The rhythm of the Italian lifestyle is quite distinct from our fast paced, always-on-the-go American ways. Italians embrace life with a casual attitude, always looking to appreciate the subtle beauties of every moment. Welcoming a more Italian approach to our daily routines, we can adopt an overall lifestyle that flows according to the cadence of our own nature. The Italians can teach us a great deal about how to entertain the beauty of simplicity, reminding us to slow down, take it easy, and smell the flowers along the way.
After all, what's the rush?
The health of our home environment is a vital component to the wellbeing of our lives. Home is the purest representation of who we are as our safe space to let go and relax into ourselves away from the chaos of the outside world. It’s where we cook nourishing foods, grow families, create memories, and allow ourselves to unwind after a long day’s work.
From the arrangement of furniture and objects, color of paint on the walls, to how much natural lighting a particular room receives, everything about our home environments affects us. All of the subtle energies and elements that compose a space can be strategically designed to promote vitality, nourishment, health and healing within the home and individual. Feng Shui takes into consideration the all of the aspects that create comfort in a space and combines them with natural elements to enhance the Chi (or life force) of an environment.
As it is said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my own interpretation of this common expression, I believe that beauty is a choice, and that choice is rooted in our power and inner feminine wisdom. By valuing our beauty and regularly maintaining to its upkeep, we have the possibility to change our inner perspective on how we feel about ourselves, which seeps far beneath the surface of the skin. In tending to our own gardens, we can cultivate the strength and confidence we need to go out into the world and build a beautiful life that reflects the inner beauty of our authentic selves.
As the muse of poetry itself, wine lies at the heart of some of humanity’s most sophisticated and elaborate mythological tales. Since the dawn of civilization, it could be said that wine’s mind-altering properties have fueled humanity’s creative abilities to cultivate the development of language, culture, artistic expression, religion and ritual.
It’s October 30th, 2017… Hallow’s Eve. I feel the thinning of the veil dissipate into a haunting merge of two worlds as new sights wait to be revealed. A spark of electricity runs a current through the air, magic just a fingertip away. Magnetized by the beauty of this ominous eve, secretive shadows dance within.
Each dawn of October has beckoned an unavoidable change, each dusk fading away old life. As the sun dims its glow, growing further and further from the horizon, I am reminded of childhood memories of my grandmother as her laugh sways through the echoes of my mind.
In our left-brained Western world, there is a deeply severed connection to the art experience. The scaffolding of our global society is built around a large appetite for material possession, accumulation of wealth, and an unsatisfiable hunger for power and control; all external escapades that cripples humanity’s potential to its knees.
The ideals of our society promote false, but guaranteed happiness in objects and status, telling us not to see worth in that which is intangible. Our societal conditioning has allowed us to hyper-focus on obtaining possessions and all things outside of ourselves, so much so that we are starved of authentic experiences that bring true joy.
The most significant societal ill of our time is that of an inherent dissatisfaction with one’s life and the uncertainty and insecurity to change it. With a misguided focus on the material world, we begin to disregard the internal, inner artist experience. By exploring what the art experience is, we can gain personal insight to the value of art and its place in society.
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”
For all of our existence, the desire to create and appreciate figures of beauty has defined our identity as the human species. Art has become the poetry of action and emotion, pouring an outward flow of love into the physical. With each fiery explosion of passion and release-- and with each moment of stillness in between, there remains a remarkable quality of our nature that no other animal can compare. From pencil to paper, voice to melody, movement to dance, paint to brush, imagination to creation, we light up neural pathways in our brains and become chemically transformed in each moment of self-exploration.
Like the universe itself, the global spectrum of groupthink is so vast and intricate that the human mind simply cannot comprehend its true depth. The world is rich with a diversity so grand that it’s near impossible to grasp in its entirety. Human society, created by a collective consciousness of individuals whose minds are shaped by culture, language, tradition, religion, societal structure, and unique personal experience, is one of the highest and most sophisticated expressions of existence itself.
Humanity’s past has been poisoned by centuries of distorted beliefs from those with true authoritative power. Since the beginning of the construct of institution in it of itself, we have been told what to believe and taught how to think by corrupt design. The doctrine of religion and forces of media tells us which groupthink to identify with, what is right and wrong, what is real and what is fake, who we should be and how we should act. Dare I suggest that the concept of political ideology is all but an illusion of choice?
Gazing out the window of his second floor apartment, I watch the city lights glisten along the horizon of my Roman empire. A special presence calls to me as I carefully sip my bitter white wine. With each savor washing bits and pieces of my spirit to the shore of my mind, I feel waves faintly crash against the shell of my soul.
The smell of the sea intoxicates my senses, and in silence I drift away to the echoes of memories long forgotten.
Greek and Renaissance civilizations demonstrate a profound outlook on humanity’s greatest potential. Both eras are crucial to the evolution of humanity’s aptitude to interpret art and beauty. In each culture, there’s an expressed importance of aesthetic beauty to the human figure and significant advancement in intellectual and creative abilities.
There is a Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” that translates to “a healthy mind is in a
healthy body”— the primary essence of Greek society. As profound appreciators of the optimal human form, Greeks paid much attention to their figures which reflected in their idolized sculptors of gods and goddesses.
Mythology plays an important role in art and culture as it demonstrates humanity’s deepest instinctual core. Sophisticated stories of heavenly deities fretting and mingling with earthly mortals reflect the dualistic constructs of art, and thus the inner opposing forces that have battled humanity for centuries of existence. Mythology gives substance to and defines humanity’s existence as poetry itself. Embodying mythology as art, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus uses subtle layers of intricate allegorical symbols to articulate feminine beauty and fertility.
Psychological egoism outlines the idea that the only thing anyone is capable of desiring or pursuing is ultimately an end in itself in the pursuit of one's own self-interest. That is to say, even if an action appears to be purely altruistic, it is ultimately driven from the promotion of self-interest. It is in the psychological law of nature that all motivation is derives selfishness.
This theory is supported by the idea that 1) Every action is driven by one’s own selfish motives, desires or principals and not anyone else’s. 2) We seek things out solely with the objective to feel pleasure and our own satisfaction. 3) We deceive ourselves to the true nature of our actions, even those seemingly noble and benevolent. 4) Morals are taught through the sanctions of pleasure and pain; people only behave well if there’s something to be gained or benefitted from.
Rachels begins his argument by outlining a few examples of cultural relativism and furthers to describe how there is no actual right or wrong to a society’s cultural norms; every standard is culture bound. With no objective standard that can be used to compare and contrast cultural right and wrongs, it is impossible for there to be one, universal truth that all humans follow. It is the society that determines the moral codes, and it is the social responsibility for each society to accept and tolerate the cultural norms of various other societies.
In my interpretation, Plato’s Allegory is the ultimate truth of the human condition. In all of its layers of philosophical insight and thought, the allegory serves as a kaleidoscope of varying colors of perception. Beneath the vast array of sights, sounds, sensations, tastes and touch, lies the heart of the truth: of how we perceive reality.
The men chained to their self imposed slavery experience a life of darkness and fright. The
flicker of life projects a world of silhouettes within the mind's eye. Figures of shadows dance across the wall, while the confines of the cave distort their true nature. The prisoners cannot conceive of anything beyond the blur of movements; they can only know what they have been shown to know. And hidden deep within the blackness of the shadows lie man’s one true fear—the fear of himself.