So I was walking down the streets of my new hometown – Chicago – which I’m loving by the way and I ran into a young man who asked me ‘do you love art?’ And he was a young man of african-american descent (not that it matters, for real) and I said yes – I do love art. And he told me was selling art and I asked for what purpose and he said his mom told him to sell some stuff to help pay for his new iphone. I saw his owl photo on top of the stack and I said – I will pay you for that one. $0.75 came out of my purse and I was all the lighter for this cool interaction.
I just want to give a shout out to my 4th grade art teacher – Mr. Bowen. I don’t know where you are now or if you remember me but it was a Life Changing experience when you took me aside and said, ‘it's okay if you are different from all of these other people and that's okay – you are gifted and talented and go with that.’ I paraphrase but that was the feeling. You helped me believe in myself and pursue my individuality and I am eternally grateful to you for that. Thank you Mr. Bowen!!!!
It has certainly been an interesting year as I reflect on 2017. One of the fundamental things I know about myself is that I have to feel a certain amount of ‘momentum’ in life . . . . a sense that I’m going somewhere and learning something – and making a difference in the world. And I’ve been doing that on a certain level for a long time now but I feel that I’m ready to move to the next level – and it’s very exciting and grounding at the same time.
In this past year I learned a whole lot about digital innovation as I created and led a project in my family business to overhaul their sales and marketing processes and invest in new systems. I love systems – I have to admit. I love things that make your job easier and make more sense and allow you to focus on the real stuff . . . such as generating new business – creating new ideas – or finding new ways to do things. Along the way, I’ve learned that it truly is a crazy world we live in these days. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve heard about automation and artificial intelligence and machine learning in the past year . . . and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. But I also feel a calling to help make these things both palatable and more human for us all. I love innovation and technology just as much as anyone else . . . but I also appreciate the old school values and knowledge and history of not just where we are going but where we came from.
It feels that things are changing at an increasingly fast pace and I embrace that but I also want to emphasize the need – for myself and others – to stay grounded in who you are and why you are here. For a very long time I have believed in and cared about the empowerment of individuals and this intention and energy is behind all of the products I make and sell. I’ve always said that my real job is consciousness. I do believe that every individual on this planet has unique gifts and if you can awaken them and be in line with your own true nature – we will all make a better planet, together. As Steve Jobs once said, “if you think you can change the world, you will.”
(this is a blog I wrote on 5/6/09 for reality sandwich)
I think it’s an important step to say ‘I don’t know’ because it suggests that on a certain level you have let go of your attachments to a solid and limited sense of identity. I liken it to that moment you get ‘unplugged’ from the matrix because it’s accompanied by an underlying relief despite all of the confusion. It’s almost like feeling alive for the first time because perhaps the one honest thing you can say is that you don’t know anything at all.
I feel like our fundamental problem right now is a kind of crisis of identity. Cultural and individual identities are always reflections of one another and I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not entirely empowered as individuals. If we could each take responsibility for our lives and move from the viewpoint of being dependent or co-dependent to being independent or dependent on our-selves – I think it would greatly strengthen our ability to make choices and organize our lives according to a sense of internal satisfaction and validation.
Instead of being challenged by ‘other-ness’ or the need to juggle the complexities of opposite extremes, we will feel secure in
our sense of self and actually feel enriched by the experience of ‘other’ because it will no longer threaten our being - it will add to our knowledge and experience of the world. When we are conscious of ourselves, we can truly be conscious of others. We will no longer rest on a sense of race or class or gender or nationality, political party, etc.- we will value dynamic knowledge – dynamic choices and the uniqueness of the moments as they unfold.
If we are moving from primary to binary . . . .what comes next . . . tertiary? For some reason, I always come back to the Hegelian dialectic. You have to actually get lost in ‘other-ness’ in order to come out on the other side that’s marked ‘conscious-ness’ . . . . at least that’s the way I understand it. Yet, I really doubt it’s an entirely rational process (i.e., you can’t print a road map for people) because it’s an integrated experience. It has to happen to you – organically – but it is happening.
Changes like this are hard to quantify because it’s such a continuum within your own life but every step you take towards your own truth will make you feel better on some level. I do believe that. Why is this happening to us, right now? I don’t know why – that’s beyond my capacity for imagination honestly – but I could just as easily say, ‘Why not?’ What else is there to do except understand life and what it means to be as fully alive as possible?
The Hopi elders once said something about three . . . about how it’s the first symbol that can truly build a structure (which kind of makes me think of the self). Sometimes I wonder if my view of the world is very ‘self-ish’ because I tend to focus on what people can do within themselves versus how they interact with others but I compare it to the breath and the mind.
Everyone wants to control the mind but you can’t. You can control your breath and your breath controls your mind . . . so it’s indirect but it still works. In the same way, I feel like people have fundamental problems with themselves and this is what motivates them to do shitty things in the world. It starts and ends on the inside – this is the spirit. The outside is the part we can enjoy together – this is the matter. Spirit manifests itself in the world in order to understand itself – to eventually become consciousness which is conscious of itself. Whether that is enlightenment or death, I’m not really sure but I think your perspective has a huge impact on how you experience the world. You are what you focus on . . . as above, so below.
“Because what happens in just a small fragment of the holographic energy interference pattern affects the entire structure simultaneously, there is a tremendous connectivity relationship between all parts of the holographic universe”
Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber
StarStrings Project – Winter 2005
(New York …. 2005) The music of great artists is played on a string and a memory is created. The memory, the string, and the energy are blended together into a beautiful piece of music jewelry. The stones speak and resonate with color and vibration. The designs are as flexible ? and varied as the clientele. The results just make sense - satisfaction and meaning.
Everyone loves jewelry with a story to tell and at StarStrings you never know whose guitar string is now a bracelet or where the semi-precious stone or brass ornament originated. . . . According to designer Molly Magdalain,
People often underestimate the power of jewelry and how it can add to one’s life; the way it feels, the way it makes you feel, the way it looks to others. Some might think that jewelry is a symbol of wealth – but I choose to view it as an expression of style and color – a statement of ‘This is who I am, today.’ Some of the items I incorporate are extremely old - like the ammonite fossils which are 350 million years old. Other items are plastic or brass because I like their weight, or a 20 year old string from Chet Atkins which recalls his melodies. We need to be inspired by the beauty of something so familiar – whether it’s ancient or modern history.
From a young age, Molly Magdalain has had the desire to make things happen. She has designed clothes, written songs, and worked in various art mediums. After graduating from The Colorado College with a BA in philosophy, she decided to pursue her life-long love of music. In college she made jewelry, often with her guitar close by. One day she ran out of wire and instead used a guitar string to make a necklace. She was amazed that it worked so well but didn’t think about it more until she moved to Nashville in the spring of 2002. She found many people who were receptive to both her music and the idea of making jewelry out of instrument strings.
As she learned more about the music industry, she realized that the StarStrings Project is a unique opportunity to create something that is positive and unifying. The list of contributing artists and satisified customers is quickly growing. “Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” Albert Einstein