Monday, April 30, 2012

Optimism in 2012, is it Possible?

         The topic for the breakfast conversation this Sunday was Optimism.  Are you an optimistic person, or do you know someone that stands out for being optimistic?
         Sami Sunchild shared that she is optimistic for making the world a better, more peaceful place.  She still has the Red Vic up and running, trying to inspire people that there is hope for a better world.  Laurie Marshall is an optimistic person in Sami's life, she works so hard to keep the Red Vic spreading the Peace, as well as her students and communities around the world with the collaborative artwork she helps them create together.
         Laurie Marshall explained that one of her students in Pennsylvania, who is sixteen, was shot about a month ago and paralyzed.  Laurie is optimistic and hopeful that he will be able to live his life happily.  She is working with some friends and the boys family in Pennsylvania, to get him resources that will hopefully help inspire him and make his recovery and life a bit easier.
         Sherrill, from London, is a model agent.  She seeks out people all day long and helps get their modeling careers started.  She is optimistic that the models can be an inspiration and send a positive message through campaign ads such as Calvin Klein and Levi's.  She says she is making the world a better place by being kind and caring for the people she works with as well as all people she interacts with.
          Jun, visiting us from Japan, was so excited when he found the Red Victorian Peace Center!  He told us that it is his dream to start a place like this in Japan.  Jun actually came in for the first time Saturday and was so inspired by the place that he came back Sunday for the Breakfast Conversation.  He is optimistic for a better world, that is why he is here.
          Zoe, a fresh new student at USF, explained to us that her Mom is the most optimistic person in her life.  Zoe was studying at a University in Ohio but really didn't care for the place.  Her mother told her that if she wasn't happy, to come back home and do whatever would make her so.  Zoe has since moved back to California, and will be starting at USF next semester.  Sami and Laurie both commented on how lucky Zoe is to have a Mom so loving that she lets her child blossom in her own way, and how not everyone gets that blessing.
           Derek, another USF student, shared that he believes optimism can be spread through art and music.  He is a singer and an electronic music producer, and he truly believes music brings people together and is currently making the world a better place... Derek is absolutely not alone in this belief.
            I believe I am an optimistic person.  I truly feel we have to be if we want to see a positive change anywhere in our lives.  If you think it, it is; whether good or bad.  I am currently taking a 'psychophysiological healing' class, and it is all about the power of the mind and intentions.  If we want to see a positive change in this world we must have hope and optimism that it is coming, and our actions must speak of those feelings.  

             It was a colorful weekend at the Red Victorian this last weekend in April.  Our event on Saturday was a success!  Sami Sunchild spoke about her paintings and the message they were created to communicate; one of peace and thinking about our relationships with others as well as ourselves.  We played a collaborative version of 'The Choosing Game,' with everyone choosing one piece and then going one at a time to create a new masterpiece.  After the game, we turned our chairs to have a moment of meditation on Sami's exhibit, 'The Space Between.'  Everyone had a lot to say about the art and what they got from it.  I found myself noticing things I never had, even though I see them so often.  The latter half of the event was dedicated to poetry.  We had a handful of poets share their words, including Leah Lubin, and artist and poet who stayed at The Red Victorian a few weeks ago.

             So much fun is always happening at The Red Vic!  Come share your stories and conversation with us, and make a new friend or two..

Fridays- Joyous Dance 6-7pm
Sundays-Breakfast Conversation 9am
               Meditation 7-8pm
               1st & 3rd Sundays, Peace Jam Improv 5-7pm

Peace and Love,
Danielle Barnett, Peace Guide  

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Gift to the World by Adrian Rodriquez

A gift to the world

Sami Sunchild and the Red Vic

On a Sunday morning 9 a.m. arrives followed by guests filing down the stairs and locals rushing through the front doors. The café fills with voices and laughter as conversations spring up at each table. Near the front entrance there is a table reserved—but not for a private party—everyone is welcome and everyone was invited. It is about to begin and a group of seven gathers around with their attention focused on a woman as they anticipate how their breakfast conversation will unfold.
Sami Sunchild spreads peace one conversation at a time.
“What are you doing to contribute peace to the world?” asks Sami Sunchild. Her bright sky-blue eyes, wide with excitement and glistening with hope matched her soft-spoken voice, weathered by age and wisdom.
She explains that they will introduce themselves, describing where they live and what they see when they look out their window so that everyone can learn and share his/her perspective as they discuss what they are doing to make the world a more peaceful place. Thus begins this Sunday morning’s Peaceful World Conversation.
Peace symbols can be found throughout the Red Vic.
The Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast Peaceful World Center at 1665 Haight St. is Sunchild’s life’s work and permanent residence. It only makes sense that as a single-independent woman she would find peace in San Francisco when she stumbled upon an indefinite opportunity—the Red Vic— back in 1976.
“I want to turn the tourist industry into the peace industry,” Sami says. “That’s my mission, to be getting people off of the tour buses and to be bringing them in to ask the questions:  Why am I alive? Why am I here? And what is my greatest contribution?”
Sunchild says that San Francisco is “famous for being open minded and creative,” and that tourists “never touch the heartbeat of San Francisco.” She wants to show people that it is a place that “is alive and full of possibilities, full of living your life.”  She says that is why she paints the peace symbol, because it is a universally understood symbol that attracts people.
“San Francisco has been immortalized as the peaceful city of the world,” says Remington Cox, employee of the Red Vic. “The hippie movement started here and Sami… she hasn’t let that dream die.”
Red Vic host Danielle Barnett, sits and talks with customers in the café throughout the day.
Sunchild visually fortifies peace throughout the building. Her therapeutic methods of painting are not only hung for display on the walls, but the building itself is an example of peace and love. The building’s exterior is painted red, even the inside is carpeted in red and “red is the color of love and passion,” says Danielle Barnett, host and tour guide.
Ugyen Dolma, a fellow businesswoman and shop owner of Tibet Styles, just doors down from the Red Vic, has had an ongoing relationship with Sami for the past 10 years and says that she feels the peace and the love from the Red Vic.
“In my opinion, [Sunchild] is one of the most wonderful people I’ve met,” Dolma attests.  “She cares for us, cares for humanity, where you come from.  She fights for peace.  Good people will come to support her.”
Dolma reminisces her first encounters with Sunchild and how she joined in on a Sunday morning’s Peaceful World Conversation.
“I shared everything,” says Dolma. She says that she was amazed by how Sunchild was able to bring everyone to the table to all join in on the conversation. Dolma says it was peace inspiring that everyone was so open and that the conversation was filled with “wonderful moments.”
Kate Hockett, a Red Vic receptionist, says that Sunchild makes those moments happen. Hockett says that people will be seated alone spread throughout the café and Sunchild will walk up to the individuals and introduce people and make conversation.
“The most beautiful experiences come out of it,” says Hockett. She says, “[Sunchild] brings out people’s perspective,” and it’s because “her eye contact is really present… She looks at you and she is looking into your heart.”
The Red Victorian used to be the Jefferson-Haight Hotel.
Alezeia Brown, a guest from Brisbane, Australia, was on vacation with her partner Justin Wiles and they stayed at the Red Vic and were able to experience the Peaceful World Conversation first hand.
“I felt a bit uncomfortable at first,” admits Brown.  “However it was very refreshing just to sit and chat with people about what motivates them and how they intend to make a difference.”
She continues to explain her impressions of Sami.
“Now [that] I have met her and learned some of her story I think her dedication to improving the world one conversation at a time is admirable. Sami is Genuine,” says Brown.
“She’s amazing. [After] meeting her for the first time I feel honored,” Wiles adds.
Though, Sunchild has been accepted by many people, there is still a need for recognition in Haight Ashbury community. Laurie Marshall, Executive assistant and peace networker of the Red Victorian explains that there has been so much negativity on Haight Street, and that many times Sunchild and the Red Vic have been overlooked and misunderstood.
Sunchild paints the peace symbol because it is universally recognizable.
“Sami’s huge focus on building the Red Vic Peace Center has led to a misperception that she only cares about her business,” says Marshall.  “She has a heart and mind that encompasses the well-being of the world community on more levels than most people can imagine.”
A local shop worker, June Smith, from Decades of Fashion, just next door to the Red Vic, agrees and hopes that Sami’s peace and love would spread.
“There is so much negativity on this street,” Smith says.  “I wish that Sami Sunchild’s mission of peace was more widespread in the Haight Ashbury district.”
Nevertheless, Sami Sunchild is still fighting and she will not give up.
“[Sami] keeps going, when her eyes are stinging, her balance is off and her precious vision is compromised,” Marshall says.  “For 30 years, Sami has been a model of bringing beauty, imagination, play and a focus on peace to the street.”
Now an 86-year-old woman, Sunchild sits in her café and recounts how she struggled since she was just a little girl. Osteomylitis, an infection in the bones of her leg, consumed her childhood. She said that as a nine-year-old girl she found her life’s worth after nearly dying.
“I was here for something. [My parents] gave me a feeling that life is worth living and you can contribute something,” says Sunchild.
Sunchild devoted her life to changing the world and promoting peace. She graduated with an M.A. and Ph. D from Columbia Pacific University. Studying Transformational Art and Societal Change established the foundation that led her to greatness through peace.
Sami Sunchild works seven-days-a-week to promote peace.
After living in multiple cultures, marrying twice and adopting two children, Sunchild found the Red Victorian. It became hers, and she had established her life as her own independent person and with that ideology she wanted to create herself as she thought she was.
In 1977 she legally changed her name to Sami Sunchild and even had a name changing ceremony. She had bore the name of three men before, and now she wanted her own. She chose Sunchild, because the sun is the source of life and she says that we are all children of the sun.
As her own woman, Sami Sunchild has only one thing in mind.
“What I’m really convinced is that I want to, as long as I’m alive… I want to keep giving my gift to the world.”

Monday, April 16, 2012

Are You an Evolutionary Person?

           Evolutionary person, someone who takes risks rather than staying in a stagnant place, is not afraid to step outside the box, takes on a lot of responsibility, has a spiritual side.  At the RedVic we ask people week after week to sign our archive books if they think they are an evolutionary person.  Our topic for the breakfast conversation today was, do you think you are an evolutionary person, what are your thoughts on the topic?
           Our table was full, with bright faces eager to participate.
           Henry and Jill from Ontario were very intrigued by this question, Jill giggled and said "This is me, but I don't like a lot of responsibility."  Henry shared that he thinks life is ALL about risks,  "What's the point of being here without taking risks,  life would be so boring without risks".
           Pam from San Diego shared that in her life she has taken many risks.  "I had to take risks to make my life happen, I wouldn't be where I am if not for risks."
          Laurie, visiting with her family from Los Banos, Ca, said this conversation was SUCH  a big coincidence for her.  She is a sixth grade teacher and she has been so concerned with the kids and where their future is headed.  "The town is poverty stricken and the kids don't want to be here, I want them to see there's a better life outside this."  Another Laurie at the conversation works with kids on art projects that bring people together, she shared a book with Laurie.
           Sami said she is an evolutionary person.  "We are changing every day."
           Adrienne from S.F., was back to finish an article he is writing on the Red Vic.  He is an evolutionary person, "I write articles on controversial issues going on right now.  A recycling center off Haight St. is possibly being shut down to be made into another shop.  This would be hard for people who make their living off the center."
           We were also joined by Jop and Jill from England, and a couple from Germany.      
           I feel I am an evolutionary person.  How can we live in a world today without risks and change.  Change is the only thing we can count on.  If we keep doing things the same way we will always find the same solutions; stagnation, bleh.
           The Joyous Dance was fun on Friday, although we were missing Pauline who typically leads us.  Laurie and I were joined by Ruth and her two friends from Germany, Henry and Jill (they were at the conversation too!), Daniel, Nicholas a.k.a. P.Love, and Kate even popped in a few times.  We were getting our groove on to some oldies funk.

           We had an Earth Day Pre-Party Saturday evening.  Speakers, poetry, music, yummy foods, and more fun all revolving around sustainability and a more peaceful world.  It was a great event, I can't wait for Earth Day next Sunday.  What will you do to celebrate?  Plant a tree, visit the ocean, pick up some trash? I'd love to hear your ideas!

            Sundays Meditation was a powerful experience.  Jill and Henry joined Paul, Kate and I for an hour of silence, deep breathing and some chanting.  We all ended with a dreamy cloud hanging around us.  As we were all leaving for the night Jill and Henry ran into a friend they haven't seen in years, another guest staying at the B&B!  This world is filled with connections..

             The way I see it, we are all connected.  What happens to you affects me and vice versa.  If you are hurting, so am I.  We all have the power make it a more peaceful, positive world every day.  Those random acts of kindness make a huge impact, even just that smile.  Come share it with us at the Red Victorian :)

Fridays       Joyous Dance       6-7pm
Sundays     PeaceJam Improv 5-7pm
                   Meditation            7-8pm
PeAcE and lOvE,
Danielle Barnett, Peace Guide

Monday, April 9, 2012

Are We Where We Are Meant to Be?

        The topic for our Peaceful World Breakfast Conversation this weekend was "Do you feel you belong in this time period rather than the past or the future?  Also, what gift do you give to the world?
        The round table was filled with fresh, new faces from all around the world.
Jaira from Minnesota is happy to be alive now.  He feels we are all where we are meant to be.  He is glad to be a part of the New Age thinking that's going on throughout the world right now, especially in his current study of energy work, massage and sound healing.  Fifty or a hundred years ago, concepts of using alternative healing weren't available, so Jaira knows he is where he is meant to be.

James and Linda were visiting us from Modesto, Ca.  They both graduated high school in '67, the Summer of Love, expressing amusement, that Terry, 29, and myself, 21, thought it would've been cool to live then. The commercialization of the 60's was depressing to them.  Linda and Jame's gift is care, with a priority on their family.  Linda's mom is going into surgery next weekend, and she will be right by her side.  Jame's coaches his grandchildren's sports events. both said they also care for their handful of grandkids back home.

Dru from Australia, works in a coal mine.  He said he knows it's not the most peaceful job but it pays his bills.  He is planning to start his own business, and plans to help his niece by hiring her.
Terry from Hastings, England, was at the RedVic this weekend for his fourth visit!  He loves it so much here.  He tries to be good to people everywhere he goes.  He said it would've been pretty cool to live in the sixties, but is happy where he's at now.
Sami Sunchild said she is happy to be here now.  When she was a child she had to have an operation that without she would have died.  The gift she gives is sharing this peace center with the whole world.  She is happy to be living in 2012.  
Laurie Marshall from Novato, said she is lucky to be here now also.  When she was younger she had a knee injury that would've disabled her for life without surgery, which thankfully was available to her.  She works with disadvantaged kids, making collaborative murals and encouraging perseverance, community, and positivity!
Pamela said when she was younger she wanted to be a contractor, which at the time was "only a mans job."  She had to work so hard to follow her dreams, but she succeeded.  She wouldn't be who she is or where she is today without the obstacles she was faced with.  She is happy to be here in 2012.
I am happy to be here today, although growing up I always thought how cool it would've been to be in the sixties and be a hippie flowerchild!  My new realization is that, I am a hippie flowerchild, and we all can be if that's what we want.  With 2012 comes a lot of environmental issues, but classes to go along with them.  I am learning so much everyday about this world, and finding a deep passion within myself for this planet and these people.  If I lived fifty or a hundred years ago, I may never have had these thoughts.  I am becoming friends with this whole world one day at a time.

So do you feel like you belong here in 2012?  Were you born in the time period that gives you the most opportunities?  What are you doing with those opportunities?  And what gifts are you giving to the world?  Post on our blog and let us know!

Come join us at The Red Vic Peace Center:
Every Friday- Joyous Dance 6-7pm
Every Sunday- Peaceful World Conversations 9am
                         Peace Jam Improv 5-7pm (every other Sunday)
                         Meditation 7-8pm

Peace and Love,
Danielle Barnett, Peace Guide

Monday, April 2, 2012

Flower Power

             Flower Power seemed to be the theme this weekend at the Red Victorian.  Friday, I met a woman from Austria who said that for peace, she quit her job as a coach driver and began working in a garden..  Sheila and Winfred stayed with us this weekend from Carpinteria, CA.  Winfred works on a few acres of land growing flowers for Trader Joe's, Safeway, and a few other major outlets.  (He told us to look for a ladybug and a "B" on the wrapping, and those are his flowers!)  They gifted two bouquets to our front desk, and livened up the whole cafe.  Friday nights' Joyous Dance had a theme of 'flow', and you can't have FLOWers without the 'flow'..

            The Sunday morning breakfast conversation was filled with faces from all around the world.  The topic was what do you hope for, in terms of a more peaceful world?
Maggie and Thomas from Sweden have been traveling the world for the past three months!  They said their favorite place so far was Machu Picchu, Peru.  They hope for people to start communicating more, such as they have experienced on their trip.  Maggie and Thomas described how people in Vietnam especially, were so eager to communicate with them about world issues, and taking care of the planet.
Sami Sunchild shared with the group her hopes that the RedVic will continue to flourish long after she's gone.. We all are positive that it will.
Susan and Gerd from Munich, Germany hope for the peace movement to continue growing.  They have experienced hurt throughout their lives, like we all have, and have grown and gained so much wisdom because of it.
Catrin from Hamberg, Germany hopes people will find peace and satisfaction within themselves.  She believes peace starts from within before it can emanate to the world.
            The conversation left people still talking until about 12:30 in the afternoon..  I think it really says a lot when people who are on vacation spend their time hanging out at the RedVic indoors on a sunshiny, blue skied day.

             The Joyous Dance on Friday night was so fun, once again.  Pauline, Nicholas a.k.a. P.Love, Laurie and I danced around to music with the theme of 'flow'.  We had two different groups of friends pop in from the sidewalk and join us in dances pretending to be our favorite kind of animal as well as walking down the busy streets of New York City.

              Saturday night we had a full house with the Freddy Clarke band performing at the RedVic..  It was loads of fun and as they got people out of their seats and onto their dancing feet!

              Sundays Meditation was a powerful experience..  Kate and I were joined by our friends Connor, Daniel and P.Love again.  We stretched, focused on our breath, and chanted.  It was an intimate group, and it seemed to bring us all a bit more to our center.

Come join us for our weekly events at The Red Victorian Peace Center!
Friday-  Joyous Dance  6-7pm
Sunday- PeaceJam Improv 5-7pm
              Meditation 7-8pm

Danielle Barnett, Peace Guide