Friday, June 27, 2014
Recently, a friend was brave enough to share with me she was uncomfortable with my (direct quote) “living off of other people’s money” (aka, OOPM)—*which I might add, was NOT based on her personal experience. At the time, I laughed to myself…You, my friend, are a professional FUNDRAISER! I mean, didn’t you make a CAREER off of OOPM? And didn’t OOPM assist YOU, your loved ones, and also the communities you were fundraising for?! Isn’t THAT the BEST way to USE money?!! Giving people the resources they need to make the world a better place?! *Perhaps if I were of Indian/Native-descent or wore Guru-gear and lots of expensive hippie jewelry, the way I live would not be questioned. (But this was just my Ego responding.)
Then, I thought, “Wait a minute! EveryONE is living OOPM!” Whether your money/house/whatever was inherited; given to you in exchange for your labor, services or crafts; won in a lottery; gifted from a friend; issued from the government (disability, social security, “welfare”, etc.); or your SPOUSE/Partner?!!! I mean if we really follow money as far back as to, say… the Conquistadors, that money came from Mayan and Inca civilizations! If we go even farther back in time, we see money came from the combination of an IDEA (“Hey, guys, What IF we all agreed to a standard token, let’s say “currency”, we could use to procure materials and items we need/want?”) and the discovery of soft metals. The way I see it, is that NOTHING is YOURS or MINE, and therefore, paradoxically, EVERYTHING is YOURS and MINE (*and it is LIMITLESS.)
“Share your TOYS!” We drill into our children. But yet, how many of us (ADULTS) really share our TOYS?
And essentially, EVERYTHING is a TOY—from our homes to our LOVE. I believe as long as we continue labeling things/people/places as MINE and YOURS we are perpetuating Duality-Thinking (“Us” vs “Them”), which is what fuels wars, crime, corruption, abuse and all that other yucky stuff.
I like to think that I have been living off of other people’s LOVE. I mean if you can’t freely share your food and shelter with a FRIEND or FAMILY without resentment; HOW do YOU expect to IMPROVE CONDITIONS on this planet?!!!
So instead of charging every person I spend time with $200 per hour for my time and my holistic therapeutic services, or $25 for every Kelly’s Osho Zen Reading; or charge people/organizations/businesses a REFERRAL FEE for every time I SHARE an event/product/service with my community (known as marketing and PR in the business world) or charge every time I recommend a quality business or service; charge everytime I hook up a friend with a DREAM JOB or help them raise funds for their DREAM, or such…well, I choose to GIVE FREELY whatever I can (down to my last penny!), fully trusting in the Universal Law of Circulation: The Flow of Giving and Receiving, and knowing that EVERY action I do is out of LOVE—with the ultimate vision of a FREE, abundant happy, safe world for ALL here (*including the animals, plants, insects, rocks and minerals, and even micro-organisms!)
Love your bliss,
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Kelly, asking a council of Zulu Induna (tribal leaders): “Why do YOU think all these ABELUNGU (foreign) doctors and medical scientists are out HERE, in NOWHERE, Hlabisa, all of a sudden?!”
Finally, Evelyn Mthembu (72 -year old Zulu Grandmother, Supposed-to-be-Retired Nurse and Head of Vusimpilo Community Caregivers): “We are the Black Rhino.”
Back when I had “Save-the-World Syndrome” (circa 2001-ish), a British development agency brave enough to hire me, allocated me to a decaying, under-resourced, over-populated, rural hospital in an undeclared war-zone, serving an estimated population of 250,000 scattered, primarily Zulu-speaking peoples, with a 42.6 % HIV prevalence rate (*in simple English, that means almost 1 in 2 people were living—more so dying—due to HIV-related illnesses); high incidences of TB and Malaria—with a side of Cholera and Diabetes (Thanks, Col. Sanders!) A destination where no South African dare visit, much less work or live (by choice.) Otherwise known as the mountain-nest village of Hlabisa, “my home”, for 2 years.
Regularly, I visited rural communities consisting of solely Grandmothers and children; most of the adults (aka, “The Work Force”—you know…the teachers, nurses, bus drivers, farmers, shop keepers, etc.) were dead, in the process of dying from HIV-related opportunistic infections, or fled the villages for jobs in the city. This means Grandmothers and sometimes teenage orphans were head of household: Boys would often join gangs and resort to crime in order to procure food for their fellow orphans; Girls would resort to prostitution in order to help feed and cloth other children, just perpetuating the cycles of survival-mentality, poverty and disease. If you do the math, the possibility of extinction was very possible.
|Zulu (Orphan) Drum and Dance Troop|
We had no access to AIDS treatment options back in the early 2000’s, so the only health care options for people living with HIV/AIDS at the time (*throughout most of the world, I might add) were a mixture of limited “band-aid” drugs and some antibiotics; holistic therapies by local traditional healers; the prayers of family and shaman/church; decent nutrition; and improved living conditions—if we were lucky. So, basically, I was trying to respond to a local epidemic (which was part of a larger pandemic), with limited access to medications as well as human resources (you know, like doctors and nurses!); limited choices in food (they don’t have Trader Joe’s out in the bush!); poor water and sanitation systems; poor living conditions in general and high levels of stress and unemployment. Therefore, my primary health care team of community-based caregivers consisted of 28 Zulu Grandmothers and four Grandfathers.
|Goofy Guru blowing BUBBLES in the Hlabisa Hospital Children's Ward|
Out of desperation, I started researching holistic and alternative therapies and treatments—everything from Ayurveda to yoga. I actively participated in this research, explaining to my Zulu neighbors that I was “praying in motion” when they discovered me practicing yoga in their cornfield. I asked my staff of Grandmothers to create a master list of all the indigenous fruits, veggies, medicinal plants and herbs in the entire region—this MASTER FOOD/PLANT LIST quickly became our health-bible.
“What is a dagga?” I asked one of my Zulu Grandmothers and pointed at her list of local plants. She said something I could not understand (in Zulu) then started giggling and comically gesturing smoking a joint.
“Marijuana?” I blinked.
“Bob Marley,” she nodded.
“Wait a minute! There is marijuana around here?! WTF?! Why didn’t someone point this out earlier?!!!” I roared, and then started immediately researching all the scientifically documented healing properties of cannabis—which much to my surprise, included the likes of PTSD treatment (very useful in these parts!); relief from depression and several other mental illnesses; nerve pain (neuropathy being a common symptom of HIV); nausea and lack of appetite (which was common in both patients with HIV and TB-- lack of proper nutrition prevents the absorption and digestion of medicines and ultimately, most people die of starvation); to multiple cancer treatments and therapy for Multiple Sclerosis (*which my mother happens to have.)
After much debate and many very informal experiments in my kitchen, 2 Zulu Grandmothers and I perfected a local affordable, easily accessible menu of medicinal edibles. Therefore, whenever one of our community-based caregivers made a home visit, they would TEACH the head of household how to make their own edibles. We were teaching people how to make their OWN MEDICINE.
|Vusimpilo Community Home-based Caregivers DANCING at a staff party|
And we did not even need a “marijuana supplier” (FREE!!!!) because dagga grows wild in these parts! So our caregivers, with the help of hospital janitorial staff (*THANK YOU, Janitorial Staff of Hlabisa Hospital, for showing me I had “pot” in my own BACKYARD! Hahahaha!) would VOLUNTARILY collect leaves and buds for us to distribute to patients in their homes.
In conclusion, I firmly believe this radical marijuana-based home health care plan kept the Zulus ALIVE and relatively well up until late 2000’s, upon the arrival of roads and Antiretroviral Therapy Drugs (“AIDS drugs”) My proof: Well, the Zulus are still alive and from what I can see—THRIVING!
**And just IMAGINE what we could accomplish if we sent home-based caregivers AROUND the GLOBE some cannabis seeds to GROW their own MEDICINE, as well?! You can start here at Sensi Seed Bank.
Kelly N Patterson (aka, the Goofy Guru)
Monday, June 2, 2014
Once upon a time, I was a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. Allow me to SHARE the WISDOM of the Flight Attendant:
|Once Upon a Time, I was a Flight Attendant: Goofy Guru|
1. There are always SEVERAL emergency exits. Take a few moments NOW to locate your nearest exit. *In some cases, your nearest exit may be behind you. IF we need to evacuate, floor-level LIGHTing WILL GUIDE YOU towards the exit.
2. In the event of a DECOMPRESSION, an oxygen mask will AUTOMATICALLY appear in front of you! Place the mask firmly over your nose and mouth and BREATHE normally. MOST IMPORTANT: IF you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, SECURE YOUR MASK FIRST, and THEN ASSIST the other person.
3. Your seat bottom cushion can be used as a flotation device! (*I hear Buddhist monks laughing NOW!) Use your WHISTLE and LIGHTS to get attention.
4. You really DO NOT NEED so MUCH LUGGAGE!
*And on behalf of ALL FLIGHT ATTENDANTS in the WORLD, WE are NOT JUST "WAITERS in the SKY"--we are there to SAVE YOUR LIFE in the event of an emergency IN the air, on land and in the sea. So PLEASE treat your flight attendants with the same RESPECT you would for a Paramedic or a Fire Fighter...because Flight Attendants can save your life (and some of us IN HEELS!) AND serve you a STRONG COCKTAIL WITH A SMILE!