The Eleven, August 2014 – Beloved & Next Door (a new tool I’m ga-ga over)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Eleven, my monthly e-letter where I tell it like I see it. If you’d like to unsubscribe, there’s a handy link below. And, if you’d like to know more about what I do for work, please click the “update profile” link below and join one or more of my biz lists that will appear!

OK, first of all, I’ve been secretly and not so secretly giggling over my new found love of NextDoor!  NextDoor is a new platform that is a super-local bulletin board. It allows you to connect with your immediate neighborhood (our cat is missing, is a common announcement (our cat actually is missing – come home, Scooter, we miss you!)). Then, you can also connect with the 7 neighborhoods nearest you. This makes finding others with similar interests (spanish conversation group, anyone?) a synch. I have been waiting for something like this all my life, and I am very excited to share this with you and see what you think. For those of us wishing our lives were lived closer to home, this is a Godsend.

For 3 years I lived at a big group house. Downstairs was The Happy Clam and upstairs, The Lucky Cock. Last month, the last folks who lived upstairs moved out and we had a great, sweet goodbye to our communal home. I had some of the best times of my life in this house on 13th and Hancock (thus, Alex Kain dubbed the house – The Lucky Cock 🙂  We had many great parties; lived with some close friends; and the house is a beautiful 1910 craftsman – a beautiful, historical Irvington house – a great home for all of us in so many ways. I’ll miss this house and the community we experienced there.
Beloved: Photo by Zippy Lomax

Last weekend, at the last minute, I decided to attend the Beloved Festival for my 7th year. I’m glad I did. It’s one of the most beautiful festivals I’ve ever been to – the music, food, people, setting (Oregon temperate coastal rainforest), dancing, art (lots of live painting), camping, community, purpose, (the porta-potties had Rumi and Hafiz poems in them this year!) and general evolved communication and connection – is a welcome change from how our society generally connects. I’ve often mentioned to friends that it’s also a “mens’ retreat” for me. It’s a chance to hang out with my men friends in a relaxed environment where we don’t have to be anywhere else – and so can hang out for long stretches – over a meal; watching some incredible music or going for a walk together. I don’t know, but somehow I find it hard to have that kind of ease with my men friends in the city. I applied to lead a mens’ workshop this year at Beloved, but the workshop was not accepted. I’ll definitely apply again as I think it would be a great addition to an already incredible experience. I could write a book about this year’s experience – here are some quick highlights:

  • Rafe Pearlman‘s shabbat invocation on Friday night was like nothing I’ve ever heard before – part mystic, part kirtan – it was other-worldy and beautiful.
  • YogiTunes. They did some sound-scaping at the yoga dome which was delicious. I’m enjoying continuing to learn about them. Kristen, Ryan and Jon R’s sound-healing offering was super-fine, too!
  • The fountains of green drink, oxygenated water and vitamin C water that was provided by Healthforce Nutritionals.  Kept me dancing and hydrated all weekend long. In the food category, I was also elevated by Lydia’s Kitchen, Get Fried Rice, Coconut Bliss – you get the idea – delicious, conscious food, at a reasonable price, available all weekend long.
  • My friends. Their friends. The kids – bouncing all over the place and having the time of their lives.
  • the art – and especially all of the alters.  Annie and her crew were at the festival a week early to install dozens of little and big alters all over the grounds. They were beautiful – temporary – created by Nature and Annie Eshaia.
  • Here’s a nice collection of pictures that can give you an idea of what the Beloved Festival is all about.  I look forward to going back again next year – it keeps improving from year to year.
  • Oh yeah, I almost forgot – hanging out talking to Michael Meade for a while – definitely a highlight!
Work-wise, I’ve been going a bit lighter this August. Meeting with clients (feel free to refer people to me who are seeking to up their on-line presence through email marketing and social media!). I’ve got a couple free classes coming up (see below).
Yeah, Summer! – heat, sunshine, friends, playing guitar, and being my activist self, too 🙂  Making sure friends are registered to vote (for labeling foods with GMOs in them in Oregon this Fall – to Legalize Recreational Marijuana here in Oregon this Fall, and more).  More on these issues this Fall.
I hope life is treating you extremely well. Rest, relax, and please take some time to have a Summer 🙂
Much love,
Albert

Upcoming Events

Getting Your Business Thriving with Email Marketing

Wednesday August 20, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT

Getting Started with Email Marketing is the most cost effect way to build your business – join me, Albert Kaufman, for a a guided discussion about how email marketing works and how to get up and running. 8.20.14 – great inner NE PDX location.

Holladay Park Church of God

Social Media Marketing for Small Business Success

Wednesday September 24, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT

Come learn about social media from local expert, Albert Kaufman. This presentation is a guide for small businesses or nonprofits who have been using social media marketing, but need some tips to take them to an intermediate level and/or add new channels to their marketing efforts. Heather Fulton, social media expert, will also be speaking!

Uptown Billiards

 

 

Oregon Country Fair 2014

ocf2014

Face-Painting at OCF: Photo by Nadi
Hi there,
I thought I’d send this newsletter after returning from the Oregon Country Fair. I’m glad I did. Now I know what to say 🙂  I started writing as I was heading out the door for the Fair, and could not put the words together – instead, I packed, and trucked to the Fair.
The Ritz. I really have to start here. The Ritz Sauna/Shower complex at the Fair is something really special. Here’s a picture of the entrance-way. Photos aren’t allowed inside, so it’s hard to find any on-line!  
Well, not that hard 🙂 And, to see some video of the Ritz and a current project there, visit here.
Why do I love The Ritz so much? Well, the Fair can be hot and dusty – then, for a small bit of $ you are welcomed into a world that is pretty unbelievable. Two sections of hot showers; dozens of happy, shiny naked people of all shapes, ages and sizes – add on 2 large saunas – an older one – circular on the inside – 4-5 levels of seating. And, a second, newer sauna – same height – possibly able to fit 50-75 people – imagine singing, yoga, quiet sitting and a lot of sighing – repeat, washing, rinse, – an area to brush teeth/shave and then to top it off – a lovely seating area with a fire in the middle and some seats around it – standing around a fire to dry off – add then, some of the best talent of the Fair playing music on a small stage by the fire.  Do that for a couple hours each day and you, too, will see the light 🙂  This year, a new addition was a mid-section high fire, between the changing areas which is brilliant.
If I had my way, I’d live somewhere with such a sauna/shower area available for daily use. I would never get tired of it. But OK, I’d eventually have to step outside, and when you step outside of the Ritz you are faced with so many great pathways, food booths, and smiling faces – it’s hard to figure out which way to go. And luckily, my work with Wileyware affords me a great reason to “be” at the Fair – sharing beautiful practical artistic glassware to people young and old. I realized this year that it’s a treat for people to know about Wileyware – whether they have any or not – to just see it, hold it, and learn about it is a valuable/interesting experience all on its own. And, to watch kids’ faces (young and old) as they pick up a glass and turn it around in their hands – that’s fun! 
Wileyware
Part of my Fair experience this year was coming early, setting up camp with friends and then building our booth.  Here’s what it looks like after a Winter of flooding in the area of our booth! Video by Paxton, who is an OCF Board member.
Our booth imagery starts around minute 2:40 (L12).
Left Bank Walk through
Left Bank Walk through – video by Paxton

Building our booth consists of building a floor – think boards, skill-saws, cordless drills and we build and take it down each year when the Fair is done. There is a strong Leave No Trace ethic here – the woods are turned back so it’s hard to find evidence so many people passed through (parades, marching bands, and thousands of visitors for 3 days!).

Then, there’s the music. A long-time favorite of mine is Seattle Jim Page. I’ve been seeing/hearing Jim play (often with Artis the Spoonman) over the years at Pike Place Market and OCF. Here’s a song that Jim played on the main stage that was haunting.

Jim Page - Ghost Bikes
Jim Page – Ghost Bikes Lyrics (if you want to sing along)

One great thing about the fair is that many of the artists will play shows on various stages and then play along the pathways. So, I got to see Jim with hundreds and then with just a couple people a few hours later. If Jim had great marketing and some luck, he’d be as popular as Bob Dylan. His songs are hard-hitting – and capture what’s really going on in our world. Sometimes the message is hard to hear, but it’s always right on target.

Food: oh my. So so good. From gluten-free cupcakes to falafel to amazing Get Fried Rice – the salads, and egg rolls, and tastes of friends’ choices – simply incredible. Possibly the best selection of food anywhere on the planet.  Food, music, catching up with friends – it was such a wonderful, kind reminder of the beautiful planet we live on and how it’s possible to live in harmony together.

Because, really, that’s the brilliance of the Oregon Country Fair. It’s a picture of how humans can be together – come together and harmonize – be kind to one another – take care of one another – treat each other well.
If you’re ever interested in being a part of the fair (and I mean being someone who is doing something in the Fair which leads to a wristlet allowing you to stay in the fair grounds over night) – please let me know. It’s not that hard to find a group to participate with – but planning and effort are essential.
Here are some more photos by Nadi who helped Eecole and Brian in the Energy Park face-painting booth (Grounded).
Well, there you have it – 5 days in Veneta, Oregon – a little taste. You can find tons of pictures on FB right now.  Everyone who attended is posting all of their pics on-line.
I hope your Summer is going well.  I have a couple free classes on social media/email marketing coming up – please come or spread the word. Details below!
Yellow Stripes
Take care and have fun out there!
Albert Kaufman
Portlandia!

Upcoming Events

Campaigns That Drive Action: Offers & Promotions & SEO Basics

Wednesday July 23, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM PDT
Increase & reward loyalty while driving new customers to your door. And, a special SEO session with Jesús Meca Rodríguez @ Portland Microsoft Office

Getting Your Business Thriving with Email Marketing

Wednesday August 20, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
Getting Started with Email Marketing is the most cost effect way to build your business – join me, Albert Kaufman, for a a guided discussion about how email marketing works and how to get up and running. 8.20.14 – great inner NE PDX location. @ Holladay Park Church of God @ 21st and Tillamook, NE

Luna Bell – Photo by Nadi

Addendum: At the Oregon Country Fair this year I saw a woman with the best t-shirt. It spelled out the word B-I-T-C-H on both sides. Here are the words that were written to spell out the word:

Beautiful Intelligent Thoughtful Caring Honest

and then on the other side

Being In Total Control of Herself

 

Ecstatic Dance: A Healthy Community Model – Sarah Kreisman

Sarah Kreisman

Sarah Kreisman

Ecstatic Dance: A Healthy Community Model, by Sarah Kreisman

There exist an endless variety of styles and types of communities in the world today. Some are large, some small in size, some are fleeting and some have existed for many generations. Forming into community is a part of human nature. “Our attraction to groups is instinctual; two hundred thousand years of human history have formed us into the group creatures we are” (Bellman, G. & Ryan, K., 2009, p.14). It is true that perhaps all communities in existence are not healthy communities, but there exist many which by nature are good for the people who are within them, as well as for those who are without. The ecstatic dance community is one great example of a healthy community. As a result of its unique nature, shared leadership and relationship to art, the ecstatic dance community is an excellent model of a successful, sustainable community.

There are many elements to the ecstatic dance community which make it unique from the majority of the communities in the world. The community as a whole is very openly loving and passionate in a way that I have never before witnessed. Affection is accepted and even encouraged between men. The community in general focuses strongly on human connection, on facing fears and learning to love and be loved. As community elder Bob Czimbal says, “we are more focused on belonging than belongings” (B. Czimbal, personal communication, August 15, 2013). The emphasis is on embracing truths and being accepted and embraced for doing so. The social norms are to be wild, free, sober and respectful. Czimbal states, “the goal is to increase passion and consciousness simultaneously as opposed to the typical increase in passion and decrease in consciousness correlation” (B. Czimbal, personal communication, August 15, 2013).

I myself have been experiencing the dynamics of the ecstatic dance community as a member for almost five years. During this time I have had the pleasure of befriending Bob Czimbal, a member of the community since 1996. Czimbal has been a community activist since the 1960’s when he began to participate in “human potential” movements. These movements involved an aspect of personal growth and healing which was unique and radical for the times. Czimbal participated as the greater community of the United States came together over external issues such as the Vietnam War. This experience motivated him to begin on his life’s path of merging the concepts of personal growth and community. Czimbal received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, went on to study community and co-authored Vitamin T and Kindred Spirits with his wife Maggie Zadikov.

Bob Czimbal, as a result of his passion for creating community and teaching others to do the same, has inadvertently become a strong pillar of the community. He has taught many seminars and workshops, and facilitated many gatherings which teach and encourage respectful communication and touch. Czimbal’s primary leadership role in this community has been in helping community members to develop these healthy skill sets as well as teaching them how to form a community of choice. Overall, Czimbal has played a pivotal role in helping the ecstatic dance community to remain healthy and prosper.

The benefits of being a member of the ecstatic dance community are many. When participating in ecstatic dance, we have the opportunity to witness and observe various behavior models and learn from them. The dance space provides an experimental environment which enables people to practice various ways of interacting with others in order to discover new and different manners of relating and setting boundaries. People are able to experience deep connection with each other without fear of expectations or attachments. It’s an environment which gives people the opportunity to learn to feel comfortable with touch and experience an embodied sense of spirituality. The community is also a playful space for people of all ages, encouraging joy, humor and a youthfulness which is uncommon in most adult communities. According to author David Richo, author of How to be an Adult in Relationships: Five Keys to Mindful Loving, there are five necessary elements to having healthy, loving adult relationships: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. This theory applies to any relationship experienced in adulthood. “They are the components of the healthy ego: Attention from others leads to self-respect. Acceptance engenders a sense of being inherently a good person. Appreciation generates a sense of self-worth. Affection makes us feel lovable. Allowing gives us the freedom to pursue our own deepest needs, values, and wishes” (Richo, 2002, p27). As depicted in the description of the ecstatic dance community, it is clear that an environment is created in which the five keys are facilitated. This creates a space of healing and nourishment which individuals may or may not be experiencing outside of this community.

All of the aforementioned benefits are aspects which promote good emotional and psychological community health. Strong friendships and even business partnerships form out of this community, creating concrete social capital for its members. “…Social capital refers to connections among individuals- social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (Putnam, 2000, p.19). With a high level of social capital, community and individual needs are well-supported, leading to an exceptional commitment and participation within the community by its members. Trust and reciprocity are incredibly important factors which attribute to community health and cohesion. “In short, people who trust others are all-round good citizens, and those more engaged in community life are both more trusting and more trustworthy” (Putnam, 2000, p.137). The ecstatic dance community by nature creates and encourages a community of trusting, inter-dependent individuals who are able to take the lessons they learn in this space and apply them in their lives within the greater, surrounding community. According to Czimbal the ecstatic dance community is “the most cutting edge spiritual evolution and revolution in the world today” (B. Czimbal, personal communication, August 15, 2013).

The leadership model in the ecstatic dance community is interesting as well as effective. The community functions in a democratic style, focusing on equality, shared leadership and decision-making within the group. This community functions succesfully as a team, with a structure of varying leadership roles depending on individual’s skill sets and interests. This style of power distribution is part of what makes this community sustainable. In Spencer Klaw’s book Without Sin: The Life and Death of the Oneida Community, we get a close look at an intentional community which existed successfully for 33 years in the late 1800’s. This was a “tightly knit and thriving society of some three hundred Christian communists living in upper New York State” (Klaw, 1993, p.1) who united under a leader who was a charismatic, self-proclaimed divine authority. This group practiced “complex marriage”, had a strong educational ethic, work ethic, and commitment to a leader whom they believe was leading them on the path to the Kingdom of Heaven. “…in a community of true Christians, God did not intend that love between men and women should be confined to the narrow channels of conventional matrimony. All the men at Oneida were therefore considered to be married to all the women” (Klaw, 1993, p.3).

John Noyes, the founder and leader of the Oneida community, ruled in the authoritarian leadership style, keeping tight control over the habits and practices of his community members. This was an effective method of leadership in that it created a large, cohesive, lucrative, community, but given the temporary existence of the community, it clearly was not sustainable. Once the community members began to lose faith in Noyes and his ideals, it wasn’t long before the community itself dissolved. “The Community’s founders had shared, and been united by, the exhilarating conviction that they were a chosen people; having freed themselves from sin, they could look forward to achieving immortality in their own lifetimes” (Klaw, 1993, p.233). The dream slowly died, Noyes lost his credibility, the community divided and ultimately disbanded. This is a great example of how tenuous the strength of a community can be in comparison to the solidity of the Democratic style of the ecstatic dance community.

Another aspect of the nature of this community which helps to make it a healthy, vibrant, sustainable community is its relationship to art. Humanity uses art for many purposes such as communication, entertainment, political/social expression, and healing to name a few. Within the ecstatic dance community art is commonly present. Whether via the medium of dance, musical performances or art exhibitions by community members, this community avidly supports and encourages artistic expression. There is a constant cycle of love, connection, support and creative expression flowing through this community. Through email list serves, social media and personal connections, when a community member offers to share their art publicly the community turns out to encourage, support and reward the courage of the vulnerable artist. The ambience is non-competitive, each person experiencing compersion when someone else succeeds. Artistic expression is celebrated, supporting the truth and freedom of each individual, yet another aspect of good health within this and other special communities.

Art has played an important role in many societies and social movements through human history, one of which was the Harlem Renaissance movement. This was a unique movement in the history of the African American culture in the United States, a movement which is world-renowned for the artistic expression which came out of it. “These years corresponded with an unprecedented artistic outpouring in the form of plays, novels, poetry, music, and visual art representing black life across many social categories- urban and rural, light skinned and dark, upper and lower class, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual” (Ferguson, 2008. p.1). During this movement African American people stood up and called for change. They shined a spotlight on their plight from slavery to segregation, and insisted on full social and political equality. Much of this communication was expressed through art. “The Harlem Renaissance holds a rightful place in African American memory as a time when freedom began to feel free” (Ferguson, 2008, p.2).

The ecstatic dance community parallels with the Harlem Renaissance movement in that it is also a very progressive, forward-thinking group, interested in social evolution and change. This community also uses art as a medium to express their desire for growth as we can see through ecstatic dance community member Eleanore O’Brien’s play series Inviting Desire. Her theatre company, Dance Naked Productions, “believes that the key to human happiness lies in greater compassion and understanding (and of course, more and better sex), and use the medium of theater to further that goal” (O’Brien, 2012). O’Brien’s work is an excellent example of using art to create social change.

As outlined in this paper, because of its unique nature, shared leadership and relationship to art, the ecstatic dance community is an excellent model of a successful, sustainable community. It’s an inclusive model which welcomes the greater community to participate within and enjoy its norms and practices. As this community continues to grow and flourish over time, humanity in general stands to reap the benefits.

References

Bellman, G. & Ryan, K. (2009). Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing

            Results. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ferguson, J. B. (2008). The Harlem Renaissance: A Brief History of Documents. Boston,

MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Klaw, S. (1993). Without Sin: The Life and Death of the Oneida Community. New York, NY:

The Penguin Group.

O’Brien, E. (2012). About Dance Naked Productions. Dance Naked Productions. August, 24,

2013, from http://dancenakedproductions.com/about-dance-naked-productions/.

Putnam, R.D. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of the American Community.

New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Richo, R. (2002). How to be an Adult in Relationships: Five Keys to Mindful Loving. Boston, MA:

Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Portland Ecstatic Dance – Video

Sarah’s video on Youtube… 

The Sacred Circle Ecstatic Dance from a while back in the 90s – Village Ballroom days!

and

If you’re packing for Burning Man, a couple quick reads

This one by Mark Morford of the San Fran Chronicle (I recommend subscribing to his weekly column…) is very good.  And then there’s this… for those staying at home, but a reminder to those going to Burning Man, too 🙂

From Aspen Madrone, goddess.  “As I feel you all prepare for the burn, embody the words of Mo Lohaus. may i burn the man at home this year”

may i burn the man at home this year may i finally become a full participant
may i kick the culture consumption habit cold turkey and get on with resonating funky genius and vulnerable enthusiasm

on my
own channel, 24-7
may i see every public space as center camp and roll around on the ground with strangers lovingly and with worshipful presence
as we contact one-in-other
may i strut my feathers and leathers and muppet cape
and naked benevolent childish soul everywhere i go
feeling fully in character
may i trick out my apartment like a theme camp and invite people in off the street
to lavish them with exorbitant gifts
of presence and affection, lovingly prepared because i can
because i am rich and overflowing and giving is why i am here
may i share shattering rock-bottom truths
with everyone, as casually as tea
like old lovers with nothing left to prove or improve on in the utter safety of the silky oscillation
between me and we
may i strip the locks off my heart and hold open house
with everyone i meet on the bus in line for groceries
or at the gas station
granting them the hallucinated embellishment of fur, goggles, nudity and dust
and allowing myself full excitement
and wonder at who they might be
may i look past the surface
and see into everyone
recognizing pirates
alien ambassadors, superheroes and translucent mermaids
may i call my campmates
or show up at their houses
as easily and shamelessly
as i might wander up to their tents
and never need a reason
for pressing my nose on their cheek
or for flopping on the couch and snuggling
may i love fully, fluidly
everyone who pulls me deeper into living and put away any residual shame
about how my love looks
remembering: we’re in the desert!
remembering: we’re dusty and unkempt and beautiful! remembering: we are mad ones and saints and divas all and there is no expectation of tidiness
remembering: there will be grit and friction, there always is,
but in the cathartic blessing
of our meeting and self-discovery
no one notices
remembering most of all
that my emotional nudity is my ticket to the event past the gate and greeters
to unity and a friendly universe
and is always honored and gratefully received
may i hallucinate freely
seeing volvos as giant bunny slippers and hondas as mobile cupcakes
may i notice the installations of genius and wild vision
all about me
may i see the dreams made real in my daily built world
may i touch the wide round belly of the pregnant possible
with both my hands
may i witness those around me
strutting their beauty and hope
their frailty and unfinishedness
and quirky unique poised artful
equilibrium above the abyss of judgment and may i yell out my approval, and applaud
may i witness the gifting that happens
every moment
the trade of glances, smiles and kind words
that are as quenching and comforting
in this daily wasteland of formality and alienation as popsicles and mist baths ever were
may i burn the man every day
may i take his idealized ass down
may i take the icon of who i am supposed to be and gently release him to flame
may i take his habits, opinions, head noise timidity and ego-protective arrogance and lovingly douse them with gas
this is my religion,
humbly, devotedly, and persistently performed: THAT MAN will BURN
may i build the temple every morning
and honor and celebrate
those who have sung the song of my life, who have held my life
like their own dear infant in their arms
may i build the temple every morning
and be awestruck by its beauty every day as i smear it with prayers and tears,
and then at dusk
release it in holy smoke
may i smell it burn
and know that that was it: this one day was my whole life and it is over
and if i am blessed to wake once more…
may i do it all again
more fiercely, more passionately
more graciously, goofily and generously
until my life measures up
to the love i feel
as i walk, bike or ride an octopus through the eternal city of dreams in which my soul is at home
mo lohaus www.lohaus.mobi
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