Seattle Mindpebble #5

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“There’s are only two stories: a man goes on a quest, a stranger comes to town.” — John Gardner

Before I left for Seattle, I got this idea I couldn’t shake: I wanted to spend 24 hours in Seattle without money. A few years ago I wrote about Heidemarie Schwermer’s commitment to living without money . I had recently revisited her story with my friends who talk about gift economy on a regular basis.

Perhaps this was idealistic. But on the other hand, I was really committed to this. I was going to live through the consequences of my decision, no matter what.

My hotel accommodations were covered–thanks to my program director–for all but the first night of my time in Seattle. I investigated the same hotel for one night and it was a gazillion dollars… money I didn’t have. So this thought came up: I should commit to giftivism for 24 hours and see what connections I could make with Seattleites and find out how far I could push myself out of my comfort zone. Could I depend on kindness and our connection to take care of me? Not mooching, but seeking a deeper connection with people.

I made up my mind that when I arrived in Seattle, I’d check my suitcase a the hotel Concierge and then hoof around with a backpack for 24 hours, seeking legal ways to be of service that hopefully would realize my basic needs…. without depending on money. I thought about it deeply: I had a lot of ghosts about this, but dug my spiritual heels in. I was prepared to go without, if it unfolded that way.

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I wanted to live in Give Economy for 24 hours. I did not want to use money–not particularly because I didn’t have it, because I have a credit card, but because I am committed to living with a deeper awareness of money, and cultivating a healthier relationship with it than I did the first 40+ years of my life, so far.

In our collective conscious and culture right now, money promotes a gross untruth: That we are NOT connected to or dependent on each other.

If I arrived in Seattle and used money I could have everything I needed, all tidy and comfortable, an experience to fit my needs and expectations. But NOT using money meant that I lose control of all of that, and my experience of Seattle would be limited to my own creativity and connections with people.

I believe human beings–ALL OF US–are connected and dependent on each other. Money offers this false notion –a false sense of security that we can take care of ourselves, by ourselves. To a certain extent money sterilizes our connections with people. Money keeps us nice, transactional and quaint.

Now I’m not saying all money is always used this way, but typically when I travel, that is how I use it: to organize my experience as close to my expectations and needs as possible, thus limiting the depths of connection with people. Removing money got rid of the safety nets and opened me up to new people in extraordinary ways.

As I told a few friends about this, KOOKOO BIRD noises were swirling as I spoke. You guys were UBER concerned and fearful for my safety! I didn’t feel worried at all. I put myself in other people’s shoes: If someone was committed to doing what I wanted to do, how would I be able to help them?!

I promised my friends, no back-alley Mother Teresa-inspired she-roics. I was hoping I’d get to Seattle and work my way around the hotel and see who I could meet who might need my help with the next something. I figured if I helped, maybe they would buy me a cup of yummoh Seattle coffee, or lunch or let me sleep on their couch. That was my plan.

Well, I am grateful to stay I DID live in gift economy for 24 hours, but not the way I planned. Right before I left Raleigh, a friend of mine got in touch with her brother and his wife, residents of Northern Seattle–Shoreline to be exact. She told them my plans, and they said they would like to put me up for a night. And pick me up from the airport.

So my idea of how I would have to explain gift economy went out the window.

I accepted their kindness… the kindness of strangers.

It was really hard to let go of control. I had thoughts like, they must think I am a Mooch! Like I am a taker and user, and looking for a free ride-ugly thoughts that when I checked in with my heart I knew these were not true.

I texted a photo of me while I was waiting outside of Baggage Claim. I hoped my flight’s late arrival was not inconvenient to them. Gulp. It was hard. Was I imposing?

Then they found me. Big smile and handshake, and the car door opened. I was now sitting in the back seat of these two very kind strangers’ car. And woh, now they are now driving me–a stranger–and graciously pointing out different things on the rainy Seattle skyline.

I thanked them for their kindness and for hosting me that night. The man–whose name I won’t use because I didn’t ask permission–said, “You can stay with us on one condition.” I said, “Ok, what is that?!” He said, “You have to allow us to pay for everything!”

Double gulp. Holy Shmoly. Ok…. where is the eject button? I need to get off this ride! Now, not only are they putting me up, but now they are taking me out to dinner (well lunch by their time). Allowing such magnitude of kindness to be gifted to me was really hard. But I needed them.

We talked about this thing called kindness and shared stories about how the hardest kindnesses are the ones we must receive. They concurred….and laughed as they paid for my delicious seaside lunch.

After lunch, we arrived to their lovely home and they showed me my delightful room. I met their cat, who was rather put out by my presences, as he preferred MY room to all others, but he didn’t like me, and was not pretending anything. My new friends made some tea. We sat and talked for hours. I was mega jetlagged, but being a storyteller, I wanted to make sure I shared my heart with them and perhaps a few good stories. Perhaps they might enjoy my visit and not feel burdened by my presence.

We talked. We laughed. We connected. They told me wondrous stories about their family, their world travels, their lives in Seattle. And now their lives as retirees.

The next day they took me to see the Ballard Locks, where the boats and ships come through the canal to switch bodies of water. It was really beautiful.

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And here is a picture of my new friends, from behind.

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After the Locks we went to lunch and they again treated me to Vietnamese Pho–pronounced Fuhhh.

Yuuuuuuhmmmm! They took my photo 🙂

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They made me laugh as they told me about another pho restaurant called Pho King! LOL. Remember? it’s pronounced Fuhhhh.

We had a wonderful 24 hours together. I left them a little Joybird card and little art tile I made, small tokens of my HUGE gratitude.

I was inspired by their gentle, constant kindness. I enjoyed being with them. I was grateful to them. I also thanked my EGO for letting go of control so I could share a deeper connection with two wonderful human beings. I was surprised this experiment in gift economy wasn’t difficult or tough on me–well except to my ego. They taught me that an experience does not have to be difficult in gift economy to be authentic and meaningful.

I am so blessed to have two new friends.

Thank you for reading my Mindpebbles. I will continue panning my memories for the brightest pebbles of truth and beauty…. there are quite a few.

so much love,
Becky

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joy for all and all for joy

❤ Dear Soul Shiners ❤ ,

Last year I dedicated a ton of my life, time, energy, love and passion (not bragging but sharing my reality–twas like 1000 hours) to create a homeplay adventure infused with art, photography, videos, audios & workbooks. It is called JOYFUeL.

Ya’ll just about blew my MIND with your joining, sharing and supporting this adventure, an experience intending to greater activate our JOY. I was so moved by our experience that afterwards it felt good and maybe somehow important, that I offer it again: This time round much better organized and with mucho more JOY!

I’m honored, blessed and superDEEEEEEEduper excited to announce the JOYFUEL web site. Tahhhh DAHHHHHH!  You are invited to check out the site and join with me again in this adventure into our JOY. We will begin on October 9th and go for 44 days … all for JOY and JOY for ALL! I promise it will offer new goodies like interviews, videos and other surprises, all intended to support you on your journey to be a better guardian of your own JOY. And the good news is that it’s NOT big holiday season, so hopefully those of you who weren’t able to spend as much time as you may have wanted to, will be able to go CRAZY JOYFUL this time and play, going deeper into exploration of your JOY health.

joy afoot joyfuel 2015

Please join me in raising our vibrations, and in activation of our JOY together. (Oooooooh and if you have kiddos, it’s great to do with your children, as they need support as they navigate this way noisy world, that often muddles and depresses our joy.)

with my ❤ for your JOY,
❤ becky jaine ❤

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for kindness sake

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Kindness is the greatest wisdom. ~Unknown

It feels a little indulgent and perhaps embarrassing to share some of the things I am part of in the name of secret loving kindness. At the risk being seen here, I’d like to share a simple and wonderful thing a few friends from the Sacred Kindness Circle did last month, called Flower Power.

I hope YOU feel some of love and JOY created that day.

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We bought three bunches of flowers, cut them up and tied them with ribbons into about 14 smaller bunches and attached little handmade and handwritten notes to each bunch. We left them on car windshields and doors in the parking lot of the coffee shop where we met.

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A special SURPRISE for 14 unsuspecting humans who happened to be driving that day.

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I believe kindness makes the world go round. Kindness is LOVE in action. Kindness is BEAUTY. Kindness begets KINDNESS. I also feel like talking about kindness can feel a little –hear high pitch–AWKWARD, but isn’t kindness sometimes too beautiful to keep to ourselves?!flowerpower 2015 becky jaine (1)

What do you believe about kindness? Is it better unspoken? Best shared? Infectious or private?

in love & blushing kindness
❤ becky jaine ❤

p.s. and to the dear women of the sacred kindness circle, I’m so humbled to be with dear friends who practice regular kindness and generosity as you do. Thank you for the love ripples we make! i ❤ you. xo

the joy factor

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Five years ago I made a decision that radically changed my life fo-evah! I left my near 20-year career with the corporate world.

Being a diehard idealist, I questioned my involvement with for-profit focused corporations when most companies were remaining intensely prioritizing monetary profit above people and planet.

That year I gave birth to my third child, another new teacher … my Sonshine (pictured with my 2nd daughter/teacher above). I gifted myself an extended absence from my career which allowed space and time to fully experience each and every moment as it came to me without the pull of career responsibilities and to-do-lists.

This opening led me to reconsider every way I used my personal energy and to contemplate my life based using the joy factor.

Simply put, the joy factor is anything we do to INTENTIONALLY create joy or limit suffering in our lives or in the lives of those close to us.

I stopped long enough to witness the pure joy of humanity through my children’s human being-ness.

I ceased my self-created and self-imposed insanity of my too busy over-scheduled hectic demanding “perfect” life.

My purpose and intentions shifted and I lightened.

I gave up my fancy titles and my corporate income.

I assessed my vanity. I stopped wearing makeup and trendy dresses and suits. I bucked societal expectations and amazingly truly started enjoying life again, fully in the moment, with baby spit-up on my shirt, beds unmade, children laughing and covered in paint, and dirty dishes in the sink.

I really embraced my life and my power to choose how and where I spend my energy. I consciously committed to my own JOY.

I found new and unusual ways to love myself and started to celebrate my imperfections. I realized I was perfectly imperfect and hugged myself daily (and all my squishy parts too). I embraced the white hairs on my head and wrinkles on my face, and felt gratitude for them as sacred visual gifts reminding me of my time spent on earth.

I realized that if I can’t love and accept myself exactly as I am in my most natural state, then however did my children stand a chance to do the same for themselves? Especially amidst the media-created-mirage of “beauty”?!

I was terrified that I could somehow contribute to their marginalization.

I am my children’s first teacher and they may mirror me. I must become the change I wish to see in the world. My little cherubs’ inner beauty: their gorgeous bright spirits, their souls ah-blazing … I must contribute to the preservation of their true essence, by being real and flawed and true to my heart.

Young children shine a lovelight so bright, their joy is contagious.

Larger than my own energy and life, I could feel the possibility that my children do not have to disconnect from their source, their true nature. They do not have to become guarded, limited or apathetic. They can believe that being human means being true to themselves and embracing and celebrating their uniquities.

The joy factor created a startling personal revelation that beckoned me to change my course, to live with a renewed profound purpose; to love myself, love my children, to love all people on earth as the miraculous marvels we are… exactly as we are, perfectly imperfect.

Enough about me, what about YOU? How is YOUR joy? Have you ever reassessed and reactivated your daily energy to intensify your joy? Please comment below….

Ooooh, and please know you are invited to join me in an In Box adventure I’m calling JOYFUeL. Registration closes on 30th November. Inbox JOY sent beginning 1st December for 44 days. No requirements, no cost, just joy-infusions sent to you with lots of love.

❤ becky ❤
Today’s post is featured as part of the Moods of Motherhood blogging carnival celebrating the launch of the second edition of Moods of Motherhood: the inner journey of mothering by Amazon bestselling author, Lucy H. Pearce (published by Womancraft Publishing).

Today over 40 mothers around the world reflect on the internal journey of motherhood: raw, honest and uncut. To see a list of the other contributors and to win your own copy visit Dreaming Aloud.net

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random acts of balloons (shhhh this is a secret)

random acts balloons becky jaine 2014 jpgCan you keep a secret? Mmmm, NO??? Well, if you can’t, stop reading.

YES??? OK, then keep reading and know you are now officially dubbed an accomplice and you must comply!

Some of my wonderful Kindness Sisters, Mamas and Daughters and our families and friends have decided to share it with you, because you’re really good at secret keeping, yes?! That’s why you are still reading, huh?! 🙂

On Sunday, September 28th we are doing a little not-so-random act of kindness at a private location somewhere in the Southeast United States. This is our kindness flash mob. (ooooh, I’ve always wanted to write those words!)

We will show up with as many balloons as can safely fit in our cars and stand around at –shhh our ultra secret location– and give out smiles and colorful balloons to unsuspecting strangers, aka new friends.

Yes. I’m stoked. My children are giggly with anticipation. And my friends and their friends and families are super excited too.

But SHHHHhhhhhh, remember this is our little secret.

Now before you remind me, please know I am aware that helium balloons can be particularly naughty to the environment. I thought long and hard about the possible implications. After weighing it all up it feels like the human JOY (good currency) generated by this act of kindness campaign will outweigh the possible naughty impact these balloons could have. My heart says that HAPPY people try really hard not to let go of the balloons, and instead take them home to be enjoyed and safely played with … reminded of the kindness of strangers. Perhaps these balloons will make them want to… ummmm, how do I say it … well…

PAY IT FORWARD?! YES? in another act of kindness…. maybe?

Our intention with letting YOU in on this secret is for you consider playing with us, wherever you are in our beautiful world…  get some helium balloons galore and give them out: Sunday, September 28th … let’s ROCK n ROLL!

You in? If so, leave a message in the comments below, and tell us where you are are what town/city/country you will be JOY stoking! Take photos and send them to me and I’ll share on here the my site. Can’t do it on the 28th? Do it another day, soon!

INSERT>>>>>>> >>>>>AMAZING PHOTO OF SHINING HAPPY PEOPLE WITH BALLOONS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!<<<<<<<<< (coming soon)

IN RALEIGH area??? contact me and let’s collaborate.

This is for kindness. This is for JOY! This is because we can.

for the JOY of it
becky jaine

coming November 1st  J O Y F U e L
44 days to stoke your JOY, creativity, self and otherly kindness

(sign up to receive invitation here )