Posts Tagged ‘global thinking’

Being Present

Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Present Self

Present Self

In my own creative process, little choice exists for me in my work.  In order to succeed, I must be present, in the right frame of mind, at a propitious moment. This requires that I listen, or “be present” in order to perceive that something important will occur ahead, in the time frame we call the Road of Life. I am there before my body is. That is how what I do works. I know where to be when not many others seem to see or care about that. But anyone could do it. So why don’t they? Why don’t you?

Seth Godin says it so well in this blog entitled, “I Am Here”.

If you want to matter: be present, show up, pay attention. Pretty simple. But you would be surprised how many do not get the importance of placing themselves in the middle of a meeting or event, or of simply sitting down to listen to someone who has reached out to us. There are a few things I regret not having taken the time to do. I know when I have missed it. But most of the time, well, my library and career exist, because I like being present. So I do. I bring a camera, and a receptive heart.

One of the most wonderful and entertaining experiences I have had recently, involved listening to a man who looked to be just a step off the streets, in an automotive shop in Santa Barbara. In an hour he had poured out one of the more fascinating life stories I had ever heard. Turns out that man, who obviously needed some dental work and rest, fronts a racing development company, cares for an indigent parent, and is sitting on cash assets in excess of 60 million dollars, as well as being a very involved parent. He invited me to visit him where he lives works and races, in Oregon. I may go.

My desire to be present is why I got be be there to meet and experience the men in the image below, who do great things for the Oceans.

Blue Mind

Blue Mind

Wallace J Nichols is a Marine Biologist who I met while attending a series of conference- workshops in San Francisco, at the invitation of one of the Directors of Project Kaisei, my globally thinking friend, George Orbelian. I have gotten to spend  fascinating one on one time with J. That man is PRESENT when we talk about life and the Oceans. Here is a fantastic article, written and published in Outside Magazine this month. He is also on the cover. If you want to understand what exactly needs to be done in order to be present, in building a better, cleaner more productive world, and how both you and the Oceans can benefit, read this story. A notable excerpt and an item of great common water (ground) is right here below.

“Whether it’s a 92-year-old or a two-year-old, when they come into that blue space, something happens,” Nichols says. They grow quiet and calm, but there’s more to it than that. When couples walk in, they frequently start holding hands. He says that if you ask people here what they’re feeling, they’ll struggle for words. Nichols finds this fascinating. He also believes that if we can understand what really happens to us in the presence of the ocean—which brain processes underlie our emotional reactions—it could bring about a radical shift in conservation efforts. If we learn precisely why we love the ocean, his thinking goes, we’ll have an immensely powerful new tool to protect it.” J Nichols from Outside Magazine

J Nichols, our world

J Nichols, our world

 

Frequently I get to sit and talk, or work along side, some remarkably bright lights. I see much commonality and brotherhood amongst them all, but one of the focal points is their understanding of the value in being present. This week I got to sit with Community activist Randall Richman here in Ventura.  When I got home, K38 Rescue chief, Shawn Alladio was sitting on my couch, having just wrapped a Rescue Boat Operator course at Vandenberg AFB. She stopped in and we spent hours together, looking through digital assets, discussing  projects, and well, just being PRESENT in each other’s lives. Her blogpieces on the recent visit for post tsunami recovery and training for K38 Rescue Japan is a fascinating look at Marine Debris. What Shawn Alladio and K38 Rescue is doing about debris is right here.

Soon after that, I had breakfast with research Scientist Dr. Andrea Neal of Blue Ocean Sciences, who is also the Science Advisor for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, as well as the Principal Investigator for Project Kaisei. She is making inclusive, being present type plans, for a large number of fellows.

Recently, Dr Ed Brenegar of the Community of Leaders, showed up at my door here in Ventura California. Ed is one of THE most present people I know, in  person, digitally, and spiritually. He knows to show up, and listens more than he speaks.

Ed Brenegar: being present

Ed Brenegar: being present

In fact, I get to meet with so many people who enjoy being present, that I am 100 percent convinced I will be afforded vast opportunity and as a result, my image library will likely prove at some point, to be of significant Historic worth. It is obvious to me.

Here is a great little message from one of the “present” people in my life. Donna Von Hoesslin, the head of Betty B, whose company is all about being Ocean inspired. The image below was shot this week in San Francisco, California. In the background is SF Bay, where a few months ago, George, Donna, J and others of us were present shipboard, hosted by ARUP and Cole Roberts, for the sole purpose of being present and examining how the future of the Oceans and our world, could look.  Get it? The manner of connection? You must do it. Or nothing happens.

So what in the heck are you going on about?  (You may be wondering ) What ARE you doing with this?

This is my life. I am surrounding myself with social architects and designers capable via connection, to design the future. I want, no, I NEED, to be a part of that. I have a bit to say and show about the world and the Oceans, and I have always loved sharing. Everything came from the sea. It connects all creation.

So why should you show up? I mean really……. Life is busy. Times are hard all around. So why do it? Why be present?

Because the world needs you,  and you are the one who will benefit in the end. The process will confer great benefit upon YOU.

Life is a gift. Give it. Offer your life. That is what being present, really means. At the end of the day, you will be so glad that you chose to do this: engage.

Open arms of presence

Open arms of presence

 

 Here is a fantastic call to action by the band Muse.

Here is a poignant story sent along by one of my K38 team mates, Dominik Gryzb. The story is of a Father and his son. Present. To serve. To Love.

Sent along by The Daily Good: how to wage peace.

 

We are the change.

Connect

Connect

 

Pursuing Happy

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Happiness Is

Happiness Is

One of the things that always strikes me about Bali and the Balinese is the degree of happiness which exists.

Some may say that being happy is a choice. Well it is, sort of. But not the type of selection one may suspect. Happiness is in the choices open to you as an individual and member of a Community, and in the case of a Citizen of the US, the pursuit of it, is a National Guarantee.

Here is a fantastic read on Happiness, by Dr William B Stewart. Take close note of what he says about the US Bill of Rights and Constitution.

Peace

Peace

I very recently returned from Bali, a supposed “Third World” nation, to Ventura California. A place that by all rights and history, should be a bastion of freedom and happiness, seeing it was founded on the backs of settlers who became ranchers, farmers and  oil field workers. One would call those, “salt of the earth” types. People whose families and existence were based on the pursuit of happiness.

However, (and I write this with great reluctance) a cancer moved into my Community in the past decade. Lubricated by money and the pursuit and love of it, a Socio-Political faction obtained control of the town through the City Council and hiring of a dis-re located City Manager to run the town, which proved to be at the expense of the freedom and happiness of the township, which is a Corporation.

Repressive Disconnect

Repressive Disconnect

As the US economy spiraled into a new abyss, those people engaged in a philosophy of  City Governance one would at best call repressive, and at worst Totalitarian. The irony of course, being that most of the empowered are rather well paid at Taxpayer and Community expense.

Red Light Traffic cameras were installed, as a means of obtaining a new source of income. Parking pay stations were installed in the Downtown as a means of controlling traffic and the populace, under the guise of progress, killing it, at the expense of 1.8 million dollars. Only two City Council members resisted fairly consistently, Jim Monahan and Neil Andrews.  City  Mayor Bill Fulton, City Manager Rick Cole and the other Council members,  pushed for all of it,  on occasion, shouting down and conspiring against any who disagreed with the repressive and money losing attempts to create a “Sustainable Urban development” out of what is really a sprawling village.

Home

Home

I have long been involved in Ecological Study and Rules development and the more foot to the ground aspects of Environmentalism and Progressive development. I have never seen such an obvious attempt at Greenwashing and false flag flying under the guise of Sustainability, as I have seen by the leadership at large in Ventura Ca. Look into the backgrounds of the various members of City Governance and their allegiances, and you will find development companies and interests. You will find six figure salaries. You will find  a potential for corruption that makes Indonesian Govt look like a school for choir boys.

In Sustainable Systems, architecture demands that needs be met with available assets, thereby perpetuating the system itself. What Ventura has gotten shoved down it’s throat by these well compensated individuals is the opposite of that. It is the definition of Parasitism, where eventually the foreign entity kills or severely damages the host.

For this Community to thrive, the drain on it  must be removed.

Ever hear of the term “Proactive Zoning and Code Enforcement”? That is where the City Zoning and Code enforcement people show up at the door, flash a badge (They are actually NOT Law Enforcement) and ask to enter your home under the guise of A) Having a complaint lodged by some mystery person or B) Just wanting to make sure that your property is “safe”.

Then, IF the homeowner is gullible enough to let the inspector in, that CITY EMPLOYEE cites the occupant of the home (citizen) for anything that they can find and fine them for. Cannot pay it? No problem. The City of Ventura leins the home and it goes on the list for collection by the County Tax Assessor and sale later, by the County of Ventura if you still cannot pay. No kidding. Approx 148 homes are currently on that list and the Institute for Justice in Washington DC sent a letter to the City (watch their video on the 14th Amendment!), saying it was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Not one of these homeowners was offered time payment plans or a hardship application.

A once proud heritage

A once proud heritage


So there is a City Council Election next week in Ventura, and three seats are being contested. The incumbents have made clear choices about their and the City’s future happiness. The challengers, (With the exception of candidate Cheryl Heitman, who moved to Ventura from Thousand Oaks this year) are long term members of the Community. Some have at great personal expense, fought against what has been done to their town. One of them, Ken Cozzens, is a retired Sheriff and local business owner (both highly qualifying vocations to have represented in office). Another, Carla Bonney, even went so far as to acquire nearly 12k Citizen signatures that would place the parking pay stations on the ballot, only to have her community building efforts be halted by City Attorney Ariel Calonne, who had been informed of the efforts all along. What he did looked very bad. It may have been what it looked like. It may not. But in any event, the people who all thought they should get the opportunity to VOTE on the changes rammed down their throats by the Mayor, City Council, Rick Cole and the Downtown Ventura Organization, were denied that opportunity.  Get the picture?

There is more. Much more.  I HATE dirty laundry, and my town like many, has skeletons which maybe ought not be exhumed. Or maybe they should? Ever read about our town Cemetery that was turned into a dog park illegally? Today, dogs walk where bodies still lie interred, the area scraped of grave markers, which were dumped in Hall Canyon. The City uses the issue to distract the public from the real issue: this large Midtown section of the city is the only section that has no real parks, so people continue to fight over the use of a cemetery. Legally, that is exactly what it still is. People’s families and the History of Ventura are buried there! No park for you, but here, have this cemetery. The dead won’t mind. After all, they are dead. The act violates all manner of State and Federal codes as well as the basic conventions of humanity in every culture of the earth. To make matters even more onerous, one James Sumner, a Medal of Honor holder, is also interred there. Ventura just wanted a park. Parks are happy places. Cemeteries are about something else. The bodies lie there still. Understand?

Goal of Governance

Goal of Governance

Now don’t get me wrong. Politics are dirty business and politicians seldom are leaders of any real sort. They typically only follow the money trail. So why expect Ventura to be different?

Because Venturans live there. And for that reason this tract of Coastal Land could possibly be one of the most vital assets in California. But only if Venturans determine the direction and application of Law, Civil Liberty, and Development. We must pursue Happiness. We must seek it out, architect it, and make it work for our future generations. There is smart growth in that. Anything less is just demise.

As the Occupy Movement and  crime in high places, struggle together for control, the only real chance for happiness, is for the community to assume control of it’s destiny, and in doing so, be allowed the opportunity to pursue liberty and happiness. It is why I will not expatriate, much as I love the peace that exists elsewhere in the world. It is why I am and remain, an American. That is my choice. I am not paid to be here. I want to be here.

Want to see a happy future for your children? Occupy your town. Take it back from those who are there to milk it for personal gain. You and I must do this. There is no one else with that responsibility, who will do it for us.

I hope things change, yes. But regardless of who is in a City Govt position, we all have an investment in our Communities, and must believe it to be worth all of the struggle to restore, and must understand, that eventually, the townships of America will be occupied by the Citizens, and not prurient interests hiding behind false flags.

Icon of  Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Icon of Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Seems like a prudent thing to me: the pursuit of happiness. For everyone. It is why our founders wrote it into the Law.

My son Josh produced this. A young man who is an idealist rooted in the realism of our National Socio-Political condition.  A Venturan.  No Substitute.  He gets it. So should we.

Love your family. Cherish your Community. Occupy. Take your town back. Make it YOUR homeland. You restore our Country by doing so.

That is an honorable thing.

Light Fantastic: Happiness

Light Fantastic: Happiness

The Significance of Mermaids

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
Significant

Significant

In running through an edit the other day for a magazine feature, I happened to stumble upon a file titled “Lost Mermaid” In it were some large scan images of Hannah Fraser performing as a mermaid which I had shot in the Maldives quite some time ago.

The scans had apparently been put in a  back file and forgotten. When I had run across them eventually, I had finished my post production work, sent them out into the netherworld of global editorial submission, and once again sort of forgotten them.

Flicking through thousands of images deftly , when I opened that Lost Mermaid folder I simply stopped in my tracks and went “Wow”.

 Come Hither

Come Hither

On the face of it, a pretty girl putting on a mermaid suit and floating around in the Laccadive Sea (Far side of the world, mid ocean) could be construed as a silly thing to deem of any real value or significance.

Eco Concerto

Eco Concerto

But the reality is that in process, this artist inspires each of us to don our own suit of many colors and step out into the void. The world needs that from us, especially right now as it groans under the weight of vast change and challenge.

Here is a good example, sent along by Eric Skaar. A beautiful mind.

Here is another, sent along by Dr Ed Brenegar. A TedX talk by the wonderful CEO of Random Kid,  sixteen year old Talia Leman.

Earlier this week, I got to sit in an hours long conversation with my friend George Orbelian, who among many things heads up the San Francisco Global Trade Council and Project Kaisei. As sunshine magnified by a big bay window, warmed away the chill of a wintery afternoon in Ocean Beach SF, I listened intently as we examined a number of quite vast issues, ones that would appear to be out of reach for any “normal” person in our culture.

After we had looked at “the Japan Problem” and George had presented some rather intriguing information about the Nuclear Plants and Tsunami damage and I had thrown my POV’s worth of data on the pile, George looked at me and quite earnestly said something that hit me with more force than any bitch slap ever could: “What are we going to do?”

And I thought about the mermaid.  There are always solutions, but often they come via something that is so lateral, “the powers that be”, due to the way socio- political organizations function, would never consider that maybe the answer was in the examination of a different process and a shift in Philosophy.

Japan changes everything. In this dire time, is presented a remarkable opportunity to change our world for the better and establish something very remarkably sustainable: clean energy, more secure nuclear power generating stations and the creation of a waste recycling system utilizing fuel with a fraction of the safety issues of Uranium and Plutonium. Ever hear about Thorium?

Here is a very simplified view of the potential of Thorium as an energy source in the generation process.

But as my friends in Japan have already pointed out, you cannot build nuclear bombs if your plants run on Thorium. Ever think about what that means strategically? To have all your fissionable material breeders spread all over the countryside generating electricity as well as material to build bombs?

So as my time with George came to an end we looked at the hard line items in Japan and our World, which due to some Geologically time based activity, is likely going to see more incidences like the quake off of Japan that killed so many.  It also created the scenario for catastrophic failure that will in all likelihood cause the reactors to need to become entombed like Chernobyl, thereby causing a loss of the land, adjacent ocean, and vast environmental  resources and health.

As I watched the video of the Tsunami coming ashore and the roiling black waters that I knew contained bodies being crushed by the weight of water and debris, I thought laterally. You could limit some of this further by  a number of actions. But the greater damage and threat to life, that of environmental nuclear disaster, energy dependence and the war expense that implies, that catastrophic flood, can be prevented entirely.

 A Far Shore

A Far Shore

You just need to understand the significance of mermaids.

 

American Christmas

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
It takes more than flags. It takes people. Ventura Ca.

It takes more than flags. It takes people. Ventura Ca.

We have a problem residing in our country this Christmas. “Which one?” you might jump to respond.

The problem of which I write is one of recall, memory. Memory is a fundamental component in establishing progress for a vast array of reasons. But where our communities are concerned, it is even more pertinent.

I believe that we as a Country have forgotten what it means to be American. I really do. We had grown fat and insular the past several decades.  The affect was pinged out and the world responded to this, as an opportunity to parasitize this Country, to plunder it, and enslave it’s people. Our choices and attitude set the stage. You can see the affect of it in our very Government. We seeded our current spiraling demise.

Here is a perfect example of this.

Things look bad today. No matter where one is seated.

But the apparent slide of our country is far from over, or set in stone. (It could get worse.) However, I really see it being entirely possible to become whole and healthy again.

All it will take, is for us to choose to make sense, and side with our communities and their health. That means once again, doing what is in the best interest of each and every member of our towns. We will need to restore trust.

Here is a good article on trust. It is a long read, which most leaders will want to ponder: repeatedly.

It takes more than flying a flag. It takes more than soiled National pride. It takes resolve to live by the standards of God and our forefathers, which were placed at the masthead 234 Christmases ago. This will require each of us. We will need to “love and support our neighbor as ourselves.”

If we decide to take care of our own, everything changes. It worked for God. That is why we have Christmas. He took care of us. So now we have an obligation. We need to remember who that obligation is to.

The other night I listened to  Samuel Shoemaker and his brothers perform a song entitled Dancing Girl. The piece gives a very personal account of his experience in the Marines. At the end, I walked in to my girlfriend’s little shop.  Sam’s words had woken me up. I saw something with greater clarity than prior.

Shoemaker Brothers

Shoemaker Brothers

Donna came back to America from her adopted home in Germany about seven years ago. Determined to give the country of her birth another chance, she built a business founded on her passion for the Ocean, empowering women, design and ethics. She named it Betty Belts. A couple years ago she branched out into retail when she opened her little boutique called Betty B.

Ventura Storefront: Betty B and Donna

Ventura Storefront: Betty B and Donna

Like many small business people in America, her dreams and aspirations are simple: to make a living, and to inspire hope  and positive change in her community.

Betty B

Betty B

As I looked around her shop, I saw the handiwork of countless people in her fashion accessories and product mix. And I realized that it was not just Donna represented in that shop, but a cadre of human beings spread out across the globe, who each contribute to what at first glance is just a tiny shop off Main St in Ventura California.

Handmade

Handmade

Christmas!

Christmas!

And then I thought of the recent battles in City Hall, as our City Council continues to struggle with what to the community, seems to be a subject worthy of civil war: the choice of whether to side with the people they live with when setting policy, or to oppress them.  It occurred to me that the ripple effect of  poor choices by Governance at the City level has a global impact. That was sobering.

A Christmas wish from Ventura Merchants

A Christmas wish from Ventura Merchants

Though I am embarrassed for my town, and saddened by what I have seen City Government do to the people of Ventura, what gives me hope this Christmas is that people like Donna persist.

Persistence is a very American virtue.

Donna’s family is rooted in the History of this Country. They helped found it. She left that behind her at one point in her life. And yet returned with a very global perspective in hand, to engage in a manner that would make her ancestors proud.

Today, everyone fights a hard battle just to stay afloat. But my town, being of pioneer stock and temperment will prevail, and when it does, so will America.

We need to remember who we are this Christmas, and celebrate that.

Be authentic. It matters. So do you.

Have an American Christmas.

Organic Reprisal

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Awash on Bali

Awash on Bali

We leave the troubled shores of the US soon, for the exotic environs of Indonesia where Donna Von Hoesslin’s creative muse lies, on the Isle of Bali. We are a tightly knit crew, who all will donate time and our own efforts in a collaborative endeavor to contribute to something that matters, and in the process, create something beautiful and compelling.

The excursion will be a little different than Donna’s usual solo pilgrimage to her mecca of creativity and harmonic bliss. This time she brings along a group of young women whose names have become synonymous with her Ventura based fashion accessory company, Betty Belts-Betty B.

The group will experience the process of design and symbiosis that occurs between US and Balinese culture through the sustainable philosophy of Donna’s eco based product line.

Taking an ensemble of beautiful, talented young women, and throwing them into the chaos, mayhem and exotic allure that is this ancient Hindu based culture, will launch the crew on a voyage of discovery, designed to acquaint the uninitiated with what really goes on behind the scenes in developing the humanitarian ethics of this unique company, whose product line is emblazoned with the names of an extensive collection of powerful and talented women.

Myself, and film makers Aaron Marcellino, and Jason Wolcott will take the viewer on a richly textured, exotic and visceral look at Balinese culture, that examines the impact one woman’s personal vision can have on two very separate worlds as we produce a film, magazine feature work, and art.

So off to Bali we go soon, where we will get to spend time with David Booth (see one of his projects here), whose East Bali Poverty Project transforms the world by educating one child at a time, one village at a time, in the remote communities of Bali. David changes the world through his vision of implementing sustainable solutions. We are blessed that he has invited us to contribute.

Mary Osborne, Jeanette Ortiz, Hailey and Sierra Partridge are physically very attractive women. But having traveled and trained with them, even doing Ocean Rescue and operations training with Shawn Alladio of K38 Rescue, I have seen them demonstrate their prodigiously considerable skills in the most stressful environments imaginable.

What the four bring to any creative and ambitious project’s table is so far beyond modeling, surfing or any of the action sport related activities that they are experts in. I would go anywhere with them and rely on them to watch over me. There are not many people in the world that I would entrust myself to. But I do them.

Seth Godin here on taking initiative.

Though I do not know exactly the nature of what will happen, I do know this, that a lot of love heads from our little corner of the world, in this unique visit to a land and people who are remarkable. We will see, and listen, and hear.

I love this. It is so this endeavor. As my friend Drew Kampion has suggested, regarding what we will produce: “Get weird”. We are about to. But then we already are. Why else would we go? Oh yea, that’s right: love.

I have tools

I have tools

Mary, Jeanette, Hailey, Sierra and Shawn ORT Graduation

Mary, Jeanette, Hailey, Sierra and Shawn ORT Graduation

Donna's Road Vision

Donna's Road Vision

Jeanette and Adam: ZDesert Shoot

Jeanette and Adam: ZDesert Shoot

Hailey, Sierra and Gidget for Hobie Swim

Hailey, Sierra and Gidget for Hobie Swim

Mary: Mexico: 40's pinup shoot

Mary: Mexico: 40's pinup shoot

Hailey in Stewart and Brown for Betty B

Hailey in Stewart and Brown for Betty B

Jeanette: Ventura Dawn

Jeanette: Ventura Dawn

Mary: For Patagonia

Mary: For Patagonia

Donna Von Hoesslin: Global Sensibilities

Donna Von Hoesslin: Global Sensibilities

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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