In order to make sense of things, we tend to create associations with words. The word conscious is almost nostalgic for me, because it takes me back to high school, a time when I was first exposed to the word. When I was a teenager I listened to what everyone was calling “conscious hip-hop”, which was ironically in the mainstream at the time (those days are long gone). In 1993 artists like Queen Latifah had songs like “U.N.I.T.Y.” with lyrics like “love a black woman/man into infinity”. You’d never hear that in today’s mindless pop music. During the “Golden Era of Hip-hop”, groups like Poor Righteous Teachers rhymed about seeing with your third eye in almost every song. At the time I didn’t know what they actually meant and had never heard of the pineal gland, but I had a vague idea as if it was some long lost memory.
So what does it mean to be conscious as an artist? Even as a young person which was well before my official “spiritual awakening”, it simply meant caring.
“Within this framework, contemplative traditions and a multitude of spiritual paths are equally at home with the plant path. Those of us who are Western European in descent are also well aware of the sensitive issues and dangers surrounding the appropriation of indigenous cultures—and neocolonialism in general—and therefore make a conscious act of deriving material for art from the European witchcraft tradition (ayahuasca may have been brewed in the “witches cauldron”), in addition to the pop-culture of the West” Benton Rooks writes.
To be perfectly honest, most of the people in our film are of western decent, due to limited time and resources, we’ve been able to feature those connected to our direct inner circle. This movement is once again lead by mostly white males. We’ve worked extra hard to feature many women in the film, however. It takes courage to come forward and face rejection by the powers the be, so in some instances, I can understand why the movement is lead by mostly white men, like Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock.
My own spiritual life has been greatly enriched by partaking in traditional Lakota sweat lodges, and regularly visiting a Cherokee Peace Village, just as much as partaking in plant medicine. Another part of our journey toward awakening is to remember that past life time(s) when we were once Shamans ourselves. Although my husband, Joel, is often overwhelmed with all my ideas, he admits that he is interested in my latest web series idea which involves past life regression sessions. We are equally and utterly fascinated with the recently deceased (but forever in our hearts and minds) Dolores Cannon‘s work. In my recent session I asked how I could heal from my leg/hip pain and they said to help people more and in his recent session, Joel remembered a lifetime during the Spanish Inquisition. If that doesn’t put the struggles of your current lifetime into prospective, nothing will.
Being conscious is caring about the world around you, about injustice in your community and making your art work for the greater good, as opposed ego driven ideas. My favorite lyrical line from one of our new songs is “the mystery is not the enemy”. Our purpose here is simply to create. The mystery of the universe is what inspires us to get closer to the Creator. We may never have all the answers but we can be sure that life will never be devoid of purpose (like some scientists believe) as long as we continue seeking the truth. This is what conscious filmmaking is all about for me and why we created our production company, Things Are Changing, “for seekers of conscious media”.