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My “Job”

My “job” is to be happy. When I am happy, I can give. I love giving! Giving makes me happy.

I am learning the value of honesty. When I am honest with myself, I am free.

Clarity allows me to communicate. Communication is my sword. Part of my “job” is to sharpen my sword.

My body is made of wisdom. It is my responsibility to care for it, to listen to it, to take my feelings and sensations seriously and not dismiss them, no matter how subtle. My health and happiness depend on this.

To stay strong, I am adopting a simple daily routine of taking a 15+ minute walk before bed time.

 

“Think with your whole body.”

Taisen Deshimaru

Focus

A big fat juicy delicious THANK YOU goes to @mandyjayh and @drew for encouraging me to take off for a couple of days while I had a friend in town. Taking “off” was actually a crazy idea to me at first and I honestly thought Drew was joking when he proposed that I do so. This goes to show how little of a life I have outside of “working”! Yikes.

On that note, I am learning more and more about what I don’t love about what I do, such as:

  • Focusing on logistics and details
  • Being the literal driver in addition to commuting 2+ hours a day
  • Just about everything that takes me away from meeting new people, visioning, building on ideas, and connecting awesome people to more awesome people

Most importantly though, is focusing on what fulfills me and what I do love about this journey of establishing ALC Oahu…

  • Meeting new people who consciously and subconsciously work towards a better world for others
  • Talking to interesting and inspiring people about ALC Oahu
  • Jamming on ideas with solution-oriented people
  • Connecting people and ideas
  • Holding space and supporting people in their personal intentions and dreams
  • Learning how to allow things to unfold and receive support from others
  • Expecting miracles, excitement, mystery and abundance in all that truly matters on a daily basis
  • Living a life of purpose
  • Sharing my joy with others

Webwork, WetWare, Work Jams!

While updating the ALC Oahu website with Drew, there was a point when he started showing me how to make a button. I made the button with the exact colors from our logo in less than a minute. At that moment I quickly remembered that once upon a time, as a teen, I used to play with CSS and HTML. Fast forward some years later, I became proficient in Adobe Photoshop. What an awesome aha moment, realizing the clicking into gear of a variety of past knowledge while learning to do something as simple as creating a button on a website.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.08.35 PM

 

Another sweet surprise from this week was checking out WetWare Wednesday with Drew. We got to make a new connection with Charles from ecoQoob and it turns out that they used to be our coworkers at BoxJelly! Ironically, we are arranging to collaborate now that we no longer share the same building.

An intention set many months ago is now getting more attention. Research and discussion around getting grants has been on-and-off since August 2015. Little did I know that grant writing is actually a lucrative and very full-time gig. Stoked that we have a few superstar supporters that are willing to help us out with getting grants and that @mandyjayh is now digging into this too–awesome! Also, check out @drew’s new blog on creating a Gameshift Board. Teamwork makes the dream work! 

Drew Drew Drew

Highlight of the week: @drew!!!

Through a session of ALC Oahu long-term goal-setting, we shuffled up a bunch of backlog stuff that is finally seeing the light of day. Hooray! Stoked beyond words about this…

workboard

 

Here we are, getting a much-needed WordPress blogging tutorial from @drew. Naturally.

bloggingtutorial

 

Another little recent highlight this week was getting on the BoxJelly website. It’s great working in this co-working space and meeting new people who are co-creating awesome projects in the local community.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.24.23 PM

 

On a final note, I intend to blog more frequently! I think that these three things will inspire me to do so:

  1. Seriously juice up the look and feel of my blog
  2. Use more photos/videos
  3. Keep it simple

Sweet 2016

It’s not easy for me to feel inspired about sharing reflections via blogging but if there’s anything that seriously does it, it’s @drew visiting us here on Oahu! AND witnessing him, @dyson, @adrianna, and Seamus share their freshly written blog posts. Love it. Yep. Blogspiration, check.   

First of all…

If you are interested in checking out what’s been happening with ALC Oahu, then scroll through the timeline on our Facebook Page & Instagram!

Second of all, the exciting news…

Again, Drew is here! YAY! Words can’t express how good it feels to have him with us and supporting both @mandyjayh and myself in all the newness and growth of our little ohana.

We also have a new student! Seamus just completed his visiting week and is such a great fit. I’m extremely happy that he loves being with us. It was exciting to find out that his mom had been sharing about us widely even before we met, after learning of us through friends of friends. Such a sweet feeling to know that more and more people are finding out that ALC Oahu exists. Hooray!

We recently had a Vision Council meeting with our friends and supporters, Auli’i, Stephanie, & Jimmy. The level of support we are receiving from them is out of this world! I am so moved and thankful for their dedication and powerful positive energy.

Last week, I was gifted the opportunity to present ALC Oahu with Stephanie at the 14th Annual Hawaii International Conference On Education. What a thrill! It was an awesome experience learning from and speaking to an audience of people from Australia, China, Canada, US Mainland, and from here locally too. Thank you, Steph, for continuing to open new windows to abundant collaborations and possibilities!

Thirdly, more personal news…

Although I still work like a robot, I will say that I am SO much better at relaxing! However, I think my body thinks otherwise.

I have had eczema since I was a little kid. With it now all over my hands, it has become frustratingly debilitating. While I’ve been good at staying away from wheat and discovered some eczema-friendly lotions and oils that are helpful, there is still the factor that I scratch it (very aggressively) while I sleep. Even when I wear socks on my hands as an attempt to make it stop. It seems that I also have eczema on parts of my body which makes it difficult to wear clothing. This whole having a human body thing is really cramping my style…

Even though this honestly sucks, I will say that I am grateful that this experience is challenging me to pay more attention to my physical health as well as the importance of many things such as:

  • self-care
  • having patience with the process of healing
  • cooking my own delicious food
  • getting out of my hermit shell and into the salty ocean & sunlight
  • allowing myself to receive help
  • having patience with myself

Fourthly, a recap of 2015…

I lived and let live. I loved and was loved. What an intense and magical year of new beginnings!

Here’s a song I can’t get enough of:

Thanks for reading, friends.

The Birth of ALC Oahu

Where do I begin?

I could share a recap of the last five months starting with how we raised about $4,000 of seed money and the ALF Summer 2015 adventure.
I could apologize for not having posted a single blog since I turned 27 in May.
I could rave about ALC Oahu’s first three students and our awesome adventures so far.
I could make a list of what I’m grateful for and why.
I could also be brutally honest by sharing that I’ve never been so mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually chewed up, spit out, run over, and flung around like a rag doll almost daily like this before.

But I’ll just keep it simple.

Here are a few things I’ve been learning over the last months as ALC Oahu has so quickly and miraculously come alive…

  • The initiation of chasing dreams (in this case, building a learning center for my inner child) is to embrace the journey of getting out of my own way. Which means facing my fears for breakfast, getting back up when I trip over my own feet, and remembering to take care of the basics–like eating and sleeping.
  • Working while relaxed is far more productive than working while stressed or burnt out.
  • Working while burnt out is counter-productive and extremely unhealthy.
  • There will always be lots of work and there will always be enough time.
  • @sophialoves808@adrianna, and @dyson are AMAZING! I love that they love being in the water and that they’ve been sharing their dreams and goals with us. I’m lucky to be learning so much from them.
  • @mandyjayh is an incredible powerhouse who has been unknowingly training me to improve myself, every single day. No words can express my gratitude for her solid presence and perseverance.
  • Knowing when, how, and whom to ask support from is a fine art. I intend to master it.
  • Meeting new people to collaborate with and learn from is one of the best and most fulfilling parts of my job(s). Not admin stuff, whatsoever. Thankfully, my mom doesn’t mind holding my hand through organizing and cutting through paperwork while lovingly putting up with my neurosis. Her endless support and compatible skills never cease to amaze me. Thanks, mom!
  • Calling for support from our friends in the ALC Network is like calling up a Planet-Earth-Superheroes hotline.
  • It’s been easy to get lost in and overwhelmed by my own impatience, insecurities, and fears. I intend for that to be nearly impossible sooner than later as I continue at the rate at which I’m learning!
  • It’s paramount that I slow down and think before making decisions. My choices, big and small, effect everyone around me. So that I can be my best for and with others, I’m learning now more than ever, the clarity and discipline in being my best for myself.
  • Not taking the words and actions of others personally is an extremely empowering choice to make.
  • Balancing work life and personal life is challenging because my work is very personal. To not work feels like I am neglecting my nonbiological baby. Creating healthy boundaries for work-time (giving to others) and me-time (giving to myself) makes so much sense!
  • There is great power in vulnerability.
  • Love is always the answer.

Growing Pains + Dreaming Big + Receiving Bigger

 

Since early 2013, my world has consisted of…

  • self-development
  • traveling around the globe
  • intentionally nurturing my big dream of co-creating and connecting the “schools” of the future
  • independently studying alternative education, astrology, myself, people, and everything in between
  • self-development
  • national and international community outreach
  • building new relationships
  • sharing my ideas with new people almost daily
  • self-development
  • playing with new friends around personal passions and purposes
  • getting uncomfortable
  • practicing patience
  • self-development
  • learning new skills
  • leaping into the great unknown
  • challenging myself
  • did I mention self-development?

 

About two years of seemingly endless lifetimes later, I am grateful to have connected with…

  • radical educators as mentors
  • powerful women
  • our ALC community
  • more new friends from all over the world
  • more new networks of change-makers
  • inspirational leaders of the present and future

 

At this moment, I am deeply thankful…

  • to my family, for accepting me as the alien that I am and supporting me as I pursue my many passions which includes creating space for others to do the same
  • to ALC friends, for inspiring me and helping me realize that I’m not alone in doing this work and kicking ass
  • to old friends, who are stepping back onto the stage that is my life and showing up ready to ride with me
  • to the powerful people in my life, for generously holding space for me through my roller coaster of personal growth and expansion
  • to Mike, for fueling my life, fanning my flames, and dancing the great dance with me
  • to new superhero friends, for brilliantly bridging me to such influential people and tools at the most impeccable timing
  • to my body, for alerting me and reminding me to take good care of myself on this journey
  • to my mind, for boldly creating every little step as I take it and every giant net as I leap
  • to the natural cycles of life
  • and last but not least, to chia seeds

Rewind and Fast Forward

It’s been over two months since my last blog. Yikes.

Just to recap December up until this very moment, I have…

  • met new friends who are doing amazing work in the world through meditation, health/wellness initiatives, and bridging powerful worlds to one another… collectivism is happening everywhere I turn! YES!
  • met a special someone who powerfully inspires me and amplifies my highest self every day
  • visited home on Oahu and shared about ALC with more friends and their kids–I loved sensing their excitement for ALC Oahu (ALCO)!
  • had my very first dinner meeting with some of the ALCO team–I felt so supported and inspired by the amazing people I get to co-create with both in Hawaii, NYC, and all over the planet
  • hung out in Singapore and Malaysia–endless travel adventures!
  • connected with other progressive educators and talented artists through Comic Fiesta 2014 and art galleries
  • had some deeply meaningful conversations with family around the work that I’m doing–it has been a heart-opening experience to witness their further understanding of a new way of thinking/being and how this relates to education/lifestyles and gaining their moral support around all I’ve been putting my energy into with ALC
  • went off the grid into the mountains of Costa Rica for Moon Dance, a powerfully magical women’s retreat
  • shot over to SF to celebrate Mike’s birthday and hang out with old friends
  • met even more new friends who are doing amazing work in Oakland, California, and are excited to collaborate around amplifying ALC along with other amazing positive-impact, world-changing visions

And at this moment, I am present to the warm and fuzzy love in the air…
  Congratulations to the newly weds, @tomis and @nancy
May you both continue to laugh, play, and thrive with each other
on a scale beyond your wildest imagination.
Love you both!!!

Head to Heart

From my head

The past week has been an entirely new level of sharing ALC with new faces in new places. These experiences have inspired me to explore deeper into the different languages (or levels of explanation) we use in order to effectively communicate the culture and purpose of ALC.

Abby (@abbyo) and I began creating a diagram which will clearly illustrate how to share ALC and with whom. Here’s a general break down of the with-whom:

EDUCATORS within and/or PARENTS with kids who attend…

  1. traditional schools (public/private)
  2. alternative education models
    • tech-y schools
    • project-based learning schools
    • Montessori, Waldorf, Sudbury, free schools, etc.
    • homeschool, unschool

I believe that this project will result in a highly useful tool for anyone who chooses to both learn more about and support ALC by sharing it with others.

 


 

From my heart

I’d like to share a couple of significant moments for me from last week…

Thanos (@kingthanos) approached me about his concern for his mom since she was going through surgery that day. He brought this to my attention while I was sitting in on Javair’s (@failspy) Philosophy of Economics forum. I stepped out of the room and sat us in a quiet space so that I could hear him out. He talked it out. I listened. We meditated and practiced visualizing a successful outcome of his mom’s surgery. I shared with him something that I practice when I’m feeling worried or anxious about anything. It’s the practice of tuning into the quiet space we each have within us, that no one else can touch, and that we can use to activate our highest intentions for ourselves and others. I feel confident that this discussion was useful to him and that he’ll be practicing this more as he said he would. Deeply grateful that he opened up to me about his concern for his mom. By this, he allowed me to powerfully share with him a new way of thinking and seeing through the inner eye.

       

Over the weekend, a new friend of mine from GABRIELA, attentively listened to my sharing about ALC. Afterwards, they shared with me that they and their partner both work in education but at the complete opposite spectrum from what I had shared–one end being a space of liberation and the other end being a space of oppression. It touched me when they mentioned how frustrated they were about the education models they’re involved with because of how these are systems which roboticize children and kills off what it means to be a kid/human. “Nowadays, it’s a luxury for kids to be kids”. Their statement struck me. It’s the sickening truth. They went on to say that they were happy to hear that places like ALC even exist. That we hold space for kids so that they can actually be kids and explore themselves and the world around them without first being forced to be something they’re not.

Grateful to know that I, like everyone else,
have the power to create the changes I want to see in the world…

Onward!

   I’M EXCITED!   

  • I will be connecting with educators in Columbia to share ALC through one of my best friends, Yvan.
  • My new friend, Caroline (from Philippines), is here to observe ALC today and she’s blown away! At our Set-the-Week Meeting this morning, she made an offering to hold a design-your-own-motorcycle activity and a field trip to her workplace, Ducati Triumph NY–AWESOME.
  • Caroline and I envision ALC in Philippines………..!!!!!!!!!
  • I will be at home in Hawai’i in a couple of weeks to meet with my ALC Oahu team over dinner. Most of them will be meeting each other for the very first time. Yay!
  • Topic Jam is a NEW weekly offering that lasts half an hour. It begins today! Charlotte (ALC Mosaic) and I will be video chatting and researching the topic of magic/energy. Askani (@thewitchqueen908) will be joining us and wants to learn about wizards and witches. Sweet!
  • My friend and mentor, Carol, will be coming into the city to observe ALC this thursday. She is a co-founder of the public unschool in Toronto called Alpha II Alternative. Looking forward to catching up with her around all the inspiring projects she’s up to.
  • I began a list of indigenous youth organizations/groups that ALFs/ALCs wish to collaborate with. Collaboration may entail the sharing of tools/practices, getting involved with their projects/events, developing long-term partnerships, creating new ways to support and promote each other’s causes/messages e.g. intercultural exchange programs. Looking forward to seeing this list expand to great dimensions!
  • I’m grateful to be.