hope of more people like you and like me.

Feliz cumpleaños Hermosa

Happy birthday beautiful

te quiero muchisisisimo!!!!

I care about you so much!!!!

que rica amistad!!!

What a blessed friendship!!!

Thank you Victor. I love you with all my heart.

Mind Scraps: Frogs and Turtles, Princes and Princesses

“Do you have a notebook I could use,” I asked my friend Benny – Biologist Benny we call him. “Mine’s about filled up.”

That’s when he offered me The Blue Day Notebook. He had just started using it, but insisted on giving it to me. It’s a cute little blue book with a cute little frog motif. As you flip the pages, the little frog tumbles along the edge…

I opened it up to read:

Laura,

Te quiero mucho mucho mucho. (I really really really care about you.)

Benny

Then I continued on to read the author’s introduction. Here is my favorite prose the author shared:

“True inspiration is everywhere, all the time. It’s in the objects on your desk, it’s in the flashing lights of an ambulance, it’s in the lyrics of your favorite song, it’s the way you hold someone’s hand, it’s the way a dog turns around twice before lying down to sleep. In other words, inspiration is seeing ordinary things in an extraordinary way – imagining what things would be like if they were somehow… different.”

“What is important is that you let your mind run free to consider new creative relationships and then have the decipline to put your thoughts down on paper.”

“To create interesting work you must live an interesting life.”

****

The night before last, Biologist Benny opened his heart to me and moved me to tears. He simply whispered the sweet words that anyone always longs to hear. Words like: special, unique, magic, light. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He’s more than a friend, he’s a soulmate. I have discovered that we have not one soulmate… we have but billions and trillions. Every single being on this planet is a potential soulmate… we only have to open ourselves to see the light within. Benny is an enchanting person and I consider him one of my dearest friends. He is special.

Last night Benny led us on a magical excursion. From shore we silently marveled as the giant sea turtles emerged from the dark waters of the night and slowly crawled their way across the beach. Whips of sand began flying as the turtles stopped and began digging… digging their nests right there in the middle of Cancun’s tourist-trampled, white sand beaches. Then the stillness came and they did not move. The “trance” had begun. The conservationists slowly moved approached the turtles beckoning us to follow with care. Astonished we watched white, mucas-covered eggs pop out from behind the tortoise’s tail. The we helped gather the eggs in buckets, moving them new nests we had already dug in special nurseries built away from tourist trample. Hopefully, we’ve given some little new embryos the chance to survive, grow and hatch.

As we walked back from this incredible glimpse into the mysteries of nature, it was Victor’s turn to move me to tears. His words resembled Ben’s, but were spoken with Victor’s uniquely charming touch. Again my ears wrung with words like special, unique, magic, light and my heart swelled with love. “You really don’t know just how much you’ll be missed,” he told me. When I think of Victor I will always imagine the strong, young mahogany-colored warrior dancing with heart and soul.

Two Australian girls also accompanied us. Biologist Benny was hosting them through Couchsurfing. Benny had told me ahead of time that Grace and Zia were “encantadoras” (enchantresses). He was right. In less than 10 hours, these two young hippie girls who grew up on a commune out in the wilderness of Australia’s bush had also earned a very special place in my heart. Two powerful young women full of love and magic.

Of course, Perla was there. Throughout the day, her pure, sincere and unassumingly loving friendship provoked my eyes to moisten. She is as faithful and loving as man’s beloved best friend. A true spitfire in her own right. I adore her…