Sh’ mal Ellenberg – The Inspired Mic Spotlight May 5th 2015

The Inspired Mic is now entering its third year! We began this wonderful trek at The BeachHouse Beanery in May of 2013. This May the 5th, we return to The Beanery and our roots! The Inspired Mic boasts writers of all genres, magicians, musicians, mentalists, actors, motivational speakers, painters, just to name a few. The write-ups you will be reading on this site were all written by the presenters as a way for you to get to know them. Pick your tickets up now, because they are $10 in advance, $15 at the door! You may get tickets in person at Change Jar Books, Flagler Beach Gift Shop, and The BeachHouse Beanery.You may also purchase advance tickets at The Inspired Mic

Sh’ mal Ellenberg

I grew up in Irvington, NJ.   At 20 years old went to Los Angeles.   Lived there for 10 years, 1959 to 1969. This is where I really grew up.  I left L.A. realizing something was out of place: Me. Many very far out times. One in particular—a terrifying afternoon with Charlie Manson on his commune in Topanga Canyon.

A bit about who this is.

Hippiedom had a big impact on my life when I left L.A. Adventurism had me under its wing following the hippie migration to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There I bonded with other teachers at the Santa Fe Community School an alternative open classroom school. We became close enough to buy 40 acres in the foothills of the Ozarks. We lived with no running water, hauling water from a spring; no electricity, using candles and kerosene lanterns. Living this way was life changing. It is where I learned the rudiments of meditation, spirituality, yoga, organic gardening. These I never stopped practicing. Also learned about communal sharing that included some amount of sexual indiscretions, learned to cook on a wood stove, split fire wood for the cabins we built by hand labor; after-all, no electricity. Learned to milk a cow. Nadine was her name.

In 1973 most of us moved to join others at another very rural commune in the hills of West Virginia. I don’t think I ever heard the term, but we could be called, “Hippie Hillbillies.” I left the commune after a year and moved with my seven year-old son to Parkersburgh, about 30 miles from the farm. There I helped start a natural food store, “Mother Earth Foods,” which is still in business. The store became a bit of a center for folks from our commune and other communes to gather, hang out, eat the food from the store in the upstairs apartment.

After two years of co-operating the store there was another calling, to work as a counselor-social worker. I did this for most of my adult life, working for a variety agencies each having a different client base.

I’m thankful for the forces of life that guided me to this work. It helped me earn enough of a paltry salary to raise my children and gave me shared experiences in helping others. At some point along my life’s path it became obvious to me this work was who I was. Not much wiggle room to fake it. It helped me be as authentic as possible which led me to do some community organizing for issues that touched me soul.

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