Lingerie With A Conscience

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Transformational Thoughts

March 3, 2013

By Jacalyn Bennett

For a Healthy Mind & Heart Connection …discovering our Internal Culture… Lessons for our life on Planet Earth!

“To be or not to be”; this is our eternal & internal question.  What makes us truly alive should determine the path we choose to live.  Many people have asked me why I would have chosen to work in such a demanding environment as the garment industry. My response has been consistent over the past 28 years. If we are to work and live in this world, why not make it an exceptional and enjoyable learning experience!

After my accumulated lifetime of travel and discoveries throughout a fascinating world of culture, art, love and philosophy, I have made a personal commitment: to be truly purely and deeply present.  This of course has set me up for a myriad of life experiences…..both positive and…. let’s say…not so positive.

With faith, I believe, comes living a life knowing miracles are possible. All things, even at the worst of times have important lessons for us. This is the path of growth intended for us; universal wisdom? All that is necessary is open mindedness and willingness to listen, learn and evolve.

At times I have felt as if I have been in a philosophical, psychological and emotional science experiment. I have tried my best to create the possibility to not take hurtful things personally. This is probably the most difficult place to find ourselves. It is a courageous choice to allow oneself to be in the middle of the blinding pain of the past – what may be known or familiar – or the fluid place of the painful exploration into the unknown territories of inner self.

Eventually growing into freedom, forgiveness, understanding and self-worth; these are the greatest treasures ever known!  Great faith and patience is necessary, as the concept of time is unknown in these inner environs.

My fantasy as a child was to be an explorer…. Jules Vern…my favorite! My Father was fascinated with the limitless possibilities of life all across our universe.  He was a member of the Society of Para Phenomenology; hence reading science fiction became a fun pastime for me. I was fortunate to have a father who believed all beings are equal. He was my confidant and inspiration to question everything, a perfect mentor!  Life, however, was not perfect. My mother was a beauty queen and more interested in the outer world of monetary wealth.

As I grew older, I realized that life was not making much sense to me.  An overly sensitive child, seeing war, violence and death, life became a question to me. I became interested in philosophy and spirituality, perhaps, because it meant survival for myself and the ability for my heart to survive in a world that was beginning to be very painful and lacking sense or reason. I was so fortunate that this was during the 60’s and 70’s. This was a time of questioning everything. Growing up in NYC, with the even further benefit of attending art school, I was not the only one at that time to question our existence and reason to Be….as these concepts were embraced by many. This was a very exciting time to be alive and question how we would live our lives.

When you let the world know that you want as much knowledge as possible, you can’t change your mind.

Since I couldn’t go to other worlds and escape, there was only one choice for me, to seek out other cultures, become an explorer searching for answers already discovered by others.  My travels involved reading all that I could find about the Near and Far East…India , and a brief experience in Persia and China.

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A New Year’s Gift ~ Love

January 27, 2013

by Jacalyn Bennett

LOVE….more importantly…how does the way we feel about ourselves effect the way we are to others?

Our greatest gift is already in our possession…we have all that we need for a beautiful and fulfilling life.

This poem by David Whyte shows us that no matter how successful we are in the World, we all have questions of Self-Acceptance and issues with Self-Understanding as well as the understanding of others.

Some people have difficulty with the concept of Self Care and Self Love.  What we all need to learn and develop a comfort level with is that when we take care of ourselves with love and kindness, we may then extend that compassion and understanding to others.

May the Love we cultivate from within warm our beings and allow us to send love to all beings; thereby, spreading out light to all corners of our World and beyond.

My wish for you in this New Year is that you may nurture within yourself loving kindness,  acknowledging the new pathways to Self-Insights and Understanding.

Be awake. Be aware. Be LOVE.

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny

intimacy of your surroundings.  Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.

is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of thingsz
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
Is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

-David Whyte

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Silk And Panda

October 28, 2012

By Jacalyn Bennett

 I love working with silk in my lingerie designs, though silk is now endangered as are so many of our precious natural resources. I shall share with you a quick glimpse of what is happening in China that is causing the prices of silk to sky rocket. In short, the silk mulberry tree farmers are selling their precious land to developers, who are displacing flora and fauna for human habitation.  Farming and harvesting of silk worms is a thousand plus year old tradition. The only way it will be saved is to continue the need, sale and demand of silk through our Fashion driven direction.

The trees that are the food for the silk worms are being harvested for wood and buildings are being erected in their place.  It’s the continuing sad story of humans displacing the natural environment for housing, and other business development.  Once this very particular ecological environment, so precisely particular to the habit of the silk worm is lost, Its Lost Forever;  lost, not only to the silkworm, but also to the building developers exploiting it for their own commercial goals.

The farmers are not to blame here.  Farming is a devotion of the heart and very demanding upon the physical body.  When innocent farmers are offered huge sums of money for their land….for them, it’s an opportunity for freedom for themselves and their families and a life, unfortunately that they aspire to….the way of the West

It is my personal goal to keep these fragile ecosystems alive.  I have discovered in my 35 years in the Fashion Industry, that through Fashion I have the ability to actualize saving and protection of our Fragile Global Environment

We /our world are losing this precious land.  Silk production is smaller and smaller, hence the rise of silk prices over the last few years.  I hope that this helps to understand what we are facing as silk producers /manufacturers.  There is a difficult balance for people to understand that price and demand and environmental change are interconnected.  That is why it is so important to keep silk alive in our Fashion Industry and necessitates the need to have all parties educated.

Perhaps for consideration would be a hang tag explaining how very precious silk is in our delicate World Balance. The quality of silk that we use can only be produced in what is called the Silk Triangle in Central China. But Silk is an integral part of the Lingerie Industry and important to the heritage of our product.  We should all find ways to sustain this critical commodity.

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Kindness Inspires Creativity

September 23, 2012

By Jacalyn Bennett

The most important aspect of being an inspired lingerie designer is in the knowing that your heart’s creative intention is to accomplish beauty for the highest good of all beings.

I set out to build factories where setting the highest working standards for our sewers and factory workers was at the forefront of my motivation as a lingerie designer.

As lingerie is the closet garment next to our heart, it should be made with the highest core intention of love and kindness.

Creating a beautiful work atmosphere that pays forward positive energy is the heart at Bennett and Company. By creating an encouraging growth environment, others have had the opportunity to succeed and pursue satisfying careers.

There were so many people I encountered along my journey that allowed me opportunities for growth that I would not have had otherwise. It is because of these gifts that I have a deep love and gratitude for the process of witnessing young people blossom into beautiful beings as a result of the growth experiences they are given. It is also the propelling reason why I choose to open my own factory and design house.

True inspiration comes from giving others opportunity. It is such a satisfying way of life – to be able to create opportunity – but I would not be such in a position if it hadn’t been for the mentors I had the good fortune to meet along the way. I have only tried to replicate what I have been taught in the hope that the circle of loving kindness continues.

“The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing”
~Galeway Kinnell

 

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A Woman of Honor

June 22, 2012

By Jacalyn Bennett

In Gratitude of Mrs. Neetha Ariyaratne in her 80th year on our beautiful earth….

Dear Friends, Family and All who may be interested in Conscious Awareness & Wisdom:

I have so many deep, meaningful memories of Neetha Arivaratne who is, in my opinion, the Mother Theresa and female Ghandi of our time.  Neetha is an amazing woman, an inspiration and healer for thousands in need.

I met Neetha 30 years ago when my teacher and lifelong guide, Dr. A. T. Arivaratne asked me to meet his wife.  We took a walk and so began the journey of my life.

Neetha has dedicated her heart and soul to easing the suffering of countless broken children; abandoned, homeless and abused.  She has given me the greatest gift in the world, by teaching me the meaning of gentle selflessness and tireless service to anyone in need. Healing broken hearts, broken spirits and broken bones she has offered acceptance and value to individuals who did not even know they were in need.

Listening with an open heart at her family table, a table used to feed more than hunger, Neetha has served endless visitors countless cups of famous Sri Lankan tea and a feast of spiritual wisdom.  While thousands have come to learn the essence of her pure heart and the meaning of being truly alive, for me, as my loving mentor, she has been my friend, my mother and role model on how to design and run my lingerie company. She taught me how a Buddhist woman becomes a peaceful activist in our world of need.

I donate all the left over fabric from my factories to Sarvodaya so that they can continue sewing projects to train poor and abandoned women.  I also teach these young rape victims how to measure, make patterns, sew, and hand bead sleepwear so they can find some sense of purpose. We are not the typical lingerie factory.  We produce our products with humility and  the hope of enabling a woman’s self-esteem.  I am grateful to Neetha and the 28 years of leadership she has given me.

Happy Birthday, Neetha!

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Conscious Business in Action

April 7, 2012

by Jacalyn Bennett

How to Capture the Minds and Hearts of People by Promoting Beauty through Lingerie

I Embrace the view…of educating our American Women into a healthier way of viewing themselves. We together

As a team, united by the wonderful ideals and reality of how we live on and with our Planet and with our fellow Beings…as a project of healing…That we could undertake together…..what makes people happy day to day .

…..what an amazing message we could deliver….

When Women are kind to and happy with themselves ….they are kind to those around them…when they are kind to those around them, the people are kind in return.

When Women Receive kindness from others…they feel Good about themselves hence my favorite…term. . . . . .
“The Circle of Loving Kindness”

Our business focus is to provide jobs to as many people as we possibly can.  The heart of our purpose is to do things for the highest good of all beings.

Bennett and Company’s Unified Mission and goals of Doing all Things
for the Highest Good of All Beings….

People don’t hurt each other when they are happy and feel good about themselves and others.


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Jacalyn Bennett

Lingerie With A Conscience

 

Lingerie With A Conscience by Jacalyn Bennett, founder and CEO of Jacalyn E.S. Bennett and Company, Newburyport, MA. Jacalyn discusses the importance of ethics and green living in the lingerie manufacturing base.