Wednesday, January 29, 2014


My husband has started this new initiative on facebook, it's called 1,000,000 thank you's.   He had read a while back about a teacher or maybe an ancient saying in Japan -- I apologize for not remembering clearly, that when you say 1,000,000 thank you's, the world is forever changed.

He's talked about this often since he had first heard it, and he finally decided to make a fb page with those who are committed to the practice.

Recently I have gotten into a practice which I have coined power meditation.  It's inspired by this Ted X talk --
I joined a part of a power pose with my 30 minute meditation practice, so I basically sit cross legged with my hands on my hips.  And it could be my imagination but I definitely feel the benefits from this.

Well my husband asked if I would be interested in committing to the one million thank you challenge.  Of course I agreed.

So the past few days I have been incorporating as many thank you's into my days as possible.  Either repeating it over and over -- which I did 2 days ago in meditation, or repeating it when I am feeling any kind of anxiety or stress during the day, and last night I did something a little different.

I decided to do my 'power' meditation while voice recording all of the things I am thankful for in my life.  Not just the things that I am thankful for, but I was also envisioning that the next day had happened and I had accomplished all that I needed to do for that day, and expressing gratitude for having accomplished those things -- before they had actually happened.

I found that today, I was much more productive than I have been in this whole semester!

It also could be a combination of things.  Yesterday, I was expressing to my husband that I think that I had become a little too attached to facebook.  My fascination with facebook involves being connected to so many people and sharing beautiful ideas without being limited by space and time.  Well, at least in that world, outside of that world of course there are constraints.  Maybe that's why it feels that the internet can be so liberating in a sense.  Learn whatever, whenever -- talk to anyone, anytime.

So anyway, my husband changed my password, giving me a break, which I think was a fabulous idea.  I feel that it has enabled me to focus more on what needs to be done at hand.

I'm staying with a friend in town, and I have been wanting to ride a bike to school for so long, but never actually got around to it, someway or another logistics of it weren't coming together!

But my friend lent me one of her bicycles.  I bought a bike lock, and the past two days I have been riding a bicycle to school.  For someone who is as avid an environmentalist as me, it's amazing how long it took me to figure out a way to finally ride a bike to school.  It's been amazing.  Today I rode to school while it was snowing. I should have worn sun glasses, because I had to use a system of rapid blinking to not be totally blinded by the flakes haha, which was probably not very safe.. But it was amazing.

Yeah, the streets have unfortunately smog and yesterday was a little harsher on my lungs than today.  But at least I know that I am also getting fresh air somewhere in there, and I am also getting a great work out!  On my way back from school it's mostly uphill.. and I am not talking like a little up hill... it's so steep that I haven't been able to peddle the whole way home yet without having to take a break of exhaustion or physically not being able to peddle because of the mere steepness.

My goal, is to peddle the whole way home, easily.  But it may take a little practice :)

It's fun riding the bike, though I am definitely new to bicycle road manners.. or so I've been realizing that I probably haven't been doing things really correctly.. but the fun thing about being on a bike.. is that you are totally out in the open!  So every time I mess up.. I just smile and wave.. and I usually get a smile and wave back.  Suddenly I feel just a lot more connected to life and my surroundings, and I am finding it so beautiful!

Anyway, thought I would share.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quality over Quantity

The growing population is a huge concern for many agriculturists or ecologists.

For the world market on the other hand, unlimited growth is their ideal.  But in a finite world, we have finite resources.

So planning for the population growth, only further deteriorates the earths ecological functions which support human health.

The question is, are we willing to allow the demise of the quality of water, air, cultural spirit, forests and other natural systems for more food, more clothes and more stuff?

Time seems to go so fast, and we all racing towards some unknown destination, we are all essentially in survival mode.  With limited resources, in order to have adequate access to those, either 1. you have to be living in a very protected forest or other productive land system with adequate access to clean fresh water.  2.  You have to have earning potential to buy resources by means of the skills you have.

It's unfortunate that much of our education in our younger years, under represents the natural world and the beauty of working with nature.  At least in my education, we were taught the value of money and business endeavors, less so about maintaining ecological harmony.  I stumbled across those concepts later, in college.. in a biology class.  Thank goodness for required general electives! I never really considered myself a science person, until I realized that my favorite thing in the world-- nature -- was on the brink of catastrophe.

Our business models currently are set up to provide services to people that will keep people coming back for more.  That's how most people make money.

Is there another way we can do things?

What if we started producing goods that were easy to dissemble, easy to create into something else once broken, easy to recycle, easy to re-use, multifunctional, durable, beautiful.

What if we were only to create high quality items.  Where people had to think long and hard before buying something new, and perhaps needed to save up for a while.  What if we created an online sharing resources service.  Where items no longer used, can be put into a collective, virtual world where others have access to them.  Is it possible to stop producing throw aways?

Can we only produce products that after a long life.. and perhaps are totally unusable.. will then recycle back into the earth easily and in a non toxic kind of a way.

Agriculturists are concerned over feeding the growing populations.  Their current model of thinking.. is creating more, creating bigger on 'less' space as possible.  But this idea hasn't really kept us from taking away more forests and wilderness.  In fact 80% of the Amazon destruction is due to agriculture.  And it's ongoing.

The more we focus on bigger, 'better' more voluminous varieties.. the less we pay attention to the actual quality of the food we are getting.  Perhaps stripped of many micro-nutrients, being grown with 3 nutrients, NPK and on often times leached soils from the irrigation and no trees or other plants with long enough tap roots to recycle any of those nutrients.  Those nutrients end up leaching away.. into the ocean.

Actually eating sea vegetables could be the best thing we ever do for our health!  It's where all of the nutrients have ended up!

If we can create diverse landscapes concentrating our food production on super foods and action nutrient packed quality fruits and vegetables, I think we will have a much easier time of supporting the people on earth we currently have.  At the end of the day.. we have no idea how many people are going to be here tomorrow or the day after.  But if we can focus on providing a high quality life to those we have now, maybe we can start to circumvent this pattern of thinking of more and more and more and continued growth forever.

It's common that the more education families have, the less kids they also tend to have.  If we learn to take care of the people we have right now adequately, we may not have to address a doubling of our population.

Let's bring back the value of communities and backyard gardeners, saving seeds and green space-- where ever we can make room for it.  We have already harvested so much land for human habitat.  Let's stop.  Let's use what we have, and make it full and high quality.  Let's make the land we currently have beautiful from left to right, let's fill every pocket and corner with beautiful plants and food stuffs.  Can we all incorporate environmental factors in a our day to day jobs, there is something we can all do.  Start choosing quality over quantity.  We can do this, we can live with less stuff yet have the stuff we do have be multifunctional, beautiful and purposeful.  We can live with more nutritional foods, and use sparingly the foods in which we often like to consume in mass quantity :)

We can do this.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Masanobu Fukuoka

I spoke to my brother on the phone the other day.  He told me that he had just started reading, "One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka.

He was completely taken by the book, and although I have never read it, I'm familiar with the theme.  I am familiar that he worked with nature to create an abundant landscape.

My brother gave a few snapshots of his understanding of the book from the first 30 pages.  He mentioned that Fukuoka had gotten an education but had a realization that he didn't need anything to be.  Essentially he gave up everything, and tried to show others by the way he lived that nothing was needed to be done, life takes care of everything if allowed.  At least this was my understanding.  

Fukuoka decided to go back to his father's farm and to start farming, but less farming and more creating the conditions for life to just take care of providing food.  It took him 10 years to build up his farm to an ecological success story! Using principles of nature -- no tilling, pesticides or fertilizers, pruning or weeding.  And although he attained much recognition for it, no one really adapted the principles.  He travelled the world and gave lectures everywhere, yet what happened?

Well his work, has indeed inspired many people to try some of his methods.  Mostly home-owners and others who have small plots of land or those who wish to start natural farms-- typically smaller in scale.

For the majority of farmers who are commercially growing, these kinds of transitions are almost too far away to seem reachable.  Even for a conventional farmer to convert to an organic operation is a huge risk.  They have to risk low or limited yields for a few years while their soil organic matter can build up in the soil, they won't be allowed to spray their fields in the case of a bad pest outbreak-- potentially risking their whole yield.  The transition process to an organic operation takes 3 years.  It's an investment and it can be scary for a farmer.

The good news is, there are ways to ease the transition so the farmer doesn't have to risk so much.

Organic agriculture is unfortunately very far off from the method that Fukuoka taught.  For the already alternative farmer, Fukuoka's methods may be totally doable.  But for our mainstream farmers, we need a little bit of patience.

I attended a toastmasters meeting on Wednesday.  It definitely was a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I have a tendency to be quiet and reserved in new social situations, especially when it involves more people that I can count on one, let alone two hands.  But I decided that it's good for me to regularly stretch myself and do things that I normally wouldn't.  

In a toastmasters meeting they start off with, something they call, "table talk"  where each person in the meeting has to talk for 2 minutes on one subject.  A random subject.

Since I was a guest, I didn't have to, but I decided to go for it anyway.

The subjects they were giving out, were cliches -- so basically the first thoughts and impressions that came to the mind once the cliches were read, those impression would then be talked about by the person for a couple of minutes.

I got the sentence, "There is an exception to every rule"  

This is something that I can totally relate to, so it kind of seemed easier than the other questions given out.  But there is of course even an exception to that rule ;)  

According to Fukuoka he had deemed science as useless because it focused too narrowly on one very small aspect of the whole.  And it's impossible to understand the whole in only knowing one piece.  

Since I am currently in the sciences, yet coming from a bit of a mixed background, an education in environmental policy and thereafter an inner calling to just work with the land, and having few experiences that can't really be explained by science as of yet.

I can totally relate to what Fukuoka says. I totally agree with him.  Yet... there is an exception to every rule.  It seems to me, that an education can teach people how to relate to mainstream.  And afterwards, those individuals have greater tools in linking mainstream with alternative practices.  For those who find alternative practices first, and never go to school -- sometimes they do form bridges between modern science and alternative practices, but it seems to happen less-- at least from my observation.

Work hard, learn the system, and then do what it takes to absorb as much alternative into the status quo as possible.  How can we create a more compassionate world if we refuse to understand and work with those who run society?  

I think about all of the doctors, who have delved into plant based nutrition, and because of them have linked so many people-- me included -- into a new world of health.  Their dedicated studies have really brought plant based nutrition alive and have allowed so many people to trust this way of life.  

Professionals of all disciplines forge new paths for all of us.  It's how we grow, it's how we evolve.  Of course, there is always the exceptions to the rules.  :) 

May we all become bridges, linking stagnant ideologies in our systems to new more compassionate evolutionary models.  Unfolding peace, beauty and integrity on planet earth.    

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Expanding our circle of love

It is interesting, that for what makes a 'good' person, generally, for the most part, people regard other people as 'good' if they are involved in 'humanitarian' affairs.

This involves, feeding the poor, building homes for the poor -- anything to do with helping the poor in any way shape or form.

It involves being kind to people, it involves working hard for your family.  It involves seeking to find cures for cancer and aids, being a doctor or a lawyer -- professions known for their service to others.  Granted, it also pays quite well.  But this is exactly what people find worthy of higher prices, they want to make sure that they can get the best doctor and the best care that they can.

Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these factors.  However, the cultural appropriateness of our times, has imbedded these values so deeply into our psyche that we are not quite emotionally associated with them, as we are ideologically attached to them.  So we value them almost on a superficial level,  helping humanity in this way, is the 'good' thing to do, I will 'earn' a lot of money, it will look 'good' on a resume, I will impress so many people, people will 'like' me because of this.  The list goes on.

If the compassion was real.  It wouldn't stop at humans.  Because we have this heightened value on being human without a real connection to what compassion actually means, It barricades humanity from really understanding what it means to be of full service to life.  Our cultural parameters are currently giving no direction on enlightenment.  In fact, it's doing quite the opposite, it seems to be reinforcing habits and behaviors that pull consciousness towards the ego.  

With all of the confusing signals, it's no wonder that humanity is actually in sort of semi conscious delusional state.  Where value is spoken about human life.  We attempt to value human life, but we get confused and 

I would like to say, 'human life'.  Because everyone 'knows' culturally, that this is what makes you a 'good' person, but in actuality, the feelings are quite dull and disorganized.  This is why it's so easy for wars to start, for mothers to kill babies, for abuse in homes and for murder on the streets.  You can't associate value to one aspect of life, while ignoring the rest of it, and expect the masses to blindly follow.  Life doesn't work like that.  You either have love and compassion for all of life, or you don't. Picking and choosing, only creates separation, and that separation starts bleeding into the parameters that were first designed to create that original distinction.. which in our case, is being human.  

It's gone quite chaotic actually.  On the outside, everything we do, is for the sake of 'humanity'.  But in reality, it doesn't exist, everything that ends up being done, is really just being done in this state of confusion.  And the person doing the 'good' ends up just being allotted more 'resources' for being 'good'.   It creates, definitely a negative feedback loop.  People striving for higher and higher achievements for greater and greater personal gains disguised as 'worldly gains'.  

This is not meant to throw any one under a bus, what I mean is, if the person is supposedly 'giving to humanity'  but creating massive destruction in regards to the environment or parts of humanity that go unseen or subjugating animals... in no way, are these functions, actually 'giving or serving humanity'.  In our system, unfortunately we don't have these checks.. and actually the people who make the most money for 'serving humanity' are most often destroying nature and living organisms in the process.  

Let's take agriculture.  The latest dilemma among top agricultural scientists, is "how to feed the world".  This has got to be the most ridiculous scientific pursuit, if I have ever heard of one.  

Of course, no one deserves to starve.  But currently the debate in the agricultural community is this,

1-- Organic agriculturists claim that organic has the answer -- that it can easily feed the world and do so in a way that would be affordable to small rural poor farmers, it can also provide ecological functions long term, it doesn't degrade the land or the soil or the water supplies. ... etc.

2-- Among conventional agriculturists, they claim that organic agriculture will need 2x as much land to feed the world than conventional farms will to 'feed the world', so they claim that this will destroy more pristine habitat in order to accomplish 'feeding' the world' under an organic system. 

Conventional agriculturists say that the 2nd green revolution is coming and it will involve GMOs feeding the world.  They will create pesticide tolerant plants and vitamin enhanced grains.

So, the conventional folk are leaving out some major factors.

1- They are not considering that organic agriculture in many parts of the world are making use of degraded, barren plots of land -- that have already been abandoned by conventional farmers -- who farmed for too long unsustainably in one place.  Organic does not inherently mean that we need to destroy more forests and pristine habitat.  They are also not considering that when comparing yields of multi cropped systems, organic agriculture often fairs ahead of the game.  Actually this is the only way to reduce malnutrition.  Feeding one town with only one grain-- even if it is enhanced with more vitamin A-- won't be sufficient in meeting their nutritional needs.  

2- These fancy GMOs and other agricultural technologies often don't make it to impoverished areas.. and if they do they wreck havoc on the local economy because farmers are permanently indebted to these huge companies.  Blanket solutions that are thought to solve 'world problems'  are complete propaganda.  Every place is dramatically different, with dramatically different weather systems, cultural norms, soil types.. we need individualized solutions to fit specific places.. not 'world solutions' to fit every place.   It's complete arrogance for big agricultural companies to convince people that this is the way to 'feed the world'.  They are masking their own greed for wealth, by essentially 'selling' their product to a market--which economically speaking, of course they are going to want to sell it to the 'world',  they make billions in revenue every year.

The first green revolution Cargill's revenue increased by 86% in 3 months.  This was the phase of synthetic chemicals and pesticides.  Their revenue jumped from 553 million to 1030 million.  

And did it actually feed the world?  Not even close.  Actually today, there are more hungry people then we have ever seen in history.  Why?  Because they are being trickled food.. enough to reproduce yet not enough to live normal lives, and the 'food' that these companies say will feed them.. is white rice.. wheat.... These foods are not nutritionally adequate.  

3- They also forgot to mention that creating genes that are more pest resistant.. actually is only short term, the pests become increasingly immune.. and again we are in an arms race with bugs... bugs evolving to cope with the drugs, and we either having to continually splice more pest resistant genes or apply more pesticide.  What we DONT know.  Is what affects these pesticides have on human bodies in that kind of amount.. especially if pesticides are spliced into all of the vegetable genes? Scientific studies have already been published associating neurological disorders with certain pesticides.  Nothing is proven.. but are we willing to take that risk?  If the large corporations take over our food supply and start splicing genes.. there is no going back.  

If we are serious about 'feeding the world'. We have to eradicate this complete bizarre notion that we can 'feed the world'.  It's atrocious wording. 

Let us help our brothers and our sisters feed themselves.  Let's reinvigorate natural habitats, restore previous forests and wetlands -- these are the most sustainable food supplies we could have ever been given.  They don't need outside water, they don't need constant care.  We need to restore the land, before the land restores us... to the land because we haven't figured out what ACTUALLY supports humanity.  Which is actually... every living and non living being on planet earth.

We have falsely assumed that humanity supports humanity.  This is a huge joke.  We can only support other humans, if we have healthy ecosystems.  

Many conventional agriculturists believe that organic can't feed the world because it is too expensive.

This is something else that obviously hasn't really been considered.  Conventional agriculture uses massive amounts of fossil fuels, in order to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into synthetic compounds to use on the farm.  Which actually becomes more of a salt.. so it only gives the appearance of big plants.. when actuality, it's mostly water retention.  This is why organic produce is often smaller, because the vegetables and the fruits are closer to their natural form with much more condensed nutrition load.  This is another reason why they say yield is so much greater for conventional, but in reality they are adding up water weight mostly.

Another thing that was not considered is that organic agriculture is not subsidized-- it's possible that perhaps some large farms could be, but for the most part organic farms are too small to be subsidized and they have too much variation in their produce.  Subsidies typically come from a very large supply of one kind of crop -- typically something like rice, soybean or corn.  

Huge subsidies are allotted to these grains, and then to industries that create meat.  

If we were to raise the cost of meat.. to it's actual cost. A pound of beef would cost something like $27.
That is just conventionally raised!  

Perhaps one of the best things we could do, is take away our subsidies on grains, and start subsidizing diverse fruit and vegetable crops.  This would raise the price of grain and meat, providing a real incentive for people to lower their consumption of these foods, which actually could be the best thing 'humanity' could do for our current health issues. 

Large meat and grain consumption have huge health implications, because many people only eat these foods and totally ignore the importance of a diet mostly based on fruit and vegetables.  Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes.. etc, all are effects of a diet based on too little vegetable and fruit intake.  

The more we can learn to care about our surrounding ecosystem functions, the lives of other plants and animal species, and the quality of life as it is... without trying to be improved upon and re-invented... the more we will actually see the what it means to live life with integrity, purpose, compassion and good-will.  This curse of anthropocentrism needs to end.. before it ends all of us.

We are only a strand in this huge web of life... somehow we have successfully encouraged and perpetuated the demise of other living organisms.. and soon we will find that we were attached to them all .. all along, as their demise, only drags us along.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Operation: Save the Rainforest.

The Rainforest is possibly the most intriguing amazing place on planet earth.

Granted, I have never actually visited one.  But can you imagine a world where there are no stories that involve the deep enthralling trenches of the trees, rain and multitudes of animals and unmet tribes?

The rainforest serves so many purposes on planet earth, apart from our cultural fascination with it.

One of which, which perhaps is most essential during this time is that the rainforest acts as an air conditioning unit for planet earth.

Unfortunately we have lost about 65% of the rainforest, as of the present day.  Mostly due to the beef industry, along with banana, palm oil, coffee, rubber, cocoa and wood harvesting/farming.

The rate at which we losing plant life and animal life never to be seen again.. is so depressing that I almost don't really want to post any more details.  But a must read book is, "Seeds of Change: the Living Treasure" by Kenny Ausubel

Seeds create our whole existence on earth possible.  They grow into wondrous plants that create the oxygen we breathe, they provide food, shelter and clothing for us.  And it is the very seed that could be the downward spiral of our current civilization.

Scientists have always had good intentions. They have always worked really hard to solve our worldly issues and problems, however, no matter how smart we think we become, mother nature will always be... well mother nature.

And if we mess with the genetic systems of earth too much, of course the earth will be fine-- she'll evolve in a different direction--but humans on the other hand, that's a whole different story.  Whether or not we will survive through this period of massive scientific knowledge and gene engineering.  No one can really be sure of.

The problem we face today is that most of our seeds come from 5 corporations.  Who have patented varieties of these organisms.  The seeds that are sold to farmers are hybrids--because hybrids have been designed to produce the 'biggest' crop and of course hybrids cannot be saved (that is taken from the plant to be replanted for the next year), so the farmer is dependent on the company to go back for more every year.

Furthermore, the companies have focused their efforts on a very small variety of seed.  Native americans were known to eat thousands of varieties of plants.  Today, in the grocery store, we may have short of a few hundred varieties.  With much less that we consume on a regular basis.

Without much genetic diversity in seed breeding programs, our hybrid seeds will continually lose vigor.

Without biodiversity rich forests and ecosystems to rely on for new flavors, stronger varieties, new medicines or more nutritionally rich new plants.  We will slowly fade just as the forest has.

The good news is, there are a few backyard farmers, who are saving their own seeds.  They have not given up on genetic diversity and they are developing trade with other backyard farmers and attempting to save some of our heritage that isn't being supported by many of these multibillion dollar companies.

So what else can we do for the Rainforest???

1.  Donate as much money as you can possibly afford to organizations who
         a.  Buy land so it can remain a rainforest.
         b. Organizations who help farmers become more sufficient in their land use, and teach locals how                to allow the forest to regenerate and use the forest sustainably as an income generator and as                  food
         c. Organizations who protect indigenous people who live there and or plants and animals
         d.  Organizations who are saving rainforest seeds
2. Try to avoid products from the beef industry, along with banana, palm oil, coffee, rubber, cocoa and      wood.
     a.  If this proves too difficult, find organic varieties sourced from fair trade.  For rubber and wood               products, see if you can find other products from second hand stores or perhaps use materials                 such as bamboo
3. Reduce your own carbon emissions as much as possible
     a. Eat as much plant based foods as possible and preferably from your own garden :)
     b. Eat organic
     c.  Eat local
     d.  Carpool, take a bus, walk, ride a bike.
4. Don't support the exotic pet trade.
5. Support wild habitat wherever it is found.  Get involved with your community, say no to new housing projects, say no to new development, say no to new oil rigs, say YES to establishing permanent protection on the few wild places we still have left.  Or even if it comprises of a few trees.  We have lived in imbalance with nature for too long, for too long we supported everything as long as it would produce 'money'. But money is a completely made up notion on completely arbitrary principles.  Actually the richest people in the world are the indigenous people who live in the forest.  That is, as long as we allow them to be there and we don't take their land away from them.
5. Tell your friends.
6. Tell your family
7. Tell strangers

It's completely possible, we just have to decide that it is worth it.  

The power of yoga and meditation

We have an epidemic of people trying to run away from themselves.

We numb ourselves with excess food, stuff, drugs and shallow media input.

We attempt to break away from draining relationships, jobs, places, etc, only to find that perhaps the outer world may have changed, but our inner feelings have remained the same.

What exactly are we running from?

Committing yourself to a teacher who inspires you, may assist in developing your inner power.

Likewise, learning to hold feelings that appear negative to you without acting upon them, also develops inner strength.

If you can't stand meditation.  This is a powerful indicator that you are an escapist.  Trying to avoid your inner demons at all costs.  Likewise, you may try to drown yourself in positive thinking and attempt to be in perfect situations at all times.  This may lead to irrational decisions, divorces, quitting of jobs, compulsive buying, self abuse/abuse to others etc.

The strongest people are the people who can actually be with their suffering without trying to change it.
The more we can hold ourselves in states of vulnerability and fear, the more we can see life for what it really is.

Yoga is another form of sharpening the mind's ability to hold discomfort.  Staying in poses or kriyas when there is strong discomfort builds inner fire.

All of these lessons can be applied to life.

Achieving goals and dreams requires staying with discomfort sometimes for long periods of time.  Learning to live with compassion for all beings, requires us to learn their sufferings, and learn the ways in which we cause sufferings.  This of course is hugely uncomfortable and many of us feel that we do not have the strength to see or hear or be with suffering in any capacity of the word.

But how else can we learn to live more in tune with our surroundings if we cannot endure the act of simply being?  Being in the midst of discomfort.  Being in the midst of discomfort from others.

We cannot escape life, thinking that we can avoid discomfort at all costs, only drives our souls to misery. It's in the ability to sit with our misery that awakens a deeper sense of belonging and peace.  It doesn't come immediately.  This takes practice.  Dedicated practice, but it will come.

May all beings be at peace in their souls.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Follow your dreams.

It's really too easy to double guess the path that you have so chosen as your life.

I look at my resume, and it amazes me.  But my resume isn't my life.  My life isn't always full of totally amazing adventures, okay maybe it is.  But it's too easy to begin to see those adventures, as normal.  We often allocate adventure with exotic lands and new people and totally new things happening all of the time.  Maybe it's what media feeds us, maybe it's our own ideologies about life.  But maybe the biggest adventure is actually what we may perceive as the most dull or even normal, maybe even just stressful.  Who says a 9-5 job cannot be an adventure?  No day is exactly alike the previous.

I have been seeking that inner spark which for some reason I completely had lost site of. 

Where your current life is, has less to do with your current idea of what you ought to be doing, it has everything to do with where you want to end up in the future.  

What is your biggest dream?  Could your biggest dream be accomplished if you continue to live life as you are in this moment for the next 10 years?  Are you doing something today that is difficult and challenging and you aren't quite sure if you can make it through, but do you see it as defining you for your future intentions for your life?  It seems to me, that in this generation we have grown so accustomed to instant gratification.  Which unfortunately doesn't quite create lasting happiness.  Real joy and real beauty comes from sweat and perseverance.  Sure maybe one day these things after much much practice will be easier to attain, but in the beginning it may not always be easy.  And that's okay!  In fact, it's the way it ought to be.  

I watched this video, and somehow everything clicked.  I suddenly realized, I am exactly where I need to be.  It currently may not seem easy, but I will push through.  I will work hard.  I will figure this all out.  And I will be better because of it.  I am in completely unchartered territory, but I won't let the unknown define who I am.  And I won't turn back.  I always imagined adventures as being jungles and mountains.  But in the age of enlightenment, adventures can really only be inner journeys (even if sometimes they ARE disguised as outer journeys of jungles and tigers).  They are journeys of mind and spirit and that may have nothing to do with the outdoors.  The outdoors have defined who I am my entire life.  And it continues to do so today.  However, now is the time that I learn to explore what is in my heart and how whatever I find I can bravely share with the world.  We have a lot of work to do on planet earth, we have a thousand broken things that need fixing.  I think we have what it takes though.  I think we can do it.

In this video, she talks about the '20's, granted the 20s are important and they should be seized, but in no way should this deter those in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s++ in not going in the direction of their dreams.  I say wherever you are in life, start now.  Start going down the path that you want to see yourself on in the coming years.  Age is an illusion.  Don't worry about magically 'being' who you want to be now, take tiny steps everyday that take you closer to the goal.  Start small.   

Check out this talk, for tiny habits.  

And for just an incredible talk on living your dreams.  

Friday, January 17, 2014


I had the idea of starting a seed company.  It's been on my mind on and off for the past several years. With global warming becoming more of an issue in several places, and perhaps global warming is a benefit in some areas.  Enabling plant growth where it would have been otherwise impossible.

Global climate change today, is much different from the changes in our climate in the past.  In the past the change occurred slowly over thousands of years.  Today, the temperature is changing so rapidly, that it is difficult to know how adaptable the species of earth will be.

In my area there are many trees which are dying due to the change in temperatures along with change in precipitation times and quantity.  An article is here:

How can we prepare ourselves before it is too late.

With everything we know about climate and regions, we should be able to work out something in an attempt to brace ourselves for more biological die offs.

If we were equipped however, in planting seeds and introducing species, we may be able to help shift biota from southern regions to northern.  For the species located on the equator, we will just have to wait and see if the rich biodiversity will be able to buffer the warmer temperatures.  Perhaps a re-wilding of indigenous species in places that have already been totally bulldozed or excavated, this perhaps is the best attempt to keep temperatures along the equator more reasonable.

But these equatorial plant species, are so vital, they have adapted themselves to lots of water and lots of warmth.  We have so many species of plants on planet earth, what if for every region, every town, we could get people together under one blanket organization or NGO in the task of collecting seeds.

It could be a network of people working to track temperature changes as well as seed exchanges.  Giving seeds out from communities to other communities whose temperatures will be matching theirs over the months or years.

This is a great talk about re-wilding, which triggered these thoughts within me.  Developing an organization of seed savers from all over the globe working with climate experts needs to happen!

If you are interested, let's start a conversation about it.  Let's do it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The start to a new year.


To be honest, with all of the global catastrophes and with the whole 2012 mayan calendar bit,  I wasn't really expecting for things to be functioning much after 2012.  But I guess these predictions can't really be trusted and our perceptions of the world don't necessarily make the world different from the way it is.

I am officially a matriculated graduate student, as of this month.  I have started my new classes, which are all very interesting so far, they are classes in organic agriculture as well as plant nutrient bioavailability.

I am enjoying them, I feel like I am learning quite a bit.  I also have the task of starting my research proposal soon.

My project will most likely be comparing in field soil test kits with laboratory soil tests.  Basically this kind of research will aid farmers/conservationists with soil dilemmas who may not have access to soil labs or means to send soils to one.

I feel good about learning more about this, and it does seem that this will be useful for me to know about once I am done with school and seeking to volunteer or do whatever I end up doing upon graduation.

The downside to all of this, it's difficult to get over the feeling of not doing anything at this moment.  Not living fully in this moment.

Like if it were up to me right now, I would want to be in an eco-community and just live, be in nature, working hard.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem that being in an eco-village and being at a university really go hand in hand. Maybe they do.. in my situation they don't really.

I currently live in an apartment in a city or town.. whatever it should be called, somewhat isolated from nature and wildlife.  Most of what I do these days involves work sitting down at a computer.

I keep telling myself, this will only be for a couple of years.  And then I will be able to serve that much more once I am through.

I find myself questioning this assumption all of the time.  Is it true?  Do I really have the focus required to read scientific journal after scientific journal?  Is it really going to benefit society that I live like this for the next two years?

On the other hand, the ideas of pulling out, and going and living with the land, I also worry about.  It could possibly be the biggest regret I will always have.  If I don't do this school thing now, I don't think it will ever happen.  Look how far I have come, I can't turn away now.

Maybe all of these thoughts come up so frequently because this is all so new to me.  All of it.  I have never had to write a proposal before, it's intimidating.

I have never had to structure my time so efficiently before.  It can be very stressful.

I can't help but to think though, that this is the exact training that I need.

Perhaps all of this is disguised by some degree by some university.  But actually it's a training in dealing with the mind.  It's training me to deal with negativity, and forming it into a manner that I must use in order to succeed.  Perhaps its showing me a different way to view life, instead of seeing everything as so black and white, teaching me the grey areas.

Perhaps it's teaching me how to be self-disciplined and cautious of just any kind of idea.

Perhaps most importantly it's teaching me confidence and how to be comfortable in my own skin.

It's possible that the program isn't teaching me all of this stuff.  It's also possible that I would be learning all of this stuff even without a program.  But I have to remind myself, that before I started on this journey to go back to school, I had similar feelings, I had feelings that I needed to be better, I needed to learn more, I needed to push myself.

And now that I am here, it's like I'm idealizing that other state of being.  But actually our real lesson in life, is to be happy and grateful for where ever we are.  Be at peace with it.  Be equally at peace with staying where you are, as well as going someplace else if needed.

Oh life lessons.  I am perpetually learning.