AristotleMindHeartWhen you are authentic, transparent, you will stand out as you are truly seen. When you are transparent, others can “see through” you into you as your heart and true essence shines. You are clear, direct and kind. You are not an enigma; you don’t leave people scratching their heads wondering what you just said and did. You do not hide. You are honest to the bone. You are courage enfleshed… Authenticity happens in the guts and bowels of your life. Being authentic is the grunt-work of the soul, of any deeply human, spiritual path.

Being half here, half there, half-hearted, faking it to look good, strategizing to make things easier for your self — that’s the common way of the unconscious clotted middle, driven by our egoic, addicted culture. It’s a way that lacks wholeheartedness. Lacks real courage to let the heart break. Shatter. Broken whole and holy open to finally know compassion for self, others, earth. To live and love — on-fire, fully alive, juiced and ready to serve. © 2014 Melissa La Flamme, Excerpted from the article: Authenticity: The Juicy Mess of Our Human-ness


Passion-based learning, and its hoped for result, passion-based living, are relatively new terms in the education passion based learning info graphiclexicon, but a natural component of the sharing economy – things like peer-to-peer networking, Zipcar , and Airbnb – that are growing all around us. It may seem easy to dismiss it all as some Millennial feel-good fad, that fails to take into consideration the harsh realities of the lives most of us lead, lives that require 9-5 (or more) in jobs we may not like, doing work we’d prefer not to do, for the very basic purposes of buying food and paying for rent.

But let’s posit there’s something bigger going on here, a slow dawning of consciousness among small but increasingly connected groups. Paul Ray wrote “The Cultural Creatives: How 50 million People Are Changing the World,” in 2000, and in 2002 Richard Florida brought a socioeconomic look to bear on the idea with his landmark book, “Rise of the Creative Class.” The inexorable march of the maker movement, culminating with the recent White House Maker Faire, would seem to bear out these now decade old contentions that there just might be something to the idea of a passion based life of creative engagement.

Actor and comedian Jim Carrey’s commencement address, this past May, to the 2014 graduating class of Maharishi University of Management (MUM) adds yet another compelling layer, not the least of which is the facility at which he spoke – a business school in Iowa that specializes in “Consciousness-Based education,” combining traditional post-secondary school subjects with things like Transcendental Meditation and Vedic Science.

“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.” Carrey told students. “What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it.”

Carrey’s message to students is, essentially, a call to authenticity, to that wholehearted life of transparency Melissa LaFlame talks about, that way of being that is “on-fire, fully alive, juiced and ready to serve,” a way of being as true for a plumber or a taxi driver as it is for an artist or an engineer. Can we always be or do what we want to be or do? Maybe not. But can we try? Can we live openly, honestly, with curiosity and interest in the world around us? Carrey suggests it’s the only way to peace of mind and light of soul.

“You can join the game, fight the wars, play with form all you want, but to find real peace, you have to let the armor fall. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

This call to the life authentic, to passion based living, is nothing less than a call for a civil society, to a world in which we are honest, compassionate, and creative, where we share our resources, our skills and our knowledge, where there is less posturing and more productivity.

Ultimately,” Carrey says. “We’re not the avatars we create. We’re not the pictures on the film stock. We are the light that shines through it. All else is just smoke and mirrors.

Life doesn’t happen to you, Carrey contends, it happens for you. Make it Real.