Big things are brewing. For any Cello and Violin players that are in the Greater Toronto Area who may be interested in possibly being part of a meaningful project creating music with a greater purpose of healing with a wide reach please contact The Real Sun’s manager Cintya Aragon at cin@TheRealSun.com or +1 (416) 894-8976
Artist-Educators Professional Development Workshop
Spoken Word Poetry as a Vehicle for Teaching Social Justice in the classroom
Facilitated By: The Real Sun
When: Sunday July 20th, 2014 (1:00-4:00pm)
Where: New York, NY (Exact Location TBA)
COST: $40 per person – $35 Early Bird registration by July 7th – group rates negotiable
Overview: This training workshop will explore various techniques for engaging young people in an exploration of identity, social constructs, and social justice through the art form of spoken word poetry. The training will center in on the importance of validating and facilitating the journey of learners to get in touch with the depth of their own inner truths, identities, and experiences in connection to wider social issues and context through an anti-oppressive framework. The training will offer practical tools that can be used in the classroom to meet this goal. Spoken Word Poetry is the primary art form that will be used to apply this methodology, however the principles of this training can be easily applied across various artistic mediums.
About the Facilitator: Having worked in alternative and arts-based education in the community and in schools in Canada over the last 8 years, The Real Sun has distilled the best of what has worked in her experience into a concise and comprehensive method of taking the personal into the political and back again through creative channels. Centering in on identity politics and anti-oppression it is social justice that is at the forefront of her work. The Real Sun was born in Korea and is a proud resident of the Jane-Finch Community in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There are four core elements to all that The Real Sun is, does, and creates: Art, Education, Healing, and Social Justice
As an artist, The Real Sun expresses her creative spirit through multiple artistic mediums as a poet, singer/songwriter, musician, visual artist, and is also part of a theatre collective called Nomanzland. She has released two albums RISE (2008 – Hip-Hop) and HORIZON (2014 – Acoustic Soul) and has performed on stages across Canada, US, Korea, Japan, Sinagpore, and Peru. Her poetry was recently published in Rattling the Stage: A Collection of Canadian Monologues, Spoken Word and Short Plays (2012) a book written as a resource guide for educators. The Real Sun was also a contributing Author to the book Rhymes to Re-Education: A Hip Hop Curriculum Resource Guide for Social Justice Activities (2014)
The Real Sun has taught youth from a wide spectrum of ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds. She is currently the interim Executive Director of Lost Lyrics an alternative education organization that she helped to create in 2006. She has also done extensive work with various other organizations, schools, and institutions as an educator including: York University, University of Toronto Schools, The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto District School Board, Limestone District School Board, Arts for Children and Youth, Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage, Soulpepper Theatre Company, St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club, and more.
Over the years, The Real Sun has played an active role in the founding, building, and strengthening of many community organizations, initiatives, and movements in Toronto and in particular in the Jane-Finch Community that focuses on issues of poverty, community resilience, art, anti-oppression, gender-based violence, Hip-Hop and identity. (Organizations include Nomanzland, West-Side Arts Hub, BeLovEd, LIFE Movement, Don’t Believe The Hype, Jane-Finch Action Against Poverty, Connect the Dots, JinDap and Lost Lyrics.)
As a Healer-in-Training The Real Sun is currently pursuing studies in Psychotherapy, Bio-Energetic Therapy, and Energy Healing at the Integral Healing Centre of Toronto. She is also a Reiki Practitioner Certified at the 2nd Degree Level. Healing is an element that is at the core of the work that she does in the classroom, aiming to help learners to come to a place of healing through their creative works.
The past month has been an incredible journey of digging, observing, learning, processing, re-member-ing… who I am…
I guess the question of “Who am I?” really is a big one. As my journey of intentionally setting a space of healing for myself, i came to realize that it really was about getting to know myself on a deeper level. To confront my fears, to look in the mirror in a really honest way, and try to address what I found.
I’m humbled by the magnitude and complexity of what lies beneath the surface. It feels as though I’ve discovered a piece of myself… what it means to be human. To feel vulnerable, weak, distraught, sad, excited, elated, pensive,inspired, overwhelmed and even paralyzed from time to time…
The entire breadth of my experiences this last month is beyond my capacity to be able to capture in writing in its entirety at this point in time. Partly because there’s so much there and also because I’m still processing much of it.
This week Friday is the Lunar New Year, during which time I will be holding my concert, launching my CD “Horizon” and Music Video for the single “Walk Away”. I will be sharing at this event the deepest of all of my reflections up to this point. I hope you will be there to bear witness. (details at “Upcoming Shows & Events” section)
But for now, I’d like to share with you a bit about the core energy of what i feel my next steps are to be, what I intuit that I should strive towards…
- RECLAIM my sacred space: I’ve realized that my sacred spaces have been subject to invasion, violence, and being crowded by energies foreign to myself, in particular by men my whole life since the womb. So my intention moving forward is to love myself enough to honour my own sacred spaces, set clear and meaningful boundaries and reclaim my sacredness, so that I can gather strength from even deeper within myself.
- CONFRONT and HEAL my deeply rooted fears centered around Abandonment and Judgement: I’ve come to the place in my journey where I am realizing that my deepest fears are of being abandoned and being judged. My abusive dad and the racist communities that I grew up had alot to do with this one. As a result of the traumas I ensured, I developed a foundation of conditioned responses. Of which I am now needing to investigate thoroughly and work deeply with an intention to heal these original traumas, so that I can walk through life truly fearless in a real way.
- BALANCE my Feminine and Masculine: This one has multiple elements. I realized that with all that has happened that my masculine and feminine are out of balance. Oh wow there’s that word again… Balance. Yes. And i sense that balancing my feminine and masculine energy will be a challenging feat with profound levels of healing as a result.
There is actually three levels of balancing that needs to take place.
- Balancing of the Masculine Energies within myself.
- Balancing of the Feminine Energies within myself.
- Balancing both Masculine and Feminine Energies together in relation to one another.
Elaborate? I guess I should clarify what i mean by “Masculine Energy” and “Feminine Energy”. We all have masculine and feminine energies within each one of us, no matter your gender. In east asian philosophy they come together to complete a state of balance (Yin & Yang). Each energy carries its own traits. Here’s how i interpret/intuit what these traits in their balanced states to be if i was to embody them into myself.
Balanced Masculine Energy: action-oriented, efficient, connected to the sky, good decision making & time management,
Balanced Feminine Energy: compassionate, present, rooted in the earth, emotionally healthy, creative & artistic
Balanced Feminine with Masculine: holistically healthy (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual health), independant and self-sufficient, organized, grounded
I’m sure these definitions are not complete, and there are many things i haven’t considered, but this is what resonates with me right now.
Man, I’ve got a lot of work to do. hahaha. And this was just a glimpse…
This Friday I hope to share more with you at the Placebo Space (1877 Lakeshore Blvd W) where I will be holding my concert, CD and Music Video Launch.
yes yes yes. time to keep it moving!
AFFIRMATIONS FOR THE DAY:
I am my own creator.
I am a manifestation of my destiny.
I am present, inspired, and grounded.
I am ready.
Since my last post, I’ve been processing alot of stuff… over the weekend I filmed the music video for my first single “Walk Away” with RAW ent and Kingstylez Inc, with the support of my Theatre group Nomanzland, the love of my family at the Palisades Media Academy, the kindness of Yunior Marino at Placebo Space, and my students from Lost Lyrics. I am so blessed to have such loving and beautiful people around me supporting me. Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. The music video tells a piece of my mother’s story. Depicts a part of her journey, of living with the abuse of my father with her child, me, told through a multicultural cast of actors from the Jane-Finch based theatre group Nomanzland, of which I have been a member of since 2007.
The music video will drop very soon.
I’ve come to the realization that I am at a point in my life where everything is coming to a head, a culmination, a peak of sorts. The music I am releasing is a reflection of where I am… a testament to my journey…
i’ll be honest, when I started this blog i didn’t know what i was getting myself into. The amount of energy it takes to be digging into myself to these deeper places constantly, and at the same time living life in real time… Over the last week and a half, there was so much happening inside and around me I didn’t even know how to best articulate what was happening to you.
Over this last week I was forced to take a really long hard look at myself, and I didn’t always like what I found. I kept asking myself the question of why. Why has my life taken the path that it has? Why do the men in my life play the role that they play? why do the women in my life play the role that they play? How have I internalized the violence, abuse, and truama I have lived through from my dad and from society as a whole (systemic racism, white supremacy, gender-based violence)? And how do I bring everything to a balance?
I felt overwhelmed as i passed through every possible emotion imaginable. Grief, anxiety, excitement, anger, joy, love…. there were times where I felt so elated and so grounded, connected, light, spiritual… And there were times where I felt irrational, depressed, exhausted, defeated, and paralyzed and unable to move… Its been a real roller coaster.
I didn’t realize how deep this journey would go over the last 26 days. Tomorrow is day 27. But the journey is far from over, this is just the beginning…
I’ve realized that I don’t need to have all the answers now. I don’t need to “figure it all out” and then get on with my life. The path I have walked will forever remain just that. The path I have walked. The past has shaped me, has shaped all of us. But I think the keys is not to remain trapped in the negative patterns we find ourselves repeating, but also not to disregard the profound lessons that come out of these experiences… That teach us who we really are deep inside and why.
sometimes I question if I really know what i’m doing. but a part of me feels that its not necessarily about getting it right all the time, but connecting to the guidance from the voice inside, that leads you to the channels that serve your deeper purpose for existence. And if I know one thing, its that I AM walking the path of my purpose. This is it. I can feel it.
Part of my purpose is to help tell my mother’s story. The story of countless women who are survivors and those who still live with violence and abuse from their husbands, boyfriends, and other men they encounter every single day. The scars cut deep and the roots go deeper. And its an honour to give voice to these truths.
I think we are taught from an early age that its not appropriate to talk about the negative things in life. But I also know that if we don’t take the time to really heal, nothing will ever change.
I am so deeply moved by the process I have been through the last three and a half weeks, and feel even deeper a burning passion to contribute towards our evolution as a society and as a human species. At the same time i feel overwhelmed at the task as it appears more daunting the deeper I go into my healing process.
But this too is also part of it all. The “Struggle” doesn’t end at the protests, the streets, the institutional battles… the same beasts and demons that we fight in the community also live inside our homes, our minds, our bodies, but our spirit knows, feels, and is connected to the divine, to universal wisdom and love. And we have the ability to connect to this place, we just have to take the time to set the intention and take action, wake up, and open up.
A better way to exist is possible, for all of us, not just a chosen few. But its up to all of us to step up and make it happen. We must heal the gaps that exist. Heal the trauma we walk with. Or else, nothing will ever change…
I’m still on my journey… its far from over… but I will continue to fight for myself, for my right to happiness, love, joy, and abundance, and for the right of all people to live without fear of being violated and abused.
i will keep on digging, breathing, living, and giving thanks for life.
And so, the journey continues…
p.s. DON’T FORGET! JANUARY 31ST the HORIZON LUNAR NEW YEAR CONCERT AND CD LAUNCH is ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY!
DOORS @ 8:30 pm
SHOW @ 9pm
LOCATION: Placebo Space – 2877 Lakeshore Blvd W (at Islington), Toronto
I’ve realized that it takes me longer than one day to process each step of my journey, especially the deeper into things I get. So instead of trying to write every day and perhaps not be able to get to a depth, I’ve decided to take a bit more time with the frequency of my blogging on each piece as they come through me allowing time and room for of processing.
Over the last few days I’ve immersed myself deep into the question of my womanhood through bio-energetics and energy healing. An intensive weekend at school. I’m in my third year of a four year training program in Psychotherapy, Bioenergetic Therapy and Energy Healing. For 18 hours this weekend I have been processing a question that started to surface for me on Friday as I was finishing up teaching my last poetry class in Odessa which had actually been 90% 15 year old girls. After class two of my students came back to read to me one of their poems that we did not get a chance to hear in class. Afterwards we continued our conversation about social inequality, and the question of what it means to be a woman in this world full of systemic oppression came into the mix.
This conversation sparked in me a question into myself, How have I come to define MY womanhood?… Well at this point I don’t even know how to define my womanhood in a clear cohesive and concise way… But more than the definition itself the thing I have been digging into most is the PROCESS of how I have come to experience being a woman… The texture of the influence, energy, the deeper root of how I’ve internalized the idea of being a woman, and the embodiment of it.
And as a cis-gendered woman (biologically born female and gender identified as female), the most startling discovery was coming into an understanding of how deeply I have come to define my womanhood, in terms of my relation to men. The extent to which I’ve internalized the energy of men in my life, in particular my father and the abuse he put my mom through, into my psyche and body as a fetus, a child, and now as a woman.
I’ve come to understand that the abuse and abandonment I experienced from my father, combined with the isolation and social outcasting I experienced growing up in a small town in a patriarchal society that is inherently racist and steeped in white supremacy… have created a container for how I’ve come to experience and understand my womanhood.
That was a really academic way of saying something really painful… Let me a get a bit more raw…
When I was a fetus in my mother’s womb, my father kicked my mother in the belly. This is the earliest memory my psyche and body carries of being abandoned by my father, and of abuse. He held my mother captive under his control, dictated her wardrobe, and even ripped up pieces of her clothing that he felt were “too revealing” such as a sleeveless shirts or tank-tops that revealed her shoulders. Her womanhood was his property, and only acceptable within the confines of his approval. My young body, mind, and spirit absorbed all of this energy in many unseen and subconscious ways.
Fast forward to public school. I was the only person of colour in my entire school. Surrounded by racism and white supremacy I felt isolated and outcasted. I was so hungry for acceptance, to feel like I belonged somewhere… I hated myself and started behaving in destructive ways, and one of those self-destructive behaviours was seeking approval from men. At an age just stepping into my womanhood, I developed an eating disorder, experienced sexual violence, and came out a “survivor”… And my outer identity as a woman became an empty shell, a desperate attempt at filling the emptiness I felt, which came from a much deeper place…
At age 27 now, reflecting back on my 20s and the relationships I’ve had as an adult I start to see some other patterns. I began to see and gain insight this weekend into how much of an influence I have allowed my male partners to have on me and my lifestyle and experience of happiness when I am with them.
What I eat, what I drink, how I think, my actions, emotions. Not by force ever. None of my partners ever pushed these things onto me. But it was something I internalized and adopted. If me and my man were good, I was up, happy, elated, productive… If we were in a fight, I’d down, depressed, unmotivated, unproductive. And to an extent my diet and my preference of drink would change with that of the men I was with.
And I came to the stunning realization that my identity and life as a woman, and in that sense that my womanhood in essence, in so many big and subtle ways has been defined or experienced in relation to men, my ENTIRE life up to this point. That I have STILL yet to step fully into my womanhood as a woman on my own independent of the energy of men. Wow.
And when I pull back the lens and locate myself to the context of existing in a patriarchal society, I am, blown away. So THIS is how deep it goes?! Daaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyuuuuummmmmmmmmm…..!!!!
So ya, I’m still processing all that… I think it’s going to take me a while still….
But don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself a weak person. For those that know me, know that I have a very strong presence, I have the ability to dominate a space with my energy (in good and bad ways). What I’m trying to say, is that even though my identity and my experiences have been shaped deeply by the interactions I have had with the people in my life, and in particular men, my true self was always present inside of me, even when I tried to be someone else. There is an undeniable fire that burns with passion inside of me.
The men in my life knew that and saw that. Some of them became intoxicated by it, some of them tried to contain it. And I in turn tried in many ways to tame it, so that I could be more of what I…they thought I “should” be… But I know now, I will never be anything but, who i am. And whoever can’t handle that, well shit, I guess you can’t handle me, for I refuse to be handled, owned, tamed, broken, defined… by you.
My identity is my own, my body is my own, my womanhood is my own. And I take one small step today towards reclaiming my space, as a woman, for my self, my soul, my womb.
For those sisters who feel me, please, send me your love and your prayers, I need your energy, your support… This is my story, but i know this is not just my story, its our story… its herstory… and I want to send out so much love to women everywhere who may face these same struggles. I am here, to stand with you, in solidarity.
I have been playing this poem “For Women Who are Difficult to Love” by Warsan Shire on repeat during the last few days, from the Ride or Die Project mix tape. I feel she is telling my story… so many of our stories as women. Big ups to all of us women, and big ups to projects like the Ryde or Die, that reveal and celebrate our complexities as women.
I am tired of letting men crowd my space. I am tired of letting the men in my life define my boundaries. For they will never be able to define me, my heart, my spirit, are my own, my own, my own.
I’d like to leave you with an excerpt from a poem by June Jordan, which can also be found on the Ride or Die Project mix tape.
Speak truth and Be free.
“My Rights” by June Jordan
“… I am very
familiar with the problems because the problems
turn out to be
I am the history of rape
I am the history of the rejection of who I am
I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
I am the history of battery assault and limitless
armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
and my body and my soul and
whether it’s about walking out at night
or whether it’s about the love that I feel or
whether it’s about the sanctity of my vagina or
the sanctity of my national boundaries
or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
of each and every desire
that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
and indisputably single and singular heart
I have been raped
cause I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
wrong need the wrong dream the wrong geographic
the wrong sartorial I
I have been the meaning of rape
I have been the problem everyone seeks to
eliminate by forced
penetration with or without the evidence of slime and/
but let this be unmistakable this poem
is not consent I do not consent
to my mother to my father to the teachers to
the F.B.I. to South Africa to Bedford-Stuy
to Park Avenue to American Airlines to the hardon
idlers on the corners to the sneaky creeps in
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life”
From when I was 8 until I was 18 I grew up in small towns in Ontario. Passing cows on my way to school or rows upon rows of rubber stamp suburban houses lined up on the streets. It’s here I learned to survive by denying who I truly was. To be the only kid who wasn’t white at school meant that I was subject to constant scrutiny, poking, prodding…
They would ask me, “soooo you’re Korean right? Soooo that means you’re a communist right?” At 10 years old none of us knew what communism was. But I felt a need to defend myself, at the same time not knowing what I was defending myself from, or why. I didn’t understand why I felt the need to become a spokesperson for an entire race of people that I myself felt alienated from. I felt shame that I didn’t know what it meant to be “Korean”, and simultaneously ashamed of being Korean because it made me “different”.
My teachers assumed I played piano. And although it was true that I DID play the piano, something didn’t feel right when they would assume it before asking.
I was the constant butt of jokes, practical and verbal. When a group of us conspired to do something mischievous and were caught, I became the scapegoat. I felt ugly, unwanted, and felt that there was something inherently wrong with me.
I started to refuse anything “Korean”. I begged my mom for peanut butter and jam sandwiches on white bread for lunch. Tired of the questions, the faces of my class mates as they crunched up their noses, sniffing at my food, and saying “Ewwwwww… what IS that?”.
I refused to speak Korean. My mom would speak to me in Korean and I would only answer back in English. I was embarrassed to bring my mom to school or my friends home, because she spoke in broken English, even though what she was communicating was nothing but love for the people around her.
I became so ashamed of myself I started to self-destruct. Hungry for any resemblance of acceptance I put myself in harm’s way, disrespected my body, dumbed myself down, and did anything I could to be like the others. Except I could never be like the others.
I could never wash the yellow from my skin, or the slant from my eyes.
I didn’t understand that what I was going through was racism. I didn’t know the shame I was made to feel was me internalizing racism.
It would be years before I would come to understand that my experience was not just my own, but the experience of countless other youth and people of colour living in rural North America. That my experience was a result of systemic oppression, and that it was a legacy of colonization and white supremacy.
And even though I understand these things now, the scars of my wounds remain. Some of these wounds are still healing.
These same wounds are now transforming however, into a source of strength, of resilience, of purpose.
It is these wounds that set the stage for me to want to understand myself better. What drove me deep into the work of Social Justice, and the seedlings of my passion for making systemic change. The foundation for my dedication to working in education, and working with youth. And a source of inspiration for my artistic creations. A source of motivation for pursuing a path of healing.
Today I am back full circle. I have been commissioned to work with a group of students in a small town in rural Ontario much like the one I grew up in. I am teaching a series of classes based around Spoken Word Poetry, Racism, and Social Justice.
I have been blessed with the gift of being that person I never had growing up. And being here, coming back into communities that created in me so much trauma, and teaching young people who are much like the ones I grew up with, engaging them in deep and meaningful conversations about racism and prejudicial discrimination… I am filled with a deep sense of purpose, reverence, and gratitude. And I can feel in THEM, a sense of transformation… a quiet and attentive, reflective focus as they write in their books, after our discussions.
This is healing work. I feel myself growing, and my karma being resolved in such a poetic way. There is so much poetry in this. And I feel grounded in my truth, with a deep knowing, that I am manifesting my purpose in this very moment.
Give thanks. Eternal and deepest gratitude, and healing.
I had a meeting with my team today to discuss the plannings for the video for my first single “Walk Away”. A song I wrote for my mother, imagining myself going back in time and speaking to her, urging her to walk away from the abuse she was facing from my father. Writing, recording, and now moving into video production for this song has been a very healing process for me.
As a child my body and unconscious psyche internalized the abuse from my father in many ways that I was unaware of until recently… One of the things I have begun to uncover recently in therapy is the energy that I internalized while I was a fetus in my mother’s belly. One of the things that my mother had to endure was being kicked in the belly, while she was pregnant with me, by my father…
Now as an adult, a girl, stepping into her womanhood, embracing my path of healing, I am into a whole new level of consciousness, of being, of loving of trying to embody what it means to be healthy, to be strong, resilient, present, with integrity.
In the next few weeks leading up to my Official CD Launch of my new works titled “HORIZON” I will be working with an amazing team of talented individuals that I have the privilege of calling my family. RAW ent in collaboration with Kingstyles Inc, with visioning foundation by my new assistant and long time Lost Lyrics student Stanley Muddah, and the cast of Nomanzland, we will be working to bring you a visual interpretation of the song “Walk Away”
You can listen to the song below in the soundcloud link.
I’ve also attached an interview I did with “The Body Narratives” which will give you a deeper insight into the song behind the story, and my healing process with this part of my journey. Also can be found at this link: http://thebodynarratives.com/post/66868906497/song-walk-away-a-narrative-of-self-love-and-the
The Real Sun
[Song] “Walk Away”… A Narrative of Self-Love and the Search For Freedom
November 13, 2013
[Bilan] The first time I heard The Real Sun sing live, her voice caught my attention, almost making me miss the importance of her lyrics. Song after song, she was strong and her message of female empowerment resonated with us in the crowd. I hope it connects withThe Body Narratives community as well. Here she shares her song “Walk Away” from her new EP “Horizon” and a few words about it.
This is a song I wrote for my mother, a woman who is a never-ending source of love and inspiration for me. She is a woman who faced incredible hardships in her life. She has faced abuse physically, emotionally, mentally, from the men in her life, including my father. I wrote this song imagining myself speaking to her, urging her to walk away, away from the fear, the traps, the tears, the hurt and the trauma that keeps her and so many other women from realizing the truth in our own power and beauty within. Of an inner-strength which comes from a much deeper place.
So here I am catching up. This blogging every day thing is pretty intense. I’ve never attempted it before so please bear with me if sometimes there are delays… which leads me to the very real thought and questioning of real sustainable change.
Let’s face it. Its really easy to set a goal and then go gung-ho on it for a few days, a few weeks, a month maybe… and then for things to fizzle out and we go back to our old patterns once again. So what’s the key to making real meaningful shifts in our lives towards being healthy and healing and then MAINTAINING it??
The only answer I’ve come to think might work is making little little incremental changes. Setting little rules we follow each day. So for example if you have a chronic Dish-Pile-Up Syndrome like I do, making a commitment to wash dishes after every meal. Even each time you eat to wash the dish you just used. And for those of us who will make excuses that you don’t have time, imma call us out and say bullshit! cuz, to do the two dishes you just used take 30 seconds to a minute max. But if they pile up takes much longer. Also to take out your cups from your bedside every morning when you wake up first thing.
For those of you who may have these things on lock, you may be thinking this is pretty basic stuff lol but for some of us it gets a little complicated and is a bit more of a challenge. I ask for your compassion. lol
For you, perhaps its not the dishes, perhaps the habits you have developed that keep you from reaching your maximum potential is based in other behaviours your have developed. Cigarettes, drinking, spending money. There is an infinite amount of possibilities. But at this particular moment in time I want to suggest that lasting change must happen in increments. Its slow, and its not very glamorous, but I think, it has the potential to lead to lasting and sustainable change.
Let’s take this theory and apply it to a much bigger scaled problem. The reality that we still live in a colonial, imperialist state and society. How do we go about making lasting sustainable change here? I’m gonna take a stab at this enormously complicated issue with a ridiculously simple answer.
Our current issues of systemic oppression is rooted in colonial history. These systems are sustained by really big and really old institutions that maintain the colonial structure which give it its power. These institutions are run on a set of rules, or policies. These policies are then maintained, enforced and created by groups of people in power. These groups are comprised of individual people. These individual people help to maintain the entire system based on their mentalities, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that they have learned. Where do people learn? in school. What is school based on? education. So with the right type of education, people will be able learn a new way of thinking and being. the problem? our schools are ALSO part of this colonial empire. So then what do we do? turn to alternative forms of education. And what is the most powerful thing you could ever learn to bring about transformation? knowledge of self. being able to answer the questions “Who are you?” in deep ways. And when we get to really know ourselves, we start to see the little things we do that prevent us from reaching our maximum potential. And what is our maximum potential? it is the state of being that will allow us to evolve to a deeper place of shifting our perceptions, mentalities, and ways of understanding ourselves and the world. And what keeps us from reaching our maximum potential? the poisons we have internalized from the bigger system which manifest itself in the way we think and act… our conditioned responses and habits. And the best way to start changing our conditioned responses and habits, and sustaining those personal changes? doing things in increments.
so. Me doing my dishes after every time I eat, is contributing to the toppling of colonial oppression. YES IT IS.
VIVE LA REVOLUTION A LA DISHES!!
i think i will make a button that says “Dishes for Revolution”
that is all.
THE REAL SUN ‘HORIZON’ CD LAUNCH DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED!!!
NEW TIME: JANUARY 31st, 2014 (The Lunar New Year)
Location: Placebo Space (2877 Lakeshore Blvd)
Time: Doors 8:30pm – Show 9pm
Tickets $20 Advance $25 at the Door
I have developed this need to deepen my understanding of balance… The questions of “What IS Balance in real life?” is a questions that has been in my conscious awareness for several years now. For some reason I have this inner desire to understand and become the embodiment of balance.
And each time I approach this question, and try to uncover what are the day-to-day practices that I can adopt into my life that would help me down this path, I uncover so many layers, and learn so much about myself and the nature of the universe. Its been a fascinating journey so far. Below are some of my thoughts, which are definitely still evolving and growing each day… but here is a brief snap-shot in time of my stream of consciousness….
What IS Balance in real life?
Is it Peace? Serenity? Sustainability? Discipline? A day to day process, with each day’s state of “balance” looking slightly different? All of the above?
Balance is not a fixed, static thing. Balance is also flexibility, consistency, spontaneity, healthy set of habits.
And It’s the habits that get in our way when we try to reach a place of balance. Our base-line comfort zone, our default mode, the thoughts, feelings, and actions that accompany our ‘unconscious’ modes. When we do things without much attention or self awareness..
Balance is knowing when to take a break, when to push ahead, when to pause and reflect, when to breathe. Its knowing from the gut level the right thing to do/ Balance teaches us to be compassionate, empathetic and loving to everyone around us and also to ourselves.
When balanced one is not rigidly fixed in any one position or perspective, there is a holistic embodiment of health, love….
Balance is being able to attract abundance into one’s life. its dreaming, and being. just being. still.
Balance is knowing how to BE. How to be kind to yourself, how to be present, how to breathe, how to laugh.
Balance is knowing your own personal internal signs and cues on your state of mental, spiritual, physical well-being. Being aware of your triggers, and passions.
Balance is coming into alignment, with your purpose, your true self. Balance is Dharma, or rather balance is required to fully manifest the depth of your Dharma, to reach your full potential.
Balance when brought together with passion and purpose, create foundation for a fulfilling and successful life and career.
Balance is paying attention to the little details. Balance is holistic.
Balance is being able to maintain an astute awareness of your social, professional, spiritual, physical, mental, financial, personal life. And having the insight and the courage to make changes where needed, and the wisdom to know when to let things flow (even if the flow is going in a way that you had not planned).
Balance is an inspiration.
Balance is a state of being free.
(I encourage you to continue this list and write down what balance means for YOU, and how you think you can bring more balance into your own life.)
The Real Sun
Foreword to the Letter…
I tweeted @suntherealsun earlier today “#27DaysOfHealing Daily practice: 1st thing when I open my eyes every morning, steep my consciousness & body in an energy of #gratitude”. I’ve realized that every great spiritual leader has placed value on gratitude, and rightly so, there is much to learn of this lesson. It is a beautiful thing to give thanks. To really breathe and feel the energy of genuine appreciation… whether it be a person, a place, your sources of nourishment, your self. It is such a powerful feeling to connect with your heart and feel its radiant energy spread throughout your body and your mind as you hold in consciousness a deep feeling of thanks, appreciation, and gratitude.
Before I opened up my laptop right now to begin writing this, I was sitting, eyes closed, meditating to some nice music from YouTube (http://youtu.be/KxqSdr_vZIs). And while meditating on the notion of Gratitude I suddenly started to see flashes of faces and names come into my minds eye of all of the people who have ever crossed my path that helped me to get to where I am now… so many memories, of beautiful moments, painful crossroads, of love, of hurt, moments of support, betrayal, and growth…
As I was there, watching the faces and memories flood my consciousness, I began to cry. Tears streaming, my heart bursting with a deep expansion, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me… and then I began writing the following, tears still dripping down my face into my lap…
What resulted was a letter, to all those who I have ever known. This letter is for you…
… . …
January 3, 2014
Dear anyone I have ever crossed paths with,
Each and every one of you has impacted my life in irreversible ways that have led me down various paths. You have influenced, persuaded, or even manipulated my choices, whether you nurtured me or judged me, loved me or hated me, I want to say… thank you. Thank you, so much, from the bottom of my being. Because without you I wouldn’t be who I am, Experiencing the amazing growths that I am, seen the places that I’ve seen, felt the emotions that i’ve felt, shallow or deep, happy or sad. Whether you inspired me or stepped on me, I want to send you my infinite gratitude and thanks.
I wish nothing, nothing but the most meaningful existence for you and all those you love. A world where you can breathe freely, play joyfully, build family, manifest your dreams, and become the complete embodiment of your deepest/highest purpose. And even though life will sometimes test you, and test you hard to the point where you don’t know if you’ll be able to stand up again… know, that you are beautiful, and that the universe doesn’t ever give you more than you can handle. And everything, EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
Watch for the signs, and keep your awareness sharp, always. Get to know yourself. Give yourself the permission to be free, to love, to laugh, to cry, to shout, to scream, to sing, and breathe. Don’t ever allow anyone to trap you, because you deserve happiness. And because true happiness is something you can’t take from another person and claim as your own. Your true happiness can only ever be found deep inside of you, inside your heart, your soul, your spirit, and no where else.
I send so much love to you. I hope you have an amazing, bountiful, and inspiring new year and every year to follow. May your days be filled with an abundance of laughter, warmth, and growth.
With Infinite Gratitude,
(artwork by The Real Sun – Acrylic on Canvas)