C o l l e c t i o n o f D r a w i n g s a n d P a i n t i n g s J u l y ‘1 8

Here’s a link of some art I’ve done over the last few years.

collection of some art by carol keiter

Here is a collection of drawings and paintings that I’ve done in the last years

Here are some photos I took in the last days.

lighthouse, East Providence, bike path, June 2018

lighthouse off of East Providence seen along bike path June 2018

goslings guided between goose parents on river in Providence

blogger Carol Keiter

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

US citizen departing Frankfurt airport, forced by immigration to pay €1,000 cash, for a fine that accrued interest over 5 years, for not paying a €2.50 U-Bahn public transport ticket

I originally posted this last night on Trip Advisor, however it was deemed not appropriate, and removed.

US citizen departing Frankfurt airport forced by immigration to pay €1,000 cash, for a fine that accrued interest over 5 years, for not paying a €2.50 U-Bahn public transport ticket

Arriving at the Frankfurt airport in time to investigate duty free electronic stores for an electrical adapter and voltage swing protector, I was halted by a 25 year old officer who, observing his computer screen unsmilingly, asked in German something a train in Berlin. I lived there years earlier, and I figured that he was alluding to a time I was caught on the U-Bahn without a ticket, 3, 5 or 7 years ago. Having left the country abruptly right before Christmas 2012, I wasn’t aware that this was accruing interest. I guess in our electronic world in which these records endure, they weren’t able to contact me by email to inform me, that would have been to, uh, sophisticated.

I explained in my best German that I hadn’t been living in the country, and in fact can prove with residence and employment records where I’ve been living the last few years. This information was disregarded. He would not listen to any explanation. I was treated with hostility, almost aggression. I guess that being a frugal artist/writer and enjoying pouring time into creativity is not permissible, in a world that is looking one-dimensionally in terms of the GDP instead of quality. The officer walked into a room among 6 or so other colleagues and to my astonishment, through the glass wall I saw him laughing and smirking. Towards me he was cold and threatening, using intimidation. He told me I either must hand him €1,000 in cash from the ATM, conveniently located several yards away, or go to jail for 15 days. So the fine for riding without a €2.50 train ticket, rose with interest through the years to an easy, rounded number of €1,000. Since then I discovered that with the exchange rate to USD and $66 transaction fee at that ATM and additional $39 foreign transaction fee at this same ATM, added up to costing 1,431.19 USD. As I watched them laughing with one another,  I took a photograph. Another young officer dashed out of the office at first demanding my phone, and receded when I deleted it before him. Considering the fact that the other option was jail (which I would have done as the frugal artist that I am), it isn’t really an option. It’s like complete coercion. The traveler has no choice. When one has planned, prepared and paid for an anticipated travel, it’s sort of the perfect situation to extract this money with ease. Extortion was the word that came to mind; using intimidation and authority in circumstances that almost 99.99% of the time passengers would prefer to hand over the requested exorbitant amount of cash. Little alternative, in addition to paying for an eTicket and Indian eVISA. I was ultimately deported, for a pdf file of my passport being fuzzy, due to the fact that it was initially scanned improperly at the copy shop, and I hadn’t stated the 1st time what dimensions it needed to be, another language barrier and naiveté on my part. I was making this trip to ultimately follow my passion, complete a book I’m writing and to continue to write blogs, compose music…Poverty is punished in the modern world of globalization and finance. So the budget traveler with 2 small backpacks, sleeping bag and intention to volunteer with elephants and do work/living exchanges with people through workaway, now is $2,000 dollars in debt. And absolutely delighted with the experience I had with charming and bright people who enriched my world through our conversations and realizing that resilience and value of experience over material acquisition, is of great value. Appreciation of all of the nuances that life offers and value of the natural wonders of the world, made for a delightful trip of 7 days of travel for a 1.5 hour visit to India. 🙂 Delhi was intoxicatingly polluted, with 12 foot visibility. So nice that our world opts for measuring worth with the GDP, as we ruin the planet, are filled with fear and fueled with a desire to extract and consume, rather than to protect and strive for a harmonious relationship with the earth and all life. Just sayin’.

Relocate rather than Vacate | Trump is the Mere Nefarious figurehead of a Vile Oil Oligarchic System

Pardon the haste and perhaps haphazardness with which I’m posting this blog. I still have packing to do. I am flying tomorrow, Sunday the 9th of July from nYc to Paris. My intention is not to vacate, but to relocate. Not to vacation in Paris, but to plant myself in an inexpensive post in Europe, in order to write articles about a number of different topics that will take me to different countries. I also wish to debut performing my music live as i continue to produce more. I have been considering ways for the past two years to plant myself back in Europe. Yes, It takes mega fossil fuels to get myself there, but I literally bicycled hundreds of miles throughout this past winter to transport myself to dozens of schools throughout the Santa Fe, New Mexico county school district, to teach students K through 12th grade in all different subjects. I was one of the only people bicycling. I saw a couple schools where several teachers bicycled. These were an exception.

I just watched a video of Indigenous people from the Pacific Islands visiting Indigenous people in Canada, to see for themselves the destruction of their territory and to express solidarity. I was in tears. I am sharing this here, because the words of one of the elderly native women in her prayers, echoes what I’ve heard from different people in different places; The change that needs to happen, is not on an intellectual level, but from the perspective of heart, feeling, values. Incentive to make changes will happen when people really care about, feel harmony with and identity with all of life, all entities that sustain life, as one incredible intelligent interconnected system that reveals and produces life

Impact of Tar Sands is felt worldwide, 350.org

Impact of Tar Sands is felt worldwide presented by 350.org

I am in tears as I watch this. I had gone to the COP21 in Paris. My real learning experience was through engaging during the two week duration of the climate talks with the http://www.placetob.org. I met people who came from the other side of the world to talk about how their communities have already been affected for the last decade by GLOBAL WARMING (the politically incorrect term which puts in your face the face the fact that the CLIMATE IS CHANGING DUE TO HUMAN ACTION AND INACTION)

This woman elder conducting a prayer said. “The indigenous people have a sacred connection to the water and land. They understand that when you take from the land, you must return.

We all have to feel this way in our hearts, to love our water and land and air, and all of the creatures who are part of this earth.

We can’t just sit idle any more and let the billionaires do what they want.

We need to fight for clean air and water and land.

I’m going to warrior up, to do anything i can to protect this water and land.

Kinder Morgen (Kinder Morgan according to wiki is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America), are killing the fish, killing the deer, killing the bear.

If Trudeau (and Trump) won’t take action, people will.”

So, my point, Trump is an easy target to feel disgust and revulsion by his desire to strip away healthcare, rights, protections for national parks….but he is merely a puppet, a figurehead, behind a system that has been bulldozing the environment and peoples’ rights and profiting through racism and targeting blacks, for the last 20 years.

My idea, after having spent last winter completely immersed in work that took all of my time, but through which I learned very much and thoroughly enjoyed in particular teaching skiing on the weekends and several long holidays, because I love physical activity, love the alpine environment, love to ski and love to communicate and teach people who really want to learn.

It was because of a memorial ceremony held for my mother this last Saturday which brought a bunch of extended family together to celebrate her life, that bounced me back to the East coast from Taos, New Mexico, where I was residing the last two months. Because my job seasons’ both ended in Santa Fe, I moved to Taos at the suggestion of a friend, where I lived in a yurt, off the grid, no plumbing or electricity, and then was given the opportunity to use a room in my friend’s home to use for electricity and internet “IF and only if, I used this space to complete my book”. I diligently did this, dove into it, which not only has brought this project to near completion, and fueled my desire and conviction to dive into other writing projects. I’ve been blogging for years, making no income. Now, I will dive into writing articles (have already several lined up), and will through the stages of learning and making mistakes, begin operating in the world of journalism.

India planted 66 Million trees in 12 hours

India planted 66 Million trees in 12 hours

ANYTHING can be accomplished, when power hungry control & greed don’t get in the way of people working together.

To me, nothing is more important than impressing upon people hope about the future, ways that we can joyfully participate in making our earth a more nourishing place and to spread a sentiment of love and caring for all of the inhabitants of the earth, and the soil, the water and air as living beings, that are an inextricable part of all of us.

We have so much more life to live, experiences to feel and share, if we stretch and extend ourselves to sense deeply how fantastic our world is, and how to really value the most minute experience of “I and thou”. I’m talking, your perception, and a rain drop in a puddle that sends out waves. I’m saying, your perception, of wind moving through trees. I’m saying, your perception, of your breath and how incredibly intelligent and splendid your body is.

Get back into your body. Get back into letting thoughts go and actually listening and tuning into a creature that can fit on your hand. Get back into walking, bicycling and moving your body, and feeling how wonderful it is to be in good shape and connected. Get back into extending a smile to a stranger, and feeling how this ripples. Our earth is magical. The creatures with whom we coexist are splendid. I am sorry to say, that it is not the people, but leaders, particularly in the “United States of Anxiety” who wish to keep things the way they are, who wish to bend over to money. Sadly, even Justin Trudeau of Canada is demonstrating this. The reason I wished to write this in the first place was because of something I relayed to my friend with whom I’ve been staying for the last week out of her graciousness. I was saying that it is easy to be disgusted, embarrassed and absolutely revolted by the personality of our President Trump, because of his mannerisms, statements, actions the greed, narcissism…Yet I learned 3 months ago when I was hitchhiking back from skiing a day in Taos to Santa Fe, from the driver. I had turned down the 1st 3 rides. This man was articulate, well educated and kind. He said he was a climatologist who worked for 10 years for the State of California. To my astonishment, he mentioned that in the early 90’s, like 1991, he was told/dissuaded/warned by the State (the alleged progressive state of California) NOT to use the word ‘climate change’ and probably at that time ‘global warming’ was the term, in ANY of his reports. When in fact, his research pointed directly to climate change as a result of actions of the petroleum industries. So, my point, Trump is an easy target to feel disgust and revulsion by his desire to strip away healthcare, rights, protections for national parks….but he is merely a puppet, a figurehead, behind a system that has been bulldozing the environment and peoples’ rights and profiting through racism and targeting blacks, for the last 20 years. And now the people need to stand up and face the reality, and organize behind those groups who can facilitate change.

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

 Carol Keiter's contact card feat pic hummingbird feeding in Santa Fe, NM

Carol Keiter’s contact card feat pic hummingbird feeding in Santa Fe, NM


I Believe in the People’s Climate March Washington D.C. On My Way

And since the Climate March, this is current. Here’s a link for you to sign to send a message to Trump about how important it is to be a leader in the movement towards a healthy climate, and to specifically honor the Paris Agreement. http://act.350.org/sign/paris-response “The Paris Agreement is the backbone of international action to tackle climate change. Donald Trump is considering withdrawing, standing with the fossil fuel millionaires and billionaires. Stand with us to show that political momentum for climate action is unstoppable.”

Make America Cool Again

Make America Cool Again

This guy's tiny, tiny sign said "reduce" LOL

This guy’s tiny, tiny sign said “reduce” LOL

Together with the Sierra Club, WWF, Defenders of Wildlife and all of the other groups and the masses of people who have the will to make the effort to stand up and out (worldwide), I will be marching in Washington D.C. For those who wish to see a dramatic exodus and transformation from the Profit-Over-Everything-Else attitude of our Oil Oligarchy and Corpocrisy run government >

People's Climate March April 29th, 2017

People’s Climate March April 29th, 2017

NRDC National Resource Defense Council says, “It’s time to stop the backsliding on climate change; it’s time to meet the most urgent challenge of our generation.”

time to stop the backsliding on climate change; it's time to meet the most urgent challenge of our generation.

On Saturday, 300,000 people came together for the Peoples Climate March in our nation’s capital, and in communities around America and the world.

Here’s a link http://act.350.org/sign/local-action for what we can do to continue local action towards a movement of sustainability rather than oil dominated environmental futility.

Here’s 350.org’s Facebook page of pics. facebook pics of march

Below are the pics I took en route hitchhiking from Santa Fe, New Mexico and many of the signs at the march.

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C.

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C._2

I’m in! Peoples Climate March April 29th, Washington D.C. >
Packing up my residence in the next hours to move May 1st (from an apt to a yurt), with help from a friend with a pickup and dentist appt in Santa Fe. I’ve booked a flight one-way from DC to ABQ Albuquerque {not knowing until after paying} when precisely it was going to depart that day. Calculating the earliest DC Metro Rail to the airport only arrives at 6am, I breathed a sigh of relief when seeing that the flight was leaves late afternoon. Ran into a friend yesterday I hadn’t seen for many years, who spontaneously gave me the money today to cover the flight. I only realized two days ago looking at the calendar, that there was another day, the 30th, between the March and my move-out day. Anything’s possible. I merely have to get to DC hitching, leaving uh, mañana?

– 27 h 1,877 miles according to google maps.

google directions Santa fe, NM to Washington D.C. People's Climate March. April 29th, 2017

google directions Santa fe, NM to Washington D.C.

I just spent the afternoon, boxing, packing, organizing so that I’m ready upon my return to move to a yurt, since working 6 to 7 days a week still hasn’t afforded any kind of saved nest egg.

I then worked on creating my newest song which I just started yesterday. Streamlined and packed with beats.

I’m on my way to the Peoples Climate March April 29th in DC. peoplesclimate.org There’s a whole niche of my music all about animal rights, wildlife protection, creating animal bridges and preserving animal corridors…So I’m passionate about making not just Trump, but the Oil Oligarchy listen.

And I went.

Here are another page of pics I took at the march.

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C._3

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C.


I’ll be playing at the Flycatcher in Tucson, Arizona, Saturday May 6th for their monthly music producers showcase ‘Pushing Buttons‘. This next month features all women producers.

And releasing much more music as it flows.

Soundcloud Playlists More_NomadbeatZ Eco Echo

Soundcloud Playlists More_NomadbeatZ Eco Echo

The Flycatcher
340 E. 6th St.
Tucson, AZ, 85705
Phone: (520) 207-9251

https://soundcloud.com/you/collection
PayPal: carolkeiter@gmail.com

People's Climate March April 29th, 2017 WWF

People’s Climate March April 29th, 2017 WWF

Looks like I’m in!

Race to Save the World Dump Trump and Oil Oligarchy

Race to Save the World Dump Trump and Oil Oligarchy

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol Keiter, blogger, selfie, hitch, skiing, aos

Carol Keiter the blogger with a selfie prior to getting the ride on return hitch from skiing in Taos

Just What I Need … for now

I decided to incorporate the comments I recently posted accompanying a message asking people to make their voice heard, opposing the ritual in Norway of whale slaughter and any kind of animal abuse in general.

It is time to stop acting as if all of creation is ours to extract, entertain ourselves with, spoil, pollute, damage, mutilate and take from more than we need; simply because the human population has diverted itself down the path of mutually agreeing that profit and consumption are our purpose on this planet. In the process of severely limiting our experience and full capacity, we are accepting that our description of what is of value, and what we are enslaved to with our time and lives, is actually a diversion from reality and a virtual representation, of what this planet’s true grandiosity is worth in terms of its biodiversity. To live in awe of the world that we are briefly passing through, and to ensure that our children have the same wealth of experience and health to live their own lives, is something that 21st century human beings should have in their conscious awareness. To begin to fully become human, as empathetic beings, ‘who do what they love and love what they’re doing’ with the joy and empowerment to extend love towards all of existence, is what we can all strive for, and mutually help one another in the process. However, overpopulation, greed and misconceptions about what is of value, is what we are presently enslaved to. Those at the top of this hierarchy of tyrannical powers wish nothing more than that we remain content, complacent and unaware of how our consent is feeding the destructive actions of those holding the power. People all over the planet are often acting out of fear, which creates a population even more malleable. Talk to one another more in person, instead of through a screen, and share insights into how we can inform one another and lighten up to love.

Prince Ea’s video message Future Generations ‘Sorry’

Prince Ea has a lot of profound things to say.

When I arrived in Santa Fe in August, I had no key, whatsoever. Okay, I believe I had a mini padlock stashed in my suitcase, with its key. I had no transportation vehicle; no bike or lock for it, no automobile. I left Tucson the day I moved out of the apartment there, hitchhiking with two back packs and a small suitcase on wheels August 1st, 2016.

hitching, Tucson, AZ , Santa Fe, NM

hitching route from Tucson, AZ to Santa Fe, NM 567 miles

As I looked like I was wearing a boy scout or brownie uniform, the driver who gave me a ride the entire way, 567 miles to Santa Fe, New Mexico, thought I was a teenage boy with my baseball cap obscuring my face. This was via Albuquerque, a bonus stop to visit my friend living there. I could no longer stay in Tucson after paying the rent for several months in a row with a credit card (having found no paid income), and now could no longer afford the minimum cc payments. I had gone to Arizona specifically to do a WWOOF, rather than being homeless in Pennsylvania.

Just a month prior to arriving at the WWOOF ranch in Arizona, I meditated on discerning the most appropriate path, and happened through a series of synchronicities to connect with a former colleague, which lead me to discovering a group he was involved with participating in the climate talks in Paris, on their own contemporary platform, the Place to B.

Place to B, Climate, COP21

Place to B It’s Time to Talk Differently about the Climate – art and educational forum took place during COP21 Nov-Dec in Paris Nov-Dec 2015

I knew the Paris Climate Talks COP21 were about to take place and somehow felt an inclination to be there among other activists, journalists…I could never have imagined the fantastic voyage I was about to enter into. And I stumbled into it with synchronicities I couldn’t look away from. Their venue of lectures, events, music and art shared among people from 40 countries was extraordinary, a perfect combination of meetings socially and information shared. I could not have imagined it. I’m sure that the presenters were also captivated with what they had created.

I attempted to book a one-way (in my usual poverty mentality thinking that it would be more cost effective to just figure out my way from there, once I was already on the continent). However, the one-way was blocked, providing me the time allowance to ‘sleep on it’ and divine that the coincidences were too marvelous to ignore. This whole excursion and opportunity appeared only after I connected with a former colleague who happened to be involved with the ‘place to b‘.

It turned out to be a spectacular learning experience; attending two weeks of organized lectures, seminars, demonstrations among activists, artists, writers and entrepreneurs. There were people coming from all over the world to discuss the impact of their community from climate change. This event coincided with the COP21 Climate Talks. It was the most exhilarating mix of people and information to meet and participate in which I never could have imagined. I left knowing that I had created the right path and chosen wisely, and now have a great deal to learn.

Now, weeks later, having returned to the US and moved onto a ‘WorkAway’ on a boat in Brooklyn, New York, as had been planned for a month prior to Christmas, I learned following the Christmas holidays which I shared with family in PA, that the boat wasn’t going to work out. I had to drive back to Brooklyn to move all of my stuff out. I was subsequently informed that i was given two weeks to depart from where I was temporarily staying in Pennsylvania. I now had to explore and come up with some quick alternatives and investigate my options. Most of my investigation is online.

At this point, I was learning to take every one of these turns and obstacles, expulsions and disruptions, with calm. I told myself, “Obviously THIS is not what I’m supposed to be doing right now” and allow myself to be open for what it was that was the better option. Instead of feeling panicked or distressed, I let myself flow along with new directions as they arrived. My research was prolific, my ideas extending in all directions like the tentacled hair of medusa. These actions helped things to evolve.

I knew that I wanted to write and to learn from people actively participating in working harmoniously with the land. The idea of a ‘workaway’ or ‘wwoof’ – the latter which my sister reminded me of, now came alive again. I had been investigating these in France and Italy; Sardinia and southern France were inviting. In the meantime I applied for my dream job, creating it and presenting it to an ecoliteracy group in California. I imagined being a liaison for their work, using my language skills to establish their works in France and Germany. I considered pairing my luggage down to the minimum to enable me to begin traveling, now with no excuses, as now I would investigate ways among other travelers to be nomadic and find ways to engage to exchange for shelter and food.

I investigated ‘workaways’ and WWOOFs in France and Italy. I applied for a job (which I created) with an educational institution I wanted to work with. I considered simply reducing my luggage to what I could hitchhike with, traveling to Central and South America The Zika virus in the news thwarted my plans. Ironically, I thought of going to South America to find and interview the man in Brazil who I had just discovered. In the last decades, he dramatically reforested the land around him with his novel agroforestry projects. I just came upon an article about him in the last days. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/man-re-planting-forests-lost-to-cattle-ranching-in-brazil/

Antonio Vicente, reforested, deforested, cattle ranching, Brazil

Antonio Vicente reforested areas for 40 years, deforested from cattle ranching in Brazil

Few stories are as inspirational as this one about Antonio Vicente, a man who has dedicated the past forty years of his life to reforesting the precious natural ecosystems of Brazil.

February was approaching. The only working farm that needed immediate help (as most growing seasons in the country weren’t ready to begin) was a ranch in Arizona which needed help with their recently born baby goats. I isolated only looking at WWOOFs which offered I required internet and food, together with the provision of shelter. I found one and coordinated driving a car that needed to be transported immediately, almost for the price of a tank of gas. I was kicked out of this ranch prematurely, 2 weeks into the 3 month planned stay. I contacted my cousin who I believed was living somewhere in Arizona, and he responded immediately to my email. I landed there and investigated this town for employment, the arts, refugee volunteering, sports. I found the local ultimate frisbee leagues and art centers…and then had to leave, as I had not earned any money for months. I hitched with my two backpacks and now a third small piece of luggage on wheels. The one tremendously long ride with a great vibe that brought me except for the first rides to get to the highway in Tucson, the entire way to my destination.

hitchhiking

Driver Garth on the hitch from Tucson to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque

ride through storm from Tucson to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque

I then rolled into more work than I could have imagined. I’ve run into more obstacles and challenges too. Each step of the way, as I do all that I can do to work out and resolve problems, I am empowered and delighted with what I’ve accomplished and how appreciative I am.

Sitting in a Starbucks here in Santa Fe a number of days ago

interior_light_reflection in Starbucks

– which I hadn’t known existed until a week ago when I suddenly let their logo form an image in my mind’s eye knowing that they typically have internet, I walked in. This is because suddenly my internet connection at chez moi was not working. I came off the mountain Ski Santa fe where I’m a first year ski instructor.

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe

Most of the instructors were pulled into this busy day of teaching 145 high school band students from Austin, Texas, most of whom had never skied. It was a warm spring like day, on the lower part of the mountain. And now I’ve come to step into the other part of my life, the part that loves to explore, do art, take photographs, learn languages and communicate. Wow, what fortune that suddenly i have no internet connection at home. I just met in this cafe two French speaking woman on vacation who live in Sweden, with whom I discussed differences in ‘car culture’ in the United States. They mentioned that in Sweden, many, many more people bicycle and use public transportation. They commented that in some, or many towns in the United States, they are shocked to not see any people walking around. They mentioned that in a number of cities in Sweden cars are interdit ‘not allowed’ in the center of town. Funny thing, right after these women left with their coffees after chatting, a mother and her two kids whom I recognized from the day before in this cafe, joined this same large table. Turns out that they live in Texas, and this woman is also French. They also pointed out that they don’t see people walking around, promenading in many town in the United States. Same thing my Bolivian boyfriend from years ago mentioned when I brought him to the town where I was raised in Pennsylvania. He exclaimed, “Where are all the people?” I retorted, they’re either driving in their cars, at the mall or home watching television…So both of these Europeans noticed that at least in Santa Fe, because it’s a tourist town, and perhaps the Spanish element of the town, there is a square and there are people walking around.

Simply Enough Just What I Need, for now

Okay, so back to what I wanted to write about. The fact that months ago I had no key, and now I have almost 10. Weird. A case of theft lead me to moving to a place very quickly that has locks all over the place, a safety deposit box key…I’ve managed to acquire a loaned bicycle to get to my substitute teaching jobs and town, and hitch to work at the ski area. I have just the pans and pots lent to me that I need to prepare meals, along with my one glass, one nicely rounded bowl, rounded coffee cup to drink my espresso, and a round soup spoon. I like round surfaces in their design. I purchased one lamp and futon, and have just the furniture that I need, just enough, a desk and chair. In fact, the other day was the first time I made a bed, after sleeping in a sleeping bag on my futon for months. I realized I had two sheets, a pillow case and a comforter and another zipped something or other which I’m using as the encasement of the comforter. It all works. I’ve found items I’ve purchased at a used thrift store appropriately called, “Look What the Cat Dragged In. They donate proceeds to the local animal shelter. There I got my coffee cup, small plate, steak knife, 1 spatula…and recently bought a can opener. We’re talking minimalist. I love it. I don’t need more. I accumulated clothing that have become my ski wear that are wind and cold resistant, and happened to have some gloves and other clothes that I then brought along back here, now graduating from two backpacks to an additional large and small suitcase. Bass guitar is always of value to have wherever I go, and I have my fav piano book so that I can stop in at places with piano to play.

I created the cup in the picture (a utensil container) an art class i participated in, joining my students in their class. Great, all the materials provided: clay & glaze and it was fired in their kiln a few weeks later.

cup made in art class in a school with students in Santa Fe
clay formed, glazed and fired

The cup is a utensil container, because it leaks! I use it to hold my one fork, knife and spoon, 1 wooden spoon…

I made a painting in an art class too, along the theme of my book.

February art class Waterfunnel painting

Carol Keiter the blogger, writer, artist, musician, composer, photographer

Carol Keiter the blogger, writer, artist, musician, composer, photographer

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United States of Anxiety | the Commercial Messiah

Yet another mass shooting in the United States of Anxiety. Why did he do it? Where does the anger come from? or feelings of powerlessness?…Well, after watching the newscast which switched to a commercial break (which I usually mute and ignore), I looked at the commercials as a stranger in a strange land. Advertisements about happy, carefree, beautiful people who are laughing and having fun together … about to purchase more things to embellish their perfectly happy lives. Thou Shalt Buy I thought to myself; these messages are enough to drive a person who is already borderline weak and emotionally unstable, to feel even less worthy and more resistant & envious; magnifying what they lack, and increasing their loneliness and neediness…

I’m looking at this (shooting trend) not from a behavioral standpoint of an individual who’s been diminished and criticized with words by their parents -emotional abuse, physical abuse, or neglected completely – or as someone who perhaps all his/her life was deprived of comforts and security. I’m not looking at it from a psychological or chemical imbalance standpoint or the lack of nurturing families.

I’m just looking at it from the container of the cultural message packaged and sent out – of which TV is the most powerful medium – the lure of the commercials within the belly of this heavily lopsided consumerism bent world. The message; to buy more, purchase this or that and you’ll be happy. The message is laden with competition, to strive to be as cool as your peers.
Buy More
Television and film/video is such a powerful medium: images fused with music to hit the emotional chords. The messages could be: the world is a wonderful place and we are in this together… kind and loving people here to help you and guide you… this world is awesome with all of its creatures and look at how happy and joyful you can be through the simplest activities. Well, yes, these messages are out there, and yes, one can turn off the television and electronic devices. Yet instead, the predominant messages coming from the TV is, if you don’t have this, or own that, you are ‘left out’ and socially bankrupt. If you don’t get in with the action and buy this or have this, you won’t get the attention you want and you won’t be able to pretend to fabricate this gleaming and glittering reality. If you are unattractive or weak or not in the ‘in crowd’, these commercial messages will be even more venomously received with anger and hatred.

That was my response looking at the commercials after listening to Obama’s words to the nation after yet another massacre. For the most part, the perpetrators of mass school killings are not doing it out of racism or inequality – they are typically caucasian males who randomly shoot without much care of the target. The killings seem to be rage from people who feel outcast within their own groups/schools/communities who see reality and their prospects as bleak.

Add the easy accessibility of guns to the equation and it gives the people with the anger, emotional rage, chemical imbalance or a history of being victims of torment and abuse the ability to easily carry out their impulsive or well-thought-out plans of (suicide / homicide ) with ease.

Buy what thou hast no need of

Buy what thou hast no need of

So I’m saying that this stems from the dis ease of the messages of rampant consumerism infiltrating our culture. It’s the slickness of the mirage that advertisers create for the companies who wish to sell their merchandise, at any cost. Okay, i’ve said enough, or not enough. Buy NowWestern culture is so bent on profit and short-term, short-sighted goals – at the risk of genuine human happiness and the welfare of all the different creatures that share our planet – that both the haves and the have-nots, have anxiety; the former, because of the threat of it being taken away, the latter, because of the material things dangling before them, which they can’t have.

 

Just a theory about a culture that keeps getting further and further away from the real, simple joys in life, enjoyment through sharing company with oneself, with others and with the natural world around them.

better place DaykEgner Mamasweed Kurci and Kay Degner

better place DaykEgner Mamasweed Kurci and Kay Degner

Go out into Nature and get Lost, without anything

Go out into Nature and get Lost, without anything

Certainly this epidemic can not be reduced to blaming it on capitalistic commercialism. What’s the remedy? Go out into nature, without any electronic gadgets or stuff, and get lost.

Carol Keiter horse NYC Climate March '14

Carol Keiter horse NYC Climate March ’14

Happiness & Healing Oneself | Your Choice of Mind & Heart

It’s another one of those times when I’ve come across a subject that I feel is of such import that I post it on both blogs simultaneously.

In the last days I read and viewed this information, which is one small extract of many peoples experiences of either making themselves ill or healing themselves, through their own attitude and what they anticipate. If you think that someone is going to react in a certain way or something is going to happen in the way that you expect, good or bad, typically, because this is the window you’re looking through and the way that you approach the situation, it more than likely will.

http://truththeory.com/2014/04/27/is-there-scientific-proof-we-can-heal-ourselves/

Here is the youtube video of Lissa Rankin, MD’s TED talk – a presentation of the results of her research. YES, she researched and found her proof. Rankin addressed in her TED talk a group of health care professionals talking about how much their caring intention influences the health and healing of their patients.

happiness shot holding up arms Lissa Rankin talk

happiness shot holding up arms Lissa Rankin talk

I’ve written plenty of times about the subject of happiness.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/pursuit-of-happiness-the-happy-movie-my-stroke-of-insight/ The giggling Guru and the insights of the writer’s book, “My Stroke of Happiness”.

the giggling guru Madan_Kataria

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/new-year-resolutions-happiness-through-action-one-mini-habit-at-a-time/ Talking about the satisfaction of accomplishing things through adopting mini habits that are manageable.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/the-science-of-happiness-an-experiment-in-gratitude-soulpancake-upworthy-things-that-matter/ about the importance of gratitude.

laughing buddha

laughing buddha

…and a few times about healing…

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/marijuana-out-of-the-closet-the-cannabis-cure-cbd-tincture/ The Cannabis Cure, by Charlie Bayliss and Amelia Powers “The Powers of the Mind” regarding her ability to overcome a brain tumor not with chemotherapy (which hadn’t been working) but through the decision to employ optimism, dancing and CBD tinctures – extracted from marijuana.

There may be all sorts of incidences that occur throughout the day which may trigger a stress response. Regardless of the source of the stress, our body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. The body responds to stress by producing hormones that are ingrained into the ‘fight or flight’ response which is genetically built-in, from the times when humans actually did have to be prepared to promptly face or flee a threat such as a wild animal or severe weather condition. Yet, it is us who decide how to respond emotionally to interpret a situation as something inducing stress; a perception of monetary, marital, social problems, work conflicts, situational discomforts or environmental hazards etc. Our body doesn’t distinguish between the source of our stress, it simply responds to our emotional response by chemically producing hormones to interpret our emotional reaction.

You basically do have a choice in how you respond to circumstances.

The point is to actively pursue experiences that lead to feeling happier and to alleviate the stress. Making a conscious choice to allow oneself to relax, enjoy one’s environment, to enjoy simple things, engage in activities like meditation and other practices that facilitate a deeper conscious breathing, physical exercise, participating in experiences that engage with nature, eating healthy foods, spending time in the company of positive people and interacting with all sorts of animals; therapy dogs specifically elicit happy hormones because of their unconditionally loving nature. Make a point of acknowledging with gratitude what you appreciate, attune to all of the different wonderful life forms (animals and plants in our world) that are here around you, and recognize that by participating in creative activities and doing tasks that involve achieving little goals, all lead to developing more insights and a sense of accomplishment. All of these different activities that are coming through the heart, instead of through the head, will lead to the release of hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, which the body produces in association with feelings of happiness and contentment and a sense of well-being. Laugh! Go out and play!

Yes, it’s a choice.

Seven Cultural Concepts we don’t have in the U.S. | Live Each Moment More Fully

Seven Cultural Concepts we don't have in the U.S.

Seven Cultural Concepts we don’t have in the U.S.

The author of this article: 7 Cultural Concepts we don’t have in the U.S. in Mother Nature Network says at the end, “I’d like to integrate some of these ideas into my own life. Over the last few years I have dropped Christmas and Easter (I’ve been an atheist for over 25 years now) and replaced them with a Solstice celebrations; I have remade New Year’s into a quiet, reflective time (the antithesis of a party); and have incorporated an appreciation and gratefulness aspect into my almost-daily meditation routine. I’ve kept Thanksgiving, though mine is vegetarian, so the focus is on the harvest and thanks and not killing a turkey. And I celebrate Halloween some years, when I feel into it, and not if I don’t. And forget Valentine’s Day! ”

A letter to my sister | preciousness of life | Carl Sagan: freedom through scientific skepticism

I am certainly happy to hear from you. Naturally I think about you every time that I enter the room to look at the lovely paper lanterns you hung for Mother’s birthday party and the teepee you constructed in the yard – which I‘m still raking! Memories of things people share and artifacts that they leave behind imbue all of these things with the spirit of the person. I am sorry that we had difficulties communicating at times. I have not been ‘above’ reacting emotionally to someone’s emotional reactions towards me. However, that doesn’t mean that I can not attempt to move beyond my reactions to reach out with more compassion and understanding. 

I went out with a family friend last night and afterwards, realized that he knows even more profoundly how precious life is, as he has lost both of his parents. Certainly, if we all had an acute awareness of death (sitting on our shoulders) – Carlos Castaneda style i.e. “the Teachings of Don Juan” – in each response to every moment, we would never be anything but kind to all people and creatures, at all times.

That sounds like a pretty heavy way to live. The context is not, to be continually fearful, but rather, continually present with the fact that every moment of life is precious. People need to accept the rights of other’s to be and perceive as they will. It is a rather large task, to put differences and competitiveness, jealousy, envy and judgments … aside. Yet it’s the only way for everyone to get along. (I just read in Salon dot com a rather scathing article about the writer Carlos Castaneda, saying that Don Juan was not only an astounding hoax, but that Castaneda went on to form a bizarre cult.) He nevertheless had strong poetic and spiritual points to emphasize in his writings.

It’s pretty much a life-long task, given the fact that all humans have a tendency to subjectively interpret and judge other peoples’ actions. I do it, we all do it, from personal complaints, grievances, expectations, disappointments on up to community and cultural, political and religious differences of interpretation, that result in the worst cases to prolonged wars and strife between ethnic groups and neighboring countries.

This appears to be one of the biggest challenges and aspirations for humankind; to look beyond differences and strive for understanding, compassion and kindness. The ‘tree-hugger/environmental activist side of me’ is kicking out judgements every time I see people’s actions or material opulence (not to mention hearing about plans for more gas drilling in the arctic etc.) which I perceive as offensive. I put them into a box I label offender/perpetrator; a personal judgement which is my own way of playing in the ‘us against them’ scenario. So, I’m as guilty as anyone. The obvious extreme is the fact that people are blowing each other up in the Middle East …. and that wars and conflicts and ominous actions of manipulation continue to proliferate worldwide, despite the fact that most humans have access to rather extraordinary tools.

We are technologically light years ahead of where we are emotionally!

As Carl Sagan mentions in this interview “A Way of Thinking” in which he delivers insights into the dangers in our present culture; based on the fact that we’re a science and technology-based culture, the inner workings of which few comprehend. That puts us in a position in which we are in danger of being more easily manipulated.

Sagan points out that science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe. And that it’s dramatically important for each of us to ask skeptical questions about everything, particularly to those in authority; otherwise we are up for grabs to the next charlatan, political or religious, that comes along. He mentions that Thomas Jefferson said that people need to be educated in order to practice their skepticism, otherwise ‘we don’t run the government, the government runs us’.

New Year Resolutions | Happiness through Action | One Mini Habit at a Time

It’s the Winter Solstice as I write this, and a new moon. I posted earlier today a blog https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/happy-winter-solstice-new-moon-be-like-water-aboriginal-dreamtime/ mentioning the fact that it’s a good time to initiate new activities and plant seeds; coinciding with these events on our horizon. Certainly the pagan celebrations of the solstice must be the origins of the tradition of ‘New Year Resolutions’.

At this tipping point, it’s a good time to dive in.

Bruce Lee learn to swim jump in the water

Bruce Lee learn to swim jump in the water

As we all are inspired by certain images and have ideals we wish to reach, here’s what I have to say. Happiness is not so much derived by a thing, but by what you do. Sure, having something that is an excellent state-of-the-art tool is great, yet it’s what you actively do, what you craft through your actions, that results in feeling excited, enthusiastic, joyful and a sense of accomplishment. It’s through performing activities and being immersed in them and witnessing the little thresholds of achievement and just knowing the work that was put into it, that we derive happiness.

I’ve recently come across a post of a freelance writer’s guide, in Episode #20 of the International Freelancers Academy. The topic is to forget goals, and focus on habits instead. Ed Gandia states that more than 40% of the actions we do every day are not due to conscious decision making, but habits! When we are doing something habitual, we are not using all of our brain; we’re sort of on autopilot. Our minds are hard-wired that way. The mind chooses neuropathways that are already developed, the path of least resistance. That means that as we develop new habits, we’re already on our way to effectively driving change.

Specifically, he talks about creating new mini habits.

Charles Duhigg has a TED talk about his book The Power of Habit.

You can not eliminate a habit, you can only change it for a better alternative.

Though we all have various goals, often they are out of reach because we are holding them out there in front of us, and not actively participating in them. And like standing on the edge of the diving board frozen with fear, the longer we wait to dive in, the more the fear envelopes us. With this in mind, the smaller the better, so as to not intimidate yourself.

I’m working on this right now; forming new mini habits which I gradually embrace and do more of: stretching, reading, writing, composing music, contributing to the book I’m writing.

The other side of the coin, is just being present and mindful of what you are doing at that time.

Language is important as well, because this is how we  visualize and conceptualize. Eliminate ‘trying to, would like, wish to’…and

Just Do It.

We All Know This Slogan.

 

 

 

The point of developing Mini Habits, is that when we bring an action down to a small size that isn’t intimidating, we can easily jump in. Notice my change in words! Certainly, diving, jumping or just sliding in to an activity rather than looking at it from a distance, is enough of an action in itself, to push through a threshold; to consistently build new habits – gradually raising the bar of quantity and quality. Whoops, I guess that by virtue of being of western culture, the future concept of goal, slides into the picture. Best thing is to just do what makes you happy and be present as you’re doing it and go with the flow.

Bruce Lee Knowing not enough Apply Willing not enough must Do

Bruce Lee Knowing is Not enough, We must Apply, We must Do

Don’t ask me why I’m on a Bruce Lee kick, so to speak,

Steven Ho, flying kick

Steven Ho executing a flying kick

 

it just so happens that the meaning is the important gesture 🙂 Focus on what you wish to aim for, not on what you don’t want.

 

 

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”  — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Among many other achievements, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is the author of the fabulous book “The Little Prince“.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Image from The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry