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My 2015 – Year in Review

I am grateful to be alive at this moment and for the all the amazing people, love, and opportunities in my life.

2015 was a benchmark year for me. One of the best in my life. Not because it was easy and filled with joy at every moment, but because I found  my true self and was able to persevere and even enjoy myself despite major challenges and setbacks. Many bends in the river like the image above.

Most importantly, I find myself on a spiritual path deeply rooted in the chakras (hence the organization of this article) and constructively working through the karmic fallout from rash decisions in 2014. Highlights included strengthening the relationship with my daughter Melia and my mom, developing my practice, getting a publishing deal for Pacha’s Pajamas, finding teachers and building relationships, traveling, and producing two music and meditation events that brought hundreds of people together for peace in Oakland.  

I traveled far and wide in 2015. I visited Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, Bocas Del Toro, Panama, Ensenada, Mexico, Sea Ranch, the Oregon Country Fair, the Omega Institute, Esalen for Robert Moss’ one week Active Dreaming course, the Knoll Farm in Vermont for the YES! Educators Jam, Montreal, Los Angeles, and McKenzie Bridge to scatter my biological Dad Brian Stross’ ashes. I also guerilla camped on a Bug Sur beach after enjoying a magical sunset.  

First Chakra – Food, Water, Shelter, Survival  

I am in my best shape ever. I started a routine of 8 minutes of resistance exercises before bed. My diet took a turn towards higher vibration foods, as I cut out almost all gluten and further reduced the meat from my diet, while increasing the superfoods. One of the latest additions is lemon peel; freeze the lemon and grate onto any foods. I finally dealt with my inner abandoned child and my original wounding of being given up for adoption.  It was not the most pleasant of experiences but I am better and more resilient for it. For much of the second half of the year, I slept on a futon in my Mom’s house as I AirBnbed out my entire house to pay the mortgage. I installed a reverse osmosis system in my home to clean up my drinking water. I made it through the latter nine months of the year without a car. (I was recently was blessed with a sublease of a bright orange Toyota Prius, that is available for rent most of the time on Getaround and Turo.)    

Second Chakra – Creativity and Passion

I enjoyed having fun with my creativity. I practiced synchronized breathing, body breathing, massage, and eye gazing. I turned inward and got clear about my passions – meditation, massage, music, dance, being of service to the planetary awakening, being in nature, traveling, being creative, and improv (check out my friend Asher’s Medicine Theater). In the latter part of the year, I did a lot Ecstatic Dance, which I found incredibly healing.  

Third Chakra – Power and Will

One of the most important gifts of 2015 was the ability to maintain and separate my energy, and to maintain calm. I attribute this to breathing through my chakras, a dance meditation, and a practice called the Key.

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Fourth Chakra – Agape and Eros Love

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Paralleling my inner work, I was able to strengthen the relationship with my daughter Melia and am enjoying the closest we’ve been in years despite her now being a teenager. Because I AirBnbed my entire home for months, I spent more time with my Mom and her two pooches last year than I had in decades. We were good housemates and became much closer!

In 2015, I was blessed to connect with a number of people that feel like family. I am excited to continue building.

On June 5th, 2015, I had my best birthday.  I went to Ensarro for Ethiopian with my Mom, Melia and Allah, and then went to the Nekka concert at the New Parish with Allah. And in the photo, Microsoft’s algorithm thinks I am just 39!

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Fifth Chakra – Self Expression, Creativity

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My first book – Pacha’s Pajamas:  A Story Written by Nature – was picked up by Morgan James Publishing and will be released on April 5th 2016. Hovering a mobile device over the images in the book BRINGS THEM TO LIFE with animated and educational videos featuring Cheech Marin, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Agape Youth Choir, and 30 young artists. (See the video below.) Pacha’s Pajamas is the story of an young girl’s awakening to her gifts and purpose through active dreaming. When Pacha goes to sleep, the characters on her pajamas guide her a dream adventure to better understand her inner and outer worlds. In this first book of the series, Pacha joins with plants and animals on her pajamas to organize the Greatest Festival on Earth… and no humans are invited.

Give thanks for Aaron Ableman, my co-author, to whom I am immensely grateful for trusting the collaboration and for Allah El Henson, our esteemed illustrator. If you want to support me, Pacha, and/or the team, PRE-ORDER copies of the book for kids in your life now. 

Earlier in 2015, my company BALANCE Edutainment self-published a first of its kind animated Young Reader book that comes to life with an interactive Augmented Reality app. My favorite video I produced was the World’s Wildest Evolution of Dance which supported the One Billion Trees Earth Day campaign, and was viewed over 110K times. We have temporarily made the video private because a similar version was selected for the San Diego Black Film Festival.   

In early 2015, the inspiration for a second book came to me based on my experiences in late 2014 and 2015. The working title is “I Fell In Love with An Alien” or “I Feel In Love with a Spiritual Gypsy Walkin.” It will be part love story, part awakening story. In 2016, I’ll continue living the story I want to tell. 

Sixth Chakra – Insight, Intellect, Intuition, and Imagination

In 2015, I discovered my path – that is, to tell stories that support the planetary awakening. I think of these this type of story as an “Awakening Journey.”

The Awakening Journey is the journey within, to know one self, to tap into one’s inner guidance system, to feel one’s connectedness, and to discover one’s gifts and soul purpose. This often occurs through dreams, meditation, mindfulness, healing work, and integration of experiences. As we better understand our self, we bring this awareness and our unique gifts to waking life, channeling our creative genius and energies to create the world we want to live in, in service to the greater good, in collaboration with others on the path.
Not coincidentally, my story series, Pacha’s Pajamas, is about the Awakening Journey of ten year old girl named Pacha. Pacha’s dreams are bigger than Andes Mountains, homeland of her ancestors. When Pacha goes to sleep, the characters on her PJs come alive in her dreams. They guide her on dream adventures to learn more about herself and the world. She brings what she learns back to waking life.
The Awakened Journey is our birth right as human beings, and it can be as unique or structured, as solitary or collective as we want it to be. The paths are different but all lead to greater awareness and knowledge of self, that empowers action to serve the shift in consciousness that is increasingly shaping our future. This journey is as applicable to all groups, from #blacklivesmatter to farm workers, from gun control activists and environmentalists, from #cecilthelion to LBGT. All of us can better know our self and experience living less self-imposed limitations and with a greater connection to source, self and community. As we do, we are humanity awakening. We are the planet awakening.

I further developed my personal story in the context of the Hero’s Journey and this new path to promote awakening stories. I reframed my company BALANCE and our initial product offering, and redid the Pacha’s Pajamas and BALANCE Edutainment websites.  We brought on some new colleagues at BALANCE, as well as some promising new partnerships. 

I gave two talks on Pacha’s Pajamas and augmented reality at the Children & Nature Network’s grassroots gathering in Austin Texas. I became a facilitator and facilitated four SoulCollage workshops, including my first one at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

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I ran two successful  crowdfunding campaigns. I produced two Meditation and Music events including Bless the Lake at Lake Merritt and Rebirth & Renewal at Impact Hub Oakland. I supported the launch of a Mastermind Program and a Mystery School course.

Seventh Chakra – Self-knowledge, Wisdom, Connection with Spirit

Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door. Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there. ~ Rumi

I developed my Blissipline practice that includes chakra breathing, energy flowing, heartbeat tracking overlays on the Art of Living Kriya that I had been doing for 5 years. I learned to ground myself, pray to the Great Spirit, dance circles in meditation, tap into my inner guides, begin harnessing the flow of energy through my chakras and activating my first eye. I learned to incubate record, share, and re-enter dreams. I began a life long practice of recording dreams and being a Kairomancer (one who practices divination by special events and synchronicities).

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In 2015, I found two spiritual teachers, Robert Moss and my good friend Allah El Henson. Working with Allah, among other things, I discovered a love for crystals and gems. We co-created two crystal necklaces, one for the lower chakras anchored by a fire opal and the other for the upper chakras anchored by a moldavite. I also further developed my relationship with the Orisha Xango through an art workshop convened by another one of my teachers, Mariabruna. I was also quite influenced by the work of Anodea Judith.

Give Thanks

With deep gratitude, I’m sending love and light to all those that have been and/or will be there for me, BALANCE, and Pacha’s Pajamas. We are the planet awakening.

May all beings experience peace and live the stories they want to tell.