The following trailer for V for Vendetta, the movie, isn't the official one, but a newly inspired version. I wanted to talk about this movie as it applies to not only the world today but in a new way as you watch it hopefully again.
It's not about the action or the politics or the frighteningly accurate portrayal of events taking place in our world today that is the focus of this review.
Rather, it is the journey - after all that is the point to our lives, yes?
Evie's journey in particular. She begins living a very small and confined life until one day she steps out beyond the boundaries of what is considered safe in her world.
Yes, there are many prices she then has to pay. None of which she could have predicted. None of which she most likely would have signed up for had she known they were coming.
But in the end, would she ever go back to life before as she knew it?
Would you had you taken her journey?
Most of us will not have such a dramatic series of events to shake us loose from our fears and the limits those fears place on our lives, our freedom.
But we all have the opportunity to break free from our fears and live a life that is with out limits.
It isn't easy. It is worth it.
As you watch this movie I invite you to consider these questions:
Comfort and safety are not the true purpose of our life. But leaving them behind is never easy and sometimes life does the choosing for us. It is up to you to decide what will come of those moments.
Evie did. Will you?
A black mustang named "Crow" is enough information for me, but I'd like to share more with you.
We are all on a journey, some on a horse, some pulling a trailer, and some in the secret places in our mind.
Today I had the honor and privilege to meet a fellow traveler on his journey, some of which you can see in the video below.
Matt Littrell is making his way across the country on the back of a horse from the east coast to the west. Why? There are many answers, but only those who have walked their own path will truly understand.
I asked the usual questions and can appreciate having to tell your same story over and over. But this is one of the few times when talking with someone I knew he knew I knew what he was doing -- because it is the same thing I've been doing.
I keep saying over and over, it's not what we do, but who we are. But you can't get that when you never leave home... true warriors understand that courage is more than what we fight, it is also how we live.
Life is meant to change you.
The question is, will you let it change you for the better?
Matt has his own story, his own struggles, and what I hope will be for him, his own solutions.
But he knows the secret I've been hoping you too will learn. The answers aren't in changing what we do, but who we are. The solutions aren't in the system, but in each other.
Matt shared that when his mom asked him why he was doing this the only answer that came after his own darkest night of the soul was this: Peace.
Sitting with him today I could feel that while the physical journey has many miles to go, the real journey he is on has been traveled well.
I hope you will share Matt's journey with those you know. There is nothing more powerful than our story and it is in deepest appreciation and gratitude I say to you Matt, thank you for sharing yours with me.
You can follow Matt's journey on Facebook: The Long Trail Home
This is really the place most of us want to be, at the end of the rainbow where we either find our pot of gold or that place we call home.
But on a real journey, this is what life looks like some of the time. Very little color and a feeling of impending or overwhelming darkness.
Sometimes life feels heavy no matter who we are.
In this midst of great crisis the demands of the moment will most often keep you going. There's just no time to think about loss, grief, sadness, or fear. You just keep going.
But eventually there comes a time in every form of every journey where things slow down and it is then that a depression can hit.
In today's world we take an anti-depressant, drink, smoke, distract, or do a number of other things to not feel the sadness. In the world where these options don't exist, what will we all do?
Or, what can we do in today's world that doesn't involve some sort of destructive path?
Most of us think of a warrior as one who will fight against the evil or darkness - but here is the great irony in depression. The more you fight or resist it, the greater its grip will be on your body and mind.
True warriors learn that the internal mastery of mind and self is the ultimate journey they will take.
It is also the hardest.
And the least glamourous.
And the most unrecognized.
But it is also the most rewarding for with it comes a true understanding of power and that was the whole reason the warrior began their journey, was it not?
Many may or may not think of themselves as warriors, not care about depression, and be unconcerned about survival.
But all three are aspects of each of our lives at some point. Our power comes in what we choose to do at that time by who we will choose to be.
I write this today because I am reminded of just such a moment. Things we can't control. Choices we don't want to make. Options we don't have to choose from.
There are highs and lows on every journey - the highs make great stories and entertain others. The lows are often kept silent and secret. But, they are there.
They do not however have to stay. What can you do? Here are a few ideas on how to be prepared to manage the lows and become the warrior you have within you!
Every movement has a moment in which it is born. Often, that moment goes unnoticed as it is happening but it is not an accident that it happened.
In America today rioting in Ferguson, MO is slowly fading from the news but it is a stark reminder that the line between standing for personal liberties and rights and the role of law enforcement and government is still far from what our founding fathers intended.
When I decided to watch "A Good Day to Die" it wasn't with the intention of thinking about protests and movements. Nor was Dennis Banks, one of the founders of the American Indian Movement (AIM), thinking about those things either as he fulfilled his role in the military as an aviation photographer. In fact, he was thinking he had found a home in the military - something elusive he'd lost long ago.
But for him and for what would eventually be thousands of others, his moment came when he was a witness to the Japanese standing in defiance of their government and the American Military trying to take their land. Land that fed, housed, and provided for them.
The Japanese prevailed, and in time Dennis Banks and AIM would make their stand.
Did they succeed of fail? I think that is always perspective. I did not know much about the stand at Wounded Knee - in 1890 or in 1973.
What I did recognize and why this is an important film to watch is not who is a victim, perpetrator, or the hero. What is important is the moment when a person and then a larger group realize that they are worthy. Worthy of life, worthy of being treated with respect, worthy of being responsible for themselves.
It is never as simple as who is right or wrong or even what actually happens. What is simple is what happens to the people. Some grow wiser. Some grow meaner. Some don't grow at all. And some, die - for the greater good or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time, we'll never really know.
A Good Day to Die is now streaming on Netflix. HIstory will continue to repeat itself until we all learn the lessons that history is trying to teach us. The question is only, when we will learn.
We cover more on these ideas in the podcast below:
There is a storm that while long brewing is beginning to gather momentum and as the world watches waiting to see if the first real hurricane is going to hit America this season.
Translation, Ferguson, MO is gaining strength in its fury and no positive outcome is on the horizon for those in its path.
In the middle of a crisis what can you do?
I would say the more important question is, who will you be?
Big storms equal big tests of who we are. Will you act in Honor or with Rage?
Will you be an anchor of strength or an arrow of violence?
Will you allow your self to be swept away by the power of the storm or will you own the true power within you and stop allowing others to sway you.
It is easy to get swept away.
It is hard to hold your ground when things get loud.
Will you be the winds of destruction?
Or, will you be the eye of calm in the middle of the storm.
The choice is always yours, which will you decide to be?
You can see them in the distance, tiny black specks below the clouds and above what should be grass...
But the cows are no more.
The rain seemed to fall everywhere but here and so the grass never grew which means the cows didn't grow and that is the whole purpose to all of this.
Though I'll never understand how anything can gain weight eating grass...
But we are all sad to see them leave us.
Truth be told they seemed to like hanging out with the dog and cat more than me, but by the end, #122 would actually come up to me and let him scratch him on the head. No food either!
Taking care of livestock is a big responsibility - none of which I had - but I truly enjoy being around the animals.
It feels a little more empty now. With that said, there is still no shortage of snakes, flies, grasshoppers, several varieties of beetles and a large number of other critters I can't keep track of.
Farewell my cows and I am happy you are literally going off to greener pastures...
This is the first sunflower of the season here in the center of New Mexico near where I live. It stands solitary, proud, resilient, and with great beauty.
It does not judge those who did not bloom first.
It will not judge those who bloom last.
It will not condemn those who are not sunflowers.
It will not envy those who will grow taller.
Do sunflowers love?
I don't know, but I do know they do not hate, fear, criticize, condemn, judge, pity, attack, humiliate or any of the the other types of behaviors that humans do to each other.
What must it be to know such simple truth about your self and the world that surrounds us? To live your life without needing to damage the lives of those around you?
It is a sad day as the news headlines scroll...
We have lost Robin Williams.
We have lost our sense of safety in our homes.
We have our sense of community in our towns and cities.
We have lost our faith in any system that we must obey without question under or face punishment or death.
We have lost more than can be counted by only headlines.
It is a sad day.
Do sunflowers grieve for what they lose?
Today I will grieve.
Tomorrow I will choose to love again.
Tomorrow there will be more sunflowers who choose to stand tall and bloom.
I recently read an article about the tiny house movement and while the article was fairly generic and tame, the comments were not.
When did people start believing that what they believe to be right for them, must then be right?
I had to stop because avoiding venom has taken up enough of my time with the scouting of rattlesnakes as it is. I don't need to see venom in print thank you very much.
I live a very tiny life. I have a tiny house. I have a tiny budget. I have a tiny snake safe space. I have a tiny garden. I have very tiny material needs. I have a tiny group of friends. And for the most part, a tiny group of followers here!
But that is all on the outside. I live a very big life on the inside. I have an expansive view both as I look around my tiny home and within my mind, heart, and spirit. Made much more possible by the fact my 'stuff' isn't consuming me with cost, time, effort, and space.
Tiny has a very important place in our world, for some. Why do others who don't want tiny feel that they have to judge and condemn it? Why is it so important to feel right about everything?
Most spiritual practices lead you to a simpler life. Jesus just walked with what he could carry. Peace Pilgrim only carried a comb and toothbrush. Mother Teresa and her followers have almost no physical possessions.
Tiny isn't a right or wrong thing, it is only what it will do for you kind of thing.
Traveling light doesn't have to be a lifelong goal. Having the experience though will put a lot of your life into perspective.
Personally, I'll never go back. I don't like to spend my time taking care of stuff. Time is the currency I value and tiny gives me a lot more of just that.
Why do humans need to judge, condemn, and criticize what they don't want when it is different than what they do want?
From where I sit this need only comes from those with very tiny minds, hearts, and spirits. I am truly sad for you because you don't know what you are missing.
It's not about living a tiny life. It's about are you living a fulfilling, happy, abundant, joyous, beautiful, and meaningful life?
That is what we should be seeking - not the right square footage to be finding. Just my tiny opinion on the beautiful sunny Sunday morning from here on the high prairie in the center of New Mexico.
I am happy to report that we have had some rain and that there is real grass beginning to grow!!!
More please... but it is a start!
It is an interesting journey living so close to the ground and experiencing the drought. It is quite stressful actually. The reality is my personal day to day life is not affected - I turn on the faucet and the well pumps water much the same way as millions who live in cities and towns across America.
But there is a tension that is everywhere - the ranchers and farmers, the animals, the land itself - seems to emit an energy of stress that feels much like a heat wave looks when you can view it from a distance. The shimmer and movement and uneasiness that doesn't stand still.
This is the second big grasshopper I've seen in the last few days. It reminds me of something that might be associated with a biblical plague... These are the kinds of things that when come in large groups destroy everything.
The southwest is a harsh place to live, for everything not just humans. There was a time when it was fertile and green - the last ice age to be exact. While glaciers formed in the north, this area got more rain and the grasses grew and with grass does all life thrive.
What is the point? Life is both lush at times and droughtish at others. Stress is part of what pushes us forward and keeps us from becoming complacent. Lack asks us to conserve now and seek for better ways later. Limits ask us to find better ways to live both with them and with out them.
Plagues remove everything from before and require us to build everything again.
It's Sunday, what can I say I'm philosophical this morning!
I am finding there is a difference between this idea of "prepping for the worst" and training to be a survivalist and what survival really is.
I've said before I dislike the word "survivor" in that we have come to associate it with being a victim first and survivor second.
But from drought to fertility there is a need to survive whatever the moment brings. I believe we survive when we choose life and not just defend against death.
I am surrounded by life even though the drought feels like a slow death. It is always a choice whether we will live or just give up and let go.
There is no way to prepare or train or defend against everything that will come in your future or mine. But this idea of being a survivor has also come to mean there is less need to train for what we are afraid of and begin to trust more of who we are and that we will handle what ever comes next.
Nothing has been more of a witness to me on this idea than the insects I am surrounded by. No matter what happens to them they keep going with no preparations, no training, no special tools, and no workshops or videos! They choose life every second of their existence - no hesitation, no complacency, no apathy or self-pity.
It seems for now there is great honor and respect for the Bug's Life!
This last year I've been in the company of sheep, goats, and cows and in that time I've thought a lot about the idea of being a shepherd.
While I am not, nor have I been "officially" designated as such - and truthfully, most would say I'm more of an annoyance - I still sort of think of my self that way as I watch the herds live their lives each day.
At one point I looked shepherd up as a job and there is such a thing, but it only pays about $700 month and they drop you for months off in the middle of no where and seem to only employ men from other countries.
But it is work that would be good for so many in our world right now. There is a kind of magic that happens when you spend time every day with a herd of animals. You learn their habits, their personalities, their rhythms, and also when one isn't feeling well or something is off.
Because of this drought many herds are spread out over 100's of miles making checking on them long, hard, and impossible for a single rancher.
But having me here, on this property with "my" 20 cows it is easy to see if there is water, if one is missing - though you would be surprised how hard it is to actually get an accurate count on 20 cows!!! - and if the owner needs to come out.
Peace of mind I think counts for a lot when you are caring for live beings who are also your livelihood.
But there is also something spiritual that happens. The animals respond to your energy - I first learned about this with horses and therapy. But it is true for all animals. There are definitely some that are braver then others, some more curious, and some who really could care less about you... One of the most interesting things has been watching the cows with the cat and the dog.
I just love how brave my little cat is! I didn't have the camera out when there was an entire line of cows she was standing in front of, but you get the gist of it here.
Sadly, not everyone takes their responsibilities to heart. There is such need for good shepherds.
The longer I live this way the more opportunity I see for so many. For veterans who need to be alone and on the land to heal who would benefit from being a shepherd for a herd of sheep or cows. For families with small children who would benefit from learning about life and nature and themselves. The list goes on and on.
I feel very blessed to have these experiences and extremely grateful to those who have allowed me to have them. I don't know how much longer I'll be here in this spot, but I do know I love living close to the land and the animals and will take mice and snakes over crowded cities any day of the week!
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!