Monday, August 29, 2011
I have to admit whenever someone asks me, “What do you do?”-- I cringe because I do not have a simple answer, or a common noun to give them. My answer requires a power point presentation and usually a glossary. And it is always an American asking me this question, I might add—because the rest of the world finds this to be one of the rudest questions you could possibly ask a stranger….the East Africans even have a joke about it: “How do Americans greet one another?” Answer: “What do you do?”
This joke makes Africans laugh so hard they snort, because it is the “cultural” equivalent of asking, “Do you like anal sex with a kudu?” Anyway, to address what I am doing NOW, as opposed to my early 20’s, early 30’s, and even my most recent work in Costa Rica (Bien de Mujer and Wise Heart Books)…as always, it is a mixed bag of projects (some paid and some not)—but all with the common theme, my MISSION: to change the world and have a GREAT time doing it!
So, when I am not writing articles about “Alternative Recreation” for both the SF and DC Examiner—which covers non-mainstream edu-taining events/parties/activities; fundraisers for valuable causes (hopefully increasing awareness of certain issues); and mind-body-spirit recreation—I am working as the Awakening the Bay Community Manager—which means a lot of writing; attending holistic events/workshops/etc.; introducing/connecting people to Awakening the Bay—which is subversive-- in that it seeks to economically empower, connect and educate holistic practitioners and social entrepreneurial businesses/projects, but ultimately to convert everyone to better model of capitalism and more holistic living, working and just being.
And this is not to mention, the several dozen other projects, on multiple continents, that I have my hands in... hoping that they will succeed because their contribution to the world is so valuable. So, now ask yourself…what do you do?
And better yet, “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?” If you are not doing your "dream job", then perhaps, this is exactly what you need to be looking at right now. (Just a suggestion, my inner-hippie made me say that!)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I am suggesting that just for one day, as an experiment, to follow your “spirdar” and see what happens. I am confident someone more clever than I has thought of a better term for this phenomenon, but for the purposes of this exercise, I am going to call it your “spirdar.” Yes, think Gaydar (the phenomenon of detecting the sexuality of another) --only this is some kind of internal system for detecting the presence, direction, or frequency of another spirit. This exercise requires that you be fully present and aware of others around you, even on the bus or waiting in line, and see to whom your attention draws.
And for the sake of pseudo-scientific experimentation, you are supposed to initiate conversation with the person who has drawn your attention. Because in my experience, and I highly suspect yours as well, you will be pleasantly surprised to find either a “bizarre”, inexplicable connection with that person, or that you have something they need (or vice versa, they have something you need.) And yes, I am going to give you a lot of examples of my own experimentation playing with my “spirdar” the other day, but the point is to see if this phenomenon holds true for everyone (and I suspect it does.)
Some days we are more “aware” than others, and this past Sunday, I was feeling fully aware, so I thought I would test out my “spirdar”, as a “true” scientist. My experiment started before I even got on the bus to ecstatic dance (Sweet’s/Mass Transit), when a homeless woman asked me for some money for she and her family.
My universal policy on begging: I will give away food (if I have some on me) but never money. I told her, “No, sorry, I do not have any money, only exact change for the bus. “ Then, I combed my purse for any food items and all I had was a bag of blow-pops, which I was going to share with my ecstatic dance friends—I mean, who does not like blow-pops?!!! She started to walk away.
“Did you say you have kids? Because all I got is some lollipops—not the healthiest choice, but who doesn’t like blow-pops?”
She gleamed, “Well, actually, I can use them because I am diabetic and when my blood sugar gets low…” So we started talking about diabetes and about how the food bank rarely gives out sweets for diabetics, and while we are talking about food banks, they also pass out food that needs to be cooked, and if you are homeless, well, you have nothing to cook with!
That’s funny, I KNOW someone who works at the Food Bank. Note to self: Make sure to tell Sasha that the Food Bank needs to be aware that giving out food items that need to be cooked to homeless people is not only not helping them, but frustrating for them—the food banks have to pass out ready-to-eat food stuffs and make sure they have emergency sweets in stock for diabetics.
I get to ecstatic dance at Sweet’s and the ballroom is packed, I mean PACKED, with well, ecstatic dancing people. I find that, using my spirdar, grazing over the moving crowd, I can easily pick out my friends because they kind of “glowed”…oh, there is Joceyln, Catherine, Gail, etc. While I am dancing, (well, really, I am doing Qi Gong to music), my attention keeps getting drawn to this one particular woman and I am thinking: She is probably another FaceBook friend that I have had many conversations with, but never met in person—what is her name?
It just so happens this woman and I run into one another in the bathroom. I ask her, “Have we met? Are we FaceBook friends?” No, we have never met and no, she is not a FaceBook friend, however, without a word from me, she starts to tell me she just finished her public health nursing degree and wants to work in Africa,
, to be specific. Ahhh…there it is! (I shouldn’t have to explain this connection!) Mali
At circle time, I discover I am holding hands with Lisa, with whom I (forgot but) met at the last FEM Talks. Ahh.. there it is. Then on my way back home, an old woman asks me for directions to the Art and Soul Festival, I send her on her way and as she goes, she says, “You should go!” But I did not follow my spirdar, instead I went home to wrestle with my computer for hours (in the end, I won the wrestling match but it was not pretty)…I should have listened to her, no doubt I would have had a much better time at the Art and Soul Festival.
I could give you a dozen other examples, but by now, I hope you get my point, and this will inspire you to “test” out your spirdar and see where it takes you! And remember, to quote Kurt Vonnegut, “peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” And from the Desiderata: “Listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story” because there may just be a message there for you.