Category Archives: Positive

Take up your post and beam out hope!

Sometimes it seems that we are placed within various mediums and appointed posts throughout the spectrum of humanities’ belief system to remind us that the stream flows through everything.
Cat Stevens seemed to disappear into Islam only to remerge as Yusef.  The Peace Train is still in motion with a voice that helps us understand the sweet breadth and depth of Muslims in our midst, while laying down tracks to the universal depot.
My good friend Jordan Anderson seemed to disappear into Hip-Hop only to reemerge as Zwill. His latest video “Don’t Trip” is a call out to those struggling with sadness and isolation; a rope of hope on the waters of despair.
“Hold on just when your loosing your grip.”
“I can hear your voice I can hear your distant yell and I’m sending love to your every little cell.”
“Whatever shit your facing, never get to hating. There’s no such thing as problems, only situations. So face them, embrace them, even when your aching. Stay moving. Be patient. Keep waiting.  Whose advice have you been taking? ‘Cause first it fits great and then it starts chaffing. So take it off. Let your mind get naked.  Skinny dip, the water’s amazing.
Don’t you think our little blue dot is worth saving? That’s what I’m saying.
Whatever continent you stay in, I’m praying that we can join up on occasion and purify the water when the clouds start raining.
Life is heavy but as much as it’s weighing, there’s strength you haven’t even touched yet, I see it there. And when it hurts, at least your still breathing air.
I send you love, may you always be aware.” – Zwill
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” Self-scrutiny, relentless observance of one’s thoughts, is a stark and shattering experience.  It pulverizes the stoutest ego. But true self-analysis mathematically operates to produce seers. … Man can understand no eternal verity until he has freed himself from pretensions. The human mind, bared to a centered slime, is teeming with the repulsive life of countless world-delusions. Struggles of the battlefield pale into insignificance here, when man first contends with inner enemies! … The one who practices a scalpel self-dissection will know an expansion of universal pity. Release is given him from the deafening demands of his ego.”
– Tall wandering sadhu talking to the young Yogananda from
Autobiography of a Yogi
Those that have wrestled with their angels and seen the intertwined suffering of the chain we have unwittingly wrapped around one another, can believe that it is merely depression they struggle with. As artists in our various mediums, from carpenters to teachers, therapists, musicians, actors, illustrators, instructors, mothers, fathers… we are vulnerable to what we perceive and what we hope to see for those we love and want to share our love with.
Here are
We can see within their ranks those who have provided us with strong tools to mine some laughing sanity in the shuffling madness*.
Douglas Adams- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy…
Woody Allen- Midnight in Paris…
Agatha Christie- Poirot and Miss Marple…
Charles Dickens-  The Pickwick Papers…
T.S. Elliot- Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
Vincent Van Gough- Starry Night…
Michalangelo- David…
Abraham Lincoln-  Emancipation Proclamation…
(*- reference to Locomotive Breath/ Jethro Tull)
 
Let’s take up our posts and beam out a message of hope for those who think they are in the void alone.

 

Stream of Light 8/20/14

What is in our mind’s eye is there as a token of what we need to learn to let go of.  All concepts are a barrier to being with the present and with our true reality.  Still, it is ok to be where we are.  Thinking is a tool, a means but not the end.  What is known in the heart when you look at the blossoms of Spring is something that goes beyond thought.  To hold all extremes in our frame and become balenced within is to know wisdom.  Getting snagged on the pettiness of one emotion or thought is to be snared and mired.  Let yourself flow in the stream of being while your dark thoughts, fears and the ageold need for revenge become funeral pyres, ashes in the stream.

Stream of Light 7-16-14

For the periods of time when life bears down on us as if an unforgiving force, recognize that we are life itself.  Becoming cognizant of where we are responsible for our own misery can make the difference between loving the process and resigning ourselves to fate.   The sweetness of existence is the recognition of love bestowing love.

Bon Apetit Jered Nelson! and “Put down your phone, pick up a poem!”

Last week I wrote about my friend Jered, who is expanding his pottery business and training and hiring local potters.
He didn’t make his kickstarter goal but because he and his family put it out into the universe that they needed a specific amount of money and were open to receiving it, it came through in a different form.  Happily, this week a couple of investors loaned them exactly what they needed and Bon Apetit magazine is going to do something about Jered!
“Funny how that happens,” his wife Sarah Kobrinsky said.
This is an amazing example of how when we come to a place of knowing what we want to manifest and decide it is going to happen and are not shaken by appearances, but remain fully engaged, we can recognize our good when it comes to us and take it up with discernment and gratitude.  Julia often reminds me to ask for the best thing to happen for everyone involved.
Sarah also has a project as the Poet Laureate of Emeryville which is Poems on the Emery Go-Round, (the free shuttle bus service in Emeryville.)  Their tagline is:
“Put down your phone, pick up a poem!”
The city just approved her Call for Submissions and here is the link:

https://poetlaureateofeville.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/call-for-submissions_emery-go-round.pdf

If you are a poet or know a poet in the SF Bay Area, please pass this on!

Focus on positive news

Last night sitting by the fire of a friend’s house, I had a conversation with a fellow songwriter.  He said he was trying to write more positive songs but that he found it very difficult. He said he wrote mostly dark songs because there was so much to write about.  He recalled seeing a horrendous story in the newspaper at a gas station and wanted to write a song to remember the people who had been effected by the nightmare action the paper’s described.  I said that there lives were worthy of being remembered without being associated with the indignity of how they left us.  
 
It is true we can be overwhelmed by the terrible stories we are faced with on what appears to be a rising tide but it is equally true that what we focus on increases.  As storytellers we can choose to relate examples of hope and those that are making a difference.  
 
This morning I found a lovely talk by a woman who fights depression who went around the world to find positive hopeful stories in places we associate violence and despair.  She wanted to help her Junior High students escape from the age of Anxiety where suicide seems like a viable option and give them something to build on.  I also found a newspaper in the UK that reports only positive news.  I also learned about a rally against austerity (sternness or severity of manner or attitude.) in which 
speakers talked of facing current suffering and the inevitability of disaster and transforming that outlook by realizing, 
” The best way to reject a system that allows these things to happen is to envisage a new and better one, and nurture the values that will underpin it.”
Lucy Purdy
 
I will include the links and excerpts from what I found below but I also encourage you to find things that bolster your mood and strengthen you today.
They are out there.  Share what you find if you like.  
May your week be a great instructor.
 
 
 
Of the Iranian women Ruby team: “They were not going to let a piece of cloth stand between them and their dreams.”
 
“Sometimes we just want to know that the good guy can win.” – Kate McKenzie
 
“It’s not about ignoring the difficult things or ignoring the hard realities of life but its about rather what we can do about it.”
Rin Hamburgh- freelance journalist for Positive News.

Happy Birthday America

It is the birthday of America, an idea of a nation not ruled by a king, where we are not confined to a caste system, locked into a station in life but free to move up and down the ladder, to align ourselves with whatever our moral compass points to. 
 
America stands for freedom that allows for choice; choice of religion, philosophy, expression, the gambit of experience.  We are a mirror pool of manifestation reflecting back every possibility and our manifest destiny is to move into the new frontier where we can hear and see ourselves as we truly are beyond centuries of prejudice, fear and doubt.  
 
We are our own forefathers and mothers declaring our independence from the tyranny of prideful ignorance.  A new nation reaching out beyond the borders of limited thought to embrace liberty as she bestows dignity to all who reach out for her.
 
Happy Birthday, blow out your candles and may your year be sweet.

Stream of Light 7-4-14

Remember that we are not here to systematically destroy ourselves and the planet but to recognize the vibration inherent in all creation.  We sing the songs of our family, countries, planet and those sing back to us as we have understood them to be.  We sing of things not yet manifested; we sing of newer hopes that complete an eon of frustrated ignorance as we slip into one where solutions are unspoken but taken up as yielded fruit.

Stream of Light 6-30-14

Where there is concentration and faith beyond dogmatic fear, there is the chance to rest within pure capacity.  We fit into destiny’s shoes where our dance augments the love that dares assert itself in the midst of danger and entertains a new thought: “I don’t have to give up my inner peace even with the threat of death’s short stint or in the midst of ignorance and fear’s bluff.”  Contemplate where we meet.  Relief is behind the excuse to hold onto self pity.

Beautiful Place to Be- a lyric by The Levins

Moses, Jesus, Buddha and Krishna picked up Rumi on a slow boat to China-

Searching for Utopia, ended up in India, reading the Tao Te Ching…

In comes the waiter with tiny cups of china and fills them up as he begins to sing:

“All the world is contained in this tiny cup of tea.  There’s room for all, no matter how small and where we agree… it’s a beautiful place to be.”

Gathered at the table, I’m sure we can agree, if we’re willing then we’re able to –

Let each other simply be.

Seeing eye to eye is a mighty feat, put our differences aside

Come on, everybody’s here, let’s eat!

If you are a poet and you find yourself in chains,

make the tyrant laugh, find the sweet refrain.

Everyone has something valuable to say,

Let’s become a choir and sing our separateness away.

“All the world is contained in this tiny cup of tea.  There’s room for all, no matter how small and where we agree… it’s a beautiful place to be.”

 

The Levins are a harmony-driven acoustic duo dedicated to making the world a happier place.

www.thelevinsmusic.com

Utah gives homes to the homeless & other solutions

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I saw the attached sign on a friend’s Facebook post.  The state of Utah has decided that the expense of caring for the homeless, (an average of almost $17 thousand a year for each person on the street due to ER visits and jail expenses.) could be reduced by assigning individuals apartments and social workers which only costs the state $11 thousand a year per person.  The result?  Utah has reduced homelessness in their state by 78%.
Below that article is another from Canada, offering 7 solutions to Homelessness including having trade fairs for the homeless where they can get the information and social services all in one place to take the overwhelming confusion out of their plight and provide concrete solutions to combat what appears as a hopeless situation.  The author also points out that homeless addicts present the most difficult challenge.  He suggests that many people have been addicts for a decade or longer and need time to recover. Recovery houses are less expensive than treatment facilities; they provide support and “The best-run recovery centres, such as Impact House in California or The Last Door in New Westminster, report that up to 90 per cent of the clients who complete their programs are still clean a year later.” –By Monte Paulsen
As far as contributing to a homeless charity, my lovely wife has taught me to check out an organization’s report card before contributing, to make sure they are on the level and that the money contributed actually goes for what is claimed. 
The National Alliance to End Homelessness scored a 4 out of 4 from Charity Navigator.  
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Utah is Ending Homelessness by Giving People Homes

Earlier this month, Hawaii State representative Tom Bower (D) began walking the streets of his Waikiki district with a sledgehammer, and smashing shopping carts use…
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The Tyee – Seven Solutions to Homelessness

Each is working somewhere else, and will save money and lives here.
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Charity Navigator Rating – National Alliance to End Home…

National Alliance to End Homelessness is a Human Services charity rated 4 of 4 stars by Charity Navigator. Located in Washington, DC, it is one of 7,525 organizatio…
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PS- Please keep the three kidnapped children from Israel: Eyal, Gilad & Naftali in your prayers.  Visualize their captors hearts opening, so that compassion comes into the situation.  As my friend Janey Pachman Welis said: ” May they (the children’s mothers ) soon be hugging their sons & their weeping turn to gladness.”
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Profile Pictures – Janey Pachman Welis | Facebook

Janey Pachman Welis posted this photo on 2014-06-18. 17 likes. 6 comments. 0 shares.
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May your weekend provide a shelter for you and those around you.