Health and Happiness
Beautiful Minds Ranch. This site is designed to address issues about health, healing, community, intentional healing, affordable co-op housing for artists, at risk youth programs, community support, health support networks, highly sensitive people, creativity, passion, and finding meaningfulness in life.
Health Blog: Health information where science and spirit meet.
Healthcare News: Articles that rock!
Great Links: News, tools and resources you can use.
Tools and Forms: Downloadable forms, tools and worksheets that really work.
Co-op News: New Artist affordable housing co-op construction.
Social Evolution: Hard-hitting stories and insight.
Alice Wonders Why.org is dedicated to building an affordable housing community for artists who find life in the big city unsatisfying and uncomfortable. Many people who are highly sensitive and creative find themselves excluded in the mainstream society scene. Studies show that people, or groups of people sharing similar personality traits, who are alienated in society, often find themselves living alone with few friends and family members.
Lifestyle of the Future
Alternative Living for Artists, the Beautiful Minds Ranch
I intend the creation of an affordable housing cooperative, somewhere in California, for artists and free thinking people who want more out of life than to work 9-5, eat fast food and keep up with the Jones'. Most creative-type people are especially sensitive to negative stimuli such as noise, pollution, and violence. Creativity is energy and can be depleted by prolonged exposure to unhealthy stimuli. In addition, these quiet people are often shunned by society because of their sensitivity to the harsh side of mainstream life.
I have read countless posts on the Fellowship for Intentional Communities Directory from people wanting to form new communities where higher awareness is the norm rather than the exception. I come from a large family and have lost them all over the years. For myself, I function best in a family environment where people care about each other, and never stop to consider the cost of helping someone in need, or whether or not they will get something in return.
Many of the existing communities have strong likes and dislikes (no tobacco use; vegetarian only; this religion or that) which exclude many people interested in joining. Many want to grow most of their own food organically, some have plans for alternative power sources, and the ones I've looked into support free spiritual ideals.
What I like most about the intentional community concept is community. Bringing families together with people of all ages. I believe that seniors have the most to give in communities. Children who are raised without frequent access to their Grand Parents and Great Grand Parents miss out on so much. And people with no children or family miss out even more. Children and Seniors complete the living picture. Without them we are all just disconnected self-images, running around with little meaning in our lives.
Benefits of Eco Village Living
Cooperatives are corporations that serve the best interests of their members directly, while profit-minded corporations serve their own interests at any cost. I've had money and it never made me feel any better than I feel right now. I've seen people with more money than they could ever spend, and many of them seem quite miserable to me. The values most important to me now cost very little, and consist mostly of personal contribution and the treasures of loving and being loved in an emotionally intelligent community.
I envision a co-op community that focuses on sustainable living practices like organic gardening, raising livestock humanely, alternative energy, home schooling, bulk purchasing, and life-long learning. Everything not used by the members would be marketed by the services co-op. Any profits from the other ventures would be distributed to the members, while any revenues from the Non-Profit business (affordable housing co-op) would go to maintain property, build new structures, excess funds would be donated toward helping others to build similar communities.
There are grant funds available and many other resources that will match funds or offer no-interest loans for projects that build up rural communities, promote new business and employment opportunities. As the job economy continues to erode in the US, alternative living opportunities must be considered.
Working Outside the Home
When you consider the cost of working outside the home, especially where both parents work, the benefit of the second job is not cost effective. Add up the expense of two car payments, insurance, childcare, meals from fast-food or decent restaurants, expensive clothing, commuting time ($ per hour), fuel and pollution, and the stress of trying to juggle the soccer practice, shopping and household chores, not to mention the unsupervised hours the children spend doing who knows what, that second career costs far more than the income it brings in.
Many of the forming communities listed on the Fellowship for Intentional Communities directory website are seeking investors. Many groups give up after a while. I believe that with the right people who are serious minded and determined, along with some grant funding, that investors will come ("if you build it, they will come"). Successful communities start with just a few people who are dedicated and are willing to do whatever it takes. Once the ground is broken, others will want to buy into this better way of living.
Management is paramount in building any business. Many communities fail because of poor planning or management techniques, others due to half heartedness. A successful business is born of immovable faith in success. What ever challenges arise, people of knowing will triumph. The contribution of such efforts, and the success those efforts bring, will add much needed beauty back into the world, however small the endeavor.
Many people today worry about politics and the state of world health; ecology for one. There are imbalances in how wealth is distributed. There has always been enough abundance of food and energy for everyone living on Earth. The waste of resources is unimaginable today, as it has always been throughout history. However, we all have a choice in how we live.
The evolution of civilization has changed very little since the Neolithic age of agriculture starting about 8,000 BC. Farming allowed far denser populations, and food surpluses which allowed non-agricultural areas, producing other resources for trade, to prosper as well. As the population grew, there came a need for military protection, and eventually, the separation of classes; the haves and the have-less’.
This is where individual integrity is first tempted by greed and corruption. The more complex the responsibilities a person is given, the higher the level of temptation to cause harm to the masses, in the compulsion to feed their own personal desires. Whether the power be of religious might or governmental power, each of us are human and it is our challenge to grow in awareness.
My choice is to live as far away from the chaos of confusion that has overtaken the major powers in the world. I am not hiding from duty, but conserving my energy to use where it can be of most use. Protecting even a small piece of land, and living in a way that I can fully respect, conserves my energies and allows me to act when it is most appropriate and effective. Yelling outside the Capitol is a waste of personal energy and, accomplishes very little.
The Constitution of the United States of America is one of the most powerful documents ever created in history. I try to read from this often, to remind me of the sacrifices the men, women, and children, of that doctrine made to initiate and defend it. It is every person’s responsibility to do this, at least once each year; just read over the parts that mean the most to you personally, if nothing else.
A more effective use of such energy, is to change the way I live and invite others to join. Writing and acting to inform others who are interested, as small as that may seem, is the most powerful action I can take as a single individual. To put across a message to our governing forces the idea of evolving what we now call civilization, to higher level of freedom and goodness, that we can all respect.