Sacred Sacrifices

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." -Marianne Willimason

At Be As You Wear, we are here to experience enlightenment, rather than read about it or preach about it (though I do like to talk, so call me, okay?). Our clothes, what they are made of, and where, and by whom matters a whole lot to us, more than anything, in fact. In our experience, what touches the skin, grows the skin we are in--this is not a idea, but a sacred way to dress ourselves in the unconditional LOVE that reflects the Earth's undying championship, whose sacred contract is to give us a place to call Home. The talisman is ATHENA's HeART; the Truth is LOVE. 

There are sacraments one must take in order to live in the full potential of her or his own greatness, and whether or not a person is conscious of it, greatness is within the power of every person to capture it. But it is not a hunt, or a show, or a chase that we must make after. What is sacred within is not something we are tasked with uncovering--what is sacred within us is the most evident aspect of our outward form. Just take a look in the mirror. Look into your own eyes and see there is no limit to your being--the only limit is the thought that your influence on this planet is marked by a single lifetime.

Yoga teaches us this, to look so closely, that we can't fear death because we know that it is nothing scary, but another sacred form of being. Yoga teaches that the breath is the source vehicle for the integration of our fear of living with our fear of dying. What is to fear? "We live, we die, but death not ends it" (Jim Morrison).

There is a prevailing notion, shared among many "spiritual teachers", that "we" are "in charge" of our personal potential, and that enlightenment is a matter of "choice" rather than experience-- here's an example. A lot of people these days like to riff on "Native" or "Animistic" myth structures, one of the most popular being about the two wolves inside us (good and bad) who grow based on what we "feed" them, mind, body and spirit. Now, this is a good story, just like a lot of stories that help us to "see" that we have tremendous power to free ourselves from the fear that we are, somehow, less than totally capable of being conscious of our divine nature. Alive or dead--we vibrate, if only through the way people remember us long after we are gone. Think about it--likely, you have lost someone you love. Stick around to miss them long enough and let life go on--and sure as the sun rises, they come back to us in some form--as a puppy, or a cardinal, or a lover of whom you only thought you'd dreamed.

You see, the Western world and its new age Eastern "spirituality" has conflated itself to manufacture what we call Modern Psychology, and as long as we stay tinkering in the Mind, we "think" we are in "control" of our reality. The root of mental illness begins with believing the thoughts that are generated by the mind and by acting on these thoughts, which are based not on objective reality, but on the evidence we have been given to suggest that we are somehow mistakes that must be corrected.

The first book ever published was the Bible and most of it was scrapped long before it hit the press--but much like the false read on the wolves, "religious" people like to claim that the Bible says we are all fallen people living in a fallen world, and that only a belief in God's one begotten son can "save" us. But here's the thing--it doesn't say that. It says that we are the ones begotten of the "son", who shines on us no matter how dark our imaginings of death may get. The teachings of Bible in totality are a collection of stories to guide us when we get tempted by the belief that we are somehow sinners and not blessings. We are cast out of the Garden of Eden by our own MINDS fallen from HeART into intellect, and we are forced to endure many trials until we find the Revenant Truth, which is that LOVE,  not fear, is the state which leads to understanding, not the other way around. To understand a person is not to love him. To love a person is to understand him, even when we disagree with his point of view.

Just like there are not two wolves inside us. In fact, there are no wolves in there at all and no sins--wolves and sins are ideas we have created to "keep it together" when the natural world and its cycles are--Tada! beyond our comprehension! When we choose to love something without needing it to respond; when we are moved to do something for no reason except the joy it brings or makes, the hope we generate leads us not to receiving the miracles of which the good books speak, but to making these miracles. 

I'll die, and so will you, but after putting myself through a lot of real hell on this earth, thanks to thinking my mind was a problem solver rather than a problem maker, I don't need to rush it. My only shot at loving what I'm made of without believing the hype that we are original sins, is to stick around--just to watch, not to judge.

The natural, the mysterious, the changing, the change, and the changed--we are it. There is no separate goodness from who WE are--what we are made of--stardust, water, wind, and fire. What we mistakenly allow to live inside is a tyrannical voice telling us that there is something "better or worse" about who we are, where we are, who we are with, than who we just are--purely seen through the infinite witness, who is also you and me and the great one WE.

Now, go on. Go wear those eyes out, everywhere! We got you. 

 

 

One & Only

When it came time to decide with which organization Be As You Wear would share our massive amounts of sisterly and brotherly love this Valentine's Day, it wasn't because we thought the threat of mass shootings in our schools was nearly done. It was because we'd never seen a threat to our children's safety increase so rapidly, in such a short period of time, despite the efforts of so many parents and teachers and students, Nationwide, to prevent the same crime. On February 14th, while we were pushing PromiseHoods with Hearts emblazoned on the chest and sampling cakes baked with love that can be tasted, Stoneman Douglass gave up 17 more to a country whose amendments have lost their way to "change" us. The worst we imagined, became another community's reality--there must be and is another way to educate, and to bring forth from each other the great good that is within every sentient being.

Thoreau's advice to "beware of any endeavor which requires new clothes," is the ironic, iconic, and guiding principle of Be As You Wear's unique brand of haberdashery, which seeks to usher in (gently) an age of slow and basic fashion that at once honors autonomy, supports anonymity, and encourages affiliation with the deepest and most connected parts of ourselves--the parts that are screaming out to be One with All and also, individual divinations free to travel through multi-dimensional planes

On April 20, demonstrations across the Nation are being staged to disrupt the status quo and to demand a higher standard of safety within and beyond our classrooms. Let freedom ring, and may every GoodHood stand up for what it's individual members share and ignore the rest. Be As You Wear is a proud sponsor of these efforts through our annual ONE & ONLY sale!

Starting tomorrow-through March 4th (which is a command) all hoodies are 20% off. Order 3 or more pieces for your Team and take 50% off each additional hoodie with code 5050.  

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.