Give us This Thanks our Daily Bread

How about we keep doing it? Just keep being grateful--and maybe we can be grateful again the next day and all the days of the year. Like any repetitive thought or action, gratitude would build as a habit, and a habit of gratitude might just get us closer to that world where we could all be welcome--just being as we are.

I know it's a plain unreasonable idea to suggest that we, every day, eat when hungry, sleep when tired and full. It's lunatic to suggest that we use social media as an outlet to post irrationally passionate musings on the bliss of thankfulness rather than apocalyptic gloom and doom scenarios of a world fallen into sheer madness. Perhaps the world was fallen long ago, or never was fallen at all--it's only a matter of perspective.

Seeking status in the age of no standards, seeking certainty in a time of lies, seeking connection with the quality of nobility most often found in Nature, by collecting Instagram followers--will require a new world order--really and truly--. Enter, Gratitude, as the industry of the Millennium. Gratitude as the the parent of this current anarchy of forms in every industry from fashion to fitness also called, healthcare. Wouldn't it be--lovely? Gratitude as the guide-star of the age? What if all companies were as grateful for your LIFE as we were for your business? Good thing for us at BAYW--as tough as "retail" is, we envision a world where the things we need are worth the money and the things we don't need never enter the picture. I know, I know--I'm a dreamer. And so are you. 

You already know how our hoodies are like the sweet on your potatoes--the weave of your dream--the good inside you gives itself to LIFE--and life gets extremely loud, sometimes. It's our hope this holiday season, that you choose not to buy a bunch of stuff you don't need for people who love you for your inside bling and not the gifts you bring--and that if you are in the market for a hoodie, you'll choose ours for its protection in all weathers and for its connection to everything beautiful.

How the War Inside Us Dies

Chicksaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Comanche, Tonkawa, Puebla, Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai--the people Native to North America have long held the belief that ownership of the Earth is no Man's. Though there are variations in ways of thinking and celebrating among indigenous cultures, all agree on this thing about Earth as BossLady, and not the other way.

Regardless of Tribal or National differences, the shared belief is (generally) that we humans are temporary stewards of this blessed planet, and that our lives--our very DNA, expresses a covenant with Earth and the physical laws of the Universe, to pass on our Planet's waters, land, and air packed with the resources with which She was passed on to us. There are many elements of worship and devotion within the matrix of cultures whose economic fortitude depends on access to the free-flowing enterprise that "Mother" Nature is, but this One Law underlies all successful economic models, regardless of the variables developed by humans to "sustain" it. 

The One Law: Waste not, Want not. What does this have to do with hoodies? Well, you already know what we do. The hoodie is the global style Icon--I said it, and I'll say it every day for the rest of my life. Every day. All year. Find the one you love the most, and it's the garment that affordably solves inner and outerwear fashion dilemmas (there is a hoodie for every occasion), and Be As You Wear Hoods carry a twin message everywhere you go (we really appreciate twins as a creative phenomenon!): 

1. Affordable does not mean cheap. Expensive does not mean valuable.

2. Every Body has a HeArt & when we keep that in Mind, the War inside us, dies.

Regardless of our differences, this One Love is Same Law. Do every body good--starting with our own body--and nothing in the #goodbodyhood gets undone.

 

Your Brain On Love

Consider this: all the things we have ever been told about ourselves are lies, beginning with what we have been told about our soft boiled eggs for brains. They are REALLY soft-- and our hard as rock-candy skulls that carry the "us" we think we are, protect the brain from direct trauma to the extent that they can. But here's the thing--most trauma to the brain is indirect and self-perpetuated. The food we eat, the media we consume, the thoughts we think, and the things we buy, all have an effect of either growing or depleting our brains. Dr. Daniel Amen and his colleagues have conducted nearly 100k brain scans and each one tells the individual story of how we "treat" ourselves. When we "treat" ourselves with whole foods and clean water, fresh air, exercise, and healthy, joy-filled relationships, our brains grow! 

It's not crazy or selfish or abnormal to love your body and brain so much that you would never feed it garbage, never let it run on fewer hours of sleep than it needs, or permit yourself to think punishing thoughts about all the bills you haven't paid, or the homework you haven't done, or the phone calls you haven't returned. 

We live in a time when at least 150 people will die today of a drug overdose in a country that claims to love itself. This land is our land, and it loves us. Continuing to feed our brains bad information about how drug use and abuse begins and progresses based on "symptom clusters" rather than on individual symptoms of root causes for emotional illness and addiction is a dangerous business, causing massive deteriorations of family and community, while making hundreds of "treatment centers" very wealthy from keeping clients ignorant of the "treatment" required for any brain to heal from environmental trauma, direct or indirect. 

What does this have to do with hoodies? Well, your nut-strong skull will appreciate the softness and your neighborhood will appreciate the bold-digging genius of a company that leads the head by heart, fearless in its proclamation that we are each 100% Made By Love and deserving of individualized plans to grow collective greatness. 

Love Medicine & The Sax Machine

Only Love is real. Not Tinder love, or temporary romance for getting high-er, but Love as a sound. Love as the radiance. And the radiation.

Love is not an argument or even an action; Love is an energy underlying all things. Academics call it the Universal Mind. Religious people call it God. Indigenous people call it by 10,000 names and call it forth with as many sounds, but the thing we are calling forth, and the thing to which we are infinitely bound, is Love—which creates every living and non-living thing, whether we “like” it, or not. Love is not conscious of itself—of what it likes and dislikes. Love, itself, powers consciousness.

Only love is real. And everyone will die. The only thing we can do in the meantime, is tell the truth, no matter how inconvenient.

Only when I became entirely desperate to actualize my own personal radiance did my whole sense of “self” burn away in the aftermath of a 23 year long chemically induced death-dance—it was a battle I fought on three fronts, physical, spiritual, and psychic, and even after a long period free from chemicals that served my suicidal tendency, what I had been swallowing emotionally, in my relationships with everyone I “loved” began to bleed me from inside out—I have come to believe that there is not a more powerful cocktail than adrenaline fueled by inadequacy, and powered by privilege, and it finally punished me enough to change my diet--what I feed my body and what I feed my mind. Never have I questioned the goodness of my spirit, but I have often acted out unconsciously, called it love--called it all the kinds of love. The violence, the riot, the unquiet rage is all inside me and for each of us, I dare say,—safetyhood begins within, and within the cure for all dis-ease, we find Love's universal connection-- whether we "like" it or not, any thing your heart desires— will. come. to. you—

What's this got to do with hoodies? We put a heart where the head is--and as you already know, "it takes two to make a thing go right."

 

V Letter Words

It's pretty standard practice to believe what we are told by our parents. Even kids like me who still question everything--even that which I can "see," was wont, until pretty recently, to believe almost everything my parents told me, even though they have told me many different things, at different times, depending on the circumstance. Truth favors itself over consistency, so what lasts are their "lessons" which have been reinforced by my short, wide life, full of hard knocks to the face, coupled with soft petal landings that disremember every sorrow. 

The true story of a life, in live action, is what compels me--sure, I read and find stories spilling out of every possible device--and have begun to build Be As You Wear: The GoodHood Company, as a mobile and manifesting laboratory of life lived from where we are, as we are, as we wear.

Our hoodies, the making and manufacturing of our trademarked heart (symbol and bodily), the programs we provide (without charge) to prevent life ending addiction before it starts, and 24/7 mentoring, crisis, and intervention support are the tests of and the testaments to our favorite capital letter V, for Veracity, for Verification--for Validation. These 3 V's very often present as the opposite of what we want to believe, so, if you are like me, you have tried a lot of drugs and some prescribed medications in order to make "sense" out of what meditation teaches--which is to not "unsee," but to watch, without denying, without analyzing, without picking and choosing.

At some point, when it came to be in fits and starts that drugs of any kind didn't help to change the scene, I'd go out miles for a run in the middle of the night to play chicken with long haul truckers in order to alter what I perceived, and sometimes, that's been a healthy thing--to run and smoke some weed-- but only once the chemical "doping" became an activity of dropping in and not of dropping out--of going deep rather than casting the wide net in which I had become ensnared--thinking I could save others from despair, without using the tools built to save myself. Even today, I cried my way through the end of Yoga practice and confessed to my incredibly gifted teacher, Samantha Lucas, how desperately I long to "get out, out, out." The Veracity is Verifiable for a moment, because she Validates the small v, "varieties of feeling" that arise from being THIS close to life. In the face. In the face of fear, Yoga. In the face of joy, Yoga. In the face, Union of breath and movement and breath and stillness, which is really all Yoga means--believe this: on and off the mat, every moment comes loaded with potential for Yoga.

At some point, radicalized by the "stories" of the year 1968, I got tired of living the energetic life of "healer" and "teacher" as a "professional" in a world gone raving mad without the professional practice of what drives us to begin with: LOVE. Every single body is some body's baby, and if a baby body lives long enough to know its name, to take food when offered, to drink when thirsty, well, then, LOVE is at play--oh so plain and simple.

Now, I can't very well call myself a Professional Lover, nor can I profess my love for all things--to refer to myself as an Authority on anything farther away from me than my own nose, smacks of fraudulence I deride--when despair sets in, my ribbon dance of so-called unconditional love is ensnared by amnesia--like this morning, when my SI Joint flickers into a violet purple fire of rage--I want to KILL everyone. So, my approach to professional teaching and learning is rooted in LOVE as defined by the authentic exploration of all the horrendous tyrannical stuff inside me, and also in the practice of how to survive and thrive in every single circumstance, even when LOVE seems to have been "lost."

What I know, is that LOVE is never leaving; what I have lived through is a war on LOVE, waged by the emotional and economic injustices perpetuated by institutional and individual (but not personal) greed in a world where there is no standard for the value of "currency." Given our tacit agreement to tolerate "collateral damage" when fighting over resources to secure our individual and collective (but not personal) amnesia, I find myself raging about how much authority we have given to a few people in deciding whose life is worth it--when, under the hood, we are all the same junk boxes with built in self-cleaning organs that are all plugged into the currency whose only solid standard is the heart beat--that's it folks--"you can hold your breath, but you can't hold your heart."

You heard it here, and have felt it for more than the first time, that currency--the dollar in your pocket is at once priceless and at once absent of value. With no definite standard, of which the 1.00 US Dollar Bill has none, the paper accounting for 100 cents of equally arbitrary value, means only what it means to you--big power. Huge. Keep it or spend it? Compound the interest or compute the difference if 1% of the population continues to build wealth by exploiting the love and labor of the 99%?. It's really our choice, and the future is of our making--crazy, liberating, freaking cool--right? Be somebody's baby, grab a rattle, and make noise about bodily net worth!

What's infinite is worth so much of all and nothing, we can barely conceive of it without developing concrete forms on which to demonstrate or standardize the truths we hold to be most evident. LOVE, a life based on LOVE, alone, IS the sought after thing. Connection between people of any kind is the cure; it's where the V opens, and all can enter without retribution.

For so long, reading Shakespeare saved us, -- Queens, our Kings and Courtesans--all food for worms. There is no social or economic order, other than our idea of order, also called the "status quo." Without a standard, there is no quo, and no choice for me, but to practice being a pro at living this one life.

Buy a hoodie just for your body; get good with where you are, tears and all, and give another kid a chance to drop in before dropping out. 

Don't need another thing? We agree. Scoop up a patch, sewed by hand, and have it delivered for the cost of a letter. Verified and valued at what money of no kind can buy. 

Love & Sweat, some Tears,

athena

 

 

 

A Total Eclipse of the StART

In the face of terror, there are choices the human can make. Faced with terror--the human nervous system becomes extremely hard wired to limit choice. Faced with utter, existential terror--the kind of which comes with being beaten, raped, deported; the kind that comes with finding your best friend or daughter, dead of a preventable drug overdose, what do we do? You and me. Me and You. Us. The people who have inherited the Earth.

US Americans and all global citizens are facing a level of terror, unmatched for its collective nature. It's not a person, we people fear. There is nothing to fear about a person--when wounded, a person bleeds. What we people have come to fear is losing what we think we need, what we think we have--all the while, a geopolitical Sharknado promising a massive human extinction by our own hands is at hand. It's definitely one helluva inconvenient truth.

There is no war that has ever been fought over ideas. "No ideas but in things," William Carlos Willams writes, and no things within us at all that give rise to fighting for any "thing" but LIFE. The poet served as an obstetrician in Patterson, New Jersey in a time when women enjoyed almost no reproductive rights, during years where labor shifted to make women count as income earners rather than property and producers of more consumer/producers. Patriarchy has trapped most everyone I meet in a way of thinking that has us scared enough to actually kill ourselves with ignorance, even though we actually know better. How crazy is that? 

If you are one of the 165 million people out there, who have reached out and reached in to be the change the planet needs, who remember a time, in a land before time, when survival didn't depend on the Dow Jones,  join us to build, an industry based on radical love and acceptance, one neighborhood at time, and may a total eclipse of the sun turn us back to a future time when we did know--we were born into a garden where, really, every single species, relationship, love and loss, is granted only for a season.

Go Postal

I spend a lot of time thinking about mailmen. And yesterday evening, as the day’s heat sizzled off every surface, I had the occasion to meet two of them in a moment of repose; they spoke to me like I was family, not a beat skipped in our common purpose to connect at levels so uncommon for strangers these days.

One is a woman. A mail woman. The other is her husband. Suffice it to say they were delivered by the mail to each other, and candid as they are about the challenges of being married, and being mail people, the radiance of their being, together, and separate in their own rights, rushed like 17,000 goldfish swimming straight to my heart, then burst into a lotus flower, with petal after petal unfolding as we spoke.I had so many questions.  “Do you have Benefits?”

“Barely.”

“Workman’s Comp?

“No—it’s complicated. Postal workers don’t work for the government, really.”

“What would make a carrier’s day?”

“A comment. A thank you.”

“No,” I say, “like cash.”

“Well, if you are someone who really works us, and we go above and beyond for you, a $20 at the holidays makes a big difference.”

“How did you get into it?”

“I always wanted to deliver the mail,” the post lady says, pointing to the place in her chest that says the truth before it ever gets to our lips. “I just thought it was a great thing to do. What I never considered, were the extremes.”

Here’s the truth they didn’t have to tell me, but what I need to hear and hear more about—the USPS is a major revenue provider for the US government, securing massive amounts of secured retirement funds for other government employees. They now deliver on Sundays for Amazon. No air-conditioning in those vehicles. Not a lot of heat when it's cold outside. And the USPS doesn’t shred and recycle junk mail. It has been told to me before the USPS works like many high revenue, not for profit monopolies, to fire its employees almost the moment they train them—perhaps explaining why people in so many "not for profit" sectors, “go postal" and decide to take drastic measures against unethical practices no matter the risk of personal reputation or pride.

Be as You Wear, The Good Hood Company, functions primarily to hijack the emotional processes that result in “going postal,” well, because even when a work induced mental meltdown doesn’t result in murder and suicide, it rocks the foundation of a community, and work induced mental meltdowns happen because a person is at war with her psyche, not with the world or with the company. Work induced mental meltdowns are happening all around us, in large and small ways. From the numbers, it looks like buying things we don’t need is one of the great symptoms of disease of overwork and undernourishment, and the postman, cometh. The postal carrier, sees. 

To rely on a service that combines the most toxic elements of bureaucratic and corporate atrocity works hard against the radiant heart which is the signature on every one of our hoods. That the USPS doesn’t recycle—ugh—it tears at me, but the people who carry the hoodies, well they are the ones we are thinking about.

The mail carrier must ignore every injustice. S/he must ignore the weather, ignore the attitudes of ingratitude. Ignore the machine. S/he knows what she does and why. At the same time, as with so many of us who find the joy intrinsic to our work, no one is looking more forward to his chance to retire—the man of the couple tells me, “but in the meantime, we laugh. And have a good life.”

What luck is mine to be a member of this little neighborhood—where I get to meet and be friends with the mail people who are the actual messengers of love and light, and delight—and when they aren’t carrying mail, the woman of the couple carries an infant girl for the days while her mother who desperately needs some roots in order to grow wings, works to make a life in a hood where she is also a transplant. Some people have made it their life "to beach," rather than "to bitch" about all life never gave them, and beach bumming is nowhere in the equation. I came to live for half the year in NC, not to escape the life I had carefully constructed in New England, but parts of it needed to be dismantled, or else. Almost to the day of my own postal size meltdown, I have arrived here, there, everywhere with only one thing in mind—which is how to best carry my good hoodies to every good hood where I become fortunate enough to contribute to its keeping. Every kid has to grow up somewhere, and each of us can influence the environment, regardless of what our "business" is.

If I can survive extreme affluence, extreme poverty and many of the psychological traumas associated with both (which are the same);  if I can go postal over the social injustice and inequity I fought along with other educators and civil servants for 20 years without any actual blood on my hands, and return to tell about a time I remember, not so long in the past or in the future, where each of us knows that if we are alive, we are changing the world—then we can, and we will, build good hoods even in places where very bad things have happened. Our hearts depend on it.

What Will The Children Learn about Independence Day?

Let's get personal, for a minute--after all, it's Independence day--the day of independence from everything that is not you and that is not me. So, let's get personal, and let's get personally, free. 

Drugs aren't personal-- just like death isn't personal. But we are people; life is personal; this is the great thing about being people-persons on a planet-place with its own sun, and moons, and oceans, rivers, lakes, goats, puppies, wolves, lions, kittens, bears, bugs, tigers, giraffes...and enough food for all the people we have on the planet RIGHT NOW, and any others from now on who we choose to have, freely. See, making people is free--but we have made it a business called manufacturing humans. Schools teach children how to earn and spend. Children watch their parents struggle to earn and spend less than they earn. Banks hold all the money and buy things that don't exist in order to manufacture things that humans thing we need because we are free. But when money loses its value, which is has; when the drinking water gets dirty, which it is,  the parents of the children pay more taxes to clean up water that was already clean. Then sickness happens, physical and mental. We are in it--a plague that will only be viewed by history. How did becoming free mean thinking that we need all these medications besides food and water; besides love and sex and music? -Because we are free, but actually, we are slaves to an economy, a system of labor, and liquid capital without collateral for longevity, which leads to "loss" of capital for an economy and to salvage a nation, that said it freed the slaves--

No wonder we are all trying to heal our cosmic pain, which is caused by being slaves to the chemicals our bodies naturally receive and contain--

See, drugs, are for sale,  and they can be sold safely, by anyone we want,--when People, are "free"--when people agree, "we are not for sale."

HOORAy! hAve you ever just wanted to celebrate a day where we are FREE? Really and truly free? Here's my idea--we HAVE SO MUCH FUN BEING PERSONAL PEOPLE TODAY-- Cry, yes--our planet is hot with greed; Resist, yes! Resist! any instinct to do less, when you know you can do--just a little bit more, loving, grieving, winning, losing, giving--but, please, whatever we do today, let's make it very personal to the whole world, this incredible truth of being human--universally, which is this--each of us is fighting a battle our ancestors already won for us, and they lost a lot first--like everything, all their goats, and sheep, their buffalo, their languages, their rivers, their sacred medicines, their jungles, their farms, their lovers, the loves of their lives--for one reason, so that their children (that's USA) would be, and remain a land of the FREE & the BRAVE--open to all and to any person, from any place who agreed on this one thing--that we would allow each other to be free, no matter what God, whose bed--not a matter of life or death--what S/HE said. We agreed to one thing, after all the small-pox and massacre of indigenous people---remember, we agreed, to be, personally, You. And personally, Me. Free from the burden of social inequity. I mean, we have messed it up over the years--but what about now--here's another chance--to be free from dependence on any idea, place, person, or thing. And let's take it personally. It's a personal choice to be free. You don't have to be free like me--be free like you want to be. 

Today, I medicate myself with water and plants and animals raised by farmers I know--today, I am able to drink from a "clean" source, and because I can eat freely of the hot or the dog, the fu or the pha or the tof, my liver can detoxify anything I put into my body--and this is the beauty that makes biology, and not history, not thinking, the source of our freedom. My privileges are many, but most, to offer you a product to wear on your body that, should you choose to use its power, can end the war on terror, from inside, out. Be your own Heroin. And be free. Always & Already.

See, I love a well-fitting pants-suit, but I was born in a birthday suit--barely alive, but breathing and kicking and having won the battle my grandparents had already done--and like most indigenous people--they lost everything (we are all indigenous people, btw)--

Everywhere, there are slaves. In the US, and inside each of us and in all of the people we meet, there lives a slave to some idea we have of who we are, what we should wear, who we belong to, and what we should be. When what we are is in this freedom ring together--once the bell also called consciousness was rung, it couldn't be unrung; our political, religious, economic, ethical freedom is never at stake--and it never actually was, and we can agree that it never will be--and let freedom RING.

What will our children read about us from looking at our tweetstory e-books? 

Will they ask, "What kind of "civilized people" needed a holiday to remind themselves that they were free? And why did they eat so many hot dogs and drink so much beer all day? Eeew. I thought they were, um, like, independent."

Buy a hoodie. Add a heart. Be free, now. Be love, now. Be light, now. It's really just, personal.