Openhearted Rebellion Needs Your Help

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

It’s that time again.

The great thing about working on the internet is that it allows me to be at home with my family while making content I hope you will enjoy. Throughout the 8+ years I’ve been doing this, the thought of being with my family and connecting with so many openminded and openhearted readers has kept me going.

Obviously, none of this has been easy. Working, maintaining this lifestyle, and figuring out how to pay bills every month is incredibly stressful and disheartening. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Sometimes it feels like society punishes those who dare to do what inspires them for a living. You can try to follow your passion, but don’t expect it to be easy.

After so many years writing and blogging in this wonderful community, I’ll admit I expected things to be a little easier by now. Sadly, this is not the case. We continue to need support, and so I begrudgingly continue to ask.

Around five months ago, I was forced to write a post stating that the blog was circling the drain and we needed help from readers to keep going. A couple months later, in November/December of last year, I posted an urgent request for donations to a New Roof Fund because my home’s roof desperately needed replaced.

In between those two requests, I had a massive anxiety attack which was the culmination of every problem, financial and otherwise, piling up and overwhelming me.

Every time, our readers came through and helped us. There have also been other less urgent times we needed you and you were there. In all honesty, I can’t reasonably expect you to do any more for us than you already have.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that I am once again at risk of losing the ability to write for Openhearted Rebellion for a living; much less put work into a podcast, a new blog I’m working on, or other side projects.

You might be wondering: if the blog has received so much support in the past, then why are we still struggling to keep it afloat? Put simply: the financial help we’ve received in our times of need, as amazing and unexpected as it was, has always been on a one-time basis.

I try to keep quiet about our financial needs until I have no choice but to make a post explaining that we’re in trouble. So far, every time, we’ve received the help we needed after I wrote such a post. I can’t express enough how much that means to me, and I’ve said this to the donors themselves.

But then, once the crisis passes, we are back to the regular monthly income we receive from the blog. In case you’re wondering, this income is generated from ad revenue and subscriptions to the Weekly Awareness Guide, which is a document I write that’s comprised of 2-3 extra articles you won’t find on the blog.

I offer the guide as a way for readers to support Openhearted Rebellion if they enjoy our content. We haven’t made an actual profit from ad revenue in months, so the guide has been our only source of income.

We do have a base of dedicated subscribers, but income from the guide has recently become too scarce to really be feasible. Bills are going unpaid and maintaining a dependable vehicle has long been a fool’s dream for us. Having to walk everywhere in the middle of a rough winter is no fun.

Obviously, none of this is your problem.

It all stems from my choice year after year to risk comfort and financial security so I can write and be with my family. I’d like to think, however, that after all these years I’ve amassed a big enough base of readers who love the blog and want to see us thrive even if it means I ask for help a lot.

So far, you’ve proven me right every time I’ve been forced to ask. None of the times I’ve asked did I expect the amount of love and support you all gave us, and yet, there you were. This is precisely why I hate asking; you’ve helped so much already and by now I feel like I shouldn’t have to burden you.

Sadly, I’ve been hit with the reality that if I want to stand any chance of continuing this blog, I need a solid enough monthly income to pay bills and start a nest egg. Call it growing up, but the need for money is standing in the way of doing what I love.

My only options are to give up or make one last desperate request with little expectation for it to bear fruit given how much you’ve already helped. And so, here we are.


If you can give to ensure this blog has a future, anything will help. If not, or if you’re tired of seeing these requests, then believe me, I understand. I’m tired of writing them.

For those who can help, I want to do something different. We will gladly accept any one-time donation you can give (more info below), but this time, we’re aiming for regular monthly contributions so we can maintain a reliable income.

If this method works but we’re still in need, I may write posts like this on a monthly basis from now on.

Beyond subscribing to the Weekly Awareness Guide, which always helps, there are two ways you can support us monthly: through PayPal or Patreon.

Donation or Monthly Contribution via PayPal

If you’d like to make a one-time donation via PayPal, please send it to wesremal@yahoo.com. If you have a PayPal account but wish to donate from a credit or debit card, I believe you can do so.

Below, you’ll find a few PayPal “subscribe” buttons with different options. Be aware that subscribing means your contribution will be recurring until you cancel it. The same is true with Patreon. This is what we’re aiming for: a steady monthly income that keeps the lights on.

PayPal
$5 monthly subscription
PayPal
$8 monthly subscription
PayPal
$11.11 monthly subscription

Monthly Contribution via Patreon – Includes Rewards

Supporting us through Patreon comes with rewards depending on which tier you subscribe to. Check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/openheartedrebellion

Becoming a Tier 1 subscriber, or a “Love Truther” ($5 a month), will give you a discount for a subscription to the Weekly Awareness Guide, exclusive personal updates, and early access to some of my articles, videos, and podcasts before they debut on any other platform.

Becoming a Tier 2 subscriber, or a “Love Rebel” ($11.11 a month), will give you a full subscription to the Weekly Awareness Guide, exclusive updates, and early access to ALL of my articles, videos, and podcasts before they come out.

Important: If you plan to subscribe to the Weekly Awareness Guide through PayPal, I’d recommend subscribing to this tier on Patreon instead. For the same price, you’ll get the guide along with these rewards.

Becoming a Tier 3 subscriber, or a “Love Revolutionary” ($20 a month) will give you all the aforementioned goodies plus a behind-the-scenes look at how I make my content and your name featured at the end of all my articles, videos, podcasts, and any other content I make.

The idea behind this is that I give back something extra in exchange for your monthly contributions.


Not to sound dramatic, but the blog doesn’t stand much of a chance with the income it currently generates. We’ve needed our readers time and time again, and each time, you’ve come through. I understand if we’ve overstayed our welcome or you just don’t have anything to give.

It doesn’t take away from everything you’ve done for us.

For your compassion and generosity alone, I’ll never forget this community even if I am forced to call it quits. Whether or not you can help us now, you guys and gals are amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring.

Much love,

Wes Annac & Family

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A Time of Transformation

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

I wrote the following for the 333rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. You can find the option to subscribe at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

With spring around the corner, I can’t help but think about our potential for transformation. I know it sounds cheesy, but this feels like a time in which we can realize our potential and, like the flowers that will soon blossom, change into something beautiful.

This might mean different things to different people. My ideal transformation involves dedicating more time and energy to making content that hopefully makes your day a little better. It also involves more outdoor activities, healthy eating, and of course, exercise.

Your transformation could be anything. Regardless, now feels like the time to go for it. Maybe I feel this way because spring is coming, and the warm weather is long overdue. Maybe it’s because spring has always felt like a time for renewal and a fresh chance to live.

Whatever the reason, now feels like the perfect time to chase those aspirations you assume are out of your reach. If you can find the time and you’re willing to be dedicated, then why not do what inspires you? Why not start now?

As easy as it may be to stay in your comfort zone, never pushing yourself to do the things you know deep down you’re worthy of doing; this feels like a time when we can no longer accept that. Now more than ever, we seem to be on the precipice of a new era.

I believe we are slowly entering a time when people are will no longer be apathetic. Fatigue will be a thing of the past, as for one reason or another, people will start to care about each other. No longer will we care solely about maintaining our own survival or comfort. Something will push us to work together for the common good.

Hopefully, it won’t be some tragedy that unites us. Something will need to happen to shake the masses free from the slumber we’ve so willingly accepted, but the last thing we need is more tragedy. We need a massive display of love and compassion. In my opinion, it’s inevitable.

Now seems like the best time to push for this personal and societal transformation. On a personal level, you can bring it about by incorporating wisdom into your life and striving to be your best self. Making it happen on a global scale is a bit more complicated.

Bringing about a global revolution of love and compassion will forever be a grassroots effort. We must start where we are with the tools available. For most of us, our tools are our words and actions.

We can spread the word while striving to be an example of love in action. We can use the internet and any other available outlet to share our truth and genuinely try to make life a little better for others. This is all we can do for now, but once it catches on, I believe it will spread like wildfire.

This may sound naïve, but I don’t think it’ll take much longer for the world to realize we don’t need war or hatred. I think that one day, we’ll all finally see how war has destroyed our species and our planet. We’ll see the dark road our blind hatred has taken us down.

Then, we’ll work to mend what we’ve broken.

In my ideal version of this future, no act of genocide, environmental catastrophe, or extinction-level-event will be the trigger for us to come together and stop acting so foolish. We need to band together before something awful happens.

I think we can avoid disaster (manmade at least) by embracing the energy of change that’s in the air and encouraging others to be compassionate. We can be agents of change in a world desperately in need of love if we embrace our potential and leave our comfort zone.

This is the best way to rebel against a society that rewards greed and apathy, so let’s embrace the changes in the air and build a new world together.

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$11.11 monthly subscription via PayPal, debit, or credit

About Wes Annac:

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, love, awareness, activism, and other crazy stuff. I run Openhearted Rebellion, a blog dedicated to sharing wisdom and encouraging a revolution that begins in the heart.

I’ve contributed to a few awesome websites that include Waking Times, Wake Up World, Golden Age of Gaia, and The Master Shift. I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/wesannac, facebook.com/cultureofawareness) and Twitter (twitter.com/Wes_Annac, https://twitter.com/love rebellion)

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider donating via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com.

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Karma Yoga Daily

Thanks for reading!

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Take the Good with the Bad

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

I want this to be an uplifting virtual space.

I use this blog to write about love, spirituality, and many different things I think could help the world. I try to encourage positive thinking and living your best life. More than anything, I want this to be a place you can go for a dose of light and a reminder that the world is not all bad.

My goal is to encourage the development of a balanced, authentically positive perspective. Artificial positivity that disregards the often-harsh nature of our existence has no place here.

I want to encourage a mindset that doesn’t ignore certain harsh truths but recognizes them as more of a reason to be kind, compassionate, and compelled to make the best of your life. This mindset doesn’t ignore everything bad or scary in the world, but it doesn’t dwell on those things either.

To me, forced positivity is every bit as destructive as relentless pessimism. Continue reading

Sri Ramakrishna Teaches Us About Meditation

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

I wrote the following for the 332nd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. You can find the option to subscribe at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

Revered nineteenth-century Hindu mystic Paramahansa Ramakrishna spoke often about meditation, God, and the Divine Mother – the aspect of God believed to have created the universe.

He had a wealth of interesting ideas about how we can become one with the creator through surrendering and becoming comfortable with the silence. Many of his ideas were centered on giving up the material world and embracing the spiritual. The world, he taught, is a distraction and a test of faith.

Sri Ramakrishna (and many others) taught that the only true way to know God is through devotion and consistent meditation. Here, we’ll read a few passages from him that explain where, how, and why we should meditate.

Obviously, you don’t have to believe everything you read here. We’re all on our own path, and I don’t expect you to take everything here at face value. I sometimes disagree with certain passages but share them anyway because they interest me; not because I want you to think they’re the truth.

First, Sri Ramakrishna tells us that we can only meditate through the will of God.

“One cannot meditate unless God wills it. One can meditate when God makes it possible for one to do so.” (1)

If we do the inner work to cultivate such a connection, then we can meditate anywhere.

You may meditate wherever you like. Every place is filled with Brahman-Consciousness.” (2)

By meditating, he tells us, we turn our attention to the reflection of our divinity within.

“In the Sahasrara, Siva manifests Himself in a special manner. The aspirant should meditate on Him. The body is like a tray; the mind and buddhi are like water. The Sun of Satchidananda is reflected in this water. Meditating on the reflected sun ones sees the Real Sun through the grace of God.” (3)

If we come from the Source – or to take it a step further, we are the Source incarnate – then it makes sense that we each contain a divine spark we can expand upon.

Meditation reveals this expanded aspect of our consciousness, which is known by several names. Some call it God, some call it the higher self, and some follow it diligently but never question what it is. If you’re in tune with it, then at any time, you can take a few moments for quiet self-reflection.

Sri Ramakrishna implores us not to stay at the surface with our meditation.

“In meditation one must be absorbed in God. By merely floating on the surface of the water, can you reach the gems lying at the bottom of the sea?” (4)

Any time in meditation is time well spent, but so much awaits deep in the subconscious that we’d be silly not to explore it further. The subconscious is uncharted territory; only the most devoted yogis and mystics have plunged deep enough to gain any real insight.

The only thing that separates us from them is how deep we’re willing to go.

Sri Ramakrishna shares a tip for meditating on God.

“In order to meditate on God, one should try at first to think of Him as free from upadhis, limitations. God is beyond upadhis. He is beyond speech and mind. But it is very difficult to achieve perfection in this form of meditation.

“But it is easy to meditate on an Incarnation – God born as man. Yes, God in man. The body is a mere covering. It is like a lantern with a light burning inside, or like a glass case in which one sees precious things.” (5)

First, he instructs, we should meditate on our idea of God – what we believe the creator to be. Gradually, with time, we’ll understand that God is formless. We can then let go of our misconceptions and be at peace with what is.

“By meditating on God with form one speedily acquires devotion; then one can meditate on the formless God. It is like throwing a letter away, after learning its contents, and then setting out to follow its instructions.” (6)

Finally, he shares a lovely analogy.

“Look at the fish. Meditating on the formless God is like swimming joyfully like these fish, in the Ocean of Bliss and Consciousness.” (7)

This can be difficult to understand if you’ve never been deep in meditation. You can liken it to swimming or flowing in an ocean of love, good vibrations, or whatever you want to call it. We all have different names for this higher power, but no matter how we refer to it, meditation illuminates it.

Sri Ramakrishna shared countless lessons about God and the illusory nature of this world in which we seem cut off from our divinity. He is one of many teachers with insight that even if you disagree with, is nonetheless profound and fun to read. Hopefully, his words have helped you in your search for truth.

Sources:

(1) Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 280.

(2) Ibid., 403.

(3) Ibid., 344.

(4) Ibid., 124.

(5) Ibid., 365.

(6) Ibid., 353.

(7) Ibid., 256.

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$11.11 monthly subscription via PayPal, debit, or credit

About Wes Annac:

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, love, awareness, activism, and other crazy stuff. I run Openhearted Rebellion, a blog dedicated to sharing wisdom and encouraging a revolution that begins in the heart.

I’ve contributed to a few awesome websites that include Waking Times, Wake Up World, Golden Age of Gaia, and The Master Shift. I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/wesannac, facebook.com/cultureofawareness) and Twitter (twitter.com/Wes_Annac, https://twitter.com/love rebellion)

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider donating via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com.

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Karma Yoga Daily

Thanks for reading!

Love Gives Life Meaning

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

My philosophy is simple. It requires no devotion or scripture reading. No offense to those who believe in these things; they just don’t work for me. I’m far from an atheist, but I see no need to let any spiritual authority tell me how to walk my path.

My religion is built on love and compassion.

I have no desire to appear enlightened or pretend as if I have access to some grand truth. I intend only to be a force for love in my everyday life and hopefully gain some wisdom I can share along the way. In my opinion, this is the best way to counter the hate and hopelessness in the world.

People everywhere seem to be giving up hope. They’re tired of living in a world where the wicked prosper and good people suffer. Perhaps they’ve encountered so many setbacks in life that they think there’s nothing left to fight for. It’s a sad feeling when you no longer want to keep the flame alive. Continue reading

A Better World: 5 Positive News Stories

By Wes Annac

I wrote the following for the 329th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. You can find the option to subscribe at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The news can be depressing. Paying attention to it all will likely keep you uneasy and uncertain about our future. Although it’s good to be aware of what’s going on, hearing about the bad all the time can take a toll on your psyche.

Being aware of the bad and good in the world will give you a balanced perspective. It will help you see that while there is a lot to be upset about, there’s also a lot to celebrate. The world is not completely terrible, and some people do want to make it better.

Instead of cringing at all the bad news, let’s check out five positive news stories to be reminded of how the world can be good. Continue reading

Update #4: New Roof Fundraiser – Great News!

Update #4:

Great news! With help from all of you, we raised what we needed and hired a company for the job. Even better news: they finished the job today! This update is coming later than I expected, mainly due to a dentist appointment that kept me busy most of the day today. But as of this evening, the job is done. We have a new roof!

I will write one more update in the next day or two in which I’ll share photos and thank all of you properly. The sun set before the job was finished today, so we were unable to get pictures. But we will have photos of our awesome new roof in the next update.

For now, here are some photos from yesterday of the materials sitting on our (old) roof.

Thank you all so much again, and much love! 🙂


Update #3:

Happy New Year! I can’t thank everyone who has donated enough. I write this in every update because we never imagined we would receive so much support. Thank you all!

I’m waiting to hear back from one more roofing company, but we’ve received an estimate of $6,000 from a company we are considering hiring. This is the price we anticipated, but we have not yet fully raised the $6,000. We’ve raised more than we expected through GoFundMe and PayPal, but we are now in the final stretch and need a bit more to reach this goal.

As I’ve been saying, we will greatly, greatly appreciate anything anyone can give. If we get a few more donations we could very well afford this expensive repair, which would allow me to focus on writing and making content as a thank-you to everyone supporting us.

For the past week, progress has been stalled in getting companies out to our home to give us an estimate. This is mostly due to an infected tooth that has been causing me a great deal of pain. Thanks to antibiotics, the worst of the pain is past me so I can now focus on the roof, get to the dentist, and of course, write.

If possible, we would like to avoid getting a loan or payment plan to afford the rest of the repair. It would be incredible if we could raise enough funds to afford a new roof altogether, so again, anything you can give is welcomed.

I’ll post a new update as soon as we move forward. I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Much love. 🙂

Wes & Family


Update #2:

Thank you again to everyone who has donated and supported us in replacing our roof. We are halfway to our goal on GoFundMe, and I am continuing to call roofing companies for an estimate on the cost of replacing it.

The past couple bids we’ve received are higher than we would prefer – one was around $7,500 and another was around $8,500 – but we’ve received one cheaper estimate that is more in our price range.

The companies giving us the higher bids want to do more than the basic roof replacement. Besides some costly improvements they want to make, they are factoring in the price of replacing some of the wooden beams in our ceiling that have taken water damage.

I am still calling around in hopes of getting a more affordable bid; I’ll post another update as soon as we decide which roofers to go with.

My plan was to have the job done this month (December). But depending on whether we get an affordable estimate from a reputable company in the next couple weeks, as well as the amount of funds we raise in that time, I may need to extend the fundraiser into next year.

I think we will soon have enough to replace the roof, which is something I never thought I would be able to do anytime soon. It is amazing beyond belief that so many people have helped us, whether by donating or sending love and kind words.

We’re not quite there yet, and anything will help. To everyone who has donated and anyone who potentially will: you are teaching me what it means to be kind and compassionate. Thank you again. =)

We are accepting contributions via GoFundMe (link above) and PayPal (my PayPal email is wesremal@yahoo.com) The first update, along with the original post and photos of our damaged roof, is below.


Update #1:

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our new roof fund and sent us positive comments. With the donations made to our Go Fund Me and the donations sent via PayPal, we are closer to our goal than I would’ve ever thought possible.

I’m currently calling around, having a few more companies come look at the roof and give an estimate of what it will cost to replace. One roofer said while looking at it that it has taken a great deal of hail damage, which has caused the nails to loosen and water to get in.

This is why our ceiling has taken water damage, as you can see in two of the pictures below. Showing me up-close pictures of the asphalt shingles, he made it clear that hail has significantly damaged the roof. This confirms that it needs replaced ASAP.

I don’t yet have the pictures he took, but I will update this (and the Go Fund Me) as soon as he sends them to me. I have two other companies coming by in the next few days to look at it and give me an estimate, so for now we are unsure what the final cost will be.

As I mentioned, we are closer to the amount we think we’ll need. But we’re not out of the woods yet. I cannot express my appreciation enough to everyone who has donated, and apart from the contributions made via Go Fund Me – for which I have not yet thanked all the donors – I am trying to thank each of you individually.

If we can continue to get contributions, then I’m confident that we’ll have enough for this frighteningly expensive repair. As I wrote in my original post, we will greatly appreciate anything you can give. If you enjoy my writings and want to help support the blog, then right now this is the best way to do so.

I shared the Go Fund Me link at the top of this post, but here it is again: https://www.gofundme.com/help-wes-amp-his-family-get-a-new-roof

We are also accepting contributions via PayPal. My PayPal email is wesremal@yahoo.com.

Words are insufficient to express how much I appreciate everyone who has donated in our time of need. So many amazing, compassionate readers have helped us either by donating or sending love and support. Because of you, we are inching closer to our goal. Thank you all again, and much love. =)

Wes & family

I’ll post another update for the roof fund in the next few days – likely after Thanksgiving as it will be a busy time for everyone. The original post, along with photos of our damaged roof, is below.


For anyone who can help – our roof is badly damaged and in need of replacement. It is sagging in some areas, and in some rooms of the house, the ceiling has visible water damage.

One roofing company estimated that it will cost at least $5,000 to fix, but it could cost more if the roofers discover more damage.

Here are some pictures of the damaged, sagging areas of the roof as well as two photo of water damage in the ceiling in two of our rooms.

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We currently have no money for repairs, and so I’ve set up a Go Fund Me page with a goal of $6,000. We need to raise the money for this ASAP, as the damage is getting worse. We hope to replace the roof this winter.

If you enjoy my writings and want to help ensure I can continue to write, please donate to the emergency fund we are raising via Go Fund Me. You can also donate via PayPal (my PayPal email is wesremal@yahoo.com).

This is our last chance to raise money for the new roof we desperately need, and we will greatly appreciate anything you can give.

We would also appreciate if you can share our Go Fund Me page on your social media. The more people who share it, the more who will see it and the more who can potentially help.

Thank you all, and much love.

Wes Annac & family 🙂

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