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Mahabhuta Yoga Festival 2015

Mahabhuta Yoga Festival at Sanders Beach Community Center in Pensacola, Florida the weekend of November 20th – 22nd, 2015.

The festival is hosting over 20 regional yoga studios at Sanders Beach Community Center’s amazing 17,500 square foot facility on Pensacola Bay. Pensacola is the perfect central location to bridge all of these yoga communities along the Emerald Coast because of its’ natural beauty, amazing beaches, great downtown, and Southern charm.

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There will be twenty-four yoga workshops over the weekend with Master Teachers including Sean Johnson, Stacey Vann, Catherine McCarthy, Nancy LaNasa, Laura Tyree, Felicia McQuaid, Adri Kyser, Akasha Ellis, and Vani Kimbrell. The yoga teachers representing a variety of styles including, Kundalini, AcroYoga, Iyengar, Align & Flow, Aerial Swing, Thai Yoga, Bhakti, Restorative, Yin, and Slackline. Each regional instructor will present 90-minute workshops woven around the theme of the Wood Sheep suitable for all levels of practitioners. There will be evening concerts including Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band, HuDost, Shantaya, Rahasya, Bhav, Christie Lenée accompanied by performances of AcroYoga, Professional Hoop Dancing, and Aerial Silks.

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Fun for the family with the Galactic Child Yoga tent offering free children’s Yoga classes and a Mountain Marionette show featuring “Animal Antics” on Saturday & Sunday as well as activities that will include yoga, art projects, face painting, and hooping. There is a vendor village open to the public featuring organic & vegetarian cuisine, a henna artist, jewelry, paintings by Rafi ( Mahabhuta’s 2015 featured artist that created the design for this year’s poster), essential oils, and all things yoga. The festival is offering an on site holistic healing spa for participants to enjoy treatments throughout the weekend. Love expresses itself at the Mahabhuta Yoga Festival through laughter, asana, dance, breath, meditation, children, nature, song, art, healing, high vibrational cuisine, and community. The Mahabhuta Yoga Festival welcomes everyone to take the time to celebrate and experience the love we have to give

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Everyone is encouraged to attend, whether new to yoga or a life long yoga practitioner. Learn something new about the health benefits of yoga, try a new style of yoga, discover the depth of yoga traditions, or enjoy a weekend outdoors, with friends and family in a healthy and family friendly festival. Your support is what will make this event a tradition for many years to come. Imagine the energy of each and every practitioner of yoga along the Emerald Coast coming together to join in celebration. Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Pricing September 1st, 2015 – November 20th, 2015
Three Day Pass $270.00

Single Day Passes Will be Available for $108.00

Single Workshops and/or Concert $30

Location: Sanders Beach Community Center
913 S I St Pensacola, FL 32502
No limit on workshops or evening concerts.
No refunds. Exchanges Allowed.

Special Promo Code for InWeekly Readers
$70 off the weekend pass with Promo Code: MYF2015InWeekly

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6 Things That Are Awesome About Your Life That You May Overlook

They say that finding appreciation for things will bring you more happiness. So there you are, doing this life thing as best as you can, wondering if things will ever get better. You keep hearing people say “Be grateful for what you have” and you wish you could tell them to shove it up their happy little butts. I mean, if you could actually find SOMETHING to be grateful for, maybe you would be in more of a state of appreciation.

The truth is, we are always surrounded by things to be grateful for. The misconception is that it needs to be this huge profound thing, but it doesn’t… Just simple little things that often get overlooked are huge when you think about it. Here are six to get you started.

Pants

Imagine for a moment, a world where you are wearing a smelly fur diaper to cover your privates, that’s what it was like several years back. Or your junk was just out in the open flopping freely in the wind and attracting all manner of biting or stinging insects. Pants, they’re awesome, I can fall and bust my ass without having severe scrapes. Can you imagine how many times I would have to tell people “ahem, my eyes are up here.” Thank you pants!

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Daylight

Imagine for a moment if there was no sun in our solar system… Oh yeah, you can’t because there would be no life on this planet. Thank you sun!

Toilets and Running Water

I know, you stop at a gas station and your bladder is ready to burst. You walk in, it is dirty and smells. “Oh, that toilet was disgusting… I had to hover.” Just be grateful that you didn’t have to dig a hole, or hover over a hole in a wooden shack that had a hefty collection of poo. People are not throwing buckets of poo out their windows and causing another black plague. Thank You Toilets! Thank You Running Water!

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Internet

It used to take over a year to get information from one continent to another. Then it took a few weeks to send heartfelt telegraph messages like “John. Come soon. Stop.” You are reading this right now, on a platform that allows you to have all knowledge at your fingertips. You can communicate with several people all around the world in seconds. You can also enjoy hours upon hours of mindless fun. Thank You Internet.

Breathing

Yeah… This should be a no brainer.  THANK YOU BREATHING, YOU ROCK!

Go on an appreciate with you badass self :)

 

 

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16 Easy Ways To Enjoy Life Right Now

Have you ever begrudgingly wondered how some people manage to make being happy look easy? You think, it’s probably genetic, luck, or they’re just too ignorant about life to worry incessantly like a real adult. Honestly, the reason it looks easy, is because it is much easier to be happy than most of us think. A lot of us have the tendency to think that happiness requires a giant shift in our lives. We either think we need a big fat bank account or to find ourselves on a mountaintop somewhere. We tend to make happiness this complicated unattainable thing that requires habits, routines, and balance. Honestly, it is so simple that it’s almost embarrassing. Here are 16 simple ways you can enjoy your life more, starting today!

1. Focus on you, yourself and I

You, take care of you and follow your bliss. People will have their opinions, demands and suggestions. They will share these demands, opinions and suggestions. They may argue their demands, opinions and suggestions. They will lovingly express their demands, opinions and suggestions. Ultimately, however, it’s you, and you alone, that will have to live with the decisions you make in your life. Focus on what makes you happy.

2. Create time to relax

Relax, take time to just hang out with yourself and clear your mind.

 

3. Avoid the news

It’s easy to get sucked into public drama, gossip, or world catastrophes = online and offline. Trust that if something important happens, you’ll know about it. Otherwise, save yourself energy and spend your time on something more worthwhile… Like watching butterflies flutter.

4. Nurture your positive relationships

Hang out with people who are positive, inspiring and wonderful. Avoid people who are full of drama and constantly complaining about their lives.

5. Meet new people

Making a consistent effort to meet new people helps us fulfill and introduce new ideas and perspectives. It keeps things fresh and exciting.

6. Explore new places

New places and cultures offer a different perspective on the world and add a healthy dose of inspiration and possibility to our lives.

7. Spend money on experiences, not possessions

It’s experiences, not possessions, that create memories and meaning.

8. Cut down your junk

Physical clutter equals mental clutter; reducing the amount of stuff around us fosters a calmer mental state, too.

 

9. Make time for gratitude and appreciation

Creating a routine of writing down three things we feel grateful for each day helps us focus more on what we’re grateful for in life.

10. Be deliberate in your choices

We’ve never had so many opportunities to create a lifestyle that we truly love, yet many of us still live life on autopilot. Be deliberate in your life choices: remember that it’s your life and no-one else’s.

11. Invest in yourself

The more self-aware and self-accepting we are, the happier we are. Make time to read personal development books, journal, and focus on being compassionate towards yourself.

12. Allow yourself to feel happy

Many of us find it challenging to enjoy a calm, “normal” life. Give yourself permission to enjoy a drama-free existence and focus on finding pleasure in your daily experiences.

13. Practice mindfulness

Noticing how we feel and what’s around us right now is an effective way of getting out of our heads, detaching from our worries, and returning to the experience of what it’s truly like to be alive.

14. Get outside

Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and enjoy a good dose of Vitamin D and fresh air.

 

15. Speak your mind

When we hold back our thoughts, opinions, and desires out of fear of displeasing others, we’re not being true to ourselves. Speak up and feel uncomfortable in the short-term and you’ll enjoy life more in the long-term.

16. Record happy moments

Take photos, journal, draw—whatever you need to do to record happy moments and memories. Every time you remember an experience, you relive it, make the memories good. Enjoy.

Love you guys – Rafi

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Let Inspiration Take You

If you could ask me six years ago “Hey Rafi, do you think you could ever make a living from your art?” I would have responded “I wish.”

I look at the old version of me, that guy was pretty cynical and pessimistic, it is no wonder I was stuck where I was. I was pretty comfortable in my corporate job following someone else’s agenda and thinking that life was all about sacrifice and quiet desperation. Obviously, I’m not living that life anymore, which is awesome.

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I created a piece that is symbolic of the two versions of my life. In the past I was always waiting before making the move towards something I wanted. It was “When I have more money” or “When I have more time” or “When I retire” which never seemed to come. The bottom figure is sitting on his hands and hiding his face with his hat, which means he can’t see outside his small reality.

“Hey Rafi, do you think you could

ever make a living from your art?”

I would have responded “I wish.”

Later in life. I allowed inspiration to guide me like a mad man. I realized that life is too short to not live it fully now. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and create art for a living and decided to take the leap. The top figure is upside down with a balloon lifting him in the air. The balloon symbolizes inspiration, he is upside down because it was completely outside of my comfort zone. I had to become my biggest cheerleader in order to push myself forward through the minefield of doubt, and that was my biggest challenge. The figure is also looking up, it symbolizes the glimpse of the expanse of possibility and potentiality that we sometimes have blinders to.

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I now know that it is possible for EVERYONE to succeed at anything that they put their mind to. The only thing you have to overcome is the challenge of doubt, it is the only thing that could ever truly stand in your way. I realized that I was with my own mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I could either be self motivating or self deprecating. Had it been someone other than my own mind saying some of the crap that I said to myself I would have told them to suck an egg a long time ago.

Life IS too short to spend ANY time being mean, sarcastic, pessimistic, critical, judgmental, or mean to yourself. It’s really silly, some of the bullshit excuses we use to be unhappy. It’s your life, it’s your mind, own it. You get to decided, you either sit on your hand and wait or you let inspiration guide you even when everyone else thinks you’re nuts.

 

 

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One On One With Rafi Perez Sept 25th 4-8pm

The opening reception on September 11th 2015 for You Are Here: The Strange Curiosity of Right Now was a huge success. Gallery Night was the following weekend and was another successful night.  A lot of the pieces sold, but most patrons are leaving them on loan until the end of the show on October 1st.

Because both nights were so crazy awesome busy, I didn’t get to many chances to speak one on one with people. So this Friday Sept 25th I’ll be at the gallery for a low key meet and greet.

 

What: Rafi Solo Art Show – YOU ARE HERE: The Strange Curiosity of RIGHT NOW

When: Meet and Greet, September 26th from 4PM-8PM

Where: Marty Campbell Gallery  –  126 Palafox Pl, Pensacola, Florida 32502

Show Runs – Sept 11th – Oct 1, 2015

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Happiness is a State of Perception

Recently I finished a piece called “Contemplation.” It is a painting of a woman who is deep in thought and the magic of her intention is floating around her. As with most of my pieces, I stared at it for a very long time after it was finished and wondered what people would think of her.

This got me thinking about the different perceptions people have about art. Some people would think she was absolutely beautiful, others would just scoff at her and walk away. I wondered what kind of person would scoff at something beautiful and whether or not they were happy people.

It was then that I remembered that I was a very different person in the past. As much as I love art and am excited to see the uniquely awesome creations that people create, back then I was cynical and would scoff too. I can honestly say I wasn’t very happy, I pretty much complained and criticized everything.

This got me thinking about the weather. Yep, the weather. It’s been infuriatingly hot here in Pensacola and as much as I would love to stay inside and hibernate in air-conditioning, I have things I have to do outside.

I thought about people I know who don’t seem to be bothered by the heat and how much happier they seem during the summer months. I thought about hot days at the beach and how the weather isn’t really that big of a deal.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez… and it is hot.

Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. So I played around with the idea of deleting the heat and focusing on the things I enjoyed. I focused intensely on the small breeze, the cold refreshing water, the sound of the fan running in the background, the birds tweeting and how good it felt to wipe the sweat from my skin. Slowly, I started to shift my perception to other awesome things, such as the feeling of walking into air-conditioning after being out in the heat or how the shade feels so good.

I realized that the things I perceive are not good or bad, that judgement comes a split second after I’ve experienced what ever it is. If I spend my entire time bitching about the heat, then all I’m doing is making myself miserable. Instead, I’ll delete the bitching, focus on the beauty and milk that as much as I can. It works wonders for me.

In the past I criticized everything and made myself miserable, guess it’s better to just focus on what you want to see. To see the beauty in a flower on a hot day, listen to the sound of birds chirping, the sound of thunder in the distance or admiring a unique piece of art and taking it all in with a smile. Sounds way more fun.

 

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Can a Mermaid Feel Passion?

Although it may seem silly to engage in meaningless questions that have nothing to do with reality, the answer will surprise you.

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As someone who spends a lot of time in his mind visualizing abstract concepts into images that may be able to communicate a feeling, I can tell you that imaginary creatures are vastly important. I believe that the imagination is one of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal. The only limitation of possibilities in your imagination are set by your interpretation of the world and what you believe is possible.

In a rational, grounded in reality mind the idea that a mermaid could feel passion is absurd. Mermaids simply don’t exist, what would be the point in engaging in such childish behavior?

The brain is made up of over 100 billion nerve cells with each brain cell connected to around 10,000 other cells, which equals around 1000 trillion connections in your brain. The connections that you make up in your brain are based on habitual thoughts. Some of these connections get used over and over and become very healthy while other connections atrophy and die off. It’s all very fascinating stuff.

The point is that your imagination is where you engage in divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. for example, look at some normal run of the mill every day item that is around you. Now, see how many other uses you could have for that item that have nothing to do with its actual use. In two minutes how many uses did you find? A lot or a little? Did you get stuck?

Psychologists have found that a high IQ alone does not guarantee creativity. Instead, personality traits that promote divergent thinking are more important. Divergent thinking is found among people with personality traits such as nonconformity, curiosity, willingness to take risks, and persistence… Basically every three year old I have ever known.

I think at some point we learn to conform and because mermaids are not real, they can’t feel passion. We have been told they are not real because no one has ever seen them, or there is no evidence of them. Yet, the word mermaid is in our vocabulary, it is something that conjures an image in your mind and it is as real as your imagination.

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I think, there is so much power in visualizing and imagining possibilities that may seem like they are not possible. Even if it is simply imagining what it would feel like if a mermaid was describing what her and her people are passionate about.

Some people believe that they will never succeed at something simply because they don’t think it’s possible… Imagine what would happen if they used their imaginations to dream and visualize themselves succeeding… They would be unstoppable.

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You Can Be Self Employed

It’s been about two and a half years since Klee and I packed up the Explorer and hit the road for what has been an adventure of a life time. In this adventure we’ve traveled around the country, started businesses in Pensacola Florida, and are still going strong. We wake up every morning looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

The road we’ve been on hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. We’ve run into some struggles on the road, We’ve also run into plenty of problems while starting businesses from scratch with no money or real financial backing. There have been times where we had no idea if we could pay our bills or even afford a place to camp for the night… let alone if we could afford our next meal.

So why is the title of my blog “Being Self Employed is easy”? Because it is.

I look at the struggles that we’ve overcome and realize that we are still going strong and moving forward. Even when it looked like we might be down for the count we never allowed ourselves to give up.

It almost seems silly to me that I would worry about something that hadn’t happened yet or might happen back then. It always seemed to work out one way or another.

I think the only thing that could ever stand in your way of doing something that you love to do and making a living from it is you. To be honest, it was the negative and pessimistic thinking in my own mind that would cause stress and problems. Financial Stress is the biggest one to cope with and it is the most harmful to your motivation.

Yet, the only way you can ever really fail at making money in your new business is by quitting. I’m serious, you cannot fail if you don’t quit doing what you love. Even when people tell you that you are crazy, or you can’t do it… it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s your life and only you know what it is you truly want out of life.

What made it easier for us was the ability to be flexible and not stay on a dead horse once the race was over. Being flexible is adapting, growing, learning from what doesn’t work for you and shifting it little by little until you find a temporary formula that works for you and then tweaking it some more… That’s the fun part.

Too many people give up way too soon and most give up before they even start. Start talking yourself into it instead of out.

Klee and I are still on our adventure and still having fun… Ultimately, in my opinion that’s all that really matters.

Reach for the stars, do what you love and take a leap… Who knows, you may just have fun!

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