The First Step of The Unbroken Path

The performance is much less blurry in person.

The performance is much less blurry in person.

Last night, I enacted my first performance of “The Unbroken Path” as an actual show. It’s a challenging thing for me because as an artist, I’ve always longed for my performances to be more than just a musician up on stage playing songs. After all, I consider myself to be more of a writer than a musician and feel that I have more to share than simply background music as people share beverages and conversation, so for me, having The Flow Factory as a venue to really connect with an audience is an incredible gift.

For my first foray into this particular show, the turnout wasn’t spectacular as far as numbers go, however, I was really glad that those who did show up were people that I love, and that were willing to give me some really helpful feedback. But I still have to wonder if they get what I’m really all about.

As a life artist, especially over the last year as I have attempted to guide The Flow Factory into becoming something that will serve my community, I have dabbled in a myriad of activities that offer service to the world I inhabit, but aren’t necessarily my greatest gifts. Perhaps the downside to that is that I am often regarded merely as the guy who does those menial tasks that no one else wants, instead of being recognized as the artist I feel that I truly am. It’s very similar to the feeling I had when I was working “real jobs” like waiting tables or working as a psychiatric technician while simultaneously writing a book, screenplay, or song. Although I get the most joy out of my creative outlets and feel as though they are the greatest offerings that I have, the majority of the people that share my journey with me culminate their appreciation of me around the modest tasks of taking orders, delivering food, or wiping asses.

Many of my tasks at The Flow Factory are much more substantial than these things, yet I still feel overlooked and often unappreciated for what I really want to offer. Yet in the world we live in, at least in the society of consumerism, it is a buyers market, and the services that are most appreciated are often those that people want based upon the patterns they have set up for themselves, and not so much on the services we most greatly want to offer. Perhaps if we were able to open ourselves up to a greater recognition of the true nature of abundance, we would afford people the opportunity to rise above the necessity of being known and appreciated for merely the meager tasks of servitude that afford them the luxury of being able to simply survive, and follow their hearts into the true service they feel called to.

It is my hope that the acknowledgment of The Unbroken Path may help us to get to that point, but I feel that before that progress can be made in the society around me, I still have some steps to take myself.

A Rather Bizarre Bazaar

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Saturday saw the first Flow Factory Community Bazaar and a wonderful example of the creative potential of Sarasota’s newest flex space. As we develop The Flow Factory‘s operating procedures in order to give us more efficient and effective modes of productivity and resourcefulness, I am largely integrating the “Think, Act, Plan, Do” method of activity development. As such, Saturday’s event was a wonderful Act of community collaboration and envisioning.

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I’d spent the greater part of the previous week as I have the last six months, cleaning the place up so that it can be utilized as a place to foster economic development. The Thought was that a bazaar would offer the opportunity not only for artisans to showcase and sell their works, but also for teachers to open our minds to alternative economic appreciation through the sharing of skills and craftsmanship. Having gone through the experience, we now have greater insight through which to Plan so that we may Do it again with even greater results next month.
As it was, the event was a great success thanks to the participation of eight vendors and a wonderful smattering of citizens interested in another way of living in the world. Although Lynn Brusky was scheduled to give a weaving class at 3, her impromptu session had several people making their own yarn well before Joan Kershaw taught us how to make raw and vegan salsa, hummus, and guacamole at 1. Shortly after, Vincent from Rosemary Court offered us a soothing guided meditation, and Sharon Fitzpatrick, Alix Sun, Olga Komissarova, and Lex L-D showcased their artwork, along with the installation of The Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path.

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Although I would like to see more attendees come next time, I think that we had a great start to what could be a fantastic opportunity. If you are interested in getting involved with the next Flow Factory Community Bazaar, feel free to email me at inkensoul@gmail.com.

Acclimating to My New Life

I don’t imagine I will ever lead a life deemed “ordinary,” however, I do seem to be getting closer. While my current residence is again temporary, it offers no necessary end date and is reliant only upon my desire to continue the job required as caretaker. The owner and I have no legitimate contract, not even a well-established agreement. However, I feel that as long as I’m living here, I should be of service, and since we have outlined his vision for the space, I feel that it is my duty to take the necessary steps to bring that vision into manifestation.
I prepared my living and working quarters a few weeks ago and moved in full time two days ago. In the loft of the warehouse, next to the nursery, I have a private bedroom, freshly painted, and a crudely carpeted living room complete with a 4×8 white board and writing table, which I am currently putting to good use. The living area looks down upon the rest of the warehouse, where the more daunting work awaits. This space has been used for a myriad of things over the years and still holds remnants of each of its endeavors. The task before me is to clear the space of this debris and help turn it into a community “third place.”
The plan is to install a climbing wall along one of the walls, open up a sort of raw/vegan cafe, and use the rest of the area for a variety of community events, including classes, performances, and other repurposing projects. Creating a space with such flexibility also requires some economic flexibility, more than is offered through the Federal Reserve Bank alone. In order to get the most value out of the space and give the most value to the community, each of the operations offered through what I have come to call “The Flow Factory” will come with a choice of currency, allowing participants the opportunity to use money if they like, but also Time Dollars, Growbucks, and bartering if those work better.
I call it The Flow Factory for two reasons. One, flow denotes the movement of currency, and by opening up to a variety of currencies, we will be more able to continue operations regardless of the economic stagnation that might come with a faltering single currency. Also, Flow is that state of optimal enjoyment written about by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, where a person gets actively involved in their unique skills and talents, getting into that zone where time, worry, and ego dissipate as the person completely engages with what they are doing. It is our hope to create more opportunities for more people to get into that flow in order to help cultivate a community of people living the highest possible version of their lives.
To get to that point, I’ve got a lot of cleaning to do.

Interview Preparation

I have an interview scheduled today for 5:30 on Momma J Speaks. I texted Momma J this morning and she gave me a little pre-interview warm up. I thought I´d share my answers with you. I hope you listen in to the show.

Me: This is Steve McAllister. Misha set me up with an interview today, but I can’t make it up physically. Can you Skype? 8:07 AM

Momma J: Aww… its all in Divine Order-:-) will have to check With head engineer of Studio s…if not the next best thing is Call-In.:-) 9:45 AM

Me: I can probably work that out. I’ll just have to find a phone to use. I’m a bit off grid if you haven’t heard. 9:47 AM

Momma J: Yes. Which is interesting.:-) yet you work correct? Your not just a typical homeless Guy or anything…cause from what I understand you give back to the community often…right?? 🙂 9:49 AM

Me: Oh, I work quite a lot 9:52 AM

Momma J: What made you decide to get off the grid? What had you done previously? 🙂 9:54 AM

Momma J: Did you feel it to be a “calling” or just an “experience ” you wanted to choose?:-) 9:55 AM

Me: It started in 2001 when I decided to hitchhike across the states to write The Rucksack Letters. 10:01 AM

Me: With the economic recession, the war against the homeless, and this country’s insatiable consumption, I guess it felt like a calling. I saw what needed to be done and knew I was the only dude that could do it. 10:02 AM

Me: But now I’m discovering that I’m not the only one. 10:03 AM

Momma J: Had you participated with Occupy Movement at all??:-) 10:04 AM

Me: A little, but I didn’t feel it was a good use of my energy to protest what is. I want to create what should be. 10:05 AM

Momma J: Amen to That Brother!:-) So you have a creative background correct? Or Had you been a professional executive at one time? I detect a spiritual or universal awareness.:-) Where did it initiate from? 10:08 AM

Me: I have a creative and caregiver background. Written a few books, produced a few videos, written a few songs. The spiritual awareness came from transcending my ego based traditions and opening up to a greater understanding of what Is. 10:12 AM

Momma J: Fascinating … 🙂 And family? Do they support and understand what your doing and why? Are you doing this all on your own with just the people u are connected Or do you also have a life partner and offspring to assist in your endeavors?? 🙂 10:20 AM

Me: My family supports, or at least doesn’t deride, but I’m not sure they understand. I got divorced in 2011. We didn’t have any kids and the separation helped enable me to continue the vision I’d had all those years earlier. Since I decided to cultivate my community instead of travel like before, I’m never alone. Though I may not get, or ask for, direct support from my bio family, it’s always there in my extended family of humans and other living things. 10:38 AM

Momma J: Beautiful! 🙂 10:47 AM

Momma J: Such a Precious Soul you are and all of Humanity is however most are unaware. And that is where I am wanted to do the work to create that along with many other positive life affirming possibilities. 🙂 10:49 AM

Momma J: Do you get donations from events? What is your view on the U.S. dollar, foreign currencies and the gold backing that will be occurring in near future??:-) 11:07 AM

Me: The way I’m structuring the Flow Factory is through a truer sense of free market economics. If someone wants to participate in whatever activities and negotiations we offer, they can use Federal Reserve Notes, but they can also use Time Dollars through the Common Wealth Time Bank or Growbucks through GrowtoGive.com. We also barter and encourage the Gift Economy to be the highest form of economic game playing. In the Gift Economy, the abundance is just too great to be accounted for. However, until humanity opens up to that and embraces the fullness of their Identity, we can play these other educational games like dollars, hours, and other shiny things. They’re all just shared delusions. The tragedy of our time is that we give our beliefs so much control over us. The promise of our time is that we no longer really have to. The question of our time is if we are willing to accept our role as cocreators. 11:31 AM

Momma J: Gift Economy? Hmm. Ok so what services or products be able to get if perhaps I was using my gifts like being a massage therapist or spiritual facilitator or online radio personality be able to give and receive?? 11:46 AM

Me: Time dollars are excellent for things like that, as well as Growbucks. With those, there are a variety of services and products that you can cash them in for. They don’t really cover fossil fuels since the Federal Reserve Bank has a monopoly on that market, and it has the potential to work fine for limited resources like that. However, to even attent to account for the limitless nature of human ingenuity, creativity, compassion, and healing, not to forget the abundance of the planet from which we are all created, we really need to start developing a more open market than the myopic greed of corporate America and its make-the-rules-up-as-you-go destructivity. We are capable of so much better than that. We need only to realize our true value, both individually and collectively. 12:46 PM

Momma J: Skype can be used to call in. However the video wont come up just audio.:-) 2:28 PM
Me: No worries. I´ve got a phone coming. I put it out on Facebook and got three offers. I gots some good people. 3:34 PM

Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

First Super Bowl Since 2005

After getting my living space set up at the Flow Factory, I spent the last nine days cat sitting at Gail’s in Laurel Park. She’s got a great second story villa with vaulted ceilings and a front porch that feels like a tree fort. I feel fortunate to have cared for the cats quite a few times over the last year as each one has been somehow transformational.

To celebrate my last night before officially moving into my new living space and accompanying lifestyle change, I’m going to watch my first Super Bowl since 2005. I’ve sometimes watched the commercials online the following day, but professional sports has never held any kind of interest for me. Nevertheless, I do appreciate free beer and food, and I wanted to share a new dish.

I emancipated a bag of golden potatoes last week, and got some hot peppers from the gleaning. For working at Green Door Organics, I got a red pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes. With the onion I snagged from the Factory and a bit of Gail’s garlic, it’s really quite good.

I also emancipated some strawberries, and juiced them for lunch with the blueberries, apple, orange, and lime I got from Green Door, and some kale and collards I got from gleaning. I’m about three days into a vegetarian diet, but I don’t think I’ll be able to pass up wings tonight. Fortunately, I’m going gleaning again in the morning and move into the Factory after noon.