Writing Contest Winners – Fall 2016

A Tribute to The Search Engine By: Jeanine Endsley

“…And yet, we’re here. We’re alive. What might we do? What can we do? What will we do? Herein lies the challenge, herein lies the search.” – Jason Silva

I am a student in the age of information communication technology. I am a seeker, like many of you on this massive search engine. My purpose none but to find revolutionary ways of being and radical solutions. None but to share my musings with the poetic hearted and join in this weaving of humankind.

This electronic world at your fingertips gives access wholly to alternate realms and empires of ideas. Vast platforms and paperless bookshelves. The pinnacle of man’s greatest advancements. A source where anyone, anywhere, at any time, can engage in a global conversation.

Jeanine Endsley → →

Jeanine Endsley is a Costa Rica-based writer, yogi, and holistic massage therapist living along the Whale Coast. Her passion lies in awakening the innate healing and wisdom of the body through holistic practices, radical self love, and plant medicine. She spends her days writing, studying, and offering her heart through the work of her hands. She is as a child and advocate of the earth walking the path of beauty. To get connected and see more of her work, visit facebook.com/jeanine.endsley and on Instagram @jeanineendsley.

This mighty tool teaches me what plants in my backyard can be the life-givers to my daily cup of tea. This great big search machine knows how to make a table with bamboo or could provide the scripts I need to write a book. I can catch old legends on vintage grayscale footage or watch the president in the present as he speaks to nations.

My vow to this electronic age is to make my heart a quest carrier and my mind a seeker. To utilize this system to shape my world from the infinite sources of inspiration my eyes behold daily. I dare you to learn how to build a compost, or care for an herb garden, or launch a fundraiser than can help your hurting community. Learn a language, or learn to meditate. Squeeze out all the knowledge like good medicine, write it in sweet notes on your heart and whisper them softly, sharing them one day through your chosen medium. Let the dreams of your soul, hands, and spirit lead your searches. What if we lived like we had access to a fiercely powerful tool? What if we prayed and laid out our intentions beforehand?

We must filter our searches, to intend with the voice as well as the eyes, to sift through the layers and find the gems of gold and the messages of the ancient elders. We are an active, ever-breathing call to action through our far reaches. We must be eager to strike social change through our social choices.

a resource connecting billions of us.

mothers to lost daughters.

men to their native tribes.

sisters to their global circles.

hungry children to nourishment and support.

What will your story be?

We have a responsibility to be passionately curious seekers. To let our bellies and questions burn with fire for change. We have a responsibility to do something – to use our hands to write, offer, share, or search…

The Beauty In Social Media By: Luba Nikolayev

In this day and age, the social norm is to reach out to someone online instead of meeting in person or even chatting over the phone. Screens seem to disconnect us from the beauty that is all around us, leaving people feeling isolated and alone. But what if this is just a perspective that we can reframe and change, creating a new positive relationship with the online world?

For a group of women in Costa Rica, changing our relationship with technology was the only way to accomplish our goals. We wanted to create a supportive network of women who came together to celebrate life and each other. This was no easy task, especially along the Ballena coast where most expats take their personal space and spread out along acres or sometimes hectares worth of land. Furthermore, the bumpy gravel roads can turn the shortest ride into a roller coaster, giving people even more of a reason to stay home. Here, it’s common to spend more time in nature than with friends, and as much as that feeds the soul, the attraction towards human interaction can’t be suppressed for too long. To meet this need, we formed a sisters’ council with the intent of creating intimate connections in our community. We committed to bringing local women together 3 times a year for weekend gatherings filled with love and support.

But how do you organize gatherings when all odds of getting together seem to be stacked against you? Online of course! We stay connected through Skype conference calls, keep organized with google docs, and update our participants through our Facebook group. After the weekend is done, women share memories and photos in our private online community and stay connected until the next gathering!

So far we have shared 3 unforgettable, deeply moving gatherings! During these weekends, women nurture each other with unconditional love. We fully express ourselves through dance, songs, sharing, crying and laughing. Each sister leaves feeling refreshed, honored, and full of new energy to shine her light in our world. Events like these are life changing, and without the tools of today’s social media, our gatherings could not exist. The sisters council is infinitely grateful for all the free and easy-to-use technology that connects us and allows us to live our dreams. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder so let’s change our perspective and see the beauty in everything!

Luba Nikolayev ↓ ↓

Born in the USSR, raised in Israel then Canada, traveled to over 40 countries and currently living the dream in Costa Rica. Meet Luba Nikolayev, a dancer, writer, medicine woman, and adventure seeker who loves to enjoy life. To learn more about her medicine ways in the land of Pura Vida check out her new website Chaga Chica. Or, for a rhythmic adventure of self discovery, go to my world with dance and enjoy the ride from the sunny coasts of Costa Rica down to the glaciers of Argentina. Make sure to visit Travel Post Monthly for her latest article as you embark on a sailing journey through the San Blas Islands in search of paradise. Check it out here and like or share if you want to see more.

Third Place Winner - Justin Panneck

There are many efforts today that attempt, and successfully create sustainable and collaborative communities of like-minded people. It seems clear that positive global change is not only necessary, but eminent. The question remains: How is that when there seems to be such a rich counter-culture of positivity, can there be so much provincialism, violence, bigotry, rampant consumerism, and ecological devastation? The answer is in our cultural Story—an “Old Story” that persists today, complete with “scripts” and old recipes that maintain the status quo of shopping, celebrity worship, individualism, disconnection, pollution, genocide, war, etc.

Communities require true cohesion, collaboration, and a safe container to dissolve barriers. I do believe that the pervasiveness of networking and Internet technologies represent a “return of the Feminine”—a powerful force that is dissolving boundaries, while at the same time, in many ways, inhibiting face-to-face social interaction. It is a unique dilemma that defines the modern world—a simultaneous increase of connection and disconnection. The Internet and social media technologies, born from the development of the computer (the “Mother” board!), were unconsciously created as a “tool” for bridging the world of spirit and matter, and the results are that we have a boundary dissolving tool at our disposal. However, the “old” stories and scripts of our generation prevent us from prioritizing social interaction and community bonding. Social networking sites abound, I have yet to see a one that truly reaches the necessary depths of true community needs.

It is for this very reason that I envision a unique social media/networking site, which I have come to call “Bamboom.” My goal with Bamboom is to truly connect community members on a deeper level, leveraging the power of the community to meet a variety of social, spiritual, artistic, financial, and psychological needs. Certain community needs or functions could be better served with such sites as NextDoor.com, which primarily handles basic human needs like community news, politics, school district data, street maintenance, etc. Although this certainly serves a purpose and may be quite useful, it does not quite contribute toward a paradigm shift, or New Human Story—one of community, collaboration, freedom of expression, sharing of gifts and stories, bartering, etc. Additionally, the underlying theme of this project would be to promote a more environmental, eco-psychological, eco-spiritual, and human-centered vision, while truly connecting people toward a community of health and human vision. This is such a vision that seeks to serve ALL the needs of people, whether emotional support during crises, mental health concerns, forming community organizations, sharing art and poetry and human stories, etc. I envision a collaboration with many individuals and groups to engineer a truly unique and powerful platform that facilitates this initiative toward community cohesion and freedom from invisible and tangible boundaries. The tools are at our disposal, the Great Feminine beckons, our fellow humans are demanding connection, so it is now time to change the story from fear, scarcity, materialism, and individualism, to one of hope, abundance, spiritual equanimity, and unity!

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