Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It’s June and time to get your Gay Pride going!

Hey everybody, It’s June and time to get your Gay Pride going!

By Celebrant Elaine Voci

At the very root, “Gay Pride” is a worldwide political stand for everyone to nobly support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender (LGBTQ) sisters and brothers against violence, inequality and discrimination.  Gay Pride is expressed in many celebrations and commemorative events in all parts of the world with parades, music festivals, rainbow lighting of public buildings and parks, and speeches made by prominent LGBTQ fans and leaders.  This special month welcomes everyone to be a part of this special important celebration from freedom and justice for all.

A little bit of history: June is the official month in which to remember the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in New York City that took place following a brutal police raid on June 28, 1969.   The LGBTQ NYC community stood together against the forces of violence and oppression, little did they know they created one of the biggest human rights movements in history that continues to go strong. The iconic Stonewall bar where this revolution began was granted landmark status in 2015, the first time a New York City site was designated primarily for its significance to the LGBTQ community as a symbol of fighting against repression. And this year, after 48 years of marches, protests, boycotts and rainbow balls, the NYC Gay Pride parade and related activities will be televised for the first time. Take a look in your town for events taking place and join the festivities.  

Many Pride community events are held to recognize the impact that LGBTQ people have on the world and Gay Pride is associated with rainbow colors meant to recognize and celebrate the diversity of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer people.  The use of the rainbow colors for flags, clothing, signs and posters has become ubiquitous.  For example, in June this year, the US Soccer men’s and women’s teams will wear rainbow numbered jerseys in honor of Gay Pride Month when they compete. 
June is also, traditionally, a month for weddings, and in Canada, the US and many other countries where the courts have recognized marriage equality, there will be millions of LGBTQ marriage ceremonies performed – and many by certified Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrants.

LGBTQ weddings are extra special. Love is always a part of marriage ceremonies, and with LGBTQ weddings it’s even more so. The couple’s uniting in marriage goes deeper and extends beyond them, it touches the lives of their community who are witnesses to their newly legalized marriage. Their community of beloved friends and family recognize the pain and suffering LGBTQ couples have had to endure to finally achieve their goal: marriage equality! It’s everyone’s unique opportunity to support  LGBTQ couples so they can experience a prideful and happy married life together.

Having a world where diversity is respected and honored is penultimate. This lovely lyric by the Beatles, rings true now and into the future: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”   

Elaine Voci is a life coach in private practice in Carmel, IN and a graduate of the Celebrant  Foundation & Institute .   Elaine is the Editor of the Celebrant Blog for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.

Life-Cycle Ceremonies: A Handbook for Your Whole Life 

How do you commemorate momentous events? Memorialize people who have shaped you? Draw support from those you hold dear? This primer offers methods for honoring the special occasions in your life with humor and grace. Its ceremonies help ground each day in the wholeness that supports our entire lives. Each ceremony has been vetted by a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant® affiliated with the Celebrant Foundation and Institute, which offers training and support for celebrants worldwide. Visit us at www.celebrantInstitute.org.

Please direct all request, comment or concerns about our CF&I Blog to our Social Media Manager ~ Marcia Almeida, Master Life-Cycle Celebrant. at  celebrantsocialmedia@gmail.com    Or to the Celebrant Foundation & Institute’s director, Charlotte Eulette at: charlotteeulette@celebrantinstitute.org 
call us at (973)746-1792.  
Visit us at http://www.celebrantinstitute.org/?p=business

Photo: @jarotbocanegraphotography

Monday, June 5, 2017

Conversation with Ronald Hunt / Blessings Ceremony Space

Blessings Ceremony Space 

Congratulations to our dear colleague and faculty member, Ronald Hunt! Ron has started a new wonderful venture called “Blessing Ceremony Space." It is a very interesting concept, and this is what he's shared with us.

Tell us a little bit more about Blessings Ceremony Space.Blessings Space is 800 square feet, in several rooms. There is room for Weddings and Memorial Services for up to 25 people. The goal; of course is to do Ceremonies across the life Cycle, and allow other community related functions to use the space. I have been approached by a drum circle, and they are going to use the space once a month. There are going to be Reiki courses, once I am certified as a Reiki Master, in September.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture?
I started doing elopements, at my house, about two years ago. I have a lovely wedding site there, but being the greater North East (NY), weather gets unpredictable come late fall. Last November, I booked an elopement for 6, and 16 showed up, and Bride and Groom did not tell their relatives that it was outside, even though we were walking around the fire pit...They were still thrilled, but it felt bad, to be criticized for the weather! I also wanted a dedicated place, for interviews, where I had all my tools handy, and could demonstrate a ritual or two.
Why is your business located at this site?
I picked my location, based on the following factors: it is across the street from City Hall, where I get tons of referrals. There are several parking lots within a city block. A brand new casino was scheduled to open nearby, with 800,000 unique visitors projected..
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I have had several business' over the years, so I was not concerned with starting a new one. I would advice everyone, to have an awesome partner, lawyer and accountant. I actually enjoy reading contracts and leases, and crossing out paragraphs. Don't ever sign anything that you do not read and agree to.
What three pieces of advice would you give a Celebrant who might like to start this type of business?
If I could offer some advice to other Celebrant's who might like to start this type of business? Have a plan and a budget, but be ready to have flexibility with it. Write everything down, in a journal or post-its. Many times you will have to follow up with someone who promised you supplies, or a referral, but has not followed through. Walk up and down the block, introducing yourself to other business owners, and talk joint ventures. If nothing else, they will take your advertising, and you have gotten some word out. Send out a press release, and try to post to social media on a regular basis.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful Celebrant?
I think that the skills we have developed as Life Cycle Celebrants' serve us well. The ability to tell our story, quickly and professionally. Showing up to meetings several minutes early...
What motivates you?
I set goals for myself, in life and in business. My initial goal was to pay the rent, and I did that the first month. so, I expanded, to the empty suite next office over. My goal is to build the business incrementally, until I am ready to retire, and then have an opportunity to cut back, by taking on a partner.
Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?
That I count two of the original CF&I graduates as friends, mentors, and inspiration, with so many Celebrants, with so many awesome ideas; there is no limit to the possibilities that I can test, in my space.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I maintain and renovate real estate, which has helped me design and build my office. I enjoy going to the gym regularly, and try to meditate on a daily basis. I wish I spent more time on my bright red motorcycle, and now that the weather is nice, there are always peonies and iris' to transplant.
What makes you happy?
My work brings me a lot of joy, but I have gotten old enough, and wise enough, that I get a lot of satisfaction by helping friends, relatives, and students, become their best selves.
I think, in a parallel universe, I am a Life Coach...
If you were conducting this interview, what other question might you ask that could help shed some light on you, celebrancy, and/or Blessings Ceremony Space?
This is really quite the adventure, and I have not mastered my marketing plan just yet. #twitterilliterate...
Thanks so much, Ron. And way to go! You are an inspiration.
34 JAY ST.
Contact: Ronald Hunt  518-587-1468
CapitalRegionCeremonies.net Ronald J Hunt, Life-Cycle Celebrant, 
and teacher for: Celebrant Foundation & Institute. Studied Weddings 
Funerals at Celebrant Foundation & InstituteOwner-operator at Blessings Ceremony Space and Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant at Hand Written Weddings              HTTP://www.CapitalRegionCeremonies.net/

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    Blessings Ceremony Space 

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