Seeds of Good Fortune's
time-out-of-mind, it is said that
Unique and talented people who share their good Fortune Journey Inspire everyone to reach for their own Dreams.
Each Pathfinder's story is unique.
They live "inside their Vision" of a better world and share that insight through Becoming It.
"Good Fortune is a way of living, not a destination." It is your on-going journey to your Vision of the life you love living. Passion is fired-up by your Dream. Inspiration follows, guiding you to Opportunities. Your actions and attitudes about your experiences determine your outcome.
Your actions and Focus slips you into the flow of Good Fortune - the journey of living your Dream. The very worst of situations - turns around and fuels your Dream - and new depths and heights are reached - again and again. Success comes from failures, from learning, adapting, and changing. That's only possible from living life in the flow from "withIN your Dream." It's a never-ending journey of exploration and creation.
Mary and Eric Wright host community events in art, architecture, sustainable living, and continue the principles in Frank Lloyd Wright's contribution to architecture. They also host Solstice and Equinox celebrations, supporting Native American traditions and practices, including traditional sweatlodges.
Maria and her husband Scott Hosfeld open their home as a music salon every month to the community, featuring outstanding musicians from around the world. Wine and cheese proceed performances - in an intimate setting in the Great Room or the Music Room. The music is followed by dessert and coffee or tea. Summer Fest: One week of music, art, dance, song and poetry is held in August.
Their vision is sharing the joy and benefits of music from many cultures, including new compositions. to bring back to life the power and importance of music to the quality of life.
All the photos in this section are by Ernie Back
Ernie ventures into the heart of Nature and the wilderness -- and he finds the harmony and beauty in life that balances “intense” securities trading, work and urban living.
"My passion is to capture something that is stupendous and that moves me.
If I love it, it's a 'WOW!' and I have the technical capability to capture it as I see it. I do my own printing so I know it's what I saw originally.
It's a way of sharing what I love with others.
The photo tells the whole story- you can feel the cold along with the beauty of it."
Ernie's photos bring home the essence of the beauty he finds. His art speaks of a natural renewal, and of restoring a personal sense of awe and wonder.
His experience of living mindfully moment to moment is an insight into how to find peace and balance while living intensley. Climbing an ice ridge or rock climbing does keep you focused in the moment.
All photos here are taken by Ernie
Getting there is just the beginning. From the base camp, the next adventure begins. Wilderness treks, mountain biking, hiking and climbs all refresh the body and renew the spirit.
It all began on a Cub Scout outing to West Point. Ernie and a friend soon lost interest in the military formality, and Ernie said, "I'm going to climb that mountain." The Scoutmaster said, "Yeah, go ahead." Several hours later a patrol was sent to find them. Turned out the area was rattlesnake infested and covered with poison ivy. The boys made it to a ridge - and were already at the gate when found...and they avoided the PI. Ernie loved the adventure and the exhilaration of the climb- a feeling he's never lost. To this day, he, "climbs that mountain" whenever he can.
Ernie loved to share his adventures with others - especially the kids. He was a counselor at Camp Highlander, North Carolina (owned by the Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale.) Ernie had to work in the kitchen to earn his way to become a counselor. He finished his kitchen chores as fast as possible, so that he could spend his afternoon exploring and rock-climbing.
As a counselor Ernie took ten year-olds on their first hike, introducing them to a world he loved. They made their own campsite with a few tarps and learned to think creatively to secure them from the wind and rain. Of all the groups, Ernie's were the most proficient in difficult conditions. "I taught them like I like to learn: on my own. Left with a task, it's amazing how naturally creative the kids were in finding their own solutions."
Ernie looks at an extreme adventure as, "Risk Management - the same thing I do with stocks and investing." Learn the rules before you play the game.
And the rewards: Views from the top of the world. Breathtaking beauty.
The “moment” in the photo is the culmination of the journey to find it. Its beauty is not only in the image – but in its rarity and seldom seen when compared to everyday living.
Yet the vast beauty in nature far exceeds – by 99% - the civilization of man – at most a speck on the Big Picture of evolution of life on Earth.
Ernie's first trip climbing Mt. Baldy was in celebration of a friend's (from his office) 80th birthday - at the summit! He met Will on the trip, who introduced him to the California wilderness. They continue to hike and climb together today.
To ski Mt. Baldy bowl is - for most - an extreme adventure. The Sierra Club ski hut is at 8,200' and the summit at 10,064.' The mountain creates its own weather. The skiing is exceptional - if you can do the climb to get to it. It's almost 4,000 vertical feet up -- and 2,000 feet down.
Ernie was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Westchester county. He choose New Orleans for college and graduate school, graduating with honors and an MBA in Economics and Finance.
To balance that out - Ernie was the General Manager and a host on the campus FM station WTUL. It began mellow and classical in the morning, progressing with news and finally acid rock in the late, late night hours.
After graduation he returned to New York to work in financial institutions. At the same time Ernie produced the award-winning off-Broadway play, “Even In Laughter” at the Intar Theatre in New York City.
Ernie saw the theatre as fun and interesting. He mostly socialized with theatre and artistic people. He met his wife, Von Rae in 1980 and they were married in 1986.
Ernie and Von Rae moved to Los Angeles in 1996, she pursued her acting career and Ernie began working with sophisticated individual investors.
Ernie Back was a founding director and on the Board of Directors of the WriteAct Repertory Company in Los Angeles.
Some of his favorite things include his two cats, Romulus and Remus.
The connecting point of individuals, companies, countries – and commodities (gold, corn, livestock) and currencies -- for profit. A vast sea of possibilities…so many variables that logic and reason (even complex computing systems) fail to consistently predict movements and outcomes. Yet many succeed and thrive – but most merely survive.
Learning Investment Strategies from a Pro.
"A favorite client of mine taught me the power and freedom that comes from passive income (money working for you) and investing in the Stock Market. In the ten years I worked with him, he never earned less than 30% in his stock portfolio.
Options, trading currencies and commodities are not for the average investor. But for the long-term active investor with a large portfolio - it is the difference between thriving and just surviving a volatile or "down" market.
Just like you do not go mountain climbing in the winter without training and experience -- you do not undertake investment strategies beyond your capabilities without guidance.
Expect success when you've done your homework - that's "risk management" that leads you to profitable investing.
Ernie began his investing career at some of the world's finest financial institutions in New York.
Ernie explored the intensities of various complex markets:
While at Merrill Lynch, Ernie Back created the first Global Margined Interbank Currency Trading Product. For the first time speculators and hedge funds were enabled to trade in the Interbank currency markets after posting collateral.
Corporate politics and intense schedules mounted to the point the lure of pay and bonus's was no longer worth it. Ernie needed to turn down the volume of New York and wanted to move on to a better lifestyle.
Soul-searching trips to Nature and country living restored his love of securities and trading. He and Von Rae moved to Los Angeles to begin a new life. He is currently a financial advisor at a top-tier firm in Beverly Hills.
Ernie's insights for investors:
Create a financial plan and make a long term investing commitment.
Learn the rules and understand the consequences.
A risk researched is a risk half taken.
Find a broker who understands your needs and values - and communicates with you especially in difficult markets.
And most important: "Turn off CNBC."
Relieve your stress and renew and restore in Nature and through physical exertion. Clear your mind and refresh your point of view. Success is a frame of mind – and it’s all up to you.
Enjoy the intensities and extremes of life, then regroup, refresh, clear your mind, and restore your soul.
Spend a few moments with each Nature scene ..... allow Ernie's photos to take you there - let yourself go - get lost in the beauty. Notice how differently you feel after several minutes. Imagine what an actual trip into Nature will do for you.
Can you spare two minutes? If you haven't yet, why not enroll in the free mini-home study program. "21 Days of Insights" open up your creative potential and reveal limiting habits - then the path to Good Fortune becomes clear and easy.
Interested in supporting the Arts? Here's a great idea- Gerry Bryant (and California Lawyer's for the Arts) support a petition to ask President-Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts.
Many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture for centuries. This country needs to support the arts--now more than ever. Please take a moment to sign the petition and then pass it on. Thanks!
The Attracting Power of a Vision: Opportunities & Harmonizing Opposites.
Gerry Bryant's passion is the piano - both performing and composing. At 9 years old his Vision was becoming a concert pianist. That passion led to incredible (and magical) Opportunities, more Inspiration- and today he performs in a variety of venues, often with his jazz group PocketWatch.
PocketWatch performs as a classic jazz trio when performing standards, but the main configuration of the group is six instruments, and plays only Gerry's original, contemporary jazz and classical music.
He lives his Vision, performing and recording regularly, both solo and with his jazz group, in clubs and studios. He also composed, arranged and performed music for a documentary by an Academy Award winning filmmaker.
beginning with the noted Cleveland, Ohio music teacher Ethel Morton,
and then continued at Phillips Andover Academy with the acclaimed German concert pianist and teacher, Albion Metcalf.
Gerry graduated cum laude from Andover, the first black to do so.
Although music training was offered, the primary focus was academic and college preparation. He continued his classical studies with a scholarship to Harvard.
Harvard’s music program was limited to classical, and Gerry felt Inspired to explore other styles. He continued his music education on his own and changed his major to business - to prepare for dealing with the business side of the music industry.
Gerry performed in Jazz, R&B, and rock groups on the east and west coasts, tutored by and performed with such Jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie and Les McCann, and he has accompanied such Broadway musical stars as Dale Kristien ("Phantom of the Opera") and Carl Anderson ("Jesus Christ Superstar.")
A whole new world opened when Gerry found the niche of Entertainment Law – just what he was seeking. He wanted to know the legal and business aspects of the music industry for his own music career and never intended to be a lawyer for anyone else.
He graduated from Harvard cum laude and moved to Los Angeles, the Entertainment Capitol of the world. Attending UCLA on scholarship, he received his J.D. and M.B.A., simultaneously, from UCLA.
In Entertainment Law, Gerry found what he wanted: Not fighting (as an adversarial trial lawyer) but bringing parties together, as a transactional Lawyer – negotiating deals. Gerry's natural inclination is negotiating to create good projects. His goal is to minimize the possibility of litigation – and protect his clients interests. He loves the challenge of creating a win-win deal that works for all parties.
Gerry represents artists of all disciplines, arts organizations and businesses of all sizes; and writes a weekly newspaper column on business and legal issues in entertainment and the arts.
Always interested and active in school creative activities, Gerry was delighted to join California Lawyer’s for the Arts Board of Directors and helping emerging artists with their careers.
California Lawyer’s for the Arts is a program to assist artists through workshops and referrals with the legal and business information they need to succeed and protect their rights to their talents. Gerry joined CLA's board of directors ten years ago and became Co-President of the Board a couple of years ago.
CLA was founded in 1974, and is a statewide nonprofit organization. In March CLA hosted a gala event honoring various arts supporters, movers and shakers with an Artistic License Award.
Gerry also volunteers with artists of all disciplines as a board member of several nonprofit arts and entertainment organizations.
He volunteers piano playing one to two days a week at UCLA's Medical Center.
Gerry comments that, "Helping to brighten the day of the patients - especially the children - is one of the most important and rewarding things I've done in my life."
Here’s the real story of a dream leading from poverty to opportunity and a first class ticket to the best life has to offer.
Most of the rich now living lives they love - started with nothing but a Desire and a Vision, an open mind, love of learning, willingness to work with others – and the passion to do - "whatever it takes."
Gerry Bryant’s Good Fortune Inspired journey - begins in the ghetto on Cleveland's east side. It's a path of balancing opposing lifestyles, choices and opportunities.
Even as a child, Gerry found himself balancing between opposing views, what he desired, and what others valued. Balancing between opposite worlds is tough - but possible.
When faced with leaving his loving family and all he knew - for the austere opportunity to live his dream in an elite all-male boarding school - he said, "Yes." That becomes balancing between living the lifestyles and values of the very rich, and the very poor, and between those cultures.
When Gerry was confronted with two paths – appearing to lead in opposite directions – he said “yes to both” music and law.
When Inspiration led to other styles of music - and changing his lifelong passion for classical - he said, "Yes." You can have it all. Was it easy? Here’s the story.
Finding the Harmony in Opposites.
Gerry Bryant discovered piano at 8 yrs old and at 9 was taking lessons and aiming at his vision of becoming a classical pianist. Self-motivated, Gerry practiced in spite of the disdain of his homeboys (and even relatives.) Neither his young age – nor the piano- is as amazing as Gerry's passion for classical music. Few in Cleveland’s ghetto shared his vision.
When he played classical at family gathering –– the family wanted to hear "real music" too…but Gerry was not able to improvise, play gospel, jazz or blues – he loved classical. He felt their disappointment – and knew he didn’t fit into their ideal – but he loved classical, and that was that.
His family supported Gerry - and his choice of classical music – bought a piano, the lessons, and attended recitals. Later, as an adult, his mom confided that she had never cared for classical music.
His father worked long, arduous hours in the steel factory during the day and held a second job cleaning office buildings at night, to support his wife, three sons and two daughters. Blessed with a cohesive family and neighborhood Gerry thrived. He was class president, active in sports, and was on the honor roll.
At 12 years old – the 9th grade – his Dad had a stroke and was paralyzed. Gerry's mother couldn't work because she had to take care of Gerry's father and raise their five young children on her own. The family lived solely on their father's meager disability or social security income.
This is poor! How his mother did it all -- and made pennies stretch to keep everyone fed and clothed -- is amazing and a tribute to her inner strength. Amazingly, they continued Gerry's piano lessons. Gerry saw hard work and poverty - and that inspired him to study and seek a better life.
Then Good Fortune happened. An advisor selected Gerry – as one of the top five kids in junior high school – to participate in a summer program to see what college life is like. Gerry knew little about the project, and only learned later the magnitude of the opportunity. It was far more than a brief visit.
A Better Chance recruits and develops leaders among young disadvantaged kids. Since 1963, ABC has been transforming lives through educational opportunities. They refer academically talented students, primarily from inner cities across the country, to some of the nation's finest schools for placement and financial aid.
Gerry was accepted into the private prep boarding school Phillips Andover Academy in Andover.
When you know how magic happens, you can recreate it. The power of Attraction is the power behind "magic." Gerry's passion for classical music is a perfect "vibration or resonance" match to an elite prep-school - and in fact one of the nation's finest - and wealthiest. A miracle? One that Gerry created through attention and desire - without realizing how - or what- he did.
At 13 Gerry moved out from a loving home into the very prestigious private prep school.
Phillips Andover Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire (Andover and Exeter were founded in the 1800s by feuding brothers) are considered the Harvard and Yale of secondary schools, i.e., the best of the best.
Except for the ten black students, all were very, very rich white kids.
Sound like a dream come-true?
Be careful of what you wish for – it might come true: The difference in lifestyles was huge. Now he was one of 900 in a wealthy, restrictive, disciplined and ordered environment: Coat and tie uniform, set schedules – and isolated in the tiny rural town of Andover.
For a 13 year old who had been a big man on a co-ed campus in a public middle school – in the band, president of his class, girlfriends, and the brightest academically – it was culture shock – to say the least.
Gerry recalled, “One of the biggest differences was the classroom size. In public schools there were 40 or so in a class – and lots of time to socialize while the teacher disciplined and attempted to maintain order enough to teach. In Andover, there were 5-7 in a class – with ONE instructor.
All time spent was serious learning – a very different environment – and no choice but to "fit the mold." He missed out on the fun things – no prom or dating or sports after school with friends. It was an intense three years with no slack.
Gerry withdrew into his music and studies. They were his ticket to financial freedom. An aspiring concert pianist – he give recitals – trained, attended competitions, was in the orchestra, band (drums) and learned tennis.
Gerry was the first black to graduate cum laude – from Andover, and he received a scholarship to Harvard.
Once in Harvard he dropped his interest in exclusively classical piano, and began to explore other types music. Composition was now more important – he began writting music in ernest. His new music interests were pursued on his own.
Harvard – not known for music – had a limited program so Gerry switched to pre-law – in order to learn the business side of a music career. Gerry formed a band and played locally - performing at clubs – with the Kuumba Singers, Harvard's Black Gospel Choir – and for theatre groups, Gerry wrote music for plays. He graduated cum laude and transfered to the West coast.
Hating cold weather – Gerry was happy with Southern California’s warm temperate climate.
He came to UCLA on scholarship, and took an accelerated program combining both Law and business in 4 years. He continued writing music and performing – combining the Entertainment Law – and a music career.
Law and music was a logical outcome of what he’d done all along. Active in UCLA’s Student Committee for Arts and organizing Royce Hall events – art continued to play a prominent role in his life. Gerry was given a great opportunity - and in appreciation, he gives a lot back volunteering.
He was introduced to CLA through friends and soon was on the board.
He continues to empower artists,creative people, and organizations to build their careers.
Gerry offers a special discount to artists to help them get started and acquire the business tools they need.
He became a vegetarian on a dare – 15 yrs ago. His sister said, “Life's better because I stopped eating meat. Bet you can’t go one week without eating red meat.” Gerry took the bet, did it – won the bet – and asked himself, “Wonder how much longer can I keep this up?”
A love relationship (also a vegetarian) led him on new spiritual paths of self exploration. Gerry met his percussionist at Science of Mind - also on a spiritual path of self growth. Never know what door opens from new experiences - relationships, knowledge, and ...ah HA! moments.
Gerry’s passion is both sharing his talent for music– and sharing his legal expertise. Helping artistic people become aware of their rights and potential outcomes of their business decisions takes volunteer time and effort.
His advice to artists? Join CLA and get the information you need to protect your creative works. Use a lawyer at the start – many scenarios can go wrong – protect your interests in the beginning – then do your creative thing without worry. Once you have success, then people come to sue – and it’s too late: You can’t get the insurance after the fact.
Consider this: You buy car insurance for protection down the line - you don’t expect an accident –but you minimize the damage when you have car insurance.
Insurance doesn’t keep you from an accident: A lawyer minimizes the possibility of something happening and the consequences of it happening. Better to be safe, than sorry!
Gerry’s favorite composer: Chopin.
Gerry’s favorite testimonial letter (8 year old fan):
I thought it was the best music I ever heard.
I’m glad I got to tip you.
The reason I tipped you is
because I really liked your music.
I will never ever forget your great music.
And again, I really love your music, From Katherine S.
Gerry’s passion: Music and helping others to achieve their dreams.
Winter Solstice in December is a time of worldwide celebrations - and the one time of the year of the "Giveaway." Most cultures celebrate this time of year with festivities and gift giving.
The world's wealthiest give back in a really big way. Take the time to honor and cherish those that make the world a better place - on a really grand scale. The Seeds of Good Fortune that they distribute worldwide grow into the future we Dream and know as possible.
As you create your future Wealth and Health - anticipate how you will share it and return the lavish bounty you have received....with others and all of life.
George Soros, in support of democratic societies and intellectual freedom, gave billions of dollars to over 30 countries.
Multimillionaire pop star George Michael has decided to give away his music for free, posting it on the Internet for anyone to download. "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years," he told BBC,"so I really don't need the public's money."
Hollywood movie and music mogul David Geffen, the billionaire cofounder of DreamWorks told Forbes, "I have no interest in making money anymore. Everything I make in the entertainment business will go to charity."
CNN founder and billionaire Ted Turner is in the middle of a 10-year, billion-dollar giveaway to the United Nations. Since 1997, he has been donating annual installments of 100 million dollars, specifying that they not be used for administration costs but for programs like eliminating land mines, feeding children, and preventing disease.
And who is the greatest philanthropist of all time? Bill Gates has given billions to improve conditions around the world – and recently Warren Buffett (worlds richest man) contributed more billions to Gates’ foundation. They are focused now in Africa – a country in desperate need (and overlooked for significant aid by most Nations.)
Physicist Paul Ginsparg radically changed scientific procedures when he created a free service for publishing and reading research reports on the Internet. (The above was compiled mostly by author Rob Brezsney, Pronoia.)
Oprah Winfrey in 2007 is at the top of the Giving Back Fund list of the 30 most-generous celebrities for the second consecutive year. This year she gave $50.2-million to causes related to education, health care, and advocacy for women and children through her foundation and Oprah’s Angel Network.
Oprah is the only star who qualified for one of the Top 50 most generous philanthropists. She's also the first African American philanthropist to land on the list, contributing $175 million in 2003 to educational initiatives at home and abroad. And with her Angel Network - in which 100% of audience donations go to nonprofits - she's inspiring her fans to follow in her charitable footsteps.
Angelina Jolie is a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Since becoming a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, award-winning American actress has brought hope and advocacy to uprooted people around the world.
She has worked with field staff from the UN refugee agency and met with refugees and internally displaced people in more than 20 countries on five continents.
In June 2008, Angelina Jolie issued special messages to mark World Refugee Day. She also continues to bring attention to some of the globe’s biggest humanitarian crises, from Iraq to Chad and Sudan’s Darfur region.
Jolie recently gave $1 million to the U.N. to aid Afghan refugees and pledged $5 million to set up a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia.
Jolie gives a third of her income to charity, according to the Internet Movie Database Web site.
Neither the countries nor the causes are "glamorous." They include: August 2007 Iraq and Syria, February 2007 Chad, December 2006 Costa Rica, November 2006 India, November 2005 Pakistan, May 2005 Pakistan.
Bill Cosby and his wife Camille gave $20 million to Spelman College during the inauguration of Dr. Johnnetta Cole as the first Black female president of the 107-year-old Atlanta institution. Cosby said the contribution, the largest personal gift ever to any of America's 112 Black colleges and universities, will be used for the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center and the endowment of three chairs in the fine arts, social sciences and humanities. It will also support a library and archival program of international African women research and resources at the Academic Center.
Their philanthropy also includes a $1.3 million gift to Fisk University in 1986; another $1.3 million divided equally among four other Black universities--Central State, Howard, Florida A&M and Shaw--in 1987; and $1.5 million divided between Meharry Medical College ($800,000) and Bethune-Cookman College ($750,000) last year.
Giving comes not only from the famous and wealthy. Most non-profit causes rely on funds from many sources - mostly from the general public and small donations.
Think you can't afford to donate? Giving and Receiving are the same. You get back a match to what you feel about giving to others...it's the Law of Attraction.
Ordinary People and Extraordinary Gifts.
Albert Lexie saw a telethon in 1981 asking for donations to the Free Care Fund at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He made a $730 donation. Since then, Albert Lexie has added over $90,000 more – saved over the course of many years from the tips he makes polishing shoes at the hospital and at local businesses.
Albert Lexie, 62, has been shining shoes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh since 1982. Tuesday and Thursday each week, Albert leaves his home at 6 a.m. to arrive at Children’s at 7:30 a.m. to shine shoes. Through the years, he has given all of his tips – more than $97,000 – to the Free Care Fund, which ensures that all Children’s patients receive the medical care they need regardless of their families’ ability to pay. What makes this gift so inspiring is - he only earns about $10,000 a year.
Good Fortune in Action: A personal Vision of Good Fortune Inspires Desire. Passion is fired up by a Dream. Inspiration follows and guides to Opportunities – some look like disasters. Action brings your Dream alive.
The worst of possible events turn around and fuel the Dream. All situations, no matter what, can lead to Living the Dream.
Common sense: Pesticides kill bugs and are poison. It’s not good for kids and pets to play in parks in poison, eat food grown in poison, or drink contaminated water and breathe contaminated air. It’s not very good for adults either.
Estelle Foster’s Dream is a poison free environment for her family, friends and community – and with the vanishing honey bees – her mission is now “world wide.”
Estelle Foster's Good Fortune action inspired journey to live in a poison-free world began over 40 years ago. Her life’s adventure is the story of taking one-step-at-a-time and doing her best. She follows her Inspiration, holds fast to her Dream and she never gives up.
Estelle employs a down-to-earth common sense approach to solving life’s problems. Figure out what’s wrong, and fix it.
Poisoning the parks with pesticides is poisoning the kids and pets that play there: Same with the schools. Why not use safe alternatives?
Seems simple – but imagine beginning with this idea and then facing government bureaucracy in the schools, parks, cities and county – where to begin?
If you’ve every had a good common sense solution and felt overwhelmed at what to do about it – then Estelle is a good person to talk to. Follow her story, and you’ll find a Good Fortune path to success that anyone "inspired" can follow.
Estelle did not fight against the chemical industry or the system poisoning the parks and schools. Estelle stated the facts and shared her passion and Dream for a clean, healthy, safe environment. Who can argue with that? Isn't that what everyone wants? If so, then let's take action and implement it. And eventually they did.
Estelle’s accomplishments are many, but her passions are about “now.” And what needs to be done next to fulfill her Dream of a safe and sane “poison free” world.
Her vision is simple: a safe place to live, eat, love, raise a family and share life with friends. Isn’t that what we all want?
Very few realize that pesticides are poisons that can and do affect the quality of life.
More than just your health, poisons also affect your food supply – and the future of agriculture as well. Sound dramatic?
Estelle’s campaign to rid life of pesticides includes alerting people to the vanishing Honey Bees and the dire consequences – of ignoring the loss of the bees.
Einstein postulated that our food source would last about four years after the bees were gone.
Without pollination – no fruit, vegetables, and soon much of the vegetation no longer renews.
Raising public awareness is all it takes – and that means getting the message out. Saving the honey bee is really saving our food source. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
An article and alert by Estelle details the problem and challenges. Judith Fine-Sarchielli has also written an article on the bees and our survival.
Most don’t realize that “systemic” fertilizers go INTO THE PLANT and then the plant is poison – not only to the bugs – but to the bees, hummingbirds and animals that eat the leaves, fruits or berries?
Most who use pesticides do not intend to kill them – or the butterflies.
Find alternatives. Insist on your food and water being safe and poison free.
Gather together, as Estelle and friends have, and you can change your school systems, city and counties policies on the use of pesticides.
Living pesticide free is living poison free. And what of the bugs? There are many safe and sane alternatives.
Estelle’s passion is her family and loved ones. Blessed with common sense, she knew pesticide meant poison. Those simple facts led to a huge, continuing campaign to rid the land of poison. And their results?
There are nearly 50 toxic, herbicide, and fungicide free parks in Santa Barbara; the Santa Barbara County schools are also toxic free.
How is it possible to challenge – and win - against the huge chemical industry, and inertia in government agencies?
It may surprise you – but a woman, a mom, passionate – persistent – and armed with a lot of facts - spoken with a touch of honey - can actually get the job done. Other’s join in and soon there’s a solid voice for common sense - and change.
Estelle is the Executive Director of Pesticide Awareness & Alternative Coalition or PAAC, an organization she helped form. Their mission is simple: There are non-toxic alternatives and killing a few bugs is not worth sickening or killing people. It seems self-evident – but it’s taken years to reach this understanding in the local government agencies that control the use of pesticides.
Estelle assisted Wendy Kaysing and friends from Ojai to follow PAAC methods and they are now well on the way to a pesticide free Ojai. Topanga Canyon is meeting this month to form a coalition to rid their neighborhood of toxic chemicals.
Over the years there were many awards and acknowledgements of PAAC’s efforts and accomplishments. Other projects equally compelling happened too. Once begun, momentum picks up other people - and more is accomplished with less effort.
Some results are amazing, some a relief, and most are heart-warming.
Are Estelle’s years of efforts behind the new laws and regulations? You decide.
Compiled from news stories: "....California in October 2008 launched the most comprehensive program of any state to regulate chemicals that have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and other deadly effects on human health.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two broad laws that are designed to encompass 80,000 chemicals now in circulation, rather than focus narrowly, as previous bills have, on specific substances in products.
...The laws come as public alarm is on the rise over dangerous substances in consumer products."
Word spreads slowly at first, then gathers momentum. The only change that can happen begins with an idea, then a Dream, and then people who insist on Living the Dream.
Passion is fired up by a Dream. Inspiration follows and guides to Opportunities. Action brings the Dream alive. Even the worst of situations leads to the best of what is wanted.
Follow Estelle’s journey to Living her Dream, and see the Good Fortune path to success in action. It’s available to everyone that looks for it.
In 1968 Estelle Foster arrived in Santa Barbara as a recently divorced single mother with two daughters. Five months later a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara threatened Estelle’s new home and the health of her family.
Estelle got Hollywood celebrities (including Gregory Peck, Anthony Franciosa, Jack Klugman, and Rod Steiger) to record their views regarding the disaster. The radio messages spread the word of the community's efforts to protect the coast. Estelle produced fund raising events for G.O.O., inviting celebrities to support the environmental cause. Soon others joined, bringing to light the hazard to both human and marine life.
Now California State congressmen, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, have joined with environmentalists to oppose Congress in their desire to open the California coast to a new wave of oil and gas exploration.
Next Estelle joined a small preservation effort to rescue a 70 acre property from development. Estelle worked passionately, appearing on television and radio to raise the funds to purchase the property. The night before the offer to purchase the property was to expire, SWAP was still short a substantial amount.
Michael Douglas called and offered to donate the remaining amount needed in honor of his father, Kirk Douglas. The Douglas Family Preserve is a semi-wilderness area on the Santa Barbara Coast - now there for future generations, and for the wildlife.
Estelle was appointed, and served for several years as the Human Rights Commissioner by then Supervisor Jeanne Graffy.
By the mid-1970’s her new passion and talents led Estelle to join the Peace Education Project. She created a conflict resolution technique which she brought to the city's elementary schools. Estelle also worked with the Santa Barbara County Probation Department's Youth School. She brought in community role models to speak and gave the youth what Estelle calls, “the success factor.”
She met, and soon married John Foster, an avid horticulturist with an organic gardening and landscape business.
Estelle now lives her Dream – in an oasis of organic fruits and vegetables – with the love of her life, including her extended family and grandchildren. They celebrate their 23 Anniversary this year.
Estelle worked for La Belle Modeling Agency and was also an actress with the former Park Theatre.
In 1998 a sad catastrophe befell Estelle's neighbor. Her child developed Bells Palsy. Another neighbor repeatedly sprayed Dursban (now illegal) for termites in his home—the toxic spray was blown into Estelle's neighbor’s home. The woman and her child become deathly ill.
Estelle, along with a few other mothers banded together to help but neither the city, police, fire department nor legal authorities helped. No one would stop the spraying.
Then a baby next door became unresponsive and the mother had serious headaches. A toxicologist determined they were chemically poisoned. Yet there was still no recourse anywhere from local, county or state officials.
Estelle became the executive director of a new organization to prevent this from happening again. PAAC became the voice for the community’s health and safety.
PAAC was a major force in creating almost 50 pesticide free parks. PAAC produced the California Organic Festival, and that was followed by publishing the "Organic Resource Guide."
PAAC supported Santa Barbara’s first “Integrated Pest Management Program.” This IPM Program is now a successful part of the City. IPMP works together toward the goal of reducing, and eliminating toxic pesticides, and replacing them with safer alternatives for both pest, and weed control.
PAAC awards companies and individuals for environmentally friendly business and efforts. For one PAAC fundraiser, Estelle brought Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to speak to the community on the subject of toxins in the environment. Estelle currently speaks to agencies, groups, and clubs and is featured on radio programs.
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who is bound
to a star.”
It is the source
of all true art
It only sustains
what we do have,
and can do."
Ask what makes
you come alive,
and go do it.
Because what the
world needs is
have come alive.”
Knowledge is limited.
"Attention is like
water for a plant.
What we pay
It is awakening
your mind and
It is letting go of
the attitudes and
others so that
you may enter
the stream of
your own destiny,
flowing with the
It is a life that,
sunny or cloudy,
brings joy to
I want them
'he feels deeply,
he feels tenderly.”
"It is art
that makes life,
. . . and I know
of no substitute
whatever for the
force and beauty
of its process."
It is just that
the others are
behind the time.”
Not a calamity
to die without
not to dream.
Not a disaster
to be unable
it is a disaster
not to have an
ideal to capture.
Not a disgrace
not to reach
the stars but
a disgrace to have
no stars to reach.
Not failure but
low aim is sin."
believe in yourself.
Many of the things
that you have been
taught were at one
time the radical
had the courage
what their own
hearts and minds
rather than accept
the common beliefs
of their day.”
A life where you
do what you like
and like what you
do by being who
you are and not
Enthusiasm is the
yeast that makes
your hopes rise to the stars.
With it, there is
Without it there
are only alibis."
It is that
opens you to be
in the flow.
Too often we
do not see
we see things
as we are."
Silence is deep
speech is shallow
You will become
so enthused with
its bright promises
that the mere
thought of it will
call forth the
of your whole being."
for a reason -
a reason that
may lead to
Why is this so?
Too often it is
are always getting v ready to live.
time runs out."
It tears away
from us all but
the things that
cannot be torn,
so that we see
we really are.
You must set
yourself on fire.”
For the traveler
who knows his
is always a
Know that every
problem that exists
outside of us
has its solution
inside of us.
Work in harmony
Be aware of your
ability to correct
your course and
To change your
life you must be
change your mind.
knowing that every
step forward is a
step toward achieving
something bigger and
better than your
At first it may
be but as the
through, but if
not resisted it
soon binds us
It's not what we
do once in a while
that shapes our lives,
but what we do
The way you
think about a
fact may defeat
you before you
ever do anything
think you are."
It is the vital energy
to make choices
It also includes
the capacity to
and to cultivate
are often similar.
Most people think
there isn't enough
But when we look
at both those beliefs,
we can change them."
Most people succeed
because they are
"First to get
what you want,
and after that
to enjoy it.
Only the wisest
of mankind achieve
Then your time
on earth will be
filled with glory."
outlook, how you
feel about yourself,
how you feel about
other people- determines
your priorities, your
actions, your values.
you interact with
other people and
how you interact
Action without vision
is a nightmare.
This is the true
secret, the grand
recipe, for felicity."
All that we are
With our thoughts,
we make the world."
the key to
If you love what
you are doing,
you will be successful.
People are often
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse
you of selfish,
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some
false friends and
some true enemies;
If you are honest
Be honest and
What you spend
If you find serenity
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you
people will often
Do good anyway.
Give the world
the best you have,
and it may never
Give the world
the best you've
You see, in the
it is between
you and God;
It was never
and them anyway.
Believe that life
is worth living,
and your belief
will help create
They simply do not
exist in the
even though we talk
as if they do."
Humans have learned
only through mistakes."
There is no substitute
for the creative
stability that come
from knowing how
to contact your core
of inner silence."
The first expands.
The second constricts."