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How To Travel America For Free (Without Mooching)

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What would it be like to travel across America without any money? Could it be done easily? Safely? Some can only imagine what that would look like but for Rob Greenfield, he knows what that is like and today he is going to share that story.

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Rob reached out and asked if this article could be shared out to everyone so here it is!

———

This article has been republished with request and permission of the originating author Rob Greenfield.

As I write this I am traveling America without a penny in my pocket.  I left my home in San Diego on June 2nd with $2,000 cash and On August 12th I took a leap of faith in humanity and gave the last $421 I had with me to a non-profit.   I made the goal that day of finishing my ride to New York City moneyless just to prove to myself and others that it is possible. Today I arrived in New York City today on my bicycle still without a penny in my pocket.  People have tried to give me money but I have easily refused it.

This experience is about much more than just not spending money. It’s about showing that you and I can be contributing members to society whether we have money or not. It’s about showing that there are much more rewarding ways to live than just throwing money at every situation. It’s about living a life that is truly beneficial to the earth my community, and myself. It’s about being more involved in our communities and treating each other and respect.  And it’s also about teaching you how to live with less money so that you can follow your dreams and live independently of corrupted systems that don’ serve your best interest.

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If you follow this guide exactly you will literally be able to travel the country without a penny in your pocket. However, I know that most of you won’t be able take that leap of faith right away because it has taken me years of practice and a vast amount of dedication and resourcefulness to get to this point. You can most certainly adapt a few of these tips though and in doing so learn to travel very inexpensively. Once you learn to do that the country and the world will be yours to see.

I’m no stranger to traveling without money.

Earlier this year I flew to Panama with just the clothes on my back and passport to Share My Way Home and two years ago I flew to Cabo, Mexico moneyless and hitched 1,300 miles back to San Diego through the desert. These trips were downright grueling but I came out of them knowing for certain I could travel without money.  Now I’ve made it a way of living and over the last month and a half of traveling moneyless there were only a few remote occasions when I even had the urge for money.  I’m amazed that I, a man who used to say I was going to be a millionaire, now forgo the thought of money on a daily basis, but it is in fact the case.

I have learned to live simply and because of that I live more freely than I ever have before. Here is my guide of how to travel America for free without mooching:

Gear Up with Some Necessities

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In order to be self-sufficient and travel sustainably you may need to spend a little bit of money upfront but if you buy everything used you won’t need much money to get going at all. Shop at thrift stores and second hand stores or use sharing economy websites like Yerdle and Craigslist.  With a resourceful mind you might not even need to use money to get necessities.   Most importantly remember to travel light and only take what you actually need.  My necessities will be mentioned throughout this blog and the tips within can help you with procuring them.

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The bicycle is an amazing machine that can get you just about anywhere you need to go. One of the greatest keys to freedom is having a bicycle. It doesn’t have to be a sweet bamboo bike like I ride though. A $300 bike from Craigslist will do the trick or you can even get one for free through an Earn-A-Bike program. You’ll never have to pay for gas, parking, tickets, or all the other money sucking expenses of car travel. 3-1-1024x682

Learn how to repair your own bike and get used parts. Carry simple tools to fix your bike and some spare parts such as inner tubes. Often you can get free parts from community bike shops or in exchange for volunteering.

Dumpster Dive For Food

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It’s a shame but in America we throw away enough food to feed another entire America. That means we throw away nearly half of all the food we produce. I have found out first hand that our grocery store dumpsters are filled to the brim with perfectly good food. There is such an abundance that I can be picky with what I choose to eat from the dumpsters. I’ve eaten from over 500 dumpsters across America and never been sick.

Just go behind the store, open up the dumpster, and enjoy the bounty of free food.

Forage For Food

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Open up your eyes and you’ll realize that food is growing free all around you. Fruit from trees that aren’t being tended to, wild grape vines, cactuses in the desert, mushrooms in the woods, berries, and wild herbs have all found their way into my belly. Food is Free!

Water

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Bring a water purifier and a reusable bottle. Many parts of our country are abundant with natural bodies of water and a simple water purifier will make it clean and healthy for you to drink. If that is not available we are also blessed with clean tap water. You can get this from public fountains, restaurants, bathroom sinks, etc. There is no shortage of places to fill up your bottle. Be conservative with water too. The average American uses one hundred gallons of water each day while I am able to use just five or ten.

Sleeping

How can you sleep without paying for a hotel room? Well, it turns out that the body needs so much less than you think. Carry a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping mat and you will find that you can sleep just about anywhere.

I’ve slept in campgrounds

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Parks8-2-1024x682

Roadsides9-3-1024x682

Abandoned Buildings10Rob-Greenfield-going-without-a-home-1024x682

And The Middle Of Nowhere’s11-4-1024x682

All of these places have provided me with a place to rest for the night.  Not to mention all the churchyards, fire stations, baseball fields, backyards, and even cemeteries.  I’m a man of 5’10” and there are an unlimited number of places that I can comfortably fit my small body for the night.

You can also use websites like Couchsurfing and Warmshowers to stay for free with a host.  This is Juanita and Chris in Louisiana:

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Or you can stay with friends and family of course.  This is my mom:

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Live Naturally- Personal Hygiene

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If you accept that the body does not need all the modern luxuries that are advertised you’ll see that it does not cost money to upkeep the body. In the past I would shower every day but it’s now been 17 months since my last shower. I bathe solely in lakes, rivers, and the ocean or use a gallon of water from the sink. The only body care products I carry are toothpaste, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, a toothbrush, floss, and essential oil. This actually is one area where about $20-$50 per year could really help you out.
The more naturally I live, the more freely I live.

Electricity

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Well you don’t need electricity to live but if you choose to carry some electronic devices like a computer or cell phone bring a solar panel to meet your energy demands.  This way you don’t depend on the grid for electricity. Otherwise you can just plug into any of the millions of outlets that exist in America.

My cell phone is currently the only bill that I have and one day I may get away from that as well.  This summer I canceled my last credit card, paid my last debt, ditched all of my other bills, and switched to a local credit union.  I’m still progressing into a moneyless way of living myself but I’ve been chipping away from the dependence and am more free than ever before.

Travel With A Purpose Greater Than Yourself

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If you travel with a purpose to make the earth a better place you will find that your needs will be more easily met. People are always excited to be a part of a greater cause. By involving them they often receive as much from helping you as you received from them their help.  I give all of my trips a theme such as doing good for others on the Goodfluence Tour, demonstrating eco-friendly living on Off The Grid Across America, or simple living and sharing on Share My Way Home.  People love to be a part of my travels and go out of their way to get involved and host me!

Make Goodness Your Currency

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When you do good for others, others will do good for you. The great thing about goodness as a currency is the more you give, the more you receive. You don’t need to have anything to start with to use this currency. There are so many people in need of help and all you have to do is go out there and help them.

Exchange And Barter

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I have started to make transactions that don’t involve money but I was somewhat unfamiliar to this in early adulthood. You can volunteer on organic farms with Wwoof and have your lodging and food covered while you’re there for example. You could go dumpster diving for $100’s of dollars worth of food and trade that for what you need (as long as you tell them where you got it). You can also work in exchange for what you need. Exchanges don’t always have to be linear either. By giving to others when you can you’ll find that what you need may come from others not involved, just because they know you are a good person.

Entertainment

Entertainment needs not cost a cent. It is only a matter of perspective as to finding your forms of entertainment. Let nature provide you with smiles.  This field of wheat made my spirits soar.

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The clouds, the air, the green grass, and the trees bring me pleasure.

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Their are 300 million Americans all with their own unique story that can provide friendship and conversation. 21-3-1024x682

And the animals have often kept me company too!

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There are thousands of public events that you can find for free like documentary screenings, dances, and parties. Communities are loaded with free events. The library is also a wonderful resource filled with infinite knowledge both via books and public computers.

Live off of America’s Wastefulness

I mentioned dumpster diving for food but there is so much waste in America that you can find just about anything you need in the trash with just a little work. Even thrift stores get so much stuff donated to them that they toss a lot of it into dumpsters. In my opinion that is free for the taking. Retail dumpsters, residential trash cans, and alleyways can provide you with everything you need and at the same time you will be diverting stuff from the landfill. The Average American throws away 4.5 pounds of trash per day. Basically everything you need is in the trash.  Here you can even see me bathing in a leaky fire hydrant.

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Shake Off Social Norms

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Live in a manner that you know is right for you, serves you, and serves humanity. Say see you later to the social norms that restrict you from doing what you truly want to do. Stop caring what people think and start being the you that you truly want to be. When I decided to this it opened up my life and allowed me to live in the manner that I speak of today.

Take Help

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Don’t be too proud to take help from others.  All humans are needy.  We all depend on community to support us.  We all depend on the earth to provide us with food, water, and air.  It’s only the illusion of money that makes some people appear that they don’t need help.

Sometimes you’ll take and sometimes you’ll give.  You won’t always be able to give back to the person who helped you but as long as you are paying it forward then you are helping to create a better society.  Plus a lot of people feel great purpose in helping others so you may be returning the favor more than you know.

Realize It’s OK To Not Pay Taxes

Some would argue that if you are not spending money and you aren’t paying taxes, you are mooching from public systems such as the roads, parks, and libraries. That could hold true but you can assure that not to be the case by living in service of your country.  And heck no I’m not talking about the army.  I am talking about doing your part to help these systems that you are involved in but not paying taxes to do so.

If you use the library, volunteer at it.

If you use the public parks, clean up some trash.

If you use the public bathrooms, leave them cleaner than you found them.

It’s important to realize that reciprocation does not have to occur on a direct give and take basis. For example, a man could spend one hundred percent of his money, say 1 million dollars, on creating a safe highway infrastructure for Americans but does that mean that he doesn’t deserve to use the public parks, the library, or walk down the sidewalk?  Of course not.

Maybe you don’t have a way to give back to the road system but you could dedicate time to getting more people to walk, lessening the impact on the roads. Maybe you don’t pay for healthcare but you can keep others that use free healthcare out of the hospitals by teaching them to be healthier via their eating and exercise habits. In these ways you can actually save taxpayers money, which would cover your lack of financial contribution. It’s important to note that 50% of taxes go to war so when you do pay taxes you are funding war.

You have to think outside the box to understand this but taxes are by no means the only way to contribute. Money is not the only form of transaction, although we have been lead to believe that.  You can be a contributing member to society without paying taxes or using money. In fact you can contribute much more in this manner than you would by paying taxes. Once you realize this, your possibilities are endless and the future ahead of you will shine bright.

Then forgot what taxes are and pretend to be a child again.  You can start by hanging from a tree.

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Then stand on your head.27-2-1024x682

Play like a wild animal.28-3-1024x682

And explore the simple unknowns.29-4-1024x682

Earlier this year I received a message of from Abby, one of my first girlfriends.  She said, “I remember you being convinced you would be a millionaire some day, that was your life goal.”  I dated her when I was in University and if anyone knew me at that time it was definitely her.  I didn’t just want to have stacks of money though.  I wanted to be a millionaire because I thought vast amounts of money bought freedom.  Now I’ve learned that the drive for money actually makes you a slave.  A slave to the dollar, a slave to bills, a slave to your stuff, but most importantly a slave to your own mind.  When your priority is to make money you will never have enough.

I no longer desire to be a millionaire but looking over my life purpose from nearly ten years ago I see something very familiar written at the top of the list.

“Live a life full of health and happiness”

For the most part my goals haven’t changed, just my means of achieving them.  In the last few years I have come to find great levels of health and happiness by living simply.  It turns out that all I need to feel an abundance of health and happiness is real food, clean water, simple clothes, simple shelter, and most importantly a bounty of friendship, love, and purpose.  I have learned to meet all of these needs with the usage of very little money and this have given me the freedom and time to pursue my greatest desires and follow my deepest passions.  This knowledge in simplicity has given me the ability to live more freely than I ever could have imagined in my younger years.  Now that my needs are met I have dedicated my life to being a steward of the earth that and helping all the beings that make it home.

This reading may not inspire you to travel America without a penny to your name but at the very least it can help make traveling more accessible to you. This is important because traveling creates strong, open minded, resourceful, understanding, and compassionate beings.    If you wish to practice what I’ve written for you I recommend that you leave your house on foot for just one day with no money or possessions in your pocket.  Experience what I am talking about in your own community and leave everything else at home so that you are forced to immerse in the moment.  You may experience hunger or be uncomfortable but this could stir a feeling of aliveness that you haven’t felt since childhood.  If anything goes wrong home will still be there for you to retreat to.  I started small the same way that I am recommending to you. It took me many years of adventure to get me to where I am today and that will likely be the case for you as well.

What I speak of in this blog can be of service to you even if you feel like you can’t travel right now or don’t want to.  All of these ideas can be adapted into your life at home as well to live in a manner that is beneficial to the earth, your community, and yourself and to pursue a deeper level of health, happiness, and freedom.

Start living the life you desire today.

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The Photos are from my last two cross country bikes.  Most of them are from my first ride and taken by Brent Martin.  Thank you for helping me tell my story Brent.

Rob Greenfield

This article has been republished with request and permission of the originating author Rob Greenfield. His original article can be found here.

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Alternative News

George H. W. Bush Met With The Bin Laden Family On The Morning of 9/11

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    George Herbert Walker Bush had a meeting with Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of Osama bin Laden, and members of his family the day before and the morning of the 9/11 attacks. It was apparently a routine "business" meeting.

  • Reflect On:

    Why was there no mention of this within the mainstream? Why no investigations of these connections? Why no hearings or inquiries? Why the total silence?

It’s always interesting to read the comments on a post that tries to get to the truth about 9/11. Comments ridiculing these efforts as “conspiracy theory” are still popping up, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans and global citizens believe that something fishy happened that day and that an adequate explanation as to what happened was never provided by the US government.

These days, people are taking matters into their own hands instead of constantly relying on the government, especially for information. Government and mainstream media forces have fought back, bringing about the complete deletion and/or censorship of alternative media outlets. Prior to social media, mainstream media decided what information was to be disseminated to the public. But with social media providing a platform for organizations like Wikileaks to get information out, the global elite are struggling to maintain control of the narrative. They are banking on a modern day Orwellian type of war against “fake news” that is reminiscent of the “war on drugs” or the “war on terror”: a lot of it is based on lies, misinformation, and the global elite, or cabal, simply creating a problem so they can propose the solution.

9/11: Order Out Of Chaos

This is exactly what seemed to happen on 9/11. It was false flag terrorism at its finest. There are multiple studies published in physics and engineering journals that show, beyond a doubt, that ALL THREE TOWERS fell due to a controlled demolition. President Donald Trump has even expressed his knowledge that there was absolutely no way that planes could take down the towers, and that controlled demolition was involved.

Here are some out of many articles we’ve written about the topic:

9/11 Unmasked: The Ultimate Evidence-Based Challenge To The Official Narrative

Studies Show WTC Building 1,2 & 7 Could Not Have Fallen – Why Does The US Still Lie About 9/11?

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15 Disturbing Facts About 9/11 You’ll Wish Weren’t True

To simply label this a “conspiracy theory” is ignorant in light of information and evidence that has emerged since that day, be it in the form political witness testimony, documentation about what happened that day, academic research or even eyewitness testimony from firefighters who survived the event. We KNOW something strange happened. Those who push the conspiracy attitude seem to be the ones who have yet to actually look into it and examine the evidence for themselves. Anybody who does look at the reams of evidence and analysis could not possibly come to any other conclusion than the one made within this article. Ridiculing a topic and referring to it as a ‘conspiracy theory’ seems to be the first resort, instead of just saying “I don’t know,” or “I haven’t looked into it.”

When we don’t look into things, we allow our perception of events to be manipulated. Most people have a hard time believing that there are people out there who would want to manipulate the perception of humanity in such an extreme way, but this is actually the only thing that makes sense of the workings of the modern world.

The Bush/Bin Laden Meeting

One of the pieces of evidence of “fishy business” we haven’t covered before is the fact that, one day before the 9/11 attacks, as well as the morning of, the recently deceased George Herbert Walker Bush had a meeting with Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of Osama bin Laden, the supposed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. Is this not fairly convincing evidence in itself that the bin Laden family, and Osama, may have been working for the Western military industrial complex? Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Canadian economist and University of Ottawa professor emeritus  explains it sardonically:

It was a routine business meeting on September 10-11, no conflict of interest, no relationship to the 9/11 attacks which allegedly were carried out on the orders of Shafiq’s brother Osama, no FBI investigation into the links between the Bush and bin Laden families.

What is presented below is a factual account. Fellow investors of the Carlyle Group, including Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and former President George H. W. Bush, met in the plush surroundings of New York’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel on September 10-11, 2001.  This “business” meeting was interrupted by the attacks on that day. This meeting was confirmed by the Washington Post, though it was published well after the attacks, and went virtually ignored:

It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day.

In his article Chossudovsky points out the real context and the seriousness of this situation that mainstream media completely ignored.

Let’s be clear as to what happened: the dad of the sitting president of the US was “harboring” (to use GWB’s expression) the brother of  the alleged terror mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Other members of the bin Laden family were also there. The next time this info leaked out into the mainstream came almost two years after the event:

On the day Osama bin Laden’s men attacked America, Shafiq bin Laden, described as an estranged brother of the terrorist, was at an investment conference in Washington, DC, along with two people who are close to President George Bush: his father, the first President Bush, and James Baker, the former secretary of state who masterminded the legal campaign that secured Dubya’s move to the White House. The conference was hosted by the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that manages billions of dollars, including, at the time, some bin Laden family wealth. It also employs Messrs Bush and Baker.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, when no one was being allowed in or out of the United States, many members of the bin Laden family in America were spirited home to Saudi Arabia. The revival of defense spending that followed greatly increased the value of the Carlyle Group’s investments in defense companies.

The Carlyle Group is embroiled with the defense and intelligence establishment. “It is widely regarded as an extension of the US government, or at least the National Security Agency, the CIA, and the Pentagon.” ( The Economist, June 26, 2003)

The meeting of members of the bin Laden family with the father of the president of the United States was covered up, and 13 members of the bin Laden family including Shafig were flown out of the US on September 19, 2001 in a plane chartered by the White House.

The Takeaway

How come there were no inquiries into this? How come there was no questioning? If our world operates the way we are told, both Bush and members of the bin Laden family should have been taken in for questioning. Obviously, it’s easy to see why they weren’t, and that’s because, in my opinion, they were directly involved in orchestrating the event, to basically revive the ‘war on terror’ in order to invade other countries for ulterior motives.

Eventually, the soldiers who give orders will stop giving them, and the ones that take them will stop taking them. This will happen when more people realize that the entire ‘war on terror’ is a complete fabrication.

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Consciousness

Dark Jewels: Mining The Gifts Of 8 Difficult Emotions

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Our difficult emotions are not just unpleasant experiences. They have hidden gifts, including the capacity to transform our lives into more joy and wholeness. They impart wisdom and compassion we can't find living on, or fearfully clinging to, the su

  • Reflect On:

    Which emotions do you have trouble feeling or accepting in yourself and others? These might be the frontiers you need to embrace and enter to more fully embody your life.

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.

—Pema Chodron

Unless we look into and skillfully navigate our dark sides, we can’t become our fullest selves. Consequently, we can’t truly love ourselves and the world as much as we are capable. Following Pema Chodron’s reasoning: if we cannot bear our own pain, how can we bear the pain of others? If we are afraid of our own suffering, how can we genuinely stand with another in theirs and thereby be the friend possible?

Below I list eight natural, universal emotions that at first blush we might feel like avoiding. This list is a kind of treasure hunt, revealing what we get to discover when we welcome and allow these at first uncomfortable feelings to be, and eventually change us from our depths on up through our heart and mind. For this growth to happen, we first have to be honest with ourselves—to be aware of what we are feeling and able to name it. Then we can embrace the feelings and go from there.

Notice how each “negative” emotion mentioned below informs us of our care. To welcome and work with our shadow emotions enables us to care more. Caring also requires sensitivity. So, if we have a sensitive heart, we will likely feel all these difficult emotions in good measure. And, when we learn how to intimately, courageously and patiently dance with them, they give us more heart and more inner power. Each emotion is therefore a portal to fulfill our capacity for greater love—love for ourselves, for those we love, and the Earth itself.

Difficult Emotion #1: Guilt

Guilt is usually a signal that we have acted, or might act, inappropriately. Guilt brings us back to our values, morality, and care for one another. Guilt shows us where we have acted poorly and can do better. Guilt keeps us accountable to one another. Guilt (that we have done wrong) need not become shame (that we are wrong or bad). We can harvest the lesson in our guilt (oftentimes along with our remorse), make amends, and forgive ourselves. For example, if I feel guilty that I wasn’t fully honest with you and this cost you, I might make an amend and confess my shortcoming.

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Sitting with guilt allows the sting of wrongdoing to impress a lesson upon us, or to change our hearts for the long term. Guilt need not be self-hatred, self-condemnation, or endless regret. It can be a mature reckoning and opportunity for more integrity. Note, guilt can also be a symptom of depression and OCD, in which case it’s best to notice it and not ruminate on it or try to mine it for wisdom.

Difficult Emotion #2: Anger or Rage

Almost every instance of anger arises because something we treasure has been threatened or taken away. It shows us what we care about and how we feel violated. Anger is the smoke alerting us to the fire of where we have been hurt. Anger shows us where our boundaries are, and welcoming the energy of anger helps us set boundaries. Anger protects what we love and shows us how much we care and value what is rightfully ours, or what is another’s. In the face of abuse, for example, anger or even rage, is an appropriate response. It protects our vulnerability.

Sitting with anger, without acting it out violently (unless appropriate in the moment to set a strong boundary) empowers our functional ego, or sense of self. It’s good, however, to make sure we get the facts straight before we let our anger take over, so we are not acting out on false assumption. With all this said, I find anger one of the less remunerative emotions to perpetuate. I try to get the lesson, hear the message from anger, then try to skillfully express, discharge, or let it go (not suppress or perpetuate it in thought and heart) as soon as possible. In excess, anger ages, wears us down, and burns bridges of support. At the same time, not embracing and discharging anger in healthy ways can sabotage and age us even more quickly.

Difficult Emotion #3: Fear

There is helpful and unhelpful fear. Helpful fear shows us our limits and where our limits for self-protection are, and therefore, what we care about. Fear of heights, or walking at the edge of a cliff, help us be careful so we don’t hurt ourselves. This is helpful fear. We all have limits, and healthy fear tells us when to stop and what to avoid, or to be careful in proceeding. Sitting with helpful fear shows us how to take care of ourselves and others, how to avoid harm. Unhelpful fear should be confronted, skillfully, and in good timing, so it doesn’t prevent us from achieving our goals. Asking that someone special out on a date or taking the steps to follow through on a dream, despite the fear, is confronting unhelpful fear and not letting it hold us back. We can’t help feeling unhelpful fear, and sometimes rather than try not to feel fear, the way to conquer it is simply to “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Difficult Emotion #4: Remorse

Remorse is related to guilt. It signals us that we have made a mistake, caused harm, or could have done better. Remorse arises because we care; otherwise we wouldn’t care how our actions affect others. Sitting with remorse allows it to teach us a heartfelt lesson. The remorse we feel because we didn’t take the time to review the pesticide-impact report accurately, or because we didn’t make the call that would have prevented a disaster, can all be good medicine. It’s important to allow remorse and not excessively beat ourselves up about it, which also gives us the opportunity to practice forgiveness. Remorse is tinged with sadness, which arises from caring, which is why it’s a good sign to feel remorse; it means we have a heart, care about life, and have a moral compass.

Difficult Emotion #5: Despair

Despair is tough and humbling. Sometimes we can’t help but despair. Despair has an element of giving up, and this total or partial surrender can bolster our capacity for letting go of unnecessary control. When we do, we can find inner strength we didn’t know we had, as well as outside support in those who come to our aid. Inside despair is the kernel of faith. Despair can be a path to what we might call God or Spirit, which is often our own resiliency and trust that things will somehow work out when we have given up, or feel like we have nothing left.

It’s important to have support and to self-motivate when appropriate so that despair does not unnecessarily turn to depression and self-harm. Falling apart in the arms of despair can be a powerful way to contact our depths and find that invisible inner fortitude. This is best done with people who can stand by us, hold us, and keep our heads above water, if indeed we are afraid of figuratively drowning. When we have support and can weather its storm, despair also reveals what we care about and who unconditionally cares for us.

Difficult Emotion #6: Worry or Anxiety

Worry can be unrealistic or realistic, and shades of both, just like fear. Noticing what we worry about can show us what we care about; otherwise, why would we bother to worry? Some are worrywarts, in which case it’s helpful to try not to worry as much, while preserving the kernel of care in worry. Sometimes it’s appropriate to act in order to reduce worry. If I’m worrying about having left the gate open, getting up and closing it abets my worry. Other times, when our worry is more unrealistic, we don’t need to act as much as we need to bring our minds back into balance. Sitting with realistic worry shows us what we need to do to protect ourselves and others, even if it’s as simple as closing the gate or moving a glass from the edge of the table. Worry brings out the care in our hearts or our fear of harm. Controlling negative and anxious thinking, getting the facts straight, and breathing deeply all help keep worry from becoming exaggerated, unrealistic, and getting the best of us. Worry is our hearts thinking out loud about what we care for.

Difficult Emotion #7: Grief

Grief is the price we pay for the privilege of love. Yet, it’s only a temporary cost, for I consider grief the most soul-making of the emotions. Grief takes us down into ourselves;  it is the polisher of our souls. Grief dissolves our pain, which making it invaluable for living as a sustainable person. For if we don’t clear our hearts of pain, the tendency is to poison the world and others with the hurt we didn’t allow it to dissolve. Within grief is the blossom of rebirth from suffering and loss. The more we grieve, the more we can love; and the more we love, the more we feel the sting of loss. To deny grief is to deny love. While most of us don’t want to feel the drag, dullness, and despair of grief, it is a natural and healthy reaction to loss. Grief is a symbol of our love and when we can welcome it, we give our hearts the opportunity to break and grow as wide as the world. Grief work is an aspect of grief that I describe as  intentionally entering our past pain, especially that from childhood, that has not been resolved. This work frees our lives from the inside out as nothing else can. Grief is merely the other side of feel-good love and is always in fluid communication with it.

Difficult Emotion #8: Envy or Jealousy

Envy, as the desire for what someone else has, points to our fulfillment. It brings out our longing and desire and shows us what we want and what we can work for to make our lives better or more enjoyable. Of course, it’s important to make sure that what we are envious of is something we truly want and value, and not just an excuse to hate on someone. Sometimes we feel a heavy dose of envy because we don’t want to work for the success another has. Yet, once we admit our admiration for someone else’s success or freedom, we can use that inspiration to work to acquire what we envy, and admire our own progress and achievements.

Jealousy, which is feeling threatened that what we cherish will be taken away or injured, is often accompanied by anger. In wanting to possess, jealousy shows us what we value, what we want to protect, what we would feel pain in losing. The element of anger, or even worry, in jealousy helps us set boundaries and limits to protect what we want and care about. Marriage, or committing to monogamy, are examples.

The Takeaway

I hope this deeper glimpse into difficult emotions allows you to lean into and appreciate them for their uncommon gifts and not throw out their wisdom with the bathwater of knee-jerk reaction of temporary discomfort. Yes, they can be difficult and bring us down, but when we wisely work with them, and for long enough, they release their nectar, transform us into better and kinder people, and initiate us to our shared humanity. Their benevolent darkness gifts us depth and beauty we can’t otherwise find in the sunny side of life alone.

****

Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac., M.A., is Chinese medicine physician, having graduated valedictorian of his class in 2000. He has authored hundreds of articles, thousands of poems, and several books. Weber is an activist for embodied spirituality and writes extensively on the subjects of holistic medicine, emotional depth work, and mind-body integration, all the while challenging his readers to think and act outside the box. His latest creation is the Nourish Practice, a deeply restorative, embodied meditation practice as well as an educational guide for healing the wounds of childhood. His work can be found at jackadamweber.com, on Facebook, or Twitter, where he can also be contacted for medical consultations and life-coaching.

 

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Alternative News

Why The Yellow Vests Movement Could Erupt Into A Modern-Day French Revolution

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Journalist Luke Rudkowski is on the ground in Paris, France, and conducts an interview about the Yellow Vests Movement that gives us a very different picture than the one portrayed by Mainstream Media.

  • Reflect On:

    Could this movement be where the rubber is hitting the road in our global awakening?

History tells us that the people of France have a tipping point beyond which they are no longer willing to put up with the oppression and enslavement of the ruling class. Such was famously the case a little over two centuries ago.

As the 18th century drew to a close, not only were the royal coffers of King Louis XVI depleted, but two decades of poor harvests, drought, cattle disease and skyrocketing bread prices had kindled unrest among peasants and the urban poor. Many expressed their desperation and resentment toward a regime that imposed heavy taxes–yet failed to provide any relief–by rioting, looting and striking. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system.

The French Revolution played a critical role in shaping nations by showing the world the power inherent in the will of the people. And there are signs that the current uprising in France may be set to have a similar impact, albeit in a modern context. Rather than fighting against an absolute monarchy, whose head was well known an therefore was vulnerable to the  immediate impact of the guillotine, today the people of France are fighting against a power that is not as visible, but one that they are coming to understand more and more as a hidden global elite, for whom the political heads of state are mere puppets.

On The Ground In Paris

In a recent video interview (embedded down below) from on the ground in Paris, France, Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange spoke to a well-informed anonymous citizen discussing the fact that Mainstream Media is doing what it can to minimize the size and seriousness of the Yellow Vests Movement. This citizen seems to capture the real mood and motivation of the Yellow Vests Movement, and here discusses its origins and the reason it has continued to grow:

Yes, it was about the tax on cars and fuel, but, it was just the tipping point of something much bigger. Essentially everything that happened during the Macron government since the beginning–but it’s not about Macron, it’s about 40 years of destruction of these public domains, the banking sector taking over the country, and people are feeling it not just in their wallets, but they are feeling it in their neighborhoods, their grandmother, their sisters, their baker, everyone is talking about it since many years.

What really triggered all of this is first of all Macron’s rhetoric, because he has really a way of talking which is extremely aggressive towards people who are working who are fed up with having to cross the red line on the bank account every second month and not being able to pay for simple things like for their children for Christmas, but it’s, I think we are getting to a laser effect which is everything is coming together into a single point and it’s not about right wing with Antifa’s and whatever, getting into violent games, it’s much bigger. Like I’ve seen people throwing rocks at policemen you would never expect this kind of people to do this in their life, it’s because they’re really getting insulted on a daily basis for what they’re doing and now I guess they have crossed the line and this line will never get back–never.

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Rudkowski himself admits that in talking with people in the street, taxi drivers, and the like, that everybody is very much engaged in this movement. It is supported by an overwhelming majority, and it doesn’t look it is going to stop until major changes have been effected. Macron’s offer to ‘suspend’ the gasoline tax for six months has been considered an insult to a people who are clearly fed up and awakening to all the tactics that used to work.

Not Just About France

The anonymous commentator seemed very clear that this was not just about France, that this was a plight undoubtedly shared by all the nations of the European Union and beyond. And he also echoes the sentiment being held by a growing number of awakening citizens that the time for change is NOW.

It’s a movement that hopefully will reach the world, basically, because it’s not about the French population, I can imagine it’s basically everywhere in Europe, it’s basically also in the United States. We can do it very differently but people have to stop looking at TV and stop thinking that revolution will come one day–it’s NOW, first of all–and they have to, also, think about: what can we ‘think through’ in terms of solution right now, and not tomorrow, in order to make sure that the banking system is not going to contract the nation states, because I guess the crisis is going to get bigger by the next months, we’ve seen it just the past days, and what I, personally, in my opinion expect in the next days is that France will be different in about two weeks: a different government, a different situation.

My fear is that the violence will be used in order to push for Marshal Laws, but the military here in France, I think, they will never accept it, they don’t want to go after their own people. Even the policemen, they’re getting really tired of being thrown into these violent games, that, you know, these are people, normal people, they know why it’s happening because they also feel it in their own life, they’re not getting paid, they’re not getting their dignity.

This last point is very important, as was highlighted in my previous article ‘Breaking: Watch French Police Officers Remove Their Helmets In Solidarity With The People.’ Law enforcement and even the military, the physical muscle that the global elite rely on, are starting to awaken to the situation themselves. They are starting to identify more with the people than the superiors who are giving them orders to do things they no longer believe in. Without the backing of these forces, the global elite is in a very precarious position indeed.

Global Elite Getting Exposed

Certainly, this global elite has been able to stay out of harm’s way for so long because people used to believe the cleverly crafted charade that the politicians were the ones making all the decisions. This has all changed now, as our anonymous commentator points out:

So, I think it’s a trigger, it can be very global and very short time period. But it has to be clear: the real enemy is not the politicians as such, it’s really what’s controlling them. People here in France are starting to say it out loud on TV, with millions of people looking at TV, which is very new, there was a huge censorship, and now it’s getting out that, you know, Macron is not the main controller of his population. He receives orders from outside. People kind of knew it but now it’s being said, it’s been said out loud, which is very new, something totally new.

This exposure is being driven in large by citizen journalists like interviewer Luke Rudkowski who, because of technology, the internet and social media, are able to participate in the reporting and commentating on the events of the day. And in turn, they are giving voice to citizens on the ground to give us a truer picture of what’s going down on the ground. Our anonymous citizen captures what is being felt by everyday people who now feel that they have a voice and media allies who will tell their story:

Citizen: People are now being called to explain what they have in their hearts, which is exactly what they [Global Elite] didn’t want to have. And that’s exactly why the yellow vests started, it started because the color yellow, it’s like, you know, if you want to be heard, if you want to be seen in the streets, then you take yellow, that’s the way.

My view is that it had to happen anyway. Whatever people are saying, it had to happen. It’s not really controlled, it’s completely organic, it’s totally new for the people who are in power now, they didn’t expect anything of this to happen.

Luke: I didn’t expect it to happen. I mean I was here when people were cheering on for Macron when he was elected. And again a lot of–you could just feel it–like, the people I talked to, just arriving here, the people leaving here, the people in the taxis, the people in the streets, the few that I talked to here, they’re feeling something major is happening here, the yellow vest movement has 80% support amongst the people and it truly looks like this will be and it feels like this will lead to the ouster of at least Macron, and even bigger political changes, and it looks like it’s definitely going to get a lot more turbulent before it gets calmer here in Paris, France.

The Takeaway

The role of conscious media has never been more integral to what is happening in our world. Journalists like Luke Rudkowski are participating not only in bringing people information the Mainstream Media is trying to keep hidden, they are also fueling the breadth and scope of these new movements themselves by allowing more citizens across the globe to become more involved based on a clearer understanding of what is going on.

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