Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mojo Monday ~ The Many Forms of Creativity

From top left clockwise ~ Dia de Los Muertos Madonna painting, a glowing Owl Pumpkin,
Cosmic Skull Girl, and tasty Spiced Pumpkin Muffin Owls.
Creativity can express itself in many ways.  Yesterday my creativity had a chance to express itself via the culinary arts.  I baked a vegan pumpkin pie, then darling vegan spiced pumpkin muffin owls and followed that up with vegan pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon icing.  Today we had a family pumpkin carving party in the front yard and my parents even came from out of town to join in on the fun.  My husband's abnormally large pumpkin turned into a child eating monster and my own overgrown pumpkin found its inner owl.  Yes there is a bit of a theme of pumpkins and owls carrying on in our neck of the woods.

What forms of creativity have you been expressing lately?

Next up this week is one of our family's favorite holidays - Halloween!  We will be dressing up in costumes and I will be figuring out how to transform my face into that of a zebra.  Wish me luck!  Last year I was a parrot, the year before that our whole family was decked out as Sugar Skulls for a special Dia de Los Muertos gathering and art show.  Other forms I have taken in the past have been as a Killer Bee, Fire (with my husband as Ice), a Pink Flamingo, the Ocean, Half Devil - Half Angel, Dolly Parton, a male biker and the list goes on.  Halloween has a long tradition in my family and my mom who celebrates her birthday on October 31st, always dresses up as a witch, because she says it is her true alter ego.

Do you ever dress up for Halloween?
If yes, do share about your costumes, past and present.
Photos sharing is highly encouraged too!

I love the creativity that Halloween inspires in people.  Costumes can be such a fun way to express oneself, to get wild, and try out playing a character or new role.  Costume parties are often the funnest kind, as people who might normally be shy or reserved, find themselves being more extroverted and free, because for a night that can try out being someone or something different.

From top left clockwise ~ Fire, Killer Bee, Sugar Skulls, Biker, Cat Woman,
Fire and Ice, Pink Flamingo, Parrot and Kitties

Fashion and the clothing we choose to wear are also another way we can get creative and express ourselves.  Clothing can change the way we move.  Clothing can change the way we see ourselves.  Clothing and outfits can even make us feel differently, if we let it.  

Some people may find dressing creatively to be intimidating and may not want to draw so much attention to themselves.  In our Cosmic Cowgirl Tribe we have encouraged members to at least try on various outfits or costumes to release their inner Legendary self.  Our amazing Chief Laughing Cloud has even written about how one day she realized that she was being overtaken by the "gray" and set her intention to pull out her more sassy and wild clothing in order to spark creativity and a bit of rebellion.  

Do you ever put on an outfit that makes you feel different?   

Sometimes I get into a clothing rut.  My creativity lags and I just go through the motions of picking out clothes to wear to work or on the weekends.  However, I have noticed that if I my creativity is Sparking, or if I remember to let my clothing express my inner creativity, or even my inner wild woman, well those are the days I am reaching for long feathered earrings, jeans with glitter, tears and writing on them, or high black boots and a dress with a slit up the side.  

I know that we women can get very self critical about our appearances and our bodies and that we can let this restrict our clothing, fashion and costume choices.  As a woman who has been a variety of sizes, from very thin when I worked out 7 days a week for three hours every day, to very overweight, and lots of places in between, I must tell you that size does not matter.  It really doesn't.  Even in my larger times when I dress fun and fashionably I have still received compliments.  The way we carry ourselves, the way we see ourselves, the way we strut and hold our heads high, is so much more influential than some realize.  If you can see the beauty, and the sexy in yourself, that is going to shine out into the world.

No matter our size all of us women also face growing older, if we are so lucky in this life.  We will see our bodies change.  Perhaps gravity will take its toll and certain parts will begin to sag, wrinkle, and change.  We may adjust to such changes gracefully, or we may choose to wage a battle against it with some tucks and tightening here and there to firm things up a bit.  

Whichever route we take though we will still have choices on how we choose to present ourselves in the world.  Some women as they grow older state they begin to feel invisible.  They look around and see a media world obsessed with youth and beauty.  It is refreshing when you see someone take notice of style and beauty that is of a more mature nature.  Photographer Ari Seth Cohen roams the streets of New York looking for the most stylish and creative older folks.  He share this: "Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing of two about living life to the fullest.  Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age."

You can visit Ari's Advanced Style web site by clicking here.  

Here is a taste of some of the photographs he has taken.

There is also an Advance Style documentary about the women he has been photographing in New York and this is the very fun and short film trailer to inspire you to get more creative in your own closet!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mojo Monday ~ Designing A Vision of Peace

We talk about wanting peace.  What is peace? How do we achieve it?  Is it possible to obtain world peace?  Can we design a vision of peace? 

Israeli designer Ronny Edri is attempting to do just that.  It began with uploading to Facebook a simple poster of him and his daughter, with the words "Iranians we will never bomb your country.  We love you."  Here is a video of Ronny Edri sharing about how it all began..

If you have yet to discover and "like" the Israel-Loves-Iran facebook page, please visit. I have been following along with this amazing project since it began.  This is a grassroots peace movement that shows how social media is changing how we can connect and see one another as people, not nationalities that are supposed to be at odds with one another.

This building of relationships and connections is incredibly powerful. When the faceless people of a nation suddenly have names and are sharing that neither wants war or mean each other harm, there is a shift that takes place.  A powerful shift.  Is it strong enough to hold back the tides of a war that political leaders may be manipulating into reality?

Thich Nhat Hanh shares this in his book Being Peace:

“During the war in Vietnam we young Buddhists organized ourselves to help victims of the war rebuild villages that had been destroyed by the bombs.

Many of us died during service, not only because of the bombs and the bullets, but because of the people who suspected us of being on the other side. We were able to understand the suffering of both sides, the communists and the anti-communists. We tried to be open to both, to understand this side and to understand that side, to be one with them. That is why we did not take a side, even though the whole world took sides. We tried to tell people our perception of the situation: that we wanted to stop the fighting, but the bombs were so loud. Sometimes we had to burn ourselves alive to get the message across, but even then the world could not hear us. They thought we were supporting a kind of political act. They didn't know that it was a purely human action to be heard, to be understood. We wanted reconciliation, we did not want a victory. Working to help people in a circumstance like that is very dangerous, and many of us got killed. The communists killed us because they suspected that we were working with the Americans, and the anti-communists killed us because they thought that we were with the communists. But we did not want to give up and take one side.

The situation of the world is still like this. People completely identify with one side, one ideology. To understand the suffering and the fear of…[another citizen] we have to become one with him or her. To do so is dangerous-we will be suspected by both sides. But if we don't do it, if we align ourselves with one side or the other, we will lose our chance to work for peace. Reconciliation is to understand both sides, to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then to go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side. Doing only that will be a great help for peace.”

So how do we create understanding between people?  How do find common ground?  I think it is helpful as Thich Nhat Hahn recommends, is identifying with not just one side, but with both sides.  I think there can be much enlightenment when we look back and explore the history of a situation, the back story, so to speak.  What is the history between Iran and the United States of America?  Does the past between our two nations have any affect on the current situation?  If you want to learn more keep reading below.

The Iran Agenda:

I still cringe to this day when I recall George W. Bush's State of the Union Address from January 29, 2002.  This is the speech in which Bush referred to  Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the "Axis of Evil."  I still want to slap my forehead, shake my head and ask aloud to anyone listening, "How in the world did the President of the United States think it was okay to label three nations as evil, and even worse, do it in public at an event where the world was listening?"  

My own take on those events is that the administration was beating the drums of war and building their case to convince the American people that more wars would likely be necessary to protect their homeland.  The war in Afghanistan had begun on October 7, 2001, less than a month after the events of September 11th.   Then on March 19th, 2003, after many accusations that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction, the United States, accompanied by the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland attacked Iraq.

Even after Bush's axis of evil pronouncement  in 2002 a number of nations were alarmed at this statement. Mohammed Khatami, who was President of Iran at the time, had made a concerted effort to tone down hostile rhetoric toward the U.S. as part of a more pragmatic foreign policy, but he condemned Bush's demonizing of Iran as "meddling, warmongering, insulting and a repetition of old propaganda."

Many Iranians expressed sorrow and support for the United States after 9/11. There were even candlelight vigils held by Iranians.  What was also very fascinating to read in a book by Reese Erlich called The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis is how "the Iranian government cooperated with the United States in its efforts to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan.  This may come as a surprise to those who want to neatly place all Islamic fundamentalists into one group, but Iran solidly opposed Taliban rule.  The Taliban murdered nine Iranian diplomats in 1998, almost leading the two countries to war.  Iran had supported the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban."  Iran was going to assist in the alliance to invade Afghanistan. The US initially praised Iran's "constructive role" in the meetings.  "In January 2002, Iran pledged $560 million for Afghan reconstruction aid, the largest amount offered from a third world country."  According to the author Erlich, Iranian officials told him "that they expected the United States to extend the contacts over Afghanistan into a wider dialogue about U.S.-Iranian relations."  Instead President Bush proceeded to denounce Iran later that same month as part of the "axis of evil" and this effectively shut down relations.

An organization called Just Foreign Policy includes on their web site the following statement: "The Bush Administration has deployed a rhetoric of confrontation against Iran, including the threat of military force without United Nations or even Congressional authorization. Many of the Bush Administration's claims that Iran is a threat echo claims used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq and rest on similarly dubious evidence. Policies have been approved, such as authorizing the killing of Iranian officials in Iraq, that could easily escalate into a broader military confrontation."  In addition they state "Americans are being told that Iran is on the brink of developing nuclear weapons, supports terrorism, is helping to kill American soldiers in Iraq, and is determined to destroy Israel. Therefore, the reasoning goes, we must prepare to attack Iran."

Stephen Kinzer, the award winning author and former foreign correspondent for the New York Times rejects this argument. He, along with a diverse group of other experts on Iran, Congressional leaders and military experts have been traveling across the country to present other perspectives and options for a more rational foreign policy towards Iran. You can read more about their ideas at the web site The Folly of Attacking Iran, which is also part of the Just Foreign Policy organization.

My understanding of the history of Iran was greatly illuminated by reading Stephen Kinzer's gripping book called All The Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. In great detail the book shows how the United States has played an active role in Iran for decades, often in ways resented by Iranians. The USA organized a coup in 1953 against the popular and democratically elected Prime-Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Mossadegh had been considered a problem by the British for many years. The British over the years had gained control of various assets of Iran, including their oil. While the British in Iran lived in beautiful homes with manicured lawns and enjoyed swimming pools and such, the Iranians who worked for the oil company lived in squalor. Repeated requests to the British to share the profits more equitably with Iran and to improve conditions and wages for the workers were always met with disdain and no change.

As Iran began to question the British involvement in their county things grew more heated. The British were unwilling to be diplomatic or negotiate. They even tried to convince President Truman to help them overthrow Mossadegh so they could replace him with someone they could control. President Truman wanted no part in their imperialistic desires. The British were almost ready to just attack and take over Iran but world opinion kept them at bay a bit longer. When Truman didn't run for office again and President Eisenhower was elected the British suspected the USA might be more amenable to involve themselves in Iran. They were correct. Certain members of Eisenhower's administration were very open to the idea of choreographing regime change. The overthrow of Iran in 1953 is considered to be the very first coup that the American CIA organized.

After the coup, the monarchy of the Shah was reinstated and supported by the United States. There are many who believe that Iran could well have continued on the path of democracy if it wasn't for the meddling of the USA and Great Britain. The irony is that America is supposed to be the great supporter of democracy and yet it overthrew a democratic prime minister in order to give a monarch full control of the nation.

Years later the people of Iran rose up to remove the Shah, who some say ruled with an iron fist. Under his rule he created a domestic security and intelligence organization called Savak. According to articles in Federation of American Scientists and TIME magazine, SAVAK "tortured and murdered thousands of the Shah's opponents. It has been described as Iran's "most hated and feared institution" prior to revolution of 1979, for its association with the foreign CIA intelligence organization, and its torture and execution of regime opponents. It's "torture methods included electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails." After the 1979 revolution, a CIA film was found which had been made for Savak security forces on how to torture women.

In the Bush years there were alarming headlines in the news in which the Bush administration accused Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons.   A decade later this topic continues to make headlines and is sometimes a topic of debate, as we saw in the sparring between Vice President Biden and Paul Ryan.  Iran has however consistently maintained that they are only seeking nuclear power to improve conditions in their country and they are adamant in insisting that other countries have no right to dictate that they cannot do so. 

Here is a brief introduction to the history of the nuclear program of Iran as taken from Wikipedia.  Iran's nuclear program was "launched in the 1950's with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program. The participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran's nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran. After the 1979 revolution, the clandestine research program was disbanded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had serious religious reservations about nuclear weapons, which he considered evil in terms of Muslim jurisprudence. Small scale research restarted during the Iran-Iraq war, and underwent significant expansion after the Ayatollah's death in 1989. Iran's nuclear program has included several research sites, two uranium mines, a research reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include three known uranium enrichment plants.

In a January 2012 article in Salon Magazine, Glenn Greenwald,  noted the "killing of at least five Iranian nuclear scientists during 2010 and 2011, by unknown attackers, with no apparent outcry in the Western media."  When researching about Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence agency, more details were forthcoming about how "Mossad has been accused of assassinating Masoud Alimohammadi, Ardeshir Hosseinpour, Majid Shahriari, Darioush Rezaeinejad and Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan; scientists involved in the Iranian nuclear program."  Per Wikipedia, Mossad "is also suspected of being behind the attempted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Fereydoon Abbasi.  Meir Daganwho served as Director of the Mossad from 2002 until 2009 - while not taking credit for the assassinations, praised them in an interview with a journalist, saying 'the removal of important brains' from the Iranian nuclear project had achieved so-called 'white defections,' frightening other Iranian nuclear scientists into requesting that they be transferred to civilian projects."
"In early February 2012, Mossad director Tamir Pardo met with U.S. national security officials in Washington, D.C. to sound them out on possible American reactions in the event Israel attacked Iran over the objections of the United States."

Author Stephen Kinzer also addresses the nuclear issue in the preface to his book All the Shah's Men: "The only way Iran can reasonably be expected to curb its nuclear ambitions would be through some kind of 'grand bargain' in which its own security concerns would be addressed.  That would probably require a solution that goes beyond Iran's borders and creates a new security architecture for the Middle East.  It is not reasonable to expect Iran to abandon its nuclear program as long as its main regional enemy, Israel, and its main world enemy, the United States, are nuclear-armed and issuing a stream of barely veiled threats to Iran."

I think that the Just Foreign Policy organization summed it up well when they stated the following "The recent history of relations between the United States and Iran has been marked by misunderstanding and mistrust shaped by the unjust use of violence and threats of violence. Violent conflict has not served the interests of either country. Military threats deepen hostilities and resentment and future conflict becomes more likely. Serious diplomacy between our two countries is needed."

I would add to the need for greater diplomacy the following: 

  • The healing of old wounds. 
  • The releasing of the past.  
  • Forgiveness.  
  • Living in the present.  
  • Connecting. 
  • Finding common ground.
  • Choosing Love.
  • Choosing Peace.

I have written before about Iyanla Vanzant's prescription for working through an issue, which is to Feel,  Deal, and then Heal.  Feel.  Deal. Heal.  Do you think we could get her to do an intervention for some heads of state?  Have her give them some straight talk and get them to play nice with one another and work together to make a peaceful world our reality?  

In the meantime let us join the thousands of people sending in their photos and sentiments of wanting there to be peace, compassion, friendship, love and understanding between us all.  While some may be lost in a world of revenge, greed, fear, anger, hatred and ignorance, those of us who see there is another way will continue to design a vision of peace.

Please visit the Israel-Loves-Iran Facebook page and add your part to this campaign.  There are other pages now too, such as America-Loves-Iran that you can also visit, "like" and share with your family and friends.  It is through such positive sharing and enlightening that we tear down walls and bridge gaps of misunderstanding and fear. We can all be a spokesperson for peace.  There can never be too many.  

If you can take the time, below is an incredibly eye-opening and informative video with Rick Steves who makes traveling documentaries.  In this video he visits Iran and allows us a glimpse into the lives of current day Iranians, while also sharing some of the rich history of this fascinating country.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mojo Monday ~ Shhhhh....

Turn down 
the volume of demands
and listen
to the grace of
the small,
the silence,
the whisper.

~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Does the pace of the world ever seem frenetic to you?  

Do you ever find yourself struggling in order to keep up with emails, texts, blog posts, facebook posts, on-line classes, and phone messages?  

Do you ever find yourself filling every moment of your day with the many forms of communicating and social networking that are now possible?

While driving or at stoplights do you talk on the phone, text, check email, or surf the web?  

Do you ever feel inundated by too much information and too much stimulus?  Perhaps too many offers to participate in this or that teleconference or amazing life-changing workshop?

Do you ever take time to just sit?

Do you ever take time to just think?

Do you ever carve out quiet time?

Does the idea of quiet time seem far-fetched, because of the demands of your life?

Is quiet time something you long for or is it something you would dread?

This piece started to percolate in my mind after reading that a favorite author of mine by the name of Brene Brown was struggling with being on all the time.  She was finding herself checking emails or the web at stoplights.  She was filling every moment with communicating in some form or other. 

Just the thought of doing those things sounds crazy making to me.  I wondered, when does she get down time, quiet time, time to just think? It made me wonder how other people balance out being busy, with taking necessary time out for oneself?

Once a week, for work, I have an hour drive out of town and then I turn around and do it again in the afternoon to return home.  While the drive can sometimes get stressful due to driving conditions, for the most part, I use this time to simply listen to music and think thoughts.  I may come up with a new idea for an article.  I may ponder something.  I might imagine a new painting.  I may try to work out a problem in my mind.  The idea of using that time to communicate with others is not at all appealing. This for me is a perfect time to be unreachable.  

Is quiet time at all important?  Are we humans missing out on something if we fill our days with constant stimulation such as pinning pictures, reading status posts of friends and family, texting till our fingers are numb, talking on the phone at all hours, or signing up for every teleconference that hits our in-box?  

In wondering about this very thing I came across this quote by the Dalai Lama:

"If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, 
we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation."

Why would the Dalia Lama believe such a thing?  Would a violent free world really be the result of all the children meditating?  Would meditation really change them and our world that much?  

Cynthia Dawn,  a writer, children’s meditation facilitator, raw and vegan food enthusiast enthusiast, and co-creator of The Intention Tree Project, shares this about meditation:

"Meditation is a powerful adeptness for anyone and we are learning (remembering really) that when we have this modeled to us as children the reverberations are profound!
On a physical level, scientific studies have found that meditation:
* increases levels of immunity
* prevents and/or reduces cancer and autoimmune disorders
* improves hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders
* alleviates respiratory disorders and digestive problems
* reduces the severity of asthma and panic attacks
On a mental and emotional level, experts have found that meditation:
* encourages a healthy sense of self
* promotes well-being and self-esteem
* increases focus, concentration and problem solving skills
* fosters awareness and creativity
* instills connection, understanding, and compassion
On a Universal level many believe that meditation is a large part of the solution for world peace. When we are at peace with ourselves and no longer fighting a physical, mental, or emotional war ~ we can be true peacemakers within our world."
The sentence that really impacted me from above is:
 "When we are at peace with ourselves 
and no longer fighting a physical, mental, or emotional war ~ 

we can be true peacemakers
within our world."  

I also came across this report about meditation in public schools:

"A University of Michigan study concludes that two, ten-minute meditation sessions per day in a public school setting reduces stress in children and teens and promotes emotional stability.  Participants within the study group were found to exhibit less verbal aggression, anxiety and loneliness.  Based on this study, a growing partnership of Detroit area parents, teachers and physicians are now calling for schools around the country to offer meditation breaks each day.  'It wouldn't be difficult,' a spokesperson said, 'and it requires no expensive equipment, no special outfits or footwear.'  Since meditation is not a religion, proponents claim that meditation would be an appropriate stress reliever in the schools."

It seems that with meditation or even just the practice of getting quiet regularly, allows you to center yourself.

BJ Gallagher at the Huffington Post wrote a brief post titled Buddha: How to Tame Your Monkey Mind that explains more.

Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention. Fear is an especially loud monkey, sounding the alarm incessantly, pointing out all the things we should be wary of and everything that could go wrong.
Buddha showed his students how to meditate in order to tame the drunken monkeys in their minds. It’s useless to fight with the monkeys or to try to banish them from your mind because, as we all know, that which you resist persists. Instead, Buddha said, if you will spend some time each day in quiet meditation — simply calm your mind by focusing on your breathing or a simple mantra — you can, over time, tame the monkeys. They will grow more peaceful if you lovingly bring them into submission with a consistent practice of meditation.

Do you long for more peace in your heart and mind?

Are there things that feel unsettled for you?

Do you feel content and happy most of the time?

Do you have time in your life to just be, to dream, to imagine, to just breathe?

What would it really take for you to start a meditation practice of your own?

What would it take to simply ensure that you get quiet time regularly?

"If we have not quiet minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot."

~ John Bunyon

"We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly...spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order."

~ Susan L. Taylor

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mojo Monday ~ In Your Own Skin Project

What word or phrase would be
absolutely true about you;
but not obvious to strangers?

With her camera, body paint, and the quest to explore how people choose to show themselves to the world, Katheryn Trenshaw—photographer, documentarian, and artist— approaches total strangers and asks: What is true of you that is not obvious to strangers?
After conferring with Katheryn and consulting with their hearts, those who agree to participate choose a word (or phrase) that reveals something about themselves that is unknown to others. Katheryn then paints the word on the skin of the person and photographs them. The result is as moving as it is unexpected.
Her background in art, psychology, and language allows her to connect with her subjects on a variety of levels. This multi-layered perspective comes through to the viewers of her moving photographs. Over the past year, Katheryn has created nearly 150 portraits of subjects from more than thirty countries and all walks of life. Each photograph documents a personal story.

Katheryn Trenshaw shares this about the In Your Own Skin Project:
"Some years ago during a silent retreat I had an epiphany. I realized that the greatest treasure I hold is buried deep inside the thing I least want anyone to know about. Within this wound inside of me lay a rich treasure trove. I was a living paradox and the sooner I could learn to dance with this, the sooner I could unabashedly share my gifts.
I have been inspired by the work of many, especially Brené Brown. She comes from a social work research background and began wanting to know more about what makes us happy. She teamed up with neurobiologists and other researchers and basically discovered that if you want to look at happiness you need to look at shame. Happiness is directly linked with reducing shame, and this takes us to vulnerability, authenticity and ultimately to resilience in transition / changing times.
As an artist, I have specialized all of my professional life in the masks we wear, and am passionate about ritualistic mark making on skin and bodies. Breaking the Silence was a body or work I created consisting of 100 masks that toured the United States and Europe for over 15 years. It was all about revealing our true nature and looking at what we conceal and has had a huge influence on my subsequent work, life and respect for peoples traditions throughout the World.
I've always been fascinated with “shadow” material, the taboo that no one wants to speak about. I tend toward, what Robert Bly calls “our shadow bags”: Sex, death, money, and power. These more hidden aspects of ourselves hold great treasures and vitality when they are freed.
These elements combine to create what is now the In Your Own Skin project: A community multimedia art project, connecting us all by revealing hidden truths from around the world. With your participation we can create the powerful 1st documentary short to share the normally hidden wealth of wisdom that unites us all. And I have to say that I haven't been so passionate about anything since the birth of my son."

The overall project as described by Katheryn:

This In Your Own Skin documentary short is about nothing short of unlocking human potential and joy. I’ve seen the potential for human beings to share in such a powerful openhearted way. The further I go into this project, the more I trust our deep intelligence. I experience people being genuinely authentic. We are living differently now in these challenging times. We are living more and more in community and in ways that we really support each other.

Projects like this one and the others I have created ( like my Breaking the Silence Project) show that love always trumps fear.
I am passionate about this project! I love every minute of this mad and wonderful process: creating these ways to reveal and share our hidden stories with each other. I love how this process can weave into the every day aspects of my life, parenting, community and travels. I recently was reminded of the obvious… that the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give that gift. Each of the In Your Own Skin portraits gives a gift and reveals a part of each of us. Now that is worth getting up for in the morning! I am so very grateful.

To learn more about the In Your Own Skin ProjectYou can visit the following web sites:

Kick Starter Fund Raising site -

Facebook Page -