Love & Light for Baltimore

In light of the Baltimore Riots and Conflict I’d like to share a quote by Rollo May:
“When inward life dries up, when feeling decreases and apathy increases, when one cannot affect or even genuinely touch another person, violence flares up as a daimonic necessity for contact, a mad drive forcing touch in the most direct way possible.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term daimonic, as a literary term, it means the dynamic unrest that exists in us all that forces us into the unknown, leading to self-destruction and/or self-discovery. I also invite you to read more about apathy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apathy

We live in an apathetic society, prisoners of our own devices. We humans created this cage we are living in, and it is high time that we realize we are the only ones who have the power to free ourselves. It’s time to forget about Race, Religion, Sex, Political Standing, Education, Etc, and get to the humanity of it all. We ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is.

Therefor LOVE is the ONLY ANSWER.

We point fingers at the people in Baltimore, who’s apathy has erupted in a most extreme way, but consider taking a look at how apathy has erupted into violence in your own life. This could be small violence such as violence (not physical) to yourself, alcohol, the use of drugs, addictions in many forms, not taking care of your health, or generally being self destructive, making poor choices, and ignoring the ability to look inward and grow. Or maybe violence towards others, such as verbally abusing your spouse, judging others journeys and lives, neglecting others needs, not showing empathy, having an affair, lying, etc. Or even violence towards the planet, littering, not taking personal responsibility for our waste, consumption, and impact on the planet, living unsustainable lifestyles or lack of respect for all living things.

Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about. What is it that you care most about, outside of yourself and your small little corner of the world?

Consider empathy for the people in Baltimore, just for one moment. Consider finding a way to love them. Not because they are right in their actions, but because you are not immune. Ask yourself how any great changes have been made in history, and the answer is through rebellion. The problem is, this rebellion is misguided, due to lack of education and social awareness. The apathy has erupted into misdirected violence and a boiling over of frustration with a system they feel powerless to change peacefully. But who is going to teach communities such as this how to impact change? Not many, because generally not many care. They believe they are unaffected. They themselves are apathetic.

Do you see how this poses a problem? We all feel free to sit back and bitch about whats going on somewhere else, but we are not willing to be a part of the solution, a part of the education, a part of the love.

I’ll leave you with this thought: Have the courage to love in the face of adversity for courage is not the absence of fear; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of fear.

‪#‎belove‬ ‪#‎bepresent‬ ‪#‎nomadorwhat‬ ‪#‎loveforbaltimore‬ ‪#‎loveforall‬

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Visit Our New Project at GoFundMe!

Hey all, thanks for checking out my blog!  Many of you know about my travels and adventures, but I wanted to take a minute to share something I’m working on.  I’d love it if you’d support the blog by making a donation, even if it’s small at http://www.gofund.me/nomadorwhat.

I wont tell you my entire life story here, you’ll have to wait for the book to come out to hear the rest, but I will share a bit about my background, what led me to this place in my life and why I’m asking for your donations.

As a young girl, I learned at an early age that life is not always easy, and sometimes it’s just downright hard.  By my 5th birthday I had already experienced the death of two of my grandparents.  At 15 I was sexually assaulted at school by an older student.  I was devastated and emotionally scarred.  While stile trying to heal from one emotionally difficult situation, I was forced the following year to face another when my father, who had been dealing with long term depression and other mental health issues, attempted suicide. As an impressionable and emotionally fragile 16 year old, I was the one who found his nearly lifeless body that fateful day.

I became for many years a victim of my circumstances. At 20 I suffered through an extremely abusive relationship that isolated me from my family and friends, and managed to barely make it out with my life.  As I turned 21 and entered my adulthood, I was so broken and lost. Outwardly my life would appear fine as I held a job, sometimes two, supported myself, and sometimes someone else, and also went to school.  But inwardly I was torn apart by trauma and self loathing.

Through my early 20’s I struggled to find my place in the world and in 2008, fed up with corporate slavery, I quit my job at P&G in Cincinnati, and my boyfriend at the time, and I, left behind the state of Ohio.
We traveled the country for nearly a year, working on cattle ranches (one in Nevada where I adopted Eureka) to support ourselves. The journey changed my life.  It made me realize that I was bigger than my circumstances and greater than the sum of the bad things that had happened to me.  Returning back to the East coast, a new fire burned brightly in me.  We settled back into society and moved into a little country house in Kentucky with 8 acres.  There we adopted a horse and another dog and I felt that this was the beginning of a beautiful new life and adventure.                                                                                                                                                    (Weibe, my horse, giving me nuzzles)
3 months later my vision was shattered when I returned home from work to find missing, all my most valuable possessions, a safebox with $2000 I’d saved up and also my boyfriend.  After calling the police, filing a report, and trying over and over again for a week to contact him, I finally reached him only to be shocked with the news that he had been abusing drugs.  He had stolen from me and abandon me there in KY with a house, 3 dogs 2 cats and a horse.  Needless to say that was the end of that relationship.

I was forced to start over for what felt like the 1000th time.  I lived in a motel 6 in Cincinnati with 2 dogs (I had to find a home for the other) for 3 months while I worked two jobs to save for an apartment.
                                                                                                                                                        (Eureka and Cali and I at the Motel 6)

Finally I made enough and settled into my new little place.  The following year I moved into a quaint little one bedroom house in Norwood Ohio and landed an excellent job at 5th 3rd Bank.  Things were looking up! I worked there and lived in my little house for almost two years, the longest I had lived anywhere.                                                                                                                                   (Eureka lounging on the couch at our new house 2009)

In the beginning I liked my job and was eager to learn, but as time went on my heart knew this was not the job for me.  With no room for creativity, no ability to be impactful and very little time to work on myself personally, I struggled internally to be there every day. I stuck with it though, fearful of following my dream of being a photographer full time.  What if I couldn’t make it?  In July of 2011 I got laid off from the bank and knew there was no time better than the present to follow my heart once and for all.

I started my photography business and haven’t looked back.  Through all the paths my life has led me down, photography has been the one constant thing that has allowed me to express and pour out into my work, the joy and the pain of my life.  Since then, I have made many sacrifices to continue doing what I love, and learned that self employment is a great challenge.

In July of 2013, the culmination of every trauma, stress or difficult time I had not taken the time to heal from, resulted in the darkest time of my life.  An over whelming cloud of darkness and wave of terrible anxiety settled over my life, with no light and no end in sight.  Fearful that I was beginning down the road my father had traveled, I became frantic and even more anxious at the thought that I was officially losing it. But somehow, even in the darkness and the midst of 24 hour a day panic, I found that little light in me, glistening like the last ember left after a fire dies out.  And through sheer determination and strength I didn’t even know I had, I began to push myself towards healing and total wellness.

I couldn’t sleep well, and what little sleep I got was interupted usually right at 4am with my heart racing out of my chest.  Though nauseous (I had lost 20 lbs from not being able to eat) I began forcing myself to get up, and walk 2 miles every day.  I felt terrible, but walking helped just enough that I knew it would ease my symptoms throughout the rest of the day. I totally changed my diet to cut out processed sugars, gluten and dairy and I read and researched and read some more about anxiety, depression, it’s causes and natural remedies. I read about spirituality and awareness, about life and the universe. And the more I read and learned and applied, the better I felt.  After one year of working hard, with no medication ever, I had reached a balance and rid myself of the crippling anxiety I had began with a year before.  I was finally at peace with myself and happier that I’d ever been.

Why am I sharing all this? Certainly not for pity.

I want others to know it’s possible.  What is “it” ? Anything!  I’ve been reaching out to individuals in my community who I feel can benefit from learning my story. Because I’m no super hero, I’m just an ordinary person, who learned that the human will is extraordinary. We are all mirrors for one another to see the parts of us that are broken, undiscovered, or forgotten, the parts of us that are beautiful, strong and perfect.  It’s time for me to take that message, and my work on the road.

For the past two years  I have been building this blog,  to share my travels and my experiences with all you guys in hopes to encourage you to go explore the world around you.  I have also been planning to create a more self sustaining and minimalistic life by downsizing to an RV that will allow me to travel to work and to speak to people around the country about humanity, strength and the will to overcome, as well as document my journey along the way.

With the funds I raise through Gofundme.com, I plan to find a safe and reliable RV.  I plan to use a portion of the money to get my materials written out and then begin a speaking tour to share my experience in hopes that I can be impactful through my words and photography, and give others hope.  Any additional money, will be invested in equipment I can use to document this journey. In the end I hope to publish a book about what I’ve learned through my journey (where you’ll be able to read all the nitty gritty details of the rest of my crazy life).

I’m ready to be a part of the solution, the answer is love. And I need your help!
If you would like to contribute to helping me spread a message of hope and strength while continuing to build a life around what I’m passionate about, please donate to my campaign.  More than you can possibly ever know, I appreciate every penny and will make sure that it is used to the fullest potential.  Hopefully I’ll have a chance to thank each and everyone of you personally in my travels.

(I currently have one week to move my things from the cabin I’ve been living in, and I’d like to move them into my new RV home, so the sooner I can reach my goal the better. I’m working hard to come up with what I can through my work and plan to match as much of the donation amount as possible with my own personal money.)

You can also follow my journey at the NomadorWhat facebook page.  or view my photography work at the LiVon Photography facebook page.

Thank YOU!!!
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