Burn, Evolution, Music Festivals, Sacred Space

iBurningMan

The first time I rolled up to Burning Man in 2013, fresh off the festival circuit, I arrived at 6 AM, after being on the road for three days and in line for 10 hours, it got real. I jumped out of the car and the first thing I said to this stranger was: “I really like your necklace“ shyly, just trying to drum up conversation. He looked at me and said “UGH fine take it.“ And handed me the necklace, exasperated. Two strangers offered me some chocolates, I politely declined, and then promptly I hopped on my bike and rode towards “The Man” like I was supposed to. The first thing I encountered? A scene of people, full blown working out with barbells and equipment in front of these giant BELIEVE letters, as the sun was rising; I knew that this wasn’t just a party or an experience to be taken lightly. This was evolution in motion.

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-Burning Man 2013: Da Vinci’s Workshop-
A group of body builders pumping iron at sunrise by this Believe sign .
Letters by by: Laura Kimpton with Jeff Schomberg


This year, 2018, the art was unlike anything I’d ever fathomed. There was the iSheep, a roaming pack of sheep, that if you were nice to them they would let you ride them. If you didn’t ask consent, they were mean sheep, and would yell at you, so I am told. Could never find those buggers.

-iSheep by: Bardia Saeedi, DC Regional Artists-
from: Alexandria, VA

IF you were lucky enough to find “The Pole”, a random lite up pole, and you were lucky enough to know just the right way to shake your head, you would see the most incredible faces within the motion of your eyeballs. WHAT!? ETIPADO as it was called is a mysterious strobing pole. It displays images captured from an antique camera, but the secret to viewing them must be discovered.

-Said pole Installation titled ETIPADO: Extremely Tall Image Processing And Display Object-
by: Grant Patterson from: San Francisco, CA

Meanwhile, THESE poles were also amazing…and much easier to see. Made of 11,000 hanging LEDs in a volumetric field, these concentric pathways of light interpret movement and sound, mimicked shadows in a visual form throughout.


-Galactic Meadows- by Spectral Form out of SF-

I found out the rainbow runway arches were ACTUALLY demonstrating the speed of sound, and that art cars could actually hook up to the runway with a software that Robot Heart developed and play their set. Then the music that plays shows the wave frequencies that are displayed in lights down the whole the row.

Then there was the polar bear made out of white car hoods, advocating polar bear environmental safety. “Singularity” was the house, in a birdcage, in a house, inside a birdcage inside a house, and it was burned in the name of dispelling depression and honoring those that have suffered. “Let U.S Prey” was made out of pennies, nickles and dimes, 27,000 coins to be exact, or so I heard.

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-Let U.S. Prey by: Mr and Mrs Ferguson-
from: Alameda, CA

Burning Man really is like a beautiful train wreck that you can’t stop watching, even though you know it might not end well. Boop. Maybe it’s not as big of a crash as expected, but worth watching none the less. Even those overturn that have chosen not to return after burning for how ever many years, are still watching, because they know the magic of Black Rock City. This year, even Skirllex was amazing #shocking. You really never know with this place…

The drone light show coming from Amsterdam was an absolutely mind-blowing performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art. “Franchise Freedom” exposed the tension between individual freedom and safety in numbers, and was choreographed to music composed and played by Joep Beving. The patterned movements of the 600 drones apparently were based on the patterns of bird flights. I saw a hand beckoning the crowd to approach the Mayan Warrior. Perhaps I was just hallucinating?

Burning Man 2018 Studio Drift’s Amazing Luminous Drone Swarm & Mayan Warrior Dutch composer Joep Beving from ruprecht studios on Vimeo.

At sunrise on Tuesday morning, some circus friends I know presented a performance art piece called: “Straight No Chaser – The Great Straight Escape” … An escape artist was hanging upside down from a hot air balloon near the temple, and she did it!

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-Strait No Chaser : The Great Strait Escape by: LadyBEAST and GatorDox-
from: Oakland, CA

This ridiculous city has taught me more about freedom, and about who I never would’ve thought I would become, over the past four years. I’ve showered with total strangers in a completely non-sexualize way and felt so empowered afterwards #carcuswash. I’ve eaten ribs and salmon a top of a giant glowing pirate ship at five in the morning while Crystal Method the artist danced beside me. #pearlnecklace I’ve had more synchronistic and unexpected magical experiences in the middle of nowhere in one week then probably in my whole life before burning man combined. #ttitd


-Still trying to locate the project name-

This was a circus of light up wheels, that had traveled fixe desserts, and was destined for Black Rock City. Every night 15 volunteers committed 4+ hours of their time to walk these wheels to the larger inner playa installation and dance in loincloths for onlookers! What a spectacle! I still don’t know what to call it.

Speaking of names, one day, while hanging at my camp, the Pandora Bike and Fix it Shoppe bar, a women came up and when I asked what her name was, she said she didn’t have a playa name. My co-bartender, “Bish” said while she poured the girl a drink “Well silverbell, it’ll come when you’re ready”. The girl and I both looked at each other and I said “That’s it! That’s your name!” She said she liked it, and then I reached down and pulled off the bracelet of silver bells I had just put on minutes earlier, that I hadn’t worn in years, and promptly handed her the bracelet, deeming her Silverbell. And that’s how the they get you… before you know it, you’re covered in dust and loving it.

Oh yes, I have fallen in love with the dust… just the smell of it turns me on. This strong, smooth and sultry salt bed dust gets into everything, and yet I still can’t get enough of it. It’s in the air you breathe it’s in the food you eat and it’s definitely in the places you sleep and play and worship and dance and shit and cry and bathe… It becomes a part of you. It connects you to everything else through the vibrations that you can literally see the music waves pulsating through a dust storm. In the morning light you can see the dust kicking up off of art car wheels as they roll five miles an hour across the playa, spiraling out into fractals; it’s really a sight for sore eyes. #goggles.

This dust reminds me of sugar and every other white powder that’s worth indulging in, it serves a purpose and an important one at that. This dusty powder is a way of life; it is a medicine. And while it may not be the most logical, rational or economical “medicine” you’ve ever heard of, once you’ve tried this Kool-Aid, you’re going to want to go deeper. Down whichever rabbit hole you choose! There’s lots to explore. Even sober ones, it’s true.

This year, as I was biking Sunday pre-event, alone, across the playa under the stars, night one of my 2018 adventure, I realized that I was laughing, and crying, and singing and dancing, sweating and breathing heavy, and jumping WHILE riding my bike, all at once, and I couldn’t help but think “this is the closest to a religious experience as anyone in this day and age will ever get.” In that moment I felt invincible and ecstatic, like I hadn’t felt since I was a little girl. I felt like my true self, finally come into perfect alignment. How long can it last?


-The Alter of Intention-
by: Daniel Strickland, Vinicius Luz, M.Emoto Institute, Brazilian Burners
from: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Two weeks later, in the throughs of decompression and after burn withdraw, I still think that it’s worth every bit of energy and sacrifice, though a harder pill to swallow in my grumpy state. If you’ve never gone from hell to heaven and back again in two week’s time, it’s impossible to fathom the gravity of the circumstances. If you haven’t at least considered quitting your job and going to Burning Man, than this might not be for you.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. And I’ve lost 15 pounds! Burning Man is truly the pilgrimage of many lifetimes that I waited way too long to take. Black Rock City is forever etched onto my heart and pulses through my veins, daily, calling me to return home as soon as possible. 360 days we must wait. But the burn doesn’t just stop there, you know…. #openseasame



One of the most important facets of deeming yourself a burner is taking these principles that you operate under out into the world, pre and post burn. Otherwise, what is the point? Many of us struggle with the dreaded “exclusiveness” and “waste of resources” dilemma. Believe me, us burners are well aware of the discrepancies and issues within our community that are all over the news. “With all that money spend on a 747 we could have fed hundreds of starving children”, is an absolutely valid argument that many of us within and outside the organization have voiced and battled with each other concerning, but it’s really not up for ANYONE to decide whether or not something is art. The point is, we are out there, pushing the envelope in a very raw and real way. We build a community from scratch, and with that comes all kinds of pulses. The challenge with any community, and especially one of this force, is that you have the best of humanity, and also the worst of humanity, all under one roof. I do want to point out that radically inclusive doesn’t mean you have to include the rapist or the thief; but discovering who these people are is the hard part, as people are good at hiding in a crowd.


As you’ll see within any city, you’ll find just about everything you look for. Bars, yoga studios, dance parties, parades, restaurants, balloon rides, roller skating rinks, temples, you name it, it’s at Black Rock City. Funnily enough, this year AND last year I had my megaphone stolen right out of my bag on burn night, when I wasn’t looking. It’s a small price to pay for a week of fulfilling magic, but still, it is a reality we are facing as a community. Just because you’re in an utopian society doesn’t mean you don’t still have to watch your back.

***WANTED: Silver megaphone, small frame, connected to swell rainbow water bottle inside a hemp-laced carrying case. REWARD IF FOUND***

One night an obviously disheveled woman came in to my camp. She asked if she could buy a drink which we explained to her there was no money used at Burning Man once you arrive. I asked her how she got there and she explained that her boyfriend had brought her she never heard of Burning Man she had never heard of the 10 principles and she wasn’t sure where she was going to sleep that night as her boyfriend had kicked her out and left her. She disappeared before I could get a ranger, after she realized she was most certainly out of her element. It was a tragic story and situation that really hurt my heart. But that’s what happens, you get all walks of life.



Every year the playa energy changes, physically, emotionally, spirituality, and weather wise of course. This year, the pulse was running hot, in my opinion. The virgin burners were prepared, the veterans seemed patient, lines were shorter than ever, and the flow was smooth, mostly until Wednesday night. I could feel a very direct shift in attitude once the city went from the week long committed artists and city builders to the weekend warriors who just show up to party. It’s an interesting observation to attend to. 



Still, it’s important to recognize that what you chose to pay attention to is what you will find at the burn. If you want to stay cranky at entitled assholes all week long, than that’s what you’ll see. I choose to focus on the art, music and friendships that we built. The best part about Black Rock City is the intensity of which things happen. Time speeds up. Emotions are heightened. Strength gets stronger. Weaknesses become glaringly obvious. Anything you haven’t dealt with in your immediate force field will rear it’s little head and say “you better check this right now or we’re gonna ruin your burn”. Happens every year, even to the best of us. The burn you want and the burn you need are never the same thing. Usually they balance each other out.


They say “the playa provides” bla bla bla… I say, YOU provide, for yourself and for your community. Almost every time I indeed needed something, it was right there, all I had to do was voice my desire aloud. I came as self prepared as possible, and then went out of my way to help others because that’s what you do with communal effort and civic responsibility. It’s a team effort, when it comes to building a city, running it, and then also tearing it down, it requires everyones help. If you don’t give, you won’t get. Everything is temporary here, and that’s part of the magic.

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-Galaxia Temple 2018-
By the incredible Temple Crew



Speaking of magic, or the unexplainable, the Temple comes to mind. Never before in my four years of Burning have I felt a connection to the temple. I would go, stop in, look around and leave feeling sad for others and underwhelmed for myself. I didn’t get it. But everything changed this year.

This year I took my broken ass heart to the temple and gave it away… by that I mean, I took a paper flower for every man who has broken my heart and released it into the spiral abyss of flame. Apparently I wasn’t the only one on this train of though, as the temple was FILLED with wedding dresses, old letters from ex lovers and notes to abusive partners saying “we will no longer stand for this treatment”. “Fuck your narcissism” and “Fuck cancer” It was so powerful, you could feel the thickness of tension, and when it burned on Sunday night, I could also feel the release. The vortex was undeniable, and some of us swore that Larry was even there, in the dust. Check out this video of the dirt devil tornado that surprised us all towards the end of the temple burn. I learned that at Burning Man people call these tornados “ancestors”.

Now I’d like to remind those who don’t know that the “theme” of “burning man” this year was iRobot, which didn’t please my tastebuds at all, initially. In response I chose to moonlight as Dorothy the Burning Man iRobot, who was created thanks to the Radicals Brining Back Ritual campaign, and she was sent to Burning Man to protest robots. Sponsored by the Anti Bot Coalition, the ABC didn’t end up having to protest in the end, when it seemed to be that the humans were a bigger part of the problem than the bots, however I felt like my mission was a valid one. “Who are these robots, and why are they taking over my burn? I miss Radical Ritual…”

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-Fractal the Turtle and The Nonsense Man and a Robot @ The Man 2018-

In the end, iRobot did turn out to have a very certain charm, and certainly put the tech folk to work. Thank you Silicon Valley. These are our hard earned tax dollars at work here folks.

As a lady who comes from the land of Oz, I used to think tornados were terrifying; these ones are ADORABLE. People chase them around, they carry dust and sparks and ashes with them sometimes. There truly is something for everyone at Burning Man, and these ancestors are for me. It was love at first sight.



As in love with this aspect of the burn that I am, there are others that chose not to attend the massive fires, ever. For some, it’s too crowded. Others, too painful. And it’s my responsibly to accept that and support their decision, as much as it doesn’t make sense to me. Everyone is there for a particular reason and season… no judgement. No blame. No shame. As long as your participating best as you can, then you are welcome

I chose to spend my pre-burn doing placement for my camp (Pandora’s bike and fix it Shoppe), working for the Artery (the art placement department, where we also do artist hospitality and give art tours for the mobility challenged) as well as performing several shows too, at center camp, theme camps and beyond. Learning about the art was invaluable, and being able to share with others “oh yeah, THAT hut is called LISTEN and you can go broadcast your heart beat through the speakers” was so special. I sacrificed sleep for sunrises and moments with FAMILY that I will cherish forever. I learned SO much, and most of all what I took away from this year’s burn was that all you can do is “Let it go”. Memories can live on, but the emotion and attachment to all things material and even surreal, we must let it go. And it felt REAL damn GOOD to let shit go. I had a lot of shit. I feel 800 times lighter. I feel like myself again, and I am so grateful for all the souls I encountered that made sure to tell me that I was on track and in alignment. THANK YOU. You know who you are. 



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-In Every Lifetime I Will Find You by: Michael Benisty, Love and Unity-
from: Brooklyn, NY

I learned the first year I went, in 2013, not to come to something of this magnitude with our your BEST FRIENDS around you. You’re going to want them there. And every year, I leave the burn thinking “God, I totally have to bring my mom to this.” Maybe next year ma?

Now, if you THINK You can’t make it to Burning Man, you know your options, right? First of all, set an intention to go, take off work, and TRY to get a ticket. Pay attention. See what happens. If it comes easy, then it’s a go, and if there’s resistance, LISTEN. Next year will be better anyway!

Second mission: find a regional, or start your own if you must, even if it’s in your backyard. Build something. Burn. It. Do something weird. Dress up. Go out. Start conversations. Be YOU.

Third, check out Burners Without Borders, or just start researching the burn culture in general an see where it takes you. Pick a principle and dive in unpacking it. People make all sorts of sacrifices to attend a burn. I always say “some people choose football, some people play golf, some join a gym… I choose to burn”. It’s become a way of life, like having breakfast, or playing tennis. The sacrifices I’ve made always are outweighed by the benefits. And every single day I think, “how can I turn the default world into a real life burn?” Maybe it already is… but one person can’t play THIS game. It takes a communal effort. 

If the world is your burn, what’s your next move? Be bold. No apologies. Go after what you believe in. And don’t ever let anybody tell you how to live your life. Especially burners, if it doesn’t jive with your soul.

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-Taken at the Morris Burner Hostle in Reno, August, 2018-



Burning Man started as a social experiment, and continues to unfold and evolve at it’s own pace and stride. Sure, there are organizations and the organization itself, but nobody is in the captain chair saying “this is who we are booking and this is the kind of art we are going to make”. Nope. That’s up to US. And that’s where WE need to take the power and make it something we can be proud of. I’m talking about functional art. Art that serves a purpose and makes the city or world a better place. For instance, I’d like to see an art installation grant for composting and decorative bathroom for deep playa, that are burned at the end of the week (waste removed). Or maybe a water fill-up oasis in the middle of the dessert, with water goddesses reciting poetry, filling up your hearts and your drink vessels at once. I’m not sure if/when I’ll have the resources to do such activities, but it’s fun to fantasize.

(I haven’t even gotten started on the art car scene… To be continued…)



City-wise, San Francisco and Reno are both already doing a stellar job of incorporating burner art and functions into their city, and so I challenge you to look around at your community and your city of choice. Where is the need? What are the needs? What are your resources? And how can we turn this shit up a notch. Because the dial is going to keep moving, it’s just a matter of which direction.

Buckle up buttercup. 

And burn bright friends.

Check out ALL of the art at Burning Man here on the website

Until next year….

MissCompact


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-MissConcompact the Unicorn Barbie! “Put ‘er in your pocket”-

Yeah 

Burning Man 2018 dang came and went.
It’s been a good run, time and play well spent
The gate was on point and the greeters greeting blow for blow
With so many more virgins there was lots of room to grow
Watching the sunrise never gets cold
with your new best friends but especially the old.
The dance floors were banging, the fires, oh so lit
“Hey can I borrow some self reliance a bit?”
I brought a band of newbies and they did just fine…
(except one of them) leaving no trace, most of the time.
We all get a bit sloppy sometimes, it’s true
but it’s our civic responsibility to take care of ALL our moop.
So I’ll look after you, you look after me, too
as this cultural utopia blooms into an interfuse
That connects us to our art, our heart, also our dark
and is there no safer way to explore this part?
Surrounded by radical self whatever you call it
making it a point to give freely, no wallet.
It’s an exchange of wonder, magical by design empowerment…
Show me your tricks and I’ll show you mine, with consent.
Whatever intention you put into the effigy or temple
let it unfold, truth be told, baby steps, keep it simple
Usually the burn you want isn’t the thing you need,
but if you pay attention to the lessons and processing
With our reflections can grow what’s been unfurled
as we take these teachings from the burn into the real world.
So thanks for playing. Better luck next year’s turn.
And if you don’t mind, would y’all quit fucking my burn?

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-Burning Man 2018 iRobot pre Temple Burn #Pandora-

Art, Evolution, Poetry


Do you have change for a button sir? 



Imagine there’s this red shiny button, with no label on it… do you push it? Or not? Even if you don’t know what it does. 


See lately, I’ve found myself pushing buttons. Lots of buttons. All the buttons that we must push…

Including but limited to, my own and yours. For example:
I get up, and hit the alarm, first thing, snooze is on, twice or three times AT LEAST I’m gone back to sleep, to push that button again maybe catch another wink. Flip the lights. Then push a series of buttons and knobs, facets, electronics and different kinds of tabs, showered, dressed and ready to brave the street. I unlock the car with a button chirp, jump in the seat, ignition switch and hit the sun roof, then radio, then gps, then reverse, lights, mirror angle, gas action, and we’re down the highway bend.


Across a bridge, pusha button to pay the toll, my mother calls, do I answer the phone? Or click ignore?


Push the button to the gate at work; a code to enter, buttons to remember, systems of order and cognition, passwords to recall, and change as one forgets, don’t we all? Tapping the keys all day, buttons and letters and numbers all in array, combing through pages and emails online, I hit the send button, often to soon, I’ll admit it. I’m hot on the buttons, pulling the trigger out of impulse, and release.


Turn on the fan


Turn down the music, turn it back up again.

Microwave your lunch and then the copy machine parades it’s multiverse of button wizardry all afternoon.



Hit the lock button on the bathroom door, which sometimes I forget, yeah that’s happened before. You want more buttons, we got more in storage…



I am so tired, of fucking pushing buttons, and of people pushing mine – will we ever just chill the fuck out, let the buttons rest for a time?




Yes, maybe, just maybe I’ll let you push my buttons a little, on purpose, if you’re nice, but don’t rush it, until I trust it, otherwise you won’t be pushing it twice. 


Pushing buttons…
Clock out.
Wrap it up.
Take it home, I’m done,

But not before
I reset the buttons back for tomorrow’s pushing some more.

<3,
MissCompissed

Evolution, food, Happenings, Holidays

Halfway There – #Whole30

I’ve never been one to jump on the diet bandwagon, so when I started this whole process of ‘cleansing’, I wanted to do it MY way, as I usually do. I had heard a lot about the Whole30 elimination diet, and it just felt right to me at this time, so I jumped in.

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After spending three years being a gypsy wandering Jew nomad, I finally decided to cool off, and with that came a boat load of self-care, grounding and the development of healthy rituals.  Having a low functioning immune system, I can never take too much pre-emptive care of my body (and I can never STRESS enough to young people how important it is to not let your health get away from you.  I sound just like my mother…)  I’ll be the first to tell anyone about the immune boosting properties of elderberry syrup, methal-vitamin-B12, probiotics of course, proper essential oils usage, epsom salt baths, osha root tincture, raw garlic shots, and then these incredible powerful herb blends I’ve been toying with to fight adrenal blow out… check those out here and use my promo code for a discount: sg151 … but that’s all for other blog post.  THIS post, is simply about FOOD.

 

Basically the idea of the program is that you clean out your system, only eating whole, healthy foods for 30 days. That means no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, no additives or preservatives, no alcohol, no THC, basically no toxins. Period. Seemed reasonable enough…. mind you, I was up for a challenge.

It has been years since I decided to really clean my system out… I’d do a week or two here, no alcohol there, but never had I given up dairy and carbs and sugar all at once.

I have to say, this process has been the easiest most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Let me explain.

I’m really mostly an all or nothing kind of girl. Once I set my mind to something, few things can get in my way, except myself, of course. And believe me, I’ve tried to talk myself into quitting since day one… but something tells me this is going to be worth it.

After the ridiculously extravagant holiday season of eating and drinking freely, pared with all the negativity and general malaise that comes with winter time, I decided January 1st to embark on this cleansing journey. Showing up is the hardest part, right? And to show up, you have to prepare.

Never in my life have I been so tied to a food processor. I bought new spices I had never had in my pallet; other ingredients on my grocery list included: ghee, dairy and gluten free mayo, ridiculous amounts of coconut milk and vegetables, and a slew of other foreign ingredients that were permitted. I even bought FRUIT (gasp… I really don’t care for fruit).

One of the illustrated ‘perks’ of this ‘diet’ (and I HATE to call it a diet, because it’s really just eating HEALTHY) is not the emphasis on losing weight, but the focus on reshaping your relationship with food. So far, my shopping skills have improved dramatically, as well as my meal planning, portioning and recipe book. Turns out, cooking HEALTHY is challenging, but I’m enjoying it! And without the alcohol or other distracting activities, there’s not much else to focus on.

While you CAN eat bacon (and I have), this particular meal plan forbids beans or grains of any kind, so no hummus, no quinoa, and no rice, of course. That’s probably the hardest element to overcome… though innately hummus and beans and legumes aren’t BAD for you, the idea is that you are breaking the not-so-good habits that go along with resorting to these simple foods. Rice is an obvious filler to avoid, but with the beans and quinoa, the reason to avoid them is very different:  Quinoa is a seed and contains lectins and saponins which are gut irritants. It also can interfere with absorption of other good nutrients so essentially they get in the way of your healthy digestion. Bye bye hummus 😦 Hello Tahini (recipe below)

Overall, for me personally, the goals are three fold. 1. To break some old habits and form new ones. 2. To reset my digestive system and teach my body how to burn fat differently. 3. To see if the glutton and sugar and dairy buffet I’ve become so accustomed to is what is causing some of my fatigue issues. My doctor said to cut them out for a month, so I’m giving it a go, and long overdue.

Like I said, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… which is why I have to keep going. If my body was THAT addicted to sugar and grains (and I eat pretty healthy generally, without giving it a lot of thought) then think of what it could be doing running at 100%.

It’s been ‘easy’ in a sense that I know in my heart I’ve got to do it. End of story. No questions asked, even when I want to give up, that’s when I have to push harder. And it’s been HARD in all the ways you can imagine… The other night I was dreaming about eating Subway (I don’t even like Subway!) and in my dream I thought “Wait, you can’t eat white bread!” Going to Chipotle (yes, with a little research, you can still eat out) was quite possible the strongest testament of will I have faced yet. If you know me, you know that looking white stuff in the face and saying NO is almost impossible. (I’m talking about Sour Cream, silly. And that blessed cheese… ah, I digress)

But I was able to DO IT. I said no, and I still ate SOMETHING, and I survived. I have to admit I’m getting pretty sick of salad, but it feels good to know what I’m making good choices and not regretting it. Even with the headaches and brain fog and hormones going WACK, it’s still worth it (sorry about that Michael. At least he still likes my cooking…)

Today marks the two week milestone. Two more to go, and I feel like the real work is just beginning. I’ll be traveling these next few weeks, making food prep and planning even harder.

I keep reminding myself that the cravings and strong desires I’m having for CARBS is really my body’s old habits and parasites taking their last breaths. The idea is that my body will start burning FAT instead of sugar/carbs, and I’ll walk away from this with a better attitude about what I put into my body. Big changes, baby steps.

Thank you Adina for inspiring me to take this journey, and for anyone who has shared recipes and ideas on how to make it to the other side. Emily with her cashew cream cheese about saved my life. I found seed crackers, with the cheese and raw salmon and on everything bagel w/ lox and capers craving was at least curbed, for now.

I don’t intend to do this forever. But I welcome some new habits and am excited about making better choices in the future.

I’ll post a few of my favorite recipes below.

If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, don’t be intimidated. It doesn’t have to be the Whole30 right now. But you should do some research, pick something that sits right for you, and make sure you’re not doing more harm that good. Crash diets don’t work if you just crash and burn right back to your old habits. Self care starts with you wanting to take care of you. Be gentle with yourself and listen to your inner voice… which is a lot easier when you cut out all the crap that was getting in the way.

Bon appetite, ma famille!

Tikka Masala
Buffalo Balls
Homemade Marinera Sauce
Cashew Cream Cheese
Tahini
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<3,
MissCompost

PS. I MISS CHEESE THE MOST

 

Evolution, Holidays, Religion, Sacred Space

Holy Days

Every since I was a little girl, I felt quite “spiritual”.  I remember reading the book Conversations with God when I was about 10, and was super inspired!  I thought spiritual was “normal”.  “Everyone feels like this, right?”

Truth is, I also believed in Santa Clause until I was about five, even though my parents raised me essentially Jewish. They always gave me a choice though.  You see, my mothers’ mother was Catholic, and she was the most devout, faithful person I knew, going to Church religiously, and making these  holy days very special for us grand-kids.  Even though the whole rest of the family was Jewish, and I was Jew-ish, I remember always admiring her strength in her own spirituality.  I never once questioned my own center of belief, and I knew that the spiritual inkling inside of me, even at five-years-old, was sacred.

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My father broke the news about Santa that Christmas eve, explaining that it wouldn’t make any sense to the kids at the Jewish Day school I attended if I started talking about Santa.  Broken heartedly, I agreed.

Growing up, my parents taught me that God is everywhere; we are all God and God is inside of us. I learned later in life about a Kabbalah concept: “God is a Verb”.  I discovered that in a magical book, that jumped out of my Rabbi’s shelf and info my psyche almost ten years ago.  What a blessing to find all of these concepts and ideas about spiritutalty swimming around in my mind, inside a book!  A Jewish book, none-the-less.

Facts: Judaism is built on three pillars: Torah, Study and Acts of Loving Kindness.  When you do a good deed, or a mitzvah, it’s considered a holy act.  Doing an anonymous holy act is one of the greatest mitzvot one can do.  (Side note: having sex on the Sabbath is considered THE holiest act possible.  At least the Jews had some things right.)

Now, despite my very intense relationship with Judaism, I’ve always loved Christmas time, even though in my core, I am a Jew.  I was raised Jewish, I speak Hebrew, I’ve worked at a synagogue for ten years, I’ve been to Israel and my dad keeps Kosher.  Though some extremely religious people would tell me I need to convert, I laugh to myself because I know in my core, I am what I am, what I have always been, and that is love.

Every year, holiday cheer always brightens me up inside, especially during these dark winter days, because it is a time for our families to come together and cherish one another.  It’s a time to pause, reflect and give thanks for these precious experiences.  It’s a time to celebrate light, even in the dark.  Though for some, undoubtedly, the holidays can be a very rough and depressing time.

I have a theory about spirituality and ‘religion’; it’s really all about nostalgia.  If you have a strong fond memory of holiday times with your family as a younger person, then chances are you really like this time of year as an adult, because it reminds you of those happy memories.  If you didn’t much like your family, or your Church much as a kid, then chances are Christmas time makes you gag, and that’s okay, too.

Whatever these times mean for you, I do hope you will choose to spend time with people you care about.  If you’re alone, then cherish that sacred time to reflect, ground, center and embrace your place in life.  With our worlds spinning so fast and chaotically, a moment of quiet can be a true gift.
Though I still can’t really explain my faith, I enjoy every minute of it. I enjoy the woven stories we tell, learning about our histories and how they relate.

Here is a fine example of three different stories, each holding their own special meaning and traditions.  Enjoy!

<3,
MissConviction

Evolution, Poetry, Sacred Space

A Love Letter

Dear New York,

How I’ve missed you. I know it’s been a while since I’ve seen your face and I am truly sorry.  You have not been forgotten. There are just other places I need to be right now. I hate to keep you waiting, but we must trust it is in good faith.

Oh, I miss your skin. Your touch. I miss the way you smell, even before a shower. I miss your intoxicating allure in the evenings; the grunge and the dirt along with the beautiful city lights at night. You’ve always been a true romantic and for that I see potential. Most of all, I miss the way you hold my hand when I am afraid. Even on cold nights in dark alleys, you’re warm.

But I am never afraid of you. No, you are my inspiration. My muse. And I think of you often, wondering when will we meet again? Perhaps some day on a long awaited vacation? For dinner and a movie? Or maybe a more permanent fixture in the long term we could be together for real.

For now, California may have my soul, but you will always have my heart.

Take care. Stay strong. Eat your veggies and drink some tea or whisky for me and may it fill you with warmth and grace to know that even though we are far apart, we will always be together in spirit.

With love,
Sara

Evolution, Sacred Space

For the Love of Money

Money and Love – an invocation/prayer

Please note: the following is my attempt to transcribe and make sense of the notes I took at the “For the Love of Money” Worship in Oakland, California on October 8th at the Humanist Hall.  Some of it may not make much much sense, or  there may be fleeting bits of wisdom within the prose below.  I do not expect it to read like a narrative or ‘normal’ blog rather, it is infused with poetry, knowledge and tidbits of information that I am still attempting to digest. Please feel free to ask questions or chime in with your thoughts on the struggle of power concerning love and money. Thanks for reading.

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The PRAYER: to live in a world without fear, with love, of the possibility of each moment coming with dignity; being able to say “this is what I need and this is what I have to offer.”

The exchange. Three teachers. Charles Eisenstein, Gigi Coyle and Orland Bishop, at the Humanist Hall.

The intention was to rethink our relationship with money and love, especially concerning how the two are related- and how they should be treated.  And how can we support each other in the relatively-uncharted waters of what to do with money and love?

Today, we are seeding a change in the system.

Money (and power) enter into our love story rather early in life.

When people say, “let’s be realistic,” they usually mean let’s talk about the money. If only we had enough money…

Money and love have both evolved becoming a planetary force.

Who needs my love and money? There is never enough of either in this alchemical transition.

Money so often is thought to dictate what is practical and what is realistic. Money also establishes reality by the kinds of behavior it encourages.  There always seems to be more debt than there is actual money.

We are all in competition for not enough money and in that reality a certain aspect of our nature arises where everyone is self-interested and focused on what they can get, everyone else be damned.

For some time, money and love have been perceived to be in direct opposition to one another, as if to say there is no money in our love arenas, and vice versa – It is a financial compromise and, arguably, one that leads to a sort of suicide of our souls.  We are taught that we have to let go of what we love in order to make money. That we must choose money over being able to do the work our hearts guide us to do.

Money was constructed to be an oppressing force, but the agreements can change, and that is what the purpose of this workshop class was – to dig deeper into the agreements we made years ago, and to discuss how we can evolve those constructs.

Collective trauma is the glue that holds together the structures that keep us apart.

Money and Love can share a common angle: they are both something you can give to others.

Feeding or taking care of someone is often an act of love, a gift.

Money is allowed to be a system of bringing together these gifts and needs.
LONGING is a force that drives our gifts and needs.

We long for the freedom to be generous!!

Love and money originated in the gift – the opening of the self, giving of the self, and an extension of one’s self. Perhaps they originated in the same place, and perhaps the wounds of love and money originated in the same place: when relationships became controlling and subject to domination, and we began to see the world as property, we now see each other as property. Corruption evolved.

Patriarchy is the ownership and objectification of women.  The same happens in reverse in Matriarchy, and men become objects.  You can substitute the genders for each other.  This is a class war going back to the beginning of time.

Before we had money there was barter, and certainly possessions.

“Love existed long before money. Power, too. Barter was the dominating mode before we regarded a hunk of gold as worth exchanging for food, or sex, but love entered into barter, also: When you had to trade skills for skills the negotiation was more intimate – you learned what you had that the other didn’t, and vice versa, and could groom how the
price played into pleasure or penury – and you’d do it for love – but not money!

Love may predate the notion of money entirely. But yes, the wounds of love and money may share a common origin: Fear.  And we are still living in those cultivated evils every day. Points to consider:

Money and our sex lives are our most private matters, not to be discussed. 

It’s not a measure of good health to be well adjusted to an unstable world.

Debt is a connection to a specific person or entity. It may stretch your boundaries unlawfully. 

Gratitude = natural debt.  It need not be repaid. 

We need a return to transparency – for the healing of love and money.

We need to address our fears.

Determining what is good and what is sacred in our lives can often depend on what we fear.  When we avoid our own fear we limit the imagination, inspiration, and intuitive direction of our spiritual guidance that tells us which doors to go through so we can learn what is on the other side.

FEAR = Chemistry. There is a stage in life when we lean in to fear as children. We desire to be in touch with the unknown. We engage in impulses of uncertainty. Needs awaken us. Fear is the gap we strive to transcend. Once we enter into it we have to pull in something new that isn’t given by inheritance. Knowing this feeling requires some measure of trust. Our age helps us transcend that gap.  Our wisdom.

Fear is harmful to powers of creativity beyond the field of our inheritance. By bringing fears into awareness new things become possible. Discussing our fear of money (and love) is the way to change those fears. To transmute them.

Fear might be cultural but the response is human. Fear can override the system:

We spend so much energy on fear that could be spent on love! We focus on the fear of not having freedom, or money or time. The fear of being alone. The fear of pain. The fear of not being successful. The fear of walking down your own path or not walking your own path.

Sacrifice is the longing for the why:  Why do we fear? Why do we love? Why do we need money?  What do we need love so bad?

So we were asked the question: what part of our civilization has to die because it’s locked in an old paradigm?

Materialistic views of the world are dying. The idea that we are separate is dying.  

We must let go of what is dying, of what we fear. 

Money is loves shadow. 

Sanctify means to give meaning 

Sacred reciprocity has many forms, and money is only one.

Be in the longing.

To be in longing is a source of belonging. 

Trusting doesn’t mean not acting.

The problem is separation. The answer? Connection.

Value exchange binds a community. 

Love is the worlds most natural currency. 

We can make things and concepts more useful and real by creating a context. For example: a chair can be a table, too. Here, we are allowing things to return to their consciousness. What has died can be restored. A thing is dying if we cannot speak to its spirit. We must remember primal intuition of what it means to put meaning into language.

What do we want to say to money?  

What you can do is help your community allow money to flow in a healing direction. Have a vision, then invite money to support that vision. Do an experiment: Offer your work without any expectations for what it is worth and allow your ‘customer’ to determine value. See how the values flow. Allow your store/shop one day to be ‘suggested’ donation and see how much more money you can make when you allow the wealth to come to you without force.  While these concepts are superfluous and a bit of a stretch for some, for others, it is precisely the kind of trust and transparent communication we have been seeking for years.

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This is a call to tribal wisdom: how do we come back to relating to each other so that we can take care of the flow of money and love. 

Time doesn’t go by us – it goes through us when the time is right.

The lands don’t belong to us we belong to the land.

Treat money and love with upmost respect. #InGodWeTrust

All in in all, the workshop for me personally was a nice reminder that even the cold and sterile can be sacred and injected with holy energy.  We do not have to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, rather we can address those mistakes, look at them head on, look at what we’ve learned from them and then persist onward in the direction of our dreams.  I am focusing on not letting money be the barrier holding me back in my life, rather allowing it to be the energy field that carries me forward only when in need.  I have often set up paying my bills in work trade and accepting other forms of payment in the ways of food and services instead of cash.  I encourage you to be open to this new paradigm of money and love and how they are connected at a root level.

If you are interested in my Creative Consultation project, please know that I am trying a new business model out: I want to offer my consultation skills to YOU as a GIFT for your business or challenges in life. The idea is that I truly believe I can provide insight and ideas for how to increase traffic to your business or project. Whether you are starting a new business or organization or beefing up an old concept.  Or if you are having a spiritual/emotional crisis in your life, let’s start with a conversation on what your needs are and how to get you back on track. Then YOU get to decide what my time/ideas are worth and can gift back to me should you feel the need to contribute to this project. Bottom line: I know that I am am a gifted problem solver. USE ME. Message me directly to get started: sara.serendip@gmail.com.

-MissComission

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For more information on sacred communities, visit TAMERA.ORG