I have had the good fortune, recently, of considering my own social and spiritual values in an effort to make sense of who I am in relation to the dissolution of the country that I have learned to call home. That country is USA. It has espoused such high values and manages to have so much trouble living up to those values within it’s own ‘four walls’, as well as abroad.
As a healer, an artist, a teacher and a writer, I feel a lot of my world, as well as analyse it. And it’s hurting. It seems to me that we have found ourselves at a new juncture, one where we are all being invited to make new choices, champion new visions and usher in a new era of acceptance, higher consciousness and love. Where I see bigotry, I choose love, where I see cowardice I chose honour, where I feel contraction, I choose expansion… I choose breath; life. Living in CA I feel this might be the last bastion of time where we can take coherent action to protect and develop our shared values of life, liberty and justice; not just for ourselves, but for the rest of America and our brothers and sisters who are suffering from Climate Crisis, and social devolution, around the world. CA is an innovative capital and capable of giving great support to people. The rationale for a ‘free California’ allows for the development of new relationships of mutuality, based on love: compassionate global living.
In February, I gave an opening statement at a press conference in LA – alongside fellow Calexit visionaries for the movement that seeks to protect these beautiful values of CA and keep people’s sense of home, safe. I have decided to share it with you as it is taking up so much of my attention these days, that I am looking for how my work with Consciousness can find its way into the world of human (and planetary) politics. I hope you find some value and solace in these words. For those interested in my previous thoughts on more socially inclusive, and more sustainable ways to live on, and with, this Earth we call home, please visit my 2012 article A Life Worth Living.
Press Statement 02/13/2017 LAX
GOOD MORNING – My name is Clare Hedin and I am a Californian immigrant.
Given that I have been afforded this opportunity to speak about how I really feel, I honour and acknowledge that my own feelings may reflect many people’s, however personal they may feel to me.
I came here, to California specifically, as an immigrant, to celebrate my own need to explore, to be creative, to grow and learn. It was an instinctual choice and, for me, that happened to be in the Bay Area. I landed there with only one distant friend’s couch to crash on, and over the last, almost three decades, this land has since shown me, again and again, why I came here, why I call it home and why I have thrived here.
I left England, seeking freedom – sound familiar?? I needed to express myself, change ‘hats’ a few times, without judgment, to truly find out who I am. I’ve been to art school, music school, studied paradigms and consciousness, gotten my further education – it’s been a safe place for me to do all of that, and explore the question of identity over and over again. And now I get to teach all that I know, to young, culturally diverse people, who also want to be free to explore and discover who they are and how far they can stretch their own internal and external borders.
California is the place where it is safe to do that. Or… it was.
This generous, friendly, adventurous and environmentally rich California that I call home seems to be under threat.
This is not new, it is a slow witnessing that I have undergone, over my years here, watching the shadow of the American Government and its political structures and behaviours, looming over this dwindling sense of our collective freedom, our happy, innovative spirit, our trust of humanity, as they seem to fight over territory, both physical and representational, like children pulling at an old toy that eventually gets ripped apart – one person left with the legs, the other the torso. This squabbling is vicious and quite mean; one might say… desperate. The moral shadow of Standing Rock, for instance, where agreements and treaties have been routinely broken…. it hurts to witness. I wonder where dignity has gone, the personal and political moral compass?
The thing is, California is different than this. Californians are different than this. We actually like people; we smile, we’re friendly, we mean it when we ask ‘how are you today?’, we like to connect. I think we see a world of abundance, whilst our older relatives seem to see a world of lack. You can hear it in the divisive, negative politics of today.
The fact is, we are lucky to be alive, to have anything. And to have gratitude is essential to human happiness. Looking to the East, I hear grievance, anger, bitterness, blame and accusation… constantly. This is the Republican party. The Democratic party’s response is lacking in will, conviction and motivation. It is uninspiring. Again… this is not new. And I simply don’t trust the major political system to think systemically, holistically, compassionately or intelligently anymore.
I no longer believe in the American political system. It is outdated, selfish and anti-progressive. I have witnessed it break under the strain of monotony and monopoly as big companies first took over the politicians and free markets and then took over the political seats in high government. Corporations became ‘people’. Food became ‘patented’, and the desire for control birthed ‘terminator seeds’. This is the politics of anti-nature, anti-natural. It causes divides in countries that rely on seeds and their ancestral wisdom to grow their own food and maintain the culture that feeds their souls as well as their bellies. None of this is natural. It is not kind. It is not in the spirit of sharing.
I was raised to share what I have, it just feels right. And I would say, it is right.
I teach young 20 something management students how to be both creative and innovative in the world. We study the catastrophe that has been laid out before them by a two-party system that does not work. And has not for a long time. The lack of shared vision renders us collectively dis-abled – unable to function at even close to our optimum level of productivity, progressiveness or vision. You cannot grow and stay still (or go backwards) at the same time.
America is too big to function efficiently as a whole. And it is competitive in all the wrong ways. It has become about winning no matter what, stealing to win, even. The United States was never mean to stay this big. In my understanding, Thomas Jefferson anticipated the West Coast becoming self-governing in its own right time, you can find it in his published words, and he was not alone. I believe that time for self-governance is absolutely on our doorsteps, right now. This is the right timing.
It is time for California to be free to assert herself, to deepen her innovative reach, to support other communities around the world to combat rising sea levels in unique and customized ways, using sustainable methods, sustainable materials, and sustainable thinking. It is time for California to stop being held back from our innate and immense capacity to grow our diverse cultures, our capacity for kindness and for international influence in mutually positive ways. We have four seats on the UN climate change committee! We know what we are doing. And we are ready to do more. We don’t dictate: we research and discuss, create and innovate. We are ready to take a front seat, a driving seat, in a collaborative international endeavor to work for what is good for everybody, not just American big business-as-usual. Big business as usual is derelict.
I wish to see California become independent because I see her as ready.
I wish to see California become independent because the world needs her, unfettered, and free to plant the far-reaching seeds of her own imagination – for the benefit of all life.
I wish to see California become independent because it is time to form new relationships around the world with fellow progressives, empaths and compassionate, dynamic, innovators.
We have the money, the will, the capacity and the character to collaborate, to be generous and to birth the new politics of consideration, inclusion and dynamism. We need to catch up with other countries like, Bolivia – who recognized mother earth as having rights in law, 2011*.
In World Indexes, USA is overall 108/140 in **Happy Planet Index (UK is 34/140). In same index, our ecological footprint is 137/140 (UK is 34/140). In ***Good Country Index (countries that simply do good for other countries, because they can): USA is 21/163 (UK is 7). As an independent Nation, California can be much higher in these lists, without the burden of fighting over basic values and beliefs all the time, with rest of USA. We can help more countries. And we can be happier in our own.
The world is changing, rapidly. We cannot afford to sit with any kind of government that wishes to roll back the clocks of time when what we really need to be doing is anticipating the future that is coming to meet us at warp speed, right now.
The future is now. And California belongs in it, as an independent, Sovereign Nation. She is her own country. We in #Calexit are simply paving the way to ‘make that so’ for her logistically, one signature at a time.
What’s really needed is a change of mood and a dramatic shift in how we do, and frame, politics and international relations in these dramatic global times to reflect, respect and generate the tremendous potential humans have to live together and thrive.
- *Bolivia: The Guardian.
- **Happy Planet Index: measures how well a country is doing in achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.
- ***Good Country Index: measures what each country is contributing to the common good of humanity and of the planet.
Clare’s Bio: Clare is a sound-healer, international speaker, protector of the sacred, and educator for the creative potential of humanity. Clare has been a singer/songwriter, recording artist, performer and healer for many years. She researches Consciousness for Social Change and teaches Creativity & Innovation at SFSU & with individuals. She is developing theory Dynamic Emergence for our collective evolution – you can work with her individually, or as a social group. Musically, she has 7 CDs (available on her website) and has taken her knowledge of sound healing and conscious reality shifting onto many platforms including; radio, hospitals, conferences, workshops, ritual space and performs for sacred yoga and Labyrinth walks at Grace Cathedral, SF. She’s used Sound for her own healing and for deepening her relationship with Life. She accompanies herself with Shruti and piano. Her work and music are at clarehedin.com & dynamicemergence.net.