culture change

We signed up in order to fix the world

Many of us signed up for this social media experiment in order to know one another and ourselves more deeply. And many of us began to share the goal of working together on a massive scale to fix the world. The large organizations that understand this, and work with us, will win our favor and loyalty.

Love stories birth businesses

You know, a lot of people have asked me how and why I founded The Socializers. It’s really a love story. And this love story has swept me into the world for years now. And I’m grateful beyond words for the experiences, relationships and friends I’ve made along the way. I’m also grateful for the lessons learned (not always easy ones).

One lesson I’d like to pass on is that the fervent love story driving your personal war is the most important of all. Try to pay more attention to that love story, to really get into the depth of the relationships that are most important to you. Because it is through the experience of these relationships that your life will blossom.

Another lesson I’d like to pass on is that it is always worth the risk to throw oneself into one’s passion. The abundance awaiting you within the pursuit of a passion far exceeds the tired drudgery of a specific cultural duty or a situation that has sapped you of all your reserves. When you see an image that catches your eye, it is time to make that image real…to experience it in the flesh.

A lot of people have asked me how I did that, how I made images into flesh and how I “realized” my dreams. The deepest drink I took of my dreams always resulted from me taking a massive risk. Every time I decided to “have” an image as flesh, I had to really apply a singular focus on what I wanted. And I had to follow the “genius” of that focus…it is a bodily experience. I could really feel in my body when to do something, when to act on something. It was in my fingers, my toes, my stomach, my chest and throat and the top of my head. And when I felt my image, my passion, like this, then I knew to take the action…to make the move.

I’ve been asked how to know if something is right, how to discover the truth of a situation. To do this, I remember the times when I saw truth clearly. And I put myself in a similar situation in order to produce insight. When I replicate the moments I had before epiphanies of the past, I often am able to see clearly in the present. So it is really about finding that personal formula for success in anything and repeating it: over and over again. It has been said that happiness is the desire to do something over and over again. And I agree.

One of the challenges I’ve noticed people facing throughout the world is feeling stuck in something. Well, I surmounted such stuck-ness simply by taking action. I didn’t allow myself to sit depressed. I made sure to plan a full and varied day as much as possible, where I would experience every bit of what it means to be a human. And I learned this from the Southern Europeans who traditionally divide their days into different experiences. Siesta in the middle of the day was probably one of the biggest revolutions for me in getting “unstuck”. Simply stopping for two hours to love another and to sleep. That’s what Siesta is about. And that’s a revolution in today’s society.

I also learned how to get un-stuck in Australia through studying breath work with a master breath worker. She led me through 35 days of continuous breath work, four hours per day. And I was able to keep this practice in my life ever since. It is truly amazing how a situation that seems insurmountable can be transformed in the moment through simply breathing…and only breathing. The experience can be compared to a tide advancing upon a beach and covering endless acres of sand in a short amount of time. Breathing is like drinking water, like loving yourself in the most elemental way. And when you feel this, you blossom and creativity arrives pretty quickly.

Specific feelings have no barriers when it comes to honesty. Lara Fabian, my favorite singer, said this in an interview. And I agree. We live in a culture that often diminishes emotion, calling it temporary or undependable. But in my experience, emotion is like the oceans of our planet…which take up nearly 70% of our planetary mass. And the psyche and society are like this in relation to emotion. So we really have to pay attention to emotion. We really have to let our emotion have its reign within and find ways to fully express these inner forces. This is why sexuality is so important and why love is such a sought after action. Everyone wants to express their love, wants to show friendship, to show care and to also make love with another. And this has to be honored and placed at a higher level in our culture. Emotion, after all, is what drives markets.

If you are fighting a personal war right now, I encourage you to discover the fervent love story underneath that war. Because, as we all know, armies go to war to protect the interest and, ultimately, love of the kingdom. And this is why you are fighting right now. You are fighting because you found love at last. And you are fighting to keep that love, to hold on to that love and to hold on to the experience of giving your love to someone. But it is better to orient yourself to the fervent love and take action in that context…in the context of the love. Because love-bound warriors will always conquer warriors who forgot the love story driving the war. When a warrior is really in love, he’s going to fight harder and deeper…simply because he looks forward to the arms of his beloved.

So that’s really why I started The Socializers (and many, many other ventures). It was because of love. And I always have to remind myself to keep breathing, to keep taking risks and to keep loving.

Me, the Selfie and I: How Your Mobile Device Will Act as a Magic Carpet to Your Dreams in 2014

Aren’t you tired of being told what to do?

Take my advice: use your mobile device and the social networks as vehicles into a physical experience that you deeply desire and need in 2014. And stop letting temporal realities such as identity, authority and time get in your way. You are more than your perceived identity, you are more than the roles that authority figures have placed you within, and you are certainly an infinite being. Choose Love and Grace as your values this year and apply these values in the context of mobile apps to whisk your spirit into the land of your wildest dreams.

…………………

“I never want to be ruled by anyone,” she said to him as the whistles and drums ushered in 2014.

“The current generation has been handed a portable means to self-governed transport. The mobile phone laden with apps is like a magic carpet for the individual…a means to discovering a personal hall of mirrors…an exit portal for one’s own private island,” he thought to himself.

“But I call this era ‘Me, the Selfie and I’,” she urgently whispered into his ear, with a kind of spiteful, angry tone (almost as if she’d heard his thoughts). And yet, he sensed a question underneath the urgency, a seeking.

“Even Mother Teresa and Gandhi received something from their selfless acts, my dear,” he replied. He went on, “I see these photos they are taking of themselves as explorations, an opening of an inner onion of sorts. They are texting and photographing themselves into being. The selfie is a vehicle to self-realization, a kind of Western darshan, whereby the deity is seen eye-to-eye.”

“But what are you talking about,” she said, in a kind of mournful tone. “What about making a real contribution, where they are paid…where they make something of themselves?”

“Don’t you think money and time are less efficient means to spiritual realization and enlightenment than love and grace?” he replied, looking askance in the strobe-lit room at her wild red eyes and thick, mango-glossed lips. “Don’t you think this generation is simply tired of faking it and being ruled by others? This generation is using mobile phones to dive through their own faces into a kind of experience of eternal moments, infinite self-regard, that profoundly flouts authority, starkly undermines the hierarchy…and yields a freedom, a dip in one’s own nectar, a quick route to deep self-acceptance and an awakening to one’s love-ability. These mobile phones are magic carpets hands down!”

“Yes, but it’s so self-focused!” she exclaimed, her jet black hair splaying against the neon air.

“Exactly,” he said, coyly smiling at her. “And it is via this self-focus that an entire generation is transcending rulership by another, finding its own deification, its own personal sense of royalty… and, in many cases, entering a rich inner life as a result. They are literally texting and photo-chatting themselves into being!”

“Well, I simply don’t want everyone knowing everything about me!” she whispered in a kind of hoarse urgent moan. “I want some privacy too, you know!”

“Really, my dear,” he said, looking straight into her eyes. “Do you think if you post a thousand images of yourself online, tell a hundred thousand tales of your life publicly…do you really think this is more than the tip of the iceberg…more than the lobby of your 100 room mansion? You are an infinite soul, made up of as many identity possibilities, as many layers of expression as this multi-dimensional universe full of galaxies we now spin through! It doesn’t matter how much others discover about you…there’s still so much more of you, isn’t there? These online identities, after all, no matter how robust, are really just fictions…almost as short as spontaneous haikus scrawled on the discotheque bathroom wall!”

“Let’s get out of here,” she breathed heavily.

………………….

Again, take my advice: use your mobile device and the social networks as vehicles into physical experiences that you deeply desire and need in 2014. And stop letting temporal realities such as identity, authority and time get in your way. You are more than your perceived identity, you are more than the roles that authority figures have placed you within, and you are certainly an infinite being. Choose Love and Grace as your values this year and apply these values in the context of mobile apps to whisk your spirit once again into the land of dreams.

The rewards of social network activity

The rewards of social network activity are often realized within the human psyche — in the emotional and spiritual realms. One need only observe the delighted faces of fellow travelers in an airport or train station looking into glowing tablets and mobiles.

How Storytellers transformed the psyche of Athens

The people of Greece were always telling stories. And these stories were everywhere – on TV, in cafes, in magazines, in books, in schools, in offices, on the Internet. As usual, the country was going through heavy political and economic turmoil. Strange groups called the Fire Nuclei and Golden Dawn were at war, while people from all nations watched the center of Athens become a crucible of fire and smoke and the smashing of marble slabs by hammer and fist. The sophisticated members of Athenian society were increasingly moving their money, homes and families to London, Vancouver, New York, Dubai and further afield. The middle class was shrinking and the poor were out in the streets. Even as the violence found momentum amidst global market upheaval, a core group of committed storytellers in the universities and cafes found their legs. They began experimenting with the effect of story upon society. Some even became interested in trying their hand at changing events through the application of storytelling techniques.

The concept that set the imagination of these storytellers on fire was a simple term: context. The storytellers realized they could place stories in specific contexts and drastically change the participants within that context in short periods of time. Through simple A-B testing, the storytellers tried various methods of influencing perception of groups within Athenian society simply with well-wrought digital stories. Word spread amongst Masters level and even University level students as to the potency of story in changing the day-to-day headlines and events in the city of Athens. A network of storytelling “cabals” arose quickly in the Athenian underground. Each had its goal, its desired outcome. Every group had its specific root or history and its specific parea to exert an effect upon. Wild excitement grew amongst these storytellers upon seeing the power of their tales. All over Athens, in the cafes, universities, workplaces, the youth and young workers were increasingly active online and offline and telling one another fantastic tales. The wave of storytelling reached a fever pitch.

The storytellers were also interested in finding a way to make money and build lives from their stories alone. And this began with education. It became not only fashionable but downright normal and a convention that the youth trained in digital storytelling as a basis of communication. The types of media involved in digital storytelling – graphic, motion graphic, video, animation, text, photo, and audio – became incredibly popular courses of study. The universities and media agencies of Athens all began selling courses and extra-curricular courses in this area. From the heads of Communications Departments to the managers of television stations, the trend grew. Vendors of software related to the types of media used in digital storytelling offered cut-rate deals to students and the sale of computers and software skyrocketed. In addition, many start-ups were founded in Athens related to the various types of media used in digital storytelling. When people around the world talked about the power of digital storytelling to change a society, they always referred to the Athens example from 2013-2017.

Now there were two types of schools of thought related to digital storytelling in Athens. One focused on recording events and putting an emphasis upon these events. And the other was focused on live interaction with physical events. But it was a third school of thought that really captured the imagination of Athenian youth: fiction that creates new realities. In this third school of thought, the storytellers would think up a story that showed what they wanted to happen and then they would design a timeline of content AND context in order to bring this story to life in the physical realm. Although traditional news had focused on reporting real-time events and interpreting these events in light of specific political and philosophical ideologies, this new approach openly celebrated the power of story to shape events. The idea was criticized heavily and then accepted universally as repeated good results were shown.

This third approach to communications had a simple mechanism or function: a digital storyteller would write a story and create an editorial calendar for posting snippets of the story into specific contexts. The goal was to take control of that context through the various elements used AND the personalities conscripted to participate. In every case, a very clear outcome was written in an executive summary. The stories always had alternative paths built into the mechanism in anticipation of specific reactions by members of specific contexts. The approach had such an effective outcome for the students and staff working together that the form took off like wildfire in Athens. The model is what we formally call Dynamic/Active in formal digital storytelling, where user action foments additional dynamic content action.

As a result of this bias towards Dynamic/Active action in digital storytelling circles, storytellers became highly interested in psychology. Gaining an understanding of the psychologies of specific Athenian contexts, i.e.- pareas, became a major focus on the digital storytelling curriculum in Athens. A group of researchers mapped the current “ethos” of every known parea, small and large, in Athens, along with every sub-culture in the city. The map grew into a living infographic, which digital storytellers attempted to alter through their tales. It was this living infographic that caught the attention of the global media establishment and the world at large. And it is this living infographic that is really the starting point of our unique story.