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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Have you ever lived through the aftermath of a fire?

 

In the northern California tri-county areas of Medocino, Sonoma and Napa, the powerful fires that raged through our communities six months ago gave rise to a new kind of collaboration between people and organizations. Near-term and long-term solutions could only be achieved by the combination of parts that would best serve the creation of a new whole.

 

No single reference existed to guide communities of land, its inhabitants and people through recovery steps and at the same time, provide sensible systems thinking to re-imagine everyday life.

 

 

Tonic or Toxic?

 

The fires heightened community awareness to an off-the-charts level. Many, many organizations and people worked together to facilitate and document recovery practices, revealing two things that became very clear: every action was either more beneficial (tonic—improvements that heal) or less beneficial (tending towards toxic—unsustainable practices that need re-envisioning). For example, a key reason not to re-build is that it was revealed that this particular area is actually a fire pathway, having burned everything along the same path in the Hanly fire of 1964.

 

The point of re-thinking what was, is to identify actions that are beneficial to the land and biodiversity upon which our lives and communities rest.

 

Here in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties our people and environments still face a time of recovery. Trees are beginning to flush with new growth, blackened soils are greening up with tender sprouts, and nourishing winter rains have come.

 

These powerful images contain the seeds of resilience and recovery that nature inspires in all of us if we notice and listen. Learn more about regeneration via this blog and other resources like The California Native Plant Society’s new Fire Recovery Guide and Daily Acts’ Every Action Matters.

Photo credits: California Native Plant Society and Saxon Holt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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sleeping on the grass

I had so much fun writing this article! Thank you to Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves for providing my own kick-start!

  1. Get enough sleep. Inaction is the #1 thing you can do to bring your 33 senses in alignment with the planet itself. Yes, you read that right!

 

  1. Stay present. Notice, notice, notice as much as you can. Until you’ve become good at taking note of your thoughts in order to let them go, they will drift like clouds across your mental plane—or like gnats on your windshield. This is fairly difficult for many people because technology is extremely dominant in our world. Find your way through this constructively. A friend of mine takes a walk most evenings just before sunset. A fellow PDC student has made a personal practice of lying directly on the ground (snow angel style) after coming home from work. Maximum contact with the ground is key, she says. If bugs or dirt are a concern, change your clothes and remove your shoes—weather permitting. There’s nothing like unwinding and feeling your daily pressures melt away.

 

  1. Make your physical, mental and emotional well-being a lifetime priority. I’ve been a single mom long enough to know how challenging this can be. Yet, if you make it your goal to be well within, your happiness barometer can soar. One of the coolest things about this is that you begin to feel a kinship with nature—with the life that swirls around us moment to moment. A likely outcome is that nature eventually is into this priority, signaling an inner shift from ‘just me’ to ‘me and my environment.’

 

  • Get curious about nature. Years ago—despite my busy day-to-day life—I learned that even 15 minutes seated in a frayed patio chair in our tiny backyard watching birds had a regenerative effect on me. Have your kids do it too, together or separately. Silence matters. Keep a journal if you like. Walking, exploring or sitting are all valid vehicles of curiosity. Ask yourself: “I wonder…”
  1. Look for patterns. During the first year of my PDC, we learned that understanding patterns (pattern intelligence) is almost exclusively a trait of the first four regenerative actions above. Climate change, for instance, is a global reflection of long-term patterns unraveling.

 

  1. Live constructively out-of-the-box. This means—live your values. Not sure what they are? Find out. Schedule time in your week to learn cool green topics like:

“No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”   ~ Martha Beck

 

  1. Identify your contribution. What can you do? Can you plant some (non-GMO) herbs, a fruit tree or veggies? Can you build a compost bin? Inviting your kids, partner or friends to get involved makes it fun. Post your project on Facebook or Nextdoor or create a Meetup out of it. Small things often lead to bigger ones. If you feel overwhelmed, repeat steps 1 – 4.

 

  

  1. Take ‘living constructively’ to the next level. Maybe you’d like to add a new skillset to your career by taking an instructional design course or becoming a mentor to a young person. You could find a local non-profit that does something you feel good about and volunteer to help. Connecting with like-hearted people is key to personal growth and renewal.

 

  1. Take one radical step. Then take another. Our world may be messed up, but when we do something radical from the heart we create a powerful antidote. We cultivate authenticity, fairness and integrity. As we move away from actions and habits that don’t align with our core values, radical new steps begin to appear, if only in the form of an idea. Allow them. Everything that is a reality now was once an idea.

Let me know how you’re doing or share a question. I love hearing from you!

“When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.” —Steve Maraboli

 

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The breeze at dawn 
has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep. 



You must askfor what you really want. 



Don’t go back to sleep. 



People are going back and forthbetween the door sill

where the two worlds touch. 



The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

 

 ~ Rumi

 ImageThis time is ripe to discover, be and continue to become yourself completely.

Yes, this is an inside job.

It has little to do with being the best or greatest at something based on another’s standards.  This is the work of unfurling—sometimes slowly, sometimes radically—the inspiration of your soul.  It begins with listening to your inner guidance—your own personal intuition.

The more we see life as a series of interactive experiences, the more these experiences will inform our sense of life and well-being.

If your sense of someone or something makes you feel wary, distant or withdrawn, realize that these feelings can be fear-based.  Realize also that there could simply be no energy in your world behind the interaction.  How to determine what’s true?

Be honest and kind with yourself.  Where IS the energy in this particular experience?  Is it coming from someone else?  Are you meeting that energy with your own?  Do you genuinely feel you were being yourself in the process?

Most importantly, what was your residual experience?  How often was your head, heart and whole self tuned in?

Did you feel: Inspired?  Curious?  Energized?  Flat?  Bored?  Concerned?   Dig deep to find out what veins of interest were indeed sparked.  What were you inspired about?  When did you feel energized?  If you felt nothing at all, then it’s probably time to practice more self-integration.

My past two year’s blogs—and no doubt a bounty of others, from Oprah and Dr. Phil to zen and the art of zoning—all present nuggets of wisdom to distill.

Now, when you let all these thoughts go…what do you know for sure?

Despite what we may think our lives are about; despite how selfless or self-absorbed we believe we need to be to survive, our lives are actually a journey of authenticity and self-care.  Net-net?  When our inner world connects meaningfully with our outer world, we experience life as being precious.

A change of heart is the best barometer of authenticity.  It informs the mind meaningfully and pervasively.  Only then can lasting, positive change occur.

What experiences have been most meaningful for you?

Drop me a line and let me hear from you…and enjoy this first day of the Year of the Horse!

Image

Mahalo Kalani!

 

 

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