And if the human players in this age of foolishness wasn't enough, then the devastating weather resulting from global warning/climate change isn't helping morale either. Our 4th largest city is underwater. Our 2nd largest city is on fire. I believe California has 19 wildfires total. Even Montana is under siege of flames. While monsoons are not uncommon in Mumbai, they just experienced 15% of the city's annual rainfall in one day last Tuesday. Here in the Southeast we are watching Hurricane Irma's every move since the National Hurricane Center in Miami has said Irma was “a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane”, already the strongest in its records outside the Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico."
With all these things combined, the politics, the hate and violence, and the natural devastation, it can feel defeating and hopeless. A general and all encompassing what the fuck is going on?! Maybe you ask yourself too, how can I better roll with all these punches that seem to keep on coming? Or better yet, how can I be like one of those inflatable punching bags and bounce back quicker? What can I do? ... how can I affect others, to affect change? What am I contributing? I hope you're asking yourself these questions anyway because the one IS the many.
Denial is not the answer. Neither is meeting anger with more anger. Anger and fear are synonymous and beget more of the same. "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain Activism is awesome. Speak up, write letters to elected officials, reduce, reuse and recycle, but we probably can't physically attend every single protest, rally or march. Donating time, supplies, and money is incredible too but we may not always be in a position to do that. It's love, kids. I know I sound like a simplistic naïve moron. I'm cool with that because I'm not saying we aren't entitled to our emotions or shouldn't have our visceral reactions. I'm a very sensitive and emotional being so I wouldn't be walking my own walk if I said that. Feel the heartbreak, the anger of injustice, the headache from the insanity surrounding us, but don't LIVE there. Feel it, honor it, and then make a different choice. Peace, gratitude, acceptance, courage, charity .... different facets of the same gem... love. It's in those reactive moments that there is real gold. We heal the wounds of the world by healing our wounds first...or at the same time. The wounds of one are the wounds of the many. The one is the many. I feel like I can't say this enough.
I said it in my last blog, internal evolution equals external revolution so evolve through love.
Which brings me to my passion project, the kind of Band-Aid I choose to offer to the world...
I put a heart on it.
I created this evolve design four or five years ago in a mini-painting/Christmas present for one of my best friends. I lived with the idea for awhile, tagging all the places I lived and would travel to with LOVE. And all these years later I'm finally doing it. I placed my first order of 30 stickers and already sent them straight back out the door to friends all across the country wanting to participate and play with me, with this movement. Welcome love warriors... tag, you're it!
It's a small thing, yes. It's possibly quite silly, but seeing something as simple as a graffiti heart on the side of a breaker box on the streets of Amsterdam in 2012 changed my life in innumerable ways. It woke me up. I starting seeing them everywhere and at first it was more like a game. Began as a game then became a practice as they continually trained both my heart and my eyes to be open. Open to receive, open to chance, open to resilience, open to shine bright, open to give freely, open to forgive. They reminded me to trust myself. I started taking pictures of the hearts in all their various incarnations and sharing them on social media. In doing so, I think I've inspired a few others to see them too. People I haven't spoken to since high school or have never actually met post heart pictures to my Facebook wall saying, 'Saw this and it made me think of you.' I always get all verklempt not because they thought of me, but because there was enough of a shift in consciousness that their eyes and heart were open enough to see it! That shift ripples out. Affecting change. My dream is that even just one person will see one of these stickers exactly when they need it most. If you're interested in helping me distribute, email me. I've got more stickers coming. OR if you happen to see one someday, take a picture and tag @evolvethrulove on Instagram with the same hashtag. Either way, you should totally follow the account.
I do not say any of these things from a starry-eyed place. I worry constantly for my karass in California when it's burning like it is. And as I finish writing this I look deep into Irma's eye pondering her potential force and effect on the coastal empire here. Each day she creeps closer our direction, I wonder and worry for my life here... my family, their home, our home, our fur-babies. Will we be staying or going? If we go, what will we be coming home to? (Of course, I also don't want her pummeling Texas again!) I pocket that fear though and turn towards love. I focus on gratitude. Gratitude that my family has hotel reservations for themselves and will be all together this year. (Immense) gratitude that I have the love of my life by my side to navigate this.
... when in doubt, put a heart on it.