The answer is always LOVE (or sometimes, "42"!)

The answer is always LOVE (or sometimes, "42"!)
My philosophy is LOVEISM...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kelly’s Ayahuasca Ceremony #1

A dose of Ayahuasca--and even though some people like the taste, well--for me, YUCK!

This “story” is MY story. I am not going to get into the origins or historical significance of Ayahuasca; nor dissect the psychoactive and chemical components of this powerful “medicine”; nor go into the mundane details as to how it is prepared and whatnot technical stuff you can easily find on Wikipedia (thank you, whomever, created Wikipedia!)  Instead, I am going directly to the core of every Ayahuasca ceremony—what did I experience and learn, and then how has this impacted my life?  Therefore, I will be sharing blog-sized portions of what I, personally, have learned about myself, others, and well, EVERYTHING (and I MEAN everything), from participating in three Ayahuasca ceremonies over the past year. 

Besides, if Ayahuasca is truly “calling” you, you will already be familiar with what it is and what it can do for you—or, perhaps, these little personal accounts will inspire you to do your own research, and decide for yourself if you wish to try this powerful transformational tool.  WARNING:  Ayahuasca is NOT for pussies!  This is NOT a recreational experience.  And technically, it is NOT even legal to participate in Ayahuasca ceremonies in the United States (Surprise?), but it is legal and revered sacred in many other cultures and countries.  I refer to Ayahuasca as “Ninja Self-Awareness Training”—meaning, without a doubt, you will get your ass (and EGO and ALL your archaic ego-centric beliefs) kicked and like all martial arts training, you will eventually be grateful for ALL the bruises and lessons.

Of all the self-awareness and transformational tools I have played with (too many to list here!)—from meditation to yoga to Ayurvedic disciplines to reading “self-help” books as well as scientific, philosophical and psychological texts to participating in sweat lodges and dozens of other therapeutic and transformational modalities, Ayahuasca has been, by far, the most effective and time-efficient education tool I have EVER experienced. 

The best part is that even AFTER a ceremony, its “effects” continue and therefore, DAILY you continue to have both big and little moments of “enlightenment” (aka, “A-ha! Moments”) about yourself, others, and well, how everything in the Universe(s) work.  All of this “information” serves to give you a PROFOUND understanding of yourself (“Who am I?”, “What’s the meaning of life?”—the oldest questions on earth!); your relation to others (including plants, animals, things--yes, even your toilet!, quantum stuff as well as cosmic stuff, and then some!); and how to best use these new insights to create a better life for yourself, which ultimately creates a better world (think Doppler Effect!)

Before I share some of “MY” lessons, know that each Ayahuasca ceremony is radically unique for each individual (meaning: no one will have the “same” experiences, but perhaps, common themes.)  And as we call the spirit of Ayahuasca-- “Grandmother”, SHE has the ability to clearly communicate with each individual in very specific terms, language/vocabulary, metaphors, “stories”, symbols, concepts, visions, sounds, even smells, etc. that only YOU would understand. 

For example, since I am an avid “follower” of science and world cultures as well as a writer and voracious reader, a lot of information has been relayed to me through the arts and literary metaphors (lots of Shakespeare and MC Escher as well as contemporary media like the film “The Matrix”, sprinkled with ancient myths, geographic places and historical figures) as well as through scientific concepts I already understand.  In addition, “Grandmother”, knowing I highly appreciate and value a rich sense of humor, showed me a lot of very unflattering insights about ME in humorous ways.  * I spent most of my first ceremony LAUGHING at myself and saying (in my head-- I think!), “The Universe is mocking me! Ha! Ha! Ha!” 

FACT: The Universe has THE best sense of humor (I mean, that is where Monty Python, George Carlin, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, Shakespeare, and all got THEIR sense of humor, no?!)

For clarity’s sake, I am going to break this “story” down into each ceremony (so far, I have participated in three ceremonies) and I seek to give you a “taste” of what information has been relayed to me.  *It is impossible to share all I have learned/experienced in ceremony for two reasons: 

1.       This could easily become a serial novel (THAT much information has been obtained.)  Therefore, I am just going to share general themes; very clear statements; validations of previously documented information already available (i.e., Deepak Chopra is one of many reliable resources, and so is Oprah Winfrey—and eventually, you will get to a point that every person you meet, every song you hear, every animal that crosses your path, and every single experience—even traffic and doing laundry—is a reliable source of information about yourself and your world; and only then, will you realize that your most reliable source of information is actually YOURSELF); as well as some entertaining aspects of ceremony
2.      I am still “downloading” information every day and suspect this process will be going on for some time.

So here we go down the rabbit hole…

Ceremony 1:

When I look back, my first dose of Ayahuasca was mild.  I clearly recall thinking to myself, as I am watching a statue of Jesus hula-dance--“Well, this is a lot like a really good acid trip.”  While the other ceremony participants were violently purging in their buckets, weeping in silence or moaning in fetal position, I confess, I thought to myself, “Amateurs.”  So I gleefully answered the call for a second dose.  Well, that’s when things started to quickly get intense…meaning in-tense, past tense, future tense, and in fact, pre-tense on me!

1.      I now believe in all this Past Lives stuff.  I mean, previously, I was “on the fence” when people queried if I believed in past lives.  My auto-response was, “Well, as a quantum physicist-wanna-be, I can see how all this reincarnation stuff expressed by Hindu and Buddhist faiths could be poetic metaphor for quantum applications.” But now, my answer is “Hell Yes! And I even have proof!”  This is a “story” in itself:  Ayahausca showed me in a very detailed, logical way-- via vivid power-point presentation and time-lines-- why I was “obsessed” with Africa in THIS lifetime, starting at a very early age—apparently, I was Cleopatra in a past life.   

Grandmother showed me that I viewed the “foreign invasion” of HIV throughout the continent of Africa as equivalent to the Roman invasion of Egypt. Because Cleopatra (the last pharaoh of Egypt) failed to protect Egypt from the Romans, I sought to protect Africa from the spread of HIV in THIS lifetime.  It showed me Cleopatra killed herself because she felt responsible for both the fall of Egypt (the most powerful civilization of the era), as well as not being able to protect her own family.  Thus, in THIS lifetime, as an act of atonement, I CHOSE to take on HIV both literally and figuratively, in commiseration with my fellow Africans.  (Later, a close friend would attend ceremony with me, and it was revealed to she, that she was my daughter—one of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra’s twins—and her ceremony experience would complement my past life regression.  It turns out several other close individuals to me also played starring roles, with me, during that era—supporting the idea that souls manifest throughout time in “groups.”)  Whoa!

2.      Through the myth of Kali and Shiva (Hindu gods), Ayahuasca showed me my EPIC (to put it mildly) and historic “war” with men in particular.  Grandmother revealed I associated men with abandonment and neglect (classic Freudian “Daddy Issues”, no?) and I associated authority figures with abuse of power, and this long-held distrust has been THE fundamental dynamic in ALL aspects of my life, since a very early age. 

Kali and Shiva
This ancient lack of trust towards men and authority figures has been played out over and over again in THIS lifetime alone (just look at my resume!!!):  Starting with challenging my high school teachers and the very education they provided (my high school friends will validate this!); then rebelling against my parents; then leaving the Catholic Church declaring myself an “atheist”; then leaving Boston University and taking off to Africa (at age 19); through constant conflicts with a whole parade of various employers;  with giving Reuters “the finger”; taking on the pharmaceutical companies in regards to the FREE distribution of AIDS drugs and universal health care; smuggling Marcos from South Africa to the States (defiance to Fidel Castro); and then some. 

This dynamic is also visible in my past work:  International development work featuring “women’s empowerment” and gender issues to serving as chief editor of an HIV/AIDS web portal (specifically for women.)  And naturally, this belief has been painfully reflected in ALL my intimate relationships with men and male family figures to my circles of friends and community.  I habitually surround myself with women (which I naturally trust) and a few “safe”, reliable men who have earned my love and trust.

This profound insight has led me to radically reframe my perception of men and authority figures.  I now look for REASONS to trust men and realize I need to learn to work WITH men as opposed to “against” them (we need to include men, Ladies!) All of this insight leads me to suspect the restoration of equal, balanced masculine and feminine energies and “power” is one of the core solutions to the multi-dimensional chaos we are experiencing now throughout the world.

3.      “Love cannot exist without pain.  Accept it or suffer.”  In other words, we NEED contrast in order to identify “things” (for further reference, do your physics homework on Space and Dark Matter.) This statement leads to the question, “Is suffering really ‘bad’ IF it allows us to feel and know love?” And know this is just the beginning of the BIGGER lesson.
As you get deeper into this statement and its implications, you will KNOW that no person, no organization, no political party, no religion, no ideology, no country or peoples, no event, no thing is actually “good” or “bad.” This statement is the start of de-constructing the Duality Thinking (Us versus Them/Good versus Evil) that has been governing the human mind for centuries; it is archaic and no longer serves us.  Now, we are moving into Oneness Thinking.

4.      The EVERYTHING feeling—during ceremony, in between “lessons”, I would get “breaks.”  During these breaks, I was either entertained by humorous visions (usually of me making an ass of myself), some physics “play” or experiencing, what I refer to as the “Everything Feeling.”  This feeling is an overwhelming, soothing whole body-heart-soul feeling of every minute heart-break, pain and suffering throughout the history of humanity to ALL the joys, triumphs, breakthroughs, and miracles of human history (and everything in the middle!)  And well, even though this feeling makes every cell in your body cry and laugh with “bittersweet” tears, it is a surprisingly nurturing, reassuring, warm-fuzzy feeling that communicates EVERYTHING is just perfect as is—wars and all.  There IS a divine balance.

NOTE: I have actually felt this “Everything Feeling” before (without being on hallucinogens, by the way)-- while standing in front of monumental nature like Kilimanjaro; the Grand Canyon at sunrise; swimming in Waipio Valley waterfalls; in the desert on an especially clear and starry night; watching giraffe or elephants cross the savanna; kayaking with dolphins; any time I witness an act of heroism; or even sometimes, in the “ordinary” company of family and friends.   

5.      The final insight from my first ceremony contradicts pretty much ALL the research and work I have done over the past 2 decades, so I do not share this information lightly.  Basically, I was shown that ALL modern diseases and illnesses were the direct result of several life-times worth of collective emotional and psychological imbalance. 

For example, despite all the scientific data I have collected over the years pertaining to the origins, prevention and “cure” for HIV, I was shown how my HIV manifestation is actually a direct result of centuries of personal self-loathing, most notably guilt over the fall of Egypt.  This self-hatred was so deeply imbedded that it manifested itself, in THIS lifetime, on a cellular level in the form of HIV. 

It also showed me my recent encounter with cancer is a direct result of absorbing OTHER people’s pain and suffering in THIS life-time; thus highlighting the importance of protecting myself (via boundaries, distancing myself from negative people and events, speaking MY truth always, etc.) The “cure” is to release and let go of ALL pain and suffering, whether it be MY pain or the suffering of others, or else it will literally continue to manifest in my physical body. 

These are the highlights, as best as I can use words to describe, of my first Ayahuasca ceremony. It is clear to me now, that my first ceremony was actually quite “gentle” on me; my second ceremony would be brutal and I am STILL processing from my last ceremony. However, as I mentioned earlier, the insights, messages, and clarity do not end at the closing of ceremony.  The next question is HOW did this experience actually impact my daily life?

Well, within a few months following my first ceremony, I made RADICAL changes to my life, starting with…

·         Letting go of negative people in my life (even IF they were close friends, including my lover.)  I told them thank you for spending time with me and for all their valuable lessons and all the good times, but now, for my own well-being, I need to move on. (And note: Not all of them were terribly pleased with my decision.)
·         I quit my job, without securing another job—fully trusting Law of Attraction.
·         After 20 years of silence (hiding my deepest “truth”), I announced I was HIV+ on FaceBook, ceremoniously on my birthday.
·         I stopped taking the prescribed HIV drugs, KNOWING I could manage this disease myself—both from what was revealed to me in ceremony, as well as a long history of living well with HIV, without pharmaceutical medicines.
·         I delved into healing work on many levels and continue to attract fun, conscious, generous, loving people into my life every day.

Ayahuasca is just one method of transformation.  She does not call to every one, but I trust the people who will benefit most from this modality will somehow find this personal narrative…because THAT is exactly how the Universe/Source works. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My first experience with Muslims (at age 19)

Of course, there were superficial encounters with Muslims prior to my epic move to rural Tanzania (at the age of 19)—but these “encounters” usually involved counters, literally—meaning the turbaned people behind every 7-Eleven counter throughout the Washington DC Metro area, who gracefully accepted my hard-earned babysitting money in exchange for Suicide Slushies*. 

*Suicide Slushie:  When you mix all the Slushie flavors into one purple mess and get MAJOR brain freeze. 

Further ignorance perpetuated by private Catholic High School and then later, a unofficially “Jewish” university (Boston University), I had no (unbiased) idea what these Islamic people were about, much less where exactly “in the Middle East” they came from-- and thank Allah, I never followed the US news (or I would have been totally brain-washed.)

Yes, while passing briefly through Dar es Salaam on my way to my rural out-post, I recall my first Adhan, the Muslim morning call to prayer, and thought it was the most exotic ethereal thing I had ever heard—what a poetic way to start the day!  Eventually, daily multiple calls to prayer would become the ONLY way I knew what time of day it was— “(Blah, blah, blah) Allah!”, meant it was “lunch time”, “end of work time”, “dinner time”, etc.  *Thank you, Allah, for being my watch.

Where I lived and worked, in the very, very rural areas of Tanzania, most people were pseudo-Christian seasoned with local tribal religions.  It was not until Marnie, my Canadian colleague, and I spontaneously decided to take a much-needed holiday to Zanzibar, that I had the opportunity to inter-act and associate with Muslims on a deeper level than commerce.

At the time, all Marnie and I knew about Zanzibar is that it was a tropical island off the coast of Dar es Salaam.  That was all the information I needed to buy a ticket. Can you imagine our surprise when boat officials asked us for our passports? 

“What?!  We thought Zanzibar was PART of Tanzania!”  The “official” answer: “Kind-of.”

Dar es Salaam, as viewed from the boat to Zanzibar
NOTE:  After much confusion and hilarity, in Swa-English (Swahili + English), they let us stay on board the boat, sans passports, and continue our blind journey to Zanzibar.  *More proof that Tanzanians are awesome! 

Ironically, the first people to greet us when we landed on Zanzibar happened to be (American) Peace Corps workers.  The Peace Corps workers were adamant that we “turn around immediately” and return to Dar es Salaam before the boat departs.  They passionately informed us that Zanzibar is 95% Muslim and “they” HATED “white foreigners”, especially “women.”  They warned us the Muslim women were going to “spit” on us wherever we went; “everyone” was going to try to “steal” from us; and so on terrifying tales.

I took one look at a blanched Marnie and said, “Don’t you find it ironic that the Peace Corps is not spreading peace? (insert hearty cynical laugh here) I am not going to let ANYONE, especially Americans, ruin MY tropical vacation!  I am staying!” And with that, Marnie and I sought out a place to stay for the night.

As is Kelly custom ANYWHERE in the world, first thing in the morning, I set out to find non-Nescafe coffee and smokes (aka, “breakfast.”)  Along the way, I collected “mystery” fruits and vegetables from local street-side vendors (*one of our favorite games in East Africa was “Name This Food Item!” The loser was whoever got diarrhea, and many times, it was a tie.)  For both practical reasons and to amuse the locals, I carried all my loot on my (blonde) head.  Needless to say, I attracted a lot of attention even without a basket on my head, but my philosophy:  If people are going to STARE and point at me, I might as well give them the whole “show.”

While sauntering down a random, relatively-serene street, on the border of Lost, I distinctly heard some giggles, claps, and then loud whistles from above, followed by Swahili, “Hey, look at this crazy muzungu!” I knew “they” were referring to me, so I abruptly stopped, put down my basket, looked up at more than one balcony full of shrouded, pointing women, and yelled back in Swahili with my hands on my hips, “Who are YOU calling CRAZY?!” 

I was ready for a shower of spit. Instead, I got shrieks of laughter and one woman shouted down, “You speak Swahili?!”  My answer (in Swahili): “Only if you have REAL coffee!” The women immediately descended upon me and dragged me into a house.  Turkish coffee, sweet breads, fruits, and such local delicacies magically appeared in front me, along with maybe 20 women (of all ages) and a few little (terrified) girls; someone turned down the Hindi pop music playing on the television.  I was immediately bombarded with 100 questions, all at the same time:

“Where are you from?”

With Bollywood-esque dramatics, “The greatest imperialist nation in the world!”

“America?” One woman whispered.

“What is your religion?”

“I am still studying--Them ALL.”(Travel Tip: This answer always works!)

“Where is your husband?”

“Good question.  I have not found him yet but he looks like Sting.” (Oh, the women liked THIS answer!)

How many children do you have?”

“None, I am not married yet!” (Nodding heads in approval)

Why did you come to Africa?” all the way to “What do you do during your menstrual cycle?” and “Do you know Michael Jackson?”

Then it was MY turn to ask 100 questions, starting with, “What is this beautiful art all over your hands?” I, of course, was seeing my first henna tattoo (this was the early 90’s and well before everyone at Burning Man discovered henna!) This particular henna design was explained to me as something akin to an engagement ring, announcing that this woman was about to be married. So we did a coffee “cheers” to she and her new engagement.  Several women started showing me their various henna tattoos, all with different meanings, some complete stories.   So when one of the women asked me if I would like a henna tattoo, well, of course I said, “Hell Yes!”

To respect the integrity of the henna tattoo’s historical and spiritual meanings, two (young) women painted one of my hands and one of my feet (as opposed to the traditional both hands and feet)—this was roughly a 4-hour process involving making the henna paste from dried henna leaves; mixing lemon juice, oil and whatnot; during which we ate, drank 40 liters of coffee (perhaps an exaggeration), exchanged stories and questions, and watched a Bollywood film on the television—*and they refused any compensation for this gift!

After the henna paste finally dried on my skin, we all walked together to the beach to “bless” the tattoo, as well as wash off the dried henna. A late afternoon call to prayer brought it to my attention I had been gone, or as Marnie would say later, “missing”, for almost 8 hours!

As I scrambled ungracefully through the streets seeking our hostel, I started noticing that everyone I passed along the crowded streets was suddenly smiling and waving at me, shouting cheerful “Jambo!’s” and other warm greetings, including invitations for tea.  Little did I know that this henna tattoo would work like a VIP pass into the Muslim world…all of a sudden, Marnie and I were invited into a mosque (well, the women’s side, at least) and treated like royalty wherever we travelled, both throughout Zanzibar and even back on the mainland, Tanzania.  My henna tattoo may have only lasted about 2 months, but my kinship with Muslims would last a life-time.   

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OUR Community Bank Works!!!

First of all, I want to thank everyone that “chipped in” to help me meet my most basic needs this month—the unexpected perks, aside from being able to pay my rent, included overflowing feelings of love, gratitude, hope, support, and all that hippie stuff (which as you all know, are quite contagious!)  In addition to contributions made by some of you (and by some of you whom I have never even met in person!!! Even made some new kick-ass friends!), there has been overwhelming support for the whole IDEA of utilizing OUR Community Banks! 

In the process, I have been introduced to several more wonderful economic gift/share options, such as  which is a platform for communities to share/exchange their skills and services, without the use of money!  And because there are a lot of Paypal haters out there (I understand!), I have also learned about another alternative way to share our money (as well as sell some of our crafts!) at WePay  and then, of course, there is also

It has always been MY direct experience (and not some hippie axiom) that in the midst of perceived chaos, that such situations bring out the BEST in people.  And here, I have MORE proof!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Need money? Ask YOUR Community Bank! A radical new way to share Our Money with the people we love (and no amount is too small!)

Did your car just break-down, or your laptop crash?  Does your dog/child/sister need medical attention, but you don’t have any health insurance? Did you get a parking ticket in San Francisco and now you can’t pay your internet bill?  Do you need help paying your heating bill? Did a random rock crack your windshield?  Did you loose your iphone/camera/a contract?  Are you $200 short of rent this month?  Whatever!  At some point, in everyone’s life, we (meaning the 99%) need some extra money. 

Wouldn’t it be nice, if when we needed this money (which may be big to you, but small to your friend)--instead of going into survival/stress mode (which physically, emotionally, and spiritually affects you and everyone around you in a negative way)-- you would be able to give a “shout out” to YOUR Community Bank?  In response, YOUR Community Bank, the people who know and trust you, can “chip in” to help—if and when and as much as they can, or want?   With no awkwardness (some people have problems asking for help), no drama (no one is keeping score!), no credit checks, no applications, no loans, no interest, and without relying on any outside body, corporation or banking institution—or GOD/Buddha/Allah/Vishnu forbid, the pawnshop?!

Who or what is YOUR Community Bank?  
Well, in all brevity, it is everyone you know!  Your immediate and extended family, your circle of friends (including your virtual friends—aka, FB, Twitter, etc.), your peers, and who knows?  Maybe some people from your friends’ friends?   Starting with your own family, friends and peer colleagues-- combining “crowd-sourcing”, “pay it forward”, gift/share economy, and tangible love and appreciation directly for your family, friends and yourself—I am calling it “The Community Bank.”  In YOUR Community Bank, everyone you know is a potential GIVER, and everyone is equally a potential recipient, or RECEIVER. *My ultimate goal is to change capitalism as we know it, and I think everyone agrees the current system is not working for, well, at least 99% of the population ;)

We all know people struggling to meet relatively small demands (it might be YOU, right now!)—an internet bill, an outstanding medical bill, food for your dog, school supplies for your child, etc.  (*some of you also have BIG needs like cancer treatments and legal battles—the Community Bank is for you too!)   Most people I know have been living in “survival mode” over the past couple of years, scraping to pay relatively small bills (mortgages, medical bills, rising food costs) and whatnot—and have become trapped  in the media-fed “scarcity-thinking” mentality, and then, we started hoarding our pennies—which basically stops the flow of cash.  We are all seeing and feeling this cash-flow halt on a global scale right now.  We need to get the money flowing again and why not start with empowering and supporting our own family, friends and peers first?!  (Just think, if EVERYONE used their Community Bank, wouldn’t that just about cover everyone in the world?!!!!)

Wouldn’t it be awesome, if we could say to OUR Community Bank:   “Hey Friends!  My car broke down yesterday, and I just need $ X to pay for it…can I cash in on OUR Community Bank? “  And then, those friends who have $10 or $20, whatever to spare at that moment in time, would say, “Wow!  I have been there, broken-down car sucks—here, I will paypal you $10!  Hope this helps!”  Yes, of course-- every bit helps—no amount is too small!  And every dollar helps not just on the material/physical plane, but also on the mental/spiritual plane—don’t make me get all hippie/Abraham Hicks/Law of Attraction/The Secret /Deepak Chopra on you!

Of course, no one is ever obliged to respond to a “call to the Community Bank”, you only do give when you can or if you want.  And since everyone in YOUR Community Bank is a family member, friend or peer, the Community Bank is self-governing and cannot be abused (and if it were abused, well, we would ALL know it—wouldn’t we?!)  In other words, if we felt someone is asking ALL the time…then we simply don’t have to give anything—no drama.

Think of it…no interest, no applications, no fees, no loans, no federal bank bullshit, no credit checks, no stress, no evictions, none of our friends or family go hungry or without medicine they need…we take care of ourselves by sharing what we can, when we can!   So let’s say, I put a shout out NOW to MY Community Bank and say, “Hey, I need to pay FEB rent and my bills this month!”  (This is true, by the way!)  And 100 people from My Community Bank (which is you) send me $10 each, I am totally covered—and then I can search for a more stable, secure income without the stress of worrying about a possible eviction. 
And what if MORE than 100 people respond with $10?, you ask…  Well, this means I have surplus!  And if I have surplus that means when YOU put a shout out to OUR Community Bank, then I can send you money!  Or better yet, it means I can go afford to go to YOUR workshop, or buy YOUR art, or YOUR food.  Do you see how this works? ! 

Really, I think it is THAT simple.  I look at all 1000+ of my FB friends as part of MY Community Bank—and this does not mean you have to participate at all!  But imagine if everyone started looking at their family, friends and peers as part of their Community Bank—we could all tangibly help one another meet our basic needs.  And when our basic needs are met, we have the time, energy and space to create more abundance for ourselves, our families, our friends, and with more abundance, we can support local businesses, which boosts the local economy…and so on, and so on.  

In the Community Bank, we help one another with whatever, whenever we can share—without any corporations/outside monies bound—and ultimately, we are all held accountable by our own friends, family and peers.  Let’s start now.  It is that easy. It is ridiculous that a family member, friend, or peer not be able to meet their basic needs.  This is all about pulling our resources together to empower and support one another in all our awesome work and being—keeping it “in the family”, so to speak—and out of the hands of corporations, banks, and other institutions. I also see how this can ultimately strengthen relationships, really bring communities together (as opposed to widening the Have and the Have-Nots),  benefit local businesses, and well, you know bring world peace...but that is a whole other blog.

Let’s begin! Start with sharing this idea EVERYWHERE, starting with your family, friends, and peers! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Are you AWAKE?!!!

You might have noticed bumper stickers, around the country, on the electric car in front of you, reading: “Are you Awake?!” and then, in small print, a website address--  When you visit, you find a whole bustling, voracious hybrid community of everything from eco-activists, yoga teachers, artists and musicians, farmers, social entrepreneurs, and doctors, to tarot readers and gurus.  And you wonder what in the world do all these people have in common?!  They are all part of a new “glocal” holistic hub which is powerfully connecting conscious—you know, awake--people around the globe.

It all started, just over a year ago, (previously known as “Awakening the Bay”) created as an online social network, holistic lifestyle guide, local marketplace, and community hub for “conscious people” throughout the Bay Area.  But quickly, people from other parts of the country, even other parts of the world, joined in—regardless of geography or ideology-- because this unifying, spry network has been effectively connecting and nurturing inspiring events, activities and gatherings from all disciplines which seek make the world a better, safer, happier place.

Intentionally empowering local, professional holistic practitioners and eco and socially responsible businesses, as well as inspiring all who visit the site to live, work and love in a more holistic way, stands out in the self-help and holistic world for two main reasons: (1) Their mission is not just to “change the world”, but to have a damn good time while doing it, and (2) they have an equally active offline community. is like a holistic Eventbrite, Meetup and Living Social, all rolled up in one organic nori roll—with a side of wasabi. And is not just a bunch of Northern California hippies, there are scientists, medical professionals, engineers, and CEOs in this thriving community—it is like all the TEDTalks lecturers and Bioneers hanging out with local massage therapists, Northern California almond farmers, and some of your favorite DJs.  Since its inception in early 2011, membership (which is free!) has gone up 500%! 

Soon, will be offering iPhone apps which can help locals and visitors alike find holistic practitioners, services and green products wherever they are, just by the touch of a phone screen.’s big vision is to mainstream holistic living, working, and being by promoting and empowering local holistic practitioners, as well as educating all who visit the site on all the holistic options for individuals and families, in all aspects of their lives, and most importantly, in a fun way. Are you an Awake?