Movemeber offer!

Last day of Movember!! Get a free DVD or sticker for donating!
**You can and should donate whenever possible…but this offer is only valid for TODAY. November 29, 2010**

Movember giveaway!

Free DVD &/or Sticker for helping my ‘stached friends with their Movember fund raising!

(Movember is a mustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer.)

Donate $5 or more to one of my friends teams for a sticker. $10 or more for a DVD. $15 or more gets you both!
(Just forward me your email receipt AND your mailing address. NOTE: it can be from ANY Movember team that you donate to during the final hours. Doesn’t need to be listed here.)
Click their names to go to their support/donate pages:


Casey & Rudy

Cory

Julio

Jay

Rattled

** WARNING: PESSIMISTIC IDEAS BELOW **

I’m not sure what happened.
I am pretty vigilant about monitoring the media I consume.
I try to avoid things that put me in an unnecessary state of anxiety or fear.
I avoid agitating political commentary and self-esteem eroding celeb-worship.
But I am distressed.
It started with the book, “Story of B.”
I won’t do it justice, but the basic premise of B’s philosophy is that humanities ills can be traced back to agriculture. Humans lived in balance for eons until some clever hunter/gatherer invented the idea of exploiting the land at the expense of other species. It allowed for massive food abundance, which allowed for exponential population growth, which led to the gradual – and total- disconnect of the human species and the rest of the world.
I read the book around Thanksgiving time, so used it as a starting point for a lecture on gratitude. I asked, “How many of the things in your life that you are truly grateful for are the result of societal or technological advances?”
As news reports of Black Friday sales and shopping madness filtered through my friends feed, the human disconnect became so glaring that it hurt.
Evidence of our crises piled up around me.
• Activist friends clamored on Facebook about Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act and the scary restrictions on our food.
• A speech by Bill Moyer highlighting the collapse of the American Worker (and the empowerment of the Corporation and super elite) over the last 20 years.
• New TSA rules that showed us our future as we continue to sacrifice freedom in the pursuit of perceived safety.
• A trailer for a movie called, “Earthlings” turned my stomach. As far as I can tell it is a one huge montage of animal cruelty footage. I’ve never been much of an animal rights activist, but the disconnect between our actions and the effect we have on non-human life (animals, plants, waterways, oceans) is rarely illustrated with more vividness than in a slaughterhouse.
• FixCongress pointed out the insult on top of this injury with a single tweet, “39 new congresspeople have never held office. Will they like spending 70% of their time raising money?” Ugh. Hopelessness delivered in under 140 characters.
• Finally, I re-watched the powerful Story of Stuff and – even with it’s over-the-top examples – felt like I was punched so hard in the gut that I lost my breath. The sickness of our humanity is hard to fathom. Even if I made dramatic changes to my life patterns, the momentum of our cultural illness feels unstoppable. It is our consciousness that is sick. And the outbreak is global.
How can human life be so amazing, and so horrific all at once?
How can humanity be given such a unique gift to experience an awareness of the world, while collectively being so destructive to the natural balance of that world?
I am rattled.
Yesterday I was so out of sorts that I wrote out “What I believe” in an attempt to anchor myself.
I may need to re-read that list daily. Maybe more often than that.
I am having a hard time seeing humans as anything but a virus on the planet. People like the Unibomber seem far less villainous to me. It seems naive to believe that we will get ourselves in balance on our own.
Granted, there are many people who have awakened to the situation. People who are either immune or cured of the cultural virus. But these are tiny, powerless pockets – like the doomed survivors in a bad zombie movie.
I suppose the only way to peace is to focus on the present moment.
The only way to feel in balance is to achieve it intimately and personally.
And, perhaps, the only way to live in joy is to let go of the belief that humans should or will persevere. In the same way that life is painful if you fear death, so too is humanity horrific if you fear extinction.
Perhaps the acknowledgment of the disease – and it’s advanced state – can allow for a renewed appreciation for the preciousness of it all.
In the same ways that viewing a sunset – knowing it would be our last – makes it so much more beautiful.
Maybe all we can do is gather good friends, pour some cocktails, and toast the clouds as the day fades to night.
(Just try not to think about how it is the smog in the air making the sky so colorful.)

NOTE: Please excuse the pessimism. Pink-tinted glasses expected to return shortly.

What I believe… (as of 11.27.10)

Thanksgiving left me feeling a bit lost. So I decided to write out what I know to be true:

1. The entire universe is one interconnected thing.

2. We are miracles. We exist – as is- as expressions of the divine.

3. Life is a gift and the purpose of life (human consciousness) is to briefly experience the magnificence of the Universe.

4. There is a flow to the Universe towards harmony and order.

5. There is no right and wrong, but there is in and out of alignment with the Flow.

6. What we identify as our “self” is just a tiny ego consciousness within a massive Universal consciousness. Like a cell within an organism.

7. Compassion, Love, Gratitude, And Gifting are the steps toward Universal/God consciousness.

8. Ego minds develop layers and layers of values and beliefs from exterior sources. These scripts can aid survival, but are often out of alignment.

9. A spiritual path is one of stripping away external (false) beliefs and tuning into internal guidance. This inner truth can be difficult to “hear” initially, but once heard, it resonates infinitely deeper than intellect & reason.

10. Finding alignment with the Flow is a process of surrender, not action.

11. Joy is the Universe’s way of telling you that you are in alignment with your purpose– in the same way that pain is the way to know you are in danger.

12. We are not passive victims of the Universe. We actively create our reality.

13. Your attention and focus defines the way you experience the Universe. To live more joyfully, seek evidence of a joyful world.

14. There is only the present moment. And it is perfect.

Halcyon's Favorite Things!

Already have everything on Oprah’s list? Here is my list of gift suggestions:
Halcyon’s Favorite Things:

• Etsy.com Nothing wrong with consumerism. But when possible, buy non-corporate. Support artists.
• Contigo water bottles. Don’t get me started. I love these water bottles.
• “Love more. Fear Less” The Book!
• Spreadshirt, CafePress, Zazzle – Instead of a designer logo, why not design a custom shirt with an inside joke catch phrase!?
• custom laptop sticker. Take a favorite memory (I like to use images from Burning Man) and make your laptop a conversation starter.
• Super Hero Outfits!
• donation to charity of choice. – Heifer.org, 1stSaturdays.org, etc. (It’s what Grandpa did.)
• Custom Coupon Books. (I still have a backrub to cash in from 1987)
• External Hard drive & backup your loved one’s data – I have several Iomega 2TB drives. Or try an online backup service if you have less video files.
• Sharpie Pens, Uniball pens, watercolor paper, or anything else that sparks creativity..
• Books or MP3s for growth (here’s my list of recommendations)


And me going over this list during HugNation:

"What's your workout routine?"

I take a lot of shirtless self-portraits. Which occasionally leads to the question, “What’s your workout routine?”

I’ve realized that this question is not as easily answered.
The way my body looks is 90% genetics, 7% diet, 2% what exercises I do, and 1% magic.

I have not eaten red meat in over 20 years and have been a vegetarian since 2007. I do eat eggs and dairy. I eat very little during the day (but drink coffee) and probably eat way too much at night.
My body, naturally, is lean. At it’s balance point I have high metabolism, pretty low body fat, nicely shaped pecs and “hip” lines, small arms, skinny calves, and a pretty okay butt.
I love my body. I feel exceptionally blessed.
But I know that I did not “earn” it through dedication and sweat.
I have had periods in my life when I was focused on optimizing my physique with gym routines, supplement regimes, etc. (Thankfully, that was also during the period when I was filming myself naked a lot. I wonder which came first? But I digress…)
All I was ever doing was fine-tuning what I was born with. In fact, when I tried to bulk-up in College, I was miserable. I tried so hard to put on muscle mass, but it wasn’t how my body wanted to be. I got up to about 185 at my heaviest. But I’ve been between 155-165 ever since. (Caveat: I do not own a scale and generally only learn my weight at doctor visits.)
The real goal is to reach for optimizing your body and health. And recognizing what your body’s baseline is makes all the difference in the world.
All that being said, here is my workout, when I do it:
Push-ups & sit-ups one day. Then pull-ups & sit-ups. 2-3 sets of each, as many as I can do. Alternating Days.
It takes like 15 minutes but generally allows me to stay toned and feel strong.
(I should note that I have NOT been doing them lately. Wait. No time but the present, right? I’m going to step away..RIGHT NOW.
…
Okay, I’m back.. Just did a set of 19 push ups.)

Whew! Thanks for the motivation.
Good luck finding your body’s baseline and optimization path!