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What is MoNA?

MoNA is a collective of nature lovers creating a series of Nature Farms in diverse environments all over the world.

What is a Nature Farm?

A Nature Farm is a place where the principles of the MoNA Life are practiced. Here, our Member-Owners enjoy the freshest and most sustainable foods foraged from our wild gardens, prepared in our collaborative kitchens, and eaten in our many beautiful indoor and outdoor environments. Our Nature Ranches are the perfect place for spending time with family, friends, and friendly free-range farm animals. A full calendar of classes, workshops, and gatherings provide our Member-Owners with an array of opportunities to be inspired and empowered while relaxing and reconnecting with the natural world. As our community journeys towards a more serene and sustainable lifestyle, we are there for each other every step of the way and always aspire to create a nurturing, judgment-free environment where all feel welcome and all types of diversity are celebrated.

What does the MoNA acronym stand for?

Like nature, MoNA is always evolving and has taken on many forms since it was founded in 2012. The acronym has stood, and may still stand for Museum of Natural Art, Ministry of Natural Alignment, and Member-Owned Nature Association.

Is MoNA a Church?

Although MoNA doesn’t look, act, or operate like a mainstream church, nature is our church and, therefore, we consider our Nature Farms to be sacred grounds.

Aspiringly Approachable

First and foremost, we want to make it incredibly clear that we are real people. We’re not perfect in any way shape or form. We don’t have all the answers and don’t think any does. We have our own addictions to junk foods and won’t judge you for anything you may feel ashamed to admit doesn’t fit into what you might assume we’re referring to when we reference living in alignment with nature. We are all human. We’ve all been raised in this modern world and have been exposed to marketing and societal influences that have dramatically shaped our behaviors and “who we are” today. So let’s all just let our guard down for a minute and listen to what each other has to say. You may realize we all have more in common than you think. We’re all pursuing happiness and all trying to survive and thrive in the modern world. Some of us may be perceived as further along on our journeys toward living a more serene and sustainable lifestyle but this is no reason to feel inadequate or afraid of taking the first steps towards finding contentment and redefining what it means to be a successful person. We’re not survivalists. Not separatist. Not seeking to make anyone feel guilt or shame for their own existence. We just want to show the world that success and an aspirational lifestyle doesn’t have to mean bigger house, better car, or more expensive clothes. Self reliance, free time, self care, true freedom, these are our luxuries. This is our definition of success.

Beautifully Beneficial

When referring to something as Beautifully Beneficial, we consider the plant, animal, weather condition, etc. to be favorable or advantageous in a way that also pleases the senses or mind aesthetically. Often times, we apply this core value to misunderstood or wrongfully vilified life forms. Birds, bees, weeds, “messy” fruit trees, rain, and cold weather are excellent examples. In humanity’s quest to control nature rather than work with nature, things such as pesticides, exterminators, “blow and go gardeners”, and other manner of mass-murders of living things are celebrated as providing some sort of relief for most people. We in “first world countries” have been conditioned to fear and even despise anything we can’t control. The question “what if” plays loudly on repeat in our minds. What if it bites me? What if it takes over my garden? What if it makes a mess? What if my hair gets wet? Whether through clever marketing or just some innate human predisposition many people would opt to kill something that is not only Beautifully Beneficial,but often vital to our own existence. Interestingly, most of the life forms on this list of villains are either and amazingly nutritious food source or are performing an ecological function vital to maintaining a balanced environment. So, let the weeds grow and eat them instead of your industrial agriculture lettuce! Pick those fruits and eat them before they drop on your car, house, or whatever else you feel the need to keep obsessively spot-free!

Creatively Cultured

This is a dual core value, as we practice two interpretations of what it means to be Curiously Cultured. In one sense, the term speaks to a sense of desire to understand and even celebrate unique cultural values that may be very different from our own. Culinary delicacies spring to mind. Wonderful rituals celebrating what makes a group of people different from everyone else. Many people dream of traveling the world, but in a sad twist of irony, they rarely seek out what makes the destination special. Instead, most people stay at recognizably branded hotels, eat at recognizably branded restaurants, shop at recognizably branded stores, and the list goes on. We cannot think of anything more tragic and baffling. If you wanted to experience a slightly different version of the same thing you’re used to, why not just order something different on the menu? We preach multi-sensory immersion as the ultimate travel strategy. Surround yourself with the Curiously Cultured to maximize the true magic of traveling. In a second sense, this term refers to a quest for knowledge and understanding of the unknown. How was that made? How did that happen? How can I make that? In this way, cultured means produced, grown, propagated. We strive to live a Curiously Cultured life in all senses. We are curious about other cultures and we like to culture what we are curious about.

Decadently Diversified

We live a Decadently Diversified life and it’s pretty awesome. Yes we have obligations such as taking care of our plants and animals, but with MoNA Life, no two days are ever the same. Whether a new type of flower is in bloom, or a new vegetable is ready to pick and enjoy, or we’re hosting an avant-garde photo shoot in our pond, we feel it’s very important to avoid the trappings of monotony. This philosophy not only applies to our day to day living, it also applies to our way of doing business. We sell diverse goods produced in the food forests at our estate. We offer classes and experiences at the estate as well as through off-site “field trips”. We invite guests to live with us for the ultimate inspiring, entertaining, and enlightening getaway. We sell seeds from plants you didn’t even know you should be growing. We would never “put all our eggs into one basket” so to speak. For one, we produce so many eggs that they would never fit in just one basket. Secondly, some of those eggs should be hatched by our hens to grow our Decadently Diverse flock of fancy white chickens which have been Holistically Hybridized for fun and fascinating feather textures and optimal personality traits (we sell those too). Biodiversity and genetic diversity are both means to differentiate and we savor every minute of all of it!

Reach out to learn more about MoNA Life.

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Enthusiastically Ethical

This one is pretty specific in our minds. We do not ever want to force our views or be “preachy” in any way. We want it to be delicious. We want people to want this life because it is freaking incredibly. Who wants to be made to feel guilty about themselves or their choices? No one. None of us are perfect. We’re far from it. Yes we know you should grow your own food. Do we go out to eat at restaurants? Absolutely. Do those restaurants always offer farm to table cuisine? Definitely not. Bottom line, MoNA Life is about feeling good. We know the world can feel like a messed up place. We’re smart enough to draw conclusions as to how and why things are the way they are. Are we going to lecture a group of people who don’t share our beliefs in some misguided attempt to save them from themselves? Hell no. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time and energy. We would love to enlighten them if they were seeking enlightenment. What we’ve created with MoNA Life is attractive, tempting, alluring. We are so Enticingly Enlightened, you can’t help but want to come indulge in some of that yummy enlightenment. If we have to sell or force MoNA Life on you, we’d be failing epicly.

Fearlessly Free

It might sound silly…but it is a real thing. And, frankly, we find it terrifying. In most metropolitan areas of the United States, it is illegal to let your animals Free-Range. They are to be kept confined to a cage, or you are commiting a crime. We’re not just talking about keeping the animals on your own property either. A legal cage, usually comes with rather specific dimensions and must be located at a specific distance away from your property or any neighboring property. This one strikes at the very core of our belief system for a variety of reasons. For one, laws that prevent people from being able to feed themselves (whether intentionally or unintentionally) should be seen as a threat to us all. Two, animals deserve freedom just like people. Some could argue, we “domesticated” them only to exist to serve us and they must be kept under control. Others may take the more maternal, but equally misguided approach of being overprotective with their animals. We simply strive to create an ecosystem. All living things are interdependent. We form a strong bond with our animals (and plants) and do everything in our power to ensure they live an amazing life just like we do. There’s nothing amazing about being forced to live in a cage. So…we believe a Fearlessly Free-range lifestyle is in the birthright of every living thing. Even if that means one life eventually eats another life as nature intended for our collective survival. We leave you with this, vegetarians and vegans…what makes the life of a plant less important than the life of an animal? Eating either often involves ending the life of said lifeforms.

Genuinely Generous

As the old saying goes, we believe it is better to give than to receive. For instance, it just feels so good to feed our guests. To see the happiness it brings people to know they’re eating something that is equal parts delicious and nutritious is incredibly rewarding for us. Especially, when they’re able to enjoy it at the MoNA Estate in one of our many inspiring outdoor and indoor environments. We pour lots of love and passion into our offerings. Although we enjoy creating for ourselves, sharing our creations with the world and spreading happiness is our ultimate addiction. Furthermore, generously hand watering our plants allows us to connect with nature on a very intimate level. Imagine a world where value and success is based on what you create and how many people it benefits. That is the Genuinely Generous world we strive to achieve with MoNA Life.

Holistically Healing

As highly intelligent, problem solving creatures, us humans have been creating new life for centuries. We’re not just talking about more human babies, though we’ve obviously done an incredibly good job at populating the earth. What we’re referring to is Selective Breeding. Did you know that broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, mustard, cauliflower, canola, and many many more of our vegetables all were selectively-bred for food? This means we all consume man-made vegetables way more often than naturally occurring vegetables. Therefore, even before the discovery of genetic modification technology, we’ve been altering what we eat to an extent that most of us wouldn’t recognize the wild, highly nutritious version because it looks nothing like the version we’ve created. Oftentimes selective breeding and genetic modification efforts are undertaken for what we’d consider to be the wrong reasons. For instance, to create corn that bugs don’t want to eat, or to create a soybean plant that produces four times more soybeans than its naturally occurring ancestor. But what if we consider selective breeding holistically? Let’s use very low tech methods to cross breed / hybridize plants so they are more nutritious not just so they look “perfect” in the grocery store for longer periods of time. Or, let’s apply Holistic Hybridization to our domestic animals to create stronger, cuter, friendlier, and, yes, even tastier lifeforms. Remember, every living thing has to eat. There’s no guilt as long as you’re eating what is abundant and renewable with as little input/modification/destruction to the natural environment as possible.

Imperfectly Impermanent

Our society is so obsessed with innovation and progress, we often forget to look back at what worked in the past and what we’re losing as we march blindly forward towards modernity. We’re not saying we should all go back to living in caves and ignore the incredible knowledge we’ve accumulated along the way. We’re only arguing that there’s just as much to be learned from old knowledge as there is from new discoveries. We truly hope the human race never loses its lust for inventing, but the real threat we see is that people are forgetting how to self-sustain. We’re so conditioned to buy things and make many of our decisions based on convenience and instant gratification that we run the risk of forgetting how to live outside of the modern world. Losing this knowledge means becoming entirely reliant on large companies who care not about our well-being but about their profit margins. There’s something incredibly empowering about knowing how to cook, or make soap, or forage for ingredients, or any other act that allows us to care for and nurture ourselves, and our loved ones. The indigenous people were infinitely better at this than most of us are today. Not because they were better off in every way, but because they had no choice but to do so. They couldn’t go through a drive thru if they were hungry. But what we’ve gained from the convenience of a drive thru, we’ve lost in nutrition and the joy of a deeper connection to nature. Because nature is a better provider than any fast food chain out there. Hands down, no competition.

Justifiably Joyful

Have you ever just wanted to slap someone because they just seem obnoxiously happy all the time? Why is that? The obvious answer would be jealousy. Slightly less obvious may be that the person seems fake. At the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer, it is impossible to be ear-to-ear-shit-eating-grin-happy 24/7. Anybody who tries to say or act otherwise is hiding some very dark secret or overcompensating for something that’s actually making them very unhappy. At MoNA, we believe you should be Justifiably Jubilant, not subscribe to some cheap fake it til you make it brand of happiness. We’re talking to you, Pharrell Williams. Although maybe you are Justifiably Jubilant when you think about how much money that song made you. I think we all know which song we’re talking about. Even thinking about that song gets it caught in our heads on repeat and that makes many of us very very unhappy. Annoyed, angry even. And that’s completely ok. We should always look for things to be happy about but sometimes you’ll have a bad day and need to talk about it without any judgement for acting unhappy. The world can be a very sad and depressing place. That’s just the reality of it. But what if your unhappiness actually makes the person able to cheer you up a bit happy. Try taking a break from the stresses of daily life to come hang out with us at the MoNA Estate. We guarantee we’ll give you something to be Justifiably Jubilant about.

Reach out to learn how you can join us on our journey towards natural alignment!

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Knowingly Knowledgable

Politics comes to mind as a top example for this one. It matters not that we may “know” a particular politician, new law, proposition, etc. is corrupt or severely flawed. Most of them are. That’s not the point. The point is that not everyone will share our beliefs. Similarly to the Enticingly Enlightened section, we don’t believe it’s our job to change anyone’s point of view or overwhelm them with knowledge they aren’t ready for. That would be a recipe for unnecessary strife on all sides. We don’t aim to provoke anger or pick a fight. We only want to help. Whether that’s as simple being a good neighbor (if such a concept even exists anymore) or a little more challenging in a situation where you have to bite your tongue and hear someone out who you may not agree with. The trick is to understand and empathize with their point of view, even if it may sound awful, backwards, or misguided. Don’t make that person feel stupid. Don’t put a veritable contrarian target on your back by overusing elitist sounding vocabulary such as Veritable Contrarian Target. It’s all about balance. We know we’re all very smart here but being off-putting outweighs the benefit of being overtly knowledgeable and constantly ranting in a very disagreeable manner. This value is more here to keep ourselves at MoNA Life in check. Knowing too much can be a burden but it’s one we have no choice but to bare. We can’t unknow. What we can do is not preach doom and gloom and overwhelm any already overburdened society with even more negative, divisive messaging.

Lovingly Logical

Emotion often overrides logic. It doesn’t have to be this way. Logic has a place in a caring society. In fact, letting logic win every once in a while may actually result in a more loving outcome in the long run. Let’s take, for instance, something incredibly controversial. The plague of homelessness in America. As the brilliant author Malcolm Gladwell wrote, “problems like homelessness may be easier to solve than to manage.” Sounds brilliant, right?! But what does it mean? And why do we, as a society, attempt to manage vs solve problems? He goes on to say, “solutions have little appeal to the right because they involve special treatment for people who do not deserve it and little appeal to the left because of the emphasis on efficiency over fairness.” What a conundrum! In Denver they came up with a solution that we’d classify as Lovingly Logical. Some people are homeless by choice. A sort of nonconformist social protest choice. We can arguably see such a choice as brave and even inspiring. In their attempt to not participate in an economic system that doesn’t serve a huge percentage of those participating in it they see no other option than to live or at least try this grueling lifestyle. But what about the rest of the homeless? Drug addiction, continued misfortune, mental illness, or some other form of tragedy has left them with no other option but to be homeless. The solution, subsidized efficiency apartments and caretakers until they can stabilize and find jobs. Amazingly, this solution is dramatically more affordable to society than letting these unfortunate souls waste away begging on the streets. The economics of doing the right thing is more appealing than the later as well! Millions in medical bills and band-aid management solutions vs thousands of dollars to solve the problem and save a life. Hmmm… at MoNA Life we strive for solutions and will not be polarized or manipulated by purely emotional arguments.

Mindfully Moderate

Oh the magic of doing things that are meaningful! Isn’t it marvelous? We think so. Many things nowadays can feel hollow, empty, or lacking any kind of authenticity. Yuck. No thank you. So, we like to ask ourselves the simple question, “Why am I doing this?” Sounds pretty straightforward right? We think so too. If you’re simply doing something because you’re being told to do it. Or, even worse, because its always been done that way, the action won’t bring you any real joy. Maybe a momentary feeling of accomplishment, but not the prolonged sense that your life has any real purpose. Too often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern life. Each year there seems to be more things we need to buy and they get more expensive. So, people work even harder and submit to even less meaningful task just to be able to afford all those things we supposedly need. We don’t know about you, but we hate the feeling of being reliant on someone else or some big company to provide us with what we “need”. So, we have adopted a question on an everything approach when it comes to living the best possible life. Do you really NEED that? Can you grow or make that yourself? Is there something else you can repurpose instead? Do I even WANT that, do I just feel obligated to have it, or have I been convinced by a clever marketing agency to have it? At first, it can be a bit exhausting. But then, we come to realize that we don’t actually NEED a lot of what we think we need or want. That means we don’t really need to feel pressured to do anything that isn’t Marvelously Meaningful just to survive. What a relief!

Notoriously Nourishing

If you’ve read all the preceding installments of the Alliteration Alphabet of Adverbs and Adjectives of Core Values, you’ll notice there is definitely a bit of overlap. Bare with us, each of the core values offers its own subtleties. Taken as a whole, we believe all the core values lead to a better life and a better world for all inhabitants. So yes, we’ve already talked quite a bit about nourishing ourselves and the environment that sustains us. So, when we refer to Notoriously Nourishing, we have the opportunity to delve a bit deeper what we call the MoNA Life Diet. We’ve mentioned how you can be guilt free by eating what’s abundant. But, what if what is currently abundant sounds disgusting to you. Afterall, we don’t see billboards advertising a delicious grilled dove served over heirloom grains. Or, fresh eggs atop a season hash of foraged herbs and vegetables. If MoNA Life continues to gain more or a following and financial contributions make it possible, we’d like to start replacing some of those awful billboards (injury lawyers are the worst!) with beautiful images that make us crave things that are sustainable, abundant, delicious, and nurturing. Until then, we must appeal to our own sense of adventure. Try a dish at the MoNA Estate that has the secret ingredient of cricket flour. Sample our ever so scrumptious cedar-smoked catfish or freshwater lobster (fished straight from our own pond). We understand that not all of this will immediately sound appealing compared to a hamburger and fries. The answer to this problem is not at all straightforward. Just keep an open mind and a willingness to try new things. Who knows, maybe one of our Notoriously Nourishing delicacies will become your next must have craving.

Optimally Opinionated

We now live in a world where everyone’s a critic. Everyone is now, not only entitled to their own opinion, but also able to shout that opinion loud and proud from behind the safety of their smartphones. With all these opinions floating around, many of which are negative, we start to ask ourselves some basic questions. Like, what’s the point? Just because a bunch of average people like or dislike something, does that really make it more or less valuable? We’re tired of the noise to be honest. Remember the not so distant past? A friend would say, “Hey, we should try this new restaurant?” or “Hey, I tried this amazing restaurant, I’d love to take you there.” This direct word of mouth arguably had much more value than the opinions of a bunch of strangers who may or may not share your same values. What is a two star experience to one person who’s come to value a certain set of criteria, may actually be a five star experience for someone who appreciates the types of experiences you enjoy. The two star review may steer you in the wrong direction entirely and prevent you from trying something new and amazing. How sad! We have a basic rule to achieve what we consider Optimally Opinionated. If someone asks you for your opinion, be honest but sensitive to feelings. You don’t need to brutally use your opinion as a weapon. Think of it as constructive, private criticism that comes from a place of concern for the success of the person, place, or thing you’re reviewing. Help or let it go. And, also be open to changing your opinion after a second try. The world will be a much happier place for you and everyone else to live in.

Passionately Pampering

To us, it’s not just fun to be spoiled every once in a while, it’s one of our most strongly held core values. We feel that pampering is a vital ingredient in the quest for personal balance and overall wellness. Whether we are pampering ourselves or pampering others, the MoNA Life brand of passionate pampering takes on many forms. The first thing that comes to mind is a relaxing spa treatment or massage. But it can be as easy as taking the time to sit down on a chair swing, looking out at a pond, laughing at the silly antics of our goats and chickens. At the MoNA Estate, passion has been poured into every inch of the property, resulting in an inspiring, entertaining, and enlightening environment that naturally comforts the mind, body, and soul. Pick some fresh wild greens. Then head into our communal kitchen to learn to prepare a uniquely delicious and nourishing meal. Pair it with a loving libation consisting of medicinal herbs, teas, and light, naturally fermented alcohols such as kombucha or mead while gazing into a campfire under the starry desert sky. Get a great night sleep in one of our several retreat accommodations ranging from camping tents to an RV to a suite in the historic, mid-century modern, MoNA House. Wake up the next morning and head out on a local nature hike, or enjoy a small group or private yoga session by our pond. Ready for a change or pace, head over to Natureland, our sister property filled with colorful art and furniture, lush flowers, resort pool, hot tub, and even a huge rooftop deck overlooking the city. Positively prolific pampering possibilities when living the MoNA Life!

Reach out to learn more about becoming a MoNA Member.

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Quietly Questioning

Ok ok, we admit it, some of these letters in the Alliteration Alphabet of Adverbs and Adjectives are maybe a bit of a stretch. But this isn’t one of them! Many of our MoNA Members are experts in their own right. For instance, if you want to know how to transform an empty pool in the desert into a thriving, biodiverse wetland ecosystem, Troy Silva is likely the leading expert in the entire world. The reason we partner the word quizzically with qualified is to highlight the fact that even the foremost expert can never possibly avoid being perplexed at certain junctures when bestowing their expertise. And that’s completely ok! Although it may make the controlling, black and white thinking, recipe following population uneasy, the truth is that no two situations, creations, projects, or whatever you’d like to call it are exactly alike. It’s simply a function of having spent more hours trying, experimenting, failing and learning from a specific area of expertise. Emphasis on the specific. We feel that everyone is the foremost expert on something. Our individual lives have bestowed upon us our own unique obstacles, challenges, baggage, opportunities, fortunes, and mishaps. This cumulative life experience is worth more than many people will ever understand. So long as you don’t take yourself too seriously and never reach a point where you’re not open to learn and experience new things, you can always count on an ever increasing level of expertise you can and should share with anyone who longs to pick your Quizzically Qualified brain!

Rebelliously Resistant

We see humanity’s lust for control as a major hindrance to natural alignment. Nature is rebellious in its quest to revitalize the planet. This is all part of Mother Nature’s constant quest to achieve balance. From catastrophic weather events to plagues of biblical proportions to invasions of non-native plant species, we as humans are often terrified at the thought of what unknown nature will throw at us next. We don’t subscribe to this doom and gloom, fearful victim mentality when it comes to nature or any other aspect of our daily lives. MoNA Life Members practice letting go. Releasing the idea that we can or want to control nature or other people in any way is incredibly revitalizing. That isn’t to say that other people won’t try to control us. In fact, the more free spirited and carefree we present ourselves to the world, the more we may be perceived as a threat to those clinging to the idea that order must be maintained at any cost. Threats of fines and even jail time loom overhead as neighbors report neighbors for violating building code by growing food or creating natural habitats on their own property. We’ll admit, the situation feels quite grim at times. All we can do is try to lead by example, be the best neighbors we can be, kill them with kindness so to speak, and exercise our legal rights in any way possible without trying to provoke anyone along the way. Sounds like a tall order right? It is. But still, we try because the message behind MoNA Life is more than anything the haters might throw our way. Shedding the fear of “What if they do this?” or “What if they take this away?” is step one. Yes, good or bad things MIGHT happen, or maybe they won’t. It’s beyond your control. Fear WILL cripple you and prevent you from doing anything good in this life at all. So, release the fear and let yourself be revitalized by all that nature blesses us with. Even if others pressure you to fall in line, stay strong. You can do it you rebel you!

Slightly Sensitive

We’ve danced around the reasoning behind this core value in the descriptions of some of our other core values. Living a Stylishly Secretive life isn’t just about staying under the radar or trying to get away with something someone else thinks you shouldn’t be doing. It’s also not just about avoiding desperate attempts to self-promote to get people to buy whatever your selling (whether that’s an opinion, product, or service). We at MoNA Life feel that being Stylishly Secretive means that you march to your own set of rules and have the confidence not to attempt to impose those rules on anyone else. Don’t confuse this with resisting inspiration. By all means, it’s very important to seek out other stylish individuals who inspire you. We don’t want to live in our own bubble. Just be mindful that your aren’t trying to become anyone’s mental or physical clone. Just because a role model does something doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. And, it definitely doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself. But, it doesn’t mean you should stop being inspired by someone simply because you disagree with them on one point either. Our individual uniqueness makes us great. Be inspiring as a Stylishly Secretive individual not a desperate for attention wanna-be celebrity! It’s really all about authenticity here.

Tactfully Truthful

So yes, this one is pretty similar to our previous core value. But like all of them, there is overlap. MoNA Life is an entire way of life. In fact, you could almost see this Alliteration Alphabet of Adverbs and Adjectives more as MoNA’s self-portrait than a rigidly definable set of concrete values. Just like nature, we’re complicated, ever growing, and ever evolving. So, currently, when Tastefully Tantalizing comes to mind, we’re specifically referring to the notion that it’s not ok to sell yourself short. You are a very valuable person. You’re not free for the taking. At the least, you need to survive as you work toward creating a life in which you are able to thrive. So, why do so many of us do-gooders tend to give everything we have to offer for free? At MoNA Life none of us are free. Are we overpriced? No. Are we underpriced? No. We are priced according to the true value of what we have to offer. Let’s go back to the tendency to give too much away for free. Why do we do that? The obvious reason would be a lack of self-confidence in one’s true value. But we think it’s a little more complicated and less negative than that. We actually blame passion and excitement coupled with a lack of feeling motivated by money. This can be a recipe for pain, hardship, premature killing of something amazing, in short, a total disaster. So how do we solve this? Ironically, with a dirty old rigid rule. Give people a little taste for free, then charge them exactly what your product, service, or experience is worth. They may want to debate you on price. They may walk away because they are not interested. But those who truly see your value will pay what you’re worth. And that’s not only important to your financial situation, it’s also a vital reflection of your ability to understand and value yourself and the life you’ve created for yourself. Pretty deep right?

Undeniably Unique

MoNA Life is everywhere. Sure, the MoNA Estate can be seen as our current headquarters. But this whole MoNA Life thing is much bigger than a single place. It all started in an alley in Hollywood. While most stories that start this way aren’t exactly inspiring, we hope that ours is! Fleeing the overpriced retail storefront he was running his landscape design business and outdoor gallery from, Troy Silva decided to take his knowledge and expertise to the streets of LA. Inspired by an emerging street art movement, Troy decided to create a vertical botanical garden of sorts in what was formerly a crime and grime ridden alley. Filled with youthful optimism poured his heart, soul, time, energy, and money into the alley. The result was truly magical. A lush, thriving botanical garden running the length of the alley. As reality set in, Troy needed to actually make money since people don’t naturally think to go find their next landscape designer or outdoor furnishings in an alley. Shocker, I know. Troy had the ambition and hope that someone would identify what he was doing and feature the project to help get the word out and gain publicity. What he got was more than he could have ever hoped for. The vertical botanical garden ended up being more of a pop-up, but he’d landed his first fellow MoNA Creator, Sunny Ann. The lesson learned was that MoNA can be anywhere. Probably why we’ve grown so much along the way and learned so much as a team of Creator’s but are currently on our third iteration of MoNA! Get in touch with us and we’ll catch you up on the rest of the fascinating tale of MoNA Life.

Vibrantly Valuable

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We politely disagree. If you look hard enough, anyone can find beauty in anything. What they should say is VALUE is in the eye of the beholder! Because value can be a pretty arbitrary thing when you think about it. Value is derived from convincing someone (or more often a group of someones) that something is valuable. Take a diamond or a collection of $100 bills for instance. Why is a certain type of polished dirt so valuable to so many people? Even more perplexing, how did we convince the world that the fragile piece of paper that is a $100 bill is so valuable? The answers, of course, are extremely lengthy and complicated. So we won’t get into that. Instead, we seek true value. That which is vibrant. For instance, a chicken. From the moment it pops out of that little egg, a vibrantly valuable little creature has entered this earth. Not only are their personalities wildly entertaining, not only do they eat overabundant bugs to prevent the need for unnatural extermination efforts, they LAY MORE EGGS! Which make more chickens or can be used as a highly nutritious food source! Even the shell can be used to improve the soil. Wow. So much more valuable than a $100 bill in my opinion. But, since we live in a society that does place a hell of a lot of value on that $100 bill, we do sell our lovely, Vegas born and raised, Holistically Hybridized Chicken starting at $100. We don’t get to totally disconnect from the rest of the world. We still have to pay rent!

Reach out to learn how to become a MoNA Member.

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Willingly Wondrous

Children are the best at this one. It just comes naturally to them. We define Willingly Wondrous as one who, on their own free will, submits to the marvelous feeling to sheer delight. In other words, we strive to release the inner child. Let him or her go outside and play! This is one of the most vital core beliefs at MoNA Life. Because life is way too short to be so serious and “adult” all the time. Remember a time when the most stressful thing in our lives was choosing between bubble gum ice cream or chocolate chip? Sadly, most of us don’t. As adults, we have to work a bit harder to allow ourselves to enter this wonderland once more. We recommend starting with something small. Bubbles. Yes, bubbles. Bust out the bubble wand, go outside, and blow some freaking bubbles (or let the breeze do it for you). Maybe do it in a place where you neighbors won’t call the police in fear of a “crazy person” roaming the neighborhood. Or, find joy in making the neighbors think you’re crazy. There are no rules here. Watch as the bubbles playfully fly around and burst in mid air or after carelessly careening into something like a wall of leaf. Don’t stop. Keep blowing those bubbles. You won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll smile. We guarantee it. After graduating from Bubbles 101, move on to exploring nature. See what plants and animals you can discover and identify. It shouldn’t be difficult to be Willingly Wondrous, but if your mind drifts to something stressful or icky in any way, just go back to the bubble blowing. Works every time.

Xenially Xenophilic

Uhhhh…Those can’t actually be real words right? The answer is kinda or maybe. Like a unicorn, one or both of these words may not actually exist but they sure are awesome. So, does it really matter if they’re real or not? What does real even mean anyway? Sorry, tangent. Ok ok. So, xenial is a word. From what we can tell xenially is not a “real” word. But it should be! Someone who is xenial is someone who is a good host. Especially to strangers or foreigners. So, like most adjectives, we should be able to add -ly to the end of it to make it an adverb right?! Particularly because we think we could all do things a little more xenially than we are nowadays. Take Airbnb for instance. Never in our wildest dreams would we have expected to see such an outrage mounted against a company that gives people the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and offer a new way to travel that focuses on local culture vs tourist traps. But hey, we’re optimists and idealists I guess. Turns out most people don’t think xenially at all. They fear the unknown, particularly when it’s dangerously close to their homes. So sad! So threatening to major hospitality chains and resorts too I suppose. Anyway…let’s all try to welcome strangers and foreigners. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Get to know them. They might just become a friend. At the very least you’ll learn from your differences. Live Xenially. As for Xerophilous, that is a real word. It just means adapted to a very dry climate or habitat, or to conditions where moisture is scarce. We’re based in Las Vegas, the driest city in the US, yet we’ve create a truly sustainable yet luxurious sanctuary for plants, animals, and people alike. We just love it here and know you will too!

Yearningly Youngish

Here’s another funny sounding one. You think we mean yearningly youthful right? Wrong. While we encourage people to retain or regain many of their youthful elements such as the desire to play and see the world through fresh unjaded eyes, being young also has its downsides. Naivety, headstrong desire to prove yourself, recklessness, entitlement, and ignorance often come from a lack of life experience. So, we went with youngish. Yes, youngish. Somewhat young. Real word, we promise. There’s got to be a sweet spot here. Find balance in all things! Celebrate yourself at every age. Don’t fight the visual signs of aging either. Embrace yourself in all your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If you’re young, look forward to all the knowledge and experience that will come with age. If you’re old, find that passion for living by doing something you may be wrongfully telling yourself you’re too old to do. I think you get the point. Balance, balance, balance. In yearning, we refer to a hunger, craving or internal flame of sorts. We’re not telling you to go try to be something you’re not. We’re just saying, you should always tend to that flame. Feed that hunger. Protect it from the trappings of both extremely youthful ways and extremely elderly ways.

Zealously Zoological

Yay! We’ve reached the finish line. This one is easy! WE LOVE ANIMALS!!! All animals. Big, small, fluffy, scary, yummy, yucky, mean, nice, whatever. They all serve a very important ecological purpose and are Mother Nature’s army in her quest for balance. If you become a part of the MoNA Life Membership, you must be an animal lover as well. That’s our only steadfast criteria. Pretty much everything else is pretty darn flexible. Please don’t try to harm, destroy, or oppress us and please love animals. The end. Thank you for reading!

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