Release of a Baby App into the World…and Some Encouragement

Ok, you heard it here first folks! The Android version of  All The Pardons app (the app that tells you not to be rude with your cell phone) is released and the iOS version is coming very shortly! I can’t believe it!

App, All The Pardons, kindness, be present

AllThePardons.com App

This has been such a long road and I feel like I’ve been very, very slowly giving birth to this thing. I’m a new momma!!

So, this coincides with a little obsession I’m having right now with the artist, and former scientist, Enrique Martinez Celaya. Celaya is a painter, sculptor, poet and philosopher and is such a deep thinker that I haven’t gotten at all sick of listening to his interview with Krista Tippett from the On Being podcast called The Whisper of the Order of Things, over and over and over. I’m one of those people.

I love his voice and his distinct view on life’s issues. Here’s a quote that I’ve been particularly obsessed with this week.

“There is a tendency for us to think that to be a prophet, or to do anything grand, you have to have a special gift, be someone called for, and I think ultimately what really matters is the resolve, to want to do it – to give your life to that which you consider important. And if you have no skills to offer, or nothing special to offer, it’s all the more amazing you do it, the more remarkable.” ~ Enrique Martinez Celaya

artist, poet, painter, philosopher, writer

Enrique Martinez Celaya

I LOVE this quote! It’s so humble and honest and grateful and kind – and encouraging. So important for any artist or any person trying to struggle through something they feel passionate about. He is not condescending or looking down at us in any way. This is rare and a gift.

Celaya speaks like a poet and conveys content like a philosopher/prophet (“a philosopher’s questioning and a scientist’s eye” – Krista Tippett). These people are so unusual in their purest, truest form. I wanted to share him with you.

Check out the Android version of All The Pardons if you have such a thing – and let me know what you think! Have a great weekend!

Would You Be Excited For an App That Helps You Be More Kind?

Hello Y’all!

All The Pardons Home Page

All The Pardons Home Page

It’s been a busy freaking week! I mean, yes it’s the holidays and all but everything, on every front, has been asking more and more and more of my time. I’m sure you are all on some version of this so I won’t bore you with complaining.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that it looks like the app (All The Pardons) is going live sometime next week! I’m starting to get really excited about this! I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on this lately and the world seems to be urging me on unknowingly with articles complicit with my cause.

Check out this one from the Washington Post about an ex-VP from Facebook who is saying that social media is ripping apart the fabric that holds society together. He’s worried – so am I.

All The Pardons App - Settings Page

All The Pardons App – Settings Page

My app is designed to help us be present, to undo the programming that is unknowingly being done to us each day. I want us to reclaim our independent thinking and work toward a unified society again. Social media makes it easy for people with a negative agenda to control large swaths of people and make them believe that things are happening that aren’t. It’s a frightening prospect in theory and action. Half of my family was wiped out by the nazis. Can you imagine if these tools were around for them to use?  Look how accomplished they were in their evil deeds without them (and spreading very similar rumors, by the way).

It seems to me that little signs in all directions are starting to realize that social media isn’t all it was originally cracked up to be. As in all new things that seem like they’ll solve all of our problems, nothing is that much of a panacea. –

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

– From the film The Graduate

I will leave you with this lovely article on kindness from HES (Health Enhancement Systems). Just another reinforced thought that kindness is good for your health and well being.

Have a great weekend, loves!

Are You Aware of the Two Separate Worlds We All Live In?

This past week has been making me think more than usual. For those of you who know me, you may be snickering, “What would that volume look like?”, but as I stare past you at the wall, a myriad of emotions have been flashing across my consciousness.

skulls, paint, black and white

Murakami detail

I was teary at the outcome of the Walter Scott murder case conviction (the officer got 20 years) for many reasons but mostly because it has been pointed out to me that, as in the past it has been legal in this country to hang black people and denigrate them at will. Today it is legal for anyone in a uniform to kill any black person who crosses their path – they have all gotten away with it up until now.

As I come to the development end of my All The Pardons app journey, I know that my next project will address white priviledge and supremacy – just not sure what it will look like yet.

The whole “woke” movement is so right on target. It reminds me of the film The Matrix where you choose either the blue pill, and stay in the clueless oblivion of ignorance, or take the red pill and “awake” to the realities that were going on all around you all the time, you just couldn’t see them.

White priviledge allows white people to remain unaware of the two separate Americas that we live in. It’s like sleep walking through life thinking that everyone has equal opportunities and realities of safety and the future without acknowledging the facts around us to the contrary. Statistics on pretty much every topic I’ve seen show a wide variety being completely lopsided – pregnancy and childbirth survival rates (mother and child), survival or safety rates of being pulled over or questioned by anyone in a uniform, getting a fair choice of housing by a real estate agent, getting a decent education if you’re poor – you name it and there’s proof of uneven statistics out there on it.

shells, beach, nesting

Photo Credit: Alys Myers, 2017

Here’s the facts (and they will matter to you one way or another over time): 1) indifference is where evil comes from 2) ignoring injustice takes away your humanity 3) you can’t assure your freedom if you are complicit with taking someone elses away.

So that is what I am going to leave you with today. Think about these things. They are important and our democracy and entire republic is dependant on how we move forward on these issues.

Lastly, All The Pardons app is going live soon (I’ll let you know when for certain). I urge you to try it out and let me know your experience. My hope is that it will help people become better versions of themselves. :)

Do You Need Some Help Keeping the Big Baddies Away?

So….just coming off of pneumonia and total and utter exhaustion…made me think about Thanksgiving and what it meant to me this year.

Photo Credit: Mary Kuskin

Photo Credit: Mary Kuskin

Here is what it meant:

– Small things are big things (especially the really good things)

– Big things are small things (they just seem like big things – put them back in their place)

– The list of people who truly support and really get you is short (it’s meant to be that way). Raise them up and push the naysayers  out.

– The hits you take because you’re different (if you are, of course), or trying to do something different, just make you stronger. They      really do…I can feel it.

And…here are a couple of quotes that really struck me and I keep coming back to them.

Truism

Truism

“People who repeatedly attack your confidence and self-esteem are quite aware of your potenial, even if you’re not.”

This one I’ve posted to social media this week because I thought it was so well said. I got it from this week’s podcast, one of my faves, Disrupt Yourself w/Whitney Johnson and her interview with Luvvie Ajayi.

“If you have a microphone plugged into an amplifier, it is wrong for you not to sing. If you have been placed in a sphere of influence, I believe it is wrong for you not to use it to better the world. If you feel it is not your place to leave this world better than you found it, then you are taking everything around you for granted. Don’t squander your social currency. Don’t squander your wealth. And if people stop supporting your work because you dared to do something, then good riddance.” – Luvvie Ajayi (from the book, I’m Judging You: The Do Right Manual)

So, I think what’s helped most of all – putting all of this into perspective – is meditation and yoga. Without a calm mind, it’s hard to put it all into perspective and keep the big baddies from taking over.

I am thankful for you ♥, whomever is reading this, and looking forward to a better year for all of us (we can hope, right?).

Are You Sad At the State of the World These Days?

I’m sure I’m not alone these days…I mean in my thinking.

Monsanto is getting away with uber poisons that could potentially kill off all of the independant farmers along with their non-GMO crops, all in the name of greed (click here if you feel the need to act on this).

Influencer to Alys Myers Studio

Architectural Rendering of Pat Falco’s “Luxury Waters” condo tower, 2017 (Pat Falco)

Elephant’s are getting closer to extinction everyday (click here, ditto).

Rascism seems to be so institutionalized that sometimes even people of color can’t see it (see WBUR article here).

And affordable housing is beyond most people’s reach. Well, artist Pat Falcois smartly satirizing this topic at Open Gallery, near South Station (in Boston folks, sorry if that’s not near – really cool piece though- check it out), through November 1st, with Luxury Waters: Sales Office that shows the reality, that Boston is a luxury utopia that no one can afford. A framed poster at the entrance reads “Tower above the city with the largest income inequality gap in the country. Pre-selling fall 2017.” Sadly, it’s true (the statement, not the pre-sell :).

Influencer to Alys Myers Studio

Pat Falco, Boston Campaign Headquarters (detail), 2016 (Pat Falco)

Falco previously did an installation in an empty Faneuil Hall store front, called Boston Campaign Headquarters, where he set up a fake campaign facade with the front door reading “Land of the free and 200 million other people”. Great stuff.

See, there are a cohort of us (large, I hope) out there trying to fight for this place to be better. If enough of us join in, we can make a dent. Join us or support us or raise us up!

Lastly, the Indiegogo campaign is over for All The Pardons app. You will either be overjoyed, sad you missed it, or you’re now thinking, “What’s she on about?”. None-the-less, I am happy to be moving back to the production side of the job. The pages are almost done! Yay! Happy weekend everybody!

Blade Runner 2049…Dystopia Preventable with All The Pardons app?

Ok, I know this is bordering on a trend (film tie in to topic) but, really, I’m just going with the flow.download

Last weekend I saw the new Blade Runner 2049. Though it is very depressing in so many ways, it’s a fabulous movie and really relates back to my themes in a myriad of directions.

So, without spoiling all over the place, I will talk in as many generalities as I can.

I don’t think it’s going too far to make clear that the film takes place in the future and is dystopian. Much of the woes of this time period are attached to technology and how it’s run our lives to the point of the extinction of the human race. Most of society is run by replicants who try to be as human as possible with the benefits of having super human strength and being able to heal themselves extremely rapidly.

So, the results of human traits being so valued in what appears to be extinction is: loneliness still exists, wanting/needing/hoping to be special in some way, desire for intimacy and ultimately reproduction in a traditional way. This film serves perfectly as examples of what I’m addressing in my app All The Pardons. We all long for intimacy, and technology is threatening our access to intimacy these days. Little things like being made to feel important, valued and respected – which aren’t really little things at all – are being taken away from us as we make the little square electronic thing the most important object in our lives. We all know how great it feels to have someone’s undivided attention and for someone to make us feel special and important….so, all we have to do is remember that we all feel that way and that it also makes us feel good to be on the other end of it. Do something for someone today (no strings attached) and remember how good it makes us feel too.

And….this is the last day to contribute to my Indiegogo campaign! Please consider donating to the completion of the app. Building the app is a lot of work but I’m hoping to make a little corner of life a lot better, which is worth it (click on the image below).

download

From a Marshall to an App?

This week I saw a sneak preview of Marshall, a film about the famous supreme court justice, Thurgood Marshall. Up front, I

Marshall, the movie

Marshall, the movie

highly recommend it (I haven’t done a movie review in a while, have I?), but more than that, it’s a very important film. This is true not just because Thurgood Marshall is a vitally important figure in American history, but because white America knows so little about him.

Marshall didn’t just have to be better than the other attorneys he encountered, he had to think rings around them, and he did. His IQ was on an equal level as his EQ (emotional quotient). He met, scanned, read and targeted a Jewish lawyer in the town he arrived in to defend a black man charged with raping a white woman. This was during the second World War and he knew that this was a man who had worries overseas (the Holocaust), the same worries my family had, and because of these worries he knew that this man would not be able to turn away from a clear cut case of prejudice in the end, besides we all know how good it feels to actually help someone (we do, don’t we?).

So, I bring this up because the film rattled some old feelings in me and made me think of my motivations to do the work that I do. The themes in this film resonate thoroughly with the issues that motivate me and so I have felt a strong connection to it that has grown stronger as the week has progressed.

This naturally leads to my motivations as the creator of Social Acupuncture/Social Meditation, and the first two projects under that heading, All The Bandages and All The Pardons. My father, who passed away a year ago August, was a Holocaust survivor and I imagine most of the survivors are nearing the end of their lives at this point in time. I am, and he would have been, terrified by what’s going on in the world right now. I feel passionately that with a little slowness of pace, opening of ears and eyes and patience with one another – going back to old fashioned manners – that we can get a lot more accomplished.

So, nearing the end of my plug cycle, but I need your help and I’m asking for it as plainly as I can, with so much gratitude for anything you can do. Please consider pledging to my Indiegogo campaign by clicking on the button below. It will help support my creation of All The Pardons, mentioned above, which is an app that will aide people in being kinder to one another. $1 is fine, if that is all you can spare. In fact, that’s awesome! I appreciate you, all of you, even if you can’t donate anything. A plug by you on social media is also appreciated though!

download

Are You Finding People To Be Generally Angry?

So…here is my motivation….

All us little veggies getting along harmoniously.

All us little veggies getting along harmoniously.

If you follow any of my social media feeds, you may be wondering why I’m talking so much about etiquette and kindness and presence/thoughtfulness. Well, don’t you think we’re lacking in these areas at the moment as humans? I mean, some of us are better at it than others but still, I feel my humanity slipping away along with everyone else. I want to save it and help you save yours too. I’m allowed to try to do that, right? Try being the key word….

So, that is what All The Pardons app is about and why I’m working so hard to launch it into the world.

I was thinking this week about how society has gotten so crowded and society’s social mores have broken down so much that we are each bestowing and receiving little hurts to each other every day, but that in itself is not the damaging part. The most damage is coming from us sublimating these little indecencies multiple times a day, each and every day. We push them down, convince ourselves that they don’t actually hurt us and move on to the next thing. Some speak up, and start fights with strangers and/or friends (we all know these people too, am I right?), but most of us keep it all buried because it’s not worth it to start something, or we’re too busy, or we’re embarrassed that we would let a stranger hurt us like that.

I’m guessing that most people haven’t even given this much thought consciously. It’s the “can of worms” that we would open and who knows what might come rushing out, right?

So….my work is to prevent some of this in the first place. Anyone who has ever done something nice for someone else, just because, knows downloadthat it makes you feel better. It makes everything better. So, imagine a society where everyone is being kinder to one another. So much more livable, yes?

I’m asking for your help at the moment to fund this project. You can link to it here – Indiegogo. Anything would help – even $1. If you can’t afford $1, would you consider letting your contacts know about this project? I truly appreciate your time for reading this and hope your day is conflict free.

Are You Trapped in the “I’m So Busy” Mindset?

Too busy?

Too busy?

Hi y’all.

Been working on the new Indiegogo page while balancing a sick cat, an elderly mother and the usual pulls of life. Well, you know, not LITERALLY balancing them…. but it sure does feel like we’re all literally balancing all of our stuff somewhere on our persons, doesn’t it?

So, I have decided this week, that I will no longer utter the phrase “I’m so busy” to anyone ever again. Everyone is busy. That’s the state of the state of life now. My thinking is that this phrase is useless. I’ve been thinking about it as I hear it coming out of the mouths of others and can hear it more clearly than when it comes out of my own mouth. Granted I’ve been using it less and less but now it leaves a distasteful residue in my mouth and ears.

Here are the reasons I feel it’s a dead and harmful, yes harmful, phrase.

  • It’s redundant. Everyone is busy and there’s no point in stating it.
  • If there is a point in stating it, it’s often used as an excuse but we all know that we actually do what we want to do in the end, right? So, it’s insulting to the person you’re talking to. It’s the same as saying “I don’t want to make time for you”.
  • It often seems to be used in a competitive way, as if everyone’s trying to be busier than everyone else. I volunteer to be the loser in this battle!
  • Is this “so busy” state really the state we all want to be in? Running around, not thinking clearly, with no time to consider and contemplate? I don’t.
  • I saw an interesting quote recently that said “stress is a dysfunctional relationship with time”. So true. I would like to work on having a better relationship with time.
  • Ok lastly, it just sounds so disingenuous. Am I alone here?

So, that is my argument for better or for worse. I don’t think I’m completely off base though. Let me know what you think.

download

Separately, the Indiegogo page is coming along and will be released on the public this weekend sometime. I am hoping that this less formatted style of crowd funding will make the whole process less stressful (time…right…relationship…right).

I will be asking for your help, when the time comes, and if you feel that you like the project – All The Pardons app (click on the link to learn more) – and are able, or even want, to help me get it out into the world – I will be truly grateful! Cheers!

Should I Rest Before I Dig In Again?? Yes!!

Ok, one break before I dig in again.Kickstarterlogo

This fall is looking crazy. I need to revamp my website and launch another funding site. All good things but…a lot of work. What isn’t really? Anything worthwhile is always going to be a bunch of work. The plus side is that it distracts the hell out of me which is an advantage no matter how you look at it these days. Am I right?

So, here’s the scoop. The app – All The Pardons – is in the phase where we are testing it and trying to find all of the kinks (not the fun kind) and work them out. Making an app like this is a huge investment of time, resources and money – all of which I’ve funded myself at the moment and it’s bending me a bit further than I’m comfortable with at this point in my life. The crowdsourcing is to help finish this project without making me live in a cardboard box on the curb outside of my house. Good goal, yes?

Secondly, I am looking voraciously (great word, don’t you think?) for people to help me test the app. The app is free, as most apps are. You would receive a download and you would just report back to me on what you find as you’re using it. You would be one of the first one’s in! Exciting, no?

I would love, love, love this collaboration and input. Really. Seriously. Earnestly. Determinedly. Resolutely. Fervently.images

Ok, that was a damned good use of Thesaurus.com!

Who’s stepping up!?

I’m sticking an adorable kitten in here to beg for me because no one can resist a cute begging kitten, right??