TAKING THE LEAP, AGAIN

According to the LA Times, on the last minute of 2016, the International Time Keeping community will tack on an additional second, known as the LEAP second, to the last minute of the year. The official atomic clock, that keeps Universal Coordinated Time, will mark 23H, 59 M, 59s, followed by the leap second, 23h, 59m, 60s.

So, this is the significance of the LEAP second of this LEAP Year to ME. Well, other than answering a question that has haunted me from my childhood; is there a transition time from one year to another?

During the last LEAP Year of 2012, I made the LEAP to follow my husband on his path to realizing his dream of living on a farm. I share my experience via my You Tube Channel-Empress Diaries.

As the LEAP Year 2016 comes to an end and I prepare to LEAP into My DREAM DEFERRED, I watch with PRIDE, JOY, and tremendous APPRECIATION, each of our children LEAP into their destiny.

When I think about each of their individual accomplishments this year, I know first hand, the sacrifices that were made to help facilitate the manifestation of their DREAMS. At the risk of financial and career stagnancy, I made the tough decision to be a STAY AT HOME MOM.

As it so happened, at each crossroad when a decision between family or career had to be made, I was at a pivotal point in my career.

In 1998,  shortly after the birth of our 3rd child, Savion, I was offered the opportunity to transition into the Officer Ranks of the US Navy from the Enlisted Ranks. I had recently completed my Bachelor Degree and was perfectly positioned for that opportunity. Although a difficult decision, I chose to be a STAY AT HOME MOM.

In 2002 after completing grad school, and at the height of my teaching career, I once again made the tough decision to stay at home for our 4th child, Karian.

This precedent had been set previously with our older children, Christian and Alyssa.  At which time, either my husband or I, would stay at home with the children.

Although, at the time, I didn’t really understand the significance of my decision, today, I realize its impact on a larger social scale. You see, by choosing to be a Stay At Home Mom, my responsibilities extended beyond cooking, cleaning, and folding laundry. As a Stay At Home Mom I was PRESENT and AVAILABLE to attend to the Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional needs of my children.

Now, as I prepare to finally LEAP into my own DREAMS DEFERRED, I take with me, invaluable lessons learned from my unselfish decision to deviate from the norm. I emerged from my farm experience with secrets that are only revealed to those who choose to commune with Mother Nature. Truths that are hidden in plain view but invisible to us because of our distracted, destructive lives and our detachment from Mother Nature.

Likewise, I emerged and continue to evolve, from my experience as a MOTHER-The most important JOB on Earth. I now have a clearer understanding of  OUR roles as Women. I now see Women as Co-Creators with Spirit in order to facilitate the entrance and experiences of SOUL on Earth. “Let US make MAN in our Image.”

When we learn from Mother Nature we soon learn that many of the ideas we hold and live as OUR Truth are inconsistent with her principles, leading to DIS-ease and Social Ills.

So, as we prepare to LEAP from 2016-The End, and into 2017-The Beginning, The Alpha and the Omega,  I would encourage you to take the BLUE Pill and LEAP out of the MATRIX and LEAP into YOUR DREAM DEFERRED!!

Cheers to an AMAZING 2017

Ready, Set, LEAP!!

~EZ

 

 

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My Response To The Abuse Of Our Children Cleverly Disguised As Discipline

Would it surprise you to hear that man’s unhappiness is due in large measure to the way he is seeking after happiness? After reading an article Living In America Will Drive You Insane I couldn’t help but think just how depressing the future must appear for teens and why they seem to be rebelling against accepted norms, particularly in terms of the things that make them happy. Unfortunately, children who reject traditionally accepted norms face discipline and expulsion from public schools when they deviate from the prescribed course. As the SAC Chair at a local middle school, I spent the past few years fighting the growing practice of punishing students for actions that are typical teenage defiance. The punitive School Code of Conduct has caused schools to become the greatest contributors to juvenile incarceration.   

While Universities, encourage free thinking and take great strides to deal with student misconduct outside of the criminal justice system, public schools’ rigid design force conformity and use the criminal justice system as their first line of defense to deter dissension. This is of great concern to parents of African-American boys, in particular, knowing what we know about the treatment of minorities by police officers. As a result, parents are scrambling to find help to address adolescent defiance in a nurturing and healthy environment.

Like most parents, I too am concerned that the people hired and elected to protect and serve us are least likely to discipline children of color with love and patience during the most challenging and confusing years of their development.  Having taught in traditional and alternative education programs, in addition to raising 4 independent thinkers, I know the importance of discipline but use it to encourage reflective thought and not to force conformity. Discipline that is designed to correct and build up and not tear down and destroy.

In an effort to support parents and school officials dealing with the growing numbers and complex discipline problems facing schools, I’ve agreed to serve on the School Board established “Parent Advocacy Committee.”  I understanding that due to bureaucracy and legal entanglements, change to school policies could take years. Frankly folks, our kids just don’t have that kind of time. So I’ve partnered with men from my community to implement a Teen Wilderness Therapy Program that will be hosted at Green Zone Farms. The mission of the Retreat and Wilderness Therapy Program is to empower young men to overcome unhealthy attitudes and behaviors in a uniquely structured and supportive family environment, that focuses on each student’s strengths, engages them to become productive individuals and transitions them to enjoy successful, satisfying lives.

Wilderness Therapy at Green Zone Farms will provide teens and parents with a means of navigating through the complications of teenage development with the assistance of Mother Nature. The program will be piloted through a Survival Summer Camp for Boys starting on June 15, 2015. Using “The Seven Paths’ to teach the path of ‘We’, each young man will discover the roots of his conflict and the way toward reconciliation. Basic survival skills, self-defense, and entrepreneurship will be included in his rites of passage experience.

Rather than gaining enlightenment from our journey, many of us have become disconnected from nature and each other as we pursue selfish gains resulting in unhappiness, broken relationships, sickness and disease. If living in America will drive us insane, can we really blame kids who chose a different course for happiness like Logan LaPlante. Join the Revolution of Responsibility taking place at Green Zone Farms. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/700455890

 

RUM, REGGAE, & JERK…says JAMAICA

Re-creating an authentic Jamaican experience at Green Zone Farm has become a labor of love for both Brian and I. (Notice I said, has become, because it didn’t start out as a labor of LOVE but a paradigm shift. OUCH! The outdoor kitchen and outdoor bathroom (minus the pit toilet) is reminiscent of my younger years in Clarendon Jamaica.  You would think that with all the comforts of modern living available to me, I would reject the antiquated living conditions of my past and embrace the conveniences of modern living available to me. Well, not so, not anymore anyway. I can’t explain why Jerk Fish accompanied by a cold Red Stripe Beer taste sooooo damn good when consumed outside among nature so I’m going to enjoy it?  ‘Big Up’ to Brian who has done a brilliant Job in re-creating an authentic Jamaican feel, taste, and sound at Green Zone Farm.

 If you’ve never tasted Jamaican Jerk Chicken cooked in an outdoor kitchen then you have not lived. Take a sneak peek into the secret behind Jerk Chicken’s unique flavor.

FINDING MY “ACRES OF DIAMONDS”

A very good friend of mine, Claudette Hutchinson, venturing on her own Entrepreneurial Journey at Spice Island Grill, shared a story with me that changed my perspective on life. I encourage you to read it. http://www.temple.edu/about/history/acres-diamonds  The speech was delivered by Temple University’s President Russell Conwell and communicated a powerful message that helped me in my transition into farming. As you know, from my You Tube Channel, Empress Diaries, where I Vlog my transition into farming, I wasn’t at all happy when my husband moved our family onto the farm.

Mr. Conwell’s speech titled, Acres of Diamond, challenged my thinking and lead me to start taking inventory of the value, not only in the property we now owned, but in myself, my husband, and our children.

Unlike Al Hafed who, in the story, sold his property to look for diamonds, I sought to locate the “diamonds” on our property. My pursuit led to a journey of self-discovery. By stepping out of the ‘rat race’, I had the time to be still and discover the beautiful “diamonds” that lie within myself, my husband, and our children. Our journey took a lot of processing and I mean A LOT OF PROCESSING. As a result however, we are evolving into better human beings and the farm into a place where, those who desire, can journey on a path to complete health; physical, emotional, and spiritual.

The public school system is designed to prepare us to use our talents to cultivate someone else’s wealthy rather than cultivate our own. I would encourage you to start cultivating your own “diamonds” they are buried deep inside you. Keep in mind though, it is a process. If you are familiar with the process that a diamond goes through before it becomes a diamond, you know that it is no easy process; But neither is cultivating someone else’s diamond.

So what do you have to lose?

Here’s 4 ways I make extra money!

Entrepreneurship has been the backbone of this country. Any opportunity that provides access to those pursuits is worthy of exploration. Nice Job

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How Can I Make Extra Money Online or From My Phone?

Many people ask me how am I able to travel a-lot. First and foremost, I think it has a lot to do with how we are prioritizing our money, but this post is not for that. I’m going to tell you EXACTLY how you can make an extra income online, part-time or full-time.

money

I believe in having multiple streams of income. Not only from a mainstream job, but one where I can make money as I sleep. The 4 resources that I’m going to list, mainly fits the group that spend a lot of time online, shopping, or on their cell phone.

I will be posting a separate post related more closely to business and entrepreneurship use. The tactics are endless, and I’m here to SHARE! 🙂

Okay enough small talk, let’s get to it!

***Disclaimer: All of the…

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Talk Is Cheap

As I expressed in a previous post titled “Farmer by Choice”, the past and current images of farmers have much to be desired. Whether created by the media, school text books, or the association of slavery as an institution of oppression, poverty, and pain, few young people hold high aspirations of a business or career in Agriculture/Farming. In some cases, farmers themselves contribute to the lack of interest in that field due to their own negative depiction of the industry. But how often do we hear lawyers lamenting over the challenges of law school, passing the bar, chasing ambulance, or repaying monumental student loans. So why do those in farming highlight the challenges of farming? Although the endless failures of individuals who enter the entertainment or sports industries are on public display, our society seem more encouraging and accepting of children who express interests in entering those spiritually and emotionally demoralizing fields. I suspect this is due in part to the perceived financial and social status associated with those industries.

Every career has its challenges but few posses the intrinsic rewards inherent in interacting with nature through agriculture. Farming/Agriculture also serves as an introduction into many STEM Careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I submit that if we provide children with the knowledge and access to the origins of their food, it will foster in them a healthy respect and value for those who provide for their sustenance as well as the environment in which their food is produced.

Farming is not unlike any other career or business options that comes with its unique set of challenges and perks; the financial and material rewards of which are only outweighed by the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of the profession. When designing our life journey or guiding our children into their own, money should be only one of, not the main standard by which to guide their career/business decision, Don’t you think?

Talk is Cheap

Those of you who know me, know that I back my words up with action. So after all is said and done what am I doing to expose children to Farming? Well, I’m doing several things. One of the projects I led for the 2014/2015 school year involved partnering with Lowes to provide training and materials for 10 schools/daycare centers in Marion County to build vegetable gardens. Check out the highlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkvFz-Av3i8

In addition, I provided professional development training for teachers  and daycare centers owners on how to align Ag in the Classroom, Project Learning Tree, and Globe.gov in their instructional content. But I didn’t stop there, using activities from these curriculum, I now facilitate Ed-Venture activities for youth and children at Green Zone Farms two Saturdays each month and on Friday’s by appointment for Home School Groups.

As our network of CSA businesses/individuals continue to grow, the combined knowledge of the individuals in this MeetUp will greatly add to the information that I can make available to children and youth.  By the Fall of this year, I will expand Ed-Venture Activities to include fishing, camping, outdoor cooking classes, jarring/preserving, animal husbandry and the like.  If this sounds intriguing stay tuned;   http://www.meetup.com/Community-Supported-Agriculture-Meetup/

So, how do we FUNd these activities? You know what they say about ‘All Work and No Play’…I thoroughly believe FUNdraising should be FUN. So we raise FUNds for the “Farm to School”/”Farm to Family” Project through monthly Farm Festivals. These FUNctions are posted on our  Irie Vibrationz MeetUp www.meetup.com/Irie-Vibez-Meetup

So there you have it…my contribution to the Healing of the Nations.

One

EZ

 My Journey Out of Corporate Slavery

In 1957, James Vicary of Subliminal Projection Co., Inc. announced special equipment that would place subliminal messages in the advertising industry.  He cited as a success story, the now infamous New Jersey Theatre that superimposed the messages “drink Coca-Cola” and “hungry? Eat popcorn” on the movies screen during a showing of the movie, Picnic.  Vicary claimed up to a 58% increase in relevant sales following the presentations.

Although the use of such techniques, whereby an advertiser attempts to convey information to the viewer by transmitting messages below the threshold of normal awareness, is not permitted, I can’t help but wonder if those techniques are being use by members of the media today. Or perhaps subliminal perception marketing is known by another name—“Branding.”  How else can we explain some of the irrational spending habits of a large population of consumers?   Consider Black Friday for example.  The idea that people would sit in line for hours, some for days, to purchase items that many cannot afford and most do not need baffles me. Watching people trample over each other to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones in celebration of a Man whose life represented the epitome of modesty and humility is hypocritical at best.

I have to assume that the people who engage in such madness are being controlled by an unseen hand; or perhaps the hand is not so unseen. Maybe the simple act of suggestion is sufficient to lead an entire society on the path of materialism via debt.  The attainment of the American Dream suggests that the acquisition of a house, car, and other material possessions equals success.  Never mind the fact that the path to those ends often results in debt, stress, poor health, dysfunctional family and social relationships, an a myriad of other ills.

Does mass media play a role in leading so many to abandon their own desires to pursue an elusive Dream? Could the allure of expensive homes, luxury cars and other material items be so powerful that many look past the long term implications of student loans, mortgages, car loans, and credit card debt to become a slave to Corporate America?

I believe each of us must travel our own unique journey to pursue a greater purpose; a purpose much greater than the accumulation of material possessions.   Some wake up to this truth in their early years but the pressures of society force them back onto the road often travelled.  Some wake up to this truth in their later years; some as a result of a catastrophic event and some never uncover their life’s purpose.

I don’t think it’s ever too late to start dreaming. I would encourage each of us to replace the images that have been planted by society via mass media, with our own images.  Images that represent our own subliminal cues or suggestion that will ultimately put us back on a path to our true destiny.

Although a little intimidating, I’ve been documenting my journey on my new path of self discovery via a You Tube Channel I created called “Empress Diaries.” Please check it out and share your comments, then start a channel to document your journey. I’d love to follow you.   https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=empress+diaries

Farmer By Choice

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Remember when practically every adult with whom you engaged in a serious conversation, asked you that question?  Many of us based our answers on our interests or the professions of our parents. Today’s children are encouraged to set their career goals based on how much income it will generate for them. Most parentshope their children choose careers that will afford them all thebest things that money can buy or at the very least, they hope their children will generate enough income to move out on their own.

So how would you respond if your child told you that he/shewanted to become farmer? What image comes to mind at the thought? Scary huh? 

Now consider your reaction if your‘significant other’ informs you that they wanted to become a farmer.   Well folks, welcome to reality.  

When my “New York City Born and Raised” husband, expressed his desire to enter into the farming profession, with no, I repeat, no prior farming experience, I translated his statement to mean, “grab your pitch fork honey, we’re moving in with my parents while we figure this thing out.”
In my mind farming wasn’t a career move that would lead to me living the “American Dream.”  I mean, that was the reason my mother moved my brother, sister, and I from Jamaica, a 3rd world country, and encouraged us to pursue higher education, in order to escape the lifestyle of a farmer.  But why? What about the life or lifestyle of a farmer that makes us cringe at the very thought of entering into, what is arguably, one of the noblest of professions. Could it be that the negative images the media paints of the “toiling farmer, back bent”, or the poorly informed outdated textbooks that reinforce stereotypes of farmers as unintelligent “country bumpkins” who wear straw hats and carry pitchforks?

Armed with this image, I reluctantly, ok…kicking and screaming followed my husband in pursuit of his dream. Little did I know that what would ensue was one of the most profound and revolutionary experiences of my life.  The result of which, has led to a life changing encounter with the creator.  It makeso sense that I would meet the creator of the Universe, not within the walls of a church, but in the garden, amongst His creation.

Our journey into Farming has helped usi not only ‘over’stand the science behind the food we eat and its impact on our overall health and well being, it is through our love for nature, by daily farming, we have gained ‘over’standing and appreciation for the “Process.” Through the process of planting a small seed, nurturing it, and by faith knowing the realization of one day harvesting it as sustenance, I personally must say I have developed a greater appreciation and respect for all farmers worldwide and the processes they undergo to ensure humanity can easily and effortlessly access the manna of life, QUALITY FOOD. 

Which profession is more important than a Farmer who produces the nourishment YOU need for my basic survival?  After journeying down the ‘road less traveled’, you too can emerge renewed and invigorated, able to see more clearly how the matrix had many of us programmed to work to sustain its existence rather than our own. 

I am honored to introduce myself today as Empress Zaria, FARMER and Agriculturalist.