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Simply Free Minds

SimpleMentesLibres

We design creative language teaching tools that inspire mindfulness, social responsibility and compassion.

The Money Tree Explained

Budget Posted on Wed, December 16, 2015 12:36PM


Hello Beautiful Beings!

Jaime here to answer a few questions we’ve been getting about our budget and where the money is going to.(Breakdown of costs below)

When
I dreamed up SimpleMentesLibres, I had no idea all the things that
would go into making it a reality. It’s been a very enlightening
journey. It’s not just the cost of printing the cards (which can only be
done with our local printer in runs of 5000 decks! Who knew?!). There
are also the legal fees of setting up a business internationally.
Currently, we’re setting it up as a business in Spain under my freelance
status, under which I’ll have all liability for the company. We’d like
to eventually change that to make SimpleMentesLibres an internationally
incorporated company. There are also other legal fees for lawyers and
taxes and intellectual property rights.

Communication
is what we’re all about here so we want to make sure everything shared
with our community has perfect grammar and spelling which means getting
professional translations done.

Carlos
and I also need help spreading the word about SimpleMentesLibres. We
started a GoFundMe page last year, without much success. So we’re
learning from our mistakes and have found someone to manage our online
presence and another person to help us make and edit a professional
video for our GoFundMe page. GoFundMe also charges us for using their
service. Other online costs include purchasing a domain name and paying
for advertising.

Moving
on to the supplies. We had to get what is called an Artist Loan (which
we have to pay back) to support Carlos’ needs for the project. There
were other necessities like business cards and a tablet to be more
mobile while giving presentations.

Lastly,
we’ve been traveling around to network with local businesses and
companies to source, print and distribute our products.

In
order to expand into the international market, we traveled to the USA
in October to collect more contacts and spread the word about what we’re
all about! The trip was gifted to us by some of our best friends who
are really eager to see our dreams realised. Our gratitude goes beyond
words.

That
was the long explanation of everything. Here is a list of accounts so
everyone can see exactly where all the money is going.

The Budget:

Local printer with a minimum print run of 5000 decks (tax included) 2700€

Intellectual property rights (Spain only)+other legal expenses for startup 2000€

Administration costs, accounting and social security (first year) 2200€

Web/Social media/Campaign management (10% of what is raised) 1100€ Video production 400€

Art and tech supplies 300€

Crowdfunding fees (8% on each contribution) 880€

Business cards, stickers, post, travel, website, ads, (being very frugal) 200€

Translations 200€

Loan we need to pay back for Artist Support 1200€

Total 11,180€

*Additional long running legal fees 15.000€ (not included in total, this is a future goal)

Carlos
and I have personally taken on a lot of these costs but not without the
help a few beautiful generous beings! We’re hoping through this
crowdfunding campaign we can raise enough funds to get
SimpleMentesLibres off the “free time shelf” and onto “this is our
everyday life shelf”. Once we get the first run of flashcards printed
and sold, we want to create enough interest that our future teaching
materials will be able to sell on their own.

I love teaching and will always continue to do so, SimpleMentesLibres is an extention of that.

A
platform for learning language in a more mindful way, to encourage
freethinking in the youth and explore new ways to communicate. Carlos
will continue to develop his style, working with SimpleMentesLibres and
hopefully he will soon be able enter into the Visual Arts and Comic
School of Barcelona.

I’d
like to thank you again for taking the time to follow us and any
contribution you were able to give. Especially passing us along to
others! It takes a village to raise a baby, SimpleMentesLibres is my
baby. Help Carols and I raise it to its full potential to help the youth
learn language in a mindful way and spread the seed of freethinking!

Love and Peace,
Jaime

We’re
working on all sorts of new goodies to THANK YOU for your
contributions! Make sure you don’t miss anything! Follow our campaign
here!



HOME…Loving Life

inspiration Posted on Tue, December 08, 2015 01:21AM

Hello happy free minds!

We’ve been so busy getting back into the swing of things on this side of the planet! I am so excited to be back on schedule and sharing with you all once again, you beautiful beings!

I hope that life is treating you and your loved ones as well as it’s treating me. I am so happy to be back in my sweet refuge of a home after long travels. I hadn’t been back to visit my family in over two and a half years. That was the longest that had passed in my life without seeing and squeezing them in person. It was a bit too long. I try to get back for a visit every year, but some times it just doesn’t work out that way. I am ever so grateful that I could be there this year and with Carlos, spreading the good news of our heart’s work, this beloved venture of a project! JOY!


In this post I’d like to focus on gratitude and hopefully inspire you all to explore your own thankful hearts. 🙂 Oprah gave me the idea years ago to write in a gratitude journal. Since 1997/8? I have kept up that practice. I do it in my own way, but I have definitely adopted the extremely powerful practice of focusing on what I am grateful for on a daily basis. Sometimes before bed, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes first thing in the morning, I write down all of the things that come to mind that I am thankful for. I always have to stop myself at some point because the list is endless.

Sometimes the mind can play tricks on us and act like it’s difficult to find things to be grateful for. When you really sit with your heart’s voice, you can’t stop the flow of countless images, feelings, sounds, people, moments, etc.

I love teaching children the origin of their food and all of the things, people, resources, energy, thought, etc. that is involved in bringing that one salad to their table. When you really break it down, it seems ridiculous. It can be a really fun game having students name more and more things connected to the apple in their lunchbox. From the obvious tree, sun, water, soil and such to the almost always forgotten people who grew the fibers and greased the machines that the farmer’s clothes were made on and from…and so on. Imagine linking everything back to the original potato…??? You’d need many lifetimes just to make the list.

I’d like to say that coming home I have really been spending time focusing on how thankful I am for the prices and quality of fresh produce here. I am always reminded of how fortunate we are over here when I visit the states and the high prices for fruits and vegetables. It’s so tough for people on a budget to eat healthy and whole foods over there. We saw tangerines for $7.99 for 3 lb. in Idaho and we get them here for 99 cents to 3 euros per kilo! We also saw a five dollar artichoke and lemons that cost $1.69 per lemon! We are sooooooooooo grateful to live, cook and eat here!

(Those prices are all per kilo.)

I will leave you with a short list of things that I am grateful for. 🙂

Trees and visiting the really big ones in California,
Feeling confident,
Emotional balance and well-being,
Excellent health of my body and all of its parts and mind,
Silly moments with nieces and nephews,
Christmas lights that warm corners of rooms,
Healthy homemade veggie soup,
Low cost (and super tasty) tangerines 🙂 ,
Loving and supportive friends and family,
Dark and hard times that show me my strength and light,
Street cleaners and the ones who love and care for them,
Best friends who make dreams come true,
Loving messages from sweet family and friends,
Big brothers here and gone,
Life…

Thank you.

A dear poet master friend of ours Natalie Patterson, made a wicked video on gratitude last month. If you click on her name here, you can see it on her site! It’s really inspiring.

May all beings be happy and liberated!



MORE REFLECTING…

travel Posted on Wed, November 18, 2015 11:09PM


It’s been a great week! We have traveled from Boise to Portland to North Bend and tomorrow we are off to the California Bay Area.We are soaking up the love and adventure along the way! Hopefully those around us are feeling the joy that we are feeling and are being nurtured by our presence as well!

Right before leaving Boise, we had the awesome opportunity of meeting with my nephews’ school, Anser. It’s a Charter Elementary School and from the outside it looks like any old school. When you open the door and go inside, it feels a bit magical. 🙂

We met with Michelle, who is the equivalent to the principal, but is called the “Education Director”. She had generously set aside thirty minutes for us to present the project to her! We were thrilled and she was so sweet! 🙂 She enjoyed our presentation and asked how she could help us. We asked her if she wouldn’t mind spreading the word about us and our mission in an upcoming newsletter and she said she would, gladly! We are looking for more newsletters to be featured in, so if you have anyone in mind, please let us know!

It was such a lovely time in Boise with the family, that of course it was sad to go! But we really had a lot of meaningful moments with everybody we visited there and got to know the kids so much more, so we left feeling grateful and fulfilled! Kayla, my oldest niece, (from my sister Melisa) drove over to Portland with us. That was such a treat! I got to spend many of those driving hours in her car. And the drive was breathtaking. 🙂 Every day and place we go I think we feel more and more fortunate.


Portland was a brief stop. We took advantage of the time we had there visiting with Kayla and our friends Deanna, Stefano and their daughter Olivia! Kayla also took us to get the colored pencils (Sales tax free!!! Thanks Oregon!) that Carlos will need for the coloring process for the cards! We are getting close to that stage! He has three drawings left! JOY!


When we arrived in North Bend, OR to visit one of my closest friends, Candy, we stumbled upon a very unusual cafe on the main street, right when you enter the small town, after crossing the beautiful bridge. We popped in to Crossroads Community Cafe to see the menu and they pointed to the window and said, “We have vegetable soup and lasagne.” My thought pattern immediately came up to articulate the lack of choices and that I didn’t eat meat, etc. The lady who’d greeted us informed us that it was a non-profit and that each meal only cost two dollars and that the veggie soup was not only vegan, but very popular.

Carlos and I looked at each other and I told him it was his choice. He decided that it sounded good, I agreed, and we sat down at one of the many empty tables. We’d arrived just in time, as they’d be closing thirty minutes after we sat down. Lucky us! We inquired about what kind of establishment we were supporting, and enjoying, and one of the lovely volunteers explained to us the history of the quaint little restaurant.

The two ladies who run it had found a place in Portland that offered healthy and delicious meals to the public for a very low cost and decided to do the same here. The idea is that all humans, no matter their circumstances in life deserve to have a wholesome hot meal served to them with dignity and respect in a clean and friendly restaurant setting. A lot of North Bend’s homeless community eat there daily and most of their customers are senior citizens that can’t cook for themselves and want to eat in a friendly and cozy atmosphere. Right up our alley! We were thrilled to be supporting them and ate one of the healthiest meals so far on our travels! We shared our project with them and made a lovely connection. 🙂

That’s all for now. Hope you are all shining bright like the stars that you are!



El Bloque Vasco

travel Posted on Tue, November 17, 2015 12:58AM


¡Hola Mentes
Libres!

Como prometí, escribiré
sobre la comunidad vasca o también conocido
como Diáspora, Vasca en el Oeste de Estados Unidos en Boise, Idaho.

En el siglo XIX,
en la época de “la llamada del oro”, los Vascos emigraron de Euskadi por
diferentes razones, una de ellas fue la búsqueda de una vida mejor en el Oeste
de Estados Unidos.

Los Vascos
mantuvieron los vínculos culturales de
su tierra de origen y lograron formar una gran comunidad, hoy día se le llama
cariñosamente “la octava provincia” y disponen de un Museo y centro cultural
donde tuvimos el privilegio de poder asistir y participar en un clase de
Euskera.

Dejo aquí un
links por si queréis información más detallada:

·
Origen
de la emigración de los Vascos

· Bloque
Vasco

Esta historia me
ha conmovido mucho, es un ejemplo de tolerancia hacia Euskadi por parte de la
gente de la provincia de Boise. Ser tolerante es una cualidad que enriquece
como persona y me gustaría que en España fuésemos capaces de sentirnos orgullosos con las que
hoy día se llaman comunidades autónomas y ser más tolerantes, apoyando la idea del
derecho de auto-determinación que provenga de una iniciativa popular.

Es interesante
como la gente aquí disfruta de la cultura Vasca, con sus restaurantes, con su
museo, sus mercados y con sus clases de Euskera.

Dejando esta
reflexión encima de la mesa, me gustaría compartir algunas fotos que nos
hicimos en las clases de Euskera. Gozatu!



Looking Back…

travel Posted on Thu, November 12, 2015 06:08AM


So, we are at the half way mark on our trip now! It’s gone by very quicky. So much has happened in three weeks. We have experienced quite a few different thoughts, feelings, connections and places.

We have been to Los Angeles, Kingman, Las Vegas and Boise. We have been drawing away and talking to everybody about our plans and progress. Carlos has put most of my family into ink and the whole world must know about us now, as I always seem to have some sort of social media attached to my mind and fingertips in my free moments. (Something that is VERY challenging for me to accept.)

A lot of the work that is being done with this project is our own inner work and the constant recommitting to it. A major part of what we are sharing with the world is our own examples of character and integrity. We face challenges every day in the area of relating to others, on all different levels, as everyone does. When hard times present themselves in communication, I am always trying to focus on the presence within me rather than lose myself in the drama. After the “storms”, I reflect and try to see where I can adjust my own thoughts and behavior if they’re not in alignment with what I would like them to be. Writing about it sounds almost silly to me, but after years of dedication to personal development, I know better, and readjust my perspective here as well. It’s not silly and it’s not a light subject. The inner work is so hard sometimes that I feel like giving up. But my commitment to myself and the work is much stronger than that weakness. Thank goodness.

If we are making teaching materials that inspire kids to live in alignment with nature and truth, we need to be the best examples of that as we possibly can. On this trip I have been reminded of the importance of meditation and finding quiet moments. I feel very inspired to strengthen my mind even more. We have also been challenged by the dietary choices here. We are both feeling a pull to take better care of our precious bodies, our temples.

We were working away at a coffee house the other night, when we were approached by a sweet girl from the table next to us. She offered to feature Carlos in her new artist magazine, Honeycomb Mag!Super exciting to have her show interest! It’s so lovely to see Carlos’ face light up when people acknowledge his art. He is still learning to believe in himself. This project is giving him the opportunity to grow in his faith in himself and his artistic talent. The look on his face is priceless when he sees his value. It’s what we are all wanting, validation. Every one of us deserves to know our worth and to never doubt it. This project’s focus is to get more people feeling valued and empowered. JOY!

Another exciting piece of news is that we will be fundraising here in my sister’s community with haircuts! Carlos will be making his rounds to homes of Hidden Springs to make some of the kiddos’ hair smile! 😉 My sister kindly spread the word about the project and our idea to raise funds within her community and the interest is growing! One lady even offered to let us use her salon! These are the small kind acts of strangers that remind us of the Universe’s plan for us and this project that is slowly but surely coming to life! We are so grateful!

The last thing I will add is that we assisted an Euskara class at the Basque Museum here in Boise! It was so much fun and again, to see Carlos’ eyes light up!!! To see the Basque culture and language here, so far away, and in such a foreign land, was truly something else! We’d gone in just to observe, but the teacher and students happily included us in their lesson and games! We had a blast.

Now we are looking forward to finishing up the last few drawings for the cards, designing the box and display, and meeting with a few schools and educational groups in California. We are also hoping to find a printer here so that we can print cards in the U.S. once we are ready to take that step. We are excited about our journey and hope that you’ll come along with us for the ride!

Peace and Blessings!
Jaime



Logros Del Proyecto en el Viaje

travel Posted on Tue, November 10, 2015 06:17AM

Es interesante como la inspiración surge de la nada, sin darse uno cuenta
estas ahí enfocado y disfrutando al máximo de aquello que más te gusta. Creo
que este viaje tiene algo que ver. Para mí la idea de viajar al USA me pareció
un poco precipitada por que no tenía los dibujos terminados, pero ahora puedo
decir que romper con la rutina diaria en
Barcelona he encontrado aquí la
suficiente inspiración para terminar mis tareas desde un punto de vista más
relajado.

Después de estar con la Familia Milton en Los Ángeles y llegar a Arizona,
la vida me presento un infortunio, del cual solo se puede traspasar con el amor
y la comprensión. La muerte de Wade, el hermano de Jaime, la mañana que
llegamos, fue una gran lección para nosotros. Tener que afrontar la muerte tan
inesperadamente y reconocerla como un proceso natural de la vida, fue todo un
aprendizaje para las emociones. Simplemente estuvimos presentes para las
personas que en ese momento necesitaban apoyo.

Se me ocurrió hacer un dibujo de Wade con una de las ultimas fotografías de
él, para mí fue una oportunidad para aportar un poco de condolencias,
y al mismo tiempo un gran crecimiento personal arropado por la compasión y el amor.

Este es el dibujo de Wade que representa el mayor logro de este viaje, un
nacimiento de un personaje después de la muerte de un ser querido. La Reflexión
es que tenemos que crear con corazón y técnica para obtener un mayor resultado.

Como dice Gen Sato (ilustrador Manga
Japonés): Para realizar un dibujo con buenos resultados se requiere tres aspectos:

  • ·
    Despertar
    sentimientos de afecto hacia el personaje cuando lo dibujamos.
  • ·
    Visualizar
    los personajes como si vivieran de verdad.
  • ·
    Dibujar
    un personaje adorable.

He creado dos personajes nuevos de nosotros que podréis ver en Instagram y
he creado tres cartas más. Entremedio también he creado dos dibujos más. Uno de
ellos es para colorear y lo pondré en la
página para que lo podáis imprimir y el otro es sobre la Familia Myers, la familia de Jaime.

La Familia Myers: es mi primer dibujo donde aparecen más de dos personajes.
Es un dibujo conmemorativo al cumpleaños de Jaime, decidí regalárselo para su
cumpleaños y que reemplaza a la típica postal para cumpleaños, y también es de
parte de esta adorable familia. Me gustaría agradecer a la Familia Myers su
hospitalidad y que rápidamente me han hecho sentirme como en mi propia casa.

Un día estábamos trabajando en una cafetería en la Downtown de Boise y
conocimos a Jenny y Timoteo. Ellos estaban trabajando y estudiando como
nosotros y después de un buen rato comenzamos a hablar con ellos. Jenny es una
chica que trabaja para sí misma en una revista de arte que se llama Honeycomb
Mag y nos propuso colaborar con ella,
nos publicara en su revista y nosotros le cedemos un dibujo para su revista.
Puedes ver su página de Facebook aquí. https://www.facebook.com/Honeycomb-Mag-1665839463629776/?fref=ts

Timoteo es un estudiante de Latín y
no pudo resistirse a hablar con nosotros después de escucharnos hablar Castellano.
Le gustan los idiomas, y lo sorprendente es que me dijo que estaba haciendo
clases de Euskera, en ese momento me quede totalmente desconcertado. No he
podido resistirme a quedar con el para asistir a una clase de Euskera. Timoteo
nos contó brevemente la llegada de los inmigrantes
vascos exiliados durante la guerra civil
española y nos enseñó lugares típicos Vascos que se encuentran en la ciudad. Me
gustaría documentarme más sobre el tema de los Vascos en Boise y escribir más
sobre eso en el próximo post.

El trabajo que se me presenta para las próximas semanas es:

  • ·
    Presentar
    un artículo sobre el proyecto para la
    revisa de Jenny.
  • ·
    Continuar
    dibujando las últimas cartas para el proyecto
  • ·
    Revisarlas
    para pulir detalles y pasarlas a la plantilla de Impresión.
  • ·
    Crear
    nuevos dibujos para colorear mínimo uno por semana
  • ·
    Crear
    un interesante blog-post sobre los
    Vascos en Boise.

Así que os despido con un fuerte
abrazo. Hasta la próxima.

Carlos



Haunted Reflections….

travel Posted on Thu, November 05, 2015 06:46PM

Being in Idaho with my family and Carlos for Halloween was such a treat! We drove up from Kingman, Arizona the day before and were able to really enjoy the whole day and night with the whole bunch. My sister, brother-in-law and four of their children live in Boise. Tim, our “second dad” was in town for just the weekend, Kayla, my oldest niece (from this group) had driven over from Oregon to surprise the family and my mama had made it over from the East Coast just in time for us all to be reunited and to meet Carlos too! For me, it was like a dream come true. For Carlos, just being a part of a “real” American Halloween was enough. All of the family love was an added bonus!

For some reason the whole day seemed very Un-Halloween-like….None of us could explain it. It was just like any other weekend day, hanging out, visiting, napping, playing, enjoying each other’s company.

Out of the grown-ups, Carlos and I were the only ones who appeared to feel like going Trick-or-Treating. But at the last minute, we had a dragon (without wings), a wizard, a pegasus, Minnie Mouse, Jack Skellington, a strange pink haired princess (for the dragon without wings, of course), a fly swatter and a large array of non-costumed adults and one “normal” teenager. We all went out together, as it should have been! JOY!

Seeing Carlos experience Trick-or-Treating was priceless. It was like experiencing his true child self. I often have the pleasure of witnessing this side of him, but this was a step up from what I usually see. He said to me at one point, “I should have grown up here.” People were commenting on his costume in admiration. He kept saying he was the Pumpkin King. The whole family’s hearts were tickled by his delightful experience and living vicariously through him.

Some of the houses were elaborately decorated. Most of them were not, but the ones that were, were done quite well and some of them rewarded you for facing your fears with big candy bars. Our little dragon faced his fears!!! They all did, but it was hardest for him.

When we got back to the home front, it was time to attend to our Trick-or-Treaters. Jack Skellington was the star of the night! He ran to open the door every time and really got into his part. When someone knocked on the door, he knocked back. One little girl pretended to faint when she saw him, as he is one of her favorites! The mama of our house was thrilled that there was an attendant and she could have a break for one year. And while we awaited the last of the candy seekers, we enjoyed watching ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ together on the sofa.

I am so glad that we came at this time of year. And with all of the death that has visited us this year, it was nice to celebrate with our loved ones, living and non…

Love and Peace,
Jaime



My First “Trick or Treat”

travel Posted on Tue, November 03, 2015 03:21PM


Idaho – Hidden Springs (U.S.A.)

31 de octubre alrededor de las 18:00h, el atardecer desciende amable sobre la urbanización de Hidden Springs.

En el horizonte se crea un precioso resplandor anaranjado que advierte de la llegada de la popular fiesta de Halloween.

Todos estamos dando los últimos retoques a nuestros disfraces antes de salir, desde la ventana veo a los primeros grupos de niños en sus disfraces acompañado de sus padres y algunos más mayores en grupos listos para comenzar la terrorífica aventura del Trick or Treat ( Truco o Trato ).

Básicamente se trata de ir a las puertas de las casas y hacer esta propuesta: las personas que están es sus casas tienen que tener dulces o caramelos para el trato, pero en el caso de que la persona no quiera dar caramelos, podría sufrir las consecuencias de un terrorífico plan, como por ejemplo rodear la casa de papel de WC. Por suerte siempre se llega al trato.

Las casas son muy bonitas y los árboles que adornan las calles se intercalan de color rojo, naranja y amarillo. Hasta las calabazas se conjuntan con las flores caídas que cubren los jardines y aceras. Los vecinos han trabajado duro durante la semana para tener una decoración excelente y crear sus casas como verdaderas casas encantadas y de sus jardines como cementerios. Todo está meticulosamente decorado para crear un ambiente terrorífico.

Caminamos por todo el barrio y decidimos volver a casa. Era como si diéramos paso al turno de los ya no tan niños y fueron los adolescentes los próximos en salir a la calle.

Una vez en casa tuve la experiencia de poder ser yo mismo la persona que abría la puerta para ahora los adolescentes, y fue muy sorprendente porque sentí la verdadera fiesta desde mi propia experiencia.

Me disfracé de Jack Skellington, personaje de la película de animación Nightmare Before Chrismas (Pesadilla Antes de Navidad) película para toda la familia que recomiendo ver. Fui muy alagado cada vez que tuve que abrir la puerta para dar los caramelos.

Para terminar me gustaría compartir una idea:

La fiesta de Halloween se está acogiendo cada vez más en España y no significa que tengamos que sustituirla o que sea mejor que las nuestras, desde mi punto de vista es una oportunidad para compartir tradiciones y ser tolerantes. Los niños y mayores se unen en una noche terrorífica para compartir y estar con la familia. Creo que es una herramienta para introducir el mundo fantástico de los personajes de terror que de más mayores descubrirán en literatura o en el cine.

Estas son unas fotos de mi sobrino que tiene tres años y que ya disfruta de esta fiesta que aunque originalmente no sea nuestra, estamos dispuestos a compartirla y disfrutarla.

Carlos

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!



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