Its February 23rd, and a blink past new years 2016. I am sitting at my table eating my Amy’s no chicken noodle soup with avocado’s from my friend Victoria’s avocado tree drinking some well water from the property with splash of lemons from the section of citrus trees just to the left of my view. I watch the fat white pawed and green cat with magical, almost sparkly eyes sit very calmly on my front porch. Breathing in so much gratitude for an almost perfect day.
I woke up to the sun shining through the clear bubble at the top of the yurt I am staying in, that and the chickens gawking to be let out of their cage so they can roam the land and peck at the day’s food. I rolled over and cuddled Layla, my fawn colored angel who is in the form of a 70 lb. pitbull, that me and my friends re-categorized as a loveshire-terrior. After I get my cuddles and kisses in, I snuggle Layla up in the blankets and turn on a Pandora channel called Toning Bowls and roll out of bed to turn the water on… coffee… the only vice I have left. After a few years of my body boycotting almost everything I eat, I have finally given up dairy including my most favorite morning treat, heavy whipping cream and coffee. I’m off sugar, unless it is Organic Sugar because apparently I am allergic to the heavy metal toxins that are in the chemicals that are sprayed on the crops. Sound bizarre? After being off sugar for a while I did a test and ate some Nutella and within seconds my body starts having a reaction and itching. I’ve been unable to eat or drink Gluten for a few years now, unless I get Omission’s Gluten Free IPA I’m down for the gas in the belly count if I even think about having a beer. Sounds lame? Well, it pretty much is and recently I was told by my medical intuitive friend that I also can’t process my favorite beverage ever red wine, oh yeah, now I can’t even be social. Why should I listen to her? Because I was having severe pains in my gut that wasn’t getting better until I cut out wine and dairy. She told me to get off my other favorite food in the world, cheese. I tried one day one and two days off, and what I noticed was every time I had cheese my body would within hours have blisters pop up all over my hands, not the kind like on your feet little tiny ones that take weeks to flush through your system. Yep, this is my life. Well, not only mine but many people in the US probably share these same symptoms but aren’t even aware of it because they are just moving through their days trying to deal with the basics of their life. I just read a fascinating article about Edgar Cayce talking about this from the 1930s, and he specifically says that when coffee is mixed with cream or milk, it becomes toxic. It all makes sense. So when I say I roll out of bed to make my coffee, or my “Cosmic Coffee” as my friend Michelle calls it, even without cream, I am eager to get my day started with something yummy.
I cross the circle that is now my home for as long as it chooses to be, and look around in gratitude for how I got here is quick a story one that has taken me almost 4 years. As my water warms up, I sweep the ashes out of the furnace that I use to keep us warm at night, Layla, myself and Foster my friend’s dog whose property I am on. He’s been staying here since I moved in a week ago, because he has taken a fancy to Layla his new live-in girlfriend, either that or it’s really the story he sold us so we don’t notice that he just wants to eat her food. I put in new wood for tonight’s fire and use a few rolls of paper, but mostly cover the base wood with all the twigs that I have gathered off the land. The water whistles and pour it into my Aeropress mixed with a combination of Bulletproof coffee and some dark Guatemalan blend. While I steep the coffee I pour some organic natural granola with Carrageenan Free almond milk, all of which I ‘have’ to eat so my body stays healthy. My coffee is piping hot and time to throw in some coconut oil, turmeric, organic cardamom, cinnamon and a delicious blend of maca a cacao mix that again Michelle made me for Valentine’s day. By blending her mix with some Cashew Milk, I can trick my mind into thinking I am having a mocha, the trade off is that its healthy and well, to be honest way better than any mocha that I would get anywhere. Yummalicious! Next I put my boots on and take a walk out my porch and up the left past, the area where we are going to be building the new green house, past the barn and towards the chicken coup. The four chickens are eager to get out and are patiently waiting for me to put my coffee down and get that gate open. I look over the pasture of ankle high blades of grass and dandelions towards the cherry blossom tree in front of the yurt. Breathing in and out nature and all the birds dancing about, waking up and flittering around with what seems like their own agenda.
Today’s agenda for me is to break up some old planters, and move piles of wood to under the yurt. Silly as it sounds when I got here a week ago, I was curious how I was going to feel about heavy labor. Excited about being part of a community, I am the first one to jump in and help, but I was wondering how it would fair because now on top of my own work load for building this brand, tending to my clients, closing my other business, walking my dog, eating and oh yeah, trying to work in some yoga or meditation, how would I be able to do it all? Easily, I came to find out. There’s something truly blissful about being outside and doing work that is actually going towards a good cause, the common good of the farm.
I remember two days ago, I had to actually chop wood, not like chopping a tree down, but I had to split the wood so it would fit into the stove. I was kind of excited to do it because an old fling of mine taught me how to use an axe last summer and I never got to practice. I held the axe up and took a breath and saw the axe, hitting the middle of the log. Arms raised up and I allowed the axe to fall on the wood and boom, split. I got a little giddy with myself looking around as if to tell someone “I did it” and kept going.
Some of you reading this might think I am a giant woos, but what you will come to learn about me is while I did live in Dana Point, CA in a 5 bedroom house in suburbia I have been longing to be living back in nature and on the land. I have experience camping and I being on my own on the road, which I will share later, but realistically I have in the past never had to do these things. Most of my viewpoint from IC_evolution from podcasts to videos will demonstrate my naïve experience in what this “Intentional Living” is like. Why I am even doing any and all of this beyond my own desire to get back to a simpler way of living, is to open up some awareness to what else is possible. I have been travelling since June and have spoken with people of all walks of life, who when I share my stories with get that envious twinkle in their eye and then they follow it up with how much they wish they could do it. Well, what I am working towards with this project on all levels is to not only show by example that we can do it but that it might just be a better way to live or not! This might be too hard for some people, but what I have learned just the week is that there is magic in this living on the land stuff. There’s this subtle gratitude for the self when you have to load up your own firewood instead of turning on the heat.
After I labored for a good three hours, which was great for me to be outside and moving my body instead of just sitting at a desk working on a computer, which I would do everyday if I could, I came inside to make quick meal for myself that consisted of some eggs from the coup and a grapefruit from my friend’s grapefruit tree, which is nectar of the gods. I sat on the porch for lunch and watched nature do its thing, which is a big difference from the past weeks. If I can I will always choose to eat outside, but where I was staying prior to this was Santa Ana, CA and I had a TV so I plopped my butt in front of it and ate my meals. Being outside offers up so much more space to receive. Being in natures activates anyone’s curiosity as we watch the animal kingdom to its thing. In fact, all week I have been challenged with no media because coincidentally where I live there is minimal wifi and so I have been forced to read for entertainment! OH NO! I so understand now why I could never finish a book. I am notorious for reading a book about half way and then reading another book about half way, and so on… but this week I actually finished an entire book and have almost finished another one. I pulled a book that I had brought with me in the Tear Drop Trailer I have been using since I left Bend, Oregon. The book title was “How to Build an Underground House” by Malcolm Wells, a book I purchased way back in 2012 when I was on a shopping spree for everything I thought I would need in the future should something go squirrely with our economy and I needed to build an underground home. The universe is funny like that, most of books I have with me on this leg of my journey I wasn’t ready to read until right now.
I finish reading the introduction from Malcom where he is talking about our land and how one hundred years from now it can be well its way to recovery. Every inch of America can be parkland if we clean up our act. He says, “Every square foot of this planet’s surface –land and sea- is supposed to be robustly alive. It is not supposed to be shopping centered, parking lotted, asphalted, concreted, condo’d, housed, mowed, polluted, poisoned, trampled or in any way strangled in order that we – just one of a million species – can keep on making the same mistakes.” How oddly appropriate this book is for the journey I am on right now. I head inside which has now heated up to a ripe toasty sensation, but not toasty enough to hang out in. I sweep the floor because now that has to be done daily, since I am bringing in firewood and two dogs are hanging out in such close proximity with me. Again, I’m sure you’re thinking who cares you’re sweeping and I say though that when nature surrounds you, there is peace in this sweeping and keeping the space clean. The birds are chirping and there is a quite serenity to it. Now I still need to get digital marketing work completed, so my day is not close to being complete. I hop on my friend’s BioMat and lay on an icepack since my back is a bit soar from all my labor today, and have a moment to do a quick meditation. After a quick shower, I clean up and hop on the computer for a few hours. Just as I’m getting into a new layer of my project, I am becoming increasingly aware of my dog in particular doing subtle laps into the room where I am working which is really a signal for “if you’re free, I’m totally ready to go for a walk.” I get a little agitated because it’s interrupting my creative flow, but the sun is going down and being that today was 70 degrees, why not. I get directions from a local who is visiting my friend on the farm, to a beautiful beach area where the dogs can roam off leash.
We head down there and those pigs are in heaven, smells, free reign and beauty for me to look at while I watch the sun lay its head to rest. I soak in the amazement of this day, knowing that there was so much space between all my activities meaning I was able to think… to BE… and experience all the magical moments of my day. There was pleasure in not just creating a project for someone else, but feeding myself with nature, being one with all it has to offer. As I walked on the beach in awe, I spoke allowed my favorite phrase: HOW DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS?
I use this phrase to invoke the universe to show me. When you have a moment that is just wonderful, epic, joyful, fun or even when it’s not, when you say this question you are dancing with the divine, you are asking the divine to show you… how does it get any better? This is a gift I share with anyone who has known me in any kind of magical moment. So I was walking down the beach and I asked. I had a brief thought, well, it would get better if I could find a whole sand dollar because I had seen tons of them that were broken but I wanted to find my own whole one. I forget about it and kept watching the source of our planet dip lower and lower behind the sea. Magic is in everything. Dogs were smiling as they scampered on the beach running in and around the waves. Happiness in nature. I looked down and saw the sand dollar, whole and complete. I invite you not to underestimate your own desires. I do know now that anything is possible. Utopia does exist.
To understand why any of this matters, I have to explain where I came from and why my current mission is to understand how we can live more off grid not necessarily literally but on all levels. We must get back to more nature to see the mirror of the magic of life. Stay Tuned.
Anyone who is learning more about venturing into an alternative 2016 – ie, bartering, new paradigm banking or just an easier way to pull off the credit cyclone designed to keep you choking on your own earnings might want to investigate the book Sacred Economics, by Charles Eisenstein. Via his website “Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.”
When I began exploring how I could fund IC_evolution and a new paradigm advertising model I got inspired by his teachings. He is encouraging us to go back to original version of currency which is a gift. In the ‘olden’ days, if your friend needed something you gifted them what they needed and it was sacred. And when you had a surplus of something you gifted to someone who might have needed something. Then somewhere along the way, we switched to an even exchange model of I give you something and now you must give me something of equal value. Which creates the density of exchange instead of it being a sacred gift.
I get it, we’re in a different time and we are accustomed to this but… as an ARCHITECT of the NEW PARADIGM we have a choice to shift that. And as the Creator of ICEVO I wanted to try a new way to market. I came up with a great model of Gratitude Tokens or Tokens of Love. My theory was you could purchase tokens and then you can gift those to your favorite companies who maybe are having a challenge paying for advertising. I proposed this to a zen friend of mine out of NY and her response was that current commerce wasn’t ready for this, it was too complicated.
So I let it be. I am a serial MANTRApreneur and use tools of the universe to keep myself working and busy, along with an amazing network of friends who support me. Without coming to a firm plan to raise capital for this show, I began to notice that I was receiving only positive feedback about the idea, the intent and my enthusiasm around it. After a while I started to notice that this Gifting Support was happening without me even asking for it, Sacred Economics is working and the intention to create a gifting program to keep this show going is working… and with ease and grace I might ad.
I travel around and stay with my friends, who can see I am dedicated and am on a mission of Purpose and Passion. Because of that they have been overly generous to my cause. My friend Victoria let me stay in her home while she visited her mom for the winter, so I could focus on getting this product up and running. My friend Chad Hood, knew that my car (being my only means for commute on this mission) noticed my tires were wearing low and purchased me a new set! And then he told me to get a full tune up on my car which being at 174,444M means the old girl definitely needed some upgrading. And then my friend paid for my ipad so I could edit on the fly if I needed to. How does a girl get so lucky? My friend’s Brandy and Glen, put me up in their home for 6 weeks to also allow me to work and then they loaned me their teardrop so Layla and I would always have a safe space if we needed.
Again I thank my lucky stars and ask how does it get any better than this? Community is like that, supporting each other where we can when we can and its not about just money… When we ask the universe for help we must stay open to all possibilities, because there is help and relief in all kinds of abundant ways. When I launched my first podcast, and decided I needed to put some marketing up there for people in my network so we could help support matching visions. My friend didn’t have a lot of money for advertising but said she would blog about ICEVO… hmmmm, I thought, this is it! This Sacred Economics is happening and without me even putting a full system in place! SO FUN how the universe shows up…. so now, I have decided that for now ICEVO will be based only on a LOVE TOKEN and GRATITUDE TOKEN BASIS. Anyone who wants to contribute to ICEVO can request promotion for any company and I will do my best to match them with a show or webisode that is in alignment. LOVE DONATIONS ONLY… How does it get any better? Every little bit helps. I actually do marketing/graphics/business coaching for the personal needs of me and Layla. If you would like to learn more about that you can visit www.alexandrakavanah.com What I spend contributions on is hard drives for footage, tools for editing, hosting, food, gas to get to the communities and contributions people who are willing to help me. This is the New Paradigm. People contributing to each other for the causes they want to support. I find this immensely satisfying to know that I wanted this to happen and it did, without me actually forcing it. Total Allowance. Love. Gratitude and appreciation for everyone who has taken care of me on this journey.
Why is it important to contribute this way? Because I can continue reporting on ICs everywhere and bringing you information that is not going to be on Mainstream media. Unbiased showing through moment to moment contact, what people are doing to create a more harmonious lifestyle in an alternative way of life.
Last year I spent 6 months roaming the Pacific Northwest in search of Intentional Communities. I have no crew, not much cash and it was just me and my dog scouting to learn all about Intentional Communities. When in Eugene, Oregon a collaborator of IC_evolution suggested I do podcasts. While this isn’t foreign to me because I have hosted my own radio show before, I had never actually podcasted. I quickly embraced the idea because I could access more information this way. I was able to grab key people, in their opportune window and have a candid conversation with them about what I was curious about with regards to intentional communities. Since then I have captured some truly amazing, intelligent and information conversations with some key leaders on this side of the grassy knoll.
I am proud and excited, as I embark on this new adventure and career to say that iTunes sent me this message today: Your podcast, located at http://icevo.libsyn.com/rss, has been approved. You should expect to see it on the iTunes Store within the next few hours. When it’s available, you will be able to access it with the URL below.
You may be saying, yes well anyone can get a podcast on iTunes, but for me it represents the ACTION needed to move forward into this adventure. A good idea is only that, a good idea until you move forward into action. And it only took me 6 days to get there in the new year! Just you wait… I hope you will enjoy my candid conversations with these pioneers as much as I did.
Keep on rocking the free world!
Zan Kavanah, IC_evolution, a new paradigm media contribution
As you can see I’m pretty excited to be hanging in this picture with Maitreya Founder Robert Boleman, one of the many spirited people I met on my journey through the Pacific Northwest this summer, 2015. My dog Layla and I took off to investigate what these Intentional Communities were about. I have always been curious, mostly because where I lived for a long time the neighbors barely spoke, unless we saw each other in Costco. We all grew our own little tomato plants here and there, making home improvements as were convenient. I have always been fascinated in really making a difference in my own way of life and I have heard about people living together and sharing resources. What is it like? Are they happier? I don’t know but I was going to Scout the situation and see what I came up with. Hence IC Evolution was born. And while I am aiming towards capturing videos of these everyday heroes caring about the earth and the utilizing their own resources to generate their happier lives, for now I am Scouting and Podcasting, until I raise enough money to really capture episodes that will share what the trends are with Intentional Communities, Co-Housing and people living together. Is it something our country can embrace fully? I hope so, we are so much stronger as a collective than separate. Thanks for sharing this dream and message with others. IC (Intentional Community) Evolution – Zan Kavanah