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.

15241274_10104134446398239_3194286739833335481_n.jpg

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

Uncategorized

History Artistic

And on the 7th day, God created the Vibe Tribe.  Ok, maybe not exactly, play by play. but largely, one tribe and one vibe was sparked.   Today, some of us are still living that mentality.   Moment to moment, here in Kansas City.  Let’s explore shall we?

VibeTribeFInal

The Vibe Tribe was actually officially incarnated in 2011, when I got a call from painter John Bukaty to join the Kanrocksas team.  “Um, can I bring 60 people?” was my first question, and the Vibe Tribe was born!  We made business cards and rocked that Kansas festival hard.  The Vibe Tribe has been blazing its own trail ever since, and it’s got a force of it’s own.

We started as a group of friends.  All inclusive, meaning anyone could represent and join the cause.  We decided to focus on raising the vibration through movement, music and art, essentially.  We would go to specific shows, dressed up in a theme, promoting the particular event and making sure everyone there was having FUN.  That was the mission.  To play and dance and create our own entertainment, while having fun.

The flow arts are essentially a way for the crowd to be interactive with the show, creating our own entertainment.  Flow artists don’t sit passively waiting to be entertained.  They develop their own skills and bring the excitement wherever they go.  It fit naturally into what the Vibe Tribe stood for, and we incorporated as many props, costumes, and ambient decor as possible.  It gave us a reason to be involved.  A purpose.  That was the goal of the Vibe Tribe…. to give everyone a purpose.

So whether you are a flow artist, a photographer, a sound engineer, set designer, visual painter or belly dancer,  you found a role at the Vibe Tribe.  Our events got bigger, more prominent, and more exciting!  Suddenly we found ourselves performing at regional musical festivals, spinning fire on the plaza for Water Fire, and other massive events that required insurance as well as skill and talent.  All under the creative direction of Miss Conception, people began breaking out, doing their own shows and projects, all of which is encouraged and supported as much as possible!

In October of 2012 (Rocktober, as it was named) not only were members of the Vibe Tribe given a BUS in which to travel (Hello Bus2Show), but also a STUDIO art space on 55th and Troost.  The community believed in us, and we moved forward in the Vibe Tribe journey.  Our art studio serves as a community space for creations, sewing, dancing, movement, classes, organizing, and yes, some storage for all the STUFF we have acquired.  Where else do you store a 12 foot Buddha?  Or 100 hula hoops?  (My mother’s basement just wasn’t cutting it).   We now offer yoga on Tuesdays, belly dance on Sundays, as well as a slew of other workshops and art classes.

As an artistic director of such a project that I had a vision for, but no plan for, challenges (not problems) are constantly arising.  Troubleshooting and brainstorming are my number one priorities, it seems.   The more we progress, as a troupe and individually, the more there is to think about big picture.  For example: What do you do when one of your troupe member’s stage performance presence isn’t quite strong enough to be on stage at a big event, and you only have 5 guest spots?  How do you ask someone nicely who is someone using the studio but leaving the heat turned up and the windows open that they need to chip in a bit more for rent?   How do you handle a community space where you store ALL of your art and costume items, and now you can’t find that lion tamer costume you were planning on wearing Saturday because someone has taken it and not returned it?  First world problems…. but still a source of anxiety and frustration.  Ah, the life of an artist.

313885_597400583622688_1303917043_n

We tried to create something based on trust and creativity, for the betterment of our community and of each other.  Not every one can agree on everything, naturally.  When one member wants to spend hard earned troupe money on trivial items, who is to say they are trivial?  We try to operate on a quasi-democrat system, with those who are active and showing up having a say in what unfolds.  We still have not perfected our system, and we may never.   But the learning curve has been tremendous!

And we have to KEEP coming back to what the FOUNDATION of this group is/was. The focus: creating sacred space.  Raising the vibration through gyrations.  Helping others to share our vision in beauty and creativity making the world a better place.

As of today the Vibe Tribe is still alive, but every day is a gift in this world.  Sometimes I think maybe it would be easier if it all went away…. I wouldn’t have to delegate, or keep this art space CLEAN for gosh sake (I can hardly keep my bed made….I’m artist, what do you expect?)  If I didn’t have the Vibe Tribe, maybe I wouldn’t have to tip toe around sensitive subjects when dealing with narcotic artist egos (insert bit of sarcasm here).   I would’t have to worry so much whether or not my team will show up for a gig we are booked and do a good job.  I wouldn’t have to worry that someone I’ve never met will do something stupid like spin fire in an unsafe place, claim they are “VibeTribe” and put my name at risk… And to think I majored in “PR”.   Never would have seen that curve ball….  But, then again, I’d probably be pretty bored without all the distractions.

If you feel the urge to get involved in some level with this movement of positivity and sincerity, all you gotta do is show up!  A lot of us spend a lot of time up at the studio.  Rehearsing.  Sewing.  Painting.  Or writing blog posts 🙂   We have regular classes mentioned above.  Maybe YOU want to plan a workshop?  Or come paint during our 2nd Friday Art Hop every month.  Whatever you do, you are always welcome in my space.  All you have to do is ask!

In leui of the holidays, (please watch my video below) I shall propose a toast… to the past and to the future.  To making the world a better place.  To health, love and happiness.  To staying in shape while having fun.  Here’s to 2014 blowing our minds.  Join me!