I’m one of the many new fans of Wanda’s awesome website and blog, Abundance Symphony. Also known as “Lady Neptune”, Wanda writes about what inspires her, shares the lessons she’s learned, and helps us look at the world in new and beautiful ways through her unique lens. As she put it, “I have learned much with much to pass along to others. This is my greatest contribution so far.” So of course I had to ask her to be one of my interview subjects!!
What or who inspires you most? It would have to be those who see the greater picture and go beyond themselves. Anyone who does what they do, not only because they love and enjoy it, but also because it helps others to rise. Those who have overcome the many obstacles that life has thrown at them and still manage to have a strong sense of who they truly are in connection to other people and to the Earth Mother. And those influencing others, stirring the pot, and causing waves through the power of provocative talk. Those not afraid to stand up, stand out, speak the truth, and appear crazy to the world for the sake of change. Some voices (all on YouTube) that I am truly inspired by are Ralph Smart (aka Infinite Waters), Bob (aka What’s Next), Life Regenerator, and Mark Dice.
What do you turn to when you need strength? I turn inward first and try to find that stillness that’s within. Peace, silence, contemplation, and meditation can do wonders for me. Journal writing can also help me to sort out some of the various frictions that will at times plague my psych. Listening to beautiful music and even singing along helps. And lastly, I connect with beautiful, positive, loving people. Being around some of my more charismatic friends that tickle my funny bone always does the trick.
How can women best support and/or empower other women? By standing together and calling foul when we see an injustice done against women. Not allowing these injustices to go unnoticed and not conforming to it. (e.g. the portrayal of women in the music industry, various “slang words” used to describe women). Only women can take that stand. The only reason such injustices still run rampant is because we allow it. And what we allow, we support.
What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday? Flowers, flowers, flowers. Plants, plants, plants. The earth smiles to us in so many ways. One way is through plants, color, and especially flowers. I am an avid flower gardener and have come to accept that part of my life’s mission is to help beautify the world. Throughout my years I’ve cared for a multitude of these “beautifiers”, and been blessed to have had so many beautiful relationships with these happy little earth friends. I’ve grown peonies, petunias, morning glories, geraniums, sweet potato vines, vinca vines, ivy, pothos, spider plants, hydrangea, and a multitude of more.
My latest obsessions have been with alliums, and have high hopes to grow them next spring. With the exception of some herbs and strawberries, I haven’t dedicated too much focus in helping to grow some of our nurturing food plants. Though I have to say that they too are further blessings from our Earth mother and nod to those who choose close relationships with “the nurturers”.
What are your creative outlets? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t? The visual arts and crafts. I’ve always been addicted to expressing myself using color and form. I’ve painted on various surfaces including canvas, furniture, knobs, and paper mache. Lately I’ve become sort of a neat freak and am no longer drawn by the messiness of painting and crafting. I now choose to express myself using cleaner methods such as computer graphics. I aspire to become a radical, colorful, and artistic graphic designer/activist in the future. There’s much to be said, much to be exposed. And why not say it a way that’s aesthetically pleasing and gets attention.
In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element? At home and in the garden. These are the places where I can find the time and space to unleash my creativity. I will roll up my sleeves, spend hours on a project, expressing myself fully, sometimes loosing track of time, sometimes without say a word for hours.
Who are your top three nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?
Aspire – I love organizations that are dedicated to raising human consciousness. The leader of this organization, Gregory Penn teaches us how to really live life. He dedicates a lot of his time to give freely all that he’s learned throughout his journey. One can gain lots of great insight just by listening to one of his fun discourses. Wished his organization got the attention and popularity that it truly deserves.
The Vegetarian Resource Group – They’re helping to create a veggie world and helping to spread the word on veggie living and how it creates positive changes in our lives and for the planet.
Goodwill Industries – All about re-use, recycling, helping our fellow brothers and sisters, and not conforming to mass-consumerism.
What recent “green” change have you made in your own life? What’s next? I went vegan 2 years ago. By not supporting animal products, I don’t contribute to the soil erosion, energy/water waste, or greenhouse gases caused by animal agriculture. Next, I am looking to eat 90% produce- the less packaging, the better for the environment.
Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary? Why? My bedroom. This is where I can relax, think, and take refuge from the world. Other worthy mentions are Ithaca, New York (particularly the nearby waterfalls); Aurora, New York (la-la land really does exist), the car while touring Upstate New York’s fall foliage (quite awesome), the “patio” at the MoMA (for the pensive and observant types), the sculpture courts, fountains, atriums, and gardens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (a total escape from the sound and hustle & bustle while still in the city), the parks along Boulevard East in northern New Jersey (breathtaking views of the city, against the sparkly stillness of the river, together with the park-like setting is a meditation in itself), and the Bronx Botanical Gardens in spring and summer (an explosion of beauty and color).
What advice would you give to your younger self? Never underestimate the power within you. You are stronger than you think!
How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet? The force-based/aggressive mindset has got to go. We need to come to the understanding that our universe is a very abundant and friendly atmosphere with more than enough for all. With that in place, there would be no need to force anything from our beloved planet or its people.
I suggest introducing love, gentleness, kindness, beauty, peace, harmony, joy, and gratitude as a mandatory part of all school curriculum. I envision classes such as Harmony 101, Introduction to Beauty, Resolution Techniques, The Principles of Abundance, Universal Law I & II, Interactive Compassion, and Advanced Love. It is necessary that these subjects take precedence over the monotonous and uninspiring World History or Economics courses (which actually serve to reinforce our current aggressive ways).
Concern for our planet begins by changing our consciousness. The human race will care about the Earth Mother only when we change the way we look at life, our universe, and each other. Our universe works like a mirror. Only when we consciously choose to demonstrate what is beautiful will our planet outpicture that same beauty. Until then, it’s just going to be the same old, same old…
What sparked your interest in environmental issues? What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did? I would have to give credit to my 10th grade classmate Monica who sparked my interest. She was passionate about the environment and spoke often about it. I had ears to hear. The first eco thing I can remember doing was starring in a school play about littering and pollution as a child.
How do you live simply? I use public transit. Why get a fancy personal car of my own when I can get around just as efficiently with mass transit? I will use the thrift shops and eBay as often as possible. The finds are always very special and unique. Why buy new when second-hand will work even better? Why buy new and support mass-production and mass-consumerism? I closely analyze my needs and buy only if it is necessary. God forbid I become a good-little consumer!
Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours? “Status quo is boring. Get wacky instead!” ~ by Yours Truly