Monday, July 22, 2013

"What's Right For You, What's Right For Me" by Raphaella Vaisseau

     Our world is diverse: diverse in climate, terrain, topography, animal life, culture, and in our human family. Diversity is a big part of what makes this experience of life here on Earth so interesting and beautiful. Tolerance of diversity is essential to freedom. However, tolerance, as important as it is, is only the first step.
     The next step is taking a look at the differences among us and celebrating them. Yes, celebrate, even adore. It's noticing contrast that gives us ideas of what we want more (or less) of, who we want to be, where we want to go, and who we want to spend time with. Henry David Thoreau posed this question: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"
     The essence of being free allows room (tolerance) for everyone's unique expression. No need to all be alike. Being different doesn't threaten anyone simply by being different. It's layering judgment, righteousness, fear, scarcity, and other negative emotions on top of differences that create separation.
     John-Roger, founder of MSIA (the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness), shares three spiritual guidelines for us: 1. Take care of yourself so you can help take care of others; 2. Don't hurt yourself and don't hurt others; and 3. Use everything for your upliftment, learning, and growth. Simple, yet profound.
     Common sense is not common. There is no rule book for our diverse human experience. We figure it out as we go along. Again, Thoreau's words speak the truth: "It is never too late to give up our prejudices."
     In reality, giving up our prejudices can look like giving someone the benefit of the doubt, refraining from thinking you know what's best, or right, for another person, letting go of the need to compare and find fault. It's about respect. How might our world transform if, instead of being fearful of others not like us, we were curious and eager to learn from one another? How might our lives be enhanced on a daily basis by accepting an individual's choice to step outside of a traditional, accepted way of being and walk a different path?
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Friday, July 12, 2013

Frogs, Flora, Fauna, and Creativity by Raphaella Vaisseau

The other night in a dream I was swimming in a beautiful body of water and met a frog. It was a large green frog coming right at me, eyes saying something intently to me as it approached. I was mesmerized by the scene. The blues and greens and yellows were stunning, and neither one of us spoke. When I awoke, I was aware still of the presence of the frog and I wondered what message it might have for me.

I thumbed through Ted Andrew's Animal Speak until I found Frogs on page 356. "Transformation through Water and Sound" it said. "A totem of metamorphosis, [the frog] is a symbol of coming into one's own creative power." The author asks "Are you needing to dive into some fresh creative water?" That sounded good to me so I took out my paints and let creativity flow forth from my inner being. The result is Flora and Fauna, a 5x7 swirl of blended color evocative of rain forest ambiance and lush watery spaces. Enjoy my art. Love frogs.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Activism, GMOs, and the Law of Attraction" by Raphaella Vaisseau

I believe in choice and free will. However, as I've become aware of the introduction of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into our food supply, I've learned from the Institute for Responsible Technology and other sources that "the FDA does not even require the labeling of GMOs in food ingredient lists." Thus, until GMO labeling is required, the choice to avoid GMOs is not an easy option for consumers in the US.

Making a difference matters to me, and contributing to the greater good is important to me, as it is to many people. Several years ago, Gregory M. Lamb wrote in the Christian Science Monitor: "Nearly nine in 10 [Americans] (85 percent) agree they can make the world a better place through their actions, 91 percent say it's important that individuals get involved in positive social change, and 77 percent say getting involved is personally important to them, according to a [2011] survey of more than 2,000 American adults conducted by Walden University, an online university, and Harris Interactive, a market research firm."

At the same time, I believe in the Law of Attraction, that where a person puts his or her attention will attract more of the same. So it would follow that fighting against something would make it stronger. How then can one navigate this universal law to effect change? How does activism mesh with the Law of Attraction. These are questions I've been pondering of late.

Much of my Heartful Art inspires people to stand tall, speak up, be brave, and walk the talk of whatever it is each person believes. Marianne Williamson's words from A Return to Love speak to the power we each have when we "let our own light shine."

Perhaps the key in this instance (instead of fighting against Monsanto and similar companies who have been creating genetically engineered food for over 20 years) is to focus on what I want more of, which is to have mandatory labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms in the US.

According to The Center for Food Safety, 64 countries around the world currently require labeling of genetically engineered food. I would like the US to be on that list. Labels offer consumers the choice to buy GE food or not. To join in this effort, or to learn more about this issue and "let Washington know that Americans want labeling of genetically engineered foods" explore Just Label It.
- Raphaella Vaisseau