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ORIGIN. The Conscious Culture Magazine

yoga+ art Billy Corgan: Smashing Pumpkins

Gotye Somebody You Should Know

Deepak Chopra: Heal + Transform Robert Redford: Watershed Josh Fox: Fracking Edward Sharpe + The Magnetic Zeros. Common. Colbie Caillat + Tristan Prettyman. Sara Bareilles. Mira Sorvino: Human Trafficking





We predict a good time (among other things)

The Nauru Elegies


Friday, January 18, 2013 at 7pm DJ Spooky in the Oceanic Galleries

John Hodgman

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 4pm

Michelle Bachelet

Author “Complete World Knowledge”

Under-secretary-general and executive director UN Women

Rachel Sterne

Dambisa Moyo

Paul Miller

Aka DJ Spooky, author “Book of Ice”

Of Water and Ice

Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 7pm Art and the Environment

Chief digital officer New York City

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky © Giancarlo Minelli

Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 2pm

Author “Winner Take All”

Steve Crossan

Director Google Cultural Institute

Gala dinner - December 6th 2012 An evening of intelligent entertainment The Altman Building, New York City

Civil War

Saturday programme - December 8th 2012

Friday, May 10, 2013 at 7pm

A day of predictions and conversations NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York City

iPad Mixing Piece

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150 West 17th Street, NYC 10011

Image credits: (top row) Gatekeeper Vajrasphota; western Tibet; 11th–12th century; silver with copper inlay and traces of pigment with copper alloy base; long-term loan from the Nyingjei Lam Collection; L2005.9.30 (HAR 68449), (middle row) Buddha Western Himalayas; ca. 12th–13th century Pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2004.11.1 (HAR 65355), (bottom row) Homai Vyawawalla, Indian (1913–2012); Nehru releasing a dove, sign of peace at a public function at the National Stadium in New Delhi; mid 1950’s Gelatin Silver Print; Alkazi Collection of Photography


NANCY HIGHTOWER: You’re part of a film called Deep State. Could you tell me more about that?

CHINA MIÉVILLE: I’ve been working with a couple of artists, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, who have an artistic space in the east of London called They are activists and experimental artists who have done work about the uprisings in Egypt and social unrest in Pakistan and have now put together this kind of montage work. They liked City and the City and had wanted to collaborate. We tried to do something that was very much of Brechtian modernism and film art but was also steeped in a certain set of generic protocols. It’s a time travel story about the politics of insurrection. It will probably get shown at art festivals and galleries, but we also hope to show it at science fiction festivals. NH: You’re known for writing within a hybrid of genres: science fiction, fantasy, the New Weird. What is the power of writing within the genre of the fantastic and Weird, for people who might not be familiar with that terminology?


China Miéville

Award-winning novelist and literary prophet China Miéville has just finished talking about the future of the novel and how writers should be paid a living wage at the Edinburgh World Writers’ conference. In this interview, he discusses his role in the art film Deep State, defends the rhetorical power of the fantastic in art and literature, and explains why everything is political.

INTERVIEW: Nancy Hightower

CM: People who don’t think they are interested in the fantastic often are; they just don’t think they are because of what they think the fantastic is. Take Kafka, for instance. Do you think “The Metamorphosis” would have been a more powerful or less powerful text had it not opened with Gregor Samsa turning into a giant insect? It does something in that moment of an irruption of the completely impossible, to create a piece of literature that you could absolutely not do with realist fiction. I believe Adorno said that Kafka was the only writer capable of writing about the 20th century. If you acknowledge that it’s that irruption of the impossible that allows you to express a certain type of estrangement and alienation that is qualitatively and absolutely part of everyday life, then to a certain extent, that’s all you need to make a case. A lot of people have always known that; they just haven’t necessarily been relating to it in those terms of “the fantastic.” NH: You cite Kubin as one of the influences for your book City and the City. Can you speak a bit more about that? What kind of art has influenced your work?

CM: There’s no question that Kubin is huge for me, but he was probably a stronger influence on me as a writer with his book The Other Side (which is also illustrated by him). I certainly feel very influenced by a number of visual artists, especially pen-and-ink and crosshatching artists. It feels to me as if whatever I’m doing comes out of the line work of Odilon Redon and Mervyn Peake (as an artist as well as a writer) and Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington—the Surrealists are obviously a huge influence. In later years, I’d add Louise Bourgeois and Claude Cahun, as well as the British comics like 2000 AD and some of the experimental comics of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. NH: That’s quite a lovely list. Now, you are an award-winning fiction writer, yet you are also known for your non-fiction. Both kinds of writing seem to deal with notions of power, how power is created, how binaries are kept in place through language, through the means of the market, etc. It seems you are doing something interesting with your rhetoric in terms of looking at these issues.

CM: Not to be boring, but everything is political. Literary theory is political, if it’s done correctly. Art history is political. When I

“Not to be boring, BUT EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL” am writing non-fiction, I feel my job is to put forth an argument; I want to make a point. In fiction, you have much more freedom to raise questions without necessarily coming to an answer. Or you can embed contradictory positions. But the two ways of writing are still drawing from the same source, which is the stuff that interests me about the world. Writers and artists always struggle to express their political and social concerns, and the fiction inevitably comes out of them. It’s the way of looking at the world that drives the creative process; that means it’s not a question of politics being an optional extra in your creative output. But that doesn’t mean that these are pamphlets or sloganeering. I think it was Picasso who said at one point that none of his art was about the Spanish Civil War, but that the Spanish Civil War was in all of it. I feel a little bit like that about fiction. For example, my book Iron Council, which is probably the most explicitly political fiction I’ve ever written, is structured in its narrative form by questions of revolution, power, and radical change. But it must also

work for people who aren’t interested in any of that, and if it doesn’t do that, as a fiction writer you’ve failed. In City and the City, questions of borders and the violence of tyrannical boundaries and the violence of social norms are fairly obviously constitutive. At a more mediated level, in Embassytown there are certain questions about the politics of language. For me, there’s no anxiety about mediating those two poles; the relationship is one of deep, embedded, and committed fascination with politics, among other things, mediated into an aesthetic and narrative realm. In fiction, you can have your cake and eat it.

Nancy Hightower teaches Writing For the Visual Arts at the University of Colorado and is the art columnist for Weird Fiction Review. Her fiction and poetry has been published in Word Riot, Prime Number Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, storySouth, and The New York Quarterly.

“People who don’t think they are interested in the fantastic often are; they just don’t think they are because of what they think the fantastic is.” 6 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM





SUBTERRANEAN CATHEDRAL The Lowline The Delancey Underground Project: A New Underground Park for New York City by Daniel Barasch and James Ramsey

Paul D. Miller/DJ spooky


n a time when most people think about the sky as the limit and of progress as a timeline pointing further and further towards the heavens, it’s a bit difficult to get people to look down beneath their feet to see what might be a different future. New York City has one of the most iconic skylines in the world, and in an area as densely populated as Manhattan, finding open spaces is really about finding the hidden, invisible terrains that make up the fabric of the metropolis. Think of the idea as a kind of exercise in reverse deductive logic about the dimensions of the city that are removed from plain sight, and the rest falls into place. It’s not about “If A = B and B = C.” It’s about the nonlinear city that we all carry within our hearts and memories.


People tend to forget that NYC’s subway system once was made of several competing lines. The forerunners of the transit system are myriad. Who remembers The BrooklynManhattan Transit Corporation (BMT), the Independent Subway System (IND), or The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT)? By an act of government, the separate subway

. . . there are subway stops that aren’t listed on the map and stops that are literally on the wrong streets.

systems of New York were consolidated in 1940, and many redundant stations were immediately closed or were later abandoned. With one of the oldest subway systems in the world, the NY Rapid Transit System is a place that has semi-abandoned stops, platforms that don’t accept passengers, levels that aren’t listed on any maps, and platforms that have literally vanished within the last several decades, never to be replaced. If you know New York from Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 highly stylized map of the MTA subway system you realize this immediately: there are subway stops that aren’t listed on the map and stops that are literally on the wrong streets. Back in 1929 (before the city took over and consolidated the various lines, tramlines included), there was a plan to expand New York’s subway lines called IND Second System. During the 1930s parts of it were built: then the plan was abandoned with the consolidation of the BMT and IRT in 1940. The semi-abandoned stations were left off the new maps of the subway, and until recently, rarely visited. In 2010, one of the largest graffiti exhibitions was mounted at the South


Ramsey and Barasch are 4th station of the old IND line, four stories underneath New York’s surface. It was called the Underbelly Project and consisted of over one hundred graffiti and street artists. That kind of repurposing of derelict urban space fits solidly into theoreticians Richard Florida and Saskia Sassen’s assessments of how urban renewal often accompanies art. The Lowline Around three years ago James

Ramsey and Daniel Barasch met an MTA engineer who told them about the vast amount of spaces that are abandoned beneath New York City. One of those spaces happened to be in the Lower East Side, a former trolley terminal that hasn’t been used since 1948. Ramsey and Barasch are working with a novel form of technology that allows them to simulate and direct artificial illumination that can precisely mirror natural sunlight piped in from the street above. Using solar collection dishes and fiber-optic cables, the sunlight would be concentrated, bounced off glass, and redistributed underground. They proposed an independent plan to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to repurpose the terminal and create an underground park

working with a novel form of technology that allows them to simulate and direct artificial illumination that can precisely mirror natural sunlight piped in from the street above.

that is illuminated with sunlight. Ramsey and Barasch created a Kickstarter campaign asking for $100,000 to get a proposal together and ended up with a tsunami of donations that surpassed what they were asking for. If the success of the High Line in repurposing the elevated tracks on the West Side Highway is any indication, the Lowline has a tremendous amount of potential. Origin asked them to give us a visual essay of their plans for the future of New York’s first underground park.


a conversation with

Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins starting mid-thought interview: SHaron London

Billy Corgan: I stopped thinking of it as an evolution and I started thinking [of] it more as recovery. We’re just trying to get at the person that’s been there the whole time. In essence, the pure four-year-old who’s yet to be affected by culture, environment, expectation, family insanity—it’s just continually uncovering and recovering the child within. Not let the child run the circus, just have that child be the source of the creative voice. As far as I’m concerned, that voice has always been there. Now if [only] the adults would just learn how to better organize the forces around and/or not try to manipulate or overly exploit that voice. Sharon London: That’s really beautiful. So you’re looking for the source, who you really were to begin with, as opposed to others who are trying to cure the inner child and then evolve forward from there.

BC: The difficulty, if you’re in the world— and this is for anybody—is the eventual disappointment that comes with having to meet other versions of reality. Imposed systems that ask you to compromise or sacrifice things which you consider holy or sacred. Of course, in the music business I am surrounded by people who don’t view music as a sacred voice. They view music as something that they can use and exploit, often times

I have a musical ancestry as much as I have a family ancestry. Honoring those ancestors gives you access to a greater source of appreciation and information than you would have if you were just going on your own ego system. lazily. They have no sense of the tradition, they have no sense of honor about those who came before and charted the path. Now, the democratic mind would step forward and say, “Well, everybody is entitled to have their own experience.” And I would agree with that. But if you’re in the tradition, which I think I am, then that becomes the source. Native Americans often talk about how their ancestors become part of the conversation, and that’s the way I look at it. I have a musical ancestry as much as

I have a family ancestry. Honoring those ancestors gives you access to a greater source of appreciation and information than you would have if you were just going on your own ego system. If you’re really going to uncover something as an artist, you’re going to come into access with parts of your personality and your psyche that are really uncomfortable to face: your own ambition, your own greed, your own avarice, your own jealousies, and anything that would get in the way of the purity of your own artistic voice. And that’s the real endeavor: to try to create that direct conduit

Everybody can close their eyes, picture a dream house or a perfect place they’d like to have a picnic. But actually creating it — how do you create something from nothing? Anyone who’s creative understands that that’s the magic, that’s the alchemy.




I’m passionate about creating new systems that are more holistic to humankind. What do I mean by that? I mean, create new systems of business so that people with ethics both exploit their goods and their gifts while not exploiting the earth, exploiting one another. from the pure consciousness of your creative voice to the person who’s a craftsman who can go into the world and consistently deliver new things worth paying attention to. So you have to chart your own path. And your path, once you get to the deeper part of it, it’s in the tradition just like magic is in the tradition of the mystic. SL: Really good for people to hear that. Thank you.

BC: It’s a little bit like, if you don’t have some sort of belief system by which to center your life, it’s hard sometimes to understand why you would put up with your family. I put up with the music business because I understand that I’m in the tradition, I’m in a tradition that’s of far greater importance than the business I seem to be in. Everywhere I go in the world, people ask me about the business that I seem to be in, but I’m not really in that business. SL: What would you name the business that you’re in?

BC: It’s a mystical tradition. How does a person create something from nothing? How do you do that? Everybody can close their eyes, picture a dream house or a perfect place [where] they’d like to have a picnic. But actually creating it—how do you create something from nothing? Anyone who’s creative understands that that’s the magic, that’s the alchemy. SL: That’s a really good way to put it.

BC: Thank you. SL: You’re welcome! What are you passionate about in the world right now?

BC: I’m passionate about creating new systems that are more holistic to humankind. What do I mean by that? I mean, create new systems of business so that people with ethics both exploit their goods and their gifts while not exploiting the earth, exploiting one another. There’s nothing more satisfying than going to a market and meeting the person who picked the strawberries, or it’s their farm that the strawberries came from, and giving them a fair value in exchange for what they’re giving you. That’s at the root of the human

If people choose to eat cardboard because it’s ten cents cheaper, then let them. That’s at the root of freedom. But in the reverse, I’d like to know if what I’m eating or consuming or buying is somehow hurting or exploiting someone in another part of the planet. interaction: fair trade. Everybody likes to run around on their phones, including me, but we don’t always want to hear who’s sweating somewhere in some non-air-conditioned factory to create those things so that they can keep the prices down. I think humankind is going to have to evolve into systems that are more transparent. Then people will be able to make more integral choices about the food they eat. For example, fur is a contentious issue. Meat is a contentious issue. GMOs are a contentious issue. I think this whole thing going on about whether or not products should be labeled if they have GMOs in them—I, as a consumer, would like to know

if I’m eating GMO food. If I choose to buy it then it’s my choice. I don’t like that the government is going to manipulate the information to try to convince me that what I’m eating is not what I’m really eating. If people choose to eat cardboard because it’s ten cents cheaper, then let them. That’s at the root of freedom. But in the reverse, I’d like to know if what I’m eating or consuming or buying is somehow hurting or exploiting someone in another part of the planet. I think it would be very interesting to see that many people would probably be okay with paying more for services and goods that they felt were more holistically [generated]. Which means the death of the old system which rewarded people for taking advantage of one another.

I’ve stopped apologizing for asking people to pay for my goods and services. In fact, I have a lot of pride about what I’m doing. I try to be fair. I keep a keen eye on what our prices are. I think we’re a pretty good deal for what we are. We offer a unique brand of creativity. We should be rewarded. I feel the same way when I buy goods from a local grower or a local artisan or a local business. Because now I’m in a local business. I want to be a part of the community, I have a responsibility to the community. All those things need either to

revert back to an older system of thinking or [we need to] create it in the 21st-century. Probably more likely create it in the 21stcentury. Because we’re never going to go back to Jimmy Stewart walking down Main Street. But we can evolve into the 2012 version of that.

BC: Puppies.

SL: What a perfect vision to end the time we have. Though in the quick moment we do have, we could go into the what makes you vulnerable...if you want.

BC: Oh yeah, of course. I’ve got to go watch wrestling.

SL: How are your puppies?

BC: They’re good, I think. SL: They’re in good hands?

If most people knew that by shopping at a big box store that they were hurting their local community, I think they’d think twice about it. Now, maybe they wouldn’t. But maybe the people in that area that realized that this was going on would move to an area where people did think that way. And there would be places in America that would be—it would be Selfish City over there and Not-So-Selfish City over here. And maybe like-minded people would start to assemble. And when the selfish people began to see the quality of life of the not-soselfish people, maybe they’d start to think twice about what they’re doing. We need to lead by example. It’s one thing to talk about these things. I’m passionate about setting up new systems in the music business, and by extension new systems of business, that reward in a way that’s very transparent.

I’ve stopped apologizing for asking people to pay for my goods and services. In fact, I have a lot of pride about what I’m doing. I try to be fair. I keep a keen eye on what our prices are. And I think we’re a pretty good deal for what we are. Photos: Paul Elledge



interview Part I: Maranda pleasant

Emotionally, I feel mostly out-of-depth, like I will never quite learn how to be what I should be. Maranda Pleasant: I just saw you play in New York at Radio City Music Hall.

Gotye: Oh, cool! MP: I think your music resonates deeply and emotionally with so many people. You have an incredible body of work. What is it that inspires you the most?

G: Okay! [laughing] I guess it’s going to sound very New Age but, it’s different life energies. I don’t know if it’s necessarily competing tensions or inspirations that come together that end up sort of resulting in songs for me. With this project in particular, lyrics came to be triggered by life experiences, whether personal experiences with friends and family or things I’m observing friends and family go through. Sometimes it’s books or movies or reading other people’s stories. and extending and extrapolating for them. But then, just playing, tinkering with sound, manipulating, capturing sound, and how combinations of it can go

together. That can somehow conjure up stories, conjure up memories, and relate to experiences in life that lead to songs. If I could put that in some way more eloquently—I wish I could just say, you know, “macaroni and cheese!” MP: What is it that makes you deeply vulnerable?

G: [laughing] MP: [laughing] You’re like, what the f*ck interview is this?!

G: No, it’s good. Although I’m sure I’ll be failing horribly to respond, on the spot, with anything very well-considered. But what makes me vulnerable? Well, my ego, probably. I kind of like to try to let go of it. Or feeling out of my depth. In various aspects of my life, whether it’s musical or personal. Emotionally, I feel mostly out-of-depth, like I will never quite learn how to be what I should be. And that makes me feel pretty vulnerable a lot of the time.

Photos: Large: Cybele malinowski Insets: Alexa Meade



MP: What exactly does out-of-depth mean to you?

somehow not complex enough, they’re kind of a bit cheap or something.

G: Inadequate. Somehow less than what I aspire to be or what I should be. Or what my music should be.

And simultaneously, I feel like sometimes the songs that are the most earnestly angsty and emotional, sometimes I really struggle to find that emotional consistency and continually tap into it. It’s kind of tiring. I do not do a lot of just straight-up exuberant dance pop music. Sometimes when a song is melancholy, it’s like the platform for the lyric. There’s still something about it that makes you want to react to the melody, that seems inherently joyful and free and about movement. And sometimes I feel like, yeah, I want to make more music like that! Sometimes pop music is some of the most incongruent stuff. The words [can be] about pain or frustration, but clearly, the music is designed as a celebration. And you feel that way because of the chords or the melody or the beat. Some of those tensions happen in my songs.

MP: That’s powerful. How do you work with pain, how do you dance with it, transform it, or deal with pain? [laughing]

G: I sometimes wonder whether I use music, songwriting, as a cathartic kind of process. I can think of a couple songs I’ve written that certainly try to address some of the most intense feelings [and] experiences I’ve had head-on. But sometimes I feel like I deal with pain by trying to think about the present without pain, or a future beyond it. To let go of it or nullify it somehow. Not let it dictate the present. MP: Do you incorporate it into your performance? Do you generally pull from a different source when you’re creating?

G: No, it comes out in the work, I think. And sometimes I feel self-conscious about that aspect of it. It’s weird. I feel selfconscious about those extremes of the stuff that I do. I have songs that are very directly exuberant, even if suggesting I’m overcoming [the] pain. And sometimes I feel really self-conscious, like they’re

Sometimes I feel quite self-conscious about using it autobiographically. Especially with painful experiences—even though I tend to embellish them, I never really write about anything directly, out of respect for people whose stories I’ve shared. I don’t feel I have the license to tell their stories directly. MP: Brilliant.

G: I feel like music can be an incredible palliative for pain, and I wonder sometimes, Is that always a good thing? I find that I take pleasure sometimes in that sort of palliative ease that music you really connect to can give you through feeling this confusion or pain. And then I really start questioning if I should. Maybe I shouldn’t second-guess that. Actually, that transcendent power that music can have is really amazing. Then again, it’s

...that transcendent power that music can have is really amazing.

just when your brain creeps in and starts saying, Maybe that song, maybe that’s not cool enough. Or, You’re not trying hard enough; it’s not intellectual enough. Or, You’re just using music as an emotional balm. A lot of our technology allows you to do that. Yeah, and it’s kind of selfish or something, especially if you’re listening on headphones and sinking and disappearing into music that way. But I also think that’s genuinely amazing, that music can transport you like that. MP: Okay, so do you have a daily routine? Or do you have a way that you keep centered, to keep your heart and your spirit aligned?

G: Yeah, I think exercise helps a lot. Just in the last six months have I struck on an exercise routine, which is a combination of Pilates (which I’ve learned from instructors local to where I live in Melbourne) and weights, the kind of resistance exercises with a rubber Thera-Band or spring that I can travel with in my suitcase. But if I just find a quiet space with a yoga mat or even just with a couple of towels, in a small room, I can exercise for an hour any day that I need to, and I feel much more centered and mentally stable as a result of doing that more regularly. We actually just got a basketball ring on the road, that’s great. So I’m enjoying shooting some hoops with the guys in the band and crew the last few days. Yeah, I think expending physical energy, getting the heart rate up, and doing more stretches and some weight exercises and just feeling [physically] healthier has been a huge part of just feeling more balanced.

enjoying, yeah, not looking at computers that much! [laughing] MP: Yeah, I’m dreaming of that day, Wally. One day! [laughing] Who have been some of your biggest musical influences? A lot of your songs feel so different.

G: Yeah, it’s a bit like that. I really love Ween. For their diversity and their eclecticism on their records. I like records from bands like Ween and the Beatles. Growing up, I completely unashamedly loved eclectic records, ones that trump genres, go in a bunch of different directions, and try to do a lot of idiosyncratic things across different sonic and stylistic templates. So yeah, from the Beatles to Ween to Kate Bush—I’ve listened to [Kate Bush] a bunch over the years, and I really love her records.

MP: Are there any causes or issues or organizations or anything happening on the planet that you’re passionate about?

G: Yeah, there is. Well, a friend of mine runs an organization called The Thin Green Line Foundation, and I’ve tried to do some work to support his fundraising. They raise funds for wildlife rangers internationally, especially in Africa, where a lot of rangers have very tough positions. They often unfortunately lose their lives to poachers or to wild animals. I’ve been trying to raise funds for and have some information up about that foundation on the tour. And you can find out about them at MP: And you write most of your own lyrics?

G: I write and produce everything myself. Though sampling other people’s contributions is great. I borrow stuff from past musicians, but I write all my own lyrics and arrange and produce everything. I get a lot of work from François Tétaz who mixed my last album.

As you said, there’s a lot coming at you. But that’s okay. I’ve gotten over the feeling that that stresses me out. Ah well, I haven’t looked at my email for a day or two days, I know there’s going to be four hundred messages in there. But you know, I’ll delete some of them! And I won’t really mind. Or, I’ll pass some of them on to my management. I don’t have to answer every single fan mail message personally, at length. I tell ya, I kind of struggled with that for a long time. I felt like I was letting people down. But I realized it was sometimes making me unwell. I’d stay up way too late, trying to answer people’s messages, then they’d try to start this email conversation. I do still converse with fans, sometimes directly, at reasonable lengths. I try to keep in touch. I’m not that interested in spending hours and hours on the computer because I’ve done so much of that over the years making music. I know I probably will again when I make music. I’m trying to minimize computer time at the moment. I’m really

Photo: Cybele malinowski 16 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Photo: Alexa Meade


AC: So there are a lot of happy people, including myself, because the highly anticipated album Cruel Summer finally dropped. How do you feel about the project?

to contribute to people’s goodness and good life. With that being said, we obviously feel destiny and purpose and do what we do, but within that are ways to help others and to inspire others and to support and encourage people.

Common: Oh, man, I’m feeling very excited to be a part of it. I think it’s a great piece of work, just seeing all these artists that contributed, giving what they give. Everyone wanted to shine and do well. Of course, I wanted to be on more songs, but you know, I laid my verses, and some stuff just didn’t make the album. But I’m just grateful to be on it and looking forward to what we’re going to do in the future.

My belief in God is definitely the foundation, and along with that just being around my mother, who’s a teacher. Teachers give so much to the future and to youth. So, when you see somebody make that type of sacrifice towards work—just parents in general, what they got to give to their kids is a lot—I’m inspired, man, to give and help those who didn’t or don’t have opportunities. And even those that may have some opportunities, [to] help them achieve their dreams.

AC: Yes, sir, we’re looking forward to it, man. Let me change topic for a second. I went to Haiti for the two-year anniversary of the earthquake, in part due to you. You took a trip to Haiti that inspired me, so I

a chat with Common interview: Adimu Colon Adimu Colon: Backstage at the summer music festival, the lineup is pretty hot: Estelle, Sharon Jones, and the Dap-Kings, Eric Roberson, Erykah Badu, and also Common. So, I want to talk to you about Cruel Summer.

Common: Man, I feel like hip-hop is—first of all, not even only with just GOOD Music, I gotta say—I think hip-hop is still alive in a strong way, man. I feel really enthused about hip-hop. But what we did with GOOD Music, you got such a conglomerate of talented people, and you’re bringing all these [together]— you got Two Chains, Kid Cuddy, Common, Kanye, Big Shawn, John Legend... AC: I heard Q-Tip?

Common: Q-Tip. Saha. It’s talent, and the person who puts that together is Kanye. He is a master at putting different worlds together, from his first album—putting Mos Def and Freeway on a song. So anyway, I think GOOD Music—man, it’s about all these people just coming together and putting together some of the best music possible. I really feel good. On the album, I’m doing stuff that I never, ever do. It’s just fun, it’s just fun.

Each character’s really starting to develop. For me, I relate to a lot of the different characters. I love the show, man. I’m really getting into the show. AC: You’ve accomplished a lot, man. You’ve conquered a lot. Film, TV, music, documentaries. You’re an author; you have a book. At any point during this evolution, you doing all of this, this whole growth process, have you felt like an outsider?

Common: Oh, yeah, definitely. When I did’s just about spreading God’s love, spreading love to each human being and encouraging each human being to know that they got a purpose. went. Talk a little bit about some of the other things you’d like to do to shift good, positive energy to the planet.

Common: Yeah, for me, it’s just about spreading God’s love, spreading love to each human being and encouraging each human being to know that they got a purpose. And the purpose is a divine purpose, and it’s not just on a basic level. Whether the people in Haiti, the young kids in Chicago that [are] going through violence, or whether you’re in Atlanta or L.A. or Europe—it’s not even color barriers for me—I go to where I know there’s a lot of turmoil and pain. And that’s what we’ve seen in Haiti. And I really want to inspire and feed them something that’s really godly more than anything. It’s not like I can raise enough money to save the country. But I can raise some money. I can raise awareness. But it’s really just getting people to be empowered, empowering themselves, believing in a higher power, believing in God, believing in themselves. And the people of Haiti already believed in both.

Common: The Common Ground Foundation is based upon what I’m saying. Taking youth and using creative arts to help them fulfill their dreams. These youth usually come from the inner cities. Like the inner city of Chicago, we’ve been able to help with a lot of children out there, young people out there. And also, we’ve been able to contribute to organizations in L.A. that are doing some of the same things we’re doing. So we support other organizations, as well. But it’s really about just encouraging the youth, supporting them, giving them an outlet so that they can say, “Hey, I want to do this in my life,” and “I enjoy doing this,” and “This is what I want to pursue,” and go for it.

the album Electric Circus, I felt like people were like, “Man, what is this? What are you doing? We’re not into this.” I felt outside then.

AC: Very nice. Good stuff. So listen, we gotta say congratulations to you, Season two of Hell on Wheels, it’s on AMC—talk to us about the show and your character, too, Com.

AC: All right, beautiful. Last thing before I let you go, and you can take your time on this one, too. Fill in the blank: I am rare because ________?

AC: Common, I always appreciate you, family. I guess I’ve always wanted to ask you: what is that one thing that inspires you to do everything that you do?

Common: Well, actually, season two [of] Hell on Wheels is heightening, is growing, is getting better. And along with that, my character— his name is Elam Ferguson—he’s starting to get in a higher position, but with that [transition], he’s really trying to figure out where he fits in.

Common: Well, I’ll say my belief in God, my love for God, and knowing that we as people have a purpose here to contribute to the Earth,

Sometimes you come from your community, and then you rise. It’s like, okay, when do you get back rooted into your community? A lot

Photo: Brandon S. Hunter 18 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

AC: And I know you have your own nonprofit organization. Talk a little bit about Common Ground Foundation, Com.

of times you can rise in the ranks and maybe leave the core of where you come from. So it’s a balance that Elam’s been trying to find. And by the same token, he’s dealing with being in love with a white woman [whom] he really can’t express love with, because of the conditions. So it’s a lot going on with my character.

There [are] times when I put out an album, and I don’t hear my songs really on the radio a lot, and it’s like, Dang, I ain’t inside that world. But I’m still moving some people or touching some people. I tend to look at the good things about what’s going on in life, and I do that the best I can. At the end of the day—I have felt outside at times—but always man, I keep my eyes on the prize and know that I can get inside if I choose. I do choose to sometimes, so that’s when the work comes in.

Common: Because God created me to be an individual. And I am a Chicago dude that grew up the way I grew up and was named Rashid and was given a certain purpose and mission. So, I am rare for those reasons. AC: Thank you for the interview, man.

Common: Yes, sir. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 19

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

The goal is to be free and hopeful in the music. Because that’s really the only intention you need.


MP: How do you process your pain? What do you do when pain comes in on any level? AE: My pain is usually caused by some sort of attack on my ego. So usually, pain is an indication of something that, eventually, I’m going to want to transcend. But sometimes pain is just pain that you sit through. I find it can have a really exhilarating effect. When you’re in pain, you’re genuinely very, very alive, and that’s beautiful. Especially emotional pain. Physical pain is problematic because it’s very difficult to transcend that. Sometimes you’re just in physical pain, and that’s a bummer. Even then, there are beautiful things involved in the healing of that. I’ve experienced some.

Maranda Pleasant: I know that you have rehearsals, so if you don’t mind I’m going to jump right in.

I think fun is one of

ALEX EBERT: Okie doke. MP: As far as your inspiration, where do you draw from? I know that you write a lot of your own material, or most of your own material. AE: Um... sorry, I’m just trimming my beard right now. [laughs] Well, I guess from themes. Love and its variations. Defiance. The will to adventure. The transformation and transition to — I guess, in political terms — a more egalitarian vibe. That’s a really big topic to PHOTO: JULIE LING 20 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

the best gifts we can give to each other. If everyone was having fun we’d be in good shape.

tackle because there are a lot of ways to tackle it, and one of the ways is this hefty defiance that I think is really faux. To me, what I define as defiance, in some ways, is knowing the “reality” and having the ability to possess a realist mindstate yet still working towards the fantasy and still being childish. While still having the understanding and capacity that would generally inspire pessimism: some sort of more realist perspective that I think most people classify as adult. Anything like that and anything that’s sort of fun. Yeah. I think fun is one of the best gifts we can give to each other. If everyone was having fun we’d be in good shape.


The main thing that I’ve learned, artistically, is that if I’m in pain and feeling the budding of anger — if I absolutely feel like I need to write a song about it, I’ll either need to transform that anger into something positive, or I’ll just need to throw the song away. Because eventually, I’m going to want to transcend that pain and that anger. I don’t want an angry song with no silver lining ending up on my album. Then I’d have to play, or feel obliged to play, that song every night in repetition as a mantra of anger. So, I think the most important thing to remember is that pain passes. And artistically, the pain is going to pass. It’s what you want to express out of the pain as opposed to indulging in the agonyand-pain mantra of songwriting that became such a hit in the ‘90s and still, all the way up to now.

MP: I think you kind of just blew my head off. What makes you the most deeply vulnerable as a human being? AE: [laughs] I like these. They’re not like the other ones. Not your other ones but other ones I get from other people. What makes me deeply vulnerable? Probably the thing I suffer most from and have the most uncontrollable reactions from is still social anxiety. So I would say, other people and their opinions, their judgments. That’s something that I would love to not be attracted by and would love to keep working towards not being attracted by them. I would say [that’s definitely my vulnerability]. I get very heated about anything that is socially unkind. MP: Yeah. I’m still working on that, too. AE: I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. When it’s personal, when it’s ego-based, which is still the same thing, it’d be nice not to feel that weird feeling. MP: Yeah. It’s hard to even read comments on Facebook walls and YouTube. I can imagine what that must be like. I’ve had a lot of artists say they don’t even read it.

AE: Oh, I don’t read it. It’s so rare that I’ll read or even watch an interview. I don’t want to, either. I don’t want to see other people’s comments. I have enough trouble reading comments about articles of people that I am not. Andy Roddick retires from tennis, and there are all these comments. Unfortunately, I have a Yahoo account that eventually I’ll have to change. I have just been face-melted with information of the day, and I end up picking on stuff in the comments. Sometimes there can be something, but lot of times, they make me upset — people’s negative attitudes and willingness to go there. MP: Right. There seems to be this intention or consciousness behind your performances. Some say it was like a religious experience to watch you play. When you go out there to play, what’s the intention of your music and your art? AE: The goal is to be free and hopeful in the music. Because that’s really the only intention you need. From there, every natural and powerful intention and feeling will, on its own, slide right out of you — out of your spirit. Otherwise, unless you are in the willingness and ease and ecstasy of some kind of moment, you may end up the editor of your thoughts and of your expressions. I find


right, and center. That was part of the OCD stuff, too. “If you don’t get out of the house in fifteen seconds, you’re going to miss this thing you’re supposed to do.” It was all this big dilemma in my mind.

I’m that way on stage. Sometimes, I have to really monitor myself, but the only monitoring job I really do on myself on stage is, Is this truthful? Is this truthful? Is this truthful? Ideally, I send it in a flow of truth. I’ll suddenly get frightened about something I’m about to say, analyze if I should or shouldn’t say it, and then ask if it’s truthful and continue on. That’s really the intention. An open quality. I think that when you’re open, you’re at your most powerful. I think that’s why people have these really powerful experiences at our shows — because they, us, the whole thing is aiming for a flow of open-hearted power. And from there, whatever develops.

I know I’m completely confusing you, but I’ll give you a basic example. I’ll have a great meditation going, but I’ll hear a voice that says, “Okay, yeah, but not that breath. Not that breath.” [laughs] And then, I tell this voice, “Nothing negative. Nothing negative.” And then if that doesn’t work I’ll say, “Nothing is negative. Nothing is negative. Nothing IS negative.” Until it shuts up. And then once it has shut up, I’ll fill myself with positivity. As soon as I fill myself with positivity, then that voice or that feeling will come back. “You’re so full of shit talking yourself into positivity.” [laughs] I’ll literally tell myself that. “Talking myself into getting smarter, talking myself into positivity is not a legitimate form of positivity.” And I’ll tell it, “Nothing negative. Nothing negative is allowed. Nothing negative is allowed.”

AE: To be honest, I’m the most passionate about pushing the realization that there’s the joy of love and kindness and sharing, all of these basic qualities, on people who are suffering from adulthood. By these people, I mean, I really feel bad. [laughs] I think that in their sadness, they’re destroying the world. The way that they’re destroying the world manifests itself in all these various causes that you have banding together all over the place.

AE: No. I wish that I did. I’m pretty freelance. A freelance meditator. [laughs] I float from one thing to the other. I’m really into the basic idea of Kriya Yoga. The breathing that goes on in Kriya. Other than that, it’s just communicating with the universe and getting the inspiration for different kinds of breath. Basically, I’m into the movement of breath and the shapes of breath. The different kinds of sequences of breath. I like doing that a lot. I sit at a desk so much and sit in that position so much that I am dwindling into an old man. I need to get a little bit more physical. Recording music is not really the healthiest thing for the body. I suffer from some intense forms of OCD. That’ll happen with my meditations. I find one that works, and then my mind just starts repeating it. It all becomes like a f*cking PHOTO: ALEX EBERT 22 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

MP: “Nothing negative.” Great. So, what gets you mad? AE: What gets me pretty pissed off is the whole Monsanto engineered foods issue.

I have to constantly tell myself,

MP: I am really loving you as a human being. What causes on the planet right now are you the most passionate about?

MP: What is your morning practice? Do you have a meditation practice, a yoga practice, or jumping jacks? [laughs] Whatever it is. Do you have a daily practice or a weekly practice to keep yourself centered?

And it’ll be like, “Okay.” And it shuts up. And I start getting really positive, and I’m feeling positive. Then I’ll make a move to the left, and that’ll be the right move. That’ll be right. So, I’m feeling good. I make a move to the left with my hand, and I’m thinking, Okay, I’m going to go up. And then my voice says, “That’s

“Nothing negative.” your ego. Your ego says to look up to the sky because you’ve been taught, educationally, that God is in the sky. You’re blowing it right now.” I’ll be like, “Nothing negative! Nothing negative.” [laughing] MP: [laughing] I’m going to have to practice my own breathing after that. AE: [laughing] Yeah! I have to constantly tell myself, “Nothing negative.” There’s a lot of little things. Anyway, those are various things that I deal with while doing the breath.

MP: I knew you were going to say Monsanto. I knew you were gonna say it!

AE: Yeah, it’s horrible, man. That would get me really fired up — to go up against them. I don’t know what can be done at the moment except for enlightening people. Getting them to actually care is a whole other thing. There are plenty of people that know and don’t care about so much. It’s a difficult question because when you’re comfortable, you’re not necessarily inclined to care about things that are contributing to your comfort. It’s difficult. Anyway, foodwise, we bring a juicer on the road with us.

I’m the most passionate about pushing the realization that there’s the joy of love and kindness and sharing, all of these basic qualities, on people who are suffering from adulthood.

horror movie. [laughs] It has taken me years just to get acrobatic enough to be able to combat this negative mind. I’ll give you an example. Lately, the thought, the battles that go on in the way I think of the whole concept of the breath. Yes, it’s just breath, but that would be total bullsh*t because there’s so much mental activity going on. One is the idea of having a voice that is hell-bent on destroying me and hell-bent on negativity. It’s a really old psychotherapy concept, but that’s not really where I get it from.

Where I get it from is that all my life, it’s been attacking me. Very strongly telling me, “Oh, that’s sh*t.” We all have that. Well, I don’t know if we all do, but I do have that negative voice. I will particularly have it when I meditate. When I was younger, it was a disaster because I’d meditate, and it would become very, very powerful. I would take the power of the meditation as an indicator that I was extremely special, that I needed to save the world. This voice would put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. Then my ego would tell me that I was basically blowing it here, left, PHOTO: LAURE VINCENT-BOULEAU ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 23

willie nelson

Though big name musicians have played this event throughout the years and thousands of people have packed stadiums for the concert, the small family farmer remains the driving force behind it all.

“We’ve helped a lot of people. I’m proud to be here every year and stand up for family farmers.” JOHN MELLENCAMP

Michael Barata Photos: Joe Longo exclusive

Farm Aid 2012 john mellencamp

L to R: Dan Lebowitz, Grace Potter, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson

Hershey, Pennsylvania, was home this year to an annual but transient event that attracts money, musicians, and lots of visitors. But September 22, 2012, was not about mass-produced chocolate or big business. September 22, 2012, was about the healthy food movement and small, family farmers. For the last twenty-seven years, Farm Aid has held an annual concert to help keep family farmers on their lands. Willie Nelson, founding member and president of Farm Aid, Inc., sees it as “a happy celebration for sad reasons.” And for the longest running benefit concert in America, the need is still very real. The challenges facing the family farmer are also very real. Though big name musicians have played this event throughout the years and thousands of people have packed stadiums for the concert, the small family farmer remains the driving force behind it all. Farm Aid is a peopledriven movement to bring relief to as many small-town farmers as possible. Organizers, farmers, musicians, and volunteers continue to


contribute to Farm Aid’s successful outreach. Over $40 million has been raised and used to benefit farmers, as well as to promote awareness and support of the family farming culture. Nelson added, “We can all do it together. Even if it takes another twenty-seven years... what else are we gonna do?” Neil Young, Farm Aid board member, read a letter written to him from a dairy farmer in southern Iowa. The farmer humbly wrote, “During the past five years it has been nearly impossible to make a living.” He went on to explain how rising costs have forced his family “to sell everything they own just to stay in business.” This is the plight of so many small family-run farms. They simply cannot compete with the resources of big, corporate farming. The deck is stacked against the family farmer due to powerful lobbying, too. Young’s plea: “We need to represent the family farmer in our government because we are up against

something really big. And we need to let everyone know we are not going away.” The need for educating consumers and encouraging people to buy local are also concerns of Jenn Halpin. Halpin, who established the Dickinson College Farm in 2007 and acts as the farm manager and director, shared with the audience, “These incredible Farm Aid organizers and talented musicians help get the message to reach more and more people. We are so grateful.” John Mellencamp added, “We’ve helped a lot of people. I’m proud to be here every year and stand up for family farmers.” Dave Matthews, Farm Aid board member, was most passionate about imploring people to buy locally. “I love my country, but the voice of the few who have collected all of the wealth into a small percentage of the population really have sway over everything. And there’s nowhere that it is more pointed than in the farming industry. We need to encourage people to open local bookstores and clothing ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 25

“We need to encourage people to open local bookstores and clothing stores and to buy from local farmers again and again and again.”

neil young


Dave Matthews

stores and to buy from local farmers again and again and again.” Matthews reminded everyone, “If everyone is doing better [then] we’re all doing better.” Jack Johnson, who performed for the first time at Farm Aid, spoke about what an honor it is to be involved with something so amazing. Johnson said, “I’m so inspired by how much they are giving back.” He likened the whole experience to his involvement in his home state of Hawaii to help support environmental education in schools. Brian Snyder, long-time friend of Farm Aid and executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, also

participated in the panel discussion. He drew attention to how this year’s drought and warmest July in American history are also impacting family farming. From the weather to factory farming, the message was clear, “Family farmers need help.” Neil Young took it further and tasked everyone with getting involved. He explained two necessary steps that must happen to make a difference for the family farmer. He shared the second step first. “We need to get better organized. We need to unite communities. We all need to help give farmers a stronger voice.”

Young then went on to stress that the number one step to changing the culture of our society starts with the children. He said, “We must educate our children. Take them to farms. Introduce them to farmers. Get them eating locally grown food as early as possible. This way, they grow up understanding the value of the family farm.” Young added, “Be a rebel. Become a farmer. It’s a mission from God. We need young blood on the farm.”

“We must educate our children. Take them to farms. Introduce them to farmers. Get them eating locally grown food as early as possible. This way, they grow up understanding the value of the family farm.” NEIL YOUNG

Photos: Joe Longo

Photos: Joe Longo



A Conversation with Colbie Caillat + Tristan Prettyman interview: Maranda pleasant We’re thrilled to get two powerful, successful female songwriters together speaking openly on joy, pain, vulnerability and love. Colbie, a multi-Grammy winner, is one of the top selling artists of the last decade. Tristan has broken our hearts for years and is one of the most talented songwriters we know. We’re excited about both their new albums now out.

MP: At the heart of it, what is it really that inspires you and drives your art?

Colbie Caillat: I get inspired by what I go through. Experiencing all these different things we all go through like heartache, falling in love, watching a family member or a friend going through [something], and trying to write about it from a different perspective. What’s really cool is to be able to write music and have people around the world [who are] able to relate to it. They tell you that [your] song helped them get through a divorce or they got married to that song. It makes me want to keep doing that for [myself] and for people. Tristan Prettyman: Colbie, I love how you can write songs that aren’t depressing all the time. [laughs] I always feel like I’m writing when I’m going through some crappy situation and then I love that I can put on your CD. I just love that you can write about all these different elements and not just when things are down. You can write songs that people want to get married to. PHOTO: THIS PAGE LAUREN ROSS 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

CC: You do it, too. Of course I get sad. All the songs usually start out sad. I just try to turn it around. See the positive. I have to reach for that. What inspires you, Tris? TP: Going through life and whatever it throws [my] way. For this next record, I wasn’t going for a break up record or something. I didn’t think I was going to make this serious record. But when I was going through issues with my vocal cords and thinking about surgery, when I was engaged and then not engaged, I [talked] to friends and family until I was blue in the face. Until I put it into song, get it down on paper, and

“I don’t like being vulnerable. I feel uncomfortable in it. But like you said, you’re supposed to learn from it and grow.” colbie caillat

sing my heart out over and over, I won’t feel any sense of closure. And to be able to share it with people and hear all of their stories, and know that it’s so easy for us to feel like we’re in it alone—when you have fans telling you their stories it makes you feel like you’re not alone. The situation splits and then they’re giving you comfort at the same time you’re giving them comfort. Colbie, you’re super connected with the fans. Always twittering with them. It makes such a difference. You can really get a grasp of what’s going on with people in the world. CC: Absolutely. MP: What makes you deeply vulnerable as women, as artists?

TP: God, I feel like I’m just in the thick of vulnerability right now. [laughs] I’ve always been someone who likes to share and talk. When something happens to me I [don’t] run away from it. I want to dive right into and explore it. Try to figure out why it’s happening and try to figure out something

good that’s going to come out of it. My cousin wrote me the other day: “I’m super depressed right now and I can’t get out of bed.” Her boyfriend just broke up with her. Sometimes it’s good to be in that space of being vulnerable, being down, being the opposite of everything we’re told that we’re supposed to be. We’re always supposed to be happy and positive. There’s something about letting yourself slip into that vulnerable space because you can really feel things there. It helps you grow as a person. I tend to enjoy being in a vulnerable space, in a weird way. [laughs] CC: I don’t like being vulnerable. I feel uncomfortable in it. But like you said, you’re supposed to learn from it and grow. After you’re stuck in that place, you can’t get over that feeling of [being] embarrassed or

awkward or uncomfortable. Then you’re finally out of that place and you learn how you handled it. Like, “Oh my God. I handled that in a very poor way.” Or “Wow. I really have grown and I handled that situation in such a mature way. The next time I’m in that position, I’m going to be so much better and stronger and know how to really talk to this person, or deal with it.” TP: It’s also that you know that you’ve lived because you let yourself get to that place. That’s truly vulnerable. MP: How do you process pain?

CC: I can’t sit in it that long. I try to keep myself busy. I always hang out with my family and friends and my dogs. Go to the beach. Go swimming. Go get exercise. Go on a hike.


It’s really good to be outdoors. Even to go on the top of a high-rise building and look out the window. The world can seem so small. Don’t sit in that small room too long. I like to remind myself and other people that you don’t have to be in that position. It usually happens for a reason, even though it’s hard to understand that at time. Pretty soon something amazing is going to come your way. TP: It’s so true. We’re all in control of our destiny. That’s something people forget— that they have [the] choice to make it turn out however they want. I’m a very reactionary person, so naturally I want to blog, or twitter, or say something. [laughs] But lately I’m really trying, when I come into that area of pain, [to] not react. I have to sit and mull it over. I go back to that really curious part of me that wants to know why it’s happening. What can I learn from it? I always find that I get to that place where I have a choice. I don’t have to feel this way anymore. It’s amazing what a yoga class will do, or a hike, or surfing. CC: I’ve visited so many friends lately that have animals and I feel like “Man, I really need to get a dog.” You don’t need anything when you have a dog. You don’t need a man or a girlfriend. You just need your dog.

MP: Is there a way that you maintain your center in the middle of chaos?

TP: I have really been feeling the effects of that with the traveling. By the end of the

“We’re all in control of our destiny. That’s something people forget –that they have the choice to make it turn out however they want.” Tristan Prettyman

day I just want to sleep. As much as I want to get to gym, it’s almost more important to get eight hours of sleep. Six, seven—however much you can get. I try to do yoga on the road, but I need someone with me. I need someone telling me what to do. It definitely

can get really frustrating. When I can’t work out, I try to find a Whole Foods, a green juice, something healthy to eat. I at least try to maintain it from that angle with good food and enough sleep.

TP: That’s just as effective as going to work out. Finding that thing or that phrase that can settle you and let you know that everything is going to be all good.

CC: That’s the hardest. [On] the promo schedule you gain weight. You’re tired, you’re cranky. If you have any bit of time, you don’t want to do anything fun and you definitely don’t want to work out. I just end up buying bigger dresses.

MP: Are there any causes, organizations, or issues that you guys are currently supporting or passionate about?

TP: Totally! [laughs] You just go shopping for all the stuff you can’t fit into. CC: Shopping is very therapeutic. Bob Marley. I’ll put on Bob and it makes me feel happy. Everything is going to be good. I actually just got a tattoo on tour. It says, Be calm. Be still. It’s just a reminder of not [making] rash decisions. Not overreacting or getting too upset with something right away. Sit with it for a minute. That has been a really nice daily reminder for when I get stressed, upset, or frustrated. Too excited or sad about a boy. Be still. It’s not the end of the world. [I call my] family all the time. I’ll call my best friends, my sister. We make fun of each other and then back to square one.

CC: I support the Humane Society, Farm Sanctuary, Surfrider Foundation, and VH1’s Save The Music. Tristan, you’re with Surfrider, too? TP: Surfrider has been big with our family for a long time. CC: The Humane Society is always telling people to not buy puppies from pet stores and not support the puppy mills, but to adopt. At Farm Sanctuary they take in all these farm animals that were at the factory farms, being abused and left to die. They have massive amounts of property in New York and California. They give [these animals] a good life. I think it’s an amazing thing. So those are very important to me. I also support Lily.B Cosmetics. I really love that they don’t test on animals. MP: We’re pretty passionate about the

Humane Society, too. What about you, Tristan?

[seasonally], and gardening.

TP: Surfrider has been a big one for me, since

MP: You mentioned green juice before.

“I’ll put on Bob Marley and it makes me feel happy.” Colbie callait

I grew up surfing. I’ve always been a member. I’ve gotten to do some beach clean-ups and fun events with them. I’ve started to work with this organization called the Sacred Seven, which is an organization that [helps] to protect parts of the rainforest in parts of South America. They are just getting started. The couple that started it grew up right down the street from me. They pushed me to be an ambassador for them. I think it’s going to be really awesome. TP: I love the Slow Food movement. I’m really interested in growing food, cooking

TP: I’m a green juice freak. Well, I’m a juice freak. I want to open a shack down here near the beach called The Juice Bar. Serve fresh juice in the morning and then have a happy hour at night when all the drinks are mixed with fresh juices. CC: That’s amazing. I would go every day. MP: What projects are you involved in right now that you’re excited about?

TP: I have a new record coming out [on October 2nd] called Cedar + Gold. I think we’re doing a short tour in October. A whole bunch of Christmas shows and random stuff all across the country. All that is on my website. We’ll be doing a full tour in February. MP: Wonderful. What about you, Colbie?

CC: I have a Christmas record coming out a few days after Tristan’s comes out, I think. I did a duet with Gavin DeGraw and Brad Paisley. Separate songs. There [are] fifteen songs on the record. There [are] eleven classic standards and then I wrote four with some friends of mine. Right now, I’m just home in the studio producing this artist who is amazing. It’s nice to be home. I was on tour all summer. MP: How did you two meet?

TP: Colbie, you came to my show back in 2005, right? CC: Yeah. It was way back in the day. TP: I became a fan of Colbie and met her at a Grammy party. And she goes, “Oh, I came to your show back in 2005!” I go, “Excuse me?” It was such a funny moment. I love that we’ve become friends. We both tour. We do the same things. It’s nice to have someone else who gets what you’re going through. You can have your really good friends and your family, but it’s nice to have another artist that you’re close with [who] you can relate to. CC: Who you can talk to. TP: I appreciate you and I love you. You inspire me and I’m so happy that we’ve become friends. CC: It’s so fun to have a girlfriend in the business.


TP: We are super alike. A lot of people are hard to relate to out here, but it’s cool that we’ve become friends. And I miss you. Photo: Alexa Meade ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 31

quality because I don’t have to live through something myself to feel affected profoundly by it. What draws me to music, and to songwriting in particular, is needing to step back and organize those thoughts.

interview: mary bruce

MB: You are in the moment and living from that passion, so I think that leads into the next question. What do you do with your pain? It sounds like you do it through music. Is there any other way?

Sara Bareilles

one of the founders. They travel all around the world and build music schools in some of the most destitute places. It’s all about giving music to the children and promoting the practice of peace. It’s been an amazing journey to watch this organization grow. The last one is Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles. It speaks to what I’m very impassioned about: self-esteem in young women. This is an awesome program started

by friends of mine. There’s a network of these camps all over the world, and they started this L.A. chapter. I spent a week this summer volunteering. All the instructors are women. It creates this incredible, safe space for these young girls to turn up the volume of their voice and feel empowered and get to know themselves through music. They form bands, write songs, and then they perform at this big showcase at the end of the week. Watching the arc of development of these

SB: I do it through music: my piano or my guitar and my notebooks. That is my sanctuary in a lot of ways. I do a lot of journaling, and it’s something I started when I was very young. I have journals that span my entire life. I definitely go to a place of documenting when I feel pain. It’s great to be able to step back and look at it. I have a tendency when I’m feeling pain to get that manic brain-swirl going on, where you get wrapped up in all of the emotions. I think writing helps me slow it all down, so I can really look at the pieces of the puzzle and see why I’m reacting so strongly. It helps me organize those thoughts as well, [just] as songwriting does. MB: Yeah, it sounds like a form of selftherapy, to reflect. Are there any other rituals or ways that you take good, exquisite care of you, like yoga or meditation?

...our breath is our constant; it’s such a beautiful lesson that I learned from yoga.

Mary Bruce: Hi. It’s so good to hear your voice! So you’re in New York City. I love it there. It has such an amazing energy. Are you recording?

be it heartbreak or loss or inspiration or joy. Trying to articulate that in song is really one of my favorite places to start when I sit down to write.

Sara Bareilles: I’m doing recording, writing, and honestly, just some living. I’m seeing lots of friends that I haven’t seen forever, exploring the neighborhoods, seeing theater, and really taking in the energy of this place.

MB: I think that’s why people connect to your music so much. Your lyrics portray that. They convey a sense of vulnerability. I was listening to “Gravity” again the other day, and the lyric that says, You loved me ‘cause I’m fragile./ When I thought that I was strong./ But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone. I love that you made that connection with fragile and strength. Our strength lies in our vulnerabilities. What makes you feel emotionally exposed?

MB: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. Let’s get started. What inspires you? What arouses you to feel and to create?

SB: I think I’m most inspired by the human condition. It’s such a vast, deep abyss of so many versions of what life can look like. Especially emotionally. I really respond to the emotional human condition and trying to document it and give it voice in music. That’s where I feel like it’s kind of a sweet spot for me. It’s watching: whether it’s things I’ve gone through myself or people that are close to me going through experiences and situations,

SB: Oh, gosh, everything. I’m somebody who really wasn’t born with the thickest of skin, and that’s also why I nurtured a career as a writer. It’s catharsis for the pain that [my vulnerability] can sometimes inflict. I have a deep capacity for empathy, and sometimes that can be a really great quality to have. But sometimes it ends up being a really painful

SB: Absolutely. I was going to say yoga. I don’t get to practice as often as I’d like, but it’s something that really made a profound effect on my life. It’s a great tool in slowing down and recognizing that coming back to the breath is such a strong practice: just keep breathing. Whatever it is, time will pass, you’ll find your edge, you’ll find your discomfort, you’ll get to watch yourself go through myriad versions of yourself. But our breath is our constant; it’s such a beautiful lesson that I learned from yoga. It’s very grounding, a beautiful anchor in my life. MB: Beautiful! Next up, what causes speak to you? I heard you extended your stay in Japan after your tour.

SB: I have been very involved in three main causes that speak to my heart. All Hands Volunteers is the organization that we went to Japan with. It goes into places that have been affected by a natural disaster or any disaster, and they have small units that get brought in to work with the local communities immediately. They’re very mobile, and they can make a big difference quickly. They’re really amazing people, and we have become great friends. And then there’s an organization called Playing for Change, and my dear friend is 32 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


All of the answers exist inside of you when you’re connected to your source.

young girls, it’s outrageous! It was so beautiful to watch what happens when you just give little girls permission to be loud. When you take off those constraints, these girls have so much wisdom and so much to say. MB: Wow. Yeah, music is the language that crosses all barriers and really allows people to take off creatively and connect. Those are some really amazing projects. Do you have any new projects coming up yourself?

SB: My main project is working on my next record. I am probably about ninety percent done with the writing, and I’ll start recording in October. I’m pushing forward in a new chapter musically and feel like I have a lot to say right now, so it feels like a really ripe time to head into the studio and start pressing record. [laughs] MB: I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. You have a great stage presence. You come out in your pretty feminine dresses, then you open your mouth, and you’re this saucy, cheeky kind of gal! I love that juxtaposition, and I think the


crowd really responds to that as well. If you had to describe yourself in one or two sentences, how would you describe yourself?

SB: I’m someone who really values authenticity in life, and I strive to give to my authentic self. I really am drawn to the people that share that same exchange. Honesty is the most precious gift we can give to each other. I have learned this as I grow older and hopefully a little bit wiser: that it always leads you to the place you’re supposed to be. MB: So many people struggle to find their purpose and passion. You just came in with it, you knew it, and you trusted it. That’s really the reason to do yoga, to remember that source and to tap back into that power of knowing. How do you nurture that intuition, that gift of knowing?

SB: Practices like yoga are really good tools and a really beautiful foundation for nurturing. It’s such a gentle way to bring you back to your heart center. All of the answers exist inside of you when you’re connected to your

source. I talk to the universe. I talk to God all the time, and I keep an open dialogue with the world around me. I really feel like I’m a student of life, and I am so excited that I got to be here. I don’t want to take it for granted. I want to spend my life pushing myself to give the best parts of me, so hopefully, it will inspire someone else to do the same. MB: Being a student of life, what’s the legacy you want to leave?

SB: I hope my music can provide comfort or healing or joy. I want people to feel loved when they listen to my music, and I really hope to spread the message of love. I hope it lasts, in my music. [laughs] MB: Yeah, and there’s no higher message than that!

SB: Absolutely!

amy banker Amy Baker has been exhibiting in New York and worldwide since 1992. A Cornell University graduate, she studied environmental design, education, business and fine arts in New York City and Massachusetts. Her paintings, installations, videos, multimedia and photography are exhibited in museums and public and private collections including the Hermitage Museum, The Barcelona Modern Arts, The Jewish Museum London, MOMA and the Whitney Museum.


The Crystal method

mark Ronson

Re:Generation Music Project: When Hip-hop and Classical Collide

stephen webber “We don’t really get the track that Premier sent in, do you?” I could hear the tension in the film producer’s voice coming through my phone. “Do you think we should get him to try a different approach?” I took stock of my situation: I had a few days to figure out what to do with a full symphony orchestra. The studio was booked. The fifty-eight players were contracted. The clock was ticking. The first time I ever heard the word namaste was in 1992 when I peeled the plastic off a brand new CD called Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys. “Namaste” was the last track on the album. Slowly, the words crept into my consciousness like the smoke from the incense sticks my dad used to keep underneath his record player. The words of the song echoed like a spokenword poem, inviting the listener into a space of awe and wonder, light blending into dark. It wasn’t until their next release two years later when the Beastie Boys dropped Ill Communication that I was truly turned on to Eastern philosophy, thanks to MCA’s track “Bodhisattva Vow.” Adam Yauch aka MCA had recently been turned on to the Tibetan Freedom Movement, and Ill Communication had literally become the line of communication that was healing my ills. That album became the soundtrack to my high school experience. In fact, it was right around that time that I had purchased a stolen gun. A

loaded .357 Magnum sat like a brick in my backpack and was my security when I would sneak out of the house, making my way under the freeway overpasses to paint graffiti late at night, often by myself. Headphones on, that one conscious song was enough to make me rethink my actions and start to slowly choose a different path. Knowing that the Beastie Boys were down with Yoga and Buddhism became like a subtle wind against my back, moving me toward my destiny and current incarnation as a Yoga-inspired MC. Words cannot convey my gratitude, but for what it’s worth, I want to say thank you to MCA for being the shining Buddha and hip-hop bodhisattva that lit my path and showed me the way to Truth. Namaste, MCA. peace, MC Yogi

Very soon, a film crew would descend upon Boston and follow me and Premier (the legendary hip-hop producer of Gang Star, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nas, and Christina Aguilera) around Berklee, culminating in what everyone was counting on to be a triumphant orchestral session. “I know exactly where he’s coming from,” I reassured in my best client relations voice, honed through a few dozen PBS documentary soundtracks. “It’s going to be great.” The truth was, Premo’s track had also taken me by surprise. Rather than classical themes over a beat, he went the opposite way, laying bits of Brahms, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Beethoven back-to-back; no mash-ups, only one short “boom-bap” beat over a quick sixteen bars in the middle. PHOTOs: Brian Nevins


But I had to get it. I had no choice. After a second listen, I realized this was the classical equivalent to a condensed hip-hop DJ set. It had flow, it rose to a climax, and it had surprises along the way. If we could make it work, it would be different than anything else out there. I had an idea for a radical approach: use the live orchestra to generate the beat. I wrote fast and furiously, using low strings, brass, and percussion to provide a groove. I wrote broad, Mahler-esque French horn themes to glue together sections. I took a lot of liberties. I cranked up my turntables and improvised some beat-scratching on the Brahms finale. I had a blast. After a few days of little sleep, I sent a mock-up to Premier, director Amir Bar Lev, and the producers. I braced myself. My phone started vibrating in minutes, with the producers and the director chiming in: they loved it. They got it now. I didn’t hear from Premo for a couple days. What if he hated it and wanted a ton of changes? With the session looming, I finally called him on his cell. “I’ve been driving around listening to it in my

car for the last couple days,” Premo said in his gravelly voice. There was a pause. “I love it, man. You totally got where I was coming from.” We wound up having a blast working on the film together. Premo schooled my Berklee Turntable Ensemble and endeared himself to a studio orchestra in a way I’ve seldom seen. Once the project was done, Premier was generous in the press. “Yeah, I gotta give credit to Stephen Webber, my conductor. He is an amazing dude. I totally relate to him, and I would work with him any day. Stephen is official.” Turns out we got each other. Stephen Webber is a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is the author of Turntable Technique: The Art of the DJ and the turntable soloist and composer of the Stylus Symphony. The RE:GENERATION MUSIC PROJECT examines the history of different music through the eyes of five of the most influential electronic producer/DJ’s in music today. In revolutionary fashion, this documentary film examines music’s past, present and future, while yielding five groundbreaking collaborations in the process. Available now on Hulu. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 37

Chad Stokes Chad Stokes Chad Stokes Interview + photos: Steve Rosenfield

SR: I’ve seen tons of footage from [the] Dispatch Zimbabwe Benefit. Can you tell me a little bit about how it felt to sell out three nights at Madison Square Garden, for such a good cause? CS: It’s such an historic arena, and to play on the stage was just so nerve-wracking. It was freaky walking through the hall and seeing Muhammad Ali, John McEnroe, and Mark Messier on the walls. Then you’re about to go into the arena and try to do something that matches up to all those great feats and great concerts that have been before you. I remember my knees buckling as I turned the corner to go on stage.

issues. What are a few of the most important issues that really touch you?

CS: There [are] so many. [After] this past year, with the execution of our friend Troy Davis, the abolishment of the death penalty is something we’re really working towards. Marriage equality for men and women of the same sex is big issue. Dispatch is focusing on education as a whole [but particularly] on Native American Reservations, because that’s a real scar on the face of this country. SR: You must feel pain and sorrow being engulfed in all these different efforts. How

do you transform that pain into positivity?

CS: The good thing with music, especially State Radio, is [that] you can channel that into a song. We use that anger as a form of expression, so there’s some good sublimation there. SR: Describe your fans. What are your fans to you?

CS: They’re open-minded, full of energy, [optimistic], and really informed. These men and women aren’t afraid to get out there and do something that is outside their comfort

SR: While touring, you’re always involved in humanitarian projects in all the communities you visit. What’s the scoop?

Steve Rosenfield: Where in the world do you call home?

Some people know

Chad Stokes: Boston.

him from State

SR: You’re currently in three bands: Dispatch, State Radio, and a solo project. Is there a

CS: [laughs] Good question. No, not right now, although it’s fun to think about that fourth band. It’s still in its embryonic stages.

Dispatch or even the Pintos, but here

SR: What’s it like juggling three touring bands? CS: It’s tricky. It’s okay in blocks, but every now and then there [are] three nights in a row where it’s a different project each night. That’s when it gets very confusing and I mix up lyrics.

man Chad Stokes

SR: What’s the difference between the three bands?

is going to shed

CS: Well, State Radio is probably the most political and most overtly stands [up] for different social issues: marriage equality, women’s rights, or abolishment of the death penalty. Whereas Dispatch, with my old college buddies, [focuses] on our education initiative. Then Chadwick Stokes and The Pintos is more personal. It’s basically a band with my brother and friends of ours, and all the songs are about growing up on the farm and jumping freight trains.

some light on crows, bros and sold-out shows.

SR: It must [have been] pretty amazing starting out with Dispatch in the mid-nineties [and] then all of a sudden seeing 110,000 people staring you in the face in 2004. What does that feel like? CS: It feels so strange, almost like it never happened. It’s so weird that it evolved into something that big. It’s hard to make sense of it, but it’s an amazing thing.

photos: Steve Rosenfield 38 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

SR: I hear a lot about Calling All Crows. How can people get involved in it?

fourth band in the works that we should know about?

Radio, some from

the three-band

CS: Sybil and I started Calling All Crows, which is a service organization that plans these projects before shows. We’ve been doing it for about five years now. We just try to tap into the community, to be effective, and to get people psyched about volunteering. We thought it’d be great to get all these kids who are psyched to see a show [also] want to come and give a few hours [to volunteering].

CS: If they go to they can get involved in a more substantial way than just meeting up in the city. They can get involved [in] the planning of what [we’ll] do next and help shape what we do as an organization. SR: You and Sybil are hands-on, working with all the fans and volunteers, getting dirty in all these projects. Why do you immerse yourself rather than just use your voice to help gather the people? CS: I guess it’s good to have a balance, you know? We just want to be as effective as we can. It’s fulfilling for us to really get in the mix and join the volunteers in exactly what they’re doing. If you [just] talk about something from the platform, you get away from the nuts and bolts of whatever that issue or problem might be.

Life is so humbling that even if we’re jumping on big stages, we’re just humans.

SR: You sing about so many different ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 39

Our fans are really making a difference in the world. zone. They’re really making a difference in the world.

SR: What keeps you grounded while you’re on the road?

SR: You guys took a hiatus after the

CS: Well, now I have a little baby, so that’s very grounding. [laughs] She’s very sweet. Life is so humbling that even if we’re jumping on big stages, we’re just humans. As soon as you get off the stage you’re just another human and there [are] plenty of moments in my daily life where I feel totally pathetic. [laughs]

Zimbabwe show and came back so strong in 2011 with the tour, [an] EP, and now a new album. Did you guys have any idea that you’d pick up where you left off, selling out huge venues?

CS: We weren’t sure. Every time Dispatch [tries to sell tickets] it’s nerve-wracking because for all we know, we have no relevance anymore. When tickets did sell out for last summer’s tour, I said, “I can’t believe this band!” I can’t believe that people are still on board with us. I feel so lucky and grateful for the people who come to our shows. SR: At the shows it’s [people of] all ages, from high school [students] to people in their fifties or sixties, just rockin’ out. How has Dispatch had such great success [with many] generations?

CS: I don’t know. That’s what’s so special, I guess, or so unexplained. I think it’s because we’re such a word-of-mouth band, so we jump from person to person in such an organic way. People who saw us back in the day are still with us, but they’ve also been really kind to pass us on to their younger siblings or cousins.

SR: Congratulations on the baby. CS: Thank you. SR: What [does] a day in the life of Chad Stokes look like when you’re off the tour bus?

CS: Right now, [I] get up in the morning with Frida, the baby. [I] play with her and our dog Lefty, then get ready for the day. Sybil and I pass her back and forth as we work on the house. Just replacing windows, and knocking down walls, and painting. My life has been taken over by construction and fatherhood. SR: [laughs] How does Lefty feel about the new addition to the family?

CS: At first he was very anxious. When she cried, he would cry. [Lefty] wasn’t sure what to do with it. In the past week or so, [Frida’s] gotten old enough where they have really nice

interactions, and he jumps around and tries to play with her. This morning, he jumped on the bed and gave her a total tongue bath from head to toe. [laughs] SR: That’s great. What gives you inspiration for your music? CS: Experiences I’ve had. Traveling has always been really inspiring for me. Reading the news and talking to people out there about their lives and struggles. A lot of times the newspaper gives me more than I would need to get fired up. SR: What’s next for you? CS: Let’s see. Dispatch record comes out, Dispatch tour. A State Radio record comes out, and then a State Radio Tour. SR: Anything else you want to share with your fans? CS: Thank you for allowing Dispatch, State Radio, and Chadwick Stokes to keep playing. I feel so indebted to all these people who listen to the music and come to the shows, I’m just really grateful. SR: Awesome. Thank you very much. We’ll see you on the road.

Shabazz Palaces INTERVIEW with ishmael Butler Charles Mudede Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler’s career in hiphop has been long and rich. Back in 1992, Digable Planets, a group Butler formed with Ladybug Mecca and Doodlebug, released “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” a record that’s now a part of the hip-hop canon. In 1993, Digable Planets’s debut album, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), went gold, and the trio was awarded a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. In 1997, Butler famously contributed to Camp Lo’s “Uptown Saturday Night.” At the beginning of the 2000s, “Ish” went underground. Near the end of the decade, he joined forces with Tendai “Boy Wonder” Maraire, a Zimbabwean trained in mbira music, and reemerged as Shabazz Palaces, who dropped two superb records: Shabazz Palaces and Of Light. In 2010, the indie rock institution Sub Pop signed Shabazz Palaces, its first rap group (Sub Pop has since added South African rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo and lesbian rappers/producers THEESatisfaction to its racks). Last year, Sub Pop released Shabazz Palaces’ third album, Black Up, a record that rightly won positive reviews from every blog/journal/ critic you can imagine. This past summer, I went for a walk in Seattle’s Dr. José Rizal Park with Butler and had this conversation.


CHARLES MUDEDE: When exactly did Shabazz Palaces come together? How did it happen? IB: In 2007. That’s when we (Tendai Maraire and myself) first really started making music. We were just doing it at the house. That’s pretty much it. We lived a block away from each other for a while, maybe two years, and then we started making music. So, that’s pretty much how it went. We didn’t really have a plan for how it turned out. We were just doing it. And then we pressed up the first two albums, and that was pretty much it after that. CM: Where did the enigmatic moniker come from? IB: I don’t remember where. It just came to me. I was trying to think of something that I felt was provocative in a social, political, artistic way. And I like two Zs together a lot, too. That was pretty much as far as it went. It means something new to me all the time. It wasn’t really like: “This sounds catchy.” Or like: “This is what our name means.” It was more impressionistic than that. It’s like a whisper more so than like a real pronouncement of ideas.

CM: The dreamy, Arabic stars on the velvety CD sleeve, the urban Terrence Malick-like hallucinations of the “Black Up” video, the West African-style masks you wear on stage — all of this is made, it seems, with great care, intelligence, and artistry. Shabazz Palaces has achieved an unmistakable look and aesthetic. IB: That’s a compliment to me because that’s what I strive for in all the things I produce. It’s also a collaboration. All the cats that direct the videos, I’m tight with them. I think the way that we relate is apparent in the images that come out. And not just the images. There [are] a lot of people doing things like art direction [and] editing [who] are very capable, and even often famous people in their own field, and they come and we all get together to make these videos. The budget’s not really there or anything, but there’s a lot of love and a reverence. And everybody kind of gets to do their thing without being directed. It’s a collaboration, and it’s very loving, too. It’s friendship and a bond, and it comes out in the music, the film, the art. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41

Love Hope Strength Co Founder and Cancer Survivor James Chippendale. (Photo courtesy of Sean McGinty)

Brien McVernon, Mike Peters (The Alarm), Donavon Frankenreiter and Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) welcome the sunrise atop Mount Fuji. (Photo: Oli Powell 2010)

James Chippendale

love hope strength Five years, five hundred events, and six continents later, there are no signs of slowing. LHSF is now the world’s largest rock n’ roll cancer charity.

In March of 2000, I was diagnosed

with a very aggressive form of leukemia and was given a fifty percent chance of survival. After months of waiting to see if I would find a bone marrow donor, my prayers were answered from a small village outside Berlin in former East Germany. My donor had never met an American nor spoken a word of English but selflessly donated his bone marrow and saved my life. Inspired by my battle, I knew I wanted to start a charity like nothing I had ever seen before. Research never resonated with me; for me, it is more important to see direct results. Things clicked once I was introduced to Mike Peters of the Welsh rock band The Alarm, who was also battling leukemia. I went to visit Mike in Wales, and we were standing on this cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. That was the moment we [decided[ we [had] to do something on our own. That’s when The Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHSF) was born. Our mission is to support cancer centers in developing countries and add names to the international bone marrow registry.

including Mt. We started (L to R) Miles Zuniga ( Fastball ) , Brien McVernon, Mike Kilimanjaro, with a climb Peters ( the alarm and lhs co founder ) , Joey Shuffield (Fastball), Tony Scalzo( fastball) and Nick Harper perVail up Everest form in Lima Peru. (Photo: Oli Powell 2009) Mountain, with some of Mt. Fuji, Mt. the world’s Snowdon, Ben leading Nevis, Pike’s musicians, Peak, Machu setting out Picchu, and to break the atop New world record York City’s for the highest Empire State concert on Building. The earth, to funds raised announce from these our mission events have and raise gone towards funds for a building the cancer center first ever in Nepal. The Love Hope Strength summits Mount Fuji. children’s Five years, (Photo: Oli Powell 2010) cancer center five hundred in Tanzania events, and six and providing life-saving equipment to continents later, there are no signs of slowing. hospitals around the world. LHSF is now the world’s largest rock n’ roll cancer charity. We have enlisted rock superstars and celebrities to help spread our mission, Since Everest, we have hosted concerts including members of Squeeze, The Fixx, at some of the world’s highest points,

These efforts have lead to 30,000 new potential bone marrow donors and over 350 matches. The Cult, Donovan Frankenreiter, Michael Franti, G. Love, and Brett Dennen. Actors Kevin Bacon and Ben Stiller have even come out to support our efforts. Through our Get On the List campaign, we are promoting [the fact] that bone marrow transplants are no longer painful. [Getting on the transplant list takes] a simple cotton swab in the cheek. In most cases, to donate is as simple and painless as a blood transfusion—a small price to pay for such a massive result. We have conducted Get On the List drives on tour with Linkin Park, Everclear, Enrique Iglesias, J.Lo, and at music festivals like Wanderlust, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits. These efforts have lead to 30,000 new potential bone marrow donors and over 350 matches. We are now taking this mission into the U.K. and Mexico.

In December 2012, we are once again climbing Everest to commemorate both our five-year anniversary and the major digital release of the awareness documentary More to Live For, the story of three individuals diagnosed with leukemia who searched the world to find donors to save their lives. This award-winning documentary was directed by Noah Hutton, the son of Timothy Hutton and Debra Winger.

LEFT: Thousands of names of those affected by cancer are unveiled in Machu Pichu Peru . (Photo: Gary Noel 2008) Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) and Nick Harper honor the lama of the Tengboche Monastery along the Everest trail. (photo: Jake Norton 2007) 42 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


The Love Hope Strength Foundation: Our contributors get to see their donations save lives. Whenever possible, we like the idea of giving people something for their money: a movie, cool merchandise, the trek, the concert, the adventure. We want the experience to resonate with everyone involved. If you’re going to spend money on a cause, why not get something for it? This creates a circular profit system wherein everyone, from the beneficiaries to the benefactors, receives something vital and life-changing.

Clockwise from upper left: Brett Dennen plays an acoustic set during Vail Rocks. (Photo: 2012) Etty and Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) GET ON THE LIST at Lollapooza in Chicago. (photo: Shannon Foley 2012)

Short of having my children and falling blissfully in love, this has been the single most moving, humbling, difficult and positive experience of my life. Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) Everest Rocks, Fuji Rocks, Kilimanjaro Rocks participant

G Love, Miles Zuniga (Fastball) and Brett Dennen take the stage in Vail Village. (photo: 2012) Thousands of prayer flags fly high above Michael Franti at Red Rocks Amphitheater. (photo: 2010. Kevin Bacon and Cy Curnin ( The Fixx) along the trail of Colorado’s Pikes Peak. (photo: Gary Noel 2010)

Clockwise from upper left: Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Aimee and John Oates( Hall and Oats ) at Kauai Rocks. (photo: Danny Hashimoto 2011) Michael attends a performance by Robin Wilson (Gin Blossoms) at Presbyterian St Lukes Hospital. (photo: Shannon Foley 2010) Flashlights dance around the team as they prepare for the ascent up Africa’s tallest peak. (photo: Owen Fegan 2009) Love Hope Strength Co Founder Mike Peters (The Alarm) performs at the glaciers of Kilimanjaro. (photo: Owen Fegan 2009) 44 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM






I am not my

I am not my

I am not my

I am not my




body image


What I Be Project

Project + Photos: Steve Rosenfield



I am not my

I am not my



Ben Renschen


teve Rosenfield’s What I Be Project has provided celebrities, such as Michael Franti, Andrew Keegan, and Kathryn Budig, the opportunity to engage in a fair bit of self-healing. We featured this project in our July 2012 issue, and in a short few months, it seems to have taken right off.

photos: Steve Rosenfield 46 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

It’s no surprise that career artists make a name for themselves. Each in their own way, they manage to spill themselves bravely into the public forum: a highly critical forum at that.

but responded to. Actors, often and skillfully, release painful bits through the guise of an alter ego or character. Yogis, with a shift and contort, offer themselves the chance to express and release body-stored pains.

no stranger to severe honesty.” He continues, “The capture and posting of a celebrity’s insecurities, like any participant, not only helps the healing journey, but also sets a great example for everyone else.”

Musicians send lyrics and melodies to the masses in hopes they will not only be heard,

Steve shares, “Everyone has their own way of dealing with life’s stuff, and this project is

Furthering Steve’s point, you don’t need a photo to engage a healing process. Whatever

insecurity you’re battling, by simply writing it down, speaking it out, or mentally acknowledging it, your own process can begin.

an image or phrase on their skin in order to share their point of pain. Steve snaps the shutter and posts it online.

The format of the What I Be Project is simple. The title of a subject’s image always begins with “I am not my…” With that insecurity, story, or stereotype in mind, the subject bears

You can see every photo captured, celebrities included, at the project website, ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 47

other PAGE: LEFT: Steve adams; RIGHT: david brogan THIS page: Right, Zach Gill; left, Dan lebowitz

interview: Michael barata photos: joe Longo

Interview with

Steve Adams + Dave Brogan of


I think jam band and “jamming” sort of imply not really caring, self-indulgent

Michael Barta: How are you both? Dave + Steve: Great! MB: What is inspiring the band at the moment?

When the labels were really strong, and you had something going, you could, if you’re lucky, get picked up, and the label could help you develop your craft or your art. It’s even difficult for older artists to do something new. That’s why you see things like Kickstarter.

Steve: Our fans. Dave: Getting back to our musical roots. MB: What is something that is most challenging about being in a band today? Dave: I think there are a lot of challenges. Shrinking profit margins. Just trying to stay in business. Trying to make enough money to keep it going. It’s harder to sell recordings now; that piece of revenue has gotten a little smaller. At the same time, there are lots of new opportunities, too. It’s a lot more difficult for smaller bands or bands just starting out.


MB: What are some opportunities you’re taking advantage of? Steve: Well, a lot of our sustainability comes from our touring. We try to get creative with our tours and brand them a certain way and have special event shows or theme shows. We’re trying to figure out the “live” thing. Because playing out has become more expensive than ever. So, that’s why we’ve been considering a subscription service for fans to have early access to buying tickets for shows and getting access to purchase some of our archived music.

MB: How does the band deal with pain?

type playing,

Dave: ALO has been together a really long time. Steve, Zach, and Lebo have been playing music together for twenty-plus years, and I’ve been with them for ten. It’s very much like a family process for working things out. ALO definitely has its own intrinsic process, and when things come up, it can be rough for a second, but it gets worked out. Everyone really cares about each other, really deeply, and that’s what carries us through all the different issues.

and we’re not

Steve: I agree. I think we try to remain supportive no matter what. It can get like survival mode sometimes. It does get rough, and someone has to take a break for a certain reason or whatever, and the band is sort of left there to figure it out. I think the support network within the band allows for that to happen. I think we encourage each other to

like that. do things we need to do. We try not to hold grudges or be upset about anything. I think we always try to defer to our family bond. Pacing is good, too. If we are super busy, and we know a break is needed to allow people to go home to see their families and recoup, we try to balance our schedules out the best we can. Dave: We know what we want it to feel like when we are playing music. If other issues are getting in the way of that, we want to try to work it out and get back to that feeling when we’re playing: it’s feeling good and free, and everyone is unburdened by [negative] stuff.

MB: What is overlooked or misunderstood about your art? Steve: I think one obvious thing is that when you roll up in a tour bus, people think you’ve made it. It’s a real common misunderstanding. Yes, we’ve made it on a certain level, but it’s still a day on the job. It appears as success, but we are still trying to figure out how to pay the bills. Dave: I think artistically we have been pretty misunderstood because we have been involved a lot with the “jam band scene” and have done a lot of those kinds of festivals, and so everyone is like, “Yeah, ALO is a jam band.” We’re really not. We’re more like a classic rock band and really care a lot about songs and song craft. And so, that can be really frustrating because some people won’t even give it a listen because they think, They’re a jam band, and I don’t like jam bands. Steve: We care a lot about our jams, as well, because we do improvise. Dave: We do. But I think jam band and “jamming” sort of imply not really caring, selfindulgent-type playing, and we’re not like that.

Dave: It just feels so good to do. When I’m doing it, there’s almost no other place I’d rather be. It really is my passion. I get the most fulfillment from it. Steve: Yeah, I agree. It feels like a calling of sorts. I loved music as a kid. I went to college to study music. For some unconscious reason, I happened on that path. It feels right, and I really enjoy it. Seeing how good the band feels and the connection with how good the fans feel — it just feels like you are doing something good.

We try not to hold grudges or be upset about anything. I think we always try to defer to our family bond.

MB: Why do you do what you do? ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 49

ROBERT REDFORD In a new documentary, Robert Redford tells the Colorado River’s epic story. interview: Michelle Nijhuise in collaboration with OnEarth Magazine and Barry Nelson, a senior water policy analyst at NRDC

Actor Robert Redford has always loved the landscapes of the West, and his classic roles as the outlaw Sundance Kid and mountain man Jeremiah Johnson are now part of Western lore. As executive producer and narrator of a new documentary, Watershed, Redford takes a close look at the greatest Western icon of all: the Colorado River, which flows almost 1,500 miles from its source in the Rocky Mountains to its delta at the Gulf of California. The river’s water, notoriously dammed and diverted in order to meet the region’s growing thirst, now rarely reaches the sea.

so on. When that retreat began, I became aware of the value of the natural environment. So all those experiences—working in Yosemite, floating the rivers, raising my kids on the rivers—gave me a pretty good perspective on water in the West. I became acutely aware of the demand for water exceeding its supply.

Watershed profiles several people who are trying to change the region’s relationship with the river, including a Los Angeles bicycle activist, a Navajo Nation councilwoman, a Colorado fly-fishing guide, and a restoration ecologist in Mexico. In short interludes, a crew of animators illustrates the fiendishly complex politics of the river, the mechanics of hydraulic fracturing, and other issues facing the Colorado Basin. The documentary, written and directed by Mark Decena, was co-produced by Redford’s son James, who also produced the HBO documentary Mann v. Ford and directed the new film The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia. (James is fifty years old, but as you’ll see, his seventy-six-year-old dad still calls him a “good kid.”)

I realized that not enough people were paying attention to the issue. Water is a big subject like air, you know. People take it for granted. For years, people thought water was just an endless resource to be used by anybody in any way. When I became aware that the Colorado River was no longer reaching its destination in the Gulf of California, that really hit me. I went down into that area and saw the cracked earth. I saw what was happening to what used to be marshland—that it was just drying up.

Do you recall your first encounter with the Colorado River?

Well, I’ve had a lot of experiences on both the Colorado and the Green rivers—fishing for golden trout in the high mountains, filming Jeremiah Johnson, floating the Green River, and having a boat on Lake Powell for thirty-odd years. I grew up in Los Angeles, and after the Second World War, people flooded in there like it was gold-rush time. Suddenly, the place turned into concrete and smog and pollution. That made a huge impact on me. I retreated into the Sierras and then into the deserts, the Mojave and


What made you think that now is the time for a movie about the Colorado?

Then I became aware that cultures were suffering—that Native American cultures and Mexican cultures on the south end of the river were suffering. That hit me, too. And I looked at where the water was going—to dubious growth

People take it for granted. For years, people thought water was just an endless resource to be used by anybody in any way.



filmmakers Ron Fricke + Mark Magidson

The Colorado is an iconic symbol of America, of America at its best in terms of natural resources. Yet we’re destroying those natural resources. in Las Vegas. Las Vegas doesn’t have much water, and yet it’s growing in leaps and bounds.

You’ve lived in the region for decades. Did you learn anything new about the Colorado River while you were making the film?

The Colorado is an iconic symbol of America, of America at its best in terms of natural resources. Yet we’re destroying those natural resources. Not enough people know about that.

The one thing that’s always been very impressive to me is its history, how it got that way. I went to college for a year, to the University of Colorado at Boulder, and then I was kicked out. One of the reasons I was asked to leave was that I was having too much fun—I spent too much time in the mountains, and I didn’t spend enough time studying. But two courses really got my attention, and they were geomorphology and anthropology.

You’ve made many films with a political bent, but you’ve said that you’ve had to give up the idea that your films will make a difference. What do you hope to accomplish with Watershed?

I’ve given up the idea that I can really change anything, and I just do the best I can. It’s either that or do nothing, and we know that nothing doesn’t work. Some of the films I’ve made in the past that I thought might make an impact, I don’t think did. I don’t think The Candidate [a satire of campaign politics] changed anything. I think politics are worse than they ever were. And Quiz Show [based on a 1950s Hollywood quiz show scandal] was about the corruption in the entertainment business. Well, that’s as bad as it ever was. In other words, you don’t want to deceive yourself. You just do what you can do the best you can, and you just keep doing it because that’s all you can do. What do you hope that viewers will remember the most from Watershed?

I hope they’ll remember the people. The mayor of Rifle, Colorado—I just love that guy. He’s so simple and plain and gentle. Then you have that crazy kid in Los Angeles, that guy with the bike. He’s so wild and crazy and smart and committed. You look at a guy like that and you say, “Boy, there’s a kid that could have gone the other way, but look at what he’s doing.” He’s converting all his energy into doing something— because he loves the city, and wants to play a role in it. Maybe these people can set an example. I hope viewers will realize the value of the river through the stories of the people who live with it.


Samara is the third nonverbal film that we have made.We began with Chronos in 1985, Baraka in 1992, and now Samsara. These films are intended to provide an experience for the viewer, using only music and images, that can be described as a guided meditation. Samsara is a Sanskrit word that is broadly defined as the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, or impermanence. These main themes helped define the sought-after subject matter and shape our travel choices. We hope with Samsara to have created an experience where viewers feel a link to the phenomenon of life as it exists in the world at this point in time and how we are all connected to it.

I got so taken with geology, just fascinated with how the earth got to be the way it is. When I would drive from Boulder back to Los Angeles, I was thrilled by the idea that wherever I looked, I could understand how it got that way, whether it was a mountain or a river or a valley. I think that’s probably where it all started for me, driving through that country and looking at what I had learned. Then when I studied anthropology, I learned how people connected with the land in ancient times, and how we evolved to the point where people and geology came together and produced what we have today. I wanted to tell that story. I wanted to ask about you and your son James. You worked together on Watershed—how did that come about?

We’ve worked together on a couple of other things, and on his own, Jamie has moved in the same direction that I’ve been moving in over the years—I think largely because of the way he was raised and the things he saw. What was your partnership like?

It was great. He’s got a great sense of humor, so we can kid each other. I’ll tell him, “This is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.” And he’ll say, “Next to yours, you mean.” So we have a lot of fun. He’s a great kid, and I’m very proud of him.

SAMSARA directors Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson and all stills from SAMSARA: Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.


Trade of Innocents “...we hope that Trade of Innocents will leave a lasting mark on

those who see it, and that it will come to be the defining film on the horrible reality of the trafficking of persons, particularly the sexual exploitation of children worldwide for profit.” Jim Schmidt, Producer Actor

Dermot Mulroney writer + director


There are seminal moments in each of our lives that we can point to and say, “This changes everything.”

We believe that film can inform, even educate, as it entertains. What’s more, we believe film can impact culture in lasting ways. On an early location scout for Trade of Innocents, Christopher Bessette and I were in Cambodia, visiting the temple of Ta Prohm, one of the temples of Angkor Wat, which figures into our story. Ta Prohm was made iconic in a scene from Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, where Angelina Jolie struck a memorable, backlit pose near a towering dam kor tree.

Christopher Bessette

I stood alone in the community center’s freshly painted, sterilized room, in a building in Cambodia that was once known as a brothel. This room was called the “pink room” or the “virgin room,” where children were held to be sold to pedophiles. I looked through the bars of the second story window to the dirt street below and saw children laughing and playing. I imagined a little girl looking through the same window, wishing she could be out there. I distinctly remember the whispered words slipping out of my mouth, “Oh God, I have to do something; help me tell her story.” Based on facts, Trade of Innocents takes the dramatic thriller and steps it up a notch by giving the audience an opportunity to experience real life events they could never imagine. My hope is that as the audience roots for our heroes, the realization comes to them, “Now that I know—this changes everything.”

PHOTOs: Courtesy monterey media inc. 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Jim Schmidt

As I stood near the base of that tree in March 2010, I heard a tour guide say, “We refer to this as the Angelina Tree.” My first thought was, Now let me get this straight: A 900-year-old temple, with a 200-yearold tree, the roots of which are literally swallowing up the walls of that temple, and we name the tree after a modern-day movie star. If that’s not film impacting culture, I don’t know what is. In the same way, we hope that Trade of Innocents will leave a lasting mark on those who see it, and that it will come to be the defining film on the horrible reality of the trafficking of persons, particularly the profit-driven sexual exploitation of children worldwide.

Shooting Trade of Innocents stands apart for me, not just because the film is a harrowing and horrifyingly true-to-life depiction of the child sex trade in Asia and the people on the front lines of the fight to bring human trafficking to an end—sometimes one child at a time— but because making it was such a unique experience. Working in intense heat, in sometimes grueling locations in and around Bangkok, Thailand was indeed exotic, but it was the people who worked on the film who made this production a truly memorable experience for me. To have been part of making a movie about an issue affecting millions of people worldwide and to be able to carry this message by way of an effective narrative is a truly unusual experience—and for me, a true privilege. The director and writer of Trade of Innocents, Christopher Bissette, based some of the scenes in TOI on episodes he witnessed. Scenes such as the pedophile sex tourist leaving the lounge with the young girl led [Christopher] to research, become passionate about, and ultimately, write this screenplay. His dedication to ending human trafficking breathes throughout this film. The star, Mira Sorvino, has long given her time, boundless energy, and heart to many causes, including fighting human trafficking, through her UNODC Goodwill Ambassadorship and her involvement in Amnesty International.

At the time I first read the screenplay of Trade of Innocents, I knew no more about this global problem than the average news consumer. The actual numbers on human trafficking overwhelmed me at first, and I was quickly impressed by how much information there is on human trafficking—especially on the Internet—and how many individuals and organizations are fighting this cruel form of exploitation every day. I closed the computer, finished the script, and took the part in the movie. I will never forget the first day of filming Trade of Innocents. The first sequence we shot was the scene where I’m riding on the boat to get to the hovel to locate and document the first young girl. Riding in that long, flat boat only with the Thai-speaking actor on an open river outside Bangkok was a world away from my typical life. The uniqueness of that experience instantly thrust me into the exact circumstances of the character and into a world where children are exploited, millions of dollars are made, and whole governments look away from injustices unimaginable. It is our world. Trade of Innocents is that rare film that manages to be as gripping as a thriller, deeply compelling, heartbreaking, and true at the same time that it sheds light on this important issue that is rarely depicted in films. The persistence of the problem of human trafficking [proves] that it will take all the efforts of committed world citizens to eventually end human trafficking and slavery in all forms. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 55

things for love. My dad used to be in a band. My mom used to sing and do everything to music in our house: clean, cook, yell at me and my brother, chase us around the house. There was always music playing. My parents listened to Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Patsy Cline, The Platters, The Drifters. Great soul singers. And then being an ‘80s baby, growing up in Canada—I’m the only one person who was born in

It’s about being happy with the person that I am and knowing that I’m positively affecting people through my purpose.


Bill Bolthouse No matter where you are in the world today, whether Phnom Penh, Seoul, San Francisco, Frankfurt, or [any major city in the world], you are within a mile or two of a girl who is being held against her will and is about to be sold for sex. We had two goals in making Trade of Innocents: One was to make people aware that this evil exists but that there are good people fighting against it. And two, to create a way for our viewers to have a tangible way to get involved for good. Our tagline is “Justice Needs a Hero.” We created, where everyday people who are horrified by this reality can go and do something tangible to make a difference in one child’s life.



Interview: Adimu Colon Photos: Drew Xeron

AC: Let’s talk Liberation Tour real quick. You, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige. Let’s talk about Mary J. Blige first. How was it being on tour with her?

MF: She’s amazing. Everybody knows her through her music, but to meet her and to know her as a person is another level of beauty. She’s just so sweet. I’m so shocked everytime I’m around her, how sweet she is. Her energy is so beautiful and positive. I love that. AC: Who is Melanie Fiona?

MF: I am a girl, I am a woman. I am a daughter, I am a sister. A lover, a friend, an artist. A singer, a songwriter, a performer. I am a human being and I’m just doing my best to take what has been given to me— gifts, lessons, teachings—and learn. [To] be the best person I know how to be, and help as many people as I possibly can along the way. It’s about being happy with the person that I am and knowing that I’m positively affecting people through my purpose.

In a sense, we are handing our viewers a key. If they put that key in their pocket and walk away, they become a jailer to that victim [who is] locked away and alone. But if they take that key and use it for good, they have become her liberator, her hero. Let this movie touch your heart and do its work so that we can have more heroes in this world and make it a better place for all.

AC: And you feel as though your purpose is to positively— do what?

We released our movie the same weekend as Taken 2, which took in $50 million at the box office in its first three days. The difference is that our movie starts with the words “Inspired by real events,” whereas the Taken movies are pure shoot ‘em up fiction. With Trade of Innocents, people will be able to see what real-life heroes battle in the fight against slavery. We also will recruit the viewer to join us in the fight for freedom.

Actress / Academy Award Winner

Canada in my family, everyone else was from Guyana [and] immigrated to Canada—I was exposed to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston and Barbara Streisand. And then dance and hip-hop. And of course, [from] our culture—reggae and calypso.

MF: Change the world through music. To live a fulfilled life for myself and experience all that I am destined to experience in this life, and change someone’s life in the process, for the better. AC: What are you scared of?

Adimu Colon: Let’s talk young Melanie Fiona. You’re Guyanese, right?

Mira Sorvino

Melanie Fiona: I am.

I am very proud to be a part of this film [both] as an actress and as a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking. Most people are unaware that this terrible trade of children for sexual exploitation flourishes both in the U.S. and around the globe. Trade of Innocents will open their eyes and their hearts and inspire them to become part of the solution.

AC: Big shout out to all Guyanese people.

MF: [sings] AC: Talk about your parents’ influence on you and your music.

MF: My parents are probably my biggest influence on my music. My dad being a guitar player, musician, lover of music; my mom being a singer, a lover of music. Not professionally, they really just did these

MF: I’m scared of failure on a personal level. [Failure would mean] that I’ve done an injustice to myself, I’ve done an injustice to the people who look to me as a vessel of strength. Failure of not fulfilling this purpose. That’s a fear. But it’s an honest one. AC: The new album is called The MF Life. Tell the good people what The MF Life stands for.

MF: My Mighty Fine Life. Music For Life. Whatever MF means to you is what that album title and what this collection of songs is supposed to mean. I wanted it to spark this conversation. What does it mean to you? It’s about making people think. Forcing people to reflect. Where does your mind go? Who are you? What do certain things mean to you? They [might] not mean the same things to me.

Photos: Drew Xeron 56 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM



soluble; it breaks down at alarming rates. And that is where the gas and other gassy chemicals are being sucked up through that pipe. Those pipes leak. The cement leaks, and then the gas migrates at very alarming rates. My new short film called “The Sky is Pink” goes into detail. It was specifically aimed at New York, but the information in it pertains to everywhere they’re fracking. We need to learn a lot about the situation of how often these gas wells are breaking down. They’re breaking down immediately upon drilling in 50% of the wells, and 50% of them break down over a thirty-year period. Which means it is absolutely a certainty that you are going to have water contamination. Very, very bad water contamination in just a single generation. These areas where the gas companies are targeting to drill are going to be permanently despoiled from the standpoint of the water and the land. There’s really significant evidence to show that these things will continue to steam off

you live in the frack zone, or near it, I guarantee you think about it once a day or one hundred times a day, because it starts taking over your life. If you live outside of it you might be completely oblivious and not realize that when you’re turning on your light switch or lighting your gas stove, you’re participating in something that’s incredibly oppressive. This needs to change. MP: My friends in Australia said that the government came in and said, “You own the first twelve inches of your land. We own everything under it.” So, a lot of people are losing their land. They said that when they turn on their faucet and they light a match, [the water] will catch on fire. Their entire water supply on their land is now ruined. There’s no way to fix it. might be completely oblivious and not realize that when you’re turning on your light switch or lighting your gas stove, you’re participating in something that’s incredibly oppressive. gas for years and years. You’re basically trading the value and character of the land, safety, and health, for a short period of [extracting] gas. But the gas companies don’t care. MP: What kind of profit do they make on that?

The Fracking of America Josh Fox, Director of “Gasland” and “The Sky is Pink” interview Part I: Maranda pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: Hey. It’s been a long time coming.

Josh Fox: [laughs] Sorry. MP: No, it’s good. I didn’t realize what a rock star you are. Every time I say your name, people say, “God, I love him! I love that movie.” It doesn’t matter if I’m in Los Angeles, Boulder, or Austin.

JF: Well, it’s called cable television. MP: [laughs] I don’t have a television, maybe that’s why.

JF: You can watch it on your computer! Anyhow, it’s been an unbelievable couple of years. From learning about this issue, which was in relative obscurity, to traveling all across the country [and] seeing the devastation of fracking, it’s a constant exploration and investigation of something that is happening all across America. 58 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

The issue started getting a lot more attention when they came east to the New York City watershed and the Delaware River Basin in the state of New York. Of course, the movie is the direct consequence of that move on behalf of the oil and gas industry to try and invade territory that is a watershed area. It drew attention to how much destruction they’re doing all across the country. All of which needs to cease. MP: When I mention fracking while traveling, a lot of people have no idea what I’m talking about.

JF: There’s a really big difference between living inside the frack zone or living out of it. It’s a giant mess. It certainly seems like a fifth to a quarter of the whole United States. That sort of area, talking about 65% of Pennsylvania, half of New York capital, all of West Virginia, huge sections of Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico. A huge fracking dome [is] opening up in California.

JF: “Gas migration” is the industry term for it. Gas getting into your water is extremely common everywhere this industry goes. It gets into aquifers. It gets into lakes and streams. The Susquehanna River is bubbling in several locations. You have gas leaking up out of cracks in the ground. What’s equally frightening is that it’s actually going into the air, as well. Once they fracture that bedrock, they simply can’t control where the gas goes. Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas. People are breathing in organic compounds [that are] making them sick. And then you have this phenomenon where water catches on fire. It shouldn’t do that. [laughs] The gas industry comes in. They either lease plans from you under false pretenses, don’t disclose exactly what they’re going to be doing, or they come into areas where they’ve already obtained the mineral rights or public land. [They] drill a deep well and then inject toxic material down that wellbore at such high pressure that it fractures the bedrock. We’re talking about this mini-earthquake that happens under the ground. They inject 2 to 9 million gallons of water through the well, and that actually fractures the underground strata. And in that rock is the gas. Once you’ve done that, you’ve pulverized that landscape. What you’re doing is drilling through to the aquifer. The aquifer [is] the water table people need to keep secure. Nature has this incredible system of water purification under the ground. Ground water is much better to drink than surface water because it filters out the bacteria that can cause all sorts of problems. You’re puncturing through that water table as you’re drilling down. Then of course, you have a pipe that’s going through the aquifer, which is [made of] one inch of cement. That cement is very

JF: They make a lot of money doing it. If you don’t have to pay attention to any of the aspects of sustainability in any way, you can make tons of money. And that’s exactly what’s happened. They are exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, our primary protection law for our drinking water. They’re exempt from aspects of the Clean Water Act. They’re exempt from the Clean Air Act. They’re exempt from the SuperFund Act. In many ways they’re exempt from NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act. These exemptions were granted to them by Congress over many years of, frankly, Republican administration dismantling the basic health and safety laws that have protected Americans since the ‘70s. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 59

The oil and gas companies are not in the renewable energy business. They’re in the oil and gas business. That is a business that commands an enormous amount of power. Power over our democracies. Power over people worldwide. The most crucial exemption in this case, I would say, is that exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act. In 2005, Dick Cheney, former CEO of Halliburton, brought this technology [and] this exemption of the fracking to Congress. MP: Isn’t Halliburton the main company behind a lot of this fracking in the U.S.?

JF: Well, Halliburton is a fracking company. They’re the second largest fracking company in the world. Halliburton reaps enormous profits off of this. And Halliburton is responsible for many of the failures of fracking. The failures of well safety. Fracking exploded all across the United States. Now, we have this huge crisis with people who don’t want fracking, but the natural gas industry [places] enormous amounts of pressure on Governor Cuomo of New York, the Governor of Ohio, the Senate of Pennsylvania, and now it’s coming in full force to California. MP: It seems these companies are benefiting while the air, the land, and the water are being destroyed. What is the argument for fracking?

JF: Well, it’s really one thing: money. [And] the gas. They’re the most profitable companies in the history of money. And they are trying to explore and find new systems for getting gas out of the ground. In 2005, oil production flatlined worldwide. Gas prices went through the roof. Once we started to run out of the easily obtainable oil and gas, the oil companies started to look for other ways to do this, what I term “extreme energy.” When the prices got higher they could afford to use extreme techniques, which are incredibly energy intensive and expensive but also incredibly harmful to the environment. A sane group of people would have said, “Oh, well look at this. We have renewable energy technology. We have enough wind. We have enough sun. We have enough geothermal hydropower to power the entire nation. We know we can run the world on renewable energy.” The oil and gas companies are not in the renewable energy business. They’re in the oil and gas business. That is a business that commands an enormous amount of power. Power over our democracies. Power over people worldwide. Their interests are to keep us addicted to their products. But these people are making so much money doing what they’re doing that they can afford to push around governments, candidates, and [citizens]. What we’re seeing is an invasion of the homeland to a degree we’ve never seen before. And that’s why fracking [was] the third most popular word in the English language in 2011. It is literally invading America. These are foreign interests, multinational companies: Shell Oil, Dutch Shell, Exxonmobil, Chesapeake. Chesapeake is owned by the Chinese. They are now carrying America into an exploitation economy, which is awful for agriculturalists. You don’t want these chemicals anywhere near 60 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

your agricultural base, yet this is happening anywhere those rocks are found under the ground. MP: Even if we’re not near a frack zone and we think it doesn’t affect us, we could be eating the contaminants of this because so much agriculture is affected.

JF: There’s no such thing as your own backyard anymore. The backyard is the planet. Not only are all the watersheds interconnected, all the water is connected. Once you’ve injected this much toxin into those places, it starts seeping into the water table, seeping into the surface water—what goes around comes around. There are absolutely no controls and no testing for these types of chemicals [used in fracking]. [But the effects] obliterate any kind of organic certification [for farmers]. If you’re talking about organic farms, organic wineries, if they’re anywhere near this kind of thing, there’s great danger of losing organic certifications. Organic farmers are at the forefront of fighting this off. Agricultural production in general is also at risk. Beyond that issue of your food, your water, your air, there is a huge and looming problem of climate change. If we burn all that gas, we are going to outstrip our current targets for regulating climate change. The international community has decided anything over a two-degree rise in

We should not be searching for more oil, more gas. We have to move away from this. This is absolutely the wrong direction for the planet earth. global temperature would be catastrophic for civilization on the planet. We’ve currently raised the temperature about .8 degrees. Almost a degree. If we go ahead and crack all of this stuff and burn a lot of our remaining carbon, we’re on the target for a ten-degree rise, which [means] a planet out of science fiction. We should not be searching for more oil, more gas. We have to move away from this. This is absolutely the wrong direction for the planet earth. There’s a cry coming from the people to move toward renewable energy and technology. Now you have, in all these areas [where there] were never activists, that were never politically charged, this knowledge that unless we go to renewables now, we’re all getting fracked. We’re going to be turning huge areas of the United States, huge areas of the world, into gas drilling areas. All of Austria. Huge areas in the south of France. All over England. Australia, as you mentioned. China, South Africa, big areas in South America, Central America. Canada. It is literally everywhere. If we don’t want huge sections of our habitable land, of land that is there for sustaining human life, to be turned into profit-making zones for the gas industry [and] toxified by this technique, we really have to get active on this. And listen, it’s not one of those take-your-medicine documentaries. It is so full of [the] shimmering character of [the] backbone of America, [which is] still very much alive and well. It’s truly inspiring, so I hope people will take a look at it. Learn more about the film GASLAND, sign up for alerts, and start to get more active on the issue at Watch Jeff’s new short film THE SKY IS PINK for free at www.

“Sons of Anarchy” Kurt Yaeger

It’s surreal to be a new character on FX’s hit show, Sons of Anarchy. How did I get here? Six years ago, I was lying in a ditch, dying after a horrific motorcycle accident, and now I’m on a motorcycle-based TV show. Irony epitomized.

I’d love to say the night of the accident was a blur, but it wasn’t. I remember every ounce of pain.

I’d love to say the night of the accident was a blur, but it wasn’t. I remember every ounce of pain. I remember the fear of knowing that these could very well be the last moments of my life and realizing that I hadn’t been as good to everyone as I thought I had been. There were so many people I wanted to say something to — “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” anything — before I died. Regardless, it was decision time. Give in or fight. After a very rough four months in the hospital, having nearly thirty surgeries, including having my left leg amputated, I was ready to give in. The only thing that stopped me from taking my life was love. Nearly two hundred people visited me in the hospital. They brought me three meals a day, spent nights with me, bathed me, and raised money to pay for the inevitable hospital bills. I couldn’t justify taking my own life after all that love was poured out upon me. “Thanks for the help, but I’m out.” Could I really do that to them? Ultimately, the answer wasn’t just no. It was “Hell, no.” I shocked everyone by announcing I was going to follow my passion and pursue acting. I think Kurt hit his head too hard this time, was all I could see in the eyes of my family and friends. Maybe they were right, but I knew what I needed to do. It’s not like I was starting from scratch though. I had been a performer my whole life. As a kid I was in church plays, became a professional BMX athlete [and performed] in front of thousands of fans, and did a multi-city tour for a live-action Nickelodeon show called Rocket Power. I was comfortable in front of people and cameras, but I learned that wasn’t enough. You have to be comfortable with yourself, and confident. That means being comfortable with vulnerability in front of a lot of people. It’s a hard lesson that I still struggle with, but it’s helped me not only become a better actor but a better person. It’s been a hard six years, with many trials testing my resolve. There’s been a ton of pain, and yes, on some level, I wish I had my leg back. However, if I hadn’t gone through this experience, I would have never learned the depth of love from family and friends, the responsibility I have to God to live a good life, and the need to go after my dreams no matter how remote the odds are. You must listen to your heart and use the logic of your mind. One without the other is a life half-lived. I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to Kurt Sutter, Paris Barclay, the writing staff, and the executives at FX for having the vision to create a character who is missing a leg but is in no way treated as anything less than equal.

photo Josh Allen ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 61

Change Corporate Behavior. Change the World. Jeff Rosenblum Director: The Naked Brand As a reader of this magazine, you clearly care about the health of our planet and its billions of inhabitants. You act responsibly and hope to influence others. The frustrating challenge, however, is determining whether you are making a real difference. Eating organic food, supporting local farmers, meditating, and recycling are beautiful endeavors. But many wonder how they can make a bigger difference given the limited amount of time and energy they have.

Use social media to influence change in corporations which can profoundly impact the planet. The solution is to find leverage. The key is to find small maneuvers that can create big results. I spent the past year interviewing some of the most influential people in the business world for a documentary called The Naked Brand. One discovery that I made while producing the film is that corporations are desperately trying to find new ways to build their brands. However, they are unclear how to do so, and they are looking for help from everyday consumers, like you.

If we can change corporations, we can move the planet forward. Corporations control this planet. Of the world’s 100 largest entities, fifty-one are corporations. Walmart, for example, is bigger than Norway. Virtually every major corporation is awakening to the fact that traditional advertising is no longer sufficient for building a world-class brand. A fancy jingle or slick digital ad campaign can’t get people to buy crappy products from an unethical company. Because of Internet search and social media technologies, corporations are now defined by what they do, not what they say. That’s where you can find leverage. Use social media to influence change in corporations which can profoundly impact the planet. You can vote with much more than your dollars. Virtually every corporation actively listens to online comments. Technology connects your comments to corporate boardrooms. We have seen that incredible changes can happen at huge corporations when consumers rise up. Nike overhauled their labor practices when consumers demanded change and the company lost over $2 billion in market capitalization. Now, consumers are superpowered by technology. Companies like Apple are quickly making changes whenever they see the first hint of consumer backlash. It’s not just about thwarting bad behavior. Great brands are focusing on better behavior to create a competitive advantage. Patagonia invests in healing the environment. Zappos focuses on happier employees. Under Armour turns recycled bottles into performance

"What if delivering better products and services is a form of advertising? What if advertising is about making your customers happy?" -Jeff Rosenblum The Naked Brand

“Being a great company is the new brand… because there’s not going to be anything between the consumer and the reality of that company.”

“Every time we make a decision that’s right for the planet, it makes us more money.”

Alex Bogusky, Founder of Common

Yvon Chouinard, CEO, Patagonia

“The era of trying to convince people to buy something they don’t want or don’t need is going to gradually get harder and harder.”

“Rather than just say culture is important, let’s actually make it the #1 priority of the company. We get the culture right, then most of the other stuff, like delivering great customer service and customer experience, happen… as a natural by-product.“ Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

“You need to have a healthy society to have a healthy business. To have a healthy business in an unhealthy society is incredibly unsustwainable.” Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer, Unilever

apparel. Even Walmart has drastically reduced its packaging. To be clear, companies like Walmart don’t make maneuvers out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it because it is profitable. They realize that extra packaging makes waste and waste costs money. These efforts don’t make Walmart a beautiful, eco-friendly company, but they do make them slightly better. And this fosters good in the world. Small changes to big companies make a difference at a massive scale. The question is, what do you want from corporations? The world is transparent. Let them know. You have the ability to make a real difference, by influencing change in corporations. Corporations today want to be known for more than a fancy jingle. They want to be known for creating change. Tell them what kind of change you want to see.

Jeff Rosenblum, founding partner of the digital agency Questus, recently completed The Naked Brand, a documentary about the future of the advertising industry.

Dara O’Rourke, Co-Founder, Good Guide

“The principles of green [and] the principles of renewable are completely in line with the principles of business. It means doing more with less.” Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO, Under Armour 62 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


The City + The State: A Dialog between Eyal Weizman and Paul D. Miller [DJ Spooky] Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011 he has directed Forensic Architecture—a project funded by the European Research Council—which focuses on the place of architecture in international humanitarian law. Since 2007 he has been a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) in Beit Sahour/Palestine. His books include Mengele’s Skull (Sterenberg Press 2012) and Forensic Architecture (dOCUMENTA13 notebook, 2012). Origin caught up with him to discuss his new book The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza (Verso 2012).

Eyal Weizman: The kind of metaphor I like when speaking about territoriality of colonialism is that of the Scandinavian coast, where you have fjords, islands, and lakes that break the classic division between water and land. When you speak about fragmentation, you need to also understand it as a kind of camouflage of territory and an attack on form in which a political form is invaded and fragmented in a way in which direct distance matters less than patterns of connectivity.

the territorial. When you are moving across territories like that it is about navigation, it is about entering into a network territory in which you have borders functioning as filters. Borders are both media spheres and they are filters to movement. Borders [do] not block movement but control it. It is about what could pass through—commodities, infrastructure, water, oil, money, disease, people—and how fast they can flow through it. The border itself is kind of a membrane that regulates flow. There is no movement without borders. There is no movement possible without that filtering possibility, and politics is at present, I feel, reduced to the management of flows. The act of politics [and] government is the very modulation of flow across deep space.

You are absolutely right in speaking about “patterns of connectivity” rather than any kind of scale from the architectural to the urban to

PDM: Architecture in the Middle East has always had an uneasy relationship to the State. Whether it was the ancient

Paul D. Miller: One of the things that intrigues me a lot about your work is this idea of pattern recognition and disruption of patterns, and their relationship to architecture and occupation. Do you want to comment on that?

designs of the city plans for what history regards at the “first” cities in the world in Mesopotamia—Eridu, Uruk, and Ur—to the demolitions of Palestinian villages in contemporary Israel. But if you look at the modern battlefields of Aleppo, Syria (the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world) where a civil war rages between the Assad regime and the rebels of Free Syria, to Baghdad and Ramallah, one can see that the way we define space creates a social fabric that binds us together in our modern, turbulent, hyper-connected world. To understand what is going on now, we need to get better perspectives.

EW: Your reference to capitalism and to the management of flow of capital is absolutely related to the system. What you are talking about is tax havens and all sorts of instruments that are located offshore, special enterprise zones. Rather than seeing them as spaces of

exception, of exclusion, you need to see them as valves in a network that manages flow. You cannot speak of enclaves without speaking about flow. These are two complementary phenomena. When you look at fragmentation, you need to ask about the management of flow: What moves, how fast does it move, and who benefits from and controls these movements? Is it centrally controlled, is it a kind of chaos of movement organized by a feedback mechanism by which different membranes allow for an exchange, a filtering of information and movement across the globe? You see two things simultaneously: a hardening of enclaves and the accelerating between flows of different natures. You need to look at these things as valves in a global circulation regime, [which is] the most important act of government, whether it is government of money, people, resources, labor, etc. What I am getting worried about

Borders are both media spheres and they are filters to movement. Borders are not something that blocks movement but controls it. It is about what could pass through - commodities, infrastructure, flows of water, of oil, money, disease, people - and how fast they can flow through it.

is when I hear the theories about [enclaves] and borders as a “denial of movement.” They are never that but in fact a management of different flows. PDM: When I look at the idea of homeostasis and apply it to ecosystems of finance for the twenty-first century, they are kind of codified and stratified, but at the same time they are flows of movement. In terms of architecture, what I find one of the more surreal manifestations of that is what is going on in the Middle East. This group of islands called “The World Dubai” off of Dubai, where they built an exact replica of the world, is all sinking. There is a huge lawsuit between the development company that built it and the sheik that commissioned it, which is very ironic. In terms of architecture, these flows manifest in the physical forms of

these buildings that are commissioned but have almost no utility, especially in the Middle East.

themselves are changing as they are registering these informational politics. You can look at space as a diagram of political relations.

EW: You were starting to speak of morphology. I tend to see space through the category of political plastic. For me, space is political plastic inasmuch as the contours of political space are constantly shrinking and expanding. They are never static. They always register on their contours a balance of forces, a field of force translated into form, force translated into material organization. You can read in the constantly transforming contours of space certain diagrams. You can read backwards from these contours the political forces that created them. When we are speaking about the Middle East and its changing internal borders that are contracting and expanding, we are looking at an incessant material, an elastic materiality that filters movement through it, and the borders

PDM: The Middle East is still based on gold as a monetary system whereas the Western economy is far from these kinds of physical representations of finance. The “Fort Knox” of the world is now information systems. How do we look at architecture as a reflection of these turbulent social processes?

EW: Architecture is a diagram of turbulent, chaotic political forces, constantly pushing and pulling matter as if it were plastic. There is a certain plasticity and elasticity of materiality that is reactive to these kinds of forces on the macro and micro levels. If you are able to read in the matter the way it is organized, to read politics from it, it is a kind of archeology of the present or an archeology of the future.



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In the past few decades, there has been a revolution in how we perceive the body. What appears to be an object, a threedimensional anatomical structure, is actually a process, a constant flow of energy and information. Consider that in this very moment, your body is changing as it reshuffles and exchanges its atoms and molecules with the rest of the universe – and you’re doing it faster than you can change your clothes. In fact, the body you’re using right now as you read this article is not the same body you woke up with or even the same body that you had a few minutes ago. The fifty trillion cells in your body are constantly talking to each other as they keep your heart beating, digest your food, eliminate toxins, protect you from infection and disease, and carry out the countless other functions that keep you alive. While these processes may seem out of your conscious control, hundreds of studies have shown that nothing holds more power over the body than the mind.

Harness Your Mind’s Power to Heal and Transform Deepak Chopra, M.D.

To think is to practice brain chemistry. Every thought, feeling, and emotion creates a molecule known as a neuropeptide. Neuropeptides travel throughout your body and hook onto receptor sites of cells and neurons. Your brain takes in the information, converts it into chemicals, and lets your whole body know if there’s trouble in the world or cause for celebration. Your body is directly influenced as these molecules course through the bloodstream, delivering the energetic effect of whatever your brain is thinking and feeling. When you say, “I have a sad heart,” then you literally have a sad heart. If we looked inside your heart, we would find it affected by molecules that cause stress and damage, such as excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. If you say, “I’m bursting with joy,” a scientist could analyze your skin and find it loaded with neuropeptides that may have antidepressant effects and that may modulate the immune system. If you say, “I feel exhilarated, unbounded, and joyful,” and I were to examine your blood, I would find high levels of interleukin and interferon, which are powerful anticancer drugs.

E x pa n d i n g S e l f -Awa re n ess One of the keys to harnessing this potentially unlimited power of the mind is to expand your level of self-awareness. When your awareness is contracted, the flow of energy and information throughout your bodymind is hampered. You tend to stay stuck in toxic emotions such as regret, resentment, and self-pity. Non-nurturing habits such as overeating and not exercising take hold. The feedback loop between your mind and your body turns negative, and stress can hit you instantaneously or grind away at you day after day. On the other hand, when you expand your awareness, your energy flows freely. You’re more flexible, balanced, and creative. You view yourself and the world with more compassion and understanding. You have more energy and are open to new possibilities. At this level of awareness, you have all the power you could possibly need to create a new reality—a reality of vibrant health and wellbeing. There are many practical tools that can help you expand your awareness, including meditation and mindfulness. In addition, a self-aware approach to life would include the following prescriptions, which I developed with Dr. Rudy Tanzi when we cowrote our new book, Super Brain: Be passionate about your life and the experiences you fill it with. Remain open to as much input as possible. Don’t shut down the feedback loop with judgment, rigid beliefs, and prejudices. Don’t censor incoming data through denial. Examine other points of view as if they were your own. Take responsibility for making conscious choices.

Work on psychological blocks like shame and guilt—they falsely color your reality. Free yourself emotionally—to be emotionally resilient is the best defense against growing rigid. Harbor no secrets—they create dark places in the psyche. Be willing to redefine yourself every day. Don’t regret the past or fear the future. Both bring misery through self-doubt.

Awareness isn’t passive. It directly leads to action (or inaction). As you take steps to expand your awareness, you will naturally find yourself harnessing your mind’s infinite power to create greater health, happiness, and love in your life.

Deepak Chopra, M.D. is a best-selling author and the co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. The Chopra Center offers a variety of signature programs and events, including the Seduction of Spirit meditation and yoga retreat, the Perfect Health program, and the Journey into Healing workshop. Coming this August 22–25, 2013, the special theme of Journey into Healing will be Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. To learn more, please visit or call 888.736.6895. 14 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


generations. Motherly love – putting the care of children before every other consideration – is the ultimate intelligence of nature. Yes, women are homemakers, and the entire earth is our home. Yes, we are here to take care of the children, and every child in the world is one of our own. Making money more important than your own children is a pathological way for an individual to run their affairs, and it’s a pathological way for a society to run its affairs.

No true search for enlightenment ignores the suffering of other sentient beings. Ever. But people often say to me, “I don’t want to get involved with politics because it makes me upset. What am I supposed to do with the anger, the rage, the cynicism?” Well, I know what we shouldn’t do. We shouldn’t use our own upset as an excuse for not helping. We shouldn’t come up with a pseudo-spiritual excuse for turning away from the pain of the world. There is nothing spiritual about complacency.


SISTER GIANT Marianne Williamson

These are very serious times, and serious people need to be doing some serious thinking. The last thing we should do is allow ourselves to be infantilized by a counterfeit version of enlightenment. No true search for enlightenment ignores the suffering of other sentient beings. Ever. We simply need to create a way to address that suffering while remaining in a blissful center.

eople on a spiritual path (personal growth, spiritual practice, recovery, yoga, and so forth) are the last people who should be sitting out the social and political issues of our day. And there’s an important reason for this: people on such journeys are adepts at change. They know that the mechanics of the heart and mind are the fundamental drivers of transformation. This doesn’t just apply to one person, but to the masses as well; if you know what makes one life change, then you know what makes a nation change because a nation is simply a large group of people.

Albert Einstein said we would not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. We need more than a new politics; what we need is a new worldview. We need a fundamentally different bottom line. We need to shift from an economic to a humanitarian organizing principle for human civilization. And women, en masse, should be saying so.

People involved in the inner journey discover the value of the feminine, the spiritually receptive and inclusive aspect of human consciousness. Everyone, archetypally, is a parent to future

The U.S. incarcerates more of its people than any nation in the world, or any nation



in history. Our military budget is almost twice that of all other nations of the world combined. At 23.1 percent, our child poverty rate is so high that it is second only to Romania among the 35 developed nations of the world. 17,000 children on earth die of starvation every single day. We are the only species systematically destroying its own habitat. There’s a lot more to those statistics than a simple “To Do” list can fix. Those facts will only change when we bring to our problem-solving a far more committed heart. Currently, the U.S. Congress is comprised of 16.8 percent women. Our state legislators are comprised of 23.6 percent women. Would our legislative priorities be what they are today —tending always in the direction of serving those with economic leverage first – were those legislative bodies anywhere near gender equal? I like to think not. Yet, there are understandable reasons for the lack of female participation in our electoral politics, not the least of which is that the entire political system is contrary

. . . what we engage, we transform. And what we engage with our hearts is transformed forever. to everything a feminine heart stands for. It lacks inclusion. It lacks poetry. It doesn’t nurture. It doesn’t love. And without those things, the feminine psyche disconnects. Where does that leave us, though, if we simply shudder at the thought of politics and then ignore it altogether? Talk about being co-opted by a patriarchal system! We will have gone from men telling us condescendingly to not bother our pretty little heads about important things like politics, to not bothering our pretty little heads without

even being told not to! The suffragettes struggled and suffered so much on our behalf; what a travesty of everything they stood for, if we simply look away as though we can’t be bothered. And yet we should be bothered. Our challenge is to not look away, but rather to transform the field; to create a new political conversation, our own conversation, out of which we can speak our truth in our own way. As we awaken individually, we will act more powerfully collectively. In the absence of our engaging the political system, we allow it to become something other than what we are. That, in fact, is what has happened, but it’s also what we can change. For what we engage, we transform. And what we engage with our hearts is transformed forever. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the desegregation of the American South was the political externalization of the goal of the Civil Rights movement but that the ultimate goal was the establishment of the beloved community. He said it was time to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of human civilization. He wasn’t called a New Age nutcase or considered an intellectual lightweight for saying such things, and neither should we be. I don’t think making love the new bottom line is naïve; I believe that thinking we can survive the next hundred years doing anything less, is naïve. I think those of us on a spiritual journey can help create a new conversation, a new America, and a new world. Marianne Williamson is hosting an event called SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics, November 10-11, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, visit ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 17

bite becomes a part of your biochemistry. Somewhere along the way, that green juice or that cheeseburger becomes a part of your body and your organs. Make sure you eat whole foods that are good for your entire body. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your food or make room for plenty of indulgences. But your conscious goal has to be to eat for long term health and what you do most of the time is what really counts.

Daphne Oz Interview: Rachel P. Goldstein

I learned that

RG: Coming from a lineage of health advocates, what kind of food was served in the Oz household when you were growing up?

pretending you R ach el G o ldsti en : What inspires you?

Daphne Oz: I am inspired by working moms. Mothers who somehow balance the demands of their many lives—professional, familial, personal, and interior—and still manage to make time to have fun and invest in themselves! This is a huge challenge that I look forward to taking on.

don’t have feelings

RG: Why do you do what you do?

ultimately, is what

DO: I do what I do because my favorite thing is to learn. I love to look at my life and look at what I can do better, how I can contribute more and where I can push myself. Fun for me is to take what I learn and teach others in a way that is accessible and applicable in their own lives. We all have so much access to the information on the Internet and in books, but we don’t necessarily get that information in a usable way so that we can turn information into action. I want to be a vehicle to help people connect the dots that let them make their lives healthier, happier, more beautiful, and more fun. RG: What makes you happy?

DO: My mom loves the saying, “Happiness is an attitude.” I was at my grandma’s house this morning and was looking at her cupboard where she likes to put inspirational quotes every morning. Today’s quote was: “I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”—Martha Washington. I have been very, very lucky because I have my health, a wonderful husband, family, and friends, and I get to do what I love. More than anything, having adventures with my siblings and spending time with my

DO: I think that people really believe that my dad eats for fuel, not fun. The fact is that a lot of the time, he doesn’t have time to forage for great meals, so he grabs yogurt, fruit, and nuts, things he can healthfully eat on the go. But he LOVES great food. My mom is a great cook, and family dinners were a must growing up, even if that meant eating at 10 p.m. when my dad got home from the hospital. It’s where we did our family bonding. And anyone who knows our family knows this: we eat ALL the time!

makes you feel unhappy and unfulfilled and, really makes you vulnerable

RG: What does a “wholesome family” mean to you?

because you are hiding from the truth. family and my husband make me happy. But ultimately, it’s how you approach things in life that puts a smile on your face. RG: What makes you vulnerable?

DO: I think I used to feel emotional transparency—wearing my emotions on my sleeve—would make me vulnerable. I was much more uncomfortable being in tune with myself and sharing that with other people. I was more comfortable being hard and tough. Since I’ve been married, being in a relationship with my husband, he is so perceptive of my emotions. He forces me to be more open instead of hide. I learned that pretending you don’t have feelings makes you feel unhappy and unfulfilled and, ultimately, is what really makes you vulnerable because you are hiding from the truth. My mom always says, “Have standards, not

expectations.” Standards are what you hold for yourself, too. If I don’t hold those standards with friends, colleagues, and lovers, I can’t hold them to their relationships. If you have expectations, you try to put your standards on someone else’s behavior. The fact is you can’t control anyone but yourself, so creating standards, as opposed to expectations, keeps the ball in your court. I am proactive and looking to change my own behavior rather than others’—which is generally much more successful! RG: What is it about food that makes you want to educate others?

DO: Food is medicine! We have forgotten that! The fact is that every bite you take goes through a course of digestion. Every

DO: A wholesome family is one where there is a lot of love. It’s living by example. It’s acceptance of people at their core, but it’s also pushing each other to be our best selves and try things we might not be good at. Growing up in my family, it wasn’t important that we always be the best; it was important that we were going to try to be our best and give it our all. You can tell your kids they are perfect and don’t need to change—which could cause insecurity when they recognize their own shortcomings—or tell them they are terrible, which would undermine their sense of self-worth and confidence. There’s a happy middle ground. Tell your kids they are perfect the way they are, but they shouldn’t stay where they are forever because growing, testing the limits, and evolving make life better and more fulfilling. RG: How would you guide the youth of today in hopes of providing a platform for a healthy future for themselves?

The most imminent battle our generation is going to have to fight is food transparency: how food is made/grown, where it comes from, the quality of the source, and how it will affect our health long term. DO: Education… but not in a traditional sense. The most imminent battle our generation is going to have to fight is food transparency: how food is made/grown, where it comes from, the quality of the source, and how it will effect our health long term. We need to demand that our food is labeled, especially genetically modified foods, and learn how it is produced, processed, and grown. We can try to reform healthcare, but the fact is if we don’t have a healthy food source, we are only treating the symptoms and not the problems. It is expensive to keep letting this issue go unnoticed, and countless lives are ruined because we’ve made health expensive in this country. But if we make wholesome, healthy food accessible and affordable for everyone, we make the choice to be healthy an easy one. RG: What made you write The Dorm Room Diet? What prompted you to write the second book in that series, and what’s next?

DO: The only reason I write at all is because I am going through, and growing through, something in my life I want to share with others through my personal experiences. was an experience I was going through while I was at college at Princeton University. I wanted to lose 30 pounds healthfully and still be able to enjoy my college experience. Having succeeded in doing just that, I wanted to share my experiences with others who could benefit from my direct knowledge of the difficulty of trying to balance college life with being healthy. It became a journey about healthy lifestyle choices, including tips

and tricks for creating a new relationship with food where I was in control and could learn to love food healthfully again. When I was young and growing up overweight, I believed the “eaten” was more powerful than the “eater,” meaning the food was more powerful than I was. I got rid of all the fad diets. I took responsibility to give myself the power of healthy food choices. So, I wrote . Now, I am working on my third book, which will come out in March 2013. It focuses on food, style, love, and enjoying every minute of your life! It’s all about creating a life that isn’t a placeholder and living to maximize one’s potential. If you live your life all out today, not only is it fun, but you are preventing a midlife crisis. I have so many girlfriends in their twenties who live in a white box apartment, having mediocre meals with mediocre friends, waiting for the life they want to hit them in their forties or fifties. They are settling in the now – what’s the point? This moment is precious and full of great potential: all we have to do is figure out the little changes that will make a huge impact on how wonderful life can be in this moment. The new book will explain how little changes that you make in your life now will make your life better. Your life shouldn’t be anything short of spectacular. RG: What do you do to stay balanced in mind, body, and spirit? 18 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Your life shouldn’t be anything short of spectacular.

eco-conscious clothing hand-made in the USA

photo by Andy Richter

DO: Walk. Walk. Walk. I walk home from work, all my errands. If I don’t get to go to the gym, walking is the answer. I get to listen to great music, and most importantly, I get to move my limbs, shift the lymph around, clear my head. If I take a car to and from work, I will just sit down at my computer and keep plugging away without any fresh inspiration. Keeping stationary drains your brain, but moving around shows you new things, new inspiration, and keeps the blood moving. RG: What advice would you give your future children to help them stay balanced?

DO: Keep on moving: any motion is forward motion. You can always course-correct. As my dad always says, “You can’t catch the ball if you are not in the field.” Don’t get stuck and don’t worry.

What makes you smile most?

DO: I am doing what I am supposed to be doing right now. I smile knowing that I have the most wonderful husband, family, and friends. I work with friends whom I can learn from and whom I respect and who respect me. I get to help people create lives that make them happier and healthier than they were yesterday. I knock on wood that my family is healthy and happy and love each other. RG: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

DO: Cake batter and bagels.

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RG: When you go to sleep at night, do you feel accomplished that you are making a difference in the world? 20 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 21 LOG_Sante_OriginMag_HalfPage_V_R03.indd 1

9/19/12 10:59 AM

Birthing Our Next Stage of Evolution BARBARA MARX HUBBARD

We are being presented with the greatest challenge that humanity has ever consciously faced together: the effort to co-create a planetary shift in time by helping humanity evolve toward a more sustainable, compassionate, and creative global system, or else face the real possibility of devolution and destruction of our life support system and of much of life on Earth—even within our own or our children’s lifetime. Our current condition of overgrowth in our finite Earth system is simply not sustainable. This dangerous reality is motivating us to enter into what I call the “first age of conscious evolution”—that is, evolution by choice and not by chance. What is being required of us is to learn to co-evolve with nature and co-create with Spirit. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the great scientist and philosopher, once wrote that the “noosphere”—the mind sphere or the thinking layer of Earth that contains all of humanity’s evolving global intelligence—is about “to get its collective eyes.” We now have the potential to move toward an unprecedented planetary enlightenment. Empathy is rising, spirituality is growing, and healing is happening at all levels. What I call the “Wheel of Co-creation” is forming in every field and function. Innovations in health, education, energy, business, and environmental science are accelerating and beginning to connect—and a whole-system breakthrough is emerging out of the wholesystem breakdown. I believe we now need one great We are all being called to co-create positive conscious effort to connect the innovations now—to find new ways of being, positive to make the shift in time, and in that way, midwife our own behaving and living on Earth as a new humanity birth toward the next stage of our evolution. The time is now, for we may be one fraction of an evolutionary second from either connecting what is creative and loving and innovative or collapsing into devolution and extinction. Now, for the first time in our conscious history, we are being given the opportunity to guide and ease our transition to the next stage of evolution. We are the first Earth species to consciously face evolution or extinction. This condition is new for humanity, but it is not novel for the universe. Evolution operates by “punctuated equilibrium,” long periods of slow change punctuated by apparent sudden jumps. For billions of years, nature has evolved through creative leaps, progressing from energy into matter, to planets, to primitive life, to animal life, to human life. When we look back to our 13.7 billion year history, we can see nature’s lessons as recurrent patterns. The many evolutionary crises we now face are a great wake-up call for the maturation of humanity, for a creative leap to a new kind of human species. Yet, when a system reaches a “chaos point,” it tries to right itself by going backward to the old; this is why we see reactive movements everywhere now. An evolving system must seek out new structures and systems toward a new configuration—or face rapid decline. According to system theorists, small positive fluctuations in a sea of social chaos can jump the system to a higher order. We are all being called to co-create positive innovations now—to find new ways of being, behaving and living on Earth as a new humanity—in order to attract an evolutionary leap out of the gathering chaos to a new operating system. The new good news is that we are now able, if we choose, to intentionally co-create humanity’s great shift to the age of conscious evolution. We must use the difficult challenge of this time in our evolutionary history as a stepping stone—or what I call an “evolutionary driver”—as we launch a global effort to consciously birth a new humanity and a new Earth. Barbara Marx Hubbard is a prolific author, visionary, social innovator, evolutionary thinker, and educator. She is co-founder and chairperson of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. In 1984 she was nominated for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket with a platform for a “positive future.” She has recently partnered with The Shift Network as a global ambassador for the conscious evolution movement and is co-producing a global multimedia event entitled, Birth 2012: Cocreating a Planetary Shift in Time on Dec. 22, 2012, a historic, turningpoint event awakening the social, spiritual, scientific, and technological potential of humanity. 22 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Help Me change THE WORLD You cannot change the world if you don’t change your own world first. don Miguel Ruiz


invite you to participate in a new dream for humanity, one in which all of us live in harmony, truth, and love. In this dream, people of all religions and philosophies are not just welcome, but respected. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in Christ, Moses, Allah, Brahma, Buddha, or any other being or master. Each one of us has our own beliefs, our own point of view. There are billions of different points of view, but it’s the same force of life behind each one of us. If you feel the truth in these words, then I invite you to open your heart and help me to change the world. Of course, the first question is: How are you going to change the world? The answer is easy. By changing the world that exists in your head. You cannot change the world if you don’t change your own world first. The change begins with you, and the easiest way to change your world is to practice these Five Agreements:

These are the tools to change your world, and they are nothing but pure common sense. If you practice these agreements, if you make them your way of life, there won’t be any more war in your head. There won’t be any more war with your loved ones. There will be peace. You deliver a message every time you speak. Do you deliver the truth, or do you deliver lies? When the message you deliver comes from truth and love, you are happier. And just by being happier, everyone benefits because your happiness is contagious. When you are happy, the people around you are happy, too, and it inspires them to change their own world. Let’s enjoy this world. Let’s enjoy one another. We are meant to love one another, not to hate one another. Let’s stop believing that our differences make us superior or inferior to one another. Let’s not be afraid that our different colors make

us different people. Who cares? It’s just a lie, and we don’t have to believe all the lies and superstitions that control our lives. We can return to the truth and be messengers of truth. It’s incredible what we can do if we really want to do it. All we need is to be aware of what we are doing and to return to the authenticity we were born with. Help me to change the world is an invitation to be authentic, to follow your heart, to be free of superstitions and lies. And I’m not asking you to try to change the world. Don’t try: just do it. By adopting The Five Agreements, you will create peace in your head, in your own world, and thereby help to create peace in the entire world.

Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. Be skeptical, but learn to listen.

Don Miguel Ruiz is the international bestselling author of The Four Agreements (a New York Times bestseller for over seven years). The sequel to this book, The Fifth Agreement, (written by don Miguel Ruiz and his son, don Jose Ruiz, with Janet Mills) has garnered worldwide interest and has been translated into twenty-five languages. Don Miguel Ruiz and don Jose Ruiz both lecture and lead classes across the United States and at sacred sites around the world. For more information about current programs offered by don Miguel Ruiz and don Jose Ruiz, please visit: 

© Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D., Jose Luis Ruiz, and Janet Mills Reprinted by Permission of Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 23

Chocolate Cranberry

Energy Bars Brendan Brazier

Debbie Ford

Is Your Scaredy Cat Running Your Life? From as far back as I can remember, everyone used to call me Scaredy Cat. I was known as little, scrawny Debbie Ford who hid beneath her mother’s dress, ran from anyone who wanted to say hello, and could never fall asleep without the lights on. Always in fear that somebody was going to leap out of the shadows and hurt me, I learned to hide in corners and sneak peeks at what was going on around me. As I got older, I learned that scaredy cats weren’t widely accepted. My guarded and anxious persona wasn’t very appealing out in the world. I wanted to be strong and confident, but instead I was suspicious and fearful. Everything about who I was embarrassed me. Controlled by my fear and my deeply ingrained insecurities, I made a dramatic decision to turn into the girl that I thought others wanted me to be, not the girl that I was. I began to cover up my authentic, kind nature with a new “I don’t give a crap” attitude. And my warm and loving heart quickly grew cold, turning away from feelings of playfulness, affection, and compassion and toward cynicism and belligerence. The pain, humiliation, and fear drove me to become someone other than who I was. I created an outer shell that would protect me yet separated me from my inner truth. It is my privilege to share the lessons I’ve learned on the journey back to my inner truth and my highest self with tens of thousands of extraordinary people who read my books, 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

watch my movie, or attend one of my workshops and trainings. There is nothing more important than learning to love, trust, and embrace all of who you are.

There is nothing more important than learning to love, trust, and embrace all of who you are. Even I have been surprised that the process I outlined in my new book has changed people’s lives so radically, powerfully, and quickly. After reading Courage, a fifty-oneyear-old psychologist whose inability to get

a job forced her to move back in with her parents, got the best job of her entire life when she stepped into her light and found her greatness. She shared with me, “This whole process has made me proud for the first time in a really long time.” A twenty-six-year-old designer, who was stuck in an unfulfilling job that he’d wanted to leave for three years but was too scared to do so, started his own design firm and was inspired to end a two-year relationship because he realized he didn’t need to settle anymore. If you struggle in reaching your goals, getting the love you want, asking for what you need, or being audacious, bold, and powerful, I want to suggest that fear is standing in your way. It wears many disguises, but when you recognize it for what it is, it can act as the fuel that will propel you into a world of courage and confidence. It can urge you forward in the areas of your life where you are unfulfilled or emotionally challenged. Transformation awaits, so choose Courage today. Debbie Ford is a New York Times best-selling author of nine books and an internationally acclaimed teacher, speaker, transformational coach, filmmaker, and expert in the field of personal transformation. Debbie is a pioneering force in incorporating the study and integration of the human shadow into modern psychological and spiritual practices. Her newest book is Courage: Overcoming Fear & Igniting Self-Confidence.


s you are probably aware, many commercial sport nutrition products are not always the healthiest option. Commonly packed with artificial flavors, refined carbohydrates, denatured proteins, and sometimes even harmful fats, these products that did not prioritize overall health were not something I wanted to consume. Some commercial options are not as bad as they once were; however, I like to know exactly what goes into my food and keep my choices completely natural. I opt to make my own. Whole food energy bars, sport drinks, energy gels, energy pudding, post-workout recovery drink, whole food meal-replacement smoothie, and even performance pancakes are all part of my specific sport nutrition program, and the recipes are available in my book.

Immediately Before Exercise The body’s first choice for fuel during intense exercise is simple carbohydrates. However, once the body has burned all the simple carbohydrates available, it will then opt for available complex carbohydrates. It is in the best interest of the athlete to ensure the body is provided with enough simple carbohydrates to fuel activity so that complex carbohydrates are not relied upon. If the body has to resort to burning complex carbohydrates

while exercising at a high intensity, it will have to use extra energy in order to convert the complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates. Additionally, if too much protein is eaten before intense exercise, it will likely cause muscle cramping due to the fact that it requires more fluid to be metabolized than does carbohydrate or fat. Also, protein is not what you want to have your body burning for fuel. Protein is for building muscle, not fueling it. When protein is consumed in place of carbohydrate immediately before exercise, and therefore burned as fuel, it burns “dirty,” meaning that toxins are created as a result of its combustion. The production and elimination of toxins is, of course, a stress on the body and as such causes a stress response. Ultimately, endurance will decline.

Pre-Workout Snack Here’s a recipe for clean-burning, nutrientdense, whole-food energy bars that are easy to digest and will help get you fueled up before your next workout.

Chocolate Cranberry Energy Bars Ingredients: 1 cup fresh or soaked dates 1/4 cup almonds 1/4 cup fresh or thawed cranberries 1/4 cup cacao powder 1/4 cup ground flax seed* 1/4 cup hemp protein powder* 1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp lemon zest Sea salt to taste 1/2 cup sprouted or cooked buckwheat (optional) 1/2 cup frozen cranberries Preparation: In a food processor, process all ingredients except the buckwheat and frozen cranberries. Knead buckwheat and berries into mixture by hand.

Homemade, Plant-Based Workout Fuel

To shape as bars, flatten the mixture on a clean surface with your hands. Place plastic wrap over top; with a rolling pin, roll mixture to desired bar thickness. Cut into bars. Alternatively, form mixture into a brick and cut as though slicing bread. Makes approximately twelve 50-gram bars. For storage, bars may be individually wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.

*For even greater nutrient value, ground flax and hemp protein can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio with Vega Energizing Smoothie or, better yet, Vega One. Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete, two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, formulator of an awardwinning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA, and the bestselling author of Thrive. He developed the acclaimed ZoN Thrive Fitness program and created Thrive Foods Direct, a national plant-based meal delivery service. Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health is his latest book. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 25

Love, Eat, Heal Kris Carr Every time I see a cardinal, I know my grandmother is with me. This regal, red bird was

Grandma’s favorite. It reminds me of her fiery Colombian spirit and the blue flames that blazed in her restaurant’s kitchen. Grandma infused her food with love, captivating stories, and copious amounts of butter. And everyone who slipped into a booth at The Village Gourmet in Pawling, New York felt that love from their taste buds to their toes. My grandma died nearly a decade ago, but I swear she’s been sending me flocks of cardinals in her absence. I think she knew I’d be needing these precious symbols of her love. Two weeks before she died, I received my own walloping wake-up call: incurable cancer. I needed a lifeline. I needed my Grandma. So, I went into the kitchen, and I’ve never left.

The fact is, we need help and we need each other. Although

Grandma’s passion had led me to the power of food, not all of her recipes were healthy. I kept her gusto and the love that she put into her cuisine but ditched the ingredients that bought her a one-way ticket to arthritis, diverticulitis, and a host of other inflammatory conditions. I also ditched my own addictions and compulsions around food.

At one of my lowest points, sugar had a painful grip on me.

I’d buy and binge and then beat myself up over my behavior. Sometimes the only way out of my food-drug trance was to mutilate my stash before burying it in the trash. This step was very important. If I didn’t jam cigarette stubs into the pints of Ben & Jerry’s or spray them with cleaning products, there was a 50/50 chance I’d rummage through the rubbish to rescue my heroine. PHOTOS: BILL MILES 26 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Love is healing. Love is comforting. Love is holy. Food can be all those things, too. One thousand donuts could not fill the suffering growing inside me. Which makes a lot of sense—since when are donuts miracle workers? Miracles require an overall tectonic shift toward love and life’s sweetness, which couldn’t be further from processed sugar’s deceptive and fleeting high.

My new kitchen was (and still is) a peaceful haven, fully stocked with nutrient-dense, plant-empowered, whole foods. It’s my direct connection to spirit and, of course, my juicer! Slowly, as my time in the kitchen deepened, I started to feel better. While I may never be in remission from cancer, I am currently in remission from an unhealthy relationship to food. For nearly a decade now, I’ve been teaching others (like glorious you) how to thrive by filling their bodies with energizing vitamins, nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t write me to say, “Thanks, I feel better now, too.” Those letters from my readers are my digital cardinals. The fact is, we need help and we need

each other. We’re a nation riddled with preventable, lifestyle-driven diseases. We consume far too many animal products, processed and refined foods, saturated fats, and empty calories. Industries that profit from both our ignorance and our misfortune spoon-feed us confusion and deception. We’re taught to solely blame our luck-of-the-draw genes for our health issues, rather than our daily habits, dietary choices, and interplay with the environment that surrounds us. The real truth lies somewhere in the middle, and the good news is that we are more capable of turning around our global health crisis than we think.

Change your plate. Change your fate. If you learn anything from my story, let it be this: Don’t wait. But I get it: change is a pesky notion. For many folks, the biggest challenge in changing their eating habits isn’t money, time, or education; it’s reframing their connection between food and love. Love is healing. Love is comforting. Love is holy. Food can be all those things, too. But as I mentioned, food can also be harmful. The goal isn’t to be restrictive or tight about what passes through the altar (your mouth)

and into the temple (your body). It’s to create sustainable and consistent energy for every deserving cell in your body. That, my friends, is true love. I dedicated my most recent book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Revolution, to Grandma. It’s my way

of saying “thank you” to her for introducing me to the kitchen, the place that has become my pharmacy and transformed my life. I’m just sorry that I didn’t have the chance to share my decade-long health odyssey with her. I know that the knowledge in Crazy Sexy Kitchen would have improved her quality of life. I also know she would have gotten a

real kick out of my friend Chef Chad Sarno, who helped me create the glorious recipes. If Grandma could sit at my dinner table today, perhaps she would have realized that you don’t have to compromise pleasurable cuisine for nourishment and good health; they actually go hand in hand. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 27

The pushback is that they think that we have an agenda, that we’re a bunch of liberal progressives that are trying to sway people who are not of the same political interest to vote in our direction.

Seane Corn interview Part I: Maranda pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: Hey there!

Seane Corn: Hey, Maranda. How are you doing? MP: I’d be doing better if I could get a shower in today.

SC: I know those days! MP: It’s an election year, and you attended the RNC and the DNC this year. Tell me about your new organization, Yoga Votes.

aren’t to try to get people to vote for one candidate over another, but it’s to simply recognize that there are 20 million people in the yoga community. This is a group that, statistically, is educated, pays taxes, has a history of voting, and also believes in things like sustainability and unity. We’d like to get the people who aren’t voting or who are apathetic to the system to exercise their right and to understand the importance of civic engagements.

SC: Yoga Votes bridges the gap between yoga and politics. Not necessarily to bring politics into yoga, but to bring yoga into the political conversation and arena. To recognize that anything that impacts us as a national citizen or as a global family is yoga. Anything that impacts our rights, our health, our wellness, and our opportunities for education or for freedom is something that we as citizens must take responsibility for and engage with.

YogaVotes is just this year initiating a conversation to find out what people think. Is there a place for yoga in politics? Do yogis seemingly vote in one direction more than the other? What does it mean to be a Democrat and a yogi, a Republican and a yogi, or a Tea Partier and a yogi? We want to really understand it. When we’re seeing there’s conflict, how can we move into a conversation more mindfully, listen more than we speak, and allow space for healthy discussion? We see so much masking in the political arena. So much disconnect.

What we’d like to do with Yoga Votes is increase voter traffic at this year’s election and encourage people to vote their values. This is a nonpartisan effort, so our interests

Who knows? Maybe our politicians will now look at us as a better block. Maybe they’ll begin to look at us as a constituency. Maybe if yogis are consistently voting on a local level,


that could perhaps influence policy. If, for example, we start to elect leaders who are interested in local farming, urban farming, or more organic food options, maybe the big businesses will start to see that there’s this trend that people are voting in this direction. People are electing leaders. And maybe our national leaders will start to recognize that they need to support policies that support our interests. These are the kinds of things that we’re interested in. YogaVotes—it begins the conversation, and all we’re simply doing is asking people to pledge to vote and to encourage our regional leaders to reach out to their community to encourage people to vote. How this rolls out over the next four years, I don’t yet know. It really depends upon the feedback that we get and the statistics that we can start to gather over this election and the next couple of years. Who are we in this community, what are our values, and who are our leaders? Are they connected to the values? Are our values passion, unity, sustainability, integration? Do we believe that there should be health care for all people? Do we believe as a mass that we should be interested in the environment? I don’t know what the answers to those questions are, but I’d like to see. Are we

picking the candidates individually that are in alignment with those values? You know you can’t be one hundred percent, but how close do our candidates get to putting love over fear or compassion over anger? That’s what YogaVotes is supposed to be about, and that’s what I’m hoping people will get about this. The pushback is that they think that we have an agenda, that we’re a bunch of liberal progressives that are trying to sway people who are not of the same political interest to vote in our direction. That’s just not the case at all. We want to recognize that there’s a certain value that exists within the yoga community, and there should be space for dialogue about all aspects of life. Whether it’s political, environmental, educational, we should be able to talk about this. If it impacts more individuals, it impacts the whole of the world. Ultimately, that is what yoga is about. It is about this level of dependency, so we must engage. MP: Wow. This is so good. I’m exhausted, and you still get me fired up.

SC: [laughs] Thanks for that, Maranda. I appreciate it.

MP: You’re one of the cofounders of Off the Mat, Into the World, the most recognizable yoga humanitarian group in the world. What’s happening with OTM now?

SC: We’re focusing on sex trafficking in India, in Calcutta. I don’t know how much we’re going to raise, but we’re thinking anywhere between $750,000 to $1.2 million, to be divided among five organizations that are committed to eradicating sex trafficking in India. It’s something that people should really be aware of. MP: Yes, I really care about these types of women’s issues around the world. When you talk about the importance of trusting our intuition, you’ve moved me more than anyone else. Can you talk about how important your intuition is to you?

SC: Intuition is not something that is a gift. This is how I’ve always felt. I believe everyone is intuitive. It’s just a natural state of being. What blocks our ability to embrace or to trust our intuitive flow is our lack of self-esteem. Every single day, I have to work on my self-confidence. When I say self-

confidence, I don’t mean it like, “Oh, I’m pretty today.” That comes from an ego place. It’s my relationship with God. It’s that Self with a capital S. It’s knowing who I am, being in a relationship with that essence, and not having to be fed from the outside in. The way that I look, the money that I make, the relationship that I’m in, none of that defines who I am or actually gives me any value. It adds to my experience, but as we know, everything flows and ebbs and changes. We can’t get attached to these things. Otherwise, we’re going to be constantly trying to fill a void. Too often, events happen in our lives, like deception, betrayal, breakups and relationships, abuse, trauma, that mess with our ego and our sense of self. And when we have that diminished sense of self, how can we trust our intuitive knowing? Sometimes our intuition is going to ask us to go into some really uncomfortable places. It’s going to ask us to confront our fears and our beliefs. But we can’t trust that there’s a bigger picture; we get too caught in our powerlessness. For me, if I want to be able to connect with my intuition and take the risk of following where it asks me to go, I have to work on my self-esteem and call my power back from all the places that I left it because of my own fear or shame or guilt or grief. | | ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 29

A Conversation with

Rodney Yee + Colleen Saidman Yee


achel P. Goldstein: What inspires you?

Rodney Yee: Colleen, our children, and yoga inspire me. The practice of yoga has been an amazing tool to actually unearth where my inspiration lives inside my body and mind and heart. Well-crafted things inspire me, whether it’s pottery or art or music. Philosophy is unbelievably inspiring to me. Colleen Saidman Yee: Music, poetry, and children. I love lyrics. They help me to figure things out. Also, it feels like [the writer has] been through this before [and] understands the pain and the joy. It’s like a connection to the artist. And poetry is the same thing.

interview: Rachel P. Goldstein

Amazing yoga teachers inspire me. My husband inspires me. Richard Freeman, Richard Rosen. Anyone that’s really devoted to what they’re doing. Anyone who can be really present with something. We watch our son do artwork, or we watch Donna Karan when she’s in the zone. It’s really inspiring when there’s no right, left, forward, back. Just attention to the task at hand is inspiring to watch. Bob Dylan and Mother Teresa are two of my idols that I pull inspiration from.

RPG: Why do you do what you do? CSY: I do what I do because there’s nothing else I can do. Teaching yoga is the only thing I can do. I can’t imagine not doing it. I love it because I believe in it. RY: The philosophy of yoga, the study of philosophy. It is the study of the human body. It is the study of the human mind. It is the surge for the human soul. It feels like the study of humanity in the most holistic way, really. It makes me passionate. The study of yoga makes me inspired. And then the teaching of yoga makes it that much more real. The sense that this practice and this tool helps other people be centered, be present, and helps them really [be] embodied and [have] a life.

RPG: What makes you vulnerable? CSY: Life! I feel vulnerable every single time I step into a classroom. I feel completely exposed. How can I present, honestly, without

covering up that feeling of vulnerability? Rodney said something to me years ago that just has stuck with me. I’m not really a crier, and I don’t really cry in class, and I’m not a public-sharing kind of person. But when

of these things a reality. So as visionaries with Donna as the lead visionary here, we are left trying to make the roadmap on the earth of how to make those things actually happen.

There’s so much fear that’s running our lives that we forget what it is to be human when it really counts. I took one of his classes once, I did cry in savasana. Afterwards, people were asking him, “What do you do when somebody’s crying?” Nobody really knew who it was that was crying. He said, “You just know that they’re the strongest ones in the room and let them be and wonder why we’re not all crying.” Vulnerability is a wonderful tool for awakening and for learning and for growing and for connecting. RY: Rod Stewart says, “The first cut is the deepest.” I feel like in my life, Colleen was definitely my first cut, in the sense of really valuing and wanting something so much that it actually makes you vulnerable. It’s deep passion for my wife that really makes me vulnerable to her.

RPG: What’s it been like to work with Donna Karan in developing the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program? CSY: Donna is inspiring. She has the biggest heart, and she truly wants to help people. She does not have a personal agenda necessarily. She doesn’t need the recognition. She has sacrificed every cell of her body to move this forward, to get this done. So, to see that kind of passion, fearlessness, [devotion], and willingness to sacrifice to get her mission accomplished has been amazing. RY: One must realize that someone like Donna became who she is because she was willing to take the risk. She does the same now with philanthropic work, and that’s how Colleen and I are involved with her. Her dedication to her late husband is making a lot

RPG: What do you believe is important about integrative health care today? CSY: The system is broken. The doctors and the nurses can’t do everything. The patients need human attention; the patients themselves need to be addressed, rather than just their disease. My mother just passed away earlier this year. I was already completely devoted to the UZIT project. But seeing what was needed in the hospital firsthand—someone needs to come in and just be with patients, without trying to take their blood or change the bedpan, and to give them human-to-human touch. RY: We heard someone the other day say that the U.S. seems so scared. There’s so much fear that’s running our lives that we forget what it is to be human when it really counts. When someone’s really sick and their family is tired and concerned about what will take place, those are the times that they need a support group around them to take care of them as a human being. CSY: We also care for the nurses, doctors, and the staff. We’re teaching them all the self-care aspects, and in some hospitals like UCLA, we’re teaching them the whole UZIT training. That was part of Donna’s dream, to take care of the nurses, which is what her late husband told her. We’re following through on that. RY: The modalities that we’re using basically help people take care of different symptoms, and those symptoms are: pain, anxiety, nausea, 30 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


with my grandchildren and my family. Sitting in the sun. Simple things.

Yoga is . . . a state where there is nothing missing.

insomnia, and constipation. But what we’re really doing with the modalities is helping people be present, no matter what their situation is. Just really getting people, with these techniques, to create a sense of presence of mind, presence of being.

RPG: What do you guys do locally to make a global impact? RY: Well, first and foremost is Colleen’s studio, Yoga Shanti. We believe in how this art form can really affect individual’s lives, and on a daily basis, we teach yoga. We teach people how to teach yoga, and we really are fully invested in it. We aim to be a good family, to be a good mom and dad to people who are going to be future citizens of this world. CSY: We have the whole Urban Zen program at the Southampton Hospital, the local hospital out in the Hamptons where we live. We have UZIT classes at Yoga Shanti. We also have free classes at Yoga Shanti for those with cancer. [The proceeds from our weekly community classes] are given to The Retreat, which is a center for domestic abuse. We have our kids all doing different community services. We try to live by example.

RPG: Define yoga .

RY: I feel like my friend Richard Rosen described it well as “the union method.” It’s the method to bring or uncover the union that exists. That all things are relative and are in relationship and that nothing is singular or by itself. Yoga is the methodology with which to unveil the miracle that exists right in front of our faces and inside ourselves. CSY: Yoga is more a state than a

RPG: What makes you vulnerable?

DK: Not feeling that I’m getting my job done. RPG: How did you meet Rodney and Colleen?

DK: I met Rodney as a yoga teacher through a dear friend of mine, Christina. It was sort of a love-at-first-sight kind of thing. I’ve practiced yoga since I was eighteen and had many yoga teachers, but there was no one like Rodney. Rodney really put the Ashtanga and the Iyengar together as one. I met Colleen as a private yoga teacher, and together they became one. Watching them grow has really been an extraordinary experience. And [their yoga studio] Yoga Shanti is sort of my home-away-from-home in the Hamptons.

methodology. A state where there is nothing missing. You don’t feel like you have to grab this or grab that in order to be complete or full. From wringing out the body and the mind, from sitting in meditation, from studying scripture, from selfless service.


RPG: Do you think yoga has played a role in your level of commitment and love with one another? RY: It’s basically a third partner who’s always mitigating and being a facilitator for a deepening of our relationship. On the most simple level, it’s a common endeavor that we’re both passionate about, so there’s already such a deep level of understanding and a deep level of feeling like, Wow, okay, this is what we value. So, on the most simple levels, it’s a huge connector for us. CSY: You know how they say that twins speak the same language? I think that Rodney and I, being in the classroom together so much, we’re speaking our own language. We understand each other’s language because of the yoga practice and all the time that we’ve spent together, digging around the practice and in the body, in meditation, and in pranayama.

RPG: When you go to sleep at night, are you happy? CSY: I can honestly say, I have the love of my life, and we have the most amazing children. The careers that we’re doing are exactly what

KARAN INTERVIEW: Rachel P. Goldstein

RPG: What has the UZIT program done for patients?

DK: Well, we’ve done a clinical test study in Beth Israel Hospital, and we found out that we saved $999,000. But more importantly, [UZIT] touches the lives of so many people who are in fear, who are going through a cancer treatment for so long. When we took the UZITs to Haiti to work in the hospitals there, the most extraordinary thing was to see what a difference it makes with a lot of people who don’t speak the language and who are not yogis by heart. When I see a non-yogi [benefit], that’s when it really affects my life. RPG: When you go to sleep at night, what makes you smile the most?

Rachel P. Goldstein: What inspires you most?

we want to be doing. I’d say that the gratitude is immense. I feel so, so blessed. How can he not be happy? He’s laying next to me! RY: I’m definitely—I’m either happy, or Colleen can make me happy.

RPG: What is your guiltiest pleasure? RY: Coffee and French fries. CSY: Fiorentini and Baker Boots.

Donna karan: There’s such a void in the medical system. When my husband was sick, it became very apparent to me that the nurses were doing the doctor’s job, and the doctors were doing the disease job, so no one was caring for the patient and the loved one. And the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) programs have, in fact, filled that void. My husband [said] before he left—before he died, “Whatever you do, take care of the nurses.” And that would mean supporting the nurses in taking care of the patient and the loved one. The UZIT was formed to do just that. Taking care of

patients and loved ones with in-bed yoga, Reiki, aromatherapy, nutrition, and palliative care. But it’s not only taking care of the patient, it’s also self-care for them. RPG: Why do you do what you do with design and the Foundation?

DK: I do not believe I can no longer dress people, but it’s more about dressing their insides. Everyone is affected by healthcare. Everyone is affected by education. And for me, a personal inspiration is the preservation of culture.

DK: That I’m going to sleep! [laughs] RPG: How can you achieve your goals, and how can others help you?

DK: This is not about me. This is about a we. [This is about] realizing the importance of mind, body, and spirit and using the wisdom of the culture in healthcare and in education. So, it’s a past, present, and future. My dream is that there is an Urban Zen or a community in every single city that’s responsible for changing health care and education.

RPG: What makes you happy?

DK: Making a difference in the world. Being


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It’s good to stop talking, get quiet, deal with your pain, and contribute rather than destroy.

Maranda Pleasant: Hey, Rod. What is it that makes you most deeply vulnerable?

Rod Stryker: Vulnerable... Other people’s pain, other people’s vulnerability, other people’s honesty. Redemption. Rising from the ashes. Singing out. I cry all the time; it doesn’t take that much. My heart gets touched. “The Star Spangled Banner.” Whatever. Just someone rising out of the ashes. That’s the main thing. That really touches me. MP: How do you process your pain?

RS: Well, that’s practice. That’s really what practice is all about. Processing pain. Processing distraction. Well, I’ll be methodical about it. I self-reflect, try and figure out where the pain is coming from. I do some thinking about my part in it, and then at a certain point, no matter how astute the sense of it is, sooner or later it becomes about letting it go, and that’s the heart of practice. Tradition talks about the fire of self-knowledge or divine surrender, so it’s somewhere in between those two things. Remembering the Self or tapping into the fire of divinity or surrender. That’s how I do it.

interview: maranda pleasant photos: carl kerridge

Rod Stryker “We live in a time when anger, anxiety, and incredible sadness are the new normal.”


MP: Thank you. Is there any topic that is close to your heart that you think is really relevant right now?

RS: We live in a time when anger, anxiety, and incredible sadness are the new normal. MP: That’s powerful.

RS: There’s one thing about our time that is really worth all of us paying attention to: anger, sadness, and anxiety are the new normal. And it’s really easy not to look inward and attempt to unwind them but rather find things where we can express, where we can give it an outlet, so it’s not just building up blindly. It has a lot to do with the divisiveness, the fear, and the very place we find ourselves in the world right now. It’s really vital; that’s what practice is about. It’s about taking responsibility for those things. It’s pervasive. It’s just so pervasive. And we have

nothing to judge it against. Everyone else is anxious, so we think, Oh, well, this is just life. Sleeplessness is not life.

On the one hand, respecting and valuing our teachers. On the other hand, not being lost

So, at a time like this, it’s really essential that we step back. That’s one of the things I’ve made a really deliberate effort to do over the last six months. A lot of things occurred around the yoga world, and my choice was just to not talk about it, just to be silent. And I watched people’s anxiety, fear, and anger having a field day without any real spiritual wisdom. It’s good to stop talking, get quiet, deal with your pain, and contribute rather than destroy. MP: Thank you for that.

RS: That’s exactly what it is. People look for outlets for their rage...So, yeah. What’s the motto? What does it all stand for, to me? Stop your noise. Get Silent. Share love. Done. Period. [laughs] I mean, really. Period. MP: So, is there anything more you want to say?

RS: I’ll say something. I said it at the end of class today. This is more just my wish that people who practice yoga would reflect on this. There’s a definite dichotomy around the whole aspect of studying yoga, and it goes something like this: the whole point of these practices is to become more self-reliant, more independent, more free, more complete unto yourself. And yet, you need a teacher to help you do that. A teacher can provide experiences and tools to give you that, but if you get too reliant on the teacher, then it’s defeating the purpose. There’s this funny dance. It’s really important that we exercise discernment and we articulate our way through this maze.

and not losing ourselves in the teacher. We need to really hone in on this concept of selfreliance and at the same time, have deep love and respect, making sure we’re aiming that deep love and respect where it is a source of truth, integrity, and upliftment. So, everyone needs to be aware of the terrain. That’s what it’s all about: integrating these two worlds. MP: Awesome. What final thoughts would you like to share?

RS: Everything is divine.

Photo: Carl Kerridge for Where is my Guru ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 35

The true depth of understanding and maturity as a practitioner is how we apply what we’ve learned to our lives.

A Long-haired Boy in a Short-haired Wig

Andrea Marcum Talks to Ashtanga Master

AM: When did Ashtanga cross your yogic path, and what about it made you fall in love?

David Swenson Andrea Marcum: I’d like to start out with a little bit of background. I know your brother was a huge part of you getting interested in yoga. Where and what was your first class? What was it like?

David Swenson: My first encounter with yoga was in 1969 with my older brother Doug. I was thirteen years old, and he was eighteen. He’d learned about yoga in California on a surfing trip, and when he came back to Houston, Texas, he introduced me to this new stuff he’d learned. I’ll always be grateful for that positive influence at an early age. There were really no yoga classes at that time, especially in Texas, so we learned from whatever books we could find. The first book


we had was called Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation by Jess Stern. Others were Richard Hittleman’s book, Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Yoga, and Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. We’d read these texts, look at the pictures, and try our best to do the poses. There was a small park at the end of our street. Doug and I’d go there to do our practice on a beach towel or bed sheet under the shade of a tree. We both had long blond hair and wore either baggy, white karate pants or a Speedo bathing suit. One day while we were practicing, police cars zoomed into the park, screeched to a stop, and the officers jumped out with guns drawn. They yelled, “What are you boys doing out here?” Startled, we stood up from our postures and said, “We were breathing and stretching… and please don’t shoot us.” The neighbors had called to report some hippies

planted a teaching seed that continues to grow within me today. I feel very fortunate. It hasn’t always been as easy as those first classes. For the first two or three decades, I wasn’t able to support myself. I’ve worked many jobs throughout my life, which has ultimately enhanced my appreciation for the opportunity to teach yoga and share something so positive.

in the park worshipping the devil and wanted the police to put a stop to it. We weren’t exactly in a supportive environment, but the energy and peaceful feeling we gained from our practice kept us plugged into our yoga. It was years before I actually attended proper classes. AM: How did you first begin to teach?

DS: Doug and I both started teaching at the same time. Our first classes were Continuing Adult Education Classes. The pay was small, but the classes were so large we had to demonstrate the poses on top of a rickety table in order for everyone to see. We enjoyed instructing, and the participants had a great time and always left feeling relaxed. This early impression was powerful and

DS: My freshman year in high school, I was a yoga-practicing, long-haired, vegetable-eating surfer. I was definitely the minority. The first day, the principal came up to me and said, “Boy! Do you know what time it is, boy? It’s time for a haircut!” When I told him I wasn’t cutting my hair, I got sent home. My father took the issue to the Houston Independent School District Board of Directors. “Well to my knowledge, Jesus had long hair. Moses had long hair. Einstein had long hair, and the founding fathers of this great country all had long hair. So, my son is in good company. Therefore, I’m not going to force him to cut his hair.” It was decided that the long-haired boy would be required to wear a short-haired wig to school. I wore the wig for three years. After my junior year, I ran away to California. I was sixteen, and by law, my parents could’ve had the police bring me back to Texas.

They didn’t force me to return home, but they weren’t going to subsidize my journey and insisted that I finish high school. So, I settled into life in Encinitas, got a job selling burgers at Captain Keno’s (it’s still there), and enrolled myself in San Dieguito High School. Early one winter morning, I went with a friend of my brother’s to an old church where they were practicing a kind of yoga I’d never experienced before. They flowed through movements and breathed with a sound I’d never heard. Steam rose from their hot bodies in the cold air. I was mesmerized. A couple who looked to be in their mid-twenties walked around the room assisting. They were David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff. David and a man named Norman Allen were the first Americans ever to meet Pattabhi Jois (the founder of Ashtanga) in Mysore, India. All David taught me that day was Sun Salutation A and B and the final three seated postures. It was challenging, but I felt a pulse of energy in my body, and I wanted to know more. That was forty years ago, and I’m still intrigued by the system. I’ve tried many other styles of yoga, but nothing has ever given me the same centeredness, energy, and internal balance that I feel when practicing Ashtanga Yoga. AM: How have your practicing and teaching changed over the years?

DS: Practicing yoga is a constant evolution. The Ashtanga system can appear very rigid,

with its predetermined sequences, but actually there’s great freedom within its structure. From the repetition, we learn to find depth in the minutiae of the actions and the wonder of breath and prana. In the beginning, I was fascinated by making amazing shapes with my body, but the longer we practice, the more our attention naturally drifts within. The real riches of yoga cannot be seen; they are felt and experienced from the inside out. I met K. Pattabhi Jois in 1975 on his first trip to the U.S. and made my first trip to Mysore, India in 1977. I stayed there for four months. By the time I arrived in Mysore, I’d been practicing for almost five years and had learned up through what today would be referred to as the Fourth Series. There were only three students in Mysore when I arrived, and Pattabhi Jois was sixty years old, fierce, and energetic. We were like enthusiastic Labrador dogs ready to chase the next asana. There were times he had us practice twice daily, doing two full sequences in each practice. This meant full primary and intermediate in the morning and advanced in the afternoon. He taught us pranayama, nauli, neti, and other cleansing practices. We’d practice, look for food, sleep, and get up and do it again. It was an amazing immersion. By the time I left, I’d learned all of the Ashtanga asana sequences as well as all of the pranayama techniques. My practice has shifted from a hunger for more and new asanas to a more ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 37

The true depth of understanding and maturity as a practitioner is how we apply what we’ve learned to our lives.

Seek the teacher that inspires you, and practice the yoga that makes you feel the best.

find benefit, regardless of whether it’s an ancient traditional approach or some new version, popular or obscure. I encourage students to check out different styles of yoga and different teachers even within one system. Seek the teacher that inspires you, and practice the yoga that makes you feel the best. You’ll then find the authentic practice for your life and path. AM: As part of an amazing blog post of yours about enlightenment, you included this definition of a yogi: “A yogi is one who leaves a place a little nicer than when they arrived.” What elements of leaving the place a littler nicer are you especially passionate about?

DS: I like this definition because it doesn’t say that one has to have a flexible body or memorize scriptures to be a yogi. Maybe the yogi is a parent who’s a little more patient with their child, or a more compassionate coworker, or an understanding boss. Perhaps, they pick up a piece of trash that wasn’t theirs, turn off a light when they’re not in the room, or turn off the water while they brush their teeth, sensitive to the finite nature of our worldly resources. When we become mindful this way, there’s a ripple effect. We inspire others to do the same. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems of the world today. In the traditional story of Ram, his wife Sita is kidnapped and taken away to an island off the tip of India. Ram decides to construct a bridge from India to the island to recover his stolen wife. Ram has a great devotee, the powerful monkey warrior called Hanuman, who thrusts entire mountaintops into the sea to build the overpass. Hanuman notices a small ant running back and forth, throwing a single grain of sand into the water. “Hey, ant, move out of the way! Don’t you see I’m performing the real work for Ram?” Hanuman tells the ant. “You’re dropping one grain of sand, while I’m throwing whole mountains. Stop what you’re doing, and let me perform the real duty!” Ram overhears this and approaches Hanuman, “Oh, my dear Hanuman. It’s true that the work you are doing is incredibly valuable; however, this little ant is doing equal work to you according to his capacity.” subtle approach of internal awareness and movement of energy.

In life, there are the Hanumans (Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, who can donate billions of dollars) and those of us who, like the ant, offer our best on a smaller scale. Regardless, we can all be the yogi who leaves the place a little nicer than when we arrived, one breath at a time.

My attitude about teaching has always been the same. From early on, I wanted to make yoga accessible so that anyone, regardless of ability, could experience its wonder, joy, and power. I encourage students to question, learn, and develop their own personal practice. I believe that the greatest teachers create thinking students. Though this can be done through teaching asanas, an asana contains vast potential to convey the philosophical aspects of yoga. The true depth of understanding and maturity as a practitioner is how we apply what we’ve learned to our lives.

For more information about David’s workshops and retreats visit his website:

AM: In a day and age where people are building (and in some cases tearing down) their brand, and yoga marketing is off the charts, how do we arrive at what’s authentic?

Be sure to join David at the San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference January 18-20

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DS: I think the answer to this question is quite simple. That which works is authentic. It’s a practical truth. What really matters is that we

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Women Leaders: Yoni Power Shiva Rea Women are naturally drawn to a circle where we reflect the moon, the earth, our bellies, a wide embrace.

activate it. Honor our lovers, brothers, sons, and fathers, and ask them to join us in protecting life.

We lead best in that circle where the values of inclusiveness and honoring every voice and everyone’s place at the table can challenge vertical structures that often put another person’s needs over another. When women get controlling or competitive with men or women, we lose the circle.

In this coming year, where are you called to join together, to rise up, to be yourself and just be? A woman of power is a woman of totality: integrated, aligned, vulnerable, receptive, and awake. Let’s hear it for yoni power!

The circle is our yoni power, the sacred name for a women’s creative energy that fits perfectly with the sacred masculine or lingam. Men and women have both: the circle and the staff within us. The staff is another form of leading by getting people to rise up. Like the upraised fist, lingam power is about channeling your energy and getting engaged. Women need the staff, too, connected to the circle, our receptive being. Women warriors throughout time have dared to speak up, dared to say no or yes, risked the safety of the circle to stand in their truth and power. We must value the circle which is often paved over, desecrated. Retrieving the circle — whether it’s a women’s circle, your family’s dining room table, a sacred grove, or a collective project — is healing by its very nature of coming together. We must find our inner staff and


Kathryn Budig

Love’s True

Arrow Aim true. Find and stoke what makes your fire come alive.


ove is taking risks. It’s pursuing what makes your heart beat even when you don’t know if you will succeed. Love is faith—moving from a place of feeling instead of concrete proof. It’s the answer to all questions and the champion that conquers fear. It’s the best thing in the world. Love sustains me through everything. Not the tangible kind, though. While the love of another human being is amazing, I didn’t find peace until I realized that love is a feeling that constantly surrounds me, unlike the physical object I was searching out to capture and keep close to my heart. I find support through knowing that nothing is permanent and that every moment is unique and here to weave my complete story. I have many passions. Yoga is like my lifetime partner: we have our ups and downs, our fights and disagreements, but at the end of the day, we take care of each other through thick and thin. Skydiving is my newest passion, which feels more like a lover: it takes my breath away, consumes me, and makes my entire body tingle. Then there is my family: my blood, my partner, my dog, and my dear friends. I would do anything for them. One person at a time, I want to transform the world by sharing my message: Aim true. Find and stoke what makes your fire come alive. We all have dreams and passions that can be lived when we accept our amazing talents. Instead of shying away from them, embrace them. Get out there and own how unique you are. That’s what the world needs more of.

LOVE HEART is in the TIFFANY CRUIKSHANK Love is the ability to show up unshielded and unguarded, without losing your sense of self. Love is selfless and courageous. Love is bold and unwavering. Love is beyond human form but exists inside each one of us. All we have to do is open our hearts. This year, with my divorce and [moving] to a brand new city, starting over [has been] incredibly hard. It has brought me to my knees many times this year. [Starting over is] also where we can potentially learn from our past and create something extraordinary. The loneliness and sadness is to be expected. This is the meditation portion for me: the ability to look calmly. Don’t think for a moment that I have this nailed, no frickin’ way. It’s a constant practice, for everyone. I have found from my own experience that as I get to know myself better and sit with myself, I can see more clearly. When all else falls away, what we have left is ourselves in our bare form. Without anything to cover us up or shield us, without makeup or fancy things or people to distract us. Just us. In our bare form we see that this is all we need. Not that there isn’t a place for fun or fancy clothes. But our true light shines through from within and is reflected by the mirror of our hearts.

But our true light shines through from within and is reflected by the mirror of our hearts

I believe that in our bare form we all have the same heart. The problem is that we spend our lives judging ourselves for our imperfections and actually putting much of our energy into covering this up. It’s a very difficult balance to strike, to keep your heart open in its truest form and to still stand strong in yourself. But deep within each of us, there is a beautiful gem, and that gem is self-observation. I may not have all the answers, thank God, but I do know that in these moments of nothingness, we find something precious. As we get to know ourselves better and build intimacy, we see it reflected in the world around us. Then and only then can we truly give of ourselves and connect with others. To me, that’s what it’s all about. So as another day takes form, I commit to the process and know that, like the ocean, there will always be waves in our lives. [Some will] make us high and [some will] take us over. But if I can be calm and ride it out each time, I will learn and grow from this process and therefore cultivate my life. Until I make the choice to look, I have nothing. We must choose to live courageously with eyes wide open. We must choose love regardless.

photos: top and bottom, daniel stark; middle, jasper johal 42 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Photos: Brian Hoven

clothing: KiraGrace ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 43

This Issue:

INTERVIEW: Maranda Pleasant

MP: What is at the heart of what you do? ME: Making connections with people and helping people find ways of being inside their bodies. Hopefully that makes a difference in their lives, and hopefully that makes a difference in the world. MP: What is love to you? ME: What is love to me? Wow. I’m questioning that right now, so that’s a good one. Not holding on, not being attached. Honoring. Respect. Seeing the person for who they are and being able to give people, the people you love, the room to be their full selves.

Is Veganism Normal?



Shouldn’t we as spiritual practitioners try to live a more simple life, just eat normal food, and not be picky? Veganism seems so elitist and complicated!


MP: What sustains you when everything else is going crazy? When everything else falls away, what is it that sustains you? ME: [big exhalation] I don’t know, it’s some kind of inner strength. I have a certain kind of inner strength in me; I don’t even know if I have words to describe it. It’s a survival thing in me. I’ve always had it. I’ve always had to survive. I go to that survival place, and somehow, I’m okay. And then of course, my yoga practice helps. Being quiet. It’s very easy for me to be quiet and to be alone. Usually, somehow, I tap into that survival place, and everything just sort of feels okay.

they’re always there. The question is, how quickly do you fall back into them?

MP: What has been your biggest struggle in this life? ME: Unworthiness. Just not feeling good enough, worth it. That’s definitely been my biggest struggle.

ME: Well, I used to avoid it, which wasn’t very good. I’ve recently learned to embrace it, to go towards it. To see it for just pain and not attach a story around it. And know that everything changes. Everything has a phase; it moves. So, I used to ignore it. I used to run away from it. I used to fight it. But I don’t seem to do that [now]. I’ve learned that doesn’t work and to just open my arms to it, embrace it. See it for what it is: it’s pain. It’s what it is. And it’s going to be here, and it’ll pass.

I think it’s been a process, and I’m still in the process. I’m not done with it. When you have tendencies, they’re always there. The question is, how quickly do you fall back into them? How quickly can you recognize that you’re about to go there, and back out and not go there? How quickly do you recognize the symptoms? Oh, I’m about to go to unworthiness and drop into all that mind-stuff. And catch it sooner and sooner.


Submit your questions for Sharon about yoga or veganism to questions@

It is a testament to the effectiveness of advertising campaigns funded by the animal-user industries that a diet that is bad for us and harmful to the planet is thought of as “normal” and a diet that promotes health, happiness, and well-being is thought of as alternative, abnormal, or faddish. In fact, these days it is relatively easy to find vegan options in many restaurants and supermarkets, though you may have to ask. Moreover, it is much more complicated to confine, raise, feed, slaughter, process, package, and market an animal for food than it is to grow plants. Dealing with the health problems that inevitably arise with a diet of meat and dairy products, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., can prove to be very complicated.

When you have tendencies,

MP: What do you do with pain?


Ask Sharon


MP: What is it that makes you the most vulnerable? ME: When I feel unworthy, I’m very vulnerable. When I don’t feel good enough or worth it, then I’m very vulnerable. It’s a tough one.


I think for me it’s going to be a lifetime process. I think it’s going to be lifetime for me. It’s what I’ve been dished out. It’s my samskaras. But is there something that helped me more than anything? I think there just came a period in my life when I just started to feel like being unhappy was not worth it. It was a choice. I started to just take charge. And I started meditating, too, which was very helpful. When I get quiet, I’m very happy inside. It’s had an effect on me. It’s like a cellular effect on me. Like, Oh, inside it’s okay. I’m okay inside. It’s a process. It’s a gradual progression for me. It’ll be my thing. And hopefully sooner and sooner, I’ll catch it and catch it. Do I think I’ll ever get rid of it? I don’t know.


Isn’t it natural to eat meat? Human beings have always eaten meat; even animals eat other animals. Shouldn’t we try to live a more natural life?


Some meat eaters defend meat eating by pointing out that it is natural: in the wild, animals eat one another. The animals that end up on our breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates, however, aren’t those who normally eat other animals. The animals we exploit for food are not the lions and tigers and bears of the world. For the most part, we eat the gentle, vegan animals. However, on today’s farms, we actually force them to become meat eaters by making them eat feed containing the rendered remains of

Sharon Gannon is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga method and the author of Yoga & Vegetarianism, the Diet of Enlightenment.

other animals, which they would never eat in the wild. Lions and other carnivorous animals do eat meat, but that doesn’t mean we should. They would die if they didn’t eat meat. Human beings, in contrast, choose to eat meat; it isn’t a physiological necessity. In fact, we are designed anatomically to be vegetarians. Lions and other carnivorous animals do a lot of things besides eat meat. They live outdoors, not in houses; they don’t wear clothes or drive around in cars; they usually sleep for many hours after eating a meal. Why cite just one of the many things that they do and argue that we should imitate them? This doesn’t make much sense. There are many activities that human beings

have been doing “forever.” We might argue from that perspective that eating meat should be allowed to continue. Men have been raping women for thousands of years; does that mean that it is normal and should be allowed to continue? Human beings have been waging war and destroying the environment for a long time. Just because it has been going on for a long time and has become an unquestioned habit, does that mean it should be allowed to continue? Rape, war, slaughtering, and exploiting other animals are not hardwired in us. These are learned behaviors, and that means they can be unlearned. And that’s good news! So, let’s pick up our forks and/or chopsticks and let the peaceful revolution begin. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 45


INTERVIEW: Maranda Pleasant


Maranda Pleasant: What is it at the heart of it all?

Maranda Pleasant: What is the heart of it all?

Saul David Raye: Now is a very powerful time. We’re all feeling what’s happening on the planet, on the globe. And all over the planet, there are practices of consciousness that are happening. Yoga, but beyond yoga: meditation, chanting, drumming, people coming together.

Sianna Sherman: Here we go. At the heart of it, it’s about integration. Bringing integration of the Self, in every way possible, into action. If we are really going to be yogis and yoginis on the planet, then it is calling every part of our Self into wholeness, into integration, and then putting the heart into action in the world. This year, 2012, is really calling people forward in a very big way. It is a time when consciousness is being activated. It’s shifting. It’s changing. It’s really the time when we rise in our voices, in deep alignment [with] our hearts, and we bring the power of love to the forefront.

You asked the question, “What is it right now?” The heart. We have to open our hearts. We can’t go forward another hundred years or fifty years in the same consciousness we’re [in]. The importance of this time is that we open our hearts and we move to the next level of consciousness. We had a YogaVotes rally, and [the goal is] really just for everyone to participate. This is our planet. The yogic approach to it is that we’re all a part of the oneness, we’re all a part of the source energy. And when we act from our hearts, when we act from within, we put in motion something that is very powerful, to change the planet.


It’s the ongoing mystery. The life of the mind, navigating in the world — you can never quite figure it out. But it certainly is an interesting project. I like to wake up to just the simple, raw things: breathing, perception, the fact that the most astonishing, the most immediate things are the most incomprehensible.

fear, greed, disconnection, and misalignment. That is generating a very negative impact for all beings. If we can make the choice to be totally true to ourselves and then integrate every part of our Self into the whole power of the heart—and we bring that whole power of the heart into action—then the power of love will be what leads the world at this time.

MP: Last question: what is it that you’ve struggled with the most? What is it that you struggle with? RF: Besides ego?

The ability to deal with what most people would think were the unpleasant states of suffering is really the key to yoga practice. Maranda Pleasant: What is at the very heart of your work and what you do? Richard Freeman: The heart of my work is freedom. Freedom for myself and others. Because if others aren’t free, I’m not free. I feel free. MP: What do you do with pain, when pain comes in? RF: You kind of hold it. When pain arises, you hold it. Say, if you had a child who was crying, you just hold them. With pain, you just hold it in the space of your awareness, so the awareness is both intelligent and compassionate. You’re holding pain. But if you turn away from it or reject it, it’ll come back. Guaranteed. It’ll come back in a way that can’t be rejected. The ability to deal with what most people would think were the unpleasant states of suffering is really the key to yoga practice. And when people finally get around to that, then the yoga really starts to work.


RF: Impermanence. [laughing] Impermanence makes everyone vulnerable because we know that this whole thing is crumbling. So, whatever it is that we’re riding on that is our prop is going to dissolve eventually. And that’s the nature of impermanence. So facing that right away, rather than waiting until the time of death, is pretty much what the path is.

RF: That was my first choice, coffee. That’s my reward for getting up. [laughing]

Bring that whole power of the heart into action.

MP: What is it that makes you the most vulnerable?

MP: Why do you want to wake up in the morning? Besides coffee?

For too long, the voices of power have been run, are running us, on

The best time is right now, to activate ourselves, unfold our hearts, awaken, connect with each other, go as deep as possible, be intimate in ourselves, open up with the risk of vulnerability, and go for it, so that all of humanity can shine and we can remember that all beings are one family.

tradition of the traditions. And then whatever practice I’ve done, it has a residue. Just the samskaras of that are really helpful in difficult times, when I’m not around others. It’s just the practice of returning to raw mindfulness. Mindfulness of breath, if there’s breath there, but we know that won’t last. So, it’s just that kind of gravity of that state.

MP: Besides that! RF: I’ve become impatient. And impatience isn’t necessarily bad, but I want people to understand. It’s very rare that anyone understands. They don’t even understand that they don’t even understand. I’ve become rather impatient. Usually if I am mindful of my own impatience, then I say, Well, of course people don’t understand because that would be too miraculous! But everybody understands a little bit. That’s the thing. It’s not an either/ or thing. Most people are semi-brilliant. And it’s kind of just cultivating that semi-brilliance that’s already there in people. The mind would like to look at it [like], Everyone is so hopeless, I give up! But so many people, particularly in the yoga world, they’re like 95% on fire. They’ve got it. And it’s this little fine-tuning, paying closer attention, that’s going to bring it to fruition. That’s actually pretty exciting, to get the more compassionate view of the current yoga world. But I do go through periods [when] I’m astonished or aghast. It seems [like], Oh my god, this is hopeless. MP: We should not be hanging out because I would drive you crazy.

MP: What is it that sustains you when everything else falls away?

RF: Yeah.

RF: I’m sustained by other practitioners. Others. The traditions. The

MP: [laughing] He agrees! ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 47

Guidebook for an Urban Priestess Ashley Turner

Magic. Mysticism. Merlins. Myth. A modern day priestess. Ten years ago, I read the epic novel Mists of Avalon, a retelling of the Arthurian legend as seen through the eyes of the women of Avalon. This was my first encounter with the term priestess. Deep inside, my Presbyterian bones began to quake. Intuitively, I knew what a priestess was. I understood her role in the world and knew it was mine as well. Empowering the feminine always stirred my soul. I studied feminism and geopolitical socioeconomic theory at University of Southern California in hopes of bringing more equality to the world. I happily devoured Simone de Beauvoir while living in Paris in the mid ‘90s. After reading Mists of Avalon, I longed to attend a Mystery School. How did these secret teachings relate to our modern world? How could I translate them? Luckily, someone passed me a booklet, and all the missing pieces fell into place. A Guidebook for the Modern Priestess was written by my teacher, Ariel Spilsbury. Upon reading the manual, I eagerly completed Ariel’s 13 Moon Priestess Training, an amalgamation of feminine spirituality, Jungian psychology, Tantra, mythology, sacred geometry, Celtic mysteries, and quantum physics. To this day, people ask me more about my priestess work than anything else that I do. The word holds a mysterious charge but is really quite simple. By aligning with elemental forces, nature, and our intuition, we have more direct access to truth and love.

  Here are some simple steps, carefully distilled from Ariel’s voluminous work, to help you on your path to become an Urban Priestess.

Slow down. Begin a spiritual practice. The mantra of the priestess archetype is: I amplify in stillness. True power comes from within. Spend time each day in stillness and silence. Answers arise. Intuition strengthens.

Worship your body. A priestess knows her worth and chooses foods, relationships, and activities that support her highest good. Eat well. Exercise daily. Practice radical self-care. Pamper yourself. Start a Moon Circle. Honor the natural rhythms of life by creating monthly rituals. Gather a small group of trusted friends around the New Moon to sit in circle, confidentially share, and create rituals to honor the seasons. Set intentions. Take an hour each week to meditate on and write out your deepest desires. A priestess understands her power to manifest. Journal to keep track of miracles

and recognize synchronicity as it occurs.

Presence Beauty. Pay special attention to how you adorn yourself. In each encounter, offer beauty – by how you dress, decorate your home, move, speak, and listen. Establish resonance. For magic to occur,

a resonant, coherent field is required. Keep rooms and relationships orderly. Use candles, flowers, sound, and lighting to establish resonance. Listen athletically to align with another. Instead of listening passively, listen with your whole body, your whole attention. Notice sensations and subtle, unspoken cues to accurately meet another where they are.

Ashley Turner, MA, MFT, elevates personal growth as a lifestyle. A yoga instructor, psychotherapist, author, and ordained Priestess, she lives in Santa Monica, CA and works with clients worldwide via Skype. Join Ashley for her yoga retreat URBAN PRIESTESS: Empowering the Feminine, Nov. 25 – 27, 2012 at Kripalu. 48 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


JAI UTTAL INTERVIEW pArt I: Maranda Pleasant

We have to be vulnerable with people in order for us to be vulnerable with God.

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa Interview + Photo: Joe Longo

After a while, the hiding feeds itself, and then suddenly, you’ve lost touch with that being who’s hiding.

Maranda Pleasant: What is it that sustains you when everything else is blowing up or things are falling away?

than myself and doing everything I can to make that person feel loved and feel safe and feel happy and filled with grace.

Jai Uttal: [laughing] Throughout my whole life, I would say it’s the connection to my guru and how that connection manifests through singing. Through saying my mantra that my guru gave me and just trying to be connected to my guru.

MP: We talked about this once before — what is it that makes you vulnerable?

In the slightly smaller picture—but it doesn’t feel smaller—the thing that sustains me is my love for my son, my family, and my wife. It’s just the biggest important thing. On another level, something that has helped me to not totally go crazy my whole life is playing music. I didn’t used to sing when I was younger, but I always played instruments. There’s something about playing and making the sound and making the music on these instruments [that] kept me from dying of anxiety. MP: What is love to you? JU: Putting that person on a higher level 50 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

JU: I’m always vulnerable! [laughing] What do you mean, what makes me vulnerable? MP: When are you not vulnerable? JU: I’m not vulnerable when I put walls around my heart because I’m afraid. But fear is such a funny thing because fear can make you contract and make you — what’s the opposite of vulnerable? Tough. Untouchable. You’re afraid, so you put up the walls. But fear is also such an amazing catalyst to being vulnerable, if you’re combining honesty with it. I used to feel like I had to hide my fear behind everything, whether it was behind a loud singing voice or a cruel exterior or whatever. I was always afraid. So, I was always hiding being afraid. And substances, too. Substances are great for hiding behind.

After a while, the hiding feeds itself, and then suddenly, you’ve lost touch with that being who’s hiding. A couple of things happened, and I started to realize that it wasn’t helping me to beat down the fear. What was more helpful was to become friends with the fear. And when you’re really honest about what you’re feeling, then you’re vulnerable. And then every feeling that you have is a passageway to Spirit, to God. And that’s part of what bhakti is about: using the emotions, whatever they are, and singing them and praying them. Letting them somehow transform those emotions into fuel, to enliven your living personal connection with God. And being vulnerable is a big part of that. We have to be vulnerable with people in order for us to be vulnerable with God. We can’t just say, Oh, everything is about me and God, and then be so cut off from people because you’re afraid of them. If you’re afraid of them, you can’t love them. I think it has to go the other way around. You start by somehow practicing, attempting to be vulnerable with your beloveds, your loved ones, and then with people less close and less close. It immediately turns into loving and caring. And then God is much more present.

MP: What is it that you struggle with now? JU: Voices that tell me, I don’t deserve anything good, and I’m a lousy guy, and any happiness is going to go away really fast because I don’t deserve it. All the ripples that come from those thoughts. MP: That you’ll f*ck it up? JU: Yeah, I’ll f*ck it up. I won’t even f*ck it up because I won’t let it happen long enough to f*ck it up! [laughing] And those thoughts, they’re deep. And they create a lot of — talk about being vulnerable. Those thoughts are the antithesis of vulnerability, unless you’re honest about them. I wake up almost every morning in fear. But I look around me, and I see my son and my wife, and I see my life, and I do my prayers. Little prayers. No big deal, a couple of Sanskrit prayers. And fear flies away, usually. I see the evidence of love, and I see the evidence of grace. Why is my life so filled with grace? It’s not because I’m some great, graceful person! [laughing] I don’t look at spirituality as a business deal, where you do your spiritual practice and then you get grace. My guru told us to sing kirtan all the time to keep us out of trouble, to keep us off the streets. [laughing] And then the grace comes from a divine source. MP: What is home to you? What is home, the concept of home? JU: Actually, that’s a great question because on the real level, home is being with my wife and my son. If they’re with me, I feel at home.

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa is the cofounder and director of Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles and New York. Golden Bridge is the premier center for the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation. I caught up with Gurmukh for a quick chat at Sat Nam Fest East this past September in Waynesboro, PA. Joe Longo: What inspires you? Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa: Teaching, helping people, and serving whoever is in front of me wherever I can. JL: What makes you vulnerable? GKK: Airports. JL: How do you move through challenging times? GKK: Sadhana. JL: What does every human need to know now? GKK: If you can’t see God in all, you cannot see God at all.



LOVE AFFAIR Faith Hunter While having tea with a friend a few weeks ago, we chatted about love and the cultivation of healthy relationships. As we sipped and nurtured our friendship, I examined how my connection to others is a direct reflection of my relationship to myself. It doesn’t matter if I’m struggling with my lover, family, or even having troubles communicating with a friend; my negative interactions are sometimes connected to a lack of love towards myself. If I am loving and honoring me, I am loving and honoring all who cross my path. My dad once said, “Follow your heart, nurture your soul, and believe that you are capable of accomplishing anything.” As a child, I wasn’t exactly sure what he fully meant. However, after a divorce at age 29 and thousands of tears, I realized my heart and soul were craving a real lover. It was impossible for me to have a loving and supportive relationship with another being if I wasn’t taking care of me. At that moment, I made a personal commitment to have an “inner love affair.” You are probably wondering what an “inner love affair” looks like. Plain and simple, I am doing everything in my power to nurture, cherish, excite, surprise, and celebrate all of who I am. It can manifest as acting on a new idea, being an adventurous traveler, having compassion in my yoga practice, purging all my furniture to create a new home environment, or being unafraid to share the love in my heart. However, these things can’t happen without putting in a little work.


It is impossible for us to love ourselves if we are holding on to inner demons that tell us we are not good enough, unattractive, and undeserving of love. Have a face-off with these monsters, and see them for who they really are: FEAR. The fear of being a beautiful, amazing, powerful, and divine creature that is capable of love.



Stop being and acting the way you think your

STEP INTO A PLACE OF HONESTY. parents, your lover, and the world see you. Stand

in your truth, do what your heart desires, and follow your passions. At the end of my divorce, I decided to fully embrace my goddess spirit, quit my job, move to New York, and become a yoga teacher. Lots of changes, but they were all coming from a place of personal honesty and loving devotion to my inner sweetness. Once you face the demons and step into a place

BE DIVINE WITHOUT APOLOGIZING. of honesty, your heart opens, and you are filled


with true self-love. The veils are removed, and that love is expressed by being present and fully connected to your true desires. You have the power to set boundaries and feel comfortable making time just for you. You are empathic and compassionate towards yourself and view your challenges of the past as building blocks to a glorious future.

Ideal Flooring Solution for the Permanent Yoga Studio

Fall in love with yourself again and again.


i@ze bram ats.c om



If you are interested in cultivating an invigorating “inner love affair,” use some of my personal tips to kick-start the deepest level of intimacy you will ever have.

| Yoga | Dance | Creative Movement |

I know these concepts and the statement of self-love can seem somewhat cliché; however, the benefits are life changing. The love creates space for powerful relationships outside of yourself. Give it a try. Fall in love with yourself again and again.

Hair/Styling: Yanni Metallinos + Sergio Santangelo

w w w. z e b r ayo g a f l o o r.c o m


80 0.989. 808 5 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 53

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6/26/12 8:52:23

Considering scientific findings and saintly teachings, as well as intuitive experience, our mind may be the largest factor in our health. If we really want health and wellness, then do we need to become religious? Well, maybe

Wellness, to me, looks like a strident walk, sensual


flow through a well-rounded series of postures, guided


by the rhythm of my breath,

As this depth of wellness unfolds, its effects spread to all relationships in our life. After all, our demeanor, countenance, and attitudes have a huge effect on how people respond to us, as well as how they are affected by us. Any difficulty, challenges, and negativity from others is minimized, maybe even in direct proportion to us becoming less difficult, challenging, and negative. None of this can be said about loosening our hamstrings, toning our biceps, or strengthening our cardiovascular system. In the past, my health and wellness routine progressed from hanging out in my basement with my buddies, pumping iron and drinking raw eggs and protein powder, to the extreme vigorous yoga of always trying to become more flexible and strong, usually complemented by other vigorous activities. But now, wellness, to me, looks like a strident walk, sensual flow through a well-rounded series of postures, guided by the rhythm of my breath, complemented more and more by the cleansing, purifying, and liberating action of meditation. In meditation, we can examine and address our state of mind in a concentrated manner, which will have a huge, if not the greatest effect, on our health and wellness.

complemented more and more by the cleansing,


purifying, and liberating action of meditation, not religious as we know it today, but maybe religious in the sense of religion’s initial goal of cultivating love, benevolence, compassion, and morality. These qualities, among many others like faith, trust, and acceptance, will certainly help one become less anxious, greedy, critical, competitive, and fearful. All of these qualities are precursors to the type of stress that eats away at our physical, mental, and emotional being. Perhaps, instead of religious, we should say spiritual, as in cultivating the qualities that enhance the human spirit, therefore enhancing humanity in general.

Bryan Kest Knowing what we now know about health and wellness, it seems that an intelligent person must be willing to examine their mental state, if they are truly concerned about genuine health and wellness. We are being told that 80-90% of all disease is psychosomatic. The largest killer of all Americans is heart disease, of which stress is a major contributor. For our purposes here, “stress” is a state of mind – where the mind resides (thoughts) and how the mind responds to its environment (reactivity). I’m not sure if longevity is the only barometer of health, but if it were, it seems that the oldest living communities happen to lead a less hectic, less busy, and less materialistic lifestyle. Their lives are more rural and communal and much If we really want health and less stressful. If we want to live a long, healthy, and peaceful life, we really do need to address wellness, then do we need to our state of mind. We need to reduce our levels of fear, worry, anxiety, jealousy, anger, greed, become religious? and covetousness. We also need to strengthen our benevolence, compassion, gratitude, trust, and of course, love. Vegetarian or not, anger will poison our body and mind. Tri-athlete or not, fear promotes disease. If what science is telling us is true, a toxic mind is a strong precursor to a toxic body, and it is certainly hard to enjoy this life and all that it offers if one is feeling toxic or sick.

As we embrace our spirituality, a gentle smile develops and the lines at the corner of the eyes soften, as do the eyes themselves. The words we speak become less harsh as the thoughts behind them are more benevolent. The breathing relaxes, followed by any tension in the musculoskeletal system, or vice versa. Tightness in the chest region dissipates as the heart and its surrounding muscles relax, as the entire being, physically, mentally, and emotionally, becomes peaceful. This seems a much broader, deeper, and effective type of health and wellness than simply having a certain level of muscle tone, cardio endurance, or even flexibility, which after a certain point seems superfluous.

The saints, sages, and god-like men and women, some of whom were the unintentional founders of our religions, all seemed to direct us to examine our mind and how it responds to its environment. Jesus taught us to love, forgive, and be compassionate. Moses gave us the Ten Commandments. Gotamma, the Buddha, taught us to be silent and observe, to be aware and maintain equanimity. Mother Teresa said to forget about oneself and serve the needy.

Bryan Kest has been practicing yoga since 1979 and has been teaching since 1985. He developed his unique, distinctive style of yoga, Original Power Yoga, in 1979. Over the years, this style, an amazing workout for the body, mind, and spirit, has made him a well-known, popular teacher across the country and around the world. For articles by Bryan and more information about Power Yoga, visit 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Growing up, my diet was atrocious. It would begin each morning with toasted, buttered white bread and a tall cup of strong black tea filled with several teaspoons of white refined sugar. I also ate all the classic sugar cereals: Captain Crunch, Frosted Flakes, Fruity Pebbles, etc. I would eat any kind of meat, fish, and eggs. I loved McDonald’s and consumed an unimaginable number of Chicken McNuggets. I ate hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza, and I was a fan of all starchy foods: french fries, pastas, breads. I ate as much candy, chocolate, and other junk food as I could get my hands on. I’d come home from school and guzzle down a six-pack of Coca-Cola and a one-pound bag of Doritos and then complain at dinner that I did not feel well.

YOGA AND RECOVERY The Perfect Diet for Your Soon-to-Be-Addicted Child Tommy Rosen

I did love most fruit, but other than that, there was practically no true nourishment in the foods I ate. No vegetables. No salads. No greens. Nothing was organic. Almost everything was processed. I had a lot of colds and flu as a kid and a serious problem with strep throat and bronchitis. I took a ton of antibiotics to combat all this sickness. I also had monumental migraine headaches and lived in fear of them for my entire childhood. I missed a lot of school, could not sit still or concentrate, was anxious and hyperactive. Strangely, neither my parents nor I made the connection between what I ate and how I was feeling and behaving. I had no idea that there was a connection between these foods and the health problems of my childhood. I had no inkling that these foods, which made my life hard as a kid, were setting me up for a whopping case of drug addiction as an adult. As a child, I was aware of a sense of excitement as I consumed sugar in any form to be followed some time later by a powerful sense of depression from a sugar crash. I hated that feeling of coming down. And I would hate it still fifteen years later, when I began to regularly endure the brutal, unforgiving come-down from smoking crack cocaine. When I found recovery, the obsession to use drugs and alcohol was lifted from me. Yet, my diet still had to be cleaned up. Over the years, 56 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

IT IS ADDICTION THAT COMPELS THESE KIDS TO CONSUME FOODS THAT ARE SLOWLY KILLING THEM friends and pioneers, such as Dr. Andrew Dattila and David Wolfe, would educate and inspire me. I learned how to detoxify and nourish myself and how to build immunity by regarding food as medicine. Today, I am healthy and strong with 21 years of continuous recovery. I practice and teach yoga. I meditate and can sit still comfortably for quite some time. I eat very well: a ton of organic fruits and vegetables, no junk food, no sodas. I am so fortunate. Unfortunately though, four decades later things have gotten much worse in the world at large. Childhood obesity has become an epidemic. Dis-eases like ADD and ADHD plague our children. In my day, it was refined sugar. Now, kids are being fed a more dangerous, cheaper form of sweetener called high fructose corn syrup. I know that it is addiction that compels these kids to consume foods that are slowly killing them. I am fearful of the diseases and addictions that are waiting for them somewhere down the road. I also know that these kids are victims of companies who market and sell food products that are terrible for human beings to consume. What can explain such a lack of compassion and consideration for our children? I have a sneaking suspicion that addiction to money, greed, and power might have something to do with it. So, without hesitation, I want to come right out and say… F*ck you Coca-Cola! F*ck you McDonald’s! And… F*ck you Captain Crunch! You have no place in a world that embraces health. You can only make it as long as folks stay addicted, but they won’t stay addicted forever.

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One of the times I was attacked as an adult, it was in broad daylight, walking down Montana Ave in Santa Monica, where my yoga center was. I don’t walk like a victim. But that day, I was thinking deep thoughts, looking dreamy, and wearing my tie-dyed shirt and Ugg boots.


Three guys attacked me. I was hit in the back of my heart, knocking all my breath out. An arm came around my throat. I couldn’t breath. I started to struggle. I made a quick choice and calmed down in an instant. I know how to do this. I felt where the attacker’s body was behind me. He was muttering into my hair. I swung my hips over to the left, made my right hand into a fist, and punched him in the balls. He gagged and let go. Then, I spun around and went after the other one, while the third ran away.

YOUR FEAR PART FOUR ANA FORREST My last article explored how to manage your fear after a fright, like a car swerving toward you. This time, I’d like to teach you a new way to walk through another common dangerous situation. With these very useful tools to survive and emerge victorious, you can shift from being a victim into being a warrior!

It was all over in a couple of minutes. I was incredibly surprised and upset to have been attacked in the middle of the day in a highrent district. I had felt safe there for years and years. Afterwards, I continued walking to my yoga center and did some yoga. What I really needed was a punching bag to pound on. I was ramped up, had the shakes, and needed a

Here is the scenario: the dreaded, dark parking lot. Frequently a woman, or a man, walks into a dark parking lot with a cringing, fearful energy, filling his or her mind with what-ifs of a scary nature, terrified by the possibility of being mugged, raped, or assaulted. This is exactly the situation in which you need to shift from prey to predator because you are putting out a vibe that you would make a good victim. That’s what people who commit such horrible acts look for: easy prey. I have some recommendations to help you triumph in this often daily (for some of us, every workday) scary experience. Understand that there are fearful events everywhere. How you walk through them is yours to change. If you know that you have to go into a dark parking lot, or if it is part of your daily work or shopping route, one possibility is to buy some pepper spray. You don’t need a license for it1. Put it in your hand while you are still somewhere safe and well-lit. Be ready to use it!


Another readily available tool or weapon is your keys. Place keys between your knuckles, and have the hand closed in a fist; this improves your ability to fight for yourself. If you live your life in high heels and have to walk into a scary place, put on different shoes. Don’t sabotage yourself; take the extra moment to change your shoes. Don’t be a victim for fashion. High heels are too difficult to run or fight in. Now, deepen your breath and get your feet active: switch from prey to predator. Walk embodying a tiger, not a nervous rabbit. Use your butt muscles and tuck in your tailbone to get power moving in your legs. Pick your head up. Shoulders back. Emit an energy of “Go hunt elsewhere. I’m not your lunch.” Be ready!

outfits: Victoria Keen

way to disperse the powerful adrenaline rush. I had learned as a young horse trainer that being scared is not a helpful emotion. When I was fearful, I became something a huge, angry horse could stomp into the ground. Instead, I trained myself to shift from fear to anger because anger is strong and has a different chemical smell. Years later, I was scared after the attack by the three guys, but what I was feeling was my anger.

Walk embodying a tiger, not a nervous rabbit. I was strong and fought off my attackers, emerging from a very frightening situation as a victor, not a victim. Learn how to fight for yourself. Get this: You’re worth it. I want women, in particular, to care enough to recognize they are worth fighting for. To protect children is an inherent drive in any healthy adult. It is hard-wired in us. Most mothers would fight for their child; doesn’t that child deserve to have a skilled mother fighting for them? Develop these skills as part of being your child’s champion, as well as your own. You are as precious as a child. Be a champion for yourself! An important aspect of my own healing was learning to fight for myself. My immune system had collapsed and lost the ability to fight because my body had been overpowered so many times by abuse as a child. I was sick and tired all the time. Learning to punch and kick and fight off an attacker taught my immune system how to fight. My health and self-respect improved together. Care enough about yourself to learn some basic self-defense skills. You can take a selfdefense class, although just taking a karate class didn’t work for me. Instead, I took

classes from an organization that simulated an attack and taught me to fight it off. If you have been attacked in the past, they can simulate your specific situation so you can work through and release the deeper fear archived in your cells. If you are interested in that, look for a “Model Mugging” or “Impact” company. Do this: Change the way you walk and breathe; don’t walk like a victim. No rounded shoulders, no hanging head! Be alert and look out but not like a rabbit. Be alert and look out like a cougar or a tiger. Predators look at rabbits as lunch. Few folks want to attack a cougar or a tiger. Here is your new life paradigm: Be proud of yourself. Carry your Fighting Spirit with you everywhere. Don’t leave home without it! Pepper spray is LEGAL in all fifty states. However, some states and cities have specific regulations pertaining to the purchase, possession, and use of defense sprays. Please check with your local law enforcement agency for any regulations your state may have.



Schmethical Janet Stone Recently I sat on a panel at a high-energy and kinda-sexy yoga gathering. The topic was about trust and student-teacher relationships. Wow, thought I, what a rich forum to discuss the myriad ways in which we can build trust by shining a light on the deep tendencies for transference and countertransference in the tradition of the teacher-student relationship. It’s a rich ground for discussing the narcissism on both sides: the teacher who needs to be up, seen, the knower, and the student who needs the approval of the teacher (don’t we all hope that someone out there is doing better than us, looking better, more evolved, less… human?). I envisioned an open dialogue where we’d peel back the subtle ways in which we are all complicit in the “scandals” that unfold, exposing and revealing together the tendencies and cyclical behaviors that keep us from our divine relationship with ourselves and those around us.

Practice being utterly truthful for a day...

However, what ended up being the topic of discussion was salacious, and let’s admit it, far more fun to talk about: scandal. Sex! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the topic as much as the next warm-blooded being. During this conversation loop that kept chasing its sexy tail (that’s right, you can quote me: “chasing sexy tail”), the lack of an ethics board/overseer/rules for yoga teachers came up. Now, you can call me old school, you can call me stuck on the limbs, but don’t we have a few limbs for ethics? Were we not allotted a few hours in our 200-hour training to speed through the Yamas and Niyamas? Ew! Ethics. Yuck! Can’t we do another chaturanga or warrior, please?

Nelson Mandela, regarded as a man of peace. Do his philosophies of forgiveness and reconciliation resonate in an unjust world, plagued with conflict and war?

Anyone here want to help me make ethics sexy? How about a perfect little Yama/ Niyama packet of ingredients to add to the living soup of intimacy, trust, and mutual challenge to keep relationships (including teacher/student) nourishing and healing? The ethical offerings of nonviolence, truthfulness, nonstealing, contentment, self-study, moderation, and all the rest are tenets, or jewels, to be polished and tended with joy and reverence. They can become a path—the path—toward courage, balance, love of self, and compassion for others.

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The response I received when mentioning the yamas was: “Oh, those, they are so open for interpretation.” Yes, true, but try this: pause, come out of natarajasana, and focus your attention on satya. Now, practice being completely and utterly truthful for a day— heck, try it for thirty minutes. You will not be having salacious affairs, taking more than is offered, and abusing the sacred relationship of teacher and student. If we incorporate these into our practice, we have access to a compassionate yet clear reminder of how to clean up some of the jumble of our lives. Deborah Adele puts it beautifully when she says the yamas are “guidelines that sit as both a vision of the possibilities of human existence, as well as providing the practical guidance to make skillful moment-tomoment choices in our daily lives.”


Jeremiah C. McElwee




Gift Ideas

& Personal Care:

unwrap your PRESENCE

Growing up in New Jersey sometime in the (ahem) ‘70s and ‘80s, I had my fair share of family holiday gatherings and often heard the expression that when giving a gift, it is the “thought that counts.” However, I will be the first to confess that receiving that less-than-appealing mauve-and-fuchsia sweater from Aunt Betsy was not on the highlight reel of my young holiday memories. As a father of three girls under the age of seven and the grateful recipient of many small “treasures” as presents (colored rocks, feathers found on our land, a tracing of a small hand), I know now that gifts hold beautiful lessons for both the givers and receivers.

EveryDay Shea Foaming Hand Sanitizers (Unscented, Lavender, Vanilla Mint): Is everyone around you sick? Fight the funk while celebrating ethically sourced, handmade shea butter from Togo, West Africa with EveryDay Shea’s Foaming Hand Sanitizers. Not only will they help keep you healthy, but they are also alcohol-free—so your skin will thank you, too. Available at most natural and organic retailers.

In the event that you find yourself at a loss for a meaningful present (and a tracing of your hand seems inadequate), here are four simple gifts that are sure to please everyone this holiday season:



Recently, we walked out our front door to hear a buzzing sound and realized an electrical pole had fallen down on a perfectly clear, sunny, Sunday afternoon. Within 20 minutes we had multiple fires in the trees surrounding our house, any of which could have easily spread to become a raging wild fire, if it had been windy. Thankfully, it was not, and the firemen arrived within 15 minutes and diffused everything.

Life is busy and never busier than during the holiday season. As we run to and fro, it is easy to feel frustration or agitation at those around us or towards people who are “in our way” as we try to accomplish 500 things in the thirty minutes of “free time” we have. Remember that every person around you breathes, loves, and struggles —just like you. The compassion you gift to them will be returned to you tenfold in ways you may never know.

At that moment, I could not have been more grateful to have our home safe, and though we often lament the myriad routine tribulations that come with an aging home in the Hill Country, it was a stark reminder to be thankful, even for the squirrels that continue to break into our attic and for our temperamental well. Remember to be grateful for what is and cherish the gifts that you have rather than longing for what you did not receive.

Love It always stops me in my tracks when someone says that all every person really wants is to be loved. Personally, I have never believed in the concept of “good and evil.” I see it as more a matter of how much love someone needs and has failed to receive. Above all else, remember to give LOVE to everyone you encounter. It is amazing the difference it makes for your soul and theirs.

Care Spending my career in the health and beauty world, it has always amazed me how grateful people are when you take a moment to make a thoughtful recommendation on what they might try to improve their health. Even simple reminders such as: “If you are having trouble sleeping, try not drinking caffeine after 3p.m.,” can lead to overflowing gratitude three weeks later when they next see you. Caring for one another is a gift that all people can share, and it rewards us daily with a stronger, supportive community.

ORIGIN’s Health and Beauty Editor Jeremiah McElwee picks the best Beauty and Wellness products from the Natural and Organic World

MyChelle Perfect C Serum:

Remember that every person around you breathes, loves, and struggles— just like you.

The holidays provide us with an opportunity to truly enrich our own life and the lives of those around us, not with presents, but with presence. So, this season, take the time to unwrap the real gifts and give the simple things that the people in your life crave the most: YOU.

Serums are all the rage in efficacious (stuff that works!) skin care these days and Perfect C from MyChelle is one of the best available. Vitamin C helps strengthen collagen and improve the skin’s texture. Available at most natural and organic retailers.

Tom’s of Maine Fresh Mint Natural Toothpaste (Fluoride-free): Make your smile shine just a little bit brighter without making your wallet lighter. Tom’s of Maine recently launched this great toothpaste in a TSA-compliant size (3 oz.), sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market.

Health & Wellness:

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Nighttime Syrup: We have all been there: feeling awful, can’t sleep. Gaia’s delicious Black Elderberry Syrup combines the flavonoid-rich, immuneboosting punch of organic elderberries with calming, restful California poppy and lemon balm. Get better while you sleep soundly? Yes, please. Available at most natural and organic retailers.

Bach Cranberry Rescue Pastilles: Holiday stress and anxiety got you down? Bach’s legendary Rescue Remedy flower essence formula in a yummy hard candy-like pastille is your answer. They taste great, are subtly soothing with no negative side effects, and come in a convenient tin that fits perfectly in purses or pockets. Available exclusively at Whole Foods Market.

Spectrum Vegan with EPA & DHA with Vitamin D: This new product combines three essentials that are traditionally difficult for vegetarians to get in their diet. EPA & DHA are brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids (good fats) that are usually found in coldwater fish, but in this case are derived from algae and combined with a vegan Vitamin D (often otherwise sourced from sheep’s wool) in a seaweed-based softgel capsule. Coming soon to natural and organic retailers.



Gays Front of the Room to the

Les Leventhal Class after class, I watch students roll up their mats immediately after savasana, sometimes even before, and click on their mobile devices to see if they’ve missed anything. What is it about our lives that we can’t let the practice continue for a little bit longer? What is it that makes us dive into distraction instead of sitting in self-study?

would be different from the path of most men. There was no one around when I was a teen saying, “It gets better” or “No H8.” To be accepted into the general population, the message was, “Hide it a bit if you could, please.” At that time, my dristi — my gaze, my gays — was set on withdrawing from my experience and from myself.

Decades ago, when I knew there was something pleasurably different about who I was growing up to be, I felt the need to withdraw because I knew my experience

That meant living a life of extremes, darting in and out of relationships, friendships, and jobs. I never knew if people accepted me for who I was because I didn’t stick around long

When I strip away all these labels I can sit in meditation and recognize that all souls have equal weight.

enough to find out. Often, the only way to escape facing myself was to drink and use into blackout conditions. Or, some weekends were total whiteouts, powder events, if you will.

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Many people use technology in the same way, to withdraw from their experience. Leading the lives we do today, with sensory overload at our fingertips, it has become more difficult to practice pratyahara, withdrawing the senses, which is a svadhyaya, a self-examination. We practice withdrawal of the senses so we don’t experience withdrawal from ourselves. It took some hard work to get to a place of self-acceptance. Through the practice of yoga, I was able to slowly transform [my tendency to withdraw] from life to a practice that allows me to withdraw my senses and to turn my dristi inward, studying who I am in my own life and who I want to be in the lives of others. It’s a practice of eliminating labels: I am not a man, a son, a brother, nor a yoga teacher. I was not a banker, a legal secretary, nor a substance abuser. When I strip away all these labels I can sit in meditation and recognize that all souls have equal weight. The spirit has no gender, no sexual orientation, just love.

For more info & registration, visit

So when a teacher says, “Gaze to the front of the room,” I know that it’s okay for this gay to be at the front of the room and for my dristi to be soft, kind, and loving. That’s a daily practice. Whoever you are, whatever your lifestyle, whether you’re blocking out your experience with drugs or technology, we are all on the same path in life. Check in to your experience, let yourself be heard and loved, and then sit in the comfort of support and guidance. 64 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Marie Forleo

Gabrielle Bernstein

INTERVIEW: Rachel P. Goldstein

R ach el G o ldstei n : What or who inspires you most?

Marie Forleo: My inspiration always comes from different places. Sometimes it’s a piece of music or being in nature or seeing a film or reading a magazine. I find inspiration everywhere. RG: Why do you do what you do?

MF: My motivation comes from a desire to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives. RG: What makes you vulnerable?

MF: Love.

Business today is more personal than ever. It’s about pouring your soul into whatever you create.

Interview: Rachel P. Goldstein

R ach el G o ldstei n : What or who inspires you most?

Gabrielle Bernstein: The people who inspire me most are those who are willing to see the world from a loving perspective. People who perceive obstacles as opportunities and problems as spiritual assignments. People who choose love. RG: Why do you do what you do?

RG: How did you go from Nike dancer to business mastermind?

MF: I’ve always been a multi-passionate woman, so my passion for business existed right alongside my passion for dance. As you advance in life, different passions can take the front seat, so for me, business is where my primary focus is right now. RG: What made you want to create B-School?

MF: There’s a huge gap in the market for modern online marketing and business education for women that’s effective, fun, and gorgeous to engage with. I knew I could fill that gap. I also believe the world will fundamentally change the more women become economically empowered. When women live rich, in every sense of the word—financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually—everyone wins: you win, your family wins, your community wins, and the world wins. Many female small business owners have a negative association with marketing. They see it as slimy, non-ethical, or aggressive. I see marketing not only as a vital skill for small business success, but more importantly, as a vehicle to create art and connect deeply with and serve others to make the world a better place. I want to

change how women think of and feel about marketing. It not only helps women get the results they want, but marketing brings out our best human attributes: true listening, compassion, honesty, and a spirit of service. RG: Tell us about your first book, Make Every Man Want You: How to Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself!

MF: While it’s got a cheeky title, there is more to this book than meets the eye. I call it a Trojan horse because you think you’re getting one thing (a sassy book about dating), but what you discover inside is much deeper. It’s really a guidebook to the art of living in the present moment. The deeper message is why it’s been successful. I’m proud to share that it’s in eleven languages worldwide! RG: How would you guide the youth of today in hopes of providing a platform for a successful future in business?

All the happiness, self-confidence, and support you’re seeking is already within you

and focusing on creating strong, honest, and deep connections with your customers.     RG: How do you stay balanced?

MF: Exercise, green juice, meditation, and goofing around. RG: When you go to sleep at night, do you feel accomplished that you are making a difference in the world? What makes you smile most?

MF: Beautiful cards, notes, and emails we get from our customers and larger audience telling us stories about the radical breakthroughs they’ve experienced in their business and life as a result of our work. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing other people’s dreams come true. RG: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

MF: Staying in bed all day with my man, under the coziest blankets, with an endless supply of movies, books, and food.   

MF: Business today is more personal than ever. It’s about pouring your soul into whatever you create. It’s about providing more value than anyone else in the market

GB: I’ve worked very hard to transform my fearful delusions into loving beliefs, and I am committed to maintaining this way of being. I believe it is my duty to share the gifts I have learned. How dare I have the tools for finding serenity and not share them with the world? RG: What makes you happy?

GB: What makes me most happy is connecting with others. I love meeting new people, being social, and engaging in empowering discussions. RG: What makes you vulnerable?

GB: What makes me vulnerable is speaking up about topics that may be controversial to others. RG: How did you get started on your Spirit Junkie journey?

GB: I got started on my Spirit Junkie journey when I was a kid. My mother taught me how to meditate and brought me to ashrams and spiritual circles. Then I turned my back on spirituality for several years. When I was twenty-five, I hit a big bottom and had no other choice but to return to my spiritual roots for help. I did just that. Since 2005, I have been on a steadfast journey inward as a self-proclaimed Spirit Junkie.

RG: Tell us about May Cause Miracles. Are you writing another book anytime soon?

GB: I believe that simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in all aspects of our daily lives, including our relationships, finances, bodies, and self-image. In my new book, May Cause Miracles, I offer an exciting plan for releasing fear and allowing gratitude, forgiveness, and love to flow through us without fail. All of which, ultimately, will lead to breathtaking lives of abundance, acceptance, appreciation, and happiness. With May Cause Miracles, readers can expect incredible transformation in forty powerful days, simply by adding up subtle shifts to create miraculous change. I am working on a new book idea now. It’s about recovering from romantic fear, love addiction, and codependency. I know there is a major need for this work in the world. RG: How would you guide the youth of today in hopes of providing a platform for a future in spirituality?

GB: I would suggest that the next generation stop looking for happiness outside of

themselves but instead turn inward. All the happiness, self-confidence, and support you’re seeking is already within you. I know it may sound like a pipe-dream, but it’s a straight-up reality. By growing a spiritual practice, we are given all that we need. RG: What does the term “spirit seeker” mean to you?

GB: Someone who remembers there is a power greater than themselves and who is willing to reconnect with it. RG: How do you stay balanced?

GB: I practice Kundalini Yoga, study the workbook of A Course in Miracles, and have a daily meditation practice. RG: When you go to sleep at night, do you feel accomplished that you are making a difference in the world?

GB: I feel very accomplished. It makes me feel great to know that I am impacting lives and of service to the world. RG: What is your guilty pleasure?



Protecting the Real 99% Shane + Sia Barbi (The Barbi Twins) with Joan K. Smith

My sis and I are known as the Barbi Twins. We use our seven-and-a-half minutes of fame each to express our opinions: First up, we don’t feel we’re part of the 99%! We believe humans are actually the 1%, with animals and the environment making up 99%. Humans have become indulged, greedy, and arrogant in our speciesism, where animals are seen as something for us to exploit. We want to begin with the animal protection movement itself, a broken system we call “management by death.” Consumption of meat, demand for fur, animal cruelty, and the killing of companion animals in shelters are increasing while the government and animal charities profit. There are even vegan animal activists who would kill pets. Killing isn’t working; it has opened up huge businesses for puppy and kitten mills and horse breeders. We need to start over. First priority is to stop the killing of shelter and companion animals altogether! By taking killing completely off the table, new options arise for an activism driven by compassion instead of convenience, something we call the Live Movement.

media on January 11, 2011 (via Camille Marino of NIO/Negotiation is Over). We’ve been asked, “If a dog or child is drowning, who would you save?” We reply that compassion has no boundaries. We have to admit we are all hypocrites and part of the problem. We must adopt a practice of “act, don’t react.” Our one hope for making direct cultural change is in the humane education of youth, teaching that no species has a right to live over another. Until we can respect those of a different race, sex, religion, or species we will always have crime and war. Hugh Hefner documented the Barbi Twins as his “Legendary Playboy Celebrities,” and an E! Biography says their best-selling Playboy covers made them a household name. Now, Shane and Sia Barbi prefer to be known as vegan authors and animal activists. Shane’s husband, actor Ken Wahl, also helps with their animal causes by lending his name to their cause.

My sis and I are campaigning for a new nonpartisan movement called the Green Tea Party to fight government support for the business of killing and instead concentrate on protecting the real victims: the planet and animals. The government must abandon “business over life” policies, like the Animal Economic Terrorism Act, which names as top domestic terrorists anyone who exposes or protests animal abuse committed by a business. We have constitutional rights to force new policies that protect the voiceless. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless.” We’ve also teamed up with Amy and Raelyn Nelson, true activists like their papa Willie Nelson. Raelyn dubbed us the Quad Squad when we appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” and worked together with the Animal Welfare Institute to help pass the anti-horse slaughter bill. Now we’re working with Dr. Jenny Conrad of to outlaw declawing, which is really the amputation of cats’ fingers, and other cruel practices that veterinarians profit from. Our Quad Squad also supports Nathan Winograd in the No Kill movement. I’m most proud to share how my sis Sia diligently worked to name and find a notorious kitten killer. In 2010, after we promoted the anti-crush bill HR5566 in the media, we learned of a video of kittens being tortured and killed. Sia joined a secret Facebook group called Useful Individuals, which identified Luka Magnotta, who was arrested just a year-and-a-half later for a horrendous murder and dismemberment. It was Sia who first announced his name to the PHOTO: Gary Michaelsons 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

By taking killing completely off the table, new options arise for an activism driven by compassion instead of convenience, something we call the Live Movement. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 69

the administration, but I had to be part of where this country was headed. Russell and I met, and he asked me if I would be his Political Director, as well as work with him on, a website he had just started, targeting the Obama generation, this new American mainstream: multiracial but singular, cultural. What we now call hip-pop. I left the film business and have been rockin’ with Russell ever since.

Michael Skolnik Editor-in-Chief/ Co-President of and Political Director to Russell Simmons, Michael Skolnik is engaging diverse audiences in news, entertainment, fashion and politics, providing a platform for the multicultural society we live in.

INTERVIEW: Rachel P. Goldstein R ach el G o ldstei n : What inspires you most?

Michael Skolnik: I am deeply inspired by the courage and achievements of young people who didn’t have the safety nets I had growing up. I have been fortunate to travel our country and the world and meet amazing young people who are doing extraordinary things with very few resources. When a young person is not eating three meals a day but still getting perfect grades at school, or when a young person deals with trauma at a young age yet still makes it to college, these are the things that inspire me. I know how good I had it growing up. I am not ashamed nor have any guilt of the hand I was dealt; however, I have tried my entire life to play that great hand not just for myself but for the benefit of all of us. RG: What makes you happy? 

MS: I remember in 2005, I was flying home from South Africa. I knew that I would be spending my entire birthday on an airplane. I had been in Swaziland and South Africa filming a movie about King Mswati III, the last ruling monarch on the continent. And here I was, flying home, after spending an amazing ten days in southern Africa filming a movie that I was getting paid to make. And on the screen in front of me Akeelah and the Bee was playing. I looked out the window, and I started to cry. I couldn’t believe how good a life I had. My grandfather, who passed in 1997, would always remind me of the Mark Twain quote, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I have been so damn

RG: Tell us more about

MS: What attracted to me to work with GlobalGrind was the potential to reach an audience that was eager to push this country forward. We cover entertainment, celebrity news, music, style, and fashion but have a strong passion for social justice stories as well. I tell my staff that we want to become the voice of the generation. It is OK to want to fight for justice for Trayvon Martin but also care about who wore what on the red carpet at the MTV Music Awards. Fighting for social justice is not about leaving the mainstream. It is about being right in the middle of it.

Fighting for social justice is not about leaving the mainstream. It is about being right in the middle of it.  lucky to be able to do what I love my entire life.  I never take that for granted. RG: What makes you vulnerable?

MS: I am certainly vulnerable when I sit down with parents who have lost their children to gun violence. The emotion that they experience is so foreign to me that I find it very hard to say the right things. RG: What was your first encounter with Russell Simmons, and when did you know you were going to work with him?

MS: I remember when I was eight years old, walking to the bus stop. I had a cheap Walkman, one of those that only had a fast forward, so you had to take the tape out and flip it over if you wanted to rewind. Peter Piper picked peppers, but Run rocked rhymes — I repeated over and over again. I tried to repeat

RG: Given your past as a filmmaker, what issues did your films cover?

the lyrics until perfection. I was eight. I was hip-hop. I was white. Run-DMC was my first introduction to Russell Simmons. Then it was the Beastie Boys. Then LL Cool J.  Then Will Smith. Then late at night, if I could stay up, I would see this guy say, “God bless and good night” at the end of Def Comedy Jam on HBO. I didn’t meet Russell until 2003 when he asked my friend, Rebecca Chaiklin, to film a documentary about his quest to end the Rockefeller Drug Laws. She asked me to co-direct the movie with her, and I happily accepted. We made the film, Lockdown, USA and spent three years filming Russell and his crew. After President Obama was elected, I knew that I wanted to part of that movement. Not necessarily to move to D.C. and work for

MS: The films we made were always about young people and those in struggle. I wanted to tell stories about people who didn’t have the chance to tell their own. I remember sitting in a juvenile detention center back in 2003, developing a film about young girls in struggle. There was a particular girl who seemed like she was never getting out. Nobody wanted her; even the system didn’t want her. She was a fighter. But as we did our theater workshop with her, she opened up, stopped fighting, started to dream again. I asked her, “If there were one place in the world that you could go, where would it be?” And she said, “Paris.” Two years later, I was in Paris premiering the film On the Outs, which I co-directed and [which] was inspired by the work that we did in that juvenile detention center.  That young girl couldn’t get to Paris yet, but her story was playing in front of thousands of people.

our country?

I respect the Clinton Global Initiative and the TED conference, but those weren’t built for us.  inspire great work together. I felt so lucky to have so many interesting friends, but there wasn’t a place to bring them all together. So, we created this group called Dot2Dot, which is an annual summit, this year being our fourth, that allows for two days of intense but always respectful conversation about the future of our generation. It is the most diverse room I have ever been a part of. I respect the Clinton Global Initiative and the TED conference, but those weren’t built for us. We needed to build our own, and we did. We are going to expand it in 2013, with more programming and more members. It is the most important work I have done in my life. RG: How would you guide the youth of today in hopes of providing a platform for a healthy future for

MS: Stop the bullsh*t. Stop drawing lines in the sand like previous generations [have done]. Some of my dearest friends are Republicans, and some of my dearest friends hate politics. I love the Dave Matthews Band as much as I love Biggie Smalls. And that is OK. We can live nuanced, complicated, exciting lives with no reason for limitation. I love this generation so much. I think we have the potential to connect the world in a way that can save hundred of millions of lives. That should be our goal. Let us not aspire to four-year goals but rather forty-year goals. RG: What does “social justice” mean to you?

MS: I believe that it is my job to fight for the rights of others to have the same rights that I take for granted. As a white, American male, I have had it quite good. I recognize that and fight every day for everyone to have the same opportunities that I have had. RG: What local steps do you take to make a global impression?

MS: I just try to walk the walk. I try to live every day with the utmost honesty and integrity to myself and the people around me. I think leading by example is important, as I know the next generation is watching us. My

RG: What is the Dot2Dot Summit?

MS: I felt that there was a neglected space for young leaders from all walks of life to come together with the goal of building lifelong relationships and partnerships that can

Paola Mendoza, Michael Skolnik, and President Barack Obama



Rachel P. Goldstein

grandmother taught me two very important lessons before she passed: hold the door for everyone and always say “thank you.” That means to treat everyone the same, no matter if it is the President or a homeless mother begging for food. And never forget to thank those who have helped you, whether it is the person serving you food at a restaurant or your third-grade teacher who taught you the multiplication tables. RG: What advice would you give your future children to help them stay balanced?

MS: Listen to Dave Matthews and Biggie Smalls.  Do ballet and play football. Sing and dance. Laugh and cry. Go to countries where you don’t speak the language. Eat food that looks like you may not like it. Read all of the holy books. Damn, you got me really preparing to be a dad right now. I hope when we have a child, he or she will be proud of our work. My girlfriend, the amazing director, writer, actress, and activist Paola Mendoza, has been with me for thirteen years and has been a huge inspiration to me. I know our kids will be OK, as long as they listen more to their mother than to me! RG: If you were in political office one day, what would your platform look like?

MS: I love my job, and I love learning every day from the guy who helped create the culture I grew up in. That is an absolute blessing. I am focused right now on the work we have to do today. I see the urban community decimated by the “War on Drugs.” I see a lack of vision and commitment in this country to eradicate poverty. I see our education system failing our young people in poor neighborhoods. We no longer dream in this country. We have a brilliant and compassionate politician in the White House, yet his colleagues in Congress want to defer our dreams to score political points. We must change the culture of politics first. RG: When you go to sleep at night, do you feel accomplished that you are making a difference in the world?

MS: I wish I could be more satisfied with the work that we have accomplished, but when I see others still struggling, I am reminded that our work is not done.  I will go to my grave wishing that I did more. Wishing that

interview: Ocean Pleasant above: Trayvon Martin Family and GlobalGrind Staff; BELOW: Michael Skolnik AT THE White House

Go to countries where you don’t speak the language. Eat food that looks like you may not like it.

Ocean Pleasant: What inspires you? Rachel P. Goldstein: I am inspired by making a difference in the world through the events that we produce, projects that we manage, and dots that we connect. I am addicted to being a giver. In Yiddish it’s called nachas. I simply don’t know how to work without helping others. It’s something I learned from my late grandfather. “Always be a giver, not a taker,” he used to say.

OP: What makes you happy?

I didn’t sleep as much. Wishing that I didn’t waste so much time. Wishing that I fought harder. I don’t focus on the results. Put my head down, put my hoodie up, and do the work. By the way, I haven’t said it once in this interview, but let me close by saying, “Justice for Trayvon Martin.” RG: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

MS: I only go to the gym and run four times a week so I can eat Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream every night.

RPG: Yoga, live music, and the beautiful life-long friends I have been blessed with that make me…me! On a professional level, when my company produces an educational forum or a summit, and people’s lives are enriched or advanced, I get a high from knowing they can take that knowledge we gave them and move their lives and the world forward to a better place. If we produce a fundraiser, the money that is raised saves a girl from the world of human trafficking, or an alternative school gains a new building, or wheelchairs are provided for those who could never possibly afford them. It all makes me smile.

OP: What makes you vulnerable? RPG: Opening myself up to learning new things can make me vulnerable. I am a very honest person, and when I simply don’t know something, I am content with admitting so. Therefore I, too, can learn.

OP: How did you get the name Agent of Change?

RPG: In 2007, I gave my former Kabbalah teacher a book about a topic that was sensitive for both of us. She wrote me a thank you card that said, “You are my personal agent of change.” I immediately made myself the legal owner of that company title, Agent of Change, knowing one day it would be the legacy I would fulfill.

I only see heartbeats in people . OP: How was Agent of Change actually born? RPG: In my twenty-plus-year career, I served in many positions where I was working for projects or companies that didn’t make a difference in the world. It felt superficial to me, and something just didn’t feel right. After years in film and event production, publicity, marketing, and management of projects, I realized I was living other people’s dreams. I had to put a stop to it as I felt my wings were clipped. Agent of Change is now more than two years old, and we have produced some of the most incredible life-altering events. From the Urban Zen Foundation, Tibet House U.S., Equality Now, Somaly Mam Foundation, Pencils of Promise, The Blue School, Walkabout Foundation, and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation to Marie Forleo’s Rich Happy + Hot Live, we have worked with extraordinary people making real impacts on today’s culture in wellness, peace initiatives, women’s rights, education, and

philanthropy. In our first year of business, the events we produced raised nearly $5 million for various charities. Not only do we produce events, we oversee strategic marketing and management campaigns for leaders in a wide range of industries.

OP: How would you guide the youth of today in hopes of providing a balanced life? RPG: If I could start my life all over again, I would have liked to have studied yoga and had meditation lessons from nursery school on. It is an extra energy for me to remain loyal to my self-care routine, simply because life gets in the way! I am certain that if yoga and meditation were part of my initial learning process, this kind of focus would come with more ease. I wish that balance for the youth. Also, don’t judge. My mantra is that I only see heartbeats in people. Everyone is the same just with different backgrounds. Keep an open mind, and know from the start that we are all here on the planet to live together. Hatred and blame infuriate me; forgiveness and compassion just make so much more sense.

OP: When you go to sleep at night, do you feel accomplished that you are making a difference in the world? RPG: I am pretty content that I am on a journey that is bigger than I know. This giving-addiction of mine has taken me around the world and back, and every hit feels better than the last. I’m proud to say that I don’t have a job. Rather, I have a passion: giving. And it is one that I get to fulfill everyday of my life.

OP: What is your guiltiest pleasure? RPG: Chocolate-covered strawberries! 72 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Shut Up:

should be you. So get the f*ck out of my way, and let me do my thing before the day comes, as it surely will, when I look in the mirror and all I see are lines and mistakes and regrets and sorrows over all the damage you have done, lying in the nursing home, staring up at the peeling ceiling, bedsores on the rise, while a disinterested nurse picks up your frail, dying arm and takes your pulse with two distended fingers, her head turned slightly away from the mess that is you. She’s just there for the overtime. You, star of the universe, have become someone’s overtime.

A love letter to

myself Kelly Morris

Dear Self, Why don’t you stop talking and go meditate? Do yourself and all of us around you a favor. You’re in no condition to join humanity: sloppy, sleepy, grumpy, reaching for yet another bitter coffee and bagel with cream cheese to the symphony of honking horns and overzealous A/Cs, with a scratchy throat in the summertime, thinking about the subway and all its smelly delights, wondering if Thursday will go faster than Wednesday because it’s closer to Friday.

MEDITATE and get with what’s really going

on and going down. Meditate to remember who you are and who you are becoming. Meditate to mediate the bloody battle within, the ever-raging war between I, me, mine, and the Rest Of The World.

Drop your weapons of mass destruction, those evil, little creatures in your mind you call thoughts and my creativity and my lifeblood and who I am. They’ve taken over, colonizing your mind like an unwelcome army from a far away place called Who I Don’t Want To Be, converting you to their foreign ways, enticing you to be small, to be selfish, to look out for number one. They tell you, Screw the rest because life is short, and there are limited resources out there. Not everyone can be famous, rich, and powerful, and since that’s sad but true, that person

Wake up. WAKE UP. WAKE UP! You are the king, the queen of your world. Act accordingly. Rule with benevolence and judiciousness. Tell the truth, the greater truth, the one that matters: we are all one, and the time is now to come together and lift our tattered hearts to the shining sun and shout, “Here I am! I am ready to become everything I know I should be. Help me! I am ready!” Kelly Morris was named NYC’s “Most Influential Teacher” by New York Times and Yoga Journal. New York Magazine called her “Best of NY.” She is the founder of Conquering Lion Program and creator of “Sanskrit Sessions” with King Britt. She teaches at the Omega Institute and Kripalu. Her aims: Peace. Love. Wholeness.

Love is fierce. It’s not for sissies. It’s big and it’s unconditional. We think that life is strong and love is fragile, but it’s really the other way around. Life hangs by a thread, and love holds the Universe together. It’s the force that literally causes the atom to exist. It causes the electrons to spin, drunkenly, in their orbits.

It’s what manifests all that is. It is the one thing. It is all there is. And we shut it out. So, yoga practice to me is about undoing. It’s undoing. It’s undoing the mistaken belief that I am separate from you, from those mountains, from anything. But we have to start with ourselves. MP: How do we shut love out? JHL: We get caught up, through our minds. I want to be clear; I’m not denigrating the mind. I have four college degrees. I like the life of the mind. But it’s not sufficient for a life well-lived. I think the more we understand that so much is a mystery, we can fling ourselves from the pinnacle of fear into


R ach el G o ldstei n : What inspires you most?

Mastin Kipp: Nothing inspires me more than watching someone break through a limiting belief or pattern that has held them back and realize that they are capable of more than they ever imagined! RG: Why do you do what you do?

MK: My aim in life is to put a dent in the insecurity epidemic that is plaguing our world and create cool things that inspire people to feel like they belong. RG: What makes you happy?

MK: My girlfriend Jenna, my mom, The Daily Love, helping others, Yoda, and writing screenplays.

MK: I believe that vulnerability is strength, and I’m not sure it’s something that you can be made [to feel]. I think it’s a choice. And we can realize there is great power in it.

INTERVIEW: Maranda Pleasant

Judith Hanson Lasater: Love is the ability to see the Divine in all things. Can you look at yourself and see the Divine? Can you look at other people—can you look at people on the other side of a political line—and see their divinity?

INTERVIEW: Rachel P. Goldstein

RG: What makes you vulnerable?

JUDITH HANSON LASATER Maranda Pleasant: What is love to you?

Mastin Kipp

RG: What made you start The Daily Love?

MK: I was a reluctant starter. There was just a whisper inside me that said write, and so I did! RG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

the abyss of joy. We can stop trying to do it. And it’s a funny thing: the more I do that in my halting steps, the more life presents itself. Perfect example: I was trying to find your number in my cell phone but couldn’t find it, to text you about this meeting. I’m walking over, and I just thought, I need to contact her. I looked up, and you were there.

MK: I don’t have a five-year plan.

RG: Define these words: True Love.

MK: Jenna Hall. RG: Do you spend time away from the Internet?

MK: Barely. Only at Kundalini Yoga, but even then I check my iPhone (true story). RG: What local steps do you take to make a global impression?

MK: I’m not trying to make a global impression. But Tweeting helps. RG: What do you do to stay balanced in mind, body, and spirit?

MK: Yoga, meditation, green juice, prayer, writing The Daily Love, and exercise. RG: When you go to sleep at night, do you feel accomplished that you are making a difference in the world?

MK: I am happy to say that I feel fulfilled when I go to bed. I engage with people daily who I have touched or inspired, and it certainly helps me sleep better! RG: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

MK: Caramel popcorn at the Arclight Theaters in Hollywood.

RG: How would you guide the youth of today in hopes of providing a platform of love and honesty?

MK: I would want to teach them to trust themselves vigorously. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 75

The songwriter Kate Wolf once said, “Find what you really care about and live a life that shows it.” I am a teacher, both professionally and aspirationally. My passion is to empower others to find their highest purpose and to offer them the tools to serve that vision. Natural Capitalism Solutions helps companies and communities implement more sustainable practices profitably.

I am passionate about wild nature and have dedicated much of my life to protecting it. I believe we have a duty to let all other species flourish along with us. I’ve learned that nature knows no borders. I got involved in large landscape conservation and co-founded the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. Travel and work on other continents made me fall in love with wild nature everywhere so I helped launch the Nature Needs Half movement.

L. Hunter Lovins

Harvey Locke

President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions

Co-Founder. Yellowstone to Yukon

EC O R O C K S TA R s eco editor: Andrew Currie

Jamie Rappaport Clark President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife

As president of Defenders of Wildlife, [I work] to preserve, protect, and restore the wildlife that make this country great, and to motivate others to join in this important cause. It’s time to restore the stewardship ethic that once guided our country.


Wendy Keefover Director of Carnivore Protection WildEarth Guardians

I am called to act for wildlife and wild landscapes that have no voice. For two decades, I have devoted myself to protecting native carnivores such as wolves, bears, cougars, bobcats, lynx, and coyotes. These species are afforded very few protections in the American West, but without them, the earth grows impoverished.


Atlanta, Georgia. They caught them before they got the permits. Now they’re applying for the permits, but the whales have been caught. The transfer is horrible. Whales, like elephants, are so social and intelligent. This hurts me to think of them being transported, put in noisy airplanes, and brought to a horrible concrete pen when they’re supposed to be out in the sea. There are forty Beluga whales in Canada, in horrible conditions, desperately needing somewhere to go. Why can’t they give them a good home?



Dr. Jane Goodall is an inspiring example of the power of an individual using her unique vision, courage and talent to make a difference in the world. Over fifty years ago, Dr. Goodall followed her childhood dream of moving to Africa and studying animals. She is a primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and U.N. Messenger of Peace. In 1960, she embarked on an unprecedented journey to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to live with and study wild chimpanzees. She made history with groundbreaking discoveries about chimpanzees: They are able to modify objects to create tools, thereby proving animals have cognitive ability. They have distinct personalities and exhibit emotions. Her research is an invaluable contribution that has enlightened us about the “fuzzy line” between human and animal. Today, she spends most of her time on the road. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots to continue her work. Recently, I had the good fortune to have a conversation with Dr. Goodall at the Center For Living Peace when she was a guest speaker in the Living Peace Series, presented in partnership with the University of California, Irvine.


SUZA SCALORA: You spoke about a fuzzy line between human and animal. What is the fuzzy line?

I learned that from my dog. I have never had an animal that didn’t have a personality, one differing from another.

JANE GOODALL: If we start with chimpanzees, they differ from us with the composition of the DNA by only just over one percent. So, as far as genetics go, we’re almost identical. The composition of the blood, the immune system, the structure of the brain — almost identical. Our brain is bigger.

Then you come to know the fact that chimpanzees are incredibly intelligent. They can learn more than 400 signs of American Sign Language. They have memories for spatial distribution, like numbers on a TV screen, way better than ours. You come onto the emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, and despair — all the things for which I was accused of being anthropomorphic when I ascribed them to chimpanzees. So, it just isn’t a sharp line. That’s what I mean. Because we all share these [feelings]. We all feel pain.

That’s never interested me as much, obviously, as behavioral similarities. Chimpanzees kiss, embrace, hold hands, pat on the back, swagger. They have dominance conflicts. They have what amounts to gang warfare between neighboring social groups. You get good mothers and bad mothers that affect the subsequent development of the child. You get love, compassion, and altruism. So in all these ways, you can see there is no sharp line. And once you’ve realized that there isn’t a sharp line, then you see that chimpanzees and gorillas are pretty well the same, too. Then we [recognize] the fact that animals have personalities, not just chimps —

photo: Michael Neugebauer


SS: Earlier you said that it’s about connecting your head with your heart to find the compassion for all living things. I think this is key. I’m wondering, are you seeing us moving in that direction? JG: I think we are. I really think we’re moving in that direction. For example, the National Institutes of Health have about 700 chimpanzees in medical research. Most of them aren’t actually being used right now, but the director, Francis Collins, talked with me a lot about the ethics of it. That’s beginning to play a role, so it’s not just are they useful or not? But, even if they are, should we use them? These are two different questions. If they must be used or [if] somebody says they must be used, does it mean they should? Are we just dividing them and keeping them in five-foot by five-foot cages?

I think we’re moving, and people are beginning to accept that yes, animals do have feelings, they do have personalities, and we need to respect them. The awful thing is we don’t respect each other. People say, “Oh, we ought to fight for animal rights.” We fought for human rights, but even if humans have rights, they can still be horribly abused and are every day. You don’t have to go to some far off land, far away place; we have a lot of child abuse in our own society. SS: Did your first work with primates, before earning your Ph.D., effect how your work was received? JG: The fact that I didn’t have a Ph.D.? SS: Yes. JG: Well, of course, the scientists felt that everything I saw couldn’t be true because I hadn’t been to college. Then National Geographic sent Hugo Van Lawick, my first husband, to film. Then they agreed that what I had said was true. Then my supervisor, who was one of the very, very strict animal behavior people, came to Gombe, stayed for two weeks, left, and said, “Those chimpanzees have taught me more in two weeks than I’ve learned in the entire rest of my life.” He helped me to express my findings, my rebel way of talking about them, in a way that could be accepted by the scientists. That was incredibly useful.

“I think...people are beginning to accept that yes, animals do have feelings, they do have personalities, and we need to respect them. The awful thing is we don’t respect each other.”

Left: Jane Goodall and Suza Scalora Right: Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots

SS: You were talking about the domestication of farm animals and how they are treated like domestic slaves. Would you say those animals have similar emotions to the chimpanzees? JG: Of course they do, yes. Right now there’s a hot case. I’ve just been asked to write a letter about it. There are eighteen Beluga whales that are being captured from the wild in Russia for the big aquarium in

photos: Left, Alex Abercrombie; right, Chris Dickinson ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 79

I spoke with Dr. Earle at the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California, this past September. In addition to showcasing outstanding ocean and environmental films, leading scientists, explorers, and filmmakers congregated to not just revel in amazing achievements, such as James Cameron’s nearly seven-mile-deep mini-submarine dive into the Mariana Trench abyss, but also to take action to protect the heart of this planet: the blue ocean. Dan Linehan: This is the third Blue Ocean Film Festival. What’s it like this year?

Sylvia Earle: This has been far and away the most successful of the three events to bring the community together: scientists, communicators, artists, poets, policymakers, kids, people of all ages, and those who care about the ocean in one way or another. It’s been like a big blue magnet to draw people together from various disciplines, many of whom rarely talk to one another. But here, [participants connect] over a glass of wine, bumping into each other on the street corner, applauding a film that makes them laugh, standing in front of one of these amazing images, or going out to admire the submarines that have been brought here to demonstrate to people that we have transportation to go into places that people have not been able to get to before. [They see] it’s coming: new insights and new technologies to measure and to see what’s happening to the ocean. DL: What’s one of the best parts of the festival for you?

Her Majesty of the Deep Blue Sea: An Interview with Dr. Sylvia Earle Part I Dan linehan



Known to many as Her Deepness, Dr. Sylvia Earle, 77, a researcher, author, and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, is widely regarded as one of the most distinguished and accomplished women of science. With nearly 7,000 underwater hours under her weight belt, she once walked along the ocean seafloor, untethered, deeper than any human before. And those who know her well are quick to point out that she is still, with fists pumping, an aqua babe.

SE: I’m so excited about new technologies like Jim Cameron’s bold venture to the deepest place in the sea. It’s my dream to be able to go and take others along. He was celebrated here while celebrating the spirit of exploration and honoring Don Walsh, who made that great descent fifty-two years ago in 1960. The spotlight put on these individuals and what they’re doing maybe will inspire other individuals and the kids to say, “If they can do it, maybe I can do something as meaningful as that with my life.” DL: The festival provided so much inspiration. Beyond it, what now inspires you the most?

SE: The opportunity that is unique [to our] time is what inspires me to do everything I can to move things forward. This is the first time that we have the capacity to understand our place in the greater scheme of things to the extent that we do. I mean, humans have always wondered the big questions, “Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?” It’s part of human nature. It’s perhaps the underpinnings of religion. It’s the social structure, the basic framework that relates back to those questions. Not only who am I, but who are we? And where are we going? It’s the “we.” It’s the social connections that are special to human beings. DL: But we’re not the only social creatures on the planet?

“ creature on Earth ever has organized themselves in ways that we have, with the capacity to alter the nature of nature the way we have.” SE: Ants, bees, wasps, special shrimp that live in the sea are some. But no creature on Earth ever has organized themselves in ways that we have, with the capacity to alter the nature of nature the way we have. The only other creatures I can think of that have had more impact on the nature of the world are certain microbes. Photosynthetic ones, for example, that changed the atmosphere to something that has a big percentage of oxygen. That was a big deal. It took a long time. It’s taken us a short time to change the nature of nature. In my lifetime, more change than during all preceding human history put together. DL: What drives and motivates you?

SE: It’s recognizing that never before have we known what we know. Never again will we have this good a chance as we now have to find an enduring place for ourselves within the natural systems that keep us alive. It’s a sweet spot in history. That’s why this is such a critical time.

left page: Incredibly, Sylvia Earle has amassed nearly 7,000 hours underwater (that’s like holding your breath for 9 1/2 months), and this includes a record solo dive to a depth of 1,000 meters (more than half a mile). THis page: (Left) Sylvia Earle congratulates James Cameron after he receives a lifetime achievement award for ocean filmmaking for films that include The Abyss, Titanic, and an upcoming National Geographic documentary about his solo voyage to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. (Right) Founder of Mission Blue Foundation and former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and are just some of Sylvia Earle’s many credentials. Currently she’s a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.



DL: How did we reach this confluence, or nexus, in time?

SE: Ironically the very energy, the very basis of how we know what we know, has been reliant on having an energy source [necessary] to build rockets to go to the moon and Mars, to support airplanes that fly, and satellites to give us our communication. Burning fossil fuels has given us the gift of seeing ourselves in new ways. But that very gift now enables us to see we’ve got to change our ways. DL: In what ways must we make a change?

SE: We’ve got to alter our fossil fuel dependence and go to other energy sources. We couldn’t go to the moon on whale oil. We don’t have the capacity yet to consider doing such things as harnessing current sunlight. We’re burning ancient sunlight in order to get us to where we now are. But it’s costly.

The burning of fossil fuels has altered the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere so rapidly and so abundantly that now, we are driving not just the warming trend, not just the sea level rise that is a consequence of the warming trend that is melting polar ice and alpine ice, but also [ocean acidification]. DL: In the face of mountains of evidence, why are people so unaware or unconvinced of the seriousness of these issues?

SE: We woke up some years ago about the consequences of ozone depletion, the hole in the atmosphere. You can’t see it. You can’t taste it. You can’t smell it. But now we do regard that as a key issue. It’s a scientific finding. It’s baffling why the issues relating to climate change—[which] have far more obvious and tangible and much more clear-cut evidence

When you think about the real cost of socalled cheap energy that has driven our

“Burning fossil fuels has given us the gift of seeing ourselves in new ways. But that very gift now enables us to see we’ve got to change our ways.” prosperity to unprecedented levels, for some of us, to our horror, we’ve realized that this has the potential for burning brightly and then snuffing out. The very energy sources that have gotten us to where we are now are also, if we continue doing what we’re doing, a shortcut to the end of all that we hold near and dear. DL: Some say this is an overreaction or insincere or just melodramatic.

SE: The thing is we’re not making this up. Scientists aren’t just doom and gloom. They’re just pointing to what has now become obvious. We have the capacity to alter the nature of nature. No, we don’t have just the capacity—we are altering the nature of nature, the natural systems that cause the planet to function in our favor. We have an atmosphere that is roughly 21% oxygen. The rest of it is largely nitrogen. There’s just enough carbon dioxide (CO2) to drive photosynthesis. That has been, throughout the history of our species, pretty stable. Until recently.



about the cause—have been slower for people to accept as a given. DL: What do you think explains this disconnect between the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community and public acceptance of the facts about climate change?

SE: I think it’s because there is a campaign, well-funded, by those for whom it’s advantageous to cast doubt on the scientific evidence about climate change and about the cause of the accelerated rate of change.

Left page: A devout ocean advocate, Sylvia Earle has spent a lifetime researching, exploring, and understanding the oceans, which she calls the heart of the planet.

The climate has been changing. Of course it [has]. Evidence throughout history, [which] we can assess, especially during human history, shows there have been ups and downs. But the last ten thousand years have been relatively stable compared to now.

THis page: At the Blue Ocean Film Festival, held in Monterey, California, Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau gave impassioned opening night speeches, beseeching us to take better care of the whole Earth for our own sake.

When you get well-funded sources to

have a disinformation campaign to attack the scientific integrity of people who are providing evidence, it’s hard. It’s the same techniques that worked to cloud people’s minds about, “Is tobacco harmful?” There’s a vested interest in trying to keep people smoking cigarettes. There’s a vested interest in trying to keep people wedded to fossil fuels. There is not a well-funded campaign among scientists to say, “Look, here’s the evidence. You can read it yourself. Here are the facts. We’re not making this up.” DL: What makes you, during this time, feel vulnerable?

SE: What makes me feel frustrated is that given the evidence, the public at large hasn’t responded to the circumstances that truly are urgent. It’s happening but it’s happening slowly. We’re still under the weight of this impression that the ocean is too big to fail, that the planet is too big to fail.

DL: This goes back to what you said before about now being the time for action.

SE: There is this sweet spot in time when we have an opportunity to stop killing sharks and tunas and swordfish and other wildlife in the sea before it’s too late.

“ far, even our rules and regulations, our laws, our policies, favor the destructive nature of taking too much from the ocean and using techniques that are horribly destructive. We know they don’t work. We know it’s not sustainable.”

DL: We’ve taken a lot of things for granted.

SE: Throughout all of human history we’ve enjoyed certain benign circumstances: an envelope of atmosphere, an envelope of temperature. A kind of resilience that if you cut down trees, then they’ll grow back. You take fish, they recover. You put stuff into the atmosphere that you know is not good for us, but we can still breathe. We haven’t awakened, generally, to the sense of urgency that does exist.

We’re down to 10%, or in some cases 3%, in other cases 1%, of the numbers that were there when I was a child. And yet we still have them in restaurants. We still have them in supermarkets. We still have the illusion that the ocean will recover. That even if we do have to lose sharks, people don’t understand why this matters. The evidence is in front of us, and we fail to take it in and say, “Now I get it. Now I understand.”

DL: Sometimes people just get used to the same old way of doing things and don’t want to change even if it’s in their long-term best interest.

SE: We have the power to abstain from destructive behavior. But so far, even our rules and regulations, our laws, our policies, favor the destructive nature of taking too much from the ocean and using techniques that are horribly destructive. We know they don’t work. We know it’s not sustainable. But we want to believe that we can continue doing what we’ve done for the past thousand years and not worry about the consequences coming back to us. DL: There’s an awful lot at stake.

SE: I’ve heard CEOs of major corporations say, “I’m not going to worry about my kids. They’ll figure it out. I had to figure it out in my time. They’ll figure it out in theirs. Doesn’t matter what I leave for them.” That attitude of arrogance, that attitude of “It’s all about me. It’s all about what I can get out of life now”—well, I’m personally driven by wanting to get out of my life the best I can achieve as a gift for those who come after me. Dan Linehan is a freelancer with a science and engineering background but writes in many modes to pursue his environmental passions. He’s authored two books about New Space and has written for Sea Studios. Writing has transported Dan from Antarctica to the Middle East to underwater in a yellow submarine. Dan writes poetry and is finishing a novel based on his Antarctica travels.



We provide steps that young people can use to come up with their own amazing ideas to become empowered and engaged. already care about the environment. Young people are recognizing that we have largely made a mess of things with respect to the environment [and] that the burden to fix it will

Engaging Youth: Tools for Change Interview with Philippe Cousteau Global Youth Editor: Ocean pleasant

President and Co-Founder of EarthEcho International and Azure Worldwide, Philippe Cousteau is one of the nation’s top conservationist leaders empowering youth to shift the planet.

Ocean Pleasant: Explain EarthEcho and how you engage youth through your program.

Philippe Cousteau: EarthEcho International is one of the leading youth environmental education and service learning organizations in the United States. We are about eight years old and our focus is on helping and empowering young people to take action in their communities, by linking what they’re learning in the classroom with service learning projects in their communities. Our mantra is that awareness doesn’t lead to action—action leads to awareness. We provide resources to millions of middle and high school students across the country, essentially lesson plans, that break down the critical thinking

and problem-solving steps that a young person should go through to identify an environmental problem in their community, to create a plan, solve that problem, take action, and report and demonstrate what they’ve done. Sample programs include everything from doing energy audits in your home and figuring out how to reduce energy needs, to organizing a campaign to raise money to dig wells in Africa, to doing gardens at home or in their schools, to protecting and improving the quality of water. OP: Why should youth care about the environment and the legacy they leave behind?

PC: Well, the great news is that overwhelmingly far more than adults, youth

fall on them. I believe that young people are, to a large degree, already fired up. Want to take action. The data and the surveys support that. It’s not a matter of whether they want to do something; it’s a matter of needing a little bit of help and guidance, and some of the tools to actually figure out what it is they want to do. That’s where we come in. OP: And they can find those tools on your website and through programs you’ve created?

PC: All of our resources [can be found at] www. We also support and provide curriculum enhancements, so we help teachers do their job and link what they’re teaching in the classroom to environmental issues. OP: Can you explain a couple of the tools that youth can access [by] going to your website or getting involved in your programs?

PC: We have standards-aligned video clips that we work with Discovery Education to provide for free on our website. We have downloadable action guides, lesson plans, essentially. Stepby-step guides that help you think about what you could do around water, what you could do around energy, what you could do around food. Every month we’re going to feature outstanding projects young people have done

from around the country. We have a new program that’s about student journalism called STREAM (Students Reporting Environmental Action Through Media). How do you become a citizen journalist? How do you go out in your community with questions that you want to ask? The program provides resources to help talk youth through that. We provide resources around templates—how do you do a press release about your project? How do you write letters to raise money? Simple things like that help provide basic, simple tools for young people. They don’t have to figure it out all on their own. We’re there to help them do it. OP: I’m a delegate for the Global Youth Peace Summit here in Austin, and I was a little afraid to get involved at first because I didn’t know where to go. You’re providing

PC: I believe that the only true agents of change on a large scale, in this country or anywhere, are young people. We live in an era today where [we] have a vast world of information at [our] fingertips. Young people have, truly, the potential to change the world. Not when they get older—today. I’ve seen young people raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix a problem in their community. I’ve seen young people raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to dig wells in Africa. I’ve seen young people pass laws, largely impacting their communities. They do have the power to change the world. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen a lot of doom and gloom and depressing things, and it’s [the] youth that give me hope.

Ocean Pleasant, 15, travels the globe blogging, interviewing, and encouraging youth to become engaged in their communities. She is building a movement through art, film, and fundraising to instigate local and global change. She founded The Asha Project, working to empower young women living in impoverished communities around the world. The first in her film series, The Asha Project: Silent Voices of India, is due out this year.

Young people don’t have to figure it all out on their own, we’re there to help them do it. tools and resources for youth to learn how they can get active in their communities. That’s really amazing.

PC: Most states require students to do service to graduate from high school. The opportunities are limited, very limited, especially when it comes to the environment. And they’re very similar to the approaches adults take with kids which is, “You’re a robot and I’m going to tell you (because I know better) how you should do this,” as opposed to engaging young people. What we’re saying is, find something you’re passionate about, and we’ll provide resources to help you get where you want to go. We provide templates, we provide resources, we provide steps that young people can use to come up with their own amazing ideas to become empowered and engaged. OP: How can teens get involved in their communities? What do you have to say to youth who feel called to make an impact?

Find something you’re passionate about, and we’ll provide resources to help you get where you want to go.

Photos: Left Page: Philippe Cousteau in Arctic filming with CNN International. Courtesy of CNN This Page: (Upper Left) Philippe Cousteau, Jr. with his grandfather, Jacques Cousteau (Lower Right) Philippe Cousteau covering the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, summer 2010. Courtesy of EarthEcho International and



why we build

Zoe Blumenfeld

Stand With Women

In nearly eighty countries, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope Shala Carlson Editor of Habitat World I have seen a family move a mountain in order to have a simple, decent home of their own. On a rocky hillside outside the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, a wonderful woman named Gregoria clasped my hands in hers and spoke fervently about the future that her family was building. Around us, Gregoria’s husband and other family members labored to clear sizable boulders from the land where they would soon build a house with the help of Habitat for Humanity. Land ownership in Bolivia can be a complicated process, and they were grateful for the partnerships that had led them to this spot.

Habitat believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live, and we believe that, together, we can build it Not every family that partners with Habitat has to move a literal mountain to improve their housing conditions, but far too many in this world face daunting obstacles: dilapidated or makeshift shelters with patchwork walls and poorly sealed windows and doors; cramped, overcrowded spaces; the limbo that so often follows disasters and unrest; unpredictable rent increases; lack of access to land tenure. Housing need exists in communities everywhere and takes many forms. I’ve had the tremendous privilege of visiting various communities in just a handful

Girls educated by Global Fund for Women’s grantee partner Tumndo Ne Leel in Kenya.

clockwise, from top left: A volunteer helps build a new Habitat home in Joplin, Missouri; Habitat homes built outside Leogane, Haiti, have been transformed into a busy community of families, gardens, and children playing; in Maai Mahlu, Kenya, Habitat houses offer stability and community to 300 families formerly displaced by conflict; Habitat builds [homes] like this one in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, bringing local and international volunteers together to work alongside future homeowners.

of the nearly eighty countries where we work, and I’m always struck by the willingness of people to share their stories and whatever space they currently call home. I’ve also seen the difference that a safe, secure, and stable home can make in the life of these families. Habitat believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live, and we believe that, together, we can build it. Our responses are as varied as the need we see. We construct, rehabilitate, and preserve homes, advocate for fair and just housing policies, and provide training and access to resources that help families improve their shelter conditions. But what we’re really building are better tomorrows. The act of construction creates confidence. A homeowner in Kentucky once told me that her entire Habitat experience was simply learning to do things she never thought she could. The solid foundation of a house translates into better school performance and better health. In Vietnam, I once peeked in on a child peacefully napping as his mother described the small sliver of a house boat where the family once lived. Crowded and always at the mercy of the elements, the young toddler was often sick, but no more.

And finally, Habitat’s work brings together a community that lets each of us know that we are not alone. To make a Habitat house happen, people from different walks of life and from all around the world — homeowner families, volunteers and other supporters — join together. I once stood on the porch of a Habitat house in rural Tajikistan, watching two-year-old Najot happily entertain his grandmother Unziyamoh. Snow silently fell all around the sturdy home that Unziyamoh had built by herself. By herself, she said proudly, but with Habitat’s help.

Join the affordable housing movement today at Your participation will help change lives around the world. Learn more about “Why We Build” at Subscribe to receive updates about Habitat’s work. Give

a gift via and enable Habitat to partner with more families in need of decent shelter. As the editor of Habitat World, Habitat for Humanity International’s flagship publication, Shala Carlson has extensively covered the organization’s work in the United States and around the world.

PHOTOS: © Habitat for Humanity International; Ezra Millstein; bottom right: Steffan Hacker; bottom left: Mikel Flamm 86 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

I remember how red my face turned when my parents first told me about sex. I can still hear the power in my mother’s voice when she told me I always have a choice about when and if I want to have a child. She made sure to end every one of our talks with a reminder about whom we need to thank for equal rights and safe access to reproductive care. It’s no surprise that I work for Global Fund for Women today. It’s a place where I am lucky enough to speak and dream with women, from Colombia to Afghanistan, about a world where women and girls everywhere have a voice, choice, and the resources to achieve their human rights. But right now I’m a little worried. Since 2010, thirty-two states in my own country, the United States, have enacted laws that restrict women’s access to healthcare—specifically contraceptives and safe abortion services. When I turn on the news, I hear politicians and pundits spew opinions about medically unnecessary ultrasounds and forcing women to tell their employers why they want birth control. Why Women’s Health? Because pretty much everywhere you go, women are the main healthcare decisionmakers for their families and themselves. Because it’s hard to work when you are sick. Because when women control their bodies, they control their destinies. Regardless of one’s politics, it’s clear that

there are concerted efforts to turn back the clock and reverse some of the gains women fought so hard for forty years ago. The waves of controversy in the U.S. are having a ripple effect on women around the world—women the Global Fund supports. However, there are places in the world where the clock is not being turned back. Even in the face of conservative legislation backed by the Catholic Church, Uruguay took a giant step when its Senate voted to decriminalize abortion in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. This legislation is the result of a decade of tireless advocacy by two of Global Fund’s Uruguayan grantee partners, Mujer y Salud Uruguay and Mujer Ahora. If signed by the President, Uruguay will join Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City as the only places in Latin America and the Caribbean where a woman can legally obtain an abortion without restriction in her first trimester. What’s the lesson to be learned from our courageous sisters in Uruguay? When you get the right resources, such as money, education, and community outreach, to the right, well-connected groups, you’re on the path to transformative change that benefits everyone. Talk about local victory with global impact. Take the Lead What would the world look like if women of the “developing world” had access to family planning and maternal and newborn health services? According to the Guttmacher Institute, “The lives of more than 1.5 million newborns and 250,000 women would be saved each year. More than 50 million fewer women would experience unintended pregnancies, lowering the cost of providing maternal and newborn health services.”

Photos: Top: Lydia Holden Above: Devi Leiper

At this year’s London Family Planning Summit, CEO of African Women’s Development Fund (a long-time Global Fund grantee partner) Theo Sowa said, “Women should not only be users of family planning but should also be the leaders in realizing [their] goals.”

Women at Global Fund for Women convening in the Philippines.

We need to act on Theo’s advice and be the leaders we know we are and can be. We should connect with our sisters in our own communities. So how about this for a New Year’s resolution? Get together with a couple friends and visit your local women’s and girls’ organizations. Invest your time, talent, and resources in raising women’s voices. Take the lead and remember you are uniquely positioned to change your family, community, and the world. Zoe Blumenfeld is the Communications Manager for the Global Fund for Women, which invests in, connects, and advocates for the human rights of women and girls around the world. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 87

This Holiday Season,

A goat restocking program in Gutu Dobi, Ethiopia

It’s mostly women who receive the goats because they are the family caretakers, often responsible for the well-being of the household and making sure children eat. Ultimately, goats are practical, but they are also empowering the role of women in their communities.

Skip the Shops and

Change Through Student Leadership

Change the World

Whether your college experience was five years ago or twentyfive, you can help a student here in the U.S. create change through Unwrapped. Oxfam’s student leadership program is called the CHANGE Initiative for a reason: those who participate can—and do—change the world. The program helps train college students to make a meaningful difference in the fight against poverty, both on campus and off, today and tomorrow. Each CHANGE Leader implements at least one Oxfam-specific public advocacy campaign on campus, covering issues like food justice; oil, gas, and mining; or disasters and poverty. They may work on building networks, organizing their peers to take political action, or hosting campus awareness events like teach-ins, panel discussions, art exhibits, and speakers’ tours.

Oxfam America: Helen DaSilva


reating lasting solutions to poverty can be complicated. I work for Oxfam America, an organization that saves lives in the wake of humanitarian emergencies, works with communities all over the world on long-term projects that fight poverty, and works with young and old within the U.S. to advocate for policy change that could help poor people. That’s a lot, and it’s exciting and inspirational. Over the years, I’ve met people who knew Oxfam because they heard about one of our campaigns in the news or saw an interview on our disaster response work. Often, they first learned about Oxfam and its projects through our catalog, “Oxfam America Unwrapped.”

Take a latrine for instance . . . Oxfam is already working in communities around the world, so when disaster strikes, we can be a first responder: channeling funds, aid workers, and relief supplies to where they are needed in a matter of hours. In Tapion, a small community in the Haitian hills of Petit Goave, Oxfam has helped to change lives in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti over two years ago. Many of the 118 families there didn’t have latrines when the quake destroyed most of their homes and upended their lives. After the quake, cases of stomach illnesses and diarrhea climbed. As part of Oxfam’s water and sanitation program, families were invited to join in a campaign to build household latrines across their Photo: Eva-Lotta Jansson/Oxfam America 88 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

The Unwrapped gift catalog offers items that symbolically represent Oxfam’s lifesaving work, and each purchase is a contribution toward our many programs that help people living in poverty throughout the world. A gift from Oxfam America Unwrapped is an easy way to support lasting solutions to difficult problems, share stories and information with loved ones, and become a gift giver everyone wants around.

How does this make a difference in the lives of poor people on the other side of the world? There are large barriers that can keep people in poverty. To tackle these obstacles, Oxfam engages in national and international policy and advocacy work. Mobilizing citizens, sharing information, and encouraging people to take action on policy and advocacy issues stateside is a key part of changing the framework that keeps people in the cycle of poverty. “Our minds are wired to think on individual levels, not statistics of billions or millions or even hundreds. So while you can know the numbers, they’re pretty abstract,” said Tsesa Monaghan, a 2011 Oxfam CHANGE Leader from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. CHANGE Leaders help to cut through the abstract and bring Oxfam’s work to life. They inspire individuals all over the country to get involved and make a difference.

Unwrapped brings Oxfam’s projects to life for people who might not have the chance to travel abroad to see this kind of work first hand.

community. Andrena Attis was eager to get involved. A young mother with a husband and two children, Attis was living in a tent with ten people since the quake destroyed her home.

helps keep families healthy in the long term. A key part of Oxfam’s work is about helping people to be more resilient and prepared in the face of a crisis and to build more stable and prosperous futures.

Building a latrine for her family required a serious investment. To get the cash to hire the man to dig the latrine pit, Attis’s family had to sell a goat and some chickens. But with Oxfam providing the materials for the shed that surrounds the latrine, it was the time to make the commitment, Attis decided.

The Value of a Goat

“It’s better for us now,” she said. “It’s a lot safer.” And with cholera, a deadly waterborne disease, sweeping across the country at the time, the latrine is more needed than ever. A latrine helps prevent disease in the wake of an emergency, and it

I never gave goats much thought before joining Oxfam. Maybe you haven’t either, but the next time you see one, you’ll appreciate how powerful they can be. Hardy animals that are drought resistant can help families face difficult times. Oxfam has worked in communities throughout Ethiopia to help restock goat populations. In some cases, families will get five female goats and one male, all checked for good health and vaccinated. Goats reproduce quickly and provide fertilizer for crops and milk for families.

These are just a few examples of gifts available on Oxfam America Unwrapped. I’m proud of the work Oxfam does, and happy to have such a meaningful and easy way for people across the U.S. to learn more about the people we work with and our programs, share stories, and get involved.

This holiday season, you can give a life-saving latrine, a field-fertilizing goat or a helping hand for a student leader ready to change the world. Visit to learn more about all of Oxfam America’s gifts that do good. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 89

Pussy Riot: Injustice

Michelle Ringuette Chief of Campaigns & Programs, Amnesty International USA

We remain committed to the release of all three women, and until that time, we will make sure the voices of these women are not silenced.

These women are prisoners of conscience.

These women are prisoners of conscience. Amnesty International, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, is oriented around a simple idea: that human rights abuses anywhere are the concern of people everywhere, and that we are at our most powerful when we stand together for human rights. To that end, Amnesty activists show up wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses. We educate and mobilize the public. And we campaign to transform societies to create a safer, more just world. In 1961, Amnesty coined the term “Prisoners of Conscience,” a designation for any person who is imprisoned solely because of their political, religious or other conscientiously held beliefs, ethnic origin, sex, color, language, national or social origin, economic status, birth, sexual orientation or other status, who has neither used nor advocated violence. Since that time, millions of our members and supporters have demonstrated than an individual can make the difference between hope and despair, freedom and imprisonment, and sometimes life and death, on behalf of another whose rights are being denied. Over the past fifty years, Amnesty has helped to secure freedom for more than 40,000 individuals who have been jailed wrongly for their opinions, their beliefs, their ideas, and who they fundamentally are.

Last spring, three members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot were arrested in Russia after the provocative but peaceful fortysecond performance of a “punk prayer” criticizing the increasing ties between the Putin government and the Russian Orthodox Church. Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich (Masha, Nadya and Katja to friends) were detained at a time when concerned observers were flagging an increasing number of crackdowns on dissent in Russia, including new restrictions on public gatherings and a large number of defamation cases hitting the courts. Their due process rights and protections under international law— including the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights— [were] ignored, [and] the three young women of Pussy Riot were charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” They were denied access to their families and their children for five months. Their trial, a modernday version of the Salem witch trials, brought into evidence their uncovered arms and “devil’s pranks,” as well as their feminist predilections. In late August, despite a global outcry from activists, musicians, and political leaders from around the world, Masha, Nadya and Katja were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for the peaceful expression of their political beliefs (Katja was released with a suspended sentence in October).


Soon after Pussy Riot’s initial arrest, Amnesty members and committed activists from around the world mobilized to raise awareness about the case. We remain committed to the release of all three women, and until that time, we will make sure the voices of these women are not silenced. From organizing protest[s] in major cities across Europe to pulling together solidarity punk rock shows on college campuses to bringing petitions to Russian embassies to hosting “Free Expression Teach-Ins” where the women’s own letters responding to the charges are read, Amnesty members and supporters have campaigned on their behalf. When Nadya’s husband Pyotr and their four-year old daughter Gera visited Amnesty in the U.S. last month, they were given the opportunity to meet perhaps Amnesty’s most famous—and now freed—prisoner of conscience. When Aung San Suu Kyi met with the upcoming generation of Amnesty activists at a Youth Town Hall, she called for the release of Pussy Riot “as soon as possible.” Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director Suzanne Nossel pledged to Pyotr and Gera that [the] movement had only just begun, and she delivered hundreds of letters of solidarity addressed to Pussy Riot from young Amnesty activists.

ABOVE: Yoko Ono and Pyotr Verzilov at the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace on September 21, 2012 BELOW: Gera Verzilov, daughter of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Pyotr Verzilov

The bold principle that ignited Amnesty International more than fifty years ago is more important now than ever before. What began as the idea of a single individual has grown into the largest global human rights grassroots movement, with more than three million people united in fighting for human rights for all. The courageous (and some might say outrageous) stand of Pussy Riot has inspired cross-generational human rights activists from all over the world who recognize the power and direct impact of their individual voice when speaking out on behalf of another.

To donate, volunteer, take action, or become a member of Amnesty International, please visit, photos: Amnesty International USA ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 91


Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author and the co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund. A frequent public speaker, Lappé is one of the country’s leading voices for sustainable food and farming. She is currently directing the Real Food Media Project, a new series of myth-busting videos about the real story of our food.

for the


And our message? We can dramatically reduce the nearly one billion people going hungry on the planet, but only if we arm farmers and farmworkers with the knowledge about how to grow food without chemicals and how to nurture natural ecosystems. Some of the most esteemed global institutions echo this message in their studies about how to fight hunger and grow food abundantly. Steer global food production away from chemical agriculture and factoryfarmed meat and dairy. Go for organic and ecological production methods, and get people eating whole, real food again, and we can increase agricultural productivity and address malnourishment. It’s common sense, in a way. It shouldn’t take a Ph.D. in biology to surmise that spraying toxic chemicals across land used to farm food that we eat isn’t a wise choice. New studies come out all the time about the very real

Changemakers Jean Case CEO, The Case Foundation What would you do if you didn’t fear failure? Movements that change society often start with one person who has the courage to try to make a difference, despite the challenges set before them. These people are the heroes and pioneers we often learn about in history books, and each started out inspired by an idea and fueled by a passion that they could make a difference.

Anna Lappé Twelve years ago, I took my mother up on an irresistible invitation: seek out solutions to hunger on four continents. Together, we visited social movements, farmers, and food activists from the foothills of the Himalayas to the plains of Brazil and wrote a book about it. Now, more than a decade later and with two kids of my own, I realize I’ve ended up in the family business—not Walton-style chain stores or Trump-sized real estate, but speaking truth to Big Food power.

Finding Fearless

. . . why do so many of us still think those of us pushing sustainable food and farming are naïve do-gooders who like to munch our kale chips in oblivion to the pressing need to produce more? impact of these chemicals on bees and birds, frogs and fish—not to mention people. It also shouldn’t take a public health expert to tell us that using three quarters of our country’s antibiotics just to beef up livestock on factory farms is a misguided use of this vital public health resource. So, if the evidence is on our side, why do so many of us still think those of us pushing sustainable food and farming are naïve dogooders who like to munch our kale chips in oblivion to the pressing need to produce more? Quite possibly, it’s because the food industry has been working overtime to undermine the public’s confidence in sustainable ways of growing food. Some of the biggest food companies are pouring millions into messaging campaigns like the “Alliance to Feed the Future” to tout the benefits of “modern” agriculture and

disparage sustainable farming. The Alliance’s members include groups like CropLife America, the trade association for the agrochemical industry, formerly known as the National Agricultural Chemicals Association, and others you’d never guess existed, like the Association for Dressings and Sauces and the National Frozen Pizza Institute. Another member — the Calorie Control Council, the makers of artificial sugar and fake fat. Call me crazy, but I’m not so sure the key to feeding the future is pepperoni pizza, ranch-style dressing, and Olestra. Armed with the best studies out there, I feel the need to shout the good news from the rooftops: we can feed the world without harming the planet, farmers, farmworkers, or ourselves. We can have plenty on the planet, but only if more of us stand up for sustainable farmers, choosing to support those farmers with our pocketbooks, our voices, and our votes.

The Case Foundation launched our Be Fearless Initiative earlier this year with the recognition that to truly move the needle in addressing social challenges, all of us involved in finding and funding solutions for these challenges must be willing to be bold, take risks, and be willing to fail. When we think about being fearless, our minds quickly go to great movement builders throughout history, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Susan B. Anthony, or modern social innovators, like Geoffrey Canada and Wendy Kopp. But even these fearless pioneers started somewhere, and we had a hunch that there are thousands more in the making today: undiscovered social innovators who are dreaming big and taking risks to change their communities and the world. That’s why we launched “Finding Fearless” in partnership with Microsoft and REI, a campaign to find America’s Most Fearless Changemakers, individuals who are not afraid to break the mold, take a risk, and find a new approach to sparking change in their community. In September, we received more than 1,000 nominations from concerned citizens across the U.S. who have embraced a fearless approach to social change. Since that time, our “Fearless Academy” of diverse leaders and practitioners from across sectors have reviewed and assessed every application to determine our Top 20 finalists. This month, we’ll reveal the grant winners, who

. . . a campaign to find America’s Most Fearless Changemakers, individuals who are not afraid to break the mold, take a risk, and find a new approach to sparking change in their community. will receive Case Foundation grants ranging from $1,000-$20,000, along with software donations and prizes from Microsoft and REI. We are inspired by what we’re seeing. These leaders are taking their visions and passions forward and are acting on their frustrations with failed systems and unmet expectations with their desire to transform real-world problems into real-world solutions. These Changemakers are just like you—parents, students, nonprofit workers, business owners —showing each of us that we should “Be Fearless” in all that we do.

who will receive a $10,000 bonus grant from the Case Foundation and a REI Adventure experience for four to Bryce Canyon National Park. The Foundation will announce the final winners on November 28, and we look forward to profiling them in a future issue of ORIGIN Magazine.

Join us on Twitter by following the @CaseFoundation and tell us what it means to #BeFearless.

We hope you’re inspired, too. To be a part of the final selection of winners, cast your vote at from November 13, 2012 until November 21, 2012. Support the Fearless Changemaker you believe deserves to top the list. Your vote will help decide



Leaders Shifting the Planet

Jane Wells Founder Of 3 Generations Survivors of crimes against humanity have vital stories to tell. At 3 Generations we’ve created a safe place for them to do so, in their own words and without any agenda except to share their truth with the world. We have filmed and curated stories from survivors of the genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries: tortured Tibetans, war veterans, and sex trafficking victims here in the United States. Storytelling heals the teller and moves the listener to action. These stories remind us of our common humanity. 3g en er atio n s .o rg

What motivates you?

Leilani Münter Race car driver Environmental activist

Richard “Ric” O’Barry Director: Dolphin Project, Earth Island Institute I spent my first ten years capturing dolphins in the wild and training them, including training the dolphins used in the 1960’s “Flipper” TV show. But I decided they really don’t belong in captivity, and I have spent the last 40 years of my life trying to end captivity of dolphins and release them back into the wild where they belong (see “The Cove” documentary.) They are the only wild animal that repeatedly through history have saved human lives. They ask nothing from us, except to be free.

As a passionate environmental activist, I have found that it is not my biology degree but instead my role as a race car driver that has given me a voice to speak to 75 million race fans in the USA about environmental issues. It’s the exact opposite of preaching to the choir. My race car has carried messages about clean energy and [saving] dolphins. I’m working on a plant-based diet-themed race car for 2013. After all, if we speak only to those people who already agree with us, who is going to change the minds of those who don’t? c ar bo n fr eeg i r l .co m

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Lisa Rueff

Zane Kessler

Jean Oelwang

Humanitarian Tour Guide, Yogaventures

Executive Director of The Thompson Divide Coalition

Virgin Unite CEO

There are places in the American West that take your breath away. The Thompson Divide area is one of those special places. It is home to the world’s largest interconnected aspen grove, multiple freeflowing waterways, pristine wildlife habitats, enclaves of organic farming, and traditional ranching culture. Unfortunately, more than 75,000 acres in the heart of the Thompson Divide are slated for natural gas development. Simply put, I am inspired by the idea of looking back someday and quietly saying to myself, “We protected that.” Save Th o m p so n Divi de .o rg

People who never accept the unacceptable inspire me. There is a wonderful opportunity for us to stop trying to save the world and instead reinvent how we live and work in the world. As part of this we need to change the way we do business to ensure that it becomes a force for good. I’m inspired every day by leaders who are putting people and planet at the core of all they do. It’s time to make radical transparency and collaboration the new sexy.

I lead international humanitarian journeys, and am inspired by the participants as they discover the joys of philanthropy and sustainable volunteer work. Together we witness firsthand how we can each make mutually enriching, extraordinary impacts by listening, learning, and acting with compassion and passion. I’m motivated by how participants engage their personal communities with fundraising efforts before their trips, and return with personal stories and experiences. Recently, I’ve partnered with Virgin Unite, and am leading Connection Trips to spotlight frontline leaders doing exceptional international work, and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. yogaventu r es .o rg w w w. jacmelch i ldr en .o rg

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Leaders Shifting the Planet

Ashara Ekundayo Marketing Director: San Francisco Green Festival; Owner, BluBlak Media Consulting and Co-Founder, Hub Oakland I am a parent, cultural worker, movement builder, and social permaculturist of the urban landscape who works to bring my whole existence into the entrepreneurial sector. As a catalyst, connector, and producer, I have had the pleasure of stewarding the process for national and international organizations to build capacity for increased community engagement through the uses of creative practice including performance arts ritual, exhibition, and film.

Kelly Thornton Smith Director of Fun and Founder of the Center for Living Peace I am inspired by the belief that peace is possible. We each have unlimited potential to achieve peace in our own lives and then together create a more peaceful and sustainable world. I am propelled every day by the people at the Center for Living Peace. I see them taking care of the earth, learning peaceful parenting skills, sharing yoga with their kids, engaging in service, being the change they wish to see in the world, and making good happen!

From co-founding an aquaponic farm to hosting a national tv show on activism, and from managing an international food justice fellowship through the U.S. Dept of State to opening a co-working space for innovators – I am committed to cultivating new paradigms that are collaborative and regenerative. In all that I do, the desire is to have my Ancestors be pleased - those past, those present, and those yet to be born. w w w.g r een festival s .o rg

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Laurie Kaufman Hans Hansel

Stephen Dinan

CEO, Logocos Naturkosmetik AG

Founder, The Shift Network

My love of nature and humanity, combined with my vision for a healthier and happier future, inspires me in my roles as founder and CEO of Logocos Naturkosmetik, as a father, and as a private citizen. I feel very fortunate in that I‘ve been able to create a balance between ecology, economy, and my life’s work.

I’m inspired by the opportunity to serve the Divine by helping co-create the shift to a peaceful, sustainable, healthy, and prosperous world. I believe that this shift to a sacred way of being is possible in our lifetimes and that we can remember our global unity, end war, redesign our society, and enter a new phase of human evolution. May it be so!

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G reen Festival Region al D irecto r, Los An geles Justice – for people and the planet – is important to me. I’ve always been a driven, cause-oriented person and in college fought for women’s rights and nuclear disarmament. Now that I’ve got kids of my own, it’s hard to attend rallies at City Hall and work on campaigns. So, I try to be more conscious of the choices I make at home, from composting to buying non-GMO foods. But, no matter how hard I’m working, I try to keep a light heart and positive spirit and remember the saying, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution!”

Rita O’Connell I’m always inspired by other people’s stories. Nothing sets my brain (and pen) firing more quickly than talking to people who have a passion–any passion. There’s great work being done out there; I love that simply giving voice to that work can increase the impact of even small efforts in enormous ways. As long as I keep listening and sharing, I keep learning. And that’s what keeps humanity hopeful, innovative, and, well, human. Also important: a book, a fireplace, a glass of wine, and autumn in northern New Mexico. RitaOCo n n ell .co m

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What makes you

come most alive?

Ingrid Yang

Katie Silcox

Matt Pesendian

Nicolai Bachman

Barbara Benagh

James Tennant

Gabriel Halpern

Yoli Maya Yeh

Claire Mark

Chicago, IL

San Francisco, CA

Los Angeles, Ca

Santa Fe, NM

Boston, MA.

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Connection. Love, mindful action, purposeful living. In yoga, we meet our connectedness in union with all. As a future physician, I hope to connect yoga’s healing power with allopathic medicine. Forging this path of union and sharing it with others makes me come alive.

Feeling the backs of my legs connect to the earth, swimming in a turquoise sea, having a bright fire in my belly, eating homecooked meals, drinking tea, allowing my emotions to flow through, teaching yoga, writing, being in the company of vulnerability and authenticity, my teacher, my students, candle-lit laughter with a sweetheart, reading poetry, doing pranayama.

I feel most alive when I experience something that makes me smile: witnessing an unsolicited act of kindness, walking in the forest, sharing in another person’s joy or good fortune, or connecting deeply with a close friend. Yoga is a tool that uncovers, brings light, and amplifies the inherent abilities and gifts that live deep with each and everyone of us. I am most alive when I’m in a state of selfless service, sharing and exploring the sacred art of yoga.

photo: Jennifer Graham

photo: Jaye Azoff +


Helping students gain better understanding of asana and mindfulness in yoga. Also, I’ve stopped traveling much to teach. Staying home more is fantastic! Having the time to build on a theme over several weeks with local students is particularly rich.

Deep, conscious breaths. Travel. Sharing a meal with family and friends. Laughing out loud. Loving someone. Extending a helping hand. Mental snapshots. Working with my hands. Organized chaos. Leaving my comfort zone. Balance. Dancing. Playing in the mud. Being loved. Realizations about myself. Learning.

Taking pain away from chronically injured students. Traveling overseas and speaking the language of that country. Making my wife laugh. Having my kids love my pasta sauce. Playing guitar with AC/DC and singing harmony with the Beatles. Mentoring and being the ritual elder of my community.

Applying myself in the world with my gifts and abilities is what makes me come alive. Whether it’s sharing kids’ yoga with a special needs population or supporting someone through their healing journey, yoga is my way of being inside and out.

Self-publishing my first cookbook. Collaborating on new projects with smart, interesting, and creative friends. Practicing yoga and teaching yoga. Walking on the lakefront or oceanfront. Watching surfers. Cooking for people. Photography. Traveling to new places. Spending time with my adorable nephew Harry.

PHOTO: Kristie Kahn


PHOTO: Fernanda





BY: Bryan Kest

On the face of it, it’s not the most likely environs for a relaxing yoga practice, but incarceration turns out to be the ideal environment for the self-reflection that yoga practice can elicit. I got to experience this first hand in December 2011 at the Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI), in Tracy, CA. My friend artist/photographer Robert Sturman had invited me along to experience and write about the yoga program at DVI. Sturman has been documenting yoga in the California prison system since 2010, and his evocative photographs have appeared in numerous publications and exhibition spaces.

Dearbhla Kelly Photos: Robert Sturman

How do you mentally prepare to visit a prison? Until you’ve actually witnessed human beings locked behind bars, living 350 to a dorm where there is absolutely no privacy, there’s not really any adequate preparation.

I was unprepared for how moving the experience of practicing yoga with the inmates would be. There are times in life

To get to the practice area, we walked through Z Dorm, a huge, windowless gymnasium converted into a dorm room for 350 guys. It was difficult not to look around, to try and take it all in. But that would have felt like a violation; those guys have lost all vestiges of privacy as it is. They sleep on bunk bed cots, their few belongings draped over the railings. As we walked past the shower and toilet area, in my peripheral vision I could see guys showering in their underwear and sitting on the toilet. I tried to filter it out, so as not to participate in the systemic violation of basic human dignity.

The practice area itself was a repurposed section of the gymnasium, an anteroom of sorts. It was a low-roofed, freezing cold room with concrete floors, exposed piping, and one tiny, barred window. There were bikes, abdominal strengthening machines, old exercise equipment, a punching bag, and some anatomy posters on the walls. Millions of miles from the yoga studios of Santa Monica and other celebrated meccas of yoga, it was a sacred space for those guys, a refuge from the chaos of the dorm. Leading yoga practice with the guys brought out the very best in me as a teacher: I tapped into a place of unconditional love and empathy and one hundred percent focus. It wasn’t about doing a fancy sequence. It was more about being a vessel for a practice that offers transformation and freedom. After practice, some of the guys hung out, and we talked about what yoga means to them. Without exception, they were eloquent

A beautiful side effect of practicing yoga together is that these guys, who not only identify with racial divisions, but also subdivide into gangs along those lines, were finding commonality and connection.


Bay Area yoga teacher Swapan Munshi runs the yoga program at DVI and has been leading a weekly yoga class for the inmates since early 2010. He was gracious enough to allow me to guest teach on the day I visited.

when the veil separating the ordinary from the extraordinary becomes thinner, when the transcendent expands and absorbs us into its fold, when we are part of something much bigger than us, something timeless. We don’t get to design such vortexes of profundity; they are divinely orchestrated, a thing of grace. Yoga with these guys was one of those times.

Prisoners’ lives are highly circumscribed. Those 350 guys crowded into a dorm may have some autonomy: they can rest, shower, have their cornrows redone at the pop-up barbershop pretty much on their own time. However, life in the dorm is regulated not just by prison rules, but also by the sophisticated and highly-developed code among the inmates themselves. The dorm is divided along racial and ethnic lines. Blacks, Asians, Northern Mexicans, Southern Mexicans, Aryans -— all group together in what amounts to de facto segregation. An unwritten code of behavior exists among those who live in the dorm, most people know their place in the hierarchy, and those who overshoot get dealt with mercilessly. The guys always have to be on guard, for at any moment chaos could break out. Life in the dorm is unpredictable, stressful, and tinged with the hum of low-grade anxiety. Hyper-vigilance, anxiety, frustration, and aggression make for a potent cocktail, a perfect storm of stress.


and sincere. Although they mentioned the physical benefits of practicing asana, they were much more animated about the psychospiritual and emotional benefits. They talked about how the time they spent doing yoga functioned as a reset mechanism, allowing them to clear their heads and escape from the chaos, unpredictability, and unrelenting tension of life in the dorm. In rich language, they described how yoga gives them the tools to become less reactive, to develop self-control. They emphasized that learning to breathe through their yoga practice, even when it was difficult or challenging emotions came up, helped them to remember to breathe in difficult situations off the mat. So, they were able to reduce conflict in their interactions with other inmates by pausing to take a breath and then responding, rather than blindly reacting. Let me set the scene here: these were selfdescribed homies and lifers. These were guys who had seen some gnarly stuff and been to some gnarly places and had committed violent crimes, scenes that most of us associate with the movies. Deep, dark stuff. And yet, they distilled the essence of yoga into colorful, poetic, and evocative language that cut right to the heart of why yoga makes a difference in our lives. Many of the guys said that initially they were reluctant to try yoga, but once they did, they were hooked. I asked the guys how they would respond to a hypothetical objector to prisoners having access to yoga. Shannon, a lifer, answered thus: The program is trying to eliminate tension and helps to eliminate diseases that result from tension. When you’re less tense, you’re gonna respond differently to other people. You’re not gonna automatically snap at someone else. You’re gonna think about the causes of the conflict and have empathy for the other person. The work is thinking about somebody else and what they’re going through. They might be having a bad day. Hey, don’t make it worse. The meditation and the practice teaches you that. It teaches you to calm down.

To a man, the guys in the room, black, white, and Latino, nodded their heads and murmured in agreement. A beautiful side effect of practicing yoga together is that these guys, who not only identify with racial divisions, but also subdivide into gangs along those lines, were finding commonality and connection. Yoga was helping them to transcend the elaborate political dynamics of prison life.

Lineage Project provides yoga classes to at-risk youth at Om Factory Yoga Studio in NYC.

Those guys were way beyond yoga as a physical practice, way beyond needing the right clothes or the eco-friendly yoga mat. Their experience of incarceration actually gave them a much greater insight into the depth of what yoga practice offers in terms of internal transformation. They were choosing to avoid conflict and journey deeper inside themselves.

At-Risk Youth Learn Skills that Can Help Bring Peace to their Troubled Lives

This is where yoga

Julie Flynn Badal

really matters: in


magine a national juvenile justice system that views at-risk youth as frightened kids in need of guidance, emotional support, and life skills to overcome trauma and make changes. In New York City, an awarenessbased program called the Lineage Project maintains this healing vision.

eliminating tendencies that cause conflict and suffering and substituting them with skillful ways of responding.

The Lineage Project offers a refreshing approach to youth rehabilitation by teaching mindfulness training to kids caught in the cycle of poverty, violence, and incarceration. The program provides a therapeutic modality that involves group discussions, meditation, and bodywork such as yoga, tai chi, and hiphop. They conduct classes in high schools for at-risk youth, alternative-to-incarceration programs, and juvenile detention centers.

It was very humbling to listen to the inmates describe what yoga is doing for their lives and how it’s impacting their ability to peacefully navigate life in the dorm. This is where yoga really matters: in eliminating tendencies that cause conflict and suffering and substituting them with skillful ways of responding. Patanjali, the great scholar and codifier of the yoga system, wrote that the concern of the yoga aspirant should be with the avoidance of suffering that’s yet to come: Heyam dukham anagatham. By practicing yoga, the inmates are cultivating responsiveness over reactivity, the ability to make different choices. They are freedom yogis, ironically so, given their place behind bars. Just like all of us who practice yoga, they make progress one breath at a time, slowly but steadily finding more peace, and in whatever small way, making their world a better place.

Beth Navon, Executive Director of the Lineage Project, spoke of her reaction to seeing youth locked in detention centers where they teach. “I’ve been doing this work for twenty-five years, and I still cry every time I visit them,” she said. “These kids are so scared and sad.” Dearbhla Kelly is a Los Angeles-based yoga teacher and writer. Images courtesy of Robert Sturman, an artist/photographer based in Santa Monica, California.

The Lineage Project takes a playful attitude toward healing to help counteract the heavy circumstances these young people find themselves in. “These are children who’ve never been able to play,” Navon said. “There’s been too much loss, too much weight on PHOTOS: Chantal Heijnen


their shoulders.” The majority of the Lineage Project participants suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The condition creates an array of problematic symptoms like poor impulse control, attention deficits, hypervigilance, and substance abuse. Navon doesn’t make excuses for youth who commit crimes, and she understands why some might react to them with fear. “But to me, they are just kids who need support,” she said.

The Lineage Project offers a refreshing approach to youth rehabilitation by teaching mindfulness training to kids caught in the cycle of poverty, violence, and incarceration. To illustrate, Navon recalled a boy who took yoga through Lineage Project as part of an alternative-to-incarceration program. One evening a police officer caught sight of the boy running down the street and stopped him for questioning. The boy explained he was rushing to his yoga class. The officer found that hard to believe. After a tedious line of inquiry, the boy told the officer that if he hadn’t taken yoga, he would’ve probably ended up in handcuffs. But through yoga, he learned how to breathe and step back. He could now understand that the policeman had a job to do and that he had a class to attend.

The twelve-week curriculum works on treating the symptoms of PTSD by offering tools students can take out the door. Lessons center around skills that develop the ability to focus, relax, listen, have empathy, and gain perspective. “Before I began this work, I would’ve guessed that we’d encounter a lot of resistance from the students,” Navon said. “But once they experience a sense of calm for the first time, they are often overwhelmed by how good it feels.” Most students want greater access to that feeling of peace. The Lineage Project classes teach them how to create this clear, calm awareness on their own.

The Lineage Project launched their Expanding Consciousness campaign in September with the goal of raising $108,000 in 108 days. Demand for classes has grown tremendously in recent years. Lineage needs your financial support to help bring mindfulness training to New York City’s most vulnerable young people. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 103




Photo: Amir Magal


photo:Czleveland Groove and Yoga Journal

photo: Jean Dixon



What sustains you when everything falls away? Erica Jago 1


1 Caitlin Tralka. Encinitas. Yoga Teacher.

I find myself often collaborating emotion and thought. My heart is in the experience of the now. I lead with my heart. This is what I am passionate about: seeing the simple abundances in life. I rarely walk with my head down—I wouldn’t want to miss a thing! These eyes are wide open. THENESTLIFE.COM

2 Karson McGinley. San Diego. Owner of HAPPY-U. As a yoga instructor & Positive Psychology coach, I am passionate about helping people find deep, unshakable happiness, regardless of their circumstances! Through blogging, teaching classes, and holding private and group coaching sessions, I’m having a blast elevating the vibration of the planet.,

3 Michael Gott. Houston. Minister. Musician. I believe we are meant to spend the energy and days of our lives


photo: Epic Photo Journalism

in ways that make us feel fulfilled, purposeful and well, alive! I’m passionate about reminding people who they are.

4 Eric Paskel. Yoga Shelter. I am passionate about starting again. Every day is twenty-four hours of adventure. Sometimes it’s a tragedy, a comedy, or even a parody. A crazy journey in a world full of separation and oneness, peaks and valleys. I am so passionate about waking up and starting again.

5 Katie Brauer. Encinitas. Yoga Teacher. Living a big life now. Surfing, travel, yoga, food, love, friendship, laughter, connection, and sunshine [all] light me up. Soaking in the richness that life has to offer. Connecting with others and having an impact that inspires and uplifts is something I am eternally grateful for.

photo: Tulasi Devi

6 Mike Richardson. San Francisco I am passionate about practicing, teaching and promoting Yoga. I believe deeply in the power of this global yoga community to lead by example, to create real, lasting change, and to shine brightly where the light is needed most. Most importantly, I believe in you. | |

7 Bethany Orheim. Cardiff By the Sea. California

Prana Flow Yoga The ocean, my family, yoga, and vibrant love Feed My Soul. I am passionate about serving Prana and my life’s mission is to ride the wild waves of life boldly, courageously, and creatively with my heart and soul on fire. As the owner of Bindu Yoga in Del Mar, Ca I am passionate about bringing yoga off the mat and inspiring consciousness within my community.

San Francisco Founder Jagoyoga and Author, Art of Attention When all else falls away, my world gets very small. My thoughts can be obsessive, even compulsive. When all else falls away, I gain momentum out of the dark by saying Affirmations to myself and out loud. If I’m going to repeat obsessive thoughts in my brain, why not make them positive mantras? I am whole. I am loved. I am successful. I heal with the memory of my wholeness. And suddenly, like magic, I expand again and again and again. STUDIO: . | BOOK:

Elena Brower

New York Founder VIRAYOGA NYC and Author, Art of Attention When all else falls away, what sustains me is my trust in myself. In the past few years I’m learning how to hold myself close, to love who I’ve been and who I am now. I’ve learned to make my integrity my top priority in all of my dealings, with myself and others, so I can trust myself in any context. This makes me proud as a daughter, Mama, lover and teacher. This trust sustains me when all else falls away. STUDIO: | BOOK:



Jennifer Pastiloff

“ Yo u d o n o t h ave to b e g o o d . Yo u d o n o t h ave to w a l k o n yo u r k n e e s f o r a h u n d re d m i l e s t h ro u g h t h e d e s e r t , re p e n t i n g . Yo u o n l y h ave to l e t t h e s o f t a n i m a l o f yo u r b o d y l ove w h a t i t l ove s .” from “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

Deep inside, below the gristle-and-bones part of you, lies the memory of a memory. Sleeping like a lazy cat somewhere in the part of you that has forgotten its own name but remembers the sound.

realize there is something behind the words, but I am not sure what it is until I hear the date spoken aloud.

July 15, 1983, was hot and muggy and humid.

Ah! The date my father died. A voice that either belongs to me, or doesn’t, speaks inside my mind.

I actually do not remember this at all, but I must assume that somewhere it was this way.

This is why I love yoga: It unburies the sounds of things you have buried in your body.

I was in South New Jersey, and my father was dying, and I am quite sure it was hot and muggy and humid because how else could it have been?

It’s the body that remembers. Always.

Every year I forget. Until I remember. There is a sense of urgency in the weight

TH IS IS WH Y I LOVE YO GA :   IT U N B U R I ES TH E SO U N DS O F TH I N G S YO U HAVE B U R I ED I N YO U R BO DY of my footsteps, as if they are trying to get somewhere without me. I hear my voice and PHOTOS: joe longo 106 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

It’s the body that is the sleeping cat.

July 15 is the day my father died in the middle of the night before his heart could be pumped back in time. And although I do not mark it down anywhere on any calendar, and although sometimes I do try and forget, my body remembers, and there comes a moment on July 15, no matter what year, when I bow my head and shake my fist at the sky. Forgive your muscles and your joints for not forgetting, for keeping that imprint alive in such a way that one day you will look back on your life and whisper to it: Dear Life, Of all the things I have forgotten, and there have been many, I thank you for taking these snapshots and leaving them with me in stone because without them, I would be insufferable with wonder at how the events of my life slipped past me before I was able to discover who I was in time. So, go ahead and think you are forgetting. It won’t matter. You aren’t and you can’t. There is an imprint in you that says: This is when this happened.  The stamp has been laid. So let your mind be open and go ahead and buy milk in the store, and every once in a while when you feel a pang in your heart or a splurge of, Oh, my God in your bones, please understand what it is: I t i s yo u r l i f e , t r y i n g to b e re m e m b e re d .

T h e m i n d c a n n o t b e t r u s te d . T h e m i n d w i l l te l l yo u i t h a s f o rg o t te n , w h i l e t h e b o d y, t h e b o d y w i l l n eve r l i e .

The body cradles the memory within it and will show it to you in a flash as you buy milk at the store or fold forward in a yoga pose. The body will remind you that today is the day your father died all those years ago. If the body forgot, there would be no more memories, and today might just be another day on the calendar, like any other with its weather and dust and cups of coffee and love and disappointments. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 107

Michele Lauren went from being an interior designer to a yoga instructor in New York City. She brings her background in design to bear on her yoga instruction by creating innovative transitions between each asana. Michele teaches Power Vinyasa and Ashtanga classes. Being partial to arm balances, she will sweep you off your feet in her classes.

Curious Customs

Artists and Robots Working for You Artists from Austin, Texas creating affordable, intricate laser cut light fixtures from sustainable sources. We measure our bottom line in people, planet and profit.

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Smile. It’s Just Yoga!

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make her better. I would clock in the hours at the yoga studio to try to relieve my pain, but there was something a little off in my practice. Focus is needed in yoga; however, I found myself concentrating a little too hard, kind of forcing the poses, and not letting them happen naturally. As a remedy for this, I reverted to when every practice was fresh and new, when I would smile and laugh through

Michele Lauren


’m a firm believer that a smile makes everything better. It can make the difference between being in a “just okay” mood and a great one. That is why I lean towards eternal optimism; my water bottles are always half full. Life has its abundance of highs and lows. Of course, it is easy to live and love life when everything goes your way, but it’s how you react to those curve balls thrown at you in the game of life that can make all the difference. Are you going to just sit back and let it take control of you? That should be a definite no; happily approach life no matter how difficult it may be. Cancer was a major obstacle that affected my aunt, who recently lost her battle. Through all of her doctors’ appointments and chemo treatments, she always put a brave smile on her face. She found peace and happiness in nature, cherishing her free moments by sitting in the conservatory gardens at Central Park or riding her bike around the city. She would always try to find the good in any situation and consistently put other people’s needs


Whatever is happening in your life will still be there when you are done with

One Man’s Humble Quest to Heal His Colitis, Calm His ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness “This awesome book made me laugh out loud. I kept thinking, it’s high time that a man told his Eat, Pray, Love story.”

— Desirée Rumbaugh, creator of the Yoga to the Rescue DVD series

your practice.

ahead of her own. That is one of her many characteristics that will live on in me. To see my aunt get weaker and weaker as the cancer slowly took over was tough. I felt helpless; there was nothing I could do to

http : / / c u r i ou s c u stoms . c om

it all. From that moment on, my motto has been “Smile. It’s just yoga!” That is what I would like to pass on to everyone and remind all my students. Let yoga be your escape, and make every minute in the studio worry-free. Whatever is happening in your life will still be there when you are done with your practice. Next time you encounter a challenge in life or yoga, take a deep breath in, put a smile on your face, and go for it!

“From its first hilariously humiliating image to its closing words of grace, Brian Leaf’s memoir is an unfolding miracle.”

— Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, former editor of The New York Times Book Review


what inspires you?

David Romanelli

Elyse Briggs

Eric Monkhouse

Suza Scalora New York City

Bibi McGill

Bo Forbes

Christabel Zamor

Dana Damara





Yoga teacher, wellness educator, health food entrepreneur

Psychologist, Yoga therapist

Life coach

Yoga teacher

My passion is integrating yoga and mindfulness with modern science and psychology. It’s so rewarding to help people access their built-in capacity for emotional balance. As a psychologist and yoga therapist, I teach all over the world. It’s incredibly inspiring to witness people from many cultures transform their lives through yoga.

I’m inspired by those who are hungry for more heart-opening and aliveness. I admire those who take risks to feel more, connect, forgive, and play “full out” with life.

I am inspired by authentic humility combined with fierce confidence. I am inspired when my children speak their truth with respect and compassion for others. I am inspired by divine love that is the undercurrent of every challenging situation that comes my way.

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ph oto: B rian

Cl ar e Feele y,

M cDo n n ell:

When it comes to what inspires me, yoga is right up there with my guitar and music. Yoga has been the only thing that helps keep me balanced, focused and positively passionate about creating my life exactly how I want it.

yogab i b i .co m


New York City


Mill Valley

Yoga teacher

Yoga teacher

Student, Yoga teacher

Co-Founder, Love 365

I am inspired by exotic sensory experiences. Those form the most enduring memories. As I write this, I’m drinking a creamy shot of Matcha Tea. Last night in my Yoga + Chocolate workshop we indulged in a chocolate truffle with Taleggio cheese ganache. My mantra: a delicious moment each day keeps the stress away.

I’m deeply inspired by The Wise Ones: my dedicated students in their eighties, nineties, and yes—one hundreds. I love watching them move beyond what was once considered lost flexibility. Hugs to all of you who continue to put up with me for working you so hard!

I am currently studying for a master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. Studying Western psychology and then integrating it with my background in Eastern philosophy (yoga teaching) is incredibly stimulating and inspiring.

I am inspired to help people explore what it means to really love yourself and be the love you wish to see in the world. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have: it affects your happiness, how you relate to people, and your view of the world. When we love and honor ourselves, we naturally love and honor others. As we change ourselves, we change the world.

yoga at th e vi ll ag e . Y e ah Dave .co m

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Ph oto: Ale x Ab ercro m b i e


I experience life as a rainbow of the infinite, divine perfection, raw, edgy, sexy. I trust that my passion and experience of the magic of life is reflected in my music. I love every shade, and so I choose to explore and play every shade of music. I am committed to having my life inspire the enlightened child within us all. Pranam.

The Other Deepak (Ramapriyan) Musician

Hemalayaa Los Angeles Dance and Yoga teacher.

I’m inspired by those committed to living a life full of love and joy, and doing what it takes to serve in the best way possible, for the good of all. I travel, sharing the gift of joy and inspiring people through the unity of Yoga and Dance.

breathoflifetribe. com PHOTO: Indrek Mandmets

K elli Davis Desig n s .co m

Getting things done, being healthy, music, making short films with my son, writing, sex, my family, and sleep.


ph oto: Tri n it y Wh eeler lo r naby r n e .co m

Jill Allen Knouse Portland Yoga teacher. Massage therapist.

Joel Davis Boulder


My desire to create community through sound and story inspires my mission to connect artists with audience. That intersection, where both sides really get each other, is where art and life meet. I’m here to facilitate some of those introductions, to promote harmony and understanding by serving musician and listener.


I see angels. I see a guardian angel with each and everyone regardless of their religion, or whether they are good or bad. My personal mission is to remind everyone in the world that they have a guardian angel, that it wants to help them. All they have to do is ask.

Lorna Byrne Ireland

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I’m inspired by imperfection. Perfection and conformity ruled most of my life. I’m working on changing that. Beauty lies in our imperfections. Our imperfections are what make us real. Embracing them allows us to shine. That is not only liberating but a whole lot more interesting. This is where the good stuff lies.

Kelli Davis

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ph oto: jaso n Cl ar k

Jason Jacobson

Discovering this world—its mysteries, its sweet and surprising secrets— inspires me endlessly. What gives me hope is that people survive and thrive despite unbelievable challenges to become more than they ever dreamed of. If we can dream it individually, we can dream it globally. Most dreams require adornment.

ph oto: M o e Chari f

I am passionate about encouraging others to be more childlike every day. When we honor our uniqueness, embrace our creative imagination, trust our intuition, and courageously take big risks, we allow our wise inner child to shine and create the freedom and abundance we desire.

Marisol Tamez Miami

j ustb r e ath e o r ego n .co m

o rgan ic i n diausa .co m Wh ite Swan R eco r ds .co m B l ackSwan So u n ds .co m

I’m inspired by my fabulous husband and the experiences we have together. I’m inspired by the wonderful community that surrounds and supports me, and by the amazing people I’ve met in India. I am blessed to be the Western Tulsi Angel for ORGANIC INDIA, where I get to spread the love and make a difference in the lives of tea farmers.

Penny Cole Castro Valley


products we love

products we love

KiraGrace Warrior T-Back Yoga Tank

Restore Hoodie This eco-friendly hoodie is made from Tencel, a super soft fabric produced from wood pulp from sustainable tree farms. We teamed up with Bo Forbes to create this top specifically for restorative yoga. 25% of the proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

Made in U.S.A. 100% of profits from sales of their T-Back will be donated to Off the Mat, Into the World’s Project Springboard (OTM’s mentoring program for emerging leaders). This collection celebrates the fierce, confident, and sexy warrior goddess in all of us.

Bali Malas Be. Longing.

Divine Planet’s recycled wood jewelry celebrates our world diversity through inspired imagery and words. We are a professional partner of The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (, a nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to benefit the planet and all of her inhabitants.

WEAR PEACE offers a piece of peace for your daily life. Their malas support, reinforce, and connect those who are seeking and those who have arrived within themselves. Fusing fashion, style, and promise while exposing our own inherent inner beauty. At WEAR PEACE, they understand that our essential nature IS peace. We’re Peace.

Divine Planet.

Oneness Junkie

The FOAT Convertible Top A handcrafted, 100% ecofriendly product made in the USA at the FOAT studio. This popular top is made-to-order from reclaimed poly/cotton. Designed with a raw neckline and exposed stitching of contrast color, this top can be worn numerous ways.


Be an ambassador for Oneness in your community! Help to ignite the conversation of Oneness wherever you go by wearing this 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton Oneness junkie t-shirt. If you have a retail shop, yoga studio, or online website, you can make money showcasing and/ or selling these shirts in your business.

Sara Lua.

I’ve always believed that in business and fashion it is possible to help people look and feel great, while helping the planet. After witnessing clear-cut deforestation in Southeast Asia, I created a line of jewelry using 100% sustainable bamboo, which is now being planted in deforested communities. I believe in the power of positivity. My jewelry is styled with symbolism and messages that inspire me daily.

The YOGiiZA Organic Cotton Yoga Thong Perfect for wearing under your yoga tights, the YOGiiZA thong keeps your sacred space YogiFresh. Choose natural, choose organic, and this holiday season, choose YOGiiZA. The adorable tin packaging is a perfect stocking stuffer.

Create a handmade gemstone mala tailored to your unique spiritual practice at Jewels of Saraswati. Designer Lauren Saraswati Zavlunov specializes in durable handmade japa malas, giving every mala loving and devoted attention. Each client receives a lengthy consultation to determine which gemstones will assist their intentions in their life and in their practice. The result is a truly a one-of-a-kind item to inspire you on your spiritual journey!


Jewels of Saraswati.

The sacred Lotus Flower represents purity, divine wisdom, and the individual’s progress from the lowest to the highest state of consciousness. Seeded in muddy waters, the lotus rises above the mud, producing beautiful and fragrant flowers that symbolize the soul’s journey from the mud of delusion to the bliss of heavenly enlightenment. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 115

products we love

products we love

Rosewood Mala: Represents Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, keeps negativity away, strengthens aura, helps manifest your desires.

Hotdog Yoga Rollpack The best features of a mat bag, garment bag, and gym bag, combined with fine luggage craftsmanship. The Hotdog Yoga Rollpack opens flat to hold clothes, provides pockets for phone, keys, oils and more, then rolls around any size mat and towel. Gracing the shoulders of renowned teachers and students around the world - there’s nothing else like it.

Atma Imports has carefully selected sacred malas for yogis and those seeking to deepen their path. Each mala comes with a description of the energetic properties the mala holds. 10% of all proceeds from Atma Imports benefits The Amala Foundation, a nonprofit in Austin, Texas that supports healing and community world-wide.

ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi Teas Cinnamon Rose Tea

We love their commitment to be a living embodiment of consciousness in action. They work with thousands of family farmers in India who cultivate acres of organic farmland. ORGANIC INDIA actively promotes sustainable agriculture, pays a premium market rate to our farmers, and all products are certified organic. Each tea is one link in a chain of love, respect, and connectedness between their farmers and you. Every time we purchase ORGANIC INDIA, we help give training and a living wage to the Indian farmers, creating a sustainable environment.

The Mala Yoga Duffle First they listened, then designed their beautiful bag to carry any size mat and all accessories, with separate pockets for wet & dry clothes. Two water bottles pockets, two zippered pockets, tethered key snap and continuous loop suspension for strength, balance and durability. Made here in the U.S, and based in Boulder. Love it!


Lakshmi Puja Mala by Shivaloka Soul Jewelry

The Seaweed Bath Co. product line was created by psoriasis sufferer Adam Grossman to fight dry, irritated skin. The Wildly Natural Seaweed Argan Shampoo and Conditioner combine the nourishing properties of sustainably-harvested bladderwrack seaweed with argan oil in 100% post-consumer recycled bottles to cleanse and moisturize the hair and scalp. How can we not love that? Based in Austin and fully national, we’ve loved them for years.

Mischka Jacket We love PrAna’s stylish, waterresistant, sherpa-lined Mischka Jacket for this winter. It even makes us Texans like the snow. Check out their new collection of sweaters as well.

The Seaweed Bath Co. Seaweed Argan Shampoo and Conditioner

Bhakti Chai

Get your spice on! Bhakti Chai blends organic, fresh and Fair Trade Certified ingredients into a unique, fiery chai. Founded on the principle of Bhakti (devotion through social action), Bhakti Chai is committed to equitability and sustainability in its supply chain and generously contributes to organizations empowering women and children.

Herbal Zap

Love this natural Ayurvedic Immune and Respiratory support supplement, especially over the holidays. It dissolves instantly in hot water. It’s formula is based on an ancient, trusted remedy, known as Kashaya in South India and Peyawa in Sri Lanka. It’s blended from locally grown and freshly harvested herbs from the hills of Sri Lanka. We also love that it’s a female-owned small business, growing rapidly.

Sambazon Superfood Smoothie

SHIVALOKA is an authentic sacred jewelry brand blessed with the secret knowledge of empowering sacred power objects by one of India’s greatest saints. Choose from 14 different Benefit categories, i.e. healing heartbreak, prosperity, peace of mind, protection from negativity, and experience the divine, powerful changes in your life.

Blendtec Designer Series Blender

Blendtec not only delivers the latest in blending technology, but also by makes it even easier for us healthconscious individuals to incorporate whole, raw and organic foods into our daily diets.

Love their protein chocolate + almond + coconut milk, superfood smoothie. It’s packed with organic vegan whole food protein and over 100 açaí berries delivering antioxidants and healthy omega 3-6-9s. It’s certified USDA Organic, fair-trade eco-cert Acai, non-GMO, gluten free, vegan/NON-Dairy, certified B-Corporation. That’s a mouthful. Literally.

Did you know the real energetic potency of mala beads has to be activated to be fully accessed?


Michelle Alva


Miami Beach. healer.


I shift the planet towards more love and unity by being the change I want to see in the world. I do this everyday as a healer, writer, teacher, and creator of Free Yourself guided meditations that bring us back to the experience of our true nature and oneness.

What does commitment mean to you?


Arianne Traverso

Tamara Kenigsberg

Miami Beach. AcroYoga.

Miami. Yoga teacher.

Teaching in bayfront parks, we see the trash that collects along the shoreline. Cleaning [up the shoreline] after class and sending letters to local congressmen has made a shift in the way our bay looks. [This creates] a sense of awareness and urgency to maintain our oceans, [to keep] our backyard clean!

The core value of all of my actions is to serve. Helping others is what creates those moments of stillness and liberation. By choosing to live a life of service, I know that ultimately it will aid in shifting this planet in the direction of positive change.

Jessica O’Keefe Dallas. TX

The level of commitment I have toward something is directly proportional to the degree of love and care that I feel towards that person or pursuit. In every moment I look for the opportunity to invest more fully, re-commit to those things that foster love and a caring heart.

Jennifer Lawson

Pediatric Occupational Therapist & Registered Yoga Teacher Dallas. Tx At this point in my life, commitment is about being open to the sensation and wisdom that arise in the midst of the process, whatever that process may be, before things are decided and the answers appear, when I am in limbo, waiting for the path to reveal itself. Commitment is about the lingering, rather than forcing the path.

Victoria Brunacci

Rina Jakubowicz Miami. Yoga teacher.

Miami Beach. Yoga teacher.

Rina is shifting the planet one pose at a time. Full of life, love, and imagination, Rina is an author, motivational speaker and yoga instructor known for her vibrant approach to yoga and teaching. Her book, Choose Peace, is based on her life philosophy.

Embracing every creature as a family. Loving [everyone] as brothers and sisters. [Practicing] yoga of the Five Bodies—energy, intellect, heart, body and soul. Practicing Bhakti (devotion) and Karma Yoga (service). One world. One heart.

holly lynch Dallas. TX Wisdom tells me that devotion and perseverance lie at the root of commitment. Experience reminds me that we are imperfect. We must first be truthful, compassionate and courageous with ourselves in our commitments, so then we may relentlessly pursue progress and change with grace. (co-founder) (co-owner)

How do you maintain your center? Adi Carter

Yoga teacher. YogaSlacker. AcroYoga teacher. Climber. Surfer. Nomad and professional apartment sitter. Center for me is a constant state of redefining balance and taking the practice of yoga off the mat. From slacklining and AcroYoga, to surfing, climbing, mountain biking, and snowboarding, I find center while playing with balance and enjoying the journey and new experiences along the way, especially while traveling on the road and meeting great people. photos: top Center, upper Right, Margie Woods Brown Photography Lower left: Ben Fullerton




February 24-March 2, 2013 St John, US Virgin Islands

The Held in Light Healer Training Program is open for enrollment. Austin, TX, Boulder, CO and West Hartford, CT. Therapists, yoga teachers, coaches and practitioners welcome. Classes begin in February, 2013.

Have an Undeniable Experience of Your True Self In this pivotal life-changing retreat, you will find:

New to energy healing? Join Wendy De Rosa every 3rd Tuesday of the month for a FREE Tele-Conference Healing.

For details visit:

• The passion, joy and confidence of your true self • Energy to take inspired action for your life’s purpose • A quality of love that everyone longs for • Tools and a meditation to sustain a calm mind, open heart, relaxed body and your personal connection to spirit. Call 858-442-7512 or visit

Live passionately. Love fully. Give joyfully.

e Your Mind Introdutocyour body.


They just might like each other.


200 & 500-Hour Yoga Teachers’ Training* 200-Hour begins 2/2/13 300-Hour begins ANYTIME! *Sanctioned by Yoga Alliance SM YOGA AT THE VILLAGE 1306 Sonora (at Kenneth Rd.) • Glendale, CA 91201 818-265-9833 •


EXERCISE FOR SENIORS 5 Simple Stretches to Get You Started


5 Simple Exercises to Get You Started




Perfect Gift for ANYONE who just won’t get off the Sofa!!! DVD available: and ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 121

Lander, Ellen, Audrey & Josh (Christmas morning)

Josh, Audrey & Lander (Central Park, New York City)

Lander, Audrey, Ellen, Josh (Laguna, CA)

Unexpected Gifts Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome Interview with Author Ellen Yeoman by Lander Yeoman


ou’ve said that having a child with special needs drastically changed your life. So much so, that you’ve written a book about your experiences with Josh. How has having a child with Down Syndrome changed you as a parent? I can only relate to child-rearing in my own experience as a practice, very similar to a conscious meditation. With the birth of my son Josh, I was given the opportunity to wake up. I had basically been sleepwalking through life, going about my days as a routine, not consciously aware of what I was creating. There was no trust nor faith and certainly no conscious awareness of anything, especially in making choices. I had been talking at my children, rather than listening and responding. 

As a parent, how do you come to terms with the choices your children


make? Specifically dealing with special needs, does worry ever leave your mind? I began to learn that parents make better choices for themselves and others when choosing from an open, conscious presence. They can allow and assist their own children to do the same for themselves. Remember the ridiculous adage that parents love to laughingly grasp onto, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Eventually, I realized that raising my children is not my real job. Waking up by taking full responsibility for everything I say, do, and create in my life will best serve my children. The only job I have is to be present. If I can do that for my children, the worry does not exist. And if we are giving our children their own sense of responsibility, then the work is done. And they will always choose well for themselves if we allow them their own failures and successes.  Removing worry from the equation is never

Josh was my catalyst to an easy task, but it can be done. I am told that we cannot worry about and love our children at the same time. It took some time for me to grasp that concept, but it makes perfect sense. When we trust that they are living their own lives, choosing for themselves when given free space in which to do that, all is well. And when we don’t see it that way, the practice of staying present is even more powerful. Practicing presence empowers ourselves and our children. If we can open ourselves as parents to just being present for our children, everyone has an opportunity to flourish.

Do you ever feel like an outsider while parenting Josh? Well, I have been somewhat of a renegade my entire life, but I still operated within the box. Having Josh, I opened up to the fact that we would be doing things very differently. That I would have to compromise many things that I had been taking for granted. With Josh’s birth, I was cast into an unknown world which resulted in panic, fear, and constant anxiety. It was, at the risk of sounding grandiose, my own birth. I had no idea what to do. To survive this path, I began going to yoga classes, which led to meditation, which led to more classes regarding living consciously. Josh was my catalyst to waking up, the teacher who

waking up, the teacher who led me to understanding more about who I am and the world in which I live. led me to understanding more about who I am and the world in which I live. 

What role does humor play in your life? Humor plays a tremendous role in my life. Without the ability to laugh, I would be left to cry because everything is so unexpected with Josh. He is constantly coming at me from left field. I need the ability to laugh when he returns home from the grocery store with a bag full of groceries saying, “The lady said it was OK, Mom.” But he had left home that day without money in his pocket. In the past, I would have yelled that it was not OK because of countless reasons (the reactive parent). But it was OK based on the present moment. The next time I would go to the store, I would be given the opportunity to repay them. Josh leaves a paper trail of love and compassion, and though he gets himself into some sketchy situations, most of us are able to see the

humor in his innocence. And I can’t worry about those who have less of a sense of humor than we do.

How much has your perception of the world changed since Josh’s arrival? I actually had no perception of the world before Josh was born. By that I mean I was just plugging along without question, without examination, and my normal emotional state ranged from confusion to self-righteousness. Even though I may have disagreed with my circumstances, I wasn’t even aware that I had a choice that I could live life as I chose. I never even stopped to think that my world was full of wonder or evil. I was pretty much locked onto a daily treadmill. When thrust into an abyss with his birth, I didn’t really have a choice then, either. It was wake up or die. I began to abandon the “normal” life I was leading and began living outside the box. The transition

Lander, Audrey, Ellen, Josh (Laguna, CA)

was like giving birth: extremely painful and without an exit. But again, it only broadened my perception and strengthened my ability to accept others as they are without judgment.

What role does learning play in your life? I hope that I never lose the openness to learn. Before Josh, I thought I knew everything I needed to know regarding how to live my life. And now, as I have heard it said many times, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. Simply Divine: My Life Journey with Josh by Ellen Yeoman is available at all major online retailers (iBooks, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and others).


ORIGIN MAgazine Issue 9