Alone in a Crowd

There is an old saying that goes something like, better be by yourself then alone in a crowd. Although, I see the wisdom in it, I question how we are equipped to make sense of it.

The week of deaths

This week has been plagued by deaths around us. Robin Williams takes center stage and somehow, really troubles me still. Other friends on Facebook told how a loved one passed away. Many of them did. It’s odd, because at the same time it is the month of Leo Birthdays. I never knew there were so many Leos out there. But like most vivacious, social creatures, I wonder how many resonate with being alone in a crowd. I know I do, sometimes.

My whole life is centered on building teams, groups of people working intelligently together. I can’t say I’ve been very successful. Even my last project is turning out to be a cacophony of individuality and sub-group actions. My fellow editor breaks a news via a cut and paste PR release, not giving me the opportunity to write about it. Hey, I’m an electric vehicle (EV) writer and need every single opportunity I can grab. I don’t get paid for this. At least, let me write about it. My other two colleagues decide to do a podcast without me and chose to do it on EVs. I’m stumped… At this moment, I’m waiting to friend to come by and pick me up to help him on a Saturday. He’s flaking out… again.

Listening to life’s messages

I’m starting to get the feeling that life is telling me to do something else. That, writing about EVs has run its course. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first three EV writers back then. Maybe, I did what I was supposed to do. Maybe I should now concentrate on alternative energy. Surely there is more compensation there. I’m keeping my horizon wide and open, asking only for well-being. That seems to be the catch all…

In the meantime, this Robin Williams quote haunts me:

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone”

I am thankful to have Virginia, my mother and Virginia’s mom in my life.

Update: And just now, a close friend of mine left me a voice mail saying she’s at the end. Yikes, what is going on? Is it time for society to change or what?

This gives me even more motivation to go forward.

Robin Wiliams Death, a Toll on Humanity

robin william deathIt’s been a few days since we found out about the Robin Williams death news. It is tragic and it haunts me.

Robin Williams Death, how to spot a sad person

Robin Williams’ death is sad and hopefully will serve to raise awareness around the fact that it is not those who look the most down who are the most suicidal. If you want to spot a potentially depressed person, look at the the one who smiles the most, the one who takes care of the most people around them. I think in many ways, Robin Williams was the perfect empath.

It haunts me even five days after finding out about his death. A few quotes have floated around and the ones that grabs me the most is that he was afraid of dying alone, but what he never knew is how people can make you feel alone. Well, Robin Williams made me feel it was OK to feel like an alien. Nanoo-nanoo, sort of.

The Robin Williams death should serve as a reminder that our society, though advancing in leaps and bounds technically is emotionally crippled. One of the reasons I joined the Mankind Project is because I never felt any comfort or emotional help from men, or very rarely and little.

Robin Williams death tragedy

To put a plastic bag over your head and do away with yourself takes a lot of courage, and a lot of energy. It must be hard to kill yourself. It must be even harder for his wife of two years. His tragedy should also remind us that Hollywood is brutal and heartless world. I sometimes help a good friend of mine at the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market where I see a fair share of movie actors. It’s actually sad to see them. They must either uphold a stoic persona and make sure nothing seeps through the cracks, lest the swarm of parasitic paparazzi snatches a picture of them displaying ordinary human activities. How can we read those celebrity magazines? Are we no better than the local peeping tom?

Some of the celebrities I see keep a low profile, but most look like they are living with the constant weight of being recognized anywhere they go, regardless of what they do. They simply cannot be themselves.

Robin Williams’ death touches me for a different reason, because not too many knew how sensitive he was. Many said he was a drag addict. But drugs are only a shield from a harsh, undigested reality. His death reminds me that everywhere there are many people quietly suffering, some of whom are right under noses, unrecognized.

I hope Robin Williams’ death will help and serve to raise awareness. That is the least we can do to celebrate a man who made us laugh, and touched our heart, Robin Williams.

robin william death

Do you suffer from Nomophobia?

NomophobiaYes, welcome to another phobia, another name, something else we need to be careful about, nomophobia.

What is Nomophobia?

Many of us suffer from nomophobia. I know I do. I can’t go a day without keeping it under control, or with great difficulties and mental anguish. In fact, I can’t go an hour without feeling it, and I bet you too. Most of us have to constantly sooth our nomophobia, at least a few times an hour.

This new thing called nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. And you guessed it, it isn’t new. It relates to being connected all the time, which hides a deeper fear of missing out, of not getting enough.

Are you smiling yet? Nomophobia is probably another society disease, and we all, more or less suffer from it, to an extent or another.

Why am I so connected?

So why is it so important to check and see if we have a message, or if someone is trying to reach us? How did we do before the era of smartphones and cell phones? Surely this is part of human evolution and a sign that we are progressing, evolving, evolution at work. But is it, really? How better off am I if I can’t leave for a full weekend wondering what will be in my mailbox, or how many voicemails will I have when I come back? Worse yet, how productive is this stress of having to keep up with my email inbox and voicemail to keep it under control for fear of having to waste an hour or two on Monday to tame back the wild beast of information overload?

Am I getting old? Have I finally arrived at the stage where life has become too complicated and modern tools are taking their toll on my well being, always demanding more and more, draining my energy, which could be better spent taking care of myself? Why can’t I use more of my time meditating, relaxing, putting things into perspective and making the “right” choices. And what are those right choices anyway? Am I stepping back, coping out? Is my energy spent and I have little more to give this futile game of keeping on top of news that are not really that transcending?

It makes you wonder when you hear one of the greatest society ailment is anxiety, lack of well-being, and now, nomophobia. Go figure. Maybe the Jedi Masters have a point using as little technology as needed, or maybe just the right amount.

Mankind Project challenges men to grow

mankind project challenges growth

mankind project challenges growth. Picture: Nicolas Zart

It’s strange to think of what we put ourselves through in life. Once we understand, we can respect the challenges and trials, and use them to truly go beyond ourselves. I was living in my heart and was told to be like a man and to live with my brains. Now that I achieved this, I am told to go back and listen to my heart.

Challenging men to grow

I just went through the biggest challenge I put myself through by completing the Mankind Project Primary Integration Training (PIT) called the Essential Man Workshop. It was the toughest thing I ever did in my lifetime. It was tough. It was so tough, I thought I would walk out many times during the event, but I hung on. I came in with a lot of hidden garbage, and while I might walk out with the same amount of garbage I carry, at least now, I am more aware of it.

Women are, men become

Men live in a society where they are taught to do it on their own. You fall, hurt, get up, suck it up and move on. Our society enforces this idiotic bravado that men must go through their trials and challenges alone, shamefully recoiling from others. Before this present chaos, men trained, leaning on their elders to help face their deepest fears so that they could face anything in life.

Buddha and Jesus didn’t do it alone

Somehow, our society decided to take the solitary road. Judging by the results in increased crime, over-populated jails, under-achieving schools and the sheer amount of suffering men try to hide behind a thin veil, we can see how this has failed dramatically. Men needs strong role models, something our society doesn’t offer anymore. We don’t have Gandhi anymore, and Martin Luther King is gone, so is Ford Senior. What we have left are Hollywood (hollow-wood) images of what a hero looks like, tragically alone, having surmounted everything on his own. That is fatally flawed. Even the greatest spiritual masters from Jesus Christ to the Buddha didn’t never did it alone.

I just begun a tough chapter of my life and I won’t hide it, I’m scared and want to run away from it. But I won’t. I now know I have many men I call my Brothers standing behind me to help me go beyond myself, my ego and BS PR I carry around, flaunting in your face. And that is a warm reassurance I wish every men had.

The men revolution movement has begun, meet the Mankind Project

Turning Failures into SuccessI used to joke that women have had their revolution, now watch out for ours. I never knew how true this is. Let me explain.

Talking about my generation…

My generation of guys are not men, but we were taught to respect and treat women as equal. Have we succeeded? Yes, to a greater extent. Sure, there are relics who drag old discarded beliefs, but for the most part, we view women as our equals. The problem is that by making up for our forefathers and their treatment of women, we negated ourselves. And this has counter-served women in the long run. Most of us have no idea what it is to be men, nor do we even know where the manual is.

Hollywood and its equally debasing TV outlet has been dismal male role models. Ever bigger, more tattoos and guns than it makes sense are not role models for us. Wearing pants down to your thighs and cocked baseball caps are only exterior signs of image struggle. The real quest is inside, mastering your fears and dealing with them head on. The truth of the matter is that we have no male role models, and often times prefer to look up to Mahatma Gandhi than a Hollywood male stereotype.

The Mankind Project

The Mankind Project started a few decades ago when it became clear there were no role models for man. We no longer have rites of passages and our societies evolved from specific needs. Men went out to get food, women preserved society’s structure. This has changed, and these days men and women work, have kids, and preserve society together… for the most part. Women had their revolution and now enjoy more access to power than they had the past hundreds of years. In order to do this, my generation of men had to be put in the backgrounds while women asserted themselves. The problem is we never took care of ourselves. We never found out who we were, and that hurts.

The Mankind Project gave me an outlet to find out what it means to be a man. The manifesto says it all, posted below. I found other men who suffer the same ways I do. I found men with the same problems I have, worse yet, with the same scars and shame. But I mostly found kinship and a brotherhood I could only dream of before. I am happy. I face the future with confidence, and that goes a long way.

The New Macho

He cleans up after himself.
He cleans up the planet.
He is a role model for young men.
He is rigorously honest and fiercely optimistic.

He holds himself accountable.
He knows what he feels.
He knows how to cry and he lets it go.
He knows how to rage without hurting others.
He knows how to fear and how to keep moving.
He seeks self-mastery.

He’s let go of childish shame.
He feels guilty when he’s done something wrong.
He is kind to men, kind to women, kind to children.
He teaches others how to be kind.
He says he’s sorry.

He stopped blaming women or his parents or men for his pain years ago.
He stopped letting his defenses ruin his relationships.
He stopped letting his penis run his life.
He has enough self respect to tell the truth.
He creates intimacy and trust with his actions.
He has men that he trusts and that he turns to for support.
He knows how to roll with it.
He knows how to make it happen.
He is disciplined when he needs to be.
He is flexible when he needs to be.
He knows how to listen from the core of his being.

He’s not afraid to get dirty.
He’s ready to confront his own limitations.
He has high expectations for himself and for those he connects with.
He looks for ways to serve others.
He knows he is an individual.
He knows that we are all one.
He knows he is an animal and a part of nature.
He knows his spirit and his connection to something greater.

He knows future generations are watching his actions.
He builds communities where people are respected and valued.
He takes responsibility for himself.
In times of need, he will be his brother’s keeper.

He knows his higher purpose.
He loves with fierceness.
He laughs with abandon, because he gets the joke.

This is a picture of mature masculine, of healthy masculinity – it is one redefinition of masculinity for the 21st century. By no means is this list complete. You are welcome to come and add your gifts to this community.

I understand this and that

Nicolas Zart,

Nicolas Zart,, all rights reserved 2013

I understand this and that, and some things in between.

I understand the young twenty year old, eager to please

And I understand the fifty year old with a twinkle in their eyes

I understand the thirty year old year still playing music

and the forty year old still pushing.

I understand the new born babe, mesmerized with everything

I understand the dying man, with an understanding on his face

I see the progression, from beginning to end, without reaching end

I have a greater understanding of it.


I understand the friends, those who reach out in times of needs

I understand how it feels to be in both place, up and down

I understand what it’s like to be on top,

And I sure understand what’s like to down

I’ve seen the in between, and those without names

I’ve seen friendship flourish through the age,

others wither away without a trace or explanations,

but I’m still wondering where is it that I am anyway?

Igniting the power of courage, are you ready?

Hey everyone,

We all have fears and self-doubt holding us back from sharing your unique gifts with the world. The difference between a humdrum life and the wonderful life we’re capable of living often comes down to one simple thing: insight and courage. And the great news is that courage is not something you either have or don’t – it’s something you can grow and expand in your life.

Courage doesn’t mean being fearless. It’s the ability to keep going even the fear and doubt, which is something you can learn.

If you want to live a more courageous life I invite you to join Julia Butterfly Hill for a FREE tele-seminar, Wednesday, May 7 at 5:30pm Pacific and discover how you can cultivate more authentic courage in “Igniting the Power of Courage: 4 Steps for Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary.”

Claim your free seat here

If you don’t know of her, Julia Butterfly Hill is a premiere example of how courage can make the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. With a fiercely open heart, Julia brought the world’s compassion alive for ancient redwood groves that are being destroyed when she engaged in a 738-day tree-sit!

Since her years in the tree, Julia has devoted herself to going beyond being a celebrated icon of courage, to someone who is empowering the courageous leader in ALL of us.

I hope to “see” you there! It’s FREE to attend and you will receive a recording if you can’t listen live.
P.S. In this profound and inspirational free event, “Igniting the Power of Courage: 4 Steps for Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary” on Wednesday, May 7th at 5:30 pm Pacific, Julia will take us to the heart of courage – helping you understand what cultivates courage from the inside out, so that you can infuse your lives with the kind of courage that can move mountains (or bulldozers or board-rooms). The event is free but requires a registration, and it’s free.

Your authentically awakened life is waiting

Awaken your soul in this lifetime, today!

Hey everyone, again!

More great news from the Shiftnetwork about those souls who are called to awaken fully in this lifetime. This is going on right now!

The Shift Network is offering a free teleseminar featuring one of their most beloved spiritual teachers, Thomas Huebl, who has surged into global prominence in the last few years.

I can assure you that he is a teacher you need to know about!

Thomas marries a remarkable depth of spiritual realization with a profound commitment to living that fully in the world. His teachings are about becoming fully awake within relationships, business, community, and all the pressures of 21st century life.

Thomas has been enthusiastically championed by leaders such as Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ken Wilber, and Terry Patten, who have recognized his unique genius at not only teaching with great depth and precision but developing ways to directly work with the consciousness of whole groups.

If you have a sincere commitment to living an awakened life, I can highly recommend attending this free seminar where Thomas Huebl will share some of his advanced principles and practices that he guides students through in his Intensives.

Join Thomas today for: Advanced Principles and Practices for an Authentically Awakened Life here.

Thomas will give special emphasis on this call to teaching about one of the most powerful spiritual practices that he uses to live an authentically awakened life in the 21st century: Transparent Communication- How to Transform Your Communication into a Spiritual Practice.

This is a rare opportunity to gain deeper insights from a truly awake spiritual guide about the key insights, tools and practice that will support you in living a more conscious and enlightened life.

If you are called to realized your full spiritual potential, you won’t want to miss this call! Register here for free (and even if you can’t make it live, you’ll get a recording later).


PS – Here are some of the subjects that Thomas will share insight on during this call event:

Advanced Shadow Work
The Mystical Process of Incarnation and the Cosmic Cycles of Creation
Illuminating Intimate Relationship
Actualizing Your Enlightened Potential
The New Culture of “We”
Advanced Meditation and The Flowering of Spiritual Practice

Register here for: Advanced Principles and Practices for an Authentically Awakened Life

Get ready for the world’s largest Earth Day celebration!

Hey everyone,

For many of us who are part of the “green movement,” some days, the challenges we face can feel daunting. Let’s face it, it can be tough to be part of the “green movement”. While I’ve been writing about electric vehicles and alternative energy for the past seven years, I’m still amazed to hear those who don’t believe in it.
It can be difficult to foster sustainably in a culture where the dominant paradigm and systems are anything BUT sustainable. And it can feel discouraging when you look at everything that needs to change to create a truly regenerative and sustainable world.

But there is hope and inspiration, if you know where to look …

That’s why I want to invite you to The Shift Network’s two very special Spring of Sustainability no-cost events – the world’s largest online Earth Day Celebration on April 22 and the Sustainability Action ProgramApril 28 – June 20, 2014.
During this LIVE online series, 75+ of the world’s top experts in sustainability – including Frances Moore Lappé, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Randy HayesBill McKibben and Craig Hamilton – who will help you discover joyful, optimistic pathways to co-creating a sustainable new world.
You can sign up for free here.
We’ll kick things off with the special Earth Day Celebration, where we will join together with sisters and brothers around the world and experience the beauty and interconnectedness of all life, and revel in all that is exciting, innovative, and new in this new world of sustainability. We’ll have indigenous elders and green activists, human potential pioneers and entrepreneurs, inspired speakers and artists.
After you’ve planted the seeds of your intentions in the Earth Day Celebration, the rich sessions in the 9-week Sustainability Action Program will provide “the fertilizer” you’ll need to help our shared work bloom beautifully – and be pollinated out in our world.
This 9-week series will provide you with a deep dive into the proven practices ,skills and actions that will help take your family, cause, organization, community – and our planet – to the next level of sustainability.

Whatever your level of involvement in the green movement, The Spring of Sustainability can help you go to the next level – to help you discover the innovative solutions we need for this beautiful, ever-evolving planet.

With the inspiration and guidance you’ll receive from the top sustainability experts, there’s no way you can’t come away from The Spring of Sustainability deeply inspired, transformed – and ready to put what you’ve learned into action.
Please join to take sustainability to the next echelon – and help co-create a thriving planet that leaves a legacy of good for decades to come.
P.S. Here are just a few quotes from past participants in The Spring of Sustainability:
It’s inspiring to see such a practical, engaging, and compelling approach to this vital and complex issue. I believe this series will be a powerful contribution to the shift that is needed on the planet at this time.
Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate this forum, and all the work being done here. It’s been truly amazing, inspiring, uplifting, and just wonderful. And for us listeners and participants, it’s been all for FREE! So kudos to the Shift Team, and please keep it coming.
Thank you so much for the innovative and extremely interesting series!
Thank you for presenting this wonderful feast of speakers and ideas! I have thoroughly enjoyed The Spring of Sustainability.

Reserve your spot here.

Smiling yoga, how to rise up and wise up

Hey Everyone,

If you want to change the world, you know you have to have fun doing it. Laughter is contagious, but it also reminds us not to take thing too seriously. It also helps us achieve anything in an easier way.
Having said this, and given current  headlines, it’s easy to feel like your global influence is about as small as can be. Still, nothing could be farther from the truth, because more than ever, the time has come for all of us to rise up… and wise up and be the agent of change you know you are here to be.
There is a planetary “up-wising” about to begin… and it can be a lot more enjoyable and effective than any uprisings of the past, so you just gotta be there!

Join Cosmic Comic Steve Bhaerman & Swami Beyondananda on Tuesday, April 1, 2014(April Fools Day!) for a free virtual event called: “Join the Upwising and Enlighten Up: A Virtual Rally for Evolutionaries to Make Changing Our World More Fun!”

Learn more and save your FREE seat here.

This purpose of our “upwising” rally is to take humor more seriously – and seriousness more humorously – because when we can do that, we can really make a shift in every aspect of our lives. It’s all about waking up and wising up to our evolutionary potential, then wising to the occasion by living that new reality now!

During the 60-minute event, you’ll learn how to:

·      Transform stressful situations by “finding the joke hidden in this picture.”
·      Practice the art of joke-jitsu to turn the tables on your own ego.
·      Use the magic of heart-opening humor to blow past rigid thinking.
·      How and when to commit random acts of comedy that enlighten up the space.
And as you humor-ize your life, you free yourself and our world!

The up-wising begins on April Fools Day!

It’s time to make changing our world a whole lot more humorous, so join our rally with no opposition to anything – except what is dragging us all down.

Sign up here.