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I've an amazing story to tell. It is one of moving from the hopelessness of a typical American life, through adversity and multiple NDEs, into a sovereign and artistic life, full of miracles, inspiration, and true joy. Tune in to my channel, where I will be recounting my own personal transformation.
Recent Updates
  • A few initial responses to "The Art of The Wound". <3

    “Brilliant! I am so deeply moved to see Cedar’s life unfold, how he impacted others and stayed dedicated to his values. Cedar is amazing. I am so touched by his life. I love how he put all this together. What a masterpiece, and I learned so much!” - Megan Sewell

    “Wow! What a fucking awesome compilation of Cedar’s work and life. It was incredibly compelling and hard not to continue watching. I am in awe and inspired. Seeing and hearing everyone's contributions was so beautiful and true. I can't wait to share!” - Shawn Postma

    “Stunningly beautiful, creative, and profound! Just want to give Cedar a big rainbow-infused hug!” - Mary Brown (Mystical Musings)

    "So moving, heartfelt. A beautiful catalogue of suffering, dedication, vision, action, love and the happy ending! Cedar never ceases to amaze me. Cedar is so loved & appreciated by those he's touched." - Laura Vigliotti

    https://youtu.be/lLHM0qI0LFI

    Watch the Global Online Premier on Sunday, September 15th!
    https://youtu.be/N32JvAk6-_g

    Global Online Premier Event Page:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1012318669102521/
    A few initial responses to "The Art of The Wound". <3 “Brilliant! I am so deeply moved to see Cedar’s life unfold, how he impacted others and stayed dedicated to his values. Cedar is amazing. I am so touched by his life. I love how he put all this together. What a masterpiece, and I learned so much!” - Megan Sewell “Wow! What a fucking awesome compilation of Cedar’s work and life. It was incredibly compelling and hard not to continue watching. I am in awe and inspired. Seeing and hearing everyone's contributions was so beautiful and true. I can't wait to share!” - Shawn Postma “Stunningly beautiful, creative, and profound! Just want to give Cedar a big rainbow-infused hug!” - Mary Brown (Mystical Musings) "So moving, heartfelt. A beautiful catalogue of suffering, dedication, vision, action, love and the happy ending! Cedar never ceases to amaze me. Cedar is so loved & appreciated by those he's touched." - Laura Vigliotti https://youtu.be/lLHM0qI0LFI Watch the Global Online Premier on Sunday, September 15th! https://youtu.be/N32JvAk6-_g Global Online Premier Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1012318669102521/
    The Art of The Wound Trailer
    An inspirational story of Cedar Branches' transformative journey that features narration by Garrett Askins of Martian Folk, as well as personal perspectives ...
    YouTube
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  • ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ PLEASE READ! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

    I am putting the finishing touches on my new film, The Art of The Wound.

    This documentary production chronicles my own journey into a devotional life of creativity, and illuminates how I transformed my deepest wounds and a life of adversity into ART that would deeply inspire and transform many individuals and communities. It features personal interviews with some of my closest friends and family who have laid witness to my journey, offering invaluable perspectives into my unconventional moneyless lifestyle and the results of my works.

    My no-budget film (costing ZERO dollars in production) is the result of almost a decade of personal sacrifice, hardship, and a consistent drive to create art that might benefit the world.

    I look forward to publicly sharing The Art of The Wound in the coming days for you to view in its entirety, totally free of charge (as I have done with all of my art).

    Here are a few initial responses:

    “Brilliant! I am so deeply moved to see Cedar’s life unfold, how he impacted others and stayed dedicated to his values. Cedar is amazing. I am so touched by his life. I love how he put all this together. What a masterpiece, and I learned so much!” - Megan Sewell

    “Wow! What a fucking awesome compilation of Cedar’s work and life. It was incredibly compelling and hard not to continue watching. I am in awe and inspired. Seeing and hearing everyone's contributions was so beautiful and true. I can't wait to share!” - Shawn Postma

    “Stunningly beautiful, creative, and profound! Just want to give Cedar a big rainbow-infused hug!” - Mary Brown (Mystical Musings)

    The next step for me is to submit the film to various independent film festivals, so that my story can touch many others. Unfortunately, this part is not free as most independent film festivals have reasonable submission fees. Absent any working budget, I will need your help.

    I have already identified the following appropriate film festivals for submission and plan to add others based on the amount of funding I receive:

    Miami Independent Film Festival
    Slamdance Film Festival
    Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    Creation International Film Festival
    DaVinci Film Festival

    I am currently accepting donations via PayPal (to cedar.branches@icloud.com or via paypal.me/cedarbranches) to help me achieve these goals. All donors will receive early access to view my new film (as early as today)!

    Thank you for helping me to share my story in a way that is meaningful.

    With much love,
    Cedar

    https://youtu.be/lLHM0qI0LFI
    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ PLEASE READ! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ I am putting the finishing touches on my new film, The Art of The Wound. This documentary production chronicles my own journey into a devotional life of creativity, and illuminates how I transformed my deepest wounds and a life of adversity into ART that would deeply inspire and transform many individuals and communities. It features personal interviews with some of my closest friends and family who have laid witness to my journey, offering invaluable perspectives into my unconventional moneyless lifestyle and the results of my works. My no-budget film (costing ZERO dollars in production) is the result of almost a decade of personal sacrifice, hardship, and a consistent drive to create art that might benefit the world. I look forward to publicly sharing The Art of The Wound in the coming days for you to view in its entirety, totally free of charge (as I have done with all of my art). Here are a few initial responses: “Brilliant! I am so deeply moved to see Cedar’s life unfold, how he impacted others and stayed dedicated to his values. Cedar is amazing. I am so touched by his life. I love how he put all this together. What a masterpiece, and I learned so much!” - Megan Sewell “Wow! What a fucking awesome compilation of Cedar’s work and life. It was incredibly compelling and hard not to continue watching. I am in awe and inspired. Seeing and hearing everyone's contributions was so beautiful and true. I can't wait to share!” - Shawn Postma “Stunningly beautiful, creative, and profound! Just want to give Cedar a big rainbow-infused hug!” - Mary Brown (Mystical Musings) The next step for me is to submit the film to various independent film festivals, so that my story can touch many others. Unfortunately, this part is not free as most independent film festivals have reasonable submission fees. Absent any working budget, I will need your help. I have already identified the following appropriate film festivals for submission and plan to add others based on the amount of funding I receive: Miami Independent Film Festival Slamdance Film Festival Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Creation International Film Festival DaVinci Film Festival I am currently accepting donations via PayPal (to cedar.branches@icloud.com or via paypal.me/cedarbranches) to help me achieve these goals. All donors will receive early access to view my new film (as early as today)! Thank you for helping me to share my story in a way that is meaningful. With much love, Cedar https://youtu.be/lLHM0qI0LFI
    The Art of The Wound Trailer
    An inspirational story of Cedar Branches' transformative journey that features narration by Garrett Askins of Martian Folk, as well as personal perspectives ...
    YouTube
    0 Comments 0 Shares
  • Listen on Spotify!

    https://open.spotify.com/artist/5MhyYOjRq0gpr7ZLuEcMzj
    Listen on Spotify! https://open.spotify.com/artist/5MhyYOjRq0gpr7ZLuEcMzj
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  • Video recorded from my performance last night at the United We Stand Concert of Peace at Knead Peace. Looking forward to tonight's performance by Martian Folk. Come on out and support a worthy cause while enjoying a great show!
    Video recorded from my performance last night at the United We Stand Concert of Peace at Knead Peace. Looking forward to tonight's performance by Martian Folk. Come on out and support a worthy cause while enjoying a great show!
    Live at United We Stand Concert of Peace on July 5, 2019
    Cedar Branches plays live concert at the United We Stand Concert of Peace Tour (Second Stop) 2019 at Knead Peace in Belton, Texas. Sponsored by Free and Equa...
    YouTube
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  • The time of the Warrior-Healer and the Healer-Warrior.

    Along my path of healing, I have had many blessed opportunities to encounter true warriors. Being a peace-making pacifist, it has been difficult for me to fully understand why anyone would ever choose to destroy life, no matter what the circumstance. At times, I felt I could never respect those who would serve such mentalities, until I explored deeper into the hearts of true warrior spirits.

    The true warrior never sought to bring harm as a guiding principle, and would only ever go to war under the most dire circumstances. The true warrior would always seek to resolve conflicts through peaceful means whenever possible. The most respectful aspect of the true warrior, however is their complete willingness to lay down their very lives in service of their communities. Few can authentically make this claim, and this aspect of the warrior is worthy of the greatest level of respect.

    Sadly we have a society based solely on war as an economic means. The bravery and selflessness of our communities' warriors have been frequently co-opted by the greedy and corrupt to steal resources, to propagate political power, and to further confine and control our own communities.

    These were never the intention of the true warriors who signed up to serve. They were made to believe that they were supporting their communities, even when they weren't. They were made to believe and take part in a massive illusion that brought great harm to their own brothers and sisters. They were separated from their own healing ways and suffered great internal and external wounds out of their complete devotion to serving others.

    It turns out that warriors and healers are not so different after all. The true healer also devotes their own lives to be in service of others.

    One of the biggest gaps in our society is the forgetting of this innate relationship. That warriors are also healers and that healers are also warriors. It is of the utmost importance that we all remember that we have the same goals, to make the world a better place for our own communities.

    In all of my explorations I have not seen many who are doing work to bridge this gap. Conversely the State continues to divide and separate the warriors from the healers. Certainly the entire power-structure is at risk if they were to ever authentically come together and return to serving communities, rather than corruption.

    When Spirit guided me to Texas, I had no idea what I would find here. Killeen is the home to one of the largest military bases in the US and is also home to an astounding number of soldiers and veterans. Everywhere I go, I have met warriors who have diligently served their communities and who have given up everything to do so. Most are unjustly facing serious wounds incurred by the State who employed them.

    To be honest, I have felt ill-equipped to make a difference for these great beings, for how could I guide the way when I can barely understand what their experience must be like. Yet I also know that Spirit guided me here for a reason, and I am honored to be called into being for these heroes.

    Thankfully there are already some healers here who are beginning to build bridges; bringing the warriors and healers back together on the common ground of healing and serving our communities. People like those at Knead Peace are working to bring healing to veterans suffering from PTSD using alternative healing modalities.

    At Knead Peace, our warriors and healers are coming back together, and it is a major inspiration; offering hope for an otherwise dismal future for us all. This work is of the most critical nature and communities like Knead Peace truly need the support of the broader community in order to succeed in their intentions. Without your support, they cannot succeed.

    I am most honored to contribute my art to this cause through my performance tonight, and I wish I could do so much more to support this work. All I have to offer is my own gifts.

    Today, I request that my community support in any way possible. There are a variety of ways you can help and every little bit makes a difference.

    1) Attend the event.
    2) Share the event (or this post) to get the word out.
    3) If you cannot attend in person, please tune into any number of live feeds of the event.
    4) Make a financial contribution.
    5) Donate goods or services toward building Knead Peace.

    Here is a link to the event page:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1205970722911139/?event_time_id=1205970732911138

    Donate via this link:
    https://freeandequal.org/donate/

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for contributing and for helping to bring the Warrior-Healers and the Healer-Warriors back together once-and-for-all.
    The time of the Warrior-Healer and the Healer-Warrior. Along my path of healing, I have had many blessed opportunities to encounter true warriors. Being a peace-making pacifist, it has been difficult for me to fully understand why anyone would ever choose to destroy life, no matter what the circumstance. At times, I felt I could never respect those who would serve such mentalities, until I explored deeper into the hearts of true warrior spirits. The true warrior never sought to bring harm as a guiding principle, and would only ever go to war under the most dire circumstances. The true warrior would always seek to resolve conflicts through peaceful means whenever possible. The most respectful aspect of the true warrior, however is their complete willingness to lay down their very lives in service of their communities. Few can authentically make this claim, and this aspect of the warrior is worthy of the greatest level of respect. Sadly we have a society based solely on war as an economic means. The bravery and selflessness of our communities' warriors have been frequently co-opted by the greedy and corrupt to steal resources, to propagate political power, and to further confine and control our own communities. These were never the intention of the true warriors who signed up to serve. They were made to believe that they were supporting their communities, even when they weren't. They were made to believe and take part in a massive illusion that brought great harm to their own brothers and sisters. They were separated from their own healing ways and suffered great internal and external wounds out of their complete devotion to serving others. It turns out that warriors and healers are not so different after all. The true healer also devotes their own lives to be in service of others. One of the biggest gaps in our society is the forgetting of this innate relationship. That warriors are also healers and that healers are also warriors. It is of the utmost importance that we all remember that we have the same goals, to make the world a better place for our own communities. In all of my explorations I have not seen many who are doing work to bridge this gap. Conversely the State continues to divide and separate the warriors from the healers. Certainly the entire power-structure is at risk if they were to ever authentically come together and return to serving communities, rather than corruption. When Spirit guided me to Texas, I had no idea what I would find here. Killeen is the home to one of the largest military bases in the US and is also home to an astounding number of soldiers and veterans. Everywhere I go, I have met warriors who have diligently served their communities and who have given up everything to do so. Most are unjustly facing serious wounds incurred by the State who employed them. To be honest, I have felt ill-equipped to make a difference for these great beings, for how could I guide the way when I can barely understand what their experience must be like. Yet I also know that Spirit guided me here for a reason, and I am honored to be called into being for these heroes. Thankfully there are already some healers here who are beginning to build bridges; bringing the warriors and healers back together on the common ground of healing and serving our communities. People like those at Knead Peace are working to bring healing to veterans suffering from PTSD using alternative healing modalities. At Knead Peace, our warriors and healers are coming back together, and it is a major inspiration; offering hope for an otherwise dismal future for us all. This work is of the most critical nature and communities like Knead Peace truly need the support of the broader community in order to succeed in their intentions. Without your support, they cannot succeed. I am most honored to contribute my art to this cause through my performance tonight, and I wish I could do so much more to support this work. All I have to offer is my own gifts. Today, I request that my community support in any way possible. There are a variety of ways you can help and every little bit makes a difference. 1) Attend the event. 2) Share the event (or this post) to get the word out. 3) If you cannot attend in person, please tune into any number of live feeds of the event. 4) Make a financial contribution. 5) Donate goods or services toward building Knead Peace. Here is a link to the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1205970722911139/?event_time_id=1205970732911138 Donate via this link: https://freeandequal.org/donate/ I thank you from the bottom of my heart for contributing and for helping to bring the Warrior-Healers and the Healer-Warriors back together once-and-for-all.
    United We Stand Concert Of Peace
    Music event in Belton, TX, United States by Knead Peace and The Free and Equal Elections Foundation on Thursday, July 4 201910 posts in the discussion.
    WWW.FACEBOOK.COM
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  • I'm honored to be filling the Friday night headline slot at this awesome music festival and to support such a good cause.

    Free and Equal Elections & Knead Peace Presents:

    UNITED WE STAND CONCERT OF PEACE

    July 4th-6th at Knead Peace in Belton, TX

    THURSDAY:
    The Brothers Wayfare - Rylee Hearn - Madstone

    FRIDAY:
    Corey Ipock - Rylee Hearn - Cedar Branches

    SATURDAY:
    Terra Living's Cob Project - McKenzie Reeve's Sound Bath - Carrie Ahr "Eat Your Weeds!" - Grace Lawhorn - Charles Edward Ott - 80 Proof Eddie - Martian Folk

    VIDEO:
    https://youtu.be/UPhdrJwR32o

    INFO:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1205970722911139/

    DONATE:
    https://www.freeandequal.org
    I'm honored to be filling the Friday night headline slot at this awesome music festival and to support such a good cause. Free and Equal Elections & Knead Peace Presents: UNITED WE STAND CONCERT OF PEACE July 4th-6th at Knead Peace in Belton, TX THURSDAY: The Brothers Wayfare - Rylee Hearn - Madstone FRIDAY: Corey Ipock - Rylee Hearn - Cedar Branches SATURDAY: Terra Living's Cob Project - McKenzie Reeve's Sound Bath - Carrie Ahr "Eat Your Weeds!" - Grace Lawhorn - Charles Edward Ott - 80 Proof Eddie - Martian Folk VIDEO: https://youtu.be/UPhdrJwR32o INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/1205970722911139/ DONATE: https://www.freeandequal.org
    United We Stand Concert of Peace Promo
    I'm honored to be filling the Friday night headline slot at this awesome music festival and to support such a good cause. Free and Equal Elections & Knead Pe...
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  • Chapter 4
    “A Foot in the Door”

    During my brief separation from my family, my stepbrother called me at my father’s home. It was a bit of a surprise that he wanted to speak to me, as I had no contact with him since I was a teenager, and that contact was brief in itself.

    Apparently he had heard about my situation and thought that I might be seeking a life change; not to mention his own motives to engage with me at that particular time.

    He told me about a special piece of property that he had found online (after casually searching for an ideal off-grid plot of land for many years). The land that he had found was unique, as it was not only an in holding on state lands, but also a patented gold claim. Well off the beaten path, it was in true wilderness, eight miles from a paved road and four miles behind a locked gate. Sitting atop a mountain in the northernmost section of Central Washington, it seemed completely disconnected from any modern society. It also happened to be quite affordable.

    The entire concept was captivating to me, and so well timed. My growing desire to unplug from the modern world, to live independently, and obtain a more peaceful lifestyle seemed completely congruous with the opportunity he presented. Suddenly there seemed a viable path to an early retirement. All I would need to do is create a new self-sustaining home in the wilderness and move into homesteading.

    When I went to visit the land, it was more beautiful and peaceful than I had imagined. I experienced something that I had rarely (if ever) experienced in life, total silence. The land was rugged and set far above a river valley full of pristine lakes and small apple orchards. There was only one neighbor on this section of the mountain, a man who had been living there alone for more than a decade. He seemed a likely ally in effectively establishing a new home there.

    The land was resource rich and covered in wildlife. It had a large pond, numerous trees, wind and sunshine, and amazing panoramic views. I envisioned building humble and sustainable low-cost structures to live in, windmills and solar power systems, growing gardens, and living out the rest of my life apart from a society that had become my mortal enemy. I might find peace after all.

    I purchased the land immediately, and began creating elaborate plans for development and my family’s transition into a better life.

    My wife was not as enthusiastic about the idea. Being a social person, the thought of living in the remote wilderness was not exactly her cup of tea. She had little interest in going that direction at all, much less devoting financial resources to the wild dreams of an insane man. Though she took some steps to appease my inspiration, it became more and more clear that she had little interest in playing into such lofty dreams.

    Seeking compromise to preserve my family life, I scaled back my plans for the land and sought only meager budget resources to begin construction of a cabin and other components. Perhaps I could at least use the land as a retreat until it became more likely that I might be able to retire there.

    In striving to become more spiritual in my life, I had begun listening more closely to messages that I felt were from Spirit. It had been the inspiration that arose in my heart that drove my purchase of the land in the first place, and it had seemed that Spirit was guiding me with how easily the land came into my possession. I felt that I must trust Spirit’s intention for the land and become less attached my own desires.

    My eldest sister Janice had returned to Washington many months before, from a long stint in Hawaii. While there she had fallen very ill and had returned to Washington State to reclaim her health and to be more proximate to family. Her arrival home was indeed a great boon for our family. She had created re-union events that everyone attended and my siblings and I became more connected than we had been for years.

    Janice’s health greatly improved over the months that had passed since she returned, and she turned intensely and interestingly spiritual. Apparently she had gone through a soul retrieval process with some medicine woman, and had taken to studying under the woman herself. I found it all a bit unconventional, but my curiosity had spiked after seeing the physical transformation. Though I had never met this shaman-woman, the fruits of her works were apparent in the rapid healing of my sister.

    Of course, it seemed out of the question for me to pursue any pagan-type spirituality, as I had been partially raised among Christians who would swear that any path besides one directly through Christ was considered blasphemous and might end me up in an eternity of fiery hell. Besides I found it strange that my sister had started collecting dead animal parts in her home; it just seemed a bit too morbid for me.

    Despite my closed-heartedness, it seemed that Spirit continued to send me messages related to a more shamanic approach to life. Again and again, the topic would come up in my daily life, no matter how often I dismissed it.

    Then a family crisis occurred. My father-in-law in Mount Shasta, California was diagnosed with cancer. He had fairly recently lost his wife to poor health and he was now basically alone when he received the bad news. Knowing that he would need support, my wife and I quickly set out to visit him as he began chemotherapy treatments.

    One night we stayed at a cheap hotel in Weed, California. In the morning, I ventured with my wife and son to the breakfast room for the standard complimentary breakfast. Upon entering the room, I observed a man wearing bright colors and a funny red had going from table to table speaking to the other hotel guests. It was clear that he did not work for the hotel, but was rather a wing nut; probably just being a bother to everyone he could intrude on.

    Quickly I filled my coffee cup and headed out the door, trying not to be noticed by the man. It was too early to put up with such nonsense. I scurried down the hall toward the outer exit, where I hoped to have a smoke and drink my coffee in peace. No sooner did I leave the room than the man followed. By the time I made it to the outer exit, he was upon me and I was obligated to hold the door for him.

    He instantly introduced himself and stated that it was always nice to reunite with another part of him. This deep and spiritual statement immediately captivated me. I could no longer ignore his presence. He joined me outside over a smoke.

    He told me that he was a shaman. He had spent the last five years living in the wilderness, and he spoke about healing work he did through the ceremonial use of bowls. Though his stories were quite abnormal, I abandoned my own will to resist, and sat curious as to why Spirit was bringing more shamanic messages to me.

    Soon my wife and I would return to Washington State, and I would return to work at Microsoft.

    On my first day back to work, I entered the office of a co-worker. He seemed depressed, and I went in to see if I could help to brighten his mood. He was a kind, good looking, and charismatic man. We shared a birthday. He used to be in sales, which he enjoyed a great deal, but since entering into the operations side of the business, he had grown terribly unhappy. We spoke for some time about his and my situations.

    Somewhere during the conversation, he brought up a woman who had greatly influenced his life for the better many years before. He went on to explain how she had also touched numerous other people within the organization with similar results. The fruits of her works and the success that she had brought into the lives of others resonated deeply with me, and reminded me of the medicine woman who had helped my sister so much.

    Out of curiosity and an intuitive knowing, I asked if her name was Char Sundust. Char was the woman who had come to my sister’s aid and who I credited for bringing her back from the edge of death itself. His eyes grew wide open and he exclaimed, “How did you know that?!?” Spirit’s messages were now becoming too obvious. There was something about shamanism, or at least Char Sundust, that I must explore more deeply.

    First however, I must speak directly to God about these messages and my fears. I was still unwilling to pursue any path that I thought might be destructive or blasphemous. After all I was seeking a path of healing and of a truly divine spiritual nature. I was tired of being deceived.

    When I prayed about the subject and then listened, I heard only one message. “If you truly believe in me, then you will find me anywhere you seek.” I decided to see if I could get in touch with this Char Sundust person.

    I still didn’t know Spirit’s plan, but I thought it might possibly have to do with the land I had procured. Perhaps she could use it for a retreat, which I would be happy to offer to someone who had brought so much good into the world. Maybe this was Spirit’s intention.

    I went to my sister to see if I could get an introduction. I told her of the messages I had been receiving from Spirit, and she encouraged me to continue my exploration with courage. She explained that Char was holding a retreat in the coming days and that she would see if I might be able to attend, and to meet Char for myself.

    Sadly the event was reserved for students of Char’s and so I was not allowed to attend. Char did receive the communication of my interest however and I was scheduled to have a phone call with her within a couple of weeks. I stood by in curiosity and went about my life until the day arrived.

    Music: “Shoulders of Giants” (2017)
    https://choon.co/tracks/0sm1pmy5ien/shoulders-of-giants/

    Image: “The Mountain” by Cedar Branches (2013)
    Chapter 4 “A Foot in the Door” During my brief separation from my family, my stepbrother called me at my father’s home. It was a bit of a surprise that he wanted to speak to me, as I had no contact with him since I was a teenager, and that contact was brief in itself. Apparently he had heard about my situation and thought that I might be seeking a life change; not to mention his own motives to engage with me at that particular time. He told me about a special piece of property that he had found online (after casually searching for an ideal off-grid plot of land for many years). The land that he had found was unique, as it was not only an in holding on state lands, but also a patented gold claim. Well off the beaten path, it was in true wilderness, eight miles from a paved road and four miles behind a locked gate. Sitting atop a mountain in the northernmost section of Central Washington, it seemed completely disconnected from any modern society. It also happened to be quite affordable. The entire concept was captivating to me, and so well timed. My growing desire to unplug from the modern world, to live independently, and obtain a more peaceful lifestyle seemed completely congruous with the opportunity he presented. Suddenly there seemed a viable path to an early retirement. All I would need to do is create a new self-sustaining home in the wilderness and move into homesteading. When I went to visit the land, it was more beautiful and peaceful than I had imagined. I experienced something that I had rarely (if ever) experienced in life, total silence. The land was rugged and set far above a river valley full of pristine lakes and small apple orchards. There was only one neighbor on this section of the mountain, a man who had been living there alone for more than a decade. He seemed a likely ally in effectively establishing a new home there. The land was resource rich and covered in wildlife. It had a large pond, numerous trees, wind and sunshine, and amazing panoramic views. I envisioned building humble and sustainable low-cost structures to live in, windmills and solar power systems, growing gardens, and living out the rest of my life apart from a society that had become my mortal enemy. I might find peace after all. I purchased the land immediately, and began creating elaborate plans for development and my family’s transition into a better life. My wife was not as enthusiastic about the idea. Being a social person, the thought of living in the remote wilderness was not exactly her cup of tea. She had little interest in going that direction at all, much less devoting financial resources to the wild dreams of an insane man. Though she took some steps to appease my inspiration, it became more and more clear that she had little interest in playing into such lofty dreams. Seeking compromise to preserve my family life, I scaled back my plans for the land and sought only meager budget resources to begin construction of a cabin and other components. Perhaps I could at least use the land as a retreat until it became more likely that I might be able to retire there. In striving to become more spiritual in my life, I had begun listening more closely to messages that I felt were from Spirit. It had been the inspiration that arose in my heart that drove my purchase of the land in the first place, and it had seemed that Spirit was guiding me with how easily the land came into my possession. I felt that I must trust Spirit’s intention for the land and become less attached my own desires. My eldest sister Janice had returned to Washington many months before, from a long stint in Hawaii. While there she had fallen very ill and had returned to Washington State to reclaim her health and to be more proximate to family. Her arrival home was indeed a great boon for our family. She had created re-union events that everyone attended and my siblings and I became more connected than we had been for years. Janice’s health greatly improved over the months that had passed since she returned, and she turned intensely and interestingly spiritual. Apparently she had gone through a soul retrieval process with some medicine woman, and had taken to studying under the woman herself. I found it all a bit unconventional, but my curiosity had spiked after seeing the physical transformation. Though I had never met this shaman-woman, the fruits of her works were apparent in the rapid healing of my sister. Of course, it seemed out of the question for me to pursue any pagan-type spirituality, as I had been partially raised among Christians who would swear that any path besides one directly through Christ was considered blasphemous and might end me up in an eternity of fiery hell. Besides I found it strange that my sister had started collecting dead animal parts in her home; it just seemed a bit too morbid for me. Despite my closed-heartedness, it seemed that Spirit continued to send me messages related to a more shamanic approach to life. Again and again, the topic would come up in my daily life, no matter how often I dismissed it. Then a family crisis occurred. My father-in-law in Mount Shasta, California was diagnosed with cancer. He had fairly recently lost his wife to poor health and he was now basically alone when he received the bad news. Knowing that he would need support, my wife and I quickly set out to visit him as he began chemotherapy treatments. One night we stayed at a cheap hotel in Weed, California. In the morning, I ventured with my wife and son to the breakfast room for the standard complimentary breakfast. Upon entering the room, I observed a man wearing bright colors and a funny red had going from table to table speaking to the other hotel guests. It was clear that he did not work for the hotel, but was rather a wing nut; probably just being a bother to everyone he could intrude on. Quickly I filled my coffee cup and headed out the door, trying not to be noticed by the man. It was too early to put up with such nonsense. I scurried down the hall toward the outer exit, where I hoped to have a smoke and drink my coffee in peace. No sooner did I leave the room than the man followed. By the time I made it to the outer exit, he was upon me and I was obligated to hold the door for him. He instantly introduced himself and stated that it was always nice to reunite with another part of him. This deep and spiritual statement immediately captivated me. I could no longer ignore his presence. He joined me outside over a smoke. He told me that he was a shaman. He had spent the last five years living in the wilderness, and he spoke about healing work he did through the ceremonial use of bowls. Though his stories were quite abnormal, I abandoned my own will to resist, and sat curious as to why Spirit was bringing more shamanic messages to me. Soon my wife and I would return to Washington State, and I would return to work at Microsoft. On my first day back to work, I entered the office of a co-worker. He seemed depressed, and I went in to see if I could help to brighten his mood. He was a kind, good looking, and charismatic man. We shared a birthday. He used to be in sales, which he enjoyed a great deal, but since entering into the operations side of the business, he had grown terribly unhappy. We spoke for some time about his and my situations. Somewhere during the conversation, he brought up a woman who had greatly influenced his life for the better many years before. He went on to explain how she had also touched numerous other people within the organization with similar results. The fruits of her works and the success that she had brought into the lives of others resonated deeply with me, and reminded me of the medicine woman who had helped my sister so much. Out of curiosity and an intuitive knowing, I asked if her name was Char Sundust. Char was the woman who had come to my sister’s aid and who I credited for bringing her back from the edge of death itself. His eyes grew wide open and he exclaimed, “How did you know that?!?” Spirit’s messages were now becoming too obvious. There was something about shamanism, or at least Char Sundust, that I must explore more deeply. First however, I must speak directly to God about these messages and my fears. I was still unwilling to pursue any path that I thought might be destructive or blasphemous. After all I was seeking a path of healing and of a truly divine spiritual nature. I was tired of being deceived. When I prayed about the subject and then listened, I heard only one message. “If you truly believe in me, then you will find me anywhere you seek.” I decided to see if I could get in touch with this Char Sundust person. I still didn’t know Spirit’s plan, but I thought it might possibly have to do with the land I had procured. Perhaps she could use it for a retreat, which I would be happy to offer to someone who had brought so much good into the world. Maybe this was Spirit’s intention. I went to my sister to see if I could get an introduction. I told her of the messages I had been receiving from Spirit, and she encouraged me to continue my exploration with courage. She explained that Char was holding a retreat in the coming days and that she would see if I might be able to attend, and to meet Char for myself. Sadly the event was reserved for students of Char’s and so I was not allowed to attend. Char did receive the communication of my interest however and I was scheduled to have a phone call with her within a couple of weeks. I stood by in curiosity and went about my life until the day arrived. Music: “Shoulders of Giants” (2017) https://choon.co/tracks/0sm1pmy5ien/shoulders-of-giants/ Image: “The Mountain” by Cedar Branches (2013)
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  • The Harsh Truth

    Yeah… we all know. The world is full of problems: Corruption, greed, broken politics, mental illness and confusion, addiction, abuse, hatred, poverty… The list goes on and on. It is nothing new really. There have always been challenges and complexity in life, relationships, community, and society as a whole. There is really nothing new to see here.

    Everything that has been tried before has never solved the world’s ills or even led humanity closer to a better world at all; quite the opposite, from most perspectives. We are pushing ourselves toward total insanity, chaos, and inevitable human and global extinction by our own hands.

    No amount of politics, economics, war, religion, pontification, or otherwise has ever really solved anything. It is like everything we keep trying only leads to more separation, hatred, scarcity, destruction, illness, and so forth. Will we ever learn?

    I propose a consideration of three basic points that may actually take us off the hamster-wheel of global suicide and put us on a path toward a more utopian future (or at least one where we might survive at all).

    Firstly try coming up with new creative solutions. As Einstein so eloquently stated, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

    Understand that politicians have never actually solved problems. For one, problem solving is not the responsibility of politicians, nor has it ever been in their job descriptions to do so. Politics are inherently subject to corruption and politicians are ultimately corruptible and corrupted. That is how they get elected or take over in the first place. If you believe that your political appointee is going to make your life better, you are brainwashed and deluded. You might want to turn off the news and reconsider reality.

    Money and economics have also never solved the world’s problems. In fact, money and greed are most frequently easily identified as the source of most problems that the world faces. Materialism and economics simply analytical arguments used by the mentally ill who have lost the connection to what is truly valuable in life and the human experience.

    Continuing to turn toward politicians and economists, or even obscured mental analysis of the infinitely complex world is an effort in futility and self-destruction. Such approaches bring us no closer to unity, to abundance, to sustainability, or otherwise. If you are still playing these games thinking they will solve anything, I’ve got some harsh news for you; you ARE the problem.

    Second point, no person can change another person, EVER. Humans are capable of change, of learning, of adapting. It is actually one of our strong points as a species. Unfortunately, humans don’t learn or change because some else wants us to. In fact, such self-righteous domination and manipulation tend to work the opposite on us. People trying to influence and change another person most often results in (valid) defensiveness and even cognitive dissonance.

    This is probably for the best, for people who seek to dominate or influence others in any way are overstepping their rights as human beings. You don’t own anyone else and it is not up to you AT ALL what anyone else should think or do. If you really believe you’ve got all the answers to the world’s problems, you ARE the problem.

    Lastly, blaming is only a projection of your own responsibility. Quite honestly the biggest problems of the world can all be traced back to human behavior. Though no politician is directly responsible for what is not working in your own life, your community, or your society, YOU ARE 100% culpable.

    Since no one can magically fix society, you can change no one else, and no one can change you, there is only ONE place of empowerment in the world for humans. That is to take responsibility for how YOU behave in the world. How are you contributing to the betterment of your own life, to your community, to the society in which you live?

    If you are sitting around talking about how politicians, economics need to change; if you are pontificating about theoretical solutions that have all been heard before; if you are just participating in the brokenness of it all; if you are blaming others for the unworkability of your own life; then you ARE the problem.

    It is time to take responsibility for YOU and your role in it all. Do everyone a favor and focus on being a better person yourself, being someone who contributes in ways that are helpful, beneficial, and unifying.

    I like to believe that we still have a shot at turning humanity around and placing us on a better collective path, but humanity all starts with individual humans. Do your part and better yourself. We will all be better for it.
    The Harsh Truth Yeah… we all know. The world is full of problems: Corruption, greed, broken politics, mental illness and confusion, addiction, abuse, hatred, poverty… The list goes on and on. It is nothing new really. There have always been challenges and complexity in life, relationships, community, and society as a whole. There is really nothing new to see here. Everything that has been tried before has never solved the world’s ills or even led humanity closer to a better world at all; quite the opposite, from most perspectives. We are pushing ourselves toward total insanity, chaos, and inevitable human and global extinction by our own hands. No amount of politics, economics, war, religion, pontification, or otherwise has ever really solved anything. It is like everything we keep trying only leads to more separation, hatred, scarcity, destruction, illness, and so forth. Will we ever learn? I propose a consideration of three basic points that may actually take us off the hamster-wheel of global suicide and put us on a path toward a more utopian future (or at least one where we might survive at all). Firstly try coming up with new creative solutions. As Einstein so eloquently stated, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Understand that politicians have never actually solved problems. For one, problem solving is not the responsibility of politicians, nor has it ever been in their job descriptions to do so. Politics are inherently subject to corruption and politicians are ultimately corruptible and corrupted. That is how they get elected or take over in the first place. If you believe that your political appointee is going to make your life better, you are brainwashed and deluded. You might want to turn off the news and reconsider reality. Money and economics have also never solved the world’s problems. In fact, money and greed are most frequently easily identified as the source of most problems that the world faces. Materialism and economics simply analytical arguments used by the mentally ill who have lost the connection to what is truly valuable in life and the human experience. Continuing to turn toward politicians and economists, or even obscured mental analysis of the infinitely complex world is an effort in futility and self-destruction. Such approaches bring us no closer to unity, to abundance, to sustainability, or otherwise. If you are still playing these games thinking they will solve anything, I’ve got some harsh news for you; you ARE the problem. Second point, no person can change another person, EVER. Humans are capable of change, of learning, of adapting. It is actually one of our strong points as a species. Unfortunately, humans don’t learn or change because some else wants us to. In fact, such self-righteous domination and manipulation tend to work the opposite on us. People trying to influence and change another person most often results in (valid) defensiveness and even cognitive dissonance. This is probably for the best, for people who seek to dominate or influence others in any way are overstepping their rights as human beings. You don’t own anyone else and it is not up to you AT ALL what anyone else should think or do. If you really believe you’ve got all the answers to the world’s problems, you ARE the problem. Lastly, blaming is only a projection of your own responsibility. Quite honestly the biggest problems of the world can all be traced back to human behavior. Though no politician is directly responsible for what is not working in your own life, your community, or your society, YOU ARE 100% culpable. Since no one can magically fix society, you can change no one else, and no one can change you, there is only ONE place of empowerment in the world for humans. That is to take responsibility for how YOU behave in the world. How are you contributing to the betterment of your own life, to your community, to the society in which you live? If you are sitting around talking about how politicians, economics need to change; if you are pontificating about theoretical solutions that have all been heard before; if you are just participating in the brokenness of it all; if you are blaming others for the unworkability of your own life; then you ARE the problem. It is time to take responsibility for YOU and your role in it all. Do everyone a favor and focus on being a better person yourself, being someone who contributes in ways that are helpful, beneficial, and unifying. I like to believe that we still have a shot at turning humanity around and placing us on a better collective path, but humanity all starts with individual humans. Do your part and better yourself. We will all be better for it.
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  • Chapter 3
    “The Beginning”

    I stood outside of the Cost Plus World Market in Redmond, Washington. It had become one of the few places that I could escape during my lunch break. It’s not that a corporate shopping center was much of a reprieve from the corporate culture where I spent my days, but there was a riverside trail leading there that would typically bring me temporary distraction from the mundane mechanics of the office environment. On this day, the short walk did little to quell what had escalated into overwhelming despair.

    My desire to bring an end to my suffering had grown intense, and I faced a constant barrage of suicidal thoughts. My search for other solutions to my woes seemed to all dead end in more hopelessness; into outcomes that I felt I could never accept. An intentional death was not an outcome I could accept either, for I had never been one to give up. I was far too proud and lacked the courage to face the reaper (and unknown repercussions) of death at my own hands.

    I paced back-and-forth with aggravation, frustration, and tears. Thoughts of all sorts tumbled over each other in my mind. I was terrified of what I might do in reaction to the out-of-control emotional rollercoaster. I felt completely done with putting in any more wasted effort toward life. Everything seemed a trap. Everything I had ever been told was a lie. I had been used up and run dry by a society, by corporations & companies, and by people that cared nothing about me as an individual. They would all trade my life for a dollar. There was no escape.

    I pulled a card from my wallet. My manager had given it to me several days before with a brief explanation. “Microsoft has a great set of mental health benefits. My family and I use them from time-to-time and they are totally free to employees. Just call the number on this card if you ever feel the need.” My emotional state must have been so obvious to those around me, even though I thought I masked it well enough. The number on the card was an emergency helpline.

    I despised psychiatrists. I didn’t even like counselors so much. I had seen mental health professionals ruin so many lives with either pharmaceuticals or simply with inauthentic and shortsighted behaviors. Psychologists had betrayed me in my youth with their selfish pride, and I had vowed never to give away such power to any such person ever again. It was difficult to overcome my resistance as I typed the numbers into my phone, but there seemed nowhere else to turn. I had to make an effort to change the direction of my life.

    In hindsight, this was a major turning point for me. It’s not that whoever answered my call or those things that followed would solve my innumerable issues. It seems more important symbolically; that I took a distinct action to choose to move onto a path of healing rather than continue along the path of harming that I had unknowingly lived my entire life. It was one of a multitude of individual steps that would follow as I worked to heal my own brokenness.

    The call itself ended me up in a counselor’s office. It was a place where I could think out loud in what felt to be a safe environment. Soon after I took a short leave of absence from my job and visited my father’s home in Eastern Washington. “A change of scenery might do me some good,” I had been told.

    Indeed being away from my family for a couple of weeks was an important step. It gave me the space to gain some clarity, without my normal routine dictating my every thought, feeling and reaction.

    I was lonely without my family. My worst fear had always been that my marriage would end. I had been married to my high-school sweetheart for over a decade and she was everything to me. I felt I would be or have nothing without her, and I had worked hard to keep her “in my pocket” throughout our marriage.

    During my time away, we spoke on the phone frequently. It was during these conversations that we first considered separating from each other. I knew that she was unhappy as well and I felt selfish for binding her into a life that caused her suffering. The love in my heart offered the choice, despite my fears and selfishness. We agreed that separation may be the best solution; to free each other so that we might both be happy.

    By the following morning, the tune changed. If we loved each other so much to make such a sacrifice for each other’s success, then we certainly loved each other enough to support each other together. No separation should be necessary if we could authentically support each other with such love and devotion. We called it off, electing to make changes in our marriage and lifestyles so that we could remain together.

    By the next month, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I demanded a test from my normal doctor, based on my sister being positively diagnosed. My blood tests were surprising. My antibody counts were off the charts. My vitamin D level was measured at 3 (50 being considered low-normal). This epiphany explained a lot about the conditions I had been experiencing, from weight loss and depression, to mood swings and abdominal pains.

    The Celiac diagnosis was monumental for me. It set me on a mission to take charge of my health (physical, mental, and spiritual). I fired my traditional western doctor and created a new small and devoted team of supporters and medical professionals around myself.

    I took up photography; specifically macro photography. I would carry a camera with me during my lunchtime walks along the riverside and would pause to capture tiny moments of beauty along the way. There was something about looking through the viewfinder at a small flower. In those little universes and in those moments, there was only beauty present. Despite feeling that the entire world was ugly all around me, it was a heaven I could find hope and joy in. Photography made me feel creative, rather than destructive. It was the first time I began to acknowledge that I had any creativity within me at all.

    One day, along the well-traveled urban path, I observed the numerous people biking, jogging, and hurriedly walking along. Everyone seemed to be rushing somewhere, lacking any true presence, and completely missing the bounty of subtle beauty that surrounded them.

    Squashed slugs littered the ground, as symbolic evidence of the unconsciousness of the travelers. Most were corporate workers like myself, apparently trying to make the most of their lunch hour, while others were just lost in gossip with their walking partners, or entirely focused on their robotic exercise routines.

    “What a shame,” I thought, “that people would hold so little regard for the preciousness of life.” My heart dropped, knowing that I had for so long been equally guilty of the exact lack of presence to the miracles that surrounded me.

    I came upon a single slug that had not yet perished to the mindlessness of humanity’s mundane existence. I laid on the trail with my camera and peered at him through the viewfinder (half expecting that I might now get run over as well). He glistened and glowed in the sunlight, bringing me to a momentary point of awe. As I zoomed in for a shot, he inspected the camera lens and then seemed to begin posing for the perfect shot.

    For a creature that so many disregarded as ugly and unimportant pests, I briefly witnessed the miraculous gift that he was, both in his surprising beauty as well as in the spirit of his personality. That little slug taught me some valuable lessons that day; that I should slow down and pace myself, that I should recognize all life for its sacredness, and that I should remain ever present to the immaculate beauty of this world.

    I strove to begin making changes in my personal and family life, home, work/life balance (or as I now called it “life/work balance”). I vowed to retire within a few years time, knowing deeply that I could not long maintain my unsustainable life serving only corporate greed and mechanical materialism. I had taken the first few steps to create an entirely new life.

    Though I thought I was making efforts to preserve the best parts of the life that I was familiar with, little did I know where my new path would ultimately lead me.

    Music: "Moment of Healed"
    https://choon.co/tracks/0c5z30se09s/moment-of-healed/

    Image: "Pace" by Cedar Branches (2010)
    Chapter 3 “The Beginning” I stood outside of the Cost Plus World Market in Redmond, Washington. It had become one of the few places that I could escape during my lunch break. It’s not that a corporate shopping center was much of a reprieve from the corporate culture where I spent my days, but there was a riverside trail leading there that would typically bring me temporary distraction from the mundane mechanics of the office environment. On this day, the short walk did little to quell what had escalated into overwhelming despair. My desire to bring an end to my suffering had grown intense, and I faced a constant barrage of suicidal thoughts. My search for other solutions to my woes seemed to all dead end in more hopelessness; into outcomes that I felt I could never accept. An intentional death was not an outcome I could accept either, for I had never been one to give up. I was far too proud and lacked the courage to face the reaper (and unknown repercussions) of death at my own hands. I paced back-and-forth with aggravation, frustration, and tears. Thoughts of all sorts tumbled over each other in my mind. I was terrified of what I might do in reaction to the out-of-control emotional rollercoaster. I felt completely done with putting in any more wasted effort toward life. Everything seemed a trap. Everything I had ever been told was a lie. I had been used up and run dry by a society, by corporations & companies, and by people that cared nothing about me as an individual. They would all trade my life for a dollar. There was no escape. I pulled a card from my wallet. My manager had given it to me several days before with a brief explanation. “Microsoft has a great set of mental health benefits. My family and I use them from time-to-time and they are totally free to employees. Just call the number on this card if you ever feel the need.” My emotional state must have been so obvious to those around me, even though I thought I masked it well enough. The number on the card was an emergency helpline. I despised psychiatrists. I didn’t even like counselors so much. I had seen mental health professionals ruin so many lives with either pharmaceuticals or simply with inauthentic and shortsighted behaviors. Psychologists had betrayed me in my youth with their selfish pride, and I had vowed never to give away such power to any such person ever again. It was difficult to overcome my resistance as I typed the numbers into my phone, but there seemed nowhere else to turn. I had to make an effort to change the direction of my life. In hindsight, this was a major turning point for me. It’s not that whoever answered my call or those things that followed would solve my innumerable issues. It seems more important symbolically; that I took a distinct action to choose to move onto a path of healing rather than continue along the path of harming that I had unknowingly lived my entire life. It was one of a multitude of individual steps that would follow as I worked to heal my own brokenness. The call itself ended me up in a counselor’s office. It was a place where I could think out loud in what felt to be a safe environment. Soon after I took a short leave of absence from my job and visited my father’s home in Eastern Washington. “A change of scenery might do me some good,” I had been told. Indeed being away from my family for a couple of weeks was an important step. It gave me the space to gain some clarity, without my normal routine dictating my every thought, feeling and reaction. I was lonely without my family. My worst fear had always been that my marriage would end. I had been married to my high-school sweetheart for over a decade and she was everything to me. I felt I would be or have nothing without her, and I had worked hard to keep her “in my pocket” throughout our marriage. During my time away, we spoke on the phone frequently. It was during these conversations that we first considered separating from each other. I knew that she was unhappy as well and I felt selfish for binding her into a life that caused her suffering. The love in my heart offered the choice, despite my fears and selfishness. We agreed that separation may be the best solution; to free each other so that we might both be happy. By the following morning, the tune changed. If we loved each other so much to make such a sacrifice for each other’s success, then we certainly loved each other enough to support each other together. No separation should be necessary if we could authentically support each other with such love and devotion. We called it off, electing to make changes in our marriage and lifestyles so that we could remain together. By the next month, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I demanded a test from my normal doctor, based on my sister being positively diagnosed. My blood tests were surprising. My antibody counts were off the charts. My vitamin D level was measured at 3 (50 being considered low-normal). This epiphany explained a lot about the conditions I had been experiencing, from weight loss and depression, to mood swings and abdominal pains. The Celiac diagnosis was monumental for me. It set me on a mission to take charge of my health (physical, mental, and spiritual). I fired my traditional western doctor and created a new small and devoted team of supporters and medical professionals around myself. I took up photography; specifically macro photography. I would carry a camera with me during my lunchtime walks along the riverside and would pause to capture tiny moments of beauty along the way. There was something about looking through the viewfinder at a small flower. In those little universes and in those moments, there was only beauty present. Despite feeling that the entire world was ugly all around me, it was a heaven I could find hope and joy in. Photography made me feel creative, rather than destructive. It was the first time I began to acknowledge that I had any creativity within me at all. One day, along the well-traveled urban path, I observed the numerous people biking, jogging, and hurriedly walking along. Everyone seemed to be rushing somewhere, lacking any true presence, and completely missing the bounty of subtle beauty that surrounded them. Squashed slugs littered the ground, as symbolic evidence of the unconsciousness of the travelers. Most were corporate workers like myself, apparently trying to make the most of their lunch hour, while others were just lost in gossip with their walking partners, or entirely focused on their robotic exercise routines. “What a shame,” I thought, “that people would hold so little regard for the preciousness of life.” My heart dropped, knowing that I had for so long been equally guilty of the exact lack of presence to the miracles that surrounded me. I came upon a single slug that had not yet perished to the mindlessness of humanity’s mundane existence. I laid on the trail with my camera and peered at him through the viewfinder (half expecting that I might now get run over as well). He glistened and glowed in the sunlight, bringing me to a momentary point of awe. As I zoomed in for a shot, he inspected the camera lens and then seemed to begin posing for the perfect shot. For a creature that so many disregarded as ugly and unimportant pests, I briefly witnessed the miraculous gift that he was, both in his surprising beauty as well as in the spirit of his personality. That little slug taught me some valuable lessons that day; that I should slow down and pace myself, that I should recognize all life for its sacredness, and that I should remain ever present to the immaculate beauty of this world. I strove to begin making changes in my personal and family life, home, work/life balance (or as I now called it “life/work balance”). I vowed to retire within a few years time, knowing deeply that I could not long maintain my unsustainable life serving only corporate greed and mechanical materialism. I had taken the first few steps to create an entirely new life. Though I thought I was making efforts to preserve the best parts of the life that I was familiar with, little did I know where my new path would ultimately lead me. Music: "Moment of Healed" https://choon.co/tracks/0c5z30se09s/moment-of-healed/ Image: "Pace" by Cedar Branches (2010)
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