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Posts Tagged ‘Future’

raindrops on stemAt this autumnal equinox we tip into Fall, heralding a second season of transformation in the northern hemisphere (Spring being the first).  In the southern hemisphere, you’re welcoming the advent of Spring.  My theory is that those of us who love Spring and Fall usually enjoy change.

With change, there is regeneration and transformation–no matter how apparently simple or complex.

Did you already know that the earth is a complex self-organizing, regenerating and self-balancing living planet? Did you also know that your own well-being depends on the health of the earth?

No matter where your belief barometer is on these concepts—and even if you haven’t thought about it before—there’s a part of you that probably senses that it is in fact, true.

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Virtually all native stories and mythology are based on the life of the earth. One of my favorite reads is a book written by Rudolf Steiner entitled ‘Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path,’ where he states, …’for the contemplation of the whole-world process, there is no more primal starting point than pure observation.’

Erich Jantsch and Rudolf Steiner, whose lives didn’t overlap in time, both introduced concepts of a living, self-organizing planet during their own lifetimes. Steiner introduced these ideas in the 1800s; Jantsch continued in the early to mid 1900’s. Then, in the 1960’s, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis re-introduced the idea as a hypothesis called Gaia—the living earth. That nature is at the core of these universal conversations should be of no surprise.

What did these philosophers and scientists see and experience that made each of them bring forward the common principle of self-equilibrium that governs all living things?

Nature as Ultimate Model

Let’s look at a river: When a river takes the path of least resistance, it isn’t being ‘lazy.’ It’s actually optimizing flow. There are trillions of self-regenerating activities that take place in a moment of water rushing from one place to another. Unseen chemistries chaotically collide during these moments that actually refresh and re-balance the water molecules while sending them on their journey.

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That said, whatever water came out your tap, showerhead, local stream or watershed this morning is the same water that  re-circulated itself when dinosaurs walked the earth. All bodies of water on this planet self-regenerate through a process known as the water cycle.

And it’s no mistake that our bodies are composed of nearly 75% water.

Our bodies and minds offer complex sets of input and output processes, revealing the activities of life. Just like the earth, we—and all other forms of life that are part of it—represent complex, self-organizing systems.

Going with the Flow of Change

Rather than spending time reading the news or diverting our time with technology, how can we increase our experiential awareness of a living earth?

How is your one precious life connected with the earth’s support system?

How often do you practice self-regeneration by connecting with nature?

What special talents or gifts do you have that can be used to create positive change?

Thank you for all the wonderful and heartfelt emails Marco and I have received since 2011.  So many of you are seeing and exploring your own unique gifts and discovering ways of bringing them forward–I love it!!  That’s what life is all about!!

Yes, move with the rythm of the earth. Your dance will be joyous and integrity-rich!

In gratitude to the harvest of change,

Catrina (Catherine)

 

 

 

 

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evening people at beach dinner

Last night, while my partner and I were preparing food for a group of friends, the subject turned to things that we would rather not know about—like how many animals were euthanized at the local shelter this past year; the huge sadness of discovering that the already fragmented rainforest ecosystems are still being destroyed at the rate of 60.7 hectares (150 acres) a minute, or why my interest-bearing checking account yielded only 17 cents interest at year-end.

Although I did find out about the 17 cents (the interest rate was exceedingly low), the real subject was that we were both aware of topics we’d rather not get into. Why? Because basically it would bring down our mood. And it was Friday night…

What I noticed was a theme emerging.

What if, I wondered, instead of dropping the subject, we allowed ourselves to experience the pain that sat just behind the undesirable topic? The pain of injustice…of making a colossal mistake…of cruelty…or even simply the pain of aging. It was at that moment that I reacquainted myself with the frailty of life–something I’m not particularly keen to hang out with as my tendency is often to bring sallow subjects to a higher vibe and then hang out there. Yet…

There was some learning to be had there…I could feel it coming in…like a cloud drifting closer.

The Willingness to Look Into and Beyond

That a single hit of emotional pain can trigger resistance, avoidance, fear, self-criticism or just plain negativity—reminded me that what lies behind fear is a valueoften more than one—that re-connects us to our wholeness.

In that sense, what first strikes us as some form of pain (emotional or otherwise) reveals something in need of healing…of care rather than avoidance…of action rather than inaction… In fact quite often, the greater the pain, the deeper the passion. That 17 cents pales in comparison to an ecosystem extinction, but it’s nevertheless an indicator of something not right. It’s really just a question of magnitude.

On what order of magnitude is the issue really?

Mary Oliver-one wild and precious life quote

Solid As Air

The distance we put between ourselves and whatever we don’t like is actually the activity of creating space. And the ability to create space is a skill that us westernized, 21st century humans have nearly lost the ability to do. I’m not talking about resistance–that’s a pushing back of energy. I’m talking about how to step back and view a situation with objectivity, a cool head and a warm heart. This requires the ability to create space, something I’ve referred to in previous blogs as ‘creating pockets of peace.’ Inherent in the ability to create space is room for a broader perspective, new ideas and a regenerative sense of well-being.

Isn’t that what we all really want deep down?

Think about that scene in The Abyss where a sense of wonder and curiosity for connection brought the crew to make an amazing and unexpected connection with a higher intelligence manifesting as autonomous ocean water. A sense of wonder, openness and curiosity is what creates the space for new ideas to emerge. To ground oneself with space is also the ultimate personal freedom. No one can take that ability away from you.

Without mental or physical space, there is no room for growth.

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A Regenerative Renaissance

Creating space has both a regenerative and a productive purpose. Changing what you’re doing and the context you’re doing it in activates different areas of your brain. It comes from eliminating stuff in your life that isn’t actually that important to you. In the process, you re-acquaint yourself with the essence of who you are.

The biodiversity of ecosystems that still exist are infinitely precious, particularly since they have taken over two billion years to manifest in just the right way to support life. Think about who would do well if we were to become dependent on government and big business for our clean air, clean water and healthy food. Not you or me. And certainly not any living creatures who are perceived as ‘less than’ by humans.

Imagine a holistic scale, where something given a ‘1’ contributes to creating the greatest imbalance and fragmentation of life. At the other end, a ’10’ indicates something that contributes to creating the greatest balance and wholeness for all living things.

Where does your idea land?

New ideas, set against the background of early 21st century technology, should be explored in terms of their contribution to creating greater wholeness for all living things. From a common-sense view and one of personal passion–this is ultimately a win-win perspective. It’s the widest lens we can optimize, so nothing is left outside of this equation.

Use your free time to live out your passion, no matter how small the seed seems right now. Allow it the space to germinate and grow.

Choose to look at whatever you have resistance or fear about. Just behind it will be one or more values you cherish and probably yearn to re-connect with. Let discomfort become the ally that it truly is.

Sometimes it’s hard work, true. But consider why you might otherwise feel ‘too busy’ in such moments. Feeling ‘too busy’ is a clear indicator that you’ve run out of space, and are therefore making decisions from a place of scarcity. You don’t deserve that. And neither do your kids.

Go ahead, release what doesn’t serve your greatest good and watch what happens.

Yes, you can create miracles. Just do it.

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I’ve been interpreting nature and the living earth through art and the written word for over 30 years.

Marko has been collaborating with the spiritual energies of nature, creating lithopuncture healing artforms for over 30 years.

This blog is nearly two years old. Its birthday is—as one might surmise—on Earth Day.

Our message is simply this: The earth is a magnificent living, multi-functional, interconnected, self-organizing whole system of a divine nature. Each and every living creature on this planet is a uniquely different, yet thoroughly interconnected part of this whole. With a single decision, you can discover ways to align your own energy with the creative, restorative and healing powers of nature. To live into and embody this knowledge is self-actualization.

As Brian Swimme puts it, the beginning and end of human existence is awe.  So why settle for less?

In my upcoming book, A Naturalist’s Perspective: Reflections on a Living World and the Spirit of Nature, I share six essential secrets to the earth’s well being with which we are already interconnected. Yet in western cultures, because such information is rarely brought to one’s attention, it becomes forgotten.

As a culture, most people suffer from nature deficit disorder.  And as ancient wisdom repeatedly reveals, the most effective remedies are rooted in the natural world and reflected back in the cosmos.

Our deep interconnection with nature is based on approximately 33 additional senses that most people have simply lost touch with because of assumptions that we make about how to ‘do life.’

Many of these assumptions are based on what big business and big media tell us.  Here’s the upshot of a particularly poignant conversation several friends and I had some years ago:

“At first, in your teens and 20’s, it seems easy. In your 30’s, you may be so busy with work and family that you don’t have time to question your life too deeply.  By the time you’re in your 40’s, if you haven’t questioned your life deeply enough, and in the process, established your own value-based philosophy, you’re in for a rude awakening. It’s mind-boggling how ‘asleep at the wheel’ our culture is.”

The six secrets I’m referring to are quintessential cycles and flows that work together, allowing the earth’s (and our) systems to function as a whole.  Each of these aspects is a cornerstone of a living system, yet are often overlooked.

As you cam imagine, the most overlooked ones are the most fruitful for you to explore, because they offer tremendous potential for the human mind to dance and create with.

Next: Excerpts from A Naturalist’s Perspective: Reflections on a Living World and the Spirit of Nature.

*DIY-T stands for Do it Yourself-Together.

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People often assume the Age of Discovery is over, but there is so much we still don’t know, and the world is still in need of adventurous explorers.

                       –Trond Larsen, RA Program Director, Conservation International

 

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About a week ago on 10 February, the western hemisphere synchronized with the eastern hemisphere to establish a resonant new year—one that could actually be felt by those who feel such things.  Throughout that day, a sense that ‘things were falling into place’ was ripe.

Paradoxically, our human-centric world is falling apart in more ways than one.  You may have felt this vibe more.

Sadly, this is no longer news to any of us.  And yet…..

It just feels like its time to rock that old mindset that has spread like an illness across the planet, thanks to globalization, greed and fear which have strengthened over the decades.  Why?  Because collectively, our genuine sense of well-being has been hijacked by virtual reality.  You know…cel phones, apps, TV, computers…the stuff we tend to be obsessed with.

Remember–this stuff is all made up.  It’s made by companies who have seduced humanity into thinking their made up version of reality is ‘better.’ 

The effect?  A collective inability to see beyond things toward the cultivation of something greater.

Alert the Driver

What many of us are realizing is that the primary driver of our planet’s ills is how we see the world, which has deep taproots into how we think.  In fact, the prime mover of anything is how we see it.

But in western worlds, the seeing aspect is overlooked in favor of thinking.

Which is why when we focus on our thinking alone, we’re generally unable to rise above—move beyond—the activity of the mind.  And so we know the earth is being rapidly destroyed by our activities, but feel small or helpless in our individual or even collective ability to make the world a better place for all living creatures.

The fascinating thing is that seeing precedes thinking.

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Contemplation Landing, Ecological Staircase, Mendocino

Seeing leads to thinking, which leads to what we do in the world—how we act, what we aim for, what we’re striving to achieve.  Seeing occurs in the space of consciousness—even the folks at Harvard have come to this conclusion.

Seeing—true seeing from our souls—is a spiritual activity.  It precedes thinking in that it—the life force/prana/spirit—permeates all of life.  This activity connects us instantly with our own authenticity. 

From this perspective, we really do have the power—dormant as it may be—to re-envision a healthy future.

To the extent that we are unable to recognize the truth of our essence (our authenticity) and operate from there, reveals the extent to which our planet suffers from our presence.

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Bodega Head, CA

Seeing the World as Futurists

Within each of us is the seed for visionary perspective.  From my own experience, it begins with seeing beyond—far beyond—our corporeal selves.

Wondering how?  Just visit your sit spot daily—or spend time in nature whenever possible—and release thinking until seeing occurs.  It does take work.  But isn’t life worth it?

From this spiritual activity comes resonance, attunement, warmth and peace of mind.  All the non-stuff that no business can sell us. 

Now, a closing thought for opening the future wide ~

If there was one single thing we could ask of the businesses and politicians of the world to do—or stop doing—that you feel would go a long way to healing the earth, what would that be?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I’d just love to hear from you!

Please share this blog generously.*

Next: Six Secrets to the Earth’s Well-being

 

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Accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle–which is exactly what it is. 

                                                                                           –Storm Jameson

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Arch Rock, Etretat, France


Aahh, January…the month of lull.

In case things haven’t changed much—but you believe they ought to—take heart!

We’re still deep in the season of winter, but the Gregorian calendars tell us it’s a new year, so many of us believe it’s time to change things up…make resolutions, do things differently.

Yet there’s an inertia…a gentle pull from the still-slumbering earth that reminds us that the earth’s energy is still dormant—attune to this reality and you will acknowledge a pattern within yourself.  If only we could hibernate with her!

What most of us here on the western hemisphere forget is that it’s not really a new year yet—it seems so only by Gregorian standards.  Many on the eastern hemisphere don’t even celebrate New Year’s until early February. In Tibet, for example, Losar-–which pre-dates Buddhism—is celebrated from January through March, where gratitude for the abundant earth—her waters, her soils, her atmosphere, her natural ambiance, her fertility—is expressed daily and performed in myriad ways.  This is abundance.

The 10th of February is actually the time we begin to feel a difference—when both hemispheres are tracking with the core idea: New Year.

Our innate sense of harmony with the earth literally becomes re-kindled through a slow awakening around this time…how great to be in tune with the earth’s rhythms this way.  Keep a journal and discover what you’re all about just under the surface of our pervasive societal ‘norm.’

Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake—which begins 10 February—is all about surrendering old forms and patterns to make space for the new.  Watch any snake.  The snake is all about being inside of and under things—just under all the surface activity.  Its monthly sheds are a visible example of releasing old patterns to prepare for the new.

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Marlene at the Ecological Staircase

To ‘make space for the new’ is really the key phrase here.

As we approach this synchronizing New Year date, let’s consider what we want to shed.  If you haven’t considered this at all, get ready for an intense transformation that you didn’t expect.  Depending on our individual transits (astrosophy-speak for personal transformation cycles), some of us have already experienced our own version of catastrophe in 2012.  Some of us have glided through on a thin blade of survival.  Some of us have remained relatively untouched.

Regardless of where you find yourself, be prepared to surrender normal routines and patterns for what is coming—whatever that looks like. For example, I switched this blog from being ‘copyright protected’ to being part of the Creative Commons license–a much better fit in attunement with the spirit of sharing.

Best way to deal?  Consciously choose to open your soul, heart, mind, eyes and arms to change that comes your way. Then decide–yes, more of this–or no thanks.

In other words, change is guaranteed.

Next:  Authenticity and the Consumer Mindset

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Dear Earth,

Re-claim yourself. 

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 It’s what all living beings here need to move forward in solidarity with your well-being.

Winds of change are blowing everywhere it seems.

What are your deepest desires, dear Earth?

May the emerging soul of your being invoke encouragement and joy from the continuous music of your fertile soil, vibrant oceans and vivid skies.

May your evolutions move us beyond the limitations of our minds and emotions…to help us see and experience the Divine Infinite as only you can.

In humble gratitude,

human beans of earth…7 billion and rising….

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You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need  to do, in order to have what you want.    

                                                                        ~ Margaret Young

The more I let go of what other people think, the more I realize that authenticity is an ongoing practice.  I’m actually choosing how I want to live moment to moment, every day.

When I choose to show up and be real, I’m letting my true self be seen.  I’m not selling myself short to please someone else.  Brené Brown does a beautiful job of describing the anatomy of authenticity—I love the gift of Brené’s presence in the world.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.  Choosing authenticity means ~

 

  • cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable;
  • exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and
  • nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.”

(from Brené’s book,  The Gifts of Imperfection)

Sacrificing who we are for the sake of what other people think just isn’t worth it.  Staying vulnerable while sharing an unpopular opinion or idea is really the hard part.  Staying in presence while keeping your heart open—whooo, that is a true act of courage.

Every time we trade our authenticity for safety, we can expect to experience anxiety, unhappiness, resentment, anger, blame and sadness.

So where’s the connection to living sustainably?

Living sustainably—living so as to not compromise the ability of future generations of living beings (human, flora and fauna) to meet their own needs—reflects a holistic understanding of life rather than a surface understanding of life.

Most people settle for a surface understanding and try to get by on that.

But we’re living in a time where entire human infrastructures are imploding and governments (that should actually be governing) are running out of money to artificially prop these infrastructures up.  This has become so obvious that most of us see and feel the need for big change.

 

Yet, every time we trade holistic living for surface living—ignoring our individual impact on the planet no matter how small (remember, there’s 7 billion of us)—we can expect to experience the same range of emotions… anxiety, unhappiness, resentment, anger, blame and sadness.  Wow!

Ah, but when we develop a holistic understanding of life at its very center—when we experience learning in the REAL world (growing food, exploring a watershed, restoring a wetland, making preserves, raising chickens) such learning overcomes our alienation from nature and rekindles as sense of place—a sense of genuine belonging.  Living in harmony with the organizing principles of nature IS authentic living. 

Exploring our natural world

Teaching ourselves and our children that the fundamental facts of life are dynamically interwoven, with living systems nested within living systems—returns us to our wholeness—our authenticity—and revitalizes new ways of thinking and living within the earth’s resources.  Were we ever not part of the earth’s living systems?  Only in our heads.

Deciding, Choosing and Instinctive Values

While it’s true that we don’t need to understand how electricity works to light up a room, we do need to become ecologically literate to understand the principles that govern all living systems—including ourselves—that have evolved to sustain the web of life.  This way, we can truly live in authentic alignment with the world that sustains us.

Did you know stewardship is an instinctive value within the human being?  Joy and compassionate care of the natural world are instinctive in children who spend time in nature.  These behaviors don’t need to be taught except where the connection is lost.  That’s really something to ponder.

At some point you may, like me, prefer to use the word decide rather than choose.  I make this distinction because decision points are turning points.   They are reflected in our daily choices.  Like a fulcrum, decisions drive choices.  Otherwise choices are just choices, and there’s no uber consciousness guiding any given choice.

Blessings on your summer!

Darling Ohana relaxing in nature

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