Thievery and Life, Jakarta, Indonesia

It takes a lot to write about shame.

With age, grace and humility, I am turning the corner towards becoming a bottle of fine wine, full of the wisdom of my experience.

With time and humility, I am finally able to share my embarrassment. The point in time where I realized I was no longer 20, but in fact had woken up at 31 : an overgrown child in a long-term remedial relationship; the promise of an unfulfilling career; the pervasive sadness of a mid-life crisis archetype – equipped with protruding belly and freshly-purchased Mustang.

And it was exactly at this shocking junction of my 3rd decade that I was deported from my home of five years in Hong Kong.

American born and privileged. Untapped potential. Bred from a life of innumerable opportunities. I was spending my late 20s and young adulthood squandering my privilege in illegalities. Just skating by.

I bet y’all can relate.

Living in Hong Kong was a miasma of white cocaine and white privilege. NOTE* this is not the white privilege of America. We are talking of a deeply engrained, deeply inherited, deeply believed notion of whiteness as greatness. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Asia, know now that bleaching your skin was not a Michael Jackson anomaly. Know now that marrying “white” is an automatic status signal that invokes the awe of your friends and counterparts.

Also know that the Eastern hemisphere is still dominated by their self-driven determination to aspire to “Western” appearance (whiteness) and lifestyle (European-ness).

I was living the white American dream in Hong Kong. I used my foreign privilege – a right that didn’t exist for me back home – to martyr myself amongst other Asians in Hong Kong, which worked…to a degree.

Until the day that it didn’t.

Are you ready for the story yet?

I had had the most adventurous two weeks of my life. I had overcome my phobia of plunging head under water. I had dived to 26 meters under the sea and encountered incredible marine wildlife. I felt invincible.

It didn’t matter that my passport had been stolen two weeks prior.

You never want to believe the stories they tell you about 3rd world countries, especially innocent ones like Indonesia.

But desperation speaks volumes above crass news stories. Take time to walk down any avenue of Jakarta’s streets and take a glimpse at where poverty (or privilege!) can really take you.

I, the privileged, walked down the Jakarta street at dusk, just steps from the train shuttle that would bring me to the domestic airport terminal and deliver me to my 5-star vacation on a dive liveaboard in the Indonesian Archipelago. How little I realized about my vulnerability.

Because, in a moment, I felt gravity tug and clatter my phone from hand to ground.

Then another tug yanked at my clutch, which had been dangling loosely, carelessly from my fingertips.

Another moment and the bag was gone. In an eternal daze that really lasted only 3 seconds, I gathered my phone from the pavement. It took several more seconds before I could scream.

“My passport! He’s stolen my passport!!”

That poor beggar could never have won. No money. No cards or checks. No means for forgery. There was nothing of life-ending importance in that clutch. In the end, he ended with nothing. Nothing but the risk of his life.

In a panic, I fled to the nearest police station I could find. It was my first experience with lackadaisical foreign police who could not act beyond a 1 mph speed limit – not without pay first, anyway. After an hour of sitting through the slow paced drudgery of passport recovery, I gave up. Fleeing to the first taxi in the street, I left the snails shouting inconceivably at my back. I located the police headquarters at the international airport and made my way there immediately.

Thankfully, the airport police were more on the ball, more up to date with foreign interaction, more… speedy. And hopelessly and equally as ineffective as the rest of Indonesia’s judicial task force. They apologized profusely on behalf of their unidentified countryman, desperately rueful that this had to be my first encounter with their beautiful country and hospitable populace and that, sadly, there was little they could do. They reassured me – or so they thought – that, had the theft been witnessed – the man would have been beaten to death by any number of citizens.

Because in Indonesia, the penalty for theft is DEATH. Any witness, anyone, has the unquestionable, irrevocable right to beat a person to death for crimes, including stealing.

A fate I would wish on no person.

Not even one who had stolen my means of departure from this less developed country.

Despite my temporary ban for international travel, I was able to fly with my local US ID card to my domestic holiday destination and live out my 2 weeks of ocean-filled, unencumbered paradise.

After which, it simply cost one day, one embassy visit and $200 (on the behest of a good benefactor loan – privilege noted) to obtain a temporary passport that would deliver me home to Hong Kong.

That was a short-stop and long straw compared to the hypothetical cost that the man who robbed me might have paid – his  life.

I learned an important lesson that day: outward perspective is the directive for a life led in kindness. I could have looked inward at the victimization of my circumstances; I could have wondered why this man followed and targeted me, robbed me of my means of travel and a day’s worth of dignity.

But looking outward, I was able to see that two hours and two US bills of currency helped save a desperate man’s life. There is and was never a price to pay for that.

So how does this relate to my being deported?

To be continued…


Social Media Samples: IG, FB, LinkedIn

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Build your biz without spending your petty cash!
1. Build up a social media personality for your brand.
2. Appeal to a community that your brand supports. This will contribute to your niche market!
3. Network, network, network. Interview other successful businesses that compliment your market. @Mention each other on social media.
4. Be the reporter. Reach out to news outlets with an irresistible pitch so that you can be featured in magazines.
5. Maybe you can’t spend money, but you can spend time. Spend time on business development by chatting with prospects and understanding their problem. Try and see if you answer their needs-if you don’t, reevaluate your business’ value propositions.
6. Don’t sell yourself short. Make sure your investors are worthy of your brand, reputation-wise and value-wise. Be wary of how many investors you wish to have. It’s hard to see eye to eye sometimes, but don’t settle for a**holes.

There’s a trick to achieving happiness – and it seems super negative: focus on your OBSTACLES. Seems counterintuitive, but envision yourself successfully and officially OVERCOMING your obstacles. How do you do it? What do you look like once you do?
The #powerofthemind works wonders, especially when you apply your imagination and a little creativity to getting over your mental blocks. At the very least, you can come out a little more optimistic just imagining yourself at your finest.
We just want you to see in yourself what we do: an aspiring and inspired individual.

Are you applying yourself lately? “We’re all born with boundless capacities. What we make of them has everything to do with attitude and application.”

I’ll never forget the first time I listened to Sir Ken Robinson speak-how enraptured I was by his storytelling and succinct eloquence. And what was more, it was entirely effortless.

And I think it’s due to the remarkable attitude that shines through his speech. He was more than his words. He embodied success over trials (having survived polio in childhood) , success in his career (read and listen to him if you haven’t yet!) and even success in the eyes of the Queen (the Sir speaks for itself…)!

I don’t know about you, but I’m motivated to get up, get out and get it.

Picture your company the way you want it. 📸 🤩 We’ll make your vision a reality. 💫 🌟

So we’ve shared major screw ups and major successes in our agency. 👏 💥 We’ve missed a deadline, botched up a magazine edit and miscommunicated a little. We’ve also built skills and a reliable team. Share your experience with us. Whats your entrepreneurial mood today? You can pick from the picture if words can’t quite express your #mayhem today 🤪🤭😏😉

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Tons of entrepreneurs have grand visions.

But not every business owner can put their visions on paper, on social media, on their websites and in their blogs!

We like to work with real people, putting real stories into real brands. Read our magazine…

Sometimes all we need is a well-deserved vacation. If you can’t take that (we are quarantined after all) take day trips of the imagination: write in a journal, take a nature walk with your pet, master that yoga pose thats been eluding you, call an old friend you haven’t chatted with in a while…You’ll be  surprised at the #rejuvenation that small pleasures can give you.

No one becomes successful overnight. And long term success requires building a stable business with well established values, strategies and a long term plan.
Success requires effort, persistence and hard work. Don’t give up after a few weeks trying. It could take months even years for your work to pay off, but I promise you it will.

That moment has arrived. You start seeing results and thinking the hard work is finally over.

Well… no!!!

In this competitive world, where businesses reinvent themselves on a daily basis, you cannot rely on what you have for long term survival.

Is your marketing strategy stagnant? An alternative perspective might be all it takes to freshen up your approach to prospects. Dont forget that your audience’s perspective is changing all the time, too. 2021 is coming with a new wave of ideas that will either bring us out of Covid or help us continue coping with it.  If you aren’t sure how to generate leads  moving into the new year, get in touch with us for a consultation to amp up your strategy. A fresh pair of eyes could make all the difference and help you target little details that went unnoticed before.

Need help visualizing your stories? We’re full of them! Get in touch!

Top performers on LinkedIn

Repurpose your career in the pandemic. “We’re dealing with a lot of confusion…Were not allowed to be ourselves anymore. So lead with your gifts.”

Rushion McDonald is giving invaluable advice and savvy #entrepreneurtips for aspiring #businessowners. “In the age of corona, hearing the right words at the right time can competely change a life.” So here are some suggestions from him that will hopefully make a difference in yours:

• Make short term goals within 30 days.
• #Excel at your 40 hour workweek so that you’re prepared for unexpected demands of the #entrepreneurlifestyle .
• Be prepared to work alone as much as on a team.

The path is unclear. So lead with your gifts into the new year! Happy 2021!

The key to success? Make your audience feel something. Passion.

“Take your fears on a romantic date once a week” advises Alex Banayan, author of The Third Door.

I know a lot of you might not exactly think that pulling out a journal on a date is your thing…

But its a good chance to ask intimate questions of your fears. Where do they come from? How have they grown throughout their lives?

We’ve all have fears. Maybe there’s something you’ve feared for a long time, like:

• Starting the business of your dreams
• Elevating your company’s brand by outsourcing your marketing
• Investing in that new major tech that would totally increase your conversions

Keep in mind that fear is just a word. You give it meaning. Fear lies in anticipation; relief, in action.

So spend time with your fears. Maybe they won’t go away, maybe you’ll overcome them…what is certain is that you’ll face challenges in spite of fear. And you won’t be stopped from facing fear.

2021 is a new year no wrinkles in it. Give yourself experience. Give yourself compassion. Watch your fears relinquish their hold on you; watch yourself learn to cherish them. Then, grow.

If a BD and Marketing team had a baby…

Here it is. Marketing strolls through one day with a zillion awesome ideas for social media. BD sits at the table and presents data about the actual market and potential prospects.

BD has been gathering data on restaurants while Marketing has been catering to the fashion sector. Now they’re at odds. The data doesn’t match the prospect. They’ve been taking steps backwards when, all along, they should’ve been helping each other!

So they fight. They bicker. Then, they make up. And BOOM: the baby is born!

Marketing and BD communicated together. They decided that it was a good idea to match their content to their target audience. And later, when their BD-Marketing baby grew up, their niche market expanded into other niche markets. And kept growing.

Create strong lines of communication between your BD and Marketing teams because, together, you can re-focus a strong approach towards your ideal client. This is how your sales increase. This is how your business baby grows.

Are your marketing and sales teams communicating?

Biography written for team member

I’ve still got a long way to go guys…

The truth is, I’ve started from scratch.

I’ve spent a decade in education. Then one day, I blinked. And when I opened my eyes the world was different and I was ready for a change.

Now I’ve graduated from teacher to student (wrap your head around that one) and am riding the learning curves of marketing with a supportive team at the helm.

The truth is, you may have to look back to see how far you’ve come, but you’ll never know without moving forward. So I just keep climbing. I keep pursuing knowledge. I keep learning from my team. And it’s been awesome!

The journey is a reward in itself (thanks, Confucius!) and I can’t wait to be at the top of my game – because when I get there, I know there’ll be a whole new game to play and learn from.

The point is, embracing change this year has been what matters the most.

The point is, what matters most is how you handle  those changes.

Who else has gone through a major transition this year? Any updates?


Interview with Liliana Robeson at MGS Magazine

MG Solutions Experts is an international marketing agency based in Sweden where I worked (remotely) as a Social Media Manager, Magazine Editor, PR Specialist and Content Developer.

Cocktails with Liliana Robeson, Independent Journalist

Liliana and I go back a long way. I first met her 9 years ago when she was my enthusiastic Zumba instructor, fierce and confident. Her natural zeal for owning her own business and speaking controversial truths always shined out from her fearless approach to life. As such, it’s pretty evident that she was a role model to many, myself included.

So it came as no surprise to see her fiery feed pop up on Instagram some years later: a political commentary of controversy and conspiracy theory (IG handle: @robesonliliana). Liliana is not one to dilly-dally. Her tenacity ties into her naturally driven character as a political ‘rallyer’ and someone who engages people with politics. When there is a major national issue, she draws attention to it.

A self-admitted go-getter, she spent some time with MG Solutions to chat about her experience in starting up her intriguing Instagram page and website venture: I actually didn’t have any issues starting up. That hasn’t been a problem for me at all. Maybe because I do [it] without thinking too much.

So in case you were wondering about the secret to her start up success…there you have it: no second thoughts, all progress.

Liliana professes to do the exact opposite of what you would expect from a self-made woman. Her modus operandi of not overthinking things is what has gotten her this far now. Instead of micro-managing and planning every detail, this woman of momentum dives right in, head first, eyes wide open. Her ideas are in hot pursuit of her – not the other way around.

And those bold ideas of hers are just the ticket that put her page amongst the many controversial discourses present on social platforms of today’s digital movement.

However, while we take advantage of the powers of the internet during these pandemic times, Liliana makes us acutely aware of the double-edged sword that it may (or tends to) be: “Social media, like everything, has a good and a bad side. It’s useful, but can be dangerous.”

The irony of Liliana’s position isn’t lost on us.

Her own independent journalism is her act of freedom in action, as it decries (and loudly) punishable acts of the politically malevolent and the woefully ignorant. Even her most recent post criticises child vaccinations and immunizations, denouncing them as a massive hoax and targeting parents who blindly believe in issuing them to their children. Social media is her most valuable marketing tool, both securing her speech-freedom and helping incur an ongoing influx of supportive followers.

Yet, on the other side of the coin, social media can obviously rear its ugly head and bite the hand that fed it in the first place. As a political agent and commentator, it’s clear that Liliana is prone to online abuses, too.

But she can’t and won’t be discouraged. Spreading the word is the basis of her operation. For her, there is no shying away from speech. 

In fact, there is only pressing forward with her venture and hustling to spread her vision amongst others – and where better to spread it than through the global reach that social media provides? 

Liliana also makes an interesting comment about the connection between social media and follower outreach. 

It’s not just about how well we reach out to audiences, but also how well we ENGAGE them. According to Liliana, “word of mouth happens when you have done great advertising.” 

This could mean a lot of things.

‘Word of mouth’ simply refers to the “conversation” that happens around a little heart shaped button that defines your google-optimized future. Word of mouth is now simply a component of clickbait.

Getting popular by word of mouth is merely a phenomenon. A byproduct. The real action lies in how well we create an emotionally relevant connection to those who would follow you…otherwise known as advertising.

And social media is now the world’s favorite tool for digital advertising. 

What Liliana says relates to an equally relevant point: the phenomenon of personalized social media made public, where our personal lives become our adverts. 

Talk about one hell of a way to connect to people than by revealing yourself at your most vulnerable!

…Or even connecting with people using a skill that many of us have lost behind the screen – the art of conversation.

Take Liliana’s own page, for example. Her artfully displayed commentary appeals visually and emotionally to viewers. It invokes discussion from her audience…which invites more clicks, likes, followers, backlink opportunities, comments…or as we said…conversation.

So to make the most of your business, go in head first like Liliana does, by optimizing your social media bios, having a vision in mind and sticking to it…not to mention, stimulating conversation with your insightful (and controversial!) content. 

That’s a sure-fire way to make your business grow with such an easy online tool.

Other advice in a single word? “Growing.” Much like Liliana’s overall countenance, we can expect the unexpected from her counsel. Her word to fellow starter-uppers doesn’t have so much to do with the ins, outs and tips that would get your start-up ahead.

Rather, she encourages us to build our character – a forthright character that pursues goals and builds empires.

No advice. Just do it and be consistent.”

The Relationship between Group CULT-ures and Homelessness

graphical user interface, text
at LinkedIn

This reminds me of homelessness. LET ME TELL YOU WHY:

During my 5 months living on the road, I met a good many people. Some praised what I was doing; more regarded me as irresponsible and hedonistic. I regarded myself as a traveler (as I have in every other country in which I’ve traveled); most avoided my path, considering me homeless. Despite what anyone else thought, I still felt a distinct difference between myself and those on welfare. I would “never” classify myself that way.

Then I met a woman named Seal (yes, Seal). Halfway across the country I met this woman who A.) spoke to me like a human and B.) happened to be from a place near my hometown.

She recounted a truth about a person without residence – her sister, to be precise. Seal had tried countless times to put her sister up in a flat, to buy her clothes, to fill her fridge, cover some utility bills. And every single time, her sister would leave and disappear, unannounced, preferring the space and camaraderie that she found amongst other homeless people.

It took a while to wrap my head around it. Why would anyone want to be homeless? Why wouldn’t anyone want a leg up to get out of poverty? Why wouldn’t a person want to escape the cycle of facing the outdoor elements, going without showers and running water and facing the scrutiny and dirty looks of all onlookers?

Then, it hit. The answer was simple. She didn’t want it. She didn’t want the middle class rat race. She didn’t want the 45 hour weeks with only 10 cent annual raises and a professional plateau as far as the eye could see. She didn’t want the stress of materialism, the house mortgages, the 6-month catch up to pay off vacations or the competitive status-signaling of Gucci perfumes and G-Shock watches.

Seal’s sister simply wanted a community of like minded peers.

And I finally figured out my own shortcoming: in my confusion over her denial of creature comforts, I was pushing my own life expectations on her. JUST THE SAME as everyone on the road was doing to me (HOW are you doing this?… What’s your work, exactly?… In my day, we worked harder than that…You’re young and you can do that… You’re homeless and you think it looks cool, but I just feel sorry for you… You must be a drug addict… You’re so selfish).

A litany of excuses that sounded like unrealized dreams and unfounded accusations.

The point is, every group is a sort of cult. And that’s not a bad thing. For the most part, you can choose the cult of which you wish to be a part – if you have the gumption for it, at least.

I love this post from Adam Grant (thanks, dude!) because it’s invariably true. We cannot underestimate the degree to which our chosen “cultures” (work, religion, lifestyle, belief system, hobby, whatever) will influence us. In fact, we can anticipate it.

It’s also important to realize and remember that we aren’t necessarily here to reinvent the wheel (thank you, Naval Ravikant) and that “aspiring to change the culture of a group” is totally psycho and ineffective.

The best we can do – and I hope you do! – is CHOOSE your cult that embodies the VALUES that you hold dear. I repeat: align yourself with your values. Choose them well. (If you’re having trouble, Stephen Covey wrote a great chapter on this.)

Because life is too short to just go along with the masses. Defining your values gives you agency.

Sure, surrounding yourself with people of similar values might leave you devoid of much-needed pluralism (of course, similar values does not equate to similar opinions; you can still have diversity amongst a group of similarly valued companions); but, as I said, every path you choose has its own “cult”. It’s just a matter of deciding on the values through which you want to live (love) your life.

Valió la pena

I’d never been so fraught with terror in my life.

At that moment, when your body jerked, when your eyes rolled in your head, when your breath jolted and your skin paled to a deathly cast – that moment when you’d left me briefly – I knew nothing else mattered. Only you.

We had spent that entire day silent. I had been upset, moping about our past: touches without affection, shallow exchanges of feeling, the canyon of distance between two minds and hearts.

I had been making you relive my misery with me.

And all I should have been doing…all I should ever do…is let us revel in our present, let us walk towards our futures.

I had followed the ambulance as quickly as I could, but hadn’t arrived in enough time to see the EMTs cart you into the building.

Now, I wait on a bed of nails hoping that you don’t seize again.

This hospital waiting room is pieced together like cardboard. The single generator fills the whole room with its obnoxious ‘humm’. But it doesn’t mask the sobs of one Chicano family as they shuffle past me out the double doors. It doesn’t deflate my anxiety, which is pressing out on these cardboard walls like a ready-to-burst balloon.

‘Heal him quickly. Please.’ My eyes close as my chest relieves some pressure with a sigh. Clarity:

Fuck reliving the pain of our shared past; all that matters – all that will ever matter – is our shared present and, whether spent together or apart, our futures.

‘Hello, ma’am? You can come back now.’

My tentative steps echo in the empty corridors of my hopes. I trail past inquisitive eyes of nurses towards a small sterile room in the back.

And then the door opens and my sights land on the figure sitting up in bed, smiling to see me. All I do, all I ever want to do, is smile back.

Wyoming Surprise

The curly-haired brunette had passed me with a smile as she jogged through the park with her dog. I smiled back, outwardly composed, inwardly – with a jolt in my stomach – wondering what she thought of my overstuffed car and makeshift kitchen in her neighborhood park. It’s funny how living out of a vehicle makes you more self-conscious of appearing dejected and homeless.

I went on and rinsed my dishes in the mountain river water of Wyoming in true Huck Finn fashion.

Emerging from the riverbank with dripping pots in hand, I prepared to pack up my car and get ready for the long haul to Colorado.

From behind, her muddy voice surprised me as it broke the quiet. “You’ve got a cool vibe. Where you from?”

I smiled at her friendly greeting, admiring the shyness that she lacked.

“I drove here from Maryland…just road tripping across the USA.”

A lively conversation ensued. Her name was Emily. We both were teachers, me of English, she of Math. She had two degrees and a dream to teach charter school kids – 2 degrees more admirable than the the string of elite boarding school kids I freelanced with.

To my comfort, she talked about the clean water and how refreshing it is to jump in the river after her runs. (Being on the road, one can never be too sure, though I risked it for the sake of cleaned dishes, anyway!)

“Listen, if you need a place to stay the night, take my number. I genuinely mean it; I’d love to help you out. Take it. If you change your plans and don’t drive out tonight, just call me up.”

I saw her as the responsible entity that I sought to be.

She felt I was living the dream, a dream she hoped to pursue one day very soon.

That day, I left for Colorado a tinge lighter than when I had come in to Wyoming.

I derived from this experience that open kindness comes in many shapes and forms. And honest, compassionate souls read each other as clearly as words on paper.

It also became clear to me that my decision to choose adventure and escape the mundane was the envy of others. I made a selfish choice to pursue the thing I love most: an exploration of new places through my senses. My selfish choice enacted a selfless piece of inspiration from a kind teacher across the country.

The adventure of your life speaks for itself. Had I stifled my affinity for exploration across the USA, I might never have touched Emily’s soul. Today, I still hope to goodness that I actually did.

Next I heard, Emily was helping her best friend move across the country – by car. And she was having the time of her life.

The gift and contagion of adventure was a small package: a smile, a hello and staying on the path of myself.

Jayde and The Sworn Bounty

Beneath the Surface

Jayde dipped a head below the surface for only a moment before jerking her head up and panting to take in the air that she only deprived herself of for a few seconds. “Ze pressure on your ears and ‘ead is natural,” her dive guide explained, failing to keep his accent from overtaking his last word. “You must remember to breathe.” There was determination now. Jayde needed to get past this. She needed desperately to dive 28 meters below to the Underwater City. There was only one mission at this juncture. And no alternative but to finish it.

“And you’re sure I can find Aegaeon down there? He hasn’t abandoned the city?”

Her guide was stern. His gills seemed to blanch at the accusation, but his slippery old-world French drawl never faltered. “Aegaeon is ze lord of all Tortue fledglings. He will never abandon. Only you landlocked roamers fall for zat charisma in your leaders.” And with a flap of fins that fanned off the sides of his humanoid hands, the guide didn’t wait, but dipped 6 meters below, waiting for Jayde to join him.

It wasn’t unusual for leaders to abandon these days. The war had driven out anyone who had had resource enough to disappear from the mainstream – this mainly meant the wealthy and the powerful. Jayde’s mother used to say that it was a good thing that leaders had started disappearing. “Too many cities revere their leaders as if they were one of the old gods. They’re just like us. There’s nothing special about them except the resource they have and the way they pretend to use it to help charities.”

But that was a long time ago, at the beginning of the war when they were still allowed to talk about the leaders. Now, you couldn’t publicly breathe unless you were praising them. Sure, they were in hiding,

but eyes and ears were everywhere and their power was still mighty. The Henchmen still enacted punishments for speaking out against them.

Jayde’s panic and phobia had still not subsided, but she buried her fear of water deep down. With a breath, she emptied the excess air from her float suit and let the weights around her waist take her down beneath the surface to rejoin the guide.

Immediately the pressure swelled around her ears like a balloon that she couldn’t pop. She jerked her limbs uncomfortably. It took a long time to figure out how to breathe through the mouthpiece of her BCD rather than through the clamped rubber of the mask around her nose. The guide must have regained some humility because he swam to her. His wide blue eyes gained purchase with hers and he motioned for her to breathe slowly, steadily. Her eyes mirrored his, though hers filled with terror while his were only calm and reassuring. Jayde gradually regained control, slowed her breath and let herself relax per her companion’s guidance. She leveled out her awkward, land-accustomed body into the pillow of the sea. The guide swiveled around her with a gator-like tail to check that she was going to make it, then swirled off into the deep without a second glance. Jayde knew she must follow him into the blue.

“Only one mission. Get to Aegaeon and recover the missing piece. The words were the last command of her own leader before her home base was attacked by Scavengers. Those words shuddered through her body like a resounding echo. If getting this piece – whatever it was – could end the war, then overcoming her fear of submerging into water was the least of her troubles.

The Underwater City

It took shorter than expected for Jayde to grow accustomed to the sensation of the sea swallowing her head, but once she did, her eyes opened wide to the beauty and quiet peace of ocean life that surrounded her. Brightly hued corals decorated the shallows beneath the surface. Colourful fish darted in and out of the winding spines. And large leafy plants swayed in the breeze of a light ocean current like grass in a field. Without the pollution of sound, Jayde’s body quicky became attuned to slight vibrations and changes in pressure. Descending deeper, the light from the surface started to fade and all colours of the spectrum disappeared, starting with red, until everything in sight became murky purplish-blue.

Her guide – Tonas was his name – turned to her. “We must descend along the lobster wall.”

Tonas was a young breed, among the newest evolutionary species of Deterra and Marine mix – that is, a new classification of human and aquatic creature. This enabled him to speak above and below land, though admittedly, his voice below water was a more natural sound. Above, his voice squeaked out in a sort of warble.

Jayde’s face blanched (as much as it could in darkening water) to where Tonas’ long willowy finger pointed. Just beyond, she could see where the playful ambiance of the coral reef steeply dropped to dark shadow and the blue nothingness of the open sea.

Spec Ad: Public School Proposal

Don’t knock it ’til you try it: Why mindfulness and meditation are not bogus

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Einstein was on to something there!

Before you reject the good vibes of a mindfulness and meditation workshop, take a closer look; introspection is something we miss out on time and time again, especially when facing the rough realities of day-to-day tasks.

Meet Rochelle, someone who has been dealing with some childhood traumas and abuse. Mindfulness has been her leading antidote to her anxieties. With meditation, she has come to understand and peacefully deal with the genesis of her own emotions.

Mindfulness is meant as a progressive means to tackle every day issues students may face in regards to concentration, anger management and other inhibiting behaviors.

Project Zen is our solution: a top-down approach to teaching mindfulness and meditation.

It starts here: as a yoga instructor, I will guide teachers through the steps of mindfulness. As we rewire our own brains to adapt to mindfulness, it trickles down to our students who are given new tricks to coping with their anxieties and troubles.

If this project is successful, schools can expect to see a decrease in “acting out” and an increase in mature coping mechanisms in students. I propose we survey the students. That way, we can see a difference before and after, where before, there might be more compulsion towards violence, frustration, etc., afterward. if we’re successful, we will find that students will have uncovered abilities in coping, very much like Rochelle did. Maybe even more so than adults. And if we’re lucky, these methods of mindfulness will carry over into generations of the future.

The ways we’ve tried no longer work. It’s about time we found new methods to address age-old issues in our school environments.

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