How to describe the Bali Spirit Festival to someone who has not yet had the supreme fortune to attend this festival themselves....... YET.
I say yet because if this post inspires you even a little you WILL be there in person some time in the future.
Our beautiful product partner we'ar yoga clothing make organic, ethically and environmentally friendly stylish yoga clothing in Bali initially inspired me to attend this festival. They took some great footage at the festival and with The Yoga Barns founder Charlie Patton. You can see this footage on last years blog post about the Bali spirit festival with film maker Jason Moon.
Upon arriving in Ubud I had to visit we'ar signature store on Hanoman street, Ubud. Their unique signage and stylish decor cannot be missed, their location opposite and slightly north of the well known clean eating cafe KAFE, also known as the food subsidiary of The Yoga Barn.
The festival itself was a 5km scooter ride out of town at an amazing grassed location Purnati Centre of the Arts, Batuan.
This venue had 7 independent areas for a very broad schedule of classes to take place and a large swimming pool also blessed the location.
This year the festival dates were March 20th til March 24. The extensive timetable began at 8am and closed at 5pm each day with a HUGE array of spirit classes ranging from yoga, Qi Gong, sound healing, Capoeira, self development master classes, singing, african drumming, conscious being and many others. The teachers are experts in their fields from around the world.
The night celebrations began again in Ubud at ARMA(Agung Rai Museum of Art) a beautiful location in the city of Ubud, so could be easily reached on foot from most hotels. World re known artists and bands united to deliver blessings through some kirtan and music for the ears. Some of these included Kevin James, OKA, Medicine for the People and new comer Dustin Thomas, a brilliant up and coming talent from Hawaii who blessed us with his easy to learn lyrics and unique uplifting voice.
I could write an extremely long post about all of the parts of The Bali Spirit Festival that touched my heart and uplifted my spirit.
Here are some of the highlights of my experience there this year:
The people of Bali being so peaceful and gracious
The approachability of all mentors and teachers
Amazing CLEAN food
The healing huts- chiropractors to clairvoyants to help with any necessary healing.
Seeing we'ar yoga clothing being worn and loved all over Ubud and as a key outfit at the Bali Spirit Festival
Classes I was fortunate to attend which have made a lasting impression on my spirit are:
Do you know part of the Amazon in Ecuador has more wildlife than the whole of North America?
Once Texaco and other oil companies polluted Ecuadorian waters and irreversibly devastated precious ecosystems,
After that Rafael Correa Delgado, The President of Ecuador led his country to be the world’s first nation to recognize the rights of “Mother Earth” in its constitution. He also announced that, "Ecuador was not for sale!”
He once had promoted initiatives for saving the oil underneath the forest; he has now CHANGED HIS PLANS…(aagh!!)
According to Correa’s new plan, government officials begin a world tour to offer foreign investors the right to drill across 4 MILLION HECTARES of rainforest.
Which is Larger than The Netherlands!
An Indigenous tribe is standing against these BIG GUNS all ALONE- they are thrilled to receive our support.
If you believe in POWER OF THE PEOPLE then let’s congregate together! The Amazing community at AVAAZ.org have a simple petition we all can join to support this movement.
While I am writing this post, the number of people who have signed this petition to date is 820,964 (as of Jan 29, 2013) The aim is 1 million!
Only 1790,036 more names of support to stand up and say ‘Wait a minute, you’re supposed to be the green president who says no one can buy Ecuador’
It will all happen in just a week’s time
Let’s get back the presidents support and SAVE the Jaguar
AND “SIGN THIS PETITION”
If we ALL stand together and yell
“Wait a minute, you are supposed to be with us together as Green President, who says no one can buy Ecuador', we could expose him for turning his back on his commitments just as he is fighting for re-election.
Let’s spread the word to EVERYONE we know and CHALLENGE this president to keep to his word and avoid his own PR nightmare.
The Amazon is the world’s ancestral property if we can help out its primary caretakers it will continue to be preserved for future generations and the Jaguar will continue to live in it's natural habitat.
STEP 2: On the right side there is a sign the petition tab; simply enter your email address
STEP 3: Hit SEND
(if it is your first time to support an AVAAZ petition - this group of democratic action takers is a global community petitioning global governments for GOOD- An amazing community well worth being a part of!)
That’s IT, you’re done. It takes just a few seconds to save a community and Mother Nature.
When 1 million peoplesign this, a media storm to force Mr. Correa to pull back is put into ACTION!
Here’s for Global Solidarity and GOOD. Here's to the mighty Jaguar!
Thank you for your support
Hari Hara Sudhan - authored this blog he is Studying Information Systems at Melbourne University and has recently joined the GoodieDo team as a social media intern. Look out for future posts from Hari
This blog post is about GOOD people doing GODD things
An Auction for a date with a SINGLE GOOD LOOKING SURFER. How much would you offer? $1000...more???
With the highest bidder enjoying a paid dinner, a tandem bicycle ride, a free haircut and predinner drinks on date night. The deal gets sweeter....
The money raised goes to SurfAid, a not for profit humanitarian organization with the aim to improve the health, well being and self reliance of people living the Mentawai and Nias islands of Indonesia and Sumatra.
Saltmotion in Manly organized this FUN fundraising night with 6 of Sydney's hottest surfers donating themselves for the Auction.
A whole lot of fun for a serious cause. A whopping $6405aud was raised in one night!!!!
That is more than $1000 per auction 'item' on average!!
In terms of saving lives this amount will be spent on '492 mosquito nets which will provide protective 'insecticide halo's' around villages which will assist to disrupt the parasite cycle of infection and reinfection' says saltmotion. See fun pics of the night here.
I hear you asking to tell you more about SurfAid.
In 1999 Physician and surfer Dr Dave Jenkins went to the Mentawai Islands to find the perfect wave. The surf proved to be everything he hoped for BUT he was astonished by the needless suffering and preventable deaths in this region. He had to do something! Hence his involvement in establishing SurfAid in 2000.
Did you know?
Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of 17 000 islands
The Indonesian population is the 4th largest in the world with a total of 240 million inhabitants
With approx 19 million people trying to survive on less than $1US a day and 120 million people surviving on less than $2US a day
The poorest areas of Indonesia are the remote islands where people cannot access basic public services (education, healthcare, work )
In the Mentawai Islands this results in unecessary deaths. Especially among pregnant women and children under 5. With unacceptably high levels of malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory infections and inadequate maternal health care.
Rather than just giving the hardware to provide a short term solution SurfAid tackle these problems from a community development philosophy. Providing education and ensuring communities and local governments commit to improving their situations together in a hands on approach. They believe 'Huge possibility lies within each and every one of us, no matter how isolated our community might be, or how little formal education we might have received'.
SurfAid cover a range of Programs including: (They have some great videos of their work for each program)
Community based Health
Water + Sanitation
Here is a great example of two complementary organizations coming together to DO GOOD! Surf Aid and Saltmotion for the benefit of many.
What are you passionate enough about to fundraise for?
Do yourself a favor and LIKE Saltmotion and SurfAid's facebook pages to hear more FUN and inspirational surf stories helping communities at home and abroad.
This blogpost is about GOOD people doing GOOD things
You can help disadvantaged women who have been trapped in a cycle of poverty to financially provide for their families and pave the way to a BRIGHTER future by purchasing these gorgeous handmade gift cards by Bebas cards.
It takes guts to move to another country, see an opportunity for others to live a better life. Commit to and carry out a project that empowers others.
Bianca Zietsch at Bebas cards has done just that!
Moved to Bali, fallen in LOVE with the people, seen their every day financial struggles, witnessed the unfair labor of women sewing beads on garments tirelessly all day to be paid $1 for their labour, while the garment is sold overseas for over $100 and decided to DEDICATE her efforts to helping women like Ibu Komang.
Ibu, her husband and daughter Dia lived in a koskosan( a small building housing many poor families). She has recently had to return to her village to help her sick and blind elderly parents. There is little work in the village and her husband makes a measley $70 a month. Ibu is very grateful to make some extra much needed funds through the Bebas card project to help look after her parents and start a small business raising ducks on her village.
Stella Adler once said 'Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one'
'An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one' - Charles Horton Cooley
Bebas cards are helping hundreds of people affected by poverty find meaningful well paid work which helps entire communities.
Help yourself by purchasing a pack of 5 cards for $22aud or one for only $4.50aud
Know that this card is made from recycled cardstock and has made a massive difference in the artists life.
I bought a stack of Bebas cards for myself. When you touch and feel them you get a tingle inside. So sending them with a special message to someone you love that feeling of giving is multiplied a million times!!!
These beauties hit ALL of our DO GOOD CRITERIA
GOOD for Women
GOOD for the Earth
GOOD for Communities
GOOD for Cultural preservation
GOOD for Giving
Buy a pack of 5 today for $22aud or $176hkd to give you peace of mind knowing you have gorgeous gift cards handy.
Hong Kong 2003 519 people were living on the streets with up to 100 000 in caged homeless shelters
America estimates 3.5 million people as homeless annually
The United Nations conservatively estimated 100 million to be homeless around the world in 2005
WHY is Qu Being Public for 20 days and nights?
'All for the GOOD of the world' Qu says
How can one man sleeping in public placeshelp the world you might ask?
Qu aims to get a first hand experience of living in Sydney's public areas around the clock to understand which areas are beneficial and actually 'work' for the public. With his portable video camera tucked into his pillowcase Qu is putting together valuable footage to create a mini series of one man taking on public spaces for 20 days and nights for the good of the world.
To create massive social movement it takes effort!!!
Speaking with the right people and documenting his experience of Being Public for 20 days and nights is just Stage 1 of this project.
So what is Stage going to be ALL about? you might ask.
A little suspense veils the full details of Stage 2 of Being Public however it has been reported that there will be some Public Structures being built which will aim to increase public safety and "life" on the streets.
Qu kindly shared this video of Urban deign guru Jane Jacobs about creating healthy urban environments.
I love this stuff!!!
A skate Park would be awesome in my local park, to take the kids on skate boards off the roads and give them a safe local place to hang out, play and learn from each other.
What would you improve in your local neighborhood?
What could be built in your local neighborhood to make it more 'LIVABLE'?
How YOU can help:
1. Like Being Public on facebook to stay informed about the release of the Being Public mini series.
2. Tell Being Public the best public structure that would benefit your neighborhood
3. Tell us what your hardest part of living in Public Places for 20 days and nights would be?
4. Share this blog post and story about this inspirational young guy Qu Faraday and his efforts to make a change in his world for the better of many!!! GO QU!!!
This Blog post is about GOOD people Doing GOOD things
To shop for GOOD click HERE for Australia and HERE for Hong Kong
Do you want to reconnect with your love for yourself and your life?
Do you need to feel that everything will be ok and have more compassion for yourself and where you are right now?
Are you lacking the courage to take that giant leap to bring yourself closer to your fullest potential?
Are you unable to tap into your intuition and the knowledge in uncertain times?
I find myself answering, "Yes!" to just about all of these questions. Right now my family and I are going through a huge transition in our lives, as we are in the process of moving from our long-time home (of over 9 years) in Hong Kong to finding a new city to call home in the United States and we are constantly having to address feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, lack of clarity and the inability to appreciate and love the present moment.
Perhaps because of this, I am super excited to announce the launch of AWARE888 scarves on GoodieDo! These scarves are not only simple, yet beautifully refined accessories, they are tools for healing as well. How can a scarf heal??...I think I heard you say? Here's how:
Each scarf is designed to promote one of five specific feelings of well being to address the lack of various fulfillment in our lives, using four complimentary techniques:
1. Mantras - each design has a simple mantra embroidered on it including Clarity, Amor (Love), Vita (Life), Grace, and Courage. The power of carrying a positive message with you throughout the day can replace the negative thoughts and emotions and invite positive change into your life.
2. Color Therapy - each design has a carefully chosen color to reflect the positive emotions associated with its mantra. For instance the green color of the Grace scarf encourages healing and compassion from the natural world and the Pink Passion color of the Amor scarf is said to create a positive shift in your heart center.
3. Healing Power of Crystals - each design also has a small crystal sewn into the mantra embroidery. The crystal has also been chosen for its transformative powers associated with the corresponding mantra. For example the Silver Vita scarf is embellished with a Hematite crystal, which is known for its powers of transformation and is a symbol of life energy.
4. Reiki - each scarf has been blessed by a Reiki Master with positive healing energy. Reiki is a spiritual practice in which practitioners channel energy in the universe to others to help in self-healing and regaining equilibrium.
Chose one of the five different Aware888 scarf designs that speaks to you most...
What's more, these scarves are not only beneficial for you to wear, but they are also empowering women artisans in Northern Thailand to create a better lives fo
So in true GoodieDo spirit, we are GIVING AWAY one scarf this week to one of our lucky fans. Here is all you have to do for a chance to win -r themselves and their family. Made in the spirit of honoring all living beings and with Fair Trade practices, you can feel amazing when you wear this scarf knowing that not only are you channeling positive energy and transformation for yourself but also for vulnerable women and their families.
1. Visit our Facebook page and Like Us! If you enjoy hearing good news about people helping to make the world a better place and the ocasional giveaway of a great empowering ethically made product, then you have no reason not to join our little community of people who want to make a difference.
2. Post a comment below telling us what scarf you would like to receive and why. Do you need Courage because you want to start a new job or project? Do you want Amor because you feel like you could use more inspiration to love your life as it is?
3. Share with the people you love who could also use a chance to win a little positive transformation. It might reduce your chances to win, but you are spreading the love so more love and light will come your way. :)
So good luck, or shall I wish you good Clarity, good Vita, good Grace, good Courage and good Amor.
P.S. This contest is open to anyone on the planet... although our shop only delivers to people in Hong Kong and Australia right now, our contests are free to everyone!
P.P.S. You can enter anytime from now until next Monday, April 9th at 12pm Sydney time!
Some days we just need a little reminder of the things we can do to help make the world a better place. I find that music and song has the most power to lift me up, turn me around and set me back in the direction of positive change. When I posted the Black Eyed Peas video for "One Tribe" on our Facebook page the other day and shared it through my personal network, I got a lot of positive feedback, so I thought I'd spend a little time thinking about my top five songs for inspiration and share it with you.
Here we go:
1. "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson. Its the King of Pop... what more do I need to say? During my time working in Rwanda, this song took on new meaning. When we were having a rough day and were complaining too much, we'd blast this song, sing and dance along. When it was over we had a renewed sense of purpose. "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and MAKE THE CHANGE!"
2. "Own Two Hands" by Ben Harper. For me this song also has a certain poignancy and personal meaning. Harper sings - "I can change the world with my own two hands. Make it a better place with my own two hands." It is a reminder that everyone, no matter of their place on this earth can make it better... just by making peace in their relationships, being gentle on the earth, etc.
3. "One Tribe" by Black Eyed Peas. What Black Eyed Peas song doesn't get you tapping your feet or out of your seat and groovin'? Give one of their beats some awesome inspirational lyrics and its gotta be one of the best tunes for change out there!
4. "Imagine" by John Lennon. This one has inspired millions of people over generations. Whenever I listen to it, I just want to close my eyes and sing. Its the song I want for my daughter's lullaby and future..."you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
5. "World on Fire" by Sarah McLaughlan. This one is a bit depressing and sad, but the video is done in such a way that makes you think, "what is happening to this world and how can I make a difference?!" Through great infographics, the video explains how the cost of production of a normal music video could have life changing impacts on people around the world if spent on water, education, food and health care. If you haven't seen it, it is a must.
So these are my top five songs and videos for inspiration. Hope you enjoyed them and are feeling energized and impassioned to go out there and make a difference in your community or the world around you!
Cast your vote with a click of the mouse from the comfort of your home, train, bus where ever you might be reading this to help to fight CORRUPTION in the elephant trade in Thailand.
Ever dreamt of visiting a real Elephant Nature Park where the elephants are loved and taken care of?
Imagine your kids childhood memories of being up close and personal with a REAL ELEPHANT with a name and a life story like Jungle Boy. A HAPPY elephant in it's natural environment free from exploitation.
Imagine working as a volunteer vet or elephant carer and getting to know the personalities of a herd of elephants.
A few elephant Facts:
The largest of all land mammals
Can live up to 70 years
Live in tight social units led by an older matriarch
Have the largest brains in the animal kingdom
A baby elephant in Thailand is sold for $32 000 to the tourist trade where they are 'trained' to perform tricks and take tourists for rides.
Many locals believe that the only way to CONTROL and manage an elephant is to put it into a 'crush' when it is young and BREAK ITS 'SPIRIT'. This ritual is heart breaking to watch.
Passionate people accomplish incredible, awe inspiring feats. Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert founder of the Elephant Nature Park, in Northern Thailand has a life quest to provide a sanctuary for elephants to live in a peaceful, natural environment. She is guided by LOVE.
Since beginning in 1996 Lek has done just that! SAVED injured, lame, blind, abused elephants from the tourist and logging trades and provided a safe sanctuary for them to heal their wounds and call home. And has won a myriad of international awards for her care for elephants. Read the story of How Lek became an elephant's mother.
Here people can come and have a HANDS ON elephant conservation trip where they directly contribute to the survival of these highly endangered creatures.
Lek's dream is in jeopardy!
DNP officials(Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation) are threatening to take up to 8 of her 35 elephants and return them to work if she cannot show their original registration papers. Lek has saved many of her elephants from torturous previous lives and only has copies of some registration papers. She fears that if these blind, previously abused elephants are taken from the Elephant Nature Park they will DIE!
Lek says 'We will do whatever possible to protect our elephants. Today I prepare to go to jail but the fight for my animals and justice will never stop'
Can you believe January is already more than half way through?
STOP and be PRESENT or your entire life will be a series of events that you can recall....sometimes called a BLURRRR; rather than cellular experiences that reinstate the amazing feeling of the moment.
Ok so anyone remember the devastating earthquake of 7.1 magnitude in Yushu in Qinghai provence in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of China on April 14th, 2010?
It is easier to forget when we are not immediately impacted by it.
Unfortunately it doesn't JUST STOP BEING NEWS for the people affected by it.
Saint like organization UNICEF has not forgotten they continue to support and fundraise for the children of Yushu. The reports were 2700 people died in the earthquake but locals estimate the number closer to 20,000 of a total population of 275, 000 people.
Local authorities estimate that 80% of primary schools and 50% of secondary schools were severely damaged.
OR you can DONATE toward this great cause if you are sadly over 12 years old.
If you have kids and live in Hong Kong you know the best education is by doing and participating while having FUN!!!!
Make sure you enrol and make it to this event!
Another way you can donate is through Change for Good- the foreign coins you no longer need placed into a little envelope when flying somewhere; actually ADD up.
Cathay Pacific dedicated a month of collections to the UNICEF emergency relief work in Yushu in Qinghai. The Swire Group Charitable Trust matched the collection to a total of $5 million hkd. This helped to address some of the needs of 10 000 children in Yushu. Every COIN helps!
First of all I just have to share this uplifting video which portrays our similarities so well.
In this Stop the Pity and Unlock the potential campaign, non profit organization Mama Hope manages to tap into the energy that the African and American communities exude.
They highlight the absolute opposite of helplessness and hopelessness which traditional Aid organizations promote and focus on capable individuals full of potential.
This is positive Aid work!
Mama Hope began in 2006. When founder Nyla Rogers lost her mother, suddenly to cancer.
Lost and 'struggling to know with what to do with that left over love' Nyla travelled to Kenya to meet with a child her mother had sponsored.
Nyla had an amazing welcoming party sing her Amazing Grace as she stepped out of the car. She learnt that her mother had also sponsored a women's project which had helped hundreds of people. And they were awaiting Nyla's arrival.
Nyla says 'grief is just love' and "It became clear to me that I wanted to give that left over love to these people"
And thus the non profit Mama Hope sprouted. See their story below.
Since launching in 2006 they have already:
Unlocked the potential of 76,000 people in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
Funded the completion of schools, health clinics, children's centres, clean water systems and food security projects.
Created close working partnerships with local African organizations to ensure project sustainability.
This is an inspiring movement which shares the true joy and potential of under privileged communities.
Empowering people with skills and resources to help themselves rather than relying on Aid handouts.
You can help to stop the Pity and Unlock the Potential by: