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Rise of The Butterfly: Artists Tackle The Issue of Human Trafficking

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In a new show called Rise of the Butterfly, artists showcase the juxtaposition between those of us that are adding to the destructive forces and those vying to have creative energy take center stage.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you aware of the issue of human trafficking and how deep it spreads into our system?

“Art changes people and people change the world,” -Layla Love. When art is paired with social purpose and given license for personal transformation, it becomes a transcendent force of nature with the power to shape all who come into contact with it. Rise of the Butterfly is applying this profound wisdom to address the issue of human trafficking world-wide.

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With her new show, Rise, opened in New York on May 17th of this year and will be toured globally, Love enlists her viewers to actively participate in the liberation of her subjects. This is not the sort of activism that overwhelms one by reminding them of endless problems, it instead seduces audiences with the beauty of solutions while empowering them to take action.

“Love has recently brought her service through art to a new level in the launching of her own nonprofit, Rise of the Butterfly, conceived with Gloria Steinem. The mission is to expand the reach of art as visual-aid to evoke activism in a public domain, and provide a sustainable source of funding for grassroots organizations working to help women and girls around the world rise.” –Layla Love Website

Empathic Expression has the power to transcend even the darkest aspects of the human condition and Layla Love has spent her life exemplifying this in her work. Having spent time as a photojournalist in war-torn countries, and been put in foreign prisons, her work has appeared in the White House, been shown with Eric Franck Fine Art at Paris Photo, Art Basel, the MoMa sponsored AiPAD Photography Show in New York, and beyond. The beauty of art isn’t about distracting us from the ugliness of this world. It is about reminding us of our resilience, our compassion, along with our responsibility to take action towards healing and transformation.

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Human Trafficking is more prevalent than most people realize. The majority of victims are young women and the result of war-torn countries or places stricken with poverty. It will take a truly global movement to address the policies that allow this atrocity to happen, but in the meantime there needs to be an outpouring of love and support to those who are caught in this unspeakable suffering. Layla Love’s nonprofit organization, Rise of the Butterfly, is committed to supplying a sustainable source of funding for grassroots organizations working diligently to protect those who are affected by human trafficking and environmental displacement.

The Approach is Threefold:

1. Create safe and soothing spaces where viewers and survivors alike can recover, see the world from a different perspective, and take practical steps toward change.

2. Provide sustainable funding to social justice efforts through gallery exhibitions, with half of all proceeds directly supporting benefactors and half supporting administrative needs and necessary art supplies.

3. The art produced creates a cycle of funding and final tier of fundraising, a series of limited edition pieces by Layla Love.

“Artists who choose to unite in strength counterbalance how fragile the state of the world is. How we treat the earth, how we treat each other, and how we treat ourselves give us all the ability to rise. That is the beginning and end of this mission: to collectively and individually rise.” -Rise of the Butterfly Website

A Gallery Show in New York City on May 17 will be the official launch, but this show is slated to travel the world. The total collection includes over 70 pieces. Each image comes from a limited edition collection of under 10 with half of the images being available only as a single piece of fine art with no further edition. Collectors are not the only ones who will cherish these beautiful pieces by bringing them home. Each person will bring home a fire of passion to become active in this important matter. It is through this deep human emotion of connection, and compassion that we will bring healing to this heart wrenching problem of human trafficking.

Gallery Space: 555 West 25th St, New York, NY

Permanent Showroom: 150 West 28th St with a 40 piece collection of Love’s work for the past three years shared at the National Organization of Women headquarters.

Proceeds from sales of works and books at the show and online go toward supporting Rise of the Butterfly and other organizations working to address this important issue.

“I was speaking with Gloria Steinem in her living room several years ago as we established the foundation, and now as I’m ready to launch, I ask if you would like to support our mission or share the message in any way. It would be an honor to collaborate and share in the art of living with you.” -Layla Love

A Global Movement. Artists in collaboration, across platforms and mediums have an unprecedented ability to lead the way to a better future. It is not sustainable to look the other way, to drown in the problems, or to fill one’s self with anger and despair. Together we rise with compassion, empowered to be the salve for the wounds of our own human shadow. Visit the website, host an event in your community, create your own art, and share this story with your social networks. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

What other ways will artists take lead in this time of uncertainty and pain on our beautiful planet? What ways will you step up to become those changes that you would most like to see in the world?

Sometimes it is those who merely add a touch of color to another’s dream that are the invisible hands of magic. Rise of the Butterfly showcases the juxtaposition between those of us that are adding to the destructive forces and those vying to have creative energy take center stage. Every action is an action of creation or destruction. This is a call to action that we may each be the creators of awareness and viable solutions.

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Thousands Gather To Mark The 33rd Anniversary of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act

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Government’s gift to Pharma of liability-free vaccines puts children’s health at risk states Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Washington, DC – Thousands of advocates for children’s health will gather Thursday at the Vaccine Injury Epidemic (VIE) Event on the National Mall to mark the 33rd anniversary of National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The rally on Nov. 14th will spotlight the devastating impact NCVIA has had upon the state of children’s health. While children continue to be injured by vaccines daily, vaccine makers cannot be held accountable, thereby eliminating incentive for vaccine safety.

In his remarks, RFK, Jr. will address the ramifications of NCVIA and honor those whose lives have been impacted by vaccine injury and death. “It’s time to call out Congress, the CDC, and drug companies for allowing industry profits to trump children’s health,” said Kennedy. “There is no crisis more urgent than the epidemics of chronic health conditions among our nation’s children.”

Following NCVIA’s passage creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the childhood vaccine market sparked a gold rush for Pharma as more vaccines for routine childhood illnesses were developed. Coterminous with the burgeoning vaccine schedule, chronic health conditions in children rose from 12% to 54%. As vaccine industry profits grew to $50 billion annually, so did diagnoses of asthmaautismADHDallergiesanxietydepressiondiabetesobsessive-compulsive disorder and auto-immune diseases.  Here are the facts:

  • An HHS-funded study found only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported.
  • Despite NVICP’s high burden of proof and two out of three claims dismissed, over $4.2 billion has been paid for claims of vaccine injury or death.
  • The vaccine-injured find NVICP to be a years-long, litigious program with no jury, discovery and precedent. While medical bills mount, the injured are up against DOJ lawyers and HHS “Special Masters” that act as judges.
  • The Department of Justice and the NVICP are accused of fraud and obstruction of justice in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding.
  • The Institute of Medicine reports that the vaccine schedule as recommended has never been studied for long-term health effects despite independent research suggesting that unvaccinated children are healthier.
  • Modern medicine acknowledges that not everyone responds the same to vaccination and the “one size fits all” vaccine policy is not science based.

Children’s Health Defense’s created these six steps to vaccine safety. RFK, Jr. interviews are available upon request.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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‘They’re Landing & Taking Off at A Tremendous Pace’ – Sadhguru On Life From “Somewhere Else”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Sadhguru has commented on 'mystical' phenomenon for a while. He has speculated about life that originated from somewhere else, not Earth. He explains how he believes 95 percent of it is simply false, but also speaks of a 5 percent reality.

  • Reflect On:

    What are the implications of humanity waking up to such phenomenon? How does it affect and alter human consciousness?

The last couple of years has seen the topic of UFOs and a discussion of whether or not some of these objects are from another planet, dimension or universe, infiltrate the mainstream in a way that we’ve never seen before. The topic is now being presented with extreme credibility. When President Truman went on national television in the 1950’s and was asked about the phenomenon, he stated that “yes, we discuss it at every conference that we’ve had with the military…There’s always things like that going on, flying saucers and they’ve had other things, you know, it sparked a lot of questions and inquiry from researchers, academics, and citizens around the world.

Shortly after that, the topic went completely dark, and what we’ve seen since then, apart from the last few years, is and was a campaign of misinformation. This campaign of misinformation was deep, vast, and is still in operation today. The field is unfortunately tainted by disinformation despite the fact that we are dealing with a very real phenomenon. This specific campaign to discredit and mislead those who work in this field was admitted to on August 22nd, 1960, in a statement to congress via then CIA Director and Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter.

It is time for the truth to be brought out…Behind the scenes high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense…I urge immediate Congressional action to reduce the dangers from secrecy about unidentified flying objets. (source)

Multiple high ranking federal government employees, and multiple Ex federal government employees, astronauts, like Dr. Edgar Mitchell and Brian O’leary to name a few, aerospace executives like Robert Bigelow, scientists, and thousands high ranking military personnel from around the world have come forward over the years sharing their stories about UFOs and supposed ‘beings ‘ from elsewhere. But in recent years the topic has hit the radar of the masses, who are starting to wake up to the fact that  “there is a serious possibility that we are being visited and have been visited for many years by people from outer space, from other civilizations” and that “there are objects in our atmosphere which are technically miles in advance of anything that we can deploy.” (source)

Millions of pages of documents released from governments and via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) also show this quite well. These objets are commonly tracked on radar. Here’s one of thousands of examples.

The reason that this topic has gained tremendous amounts of credibility is because media outlets like the New York Times, for example, are publishing articles about it in a very serious manner. The authors? There are many, one of the writers of those pieces was Christopher Mellon, who served 30 years in the federal government and was Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Intelligence from 1997  to 2002 and in security and information operations from 1998 to 1999. From 2002 to 2004, he was Minority Staff Director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

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Mellon’s Washington post article detailed a number of UFO encounters with the military with extreme credibility. Again, he is one of many that has done so with extreme credibility within the past few years. He is part of the To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA), a group with an impressive list of people who are creating awareness about the reality of UFOs.

What we are seeing here is an official, slow, disclosure of the phenomenon. Unfortunately, these media outlets have been very unreliable with regards to sharing truth. Geopolitical issues are a great example, sharing misinformation on topics like terrorism, for example, in order to justify and carry out a certain agenda. These mainstream media outlets have always been mouthpieces for the establishment, and this is evident by documents and award winning journalists providing testimony showing a strong link between mainstream media and governments, intelligence agencies and big corporations. They’ve always taken real events and put a perceptional “spin” on them to suit their own interests.

The topic of UFOs is most likely very much the same. What we are seeing is a controlled type of disclosure, where the narrative coming from these sources may be controlled in a way that doesn’t share the entire truth and the real vastness of this phenomenon. Personally, I believe a lot of what we are seeing in the mainstream is a “threat” type of narrative, the idea that these objects pose a great national security risk and represent a threat which, who knows, may be used to justify the weaponization of space? Who knows. Could TTSA be part of this, or at least a few people from within the organization? I don’t know. Hopefully not.

One thing is for certain, we are dealing with a very real phenomenon, one which we do not know much about. There are many interpretations out there, and having been in the field and researching the subject for a very long time, as well as having had my own experiences, I would recommend looking for sources outside of mainstream media. We are dealing with a phenomenon that in many ways, may be quite spiritual in nature, perhaps some of it is not, the point is many people have a lot of feelings towards that and perhaps the human race is not quite ready for such an experience. After all, we have our own problems to tackle here on planet Earth.

Sadhguru’s Thoughts On The Phenomenon

I know theories and theories are going around, anything that you cannot explain that’s happened on this planet you want to invent a fantastic story that somebody else must have come and done this. I’m not saying that it is not at all possible either, but I think 95 percent of it is just lose imagination. There is a five percent element of truth to it. I cannot deny it after being to Manasovar and Kailash. It’s a living confrontation, it’s a living encounter so I cannot deny it….I think it’s 95 percent conjecture, maybe there is a little bit of an element of truth in it somewhere, maybe. But, instead of going off into these fanciful thoughts and philosophies and belief systems…When they come and introduce themselves, okay, till they come and introduce themselves…till then we can ignore them, really…Because I know you’ve been watching Hollywood movies and they’re going to come and attack you and you have to prepare right now, you have to build an army to fight the aliens. Somebody is making money on building this fanciful thought in your head….You’re not able to settle your prejudices and you know, anger and hatred we’ve generated against people, if you’re not able to drop it, I thought at least with aliens we could welcome them and have a party with them (sarcasm/laughter). (source)

The words above are Sadhguru’s latest comments on the phenomenon. He then goes on to speak of the Kailash temple, in India, explaining how it took thousands of years for humans to build. He ends off explaining how these many wonders that humans have built are something we look back on with great awe, and then makes a wonderful point, is what we are doing on planet Earth right now something that future generations can be proud of? Something to think about…

It’s clear that Sadhguru believes there is a lot of false information out there regarding the UFO and extraterrestrial phenomenon, or at least so it seems in my opinion. At the same time, he is quite open and aware that there is something going on, something we cannot explain, and something very real happening. Here is a video of him where he tells a short story about Shiva, who was considered to be a God by the people in ancient India. Sadhguru explains how the story of Shiva and it’s origins, and even the Mountain where he supposedly resided, is full of evidence suggesting high intelligence possibly from another place. He makes it clear that he can’t say for sure but he believes that it is indeed possible.  He provides multiple points cited in Shiva’s story that have him arrive at that hypothesis.

Again, he has made it quite clear that he is simply speculating. But when he speaks of specific places, and specific experiences, he is speaking with little doubt, and speaking of the “five” percent that are attributed to real phenomenon.

I came across a video of him speaking near Kailash Manasarovar Lake, one of these places he references. It’s considered a sacred place in ancient Buddhism and Vedic philosophy for several reasons. In fact, he’s been quite outspoken about this region, and he’s quoted earlier in the article speaking about his experiences here, and why he himself cannot deny the phenomenon.

In another video, I came across him stating this.

It’s life, but not the way we know it. These beings, if you can call them that, they don’t belong to anything that we know as life. So for now, due to lack of words, we’ll call them beings. Their nature has nothing to do with who we are and what we are, on this level at least…Somehow, life from somewhere has chosen this, almost like an airport, they’re just landing taking off landing taking off at tremendous pace. Such energy, such beings, or whatever you want to call them, they cannot go without influencing us in so many different ways. Probably in a very fundamental way, which somehow humanity is willing to unacknowledged, for whatever reasons.

I thought his “unacknowledged” was very powerful. Because this is a worldwide phenomenon that, for years, has indeed gone unacknowledged.

He goes on to explain how he wonders if Shiva (mentioned earlier in the article as well was “one of them.”  You can watch the full video below.

Final Thoughts and Takeaway

This article has provided a very brief introduction into the reality of the UFO phenomenon, as well as the extraterrestrial hypothesis as a possible explanation of it. This topic truly leaves no aspect of humanity untouched, and has huge implications for science, technology, history, consciousness, and our overall understanding about the nature of reality. It’s always interesting to listen to multiple perspectives, and Sadhguru for those who have listened to him speak on various topics, is clearly very knowledgeable and educated in many areas. I thought it would be interesting to share his perspective.

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IKEA Plans To Switch From Styrofoam Packaging To A Mushroom-Based Alternative

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Styrofoam is harmful to our planet, which is why it's great to see IKEA switching all styrofoam packaging products to a compostable mushroom-based alternative.

  • Reflect On:

    If more sustainable options exist why wouldn't we implement them now? As consumers we have a say in creating the type of world we want to live in.

The cat’s out of the bag, by now the vast majority of us are aware that Styrofoam is bad for our environment as it doesn’t decompose and, in its production process, leaches toxic chemicals into our environment. Yet, despite this awareness, it is still being used on a massive scale to package anything from your new flat screen TV to your late night sushi rolls. As consumers we can choose to either support the companies that are contributing to the waste epidemic on our planet — or not.

Thankfully, as awareness grows, some large corporations like furniture giant IKEA are leading the way and choosing more sustainable and harmonious products. No doubt these sustainable options will appeal more to the conscious consumer and even though we can’t be clear as to whether or not these decisions are being made because of a general concern for our environment or because of growing consumer awareness, it doesn’t really matter because, regardless of the why, things are shifting for the better.

Compostable Alternative

Ikea has announced that they will be looking to switch all of their packaging materials from Styrofoam to a new substance called MycoComposite, which is made out of mushrooms and other organic materials. This material is entirely natural and compostable; it grows within a week and will decompose within 30 days. It can also be reused if it is kept dry.

This was a product we wrote about 7 years ago! And here it is today, finally getting the attention it deserves.

The process to create this packaging material is quite simple really–from Intelligent Living:

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  • Agricultural byproducts such as hemp, husk, oat hulls, and cotton burrs are pressed into the desired shape that can fit around items as packaging.
  • Then, it is seeded with mushroom spores that sprout mycelium (a root structure) after a few days.
  • The mycelium threads rapidly through the structure and binds it together to form a shock-resistant and durable packaging material.
  • The last step is to heat-treat the material to kill spores in order to arrest further growth of the fungus.

Mushroom-based packaging uses only about 12% of the energy that is used in plastic production and produces 90% fewer carbon emissions than plastic/Styrofoam production. Non-petroleum-based packaging is just another step towards ending our reliance on fossil fuels; there are plenty of alternative options available, we just need to look. In some cases we simply need to put on our thinking caps, we are a creative, problem-solving species and no doubt there are much more harmonious alternatives for many of our current processes.

The SWOT Analysis below conveys the advantage that Mushroom based materials has over plastic.

Strengths

  • Biodegradable
  • Easily grown from agricultural waste products which are plentiful
  • Strong, lightweight, mouldable
  • Produced using less energy
  • No waste or pollution from the process itself
  • Inexpensive
  • No health risks

Weakness

  • Takes longer to produce than most plastics
  • Less variability and range of products can be produced
  • Not as fire resistant/good as Styrofoam

Opportunities

  • Replace plastic products as a socially and environmentally safe alternative
  • Research is ongoing to improve and create more products
  • Community development through GIY initiatives

Threats

  • Compete against already strongly established plastic dependence (suppliers, manufactures, buyers)
  • Opposition to fungus grown product, misinformed views

One Small Step Towards Massive Change

Just think for a moment, not even just about the hundreds of IKEA stores worldwide, but consider all the big box retailers like Amazon and ALL OF THE STYROFOAM packaging that is being used and where all of that ends up. The fact that technology even exists for us to use a compostable alternative should leave the other substances completely behind. Because why would we continue using materials that are harmful for our planet if working alternatives already exist? That’s a whole other topic, and I’m sure you already know all about the why.

IKEA’s Head of Sustainability, Joanna Yarrow, said this was the retailer’s “small yet significant step towards reducing waste and conserving ecological balance.”

Another Ikea spokesperson told The Telegraph, “IKEA wants to have a positive impact on people and planet, which includes taking a lead in turning waste into resources, developing reverse material flows for waste materials and ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled. IKEA has committed to take a lead in reducing its use of fossil-based materials while increasing its use of renewable and recycled materials.”

Yes, it may be a small step, but just think of how big this step really is, and we can only hope that other retailers will follow in the footsteps of IKEA. Maybe it goes without saying, but we do have a say in the matter. If other retailers aren’t willing to give up their use of Styrofoam, then we can choose to shop elsewhere, and if enough people do the same, then these other retailers will have no choice but to change their ways. This is why raising awareness is so important.

Much Love

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