About this blog

Welcome to Speak Your Art Blog Hub. This blog combines posts from seven of my other blogs: In the Flow Studios Arts, In the Flow Studios Body, I Love Shelter Dogs, Mana Keepers, PaaMano Eskrima & Performing Arts, Self-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings my organizations together and offers my readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location.

I hope you will find something that inspires you, empowers you or reminds you of the limitless possibilities that dwell within you. Thank you for visiting. I wish you Peace today and everyday.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Letter to Our Two Sons

Letter to Our Two Sons

Dear Kadante and Roland H. (Samuel),
Sabomnim/Guro Kadante and Sabomnim/Guro Roland

This is a public thank you that has been long over due. You were born into a life that you did not choose. From birth your lives were filled with all that is a martial arts studio. You know what it is too sleep on the floor of the business night after night because there was too much to do to drive all the way home just to come back a few hours later. You gave up your winter breaks to stay home and remodel the studio or plan the business events for the coming year. There were no summer family vacations for you as summer is our busiest time of year. Your summers were filled by teaching Ninja Camps, running summer programs and the annual Summer Picnic Extravaganza. 

You worked developing your martial arts to become two of our best practitioners. You shared your knowledge through teaching everyday with no breaks. You answered phones, took inquiries, answered questions, did orientations, ran the front desk, mopped floors, cleaned bathrooms and policed the studio. You were our greatest source of marketing just by being kind, mature and courteous. We relied on you to be the backbone of our studio and our martial arts family.

You have spent complete summers touring California for our Filipino Martial Arts System PaaMano Eskrima by performing, raising cultural awareness and advocating to save endangered species. You have help organize, perform and execute fundraising shows for In the Flow Studios Arts for over a decade. You have given of yourselves and of your talents freely and wholeheartedly, asking nothing in return. 

Most will never know just how much you have both sacrificed to help our students, our business, our martial arts and our family. You inspire us to be more humble, more grateful, wiser and over all better people.

We asked a great deal of you both from a very young age. You were expected to be the perfect examples of the Martial Way of life. Each of you surpassed our expectations and taught us more than you will ever know. As the years have passed we have realized how unreasonable our expectations were for such young people. We are sorry to have put such a heavy burden on you. 

Once again you are both a source of strength for our family and our studio. You are now grown men with lives of your own and no one, least of all us, would expect you to sacrifice any further. Yet without hesitation or thought for yourselves you offer your talents, time and hard work to rebuild our family and our business. 

We are grateful for you both, for your dedication, for your integrity, for your sacrifices, for your selflessness and most of all for your love. You give us faith that tomorrow can and will be better than yesterday. 

Thank you both from the bottom of our hearts.

We love you,

Mom and Dad
Aurora Ferrer, Director and Roland Ferrer, Grand Master

Perseverance...Flame Your Fire

Perseverance is what allows us to take our dreams from the realm of possibility to the realm of reality. In art as in life we will stumble, fall, encounter opposition, become disheartened, overwhelmed and lose all hope. Remember that it's ok, it's all part of the process. 

It is not our success or our failures that define us. It is the will to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try, try again that will become our legacy.

We must celebrate our successes as well as our failures for they are just steps along the same path...the journey of self-discovery and an authentically lived life.

A special thank you to Kadante Ferrer of Hip Hop Martial Arts for letting me contribute to his upcoming Candle-Power video series through my photography and film.  Hip Hop Martial Arts or HHMA is an inspired movement of mind, body and spirit. You can read Kadante Ferrer and Hip Hop Martial Arts - Artist Highlight for more information about the creator and the HHMA movement - Path of the Urb Monk

"Illuminate" - Candlepower - Hip Hop Martial Arts®

You can also follow HHMA on 
 or @hiphopmartialarts on Instagram.

Thank you for visiting. May inspiration overflow throughout all of your creative processes.

Contact Info for In the Flow Studios Arts
Instagram: http://instagram.com/speakyourart or @SpeakYourArt 
"In the Flow Studios is a grassroots organization dedicated to empowering the arts, the artist and worthy causes."

Aurora's "Speak Your Art Blog Hub" combines posts from seven of her other blogs: In the Flow Studios ArtsIn the Flow Studios BodyI Love Shelter DogsMana KeepersPaaMano Eskrima & Performing ArtsSelf-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings her organizations together and offers her readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Water is Life, Stand with Standing Rock

*Repost from Mana Keeper December 11, 2016

Protecting our fresh water supply is not a Native American problem it is a human problem. We have a limited amount of fresh water on the planet and it's needed to sustain much of the life on earth, humans included. "Water is an essential component for life as we know it. Our bodies are comprised of more than 70% water. Humans can survive only a few days without water yet can survive a month or more without food. Water powers our bodies, from the elasticity of our myofascia (cognitive tissue) to the ability to process thoughts coherently, it literally is our life's blood." Excerpt from Water Presents Us With Deeper Reflection. The Native American Nations, Indigenous Peoples of Central and South America, New Zealand, Australia and land and water protectors have come together at Standing Rock to remind us to put the well-being of the land, water, air and people before profits for a corporation. 

This writeup is an overview for my readers not familiar with the Standing Rock Movement as well as a resource for my readers inspired to stand with those at Standing Rock. There are many ways we can help. The struggle for safe and clean water at Standing Rock is not over yet. While the Army Corps of Engineers has ordered constriction halted by revoking the easement, the corporation has not stopped construction on other sections of the pipeline and have stated their intention to continue with their plans. Winter has set in and temperatures are freezing and the committed water protectors need our help.

While Native American cultures and customs have historically  varied from Nation to Nation all shared a deep respect for Mother Earth and lived with gratitude for all things provided by The Great Spirit. They taught their young that humans were the stewards of the land and the caretakers of its natural resources and were responsible to protect the land, water, plants, animals and air for future generations. Native wisdom did not view humans as the owners of the land or the natural resources found in it, it was a "sin" to exploit or pollute it. "You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves."
~ Chief Seattle - Quote shared from "Native American Wisdom, Images and Quotes". 

While Native Americans were the first peoples in North America they have been eradicated on the majority of our continent and those remaining have been relegated to tiny plots of land once deemed worthless to white settlers. We have tried to erase their history, culture and language, yet without Native Wisdom our society would not exist. The original people of North America contributed to the very foundation of our modern democracies. "Indian governments in eastern North America, particularly the League of the Iroquois, served as models of federated representative democracy to the Europeans and the American colonists. The United States government is based on such a system, whereby power is distributed between a central authority (the federal government) and smaller political units (the states)". (1) They taught early settlers about the animals and plants best suited to thrive in the settlers' new world and signed treaties in good faith that were broken time and time again.

Sadly it seems that not much has changed in our treatment of Native Americans over the last 450 years. Standing Rock is a present day reminder of the injustices and poor living conditions our Native American sisters and brothers have had to endure for centuries. 

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. is trying to build an oil pipeline under the Missouri River which many Native Tribes, Water Protectors and Land Defenders feel puts at risk the only supply of fresh drinking water to the Sioux tribes as well as any other people living down stream. The corporation is also digging on lands Native American tribes hold sacred. On April 1st a prayer ride on horseback from Sitting Bull’s burial site in Fort Yates, N.D., to the Sacred Stone Camp site initiated the movement at Standing Rock and that prayer has continued in daily group ceremonies, water ceremonies, prayers before meals, prayers with sage, tobacco and cedar, songs and chants, sweat loges and the sacred fire. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation have invited people of all faiths and beliefs to join in prayer. “As long as there’s prayer, we don’t judge. Our belief is there’s one Creator, and he taught all the nations of this world a way to pray in their own way”, Standing Rock Sioux tribal councilman Dana Yellow Fat is quoted saying. They have created the largest gathering of Native Americans in the past hundred years. Native peoples as well as those that stand in solidarity with them have come together in prayer and in action to peacefully stand their ground and protect the water for their children and our children. 

In September of 2016 PBS News Hour aired this new story about Standing Rock. 
Tribes across North America converge at Standing Rock, hoping to be heard

Stories From Standing Rock | Vogue - November 2016

Peaceful and prayerful Water Protecters have been harassed both verbally and physically. They have had dogs set on them. They have had water cannons turned on them in freezing temperatures, flash grenades, rubber bullets, mace and to date over 500 of them have been arrested. I had the honor of interviewing three Water Protectors that stood at Standing Rock, Lou and Rich Guerrero and Shannah Bupp. Shannah was arrested while trying to help an Elder on crutches. I'll be doing a write-up about them and sharing their stories for my next post but for now you can watch Standing Rock Part Two to get a better idea the situation.

Standing Rock: Part Two | The Turnaround: Your World in 360

Lakota People's Law Project is calling on individuals and organizations to divest from banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sign their petition at http://lakotalaw.org/pipeline-action
Check out their DAPL Timeline at http://lakotalaw.org/oceti-sakowin-camp.

Important websites and links to help you take action, support the Water Protectors and keep up to date with the movement at Standing Rock: 

Stand With Standing Rock Website "In honor of our future generations, we fight this pipeline to protect our water, our sacred places, and all living beings." The Oceti Sakowin Camp represents a first of its kind historic gathering of Indigenous Nations. The most recent such assembly of Tribes occurred when the Great Sioux Nation gathered before the Battle at the Little Big Horn.

Oceti Sakowin Camp Website Urgent Update 12/10/16: ADVISORY: OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP IS NOT ACCEPTING NEW ARRIVALS DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS WEEKEND.We truly appreciate your support and willingness to be on the ground as a showoff solidarity, but we are closing camp doors to new arrivals for safety reasons. Please continue to support through prayer and actions that you can take at home. Stay tuned for further updates via website, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you have a camp at Standing Rock and you have online contact info such as website, Facebook page, etc where the public can donate or learn more about your work, I would be honored to add your link to this post. Please message me or leave info in comments. 

I hope you will join me in doing what you can to help our Native American sisters and brothers protect clean drinking water for their children and ours.

(1) "The History of Native Americans" Scholastic.com

Pilamaya! Thank you! for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.

Aurora's "Speak Your Art Blog Hub" combines posts from seven of her other blogs: In the Flow Studios ArtsIn the Flow Studios BodyI Love Shelter DogsMana KeepersPaaMano Eskrima & Performing ArtsSelf-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings her organizations together and offers her readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location.