Moving Mondays: What Brings You Joy

Too often we get trapped into focusing on what brings us unhappiness or fear. What if we shift the focus to what brings us joy instead? Our worries for the future and our wants in the moment change when we focus our awareness on what we have rather than what we lack. Joy comes from living in the moment and appreciating the love we have in our lives. Whether it’s our family, our friends, or our community, joy comes from the things money can’t buy.

It’s difficult to develop a gratitude practice when we focus only on the negative in our lives. By taking time to discover what truly brings us joy, we are not only shifting our mindset, we are also finding things in our lives for which we can be grateful.

Nature Deficit Disorder: #BeatNDD

In his influential book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv introduced us to the issue of Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD). Nature Deficit Disorder links the lack of nature in our lives to some of the most disturbing trends in today’s society including the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. This lack of nature in our lives is a detriment to our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Through his films, Louie Schwartzberg hopes to awaken a genuine love of nature in people everywhere. His goal is to be a leader in the fight against NDD and inspire others to join him in this battle. Through a process called Visual Healing, Louie believes that nature is the answer to improving our overall health and well-being. His films bring comfort and healing as they expose people to the breathtaking natural beauty of our world.

In an effort to inspire people to stand up against NDD, Moving Art is announcing its first social media campaign to bring awareness to Nature Deficit Disorder. We’re calling it #BeatNDD. From this moment on, we will be encouraging our communities to share pictures of themselves in nature. Whether you live in a city or in a suburb, you don’t have to go far to experience nature. There’s no need to hike into the woods or climb the highest mountain; nature is truly all around us. Take a selfie with a beautiful flower that’s growing in a parking lot or a picture with you and a tree in your backyard. We hope you’ll share it on Twitter, Instagram, & anywhere else you want with the hashtag #BeatNDD so we can work together to encourage and inspire people to be spend more time with nature.

When you use #BeatNDD in your nature picture or nature selfie, we’ll re-post our favorites on our Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook page. So get out there and rediscover the miracle and beauty of nature; we can’t wait to see your pictures! #BeatNDD


Get a FREE download of Louie’s film short “Naked Beauty” previewed above. Visit http://movingartlibrary.com/join-us.

Moving Mondays: Conquering Fear

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” —Marianne Williamson

Fear is a powerful emotion. It has the power to undo us if we surrender to it. We watch the news or we remember past pain, and we convince ourselves there is much to be afraid of. Living in a state of fear robs us of the power to enjoy life. We spend our time focusing on the past to find proof that something awful may happen in the future. We rob ourselves of the joy of the present moment.

Next time you feel fear, I hope you’ll acknowledge it and remind yourself to take a deep breath to focus on the present moment in which you are perfectly okay. When we learn to stay in the present moment, we’re able to conquer our fears of the unknown and focus on the good we have right now.

An Elegant Solution to Save the Bees

An Elegant Solution to Save the Bees

Excerpt and Video by Paul Stamets

Mycologist, Fantastic Fungi Tribe member, and founder of Fungi Perfecti, Paul Stamets, recently revealed a breakthrough discovery that has the potential to change -and heal- our ecosystem. He proposes that there is a missing link that can dramatically influence bee health, and it’s right under our feet. Yes, it’s mycelium.

In his recent Bioneers keynote speech, Paul takes you on a journey of discovery beginning in 1984, when he first noticed bees from his hives flying from sunrise to sunset for more than 40 days, to a patch of mycelium he planted in his garden. Decades later, when Louie Schwartzberg asked Paul, “Can you help the bees?”, Paul remembered this strange occurrence, which reignited his interest in bees. His talk is a walk on the path of discovery – and may lead to a significant breakthrough in helping bees overcome the so-called Colony Collapse Disorder.

Moving Mondays: Acceptance

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.” -Eckhart Tolle

Acceptance does not mean we give up or quit. Acceptance means that we have learned to surrender to “What Is.” Too often we spend energy trying to control things which are beyond our control. We struggle and create conflict within ourselves and with others. If we expend all our energy attempting to fix things to be as we think they should be, we miss out on the peace and contentment of accepting how things actually are.

Learning to be in a state of acceptance isn’t something we can figure out just once. It’s a daily practice. Each day we must make a conscious decision to accept What Is and find peace in the present moment.

America’s Heart & Soul: One Man’s Journey

One of the joys of my work is getting the opportunity to meet and cross paths with people from all over the world. In 2004 when my book America’s Heart & Soul was published, I had no idea of the journey it would inspire one man to take.

This past year I was contacted by Richard Laliberte who had purchased “America’s Heart & Soul” from Dan Klennart, one of the people featured in the book. Richard said that after watching the film and reading the book, he was fascinated by the people who were represented. He wrote to me explaining that inspired it him to start a journey to meet everyone featured in the book. He explained, “Dan had signed his page, and I thought that everyone in the book was approachable and spent the last nine years meeting as many as were available and get them to autograph my book.”

My signature was the last autograph he needed to finish his 9 year journey, and I’m happy to say that it was my pleasure and honor to sign his book during his recent visit to Los Angeles. What a spectacular journey and truly memorable moment. It is always my hope to inspire people through my work, and what a humbling experience to see how one man’s journey could bring us full circle. I’m grateful to have met Richard and heard his story.

Moving Mondays: The Power of Love

How often do you say “I love you”? Do you say it to your friends and family as you hang up the phone or you before you go to sleep at night? Sometimes we say these words so often that they become mechanical. We forget the meaning behind them.

Love has the power to transform. It has the power to change lives. Children who know they are loved are more likely to be healthy and successful as they grow up than children who do not. But that power doesn’t end during childhood. Love is the motivation for so many of our stories, songs, and works of art. The metaphors are endless. Why do we say that love gives us new eyes? It’s because love has the power to change an ordinary life into an amazing one. Our daily life may remain the same, but our perspective is altered. Whether we’ve met a romantic partner, had a child, or have finally learned to truly love ourselves, the power to transform comes through the power of love.

Love helps us live and grow and thrive. It can heal the wounds deep inside our soul and has the power to right so many wrongs. The next time you tell someone “I love you,” take a moment to remember just how powerful your words truly are.

Pollination: A Love Story That Feeds the Earth

Awareness continues to grow around the issue of our declining bee population, but it’s important that we continue to talk about the current fragile state of pollinators on our planet. Pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, bats, butterflies, and others are vital to the health of our ecosystem. Did you know at least 80% of our world’s crop species require pollination to set seed? It’s estimated that one out of every three bites of food comes to us through the work of pollinators.

I capture the beauty and magnificence of pollinators in my films because I believe we must continue to speak up about this vital population that feeds the earth. Pollinators have suffered from loss of habitat, introduction of toxic chemicals, invasive plant and animal species, as well as diseases and parasites. The growing awareness of threats to pollinator populations is a sign of progress, but it is imperative that we continue to increase our efforts in the fight against decline.

Moving Mondays: Take Hope

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

Hope is powerful. It’s that vital feeling that helps us persevere through life’s toughest obstacles and gives us strength to keep fighting in our darkest moments. When we have hope for a better tomorrow, we find that a difficult today is easier to bear.

But what should we do if we start to lose hope? What if we feel stuck and begin to trust the negative thoughts in our head? I believe that when we lose hope the first thing we should do is find one thing in our lives for which we are truly grateful. Cultivating gratitude is the path towards reigniting hope. Having a gratitude practice allows us to see the good that is woven throughout our lives. When we learn to recognize a reoccurring pattern of good, it becomes logical to have hope that good will continue to appear.

What we choose to emphasize is what will decide our lives. Emphasize the good and take hope that more will come.

Technology, Nature, & Mindfulness

While there’s nothing modern about the concept of “mindfulness,” recently it has gained mainstream awareness. Its popularity, as Anderson Cooper has shown us, has arisen perhaps out of sheer necessity. Today’s culture demands that we stay technologically interconnected at all times, but our digital dependency actually makes us less connected to each other, to nature, and ultimately to ourselves.

In recent years, Fortune 500 CEOs, world leaders, and many of the most prolific entrepreneurs have begun to speak publicly about their meditation practices. From the cover of TIME to last week’s 60 Minutes segment, mindfulness is becoming a mainstream buzzword. At companies like Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Zappos, and Huffington Post, beginning a meeting with a moment of silence or creating a 30 minute meditation break during a productive workday is de rigor. Research shows that meditation not only increases productivity, but it can improve company morale, as well. Scott James, our CEO here at Moving Art, was initially motivated by the benefits in productivity to begin meditating twice per day. When he is working with Louie, it is common practice for them to meditate together before or after their work sessions.

Progressive companies are on to something. They understand their role and responsibility in shaping the technological landscape of the future, but they also realize that creativity and innovation come from focused, healthy minds. These companies are examples of progressive leadership, proving that technology and mindfulness DO mix, and we do not have to sacrifice our mental or physical health to succeed. When we leverage technology to bring us closer to our true nature, we have succeeded in the most modern sense.

Moving Art lives at the intersection of technology and mindfulness, using cutting edge film and digital technologies to connect audiences back to nature. Louie Schwartzberg’s Visual Healing initiative is based on the positive effects of nature on the mind and body, incorporating nature into everyday environments, such as offices, hospitals, hotels, and even education facilities.

Research shows that viewing nature for as little as ten minutes is as effective as meditation to reduce anxiety, stress, restlessness, and improve focus. Imagine the life-changing impact Visual Healing can have on people from all facets of society. From corporate decision makers to inner city youth, from prison inmates to worried family members in a hospital waiting room, the opportunities to improve lives through Visual Healing are endless.

Instead of seeing technology and nature as adversaries in an unwinnable war, we believe that together they can provide people with opportunities to improve their overall mental health. Creating technological spaces that incorporate the natural world will shift brain activity and behavior, bringing the mind into a calm, responsive, and focused state – the fertile foundation necessary for innovation and progress.