There is a tight fist forming in my chest. I wish to retreat to my shell. Curl up and disappear. Thoughts pound their way through my head. I wish to rip them out, but all I can get within my clutch is my hair. Something impermanent that can be shed. I wish memories were the same. But we must deal. We must.. heal. I don’t know where to start. I don’t want self pity. All you have to do is start..right? Fuck. I have to try. Because, I’ve tasted the sweetness of life. Felt prana fill up my lungs and a breath slip from my lips along with all my worries. Trust. That is all I need to do. I will always return to who I truly am. There is no finding myself. I already am. Deep within me there is a knowing.
enslaved in an illusion
created from mental adhesion
to things you truly don’t believe in
freedom is a mindset – g.c.
i surrender to the day.
i wake up to white walls,
and decide how i will color my mood.
i am fatigued.
i know i don’t have to be.
i can get up, energize myself,
but everyday i consider doing nothing.
i could just lay for hours never truly waking,
but there is a hunger inside of me,
that once I make it passed tired thoughts I am bound to experience something.
that will assure me that it is worth the push to be awake.
the experiences start with something as simple as the sun illuminating my room.
although the shades are down, reflections dance around.
i can not see the sky beyond the windows,
but i feel the movement of the clouds.
the warm sunlight fades to a cool payne’s grey,
then quickly shifts back to the warm hues ablaze,
i feel like i am floating.
i am reminded of change.
i am reminded of freedom.
it is worth it to be awake.
i am then reminded of love, as i look into the deep wide eyes of my dogs.
i am flashed a dopey smile and greeted with kisses,
i see my soul reflected back to me.
i am connected to everything.
it is worth it to be awake.
it is the joy and laughter that fill the kitchen as my brother hops around goofily dancing,
and completely in love with himself.
i laugh with him.
i feel my heart dance to the sound of our chuckles.
i am glad i am awake for this.
it is the peace i feel as i finally step out into the warm sunlight and just breathe.
as long as i am breathing,
i am awake.
as long as i am awake and there is life inside this body, and I can absorb the sensations around me, then there is worth.
there is purpose.
i can not close my eyes.
too often i find myself in places where i am not truly wanted
i remain silent
keeping truth bottled up
but space to hide is limited
ideas far too wide to keep inside
so i seek solitude
locking myself away
i am ironically free
there was once a time where i did not know
so i would listen
i too sat and nodded
now i get up and leave
ignorance and small talk are no longer for me
conditioned conversation – g.c.
nothing to separate the night from the day
i never tire
excited for life
time isn’t there
i don’t age
i am a soul thriving
my perception draws what surrounds me
it draws stars and universes in passing eyes
from my soul
i will not allow my intuition, my voice, my answers to be shut down
so ideals and lies can speak
my perspective will remain positive
as my life grows and I change
the truth isn’t harsh, if you have the right mindset – g.c.
zero judgment as bodies bump.
is it my heart or the bass, that is giving off that reverb?
lights echo against the walls.
it’s a mystery as to how i got to this moment,
but all i feel is right now.
the past and the future are nowhere to be found.
words spit into a microphone
pour out thumping speakers.
a medicine man,
his words curing us of our desire to be understood and related.
an entity of knowledge and wisdom before our eyes,
as the future is prophesized.
a future of peace amongst these dancing souls that will rest after tonight,
but never die.
a prophet without honor in his own home,
at his shows,
the stage is a throne.
Rap God – g.c.
my mom left
for a while.
she needed to know who she was.
even i was uncertain of who she was.
this woman i watched all my life,
she could do no wrong,
but as i grew older,
i began to see every flaw.
even those at times,
seem to be perfect.
i love her,
but sometimes i worry that she does not know.
we needed some distance.
and although i will always want my mother,
and though she did help me grow,
i do not need my mother.
i did not know before she left what i could do on my own.
i did not know that seeking happiness for others is more fulfilling than seeking it all for yourself.
she put me first,
and i put myself first,
not in a self loving way,
but an egocentric unfulfilling way.
after my mother left,
i learned about my family,
started to really see them.
i was no longer the shy girl that hid behind my mother’s leg.
i could finally see what her protective defense was hiding me from.
i fell in love with disaster,
because i knew there was something better to come.
something better would come,
and it would come from me.
i finally saw the gifts i bare.
i was taught the lesson that pain was always trying to give.
she was away but never too far.
i still could have run to her.
let her comfort and protect me from disaster,
but now i know how to deal with pain.
my mom can not make everything go away.
i love her for her comfort,
but sometimes outside of comfort there is havoc,
and just beyond havoc,
i found the greatest place,
that is freedom and peace.
comfort gave me no clarity,
although i am sure that’s what she had always hoped for.
she always tried and did help heal me,
only i can fix myself.
i am glad i learned this.
i am grateful for all the times my mother would stay and just lie with me,
for all the times i knew safety,
but i am also grateful that she left,
so i could fall without being caught in her net.
i have finally realized that there is no end,
that i will always fall
on my own,
i’ll have more room to learn to fly.
thank you, mom.
– g. c.
minds held captive to fear,
locks latched onto creativity,
held from a higher intelligence,
capitive to the illusion that they are free,
unable to fight for what they have never known,
what lays beyond walls built up,
they do not know,
ironically lost in their own prison,
they do not realize,
the skills required to build a wall are far more advanced than the tearing one down,
maybe illusion would stop fading reality,
if they were rid of the walls,
maybe they would not be lost,
if the walls were not blocking their vision,
if they could finally see the light,
blocked by the darkness of their lonely cells,
maybe they would finally be found,
and know freedom is found
see – g.c.
The worst period of my life began right around the time I was getting ready to go into high school, so when I was in 8th grade. And, it continued up until the end of my sophomore year.
When you get into 8th grade, this is the time you start to worry about your future. This is the part of life where shit gets real. Let’s say I did not handle that too well. I began to overthink and form negative thinking patterns (I got anxiety, and I got it bad). My mom always called me a worry wart, but I think the amount of anxiety I was getting in 8th grade even made her worry. I began to think that I had reached my peak and that it was all downhill from there. Well, my life did start to go downhill, hence the picture of the rollercoaster. Yeah, I was at that point in my life at the age of fourteen. Good news is, and I didn’t realize this at the time, that after you reach the bottom you go back up to the top, and then you might come down again, but that is just the way life goes, for a while. Eventually though, you will be able to get off the rollercoaster and become grounded. The ride ends, once you realize you are in control. Well, you will still have those highs and lows. They give life balance. Maybe not everything in your life will be in your control, but at least you’ll have control of your mind and be rid of the constant cycle of self sabotaging thoughts and depression.
There is nothing wrong with the choices my parents made, but looking at their lives scared the shit out of me. There was no way I would ever be satisfied continuing on the stressful path of going to school, getting a degree, choosing a career, sticking with it, finding a husband, and raising children to live the same kind of life. I wasn’t certain of what I wanted and felt I lacked purpose. I did not just want to fit in. A part of me knew life had more meaning. Life could be more than this. It should be more. This cycle of living simply and secure had to end. Good thing I had an older brother who deviated from literally everything that was considered normal.When I was only fourteen, his refusal to conform was truly shocking to me. I looked down on him for it, honestly. But, he was two years older. I didn’t understand, yet.
I was trying to figure out who I was, which is hard, when everything you do is to fit in and gain popularity. I had no idea of what I wanted to become. I feared what would happen if I didn’t get into a good college.I feared mediocrity. I hated the idea of going to college to be more stressed and getting a 9 to 5 job to be even more stressed.
At this time, I also had family issues that I avoided. One of the most important bonds I have now is with my brother, but at this time he was my enemy. There was a lot of chaos and basically, I couldn’t handle it. So I drowned it all out and “went to sleep” or “shut off”, whatever you want to call it. I was depressed. “Sick” was the term I liked to use. I never felt good enough to go to school. Either my head or my stomach was always bothering me. My family liked to say that I was sick as well, but I don’t think any of them truly believed it. But, it’s better than admitting someone is lost and empty, and you don’t know how to fix them. The only person that could fix me was me, and I did, kind of. There will always be room for improvement, but I love the idea that I am constantly growing, changing, learning. There is always some way I can live my life better today, than the way I lived it yesterday.
I still have my days. I occasionally fall into negative thinking patterns, but instead of resisting this aspect of myself, I accept it. I am human. I feel. One thing I learned coming out from that period of my life was that it is important to let yourself feel. Feelings are there for a reason. They tell you about who you are, what you need, and what you desire. They give life purpose. Our emotions are an important source of inspiration. They connect us to our creativity and connect us to one another. We should be encouraged to express our emotions freely, not suppress them to the point where we don’t feel, we don’t desire, and there is no emotion to ignite a passion for life.
There is a sufficient amount of resources, given to us by the earth, to feed this whole planet. Do you ever wonder why, when you see commercials of emaciated dirty children with sullen faces, their eyes begging for compassion, how the fuck did this happen? Why is any child’s stomach empty? Those kind originizations that are asking you to donate, where did they get the money to have a commercial? These commercials make your heart drop to your stomach. They hurt, but only for moments after watching them, because soon you’ll be back to your regular program, tuned into the T.V., tuned out from the world.
Most people think they can only do so much, and truthfully we know donating a dollar to some organization is not going to make a big impact. Money can not fix our problems. Money is limited. Our problems seem to be limitless.”There simply is no way to ease poverty with charity. For one, charitable contributions in 2011 were only about $300 billion, far below the $707 billion that the government spends on income security and healthcare for the poor. Given the relative weakness of the U.S. safety net already, one funded entirely on charity would be abysmal. And $300 billion is all charitable donations; many donations aren’t aimed at helping the poor, but instead religious or cultural endeavors“(Bargain for billionaires: Why philanthropy is more about P.R. than progress).
This race has gone into outer space. We have brought nuclear bombs into existence, that could destroy the very earth we inhabit, yet we can’t defeat world hunger, which we too, brought into existence. This problem did not appear one day. This problem is due to separation, discrimination, selfishness, and ignorance. This problem is due to currency and desire for control, power, dominance, and wealth. We can all be wealthy and all live abundantly. It is not some fantasy. This can resist in reality. I truly believe that.
So, what caused this problem to come into existence. Where did it come from? Here is what I know. Remember, I am a teenager not an expert. None of this research and data is my own. You can do your own research, if for some reason you have your doubts.
I’ll just skip straight to the solution, before explaining the causes of this problem, and why this is the solution. This sentence may sound bold, but the solution to world hunger is to give land back to and protect small farmers. The other part of the solution: cutting industrial meat and dairy/way less meat and dairy consumption. Oh boy, here goes this vegan. (Don’t worry. I am not about to go off on a tangent and shame you for how you eat.)
Most of the world’s farms are owned by small farmers. They are the major food producers. So, why do they need more of it, and why do they need protection? Although the majority of farms are small, they are regulated to little of the earth’s farmland, while the few big industrial farms get to take the rest. This is due to the issue of corporate land grabbing. It also doesn’t help that the IMF bombs small farms in rural areas, where people are already poor and have little food. Yet, they say the IMF is supposed to help poor countries stabilize their economies. Destroying their food and means of money does not sound very efficient. Let us go back to corporate land grabbing. Small farmers are being forced from their land. Refusal to leave is met with being jailed or killed. Corporate powers are pushing farmers from their land into cities and camps, all to expand upon their wealth and power. It is important for the cause of world hunger, that corporate land grabbing is prevented, and it is important for small farmers to expand upon their land and be more included in the market. Small farms are more efficient and sustainable:”The report stresses the two main ways to link small-scale farmers to the market are to provide better access to credit and insurance, and to strengthen the links between farmers and buyers. The report discusses the fact that, in many countries, transportation is too costly, infrastructure is inadequate, and the cost of storage is too high. Small-scale farmers are unlikely to risk producing a surplus of products if they think that their products would go to waste”(Ulrich). This alone will not help world hunger. In conjunction, it is also important that we take a second look at how we use that farmland. Many times, farmland is not used efficiently and it is not utilized to its maximum potential, because it is quickly destroyed by animal agriculture.
What we chose to eat determines the use of resources, the pricing of food, and the making of policies on a global sale. The demand for meat and dairy in developed countries leads to resource exhaustion in underdeveloped countries, increasing the rates of poverty and hunger. There is enough grain grown to feed two times as many people on earth. No one should go hungry, but half of this grain is fed to animals in the meat and dairy industry, so they do. Poor families labor away harvesting grain that they themselves will eat none of. Animal agriculture is destroying good soil and destroying our environment. A great example of the effects of animal agriculture on world hunger is Ethiopia: “More than 40 percent of Ethiopians are considered hungry or starving, and fresh water there is scarce. Yet they have 50 million cattle (one of the largest herds in the world), as well as 50 million sheep and goats and 35 million chickens, needlessly consuming their food, land, and water”(Oppenlander).
As the population grows, world hunger becomes more and more of a concern, but really it should be our biggest concern, even if it were only one family on this planet that did not have enough to eat. It is only when we see the actual footage of emaciated children, that we feel our true nature of compassion and our desire to love and nurture one another. There is no hate, when you actually see the results of something as chilling as malnutrition and hunger. It is of the utmost importance that we apply this empathy to all situations and encounters, even when someone is treating you unkindly, show them compassion. Many unkind actions stem from a lack of love or some discomfort that that person is experiencing in their life. You do not have to necessarily feel sorry for them, but you do not have to add to the situation or receive their discontentment they are putting out. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours”(Wayne Dyer). It is especially important in these moments to remember that we all have said unkind things due to our own frustration within our personal lives. It is difficult, but not impossible, to feel and show love, when you are frustrated and it seems you, yourself, are not receiving love.
For a problem this big and this globally spread, knowing the causes and educating others of the causes, you can take action in your daily life. Working in an effort together is our best chance. Unity, not more destruction, arguments, power moves, or displays of dominance, will solve these kinds of problems. What we really need is a global shift in perception. Too many look at the world in parts. Too many see separation and difference. It may be silly to say, but we are all different, yet the same at the very core. Relinquish the patterns of your minds thoughts and the beliefs you fell into as you grew up, then you will see that diversity is such a beautiful thing. We all desire love, passion, purpose, and a sense of peace and knowing. You can find peace in knowing, that you aren’t alone when life leaves you confused, lost, and everything seems a little chaotic. We all feel pain. It is so easy for us to manipulate and appear one way to others on the surface and it is so easy to be manipulated by others and never search for something deeper. Dig deep and find your empathy. Really be grateful everyday, because whatever challenge you are facing right now will come to an end. Your compassion and love does not have to end, however.