Transformation | Presents of Presence | Asking the Right Questions

I suddenly have very limited time. Nothing like time constraints to force one into action! In fact, the underlying current of this blog is about constraints put on from the outside, which have actually been blessings because they have been lighting the flames to blaze my path. I’ve fortunately welcomed these, as I have wished to set into motion my path and cast a net of wider options. Aiming for excellence as opposed to perfection, I’m striving to accomplish projects as efficiently as possible and simply ‘get them out there’.

I’m presently living on a ranch on the dusty outskirts of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Entrance, Ranch, Florence, Arizona

Entrance and front porch to my living quarters on Ranch near Florence, Arizona

A town I had never heard of and a place I hadn’t fathomed living in several weeks ago. A month ago I shoveled two and a half feet of snow

2.5 feet, snow, Pennsylvania

2.5 feet of snow in Pennsylvania

in Pennsylvania, the largest snowfall in a decade, despite 2015 being the warmest year globally, on record. Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF experience on Veteran’s Ranch off the town of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF, Veteran’s Ranch, Florence, Arizona, Sonoran desert.

Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF experience on Veteran’s Ranch off the town of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Back in midsummer I was suddenly pushed to move out of my ‘childhood’ home, where I had been residing once again after moving back from Berlin, Germany. I anticipated having to leave this residence, eventually, yet had – from my perspective – an enormous task ahead of me. I needed to ‘go through’ a large closet packed with my possessions that had been stored there while I lived on the East and West coasts of the US and several European countries. The beginning of tackling this was through the serendipitously timed message of an online coworking coach, regarding approaching large tasks much more easily, by setting oneself very small goals: ‘mini habits’. This invoked me to begin stretching, meditating and eventually to begin ‘going through’ one, then another box, in un-intimidating doses. The task felt enormous, because rather than dealing with large pieces of furniture, it was with minute pieces of paper – boxes upon boxes of journals, sketches, letters – which I would eventually sift through and decide what to recycle and what to photograph and digitize, along with creating folders and a methodology of cataloguing so that I could easily retrieve this mass of media.

When I was forced to leave the home with a very short notice, my first response was not to panic and scramble looking for where to immediately go, but to pour my heart and mind into the intent of where I would ultimately love to go. I put out this notice https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/posting-a-jobhomecommunity-relocation-info-ad-for-myself/

The timing of it triggered me to go through my stuff, while awaiting an opening at a workaway position in Brooklyn, New York on a Ferry Boat – another deadline. I fortunately was offered a temporary residence which gave me the space to accomplish this task. A friend of my housing host repeatedly asked me “Aren’t you excited about moving to Brooklyn?”, to which I responded that I wasn’t in the least bit thinking about it, as I was focused in the present; doing the best job that I could in sorting through and digitizing a huge glutton of my past.

I made it through this material, while continuing to eat healthy foods, stretching daily and practicing heart-rhthym meditations. Then another synchronisitic event occurred. Aware that the Paris Climate Talks were approaching, as someone who blogs consistently about corpocrisy, animal rights, environmental, political and economic topics, I now happened upon the concept from the textbook of the ‘iamheart School of Heart Rhythm meditations‘ about directing a question during the meditation exercise. Some of the letters which kept surfacing while sifting through my stuff, connected with a discovery that emerged during and within hours of this meditation. A week later I was on a flight on my way to Paris within days of the beginning of the COP21. I joined a crew of 600 others to participate in the learning and transformative activist and journalism movement of Place to B, a gathering of people involved in actively engaging and transforming our relationship to the world ecologically.

Within the first minute of getting into my seat of the WOW airlines flight from Baltimore Washington to Reykjavik Airport, connecting to a flight to Paris; Kadi and I introduced ourselves and discovered that we were each headed to the same destination, Paris, for the COP21. We high-fived! I was heading to PlacetoB whereas she had a pass to enter the floor of dignitaries of the COP.

Carol Keiter, USA, Kadi Kenk, Estonia, WOW airlines, Paris COP21, Climate Talks

Carol Keiter from the USA and Kadi Kenk from Estonia sitting next to one another on the WOW airlines flight from Baltimore Washington to Reykjavik Airport, connecting to a flight to Paris; Each going to the Paris COP21 Climate Talks

She mentioned an Estonian designer who recognized the enormity of waste in the design industry of unused fabric, who started a ‘trash to trend’ movement. The ‘Reet Aus’ label means ‘up made’.

Trash to Trend, Estonian, Upcycled, Clothing Design

‘Trash to Trend’ Estonian 100% Upcycled Clothing Design Line

It implies all of the leftover fabric that is used instead of being thrown away. The designer works not with recycled, but 100% upcycled clothing line. As we talked, Kadi mentioned that she’s a lawyer in tax law. She had started to volunteer at letsdoitworld a World Cleanup Day designated for 2018. Once she finished her position and realized she had no limitations, she began to open up to see things that were always there, but that she hadn’t noticed before: not just opportunities, but a completely different way of living one’s life.

She mentioned that things open up for people who are willing to open themselves to seeing things in a new way.

By going with the flow and trusting in one’s intuition, this allows one to be able to now see things, even though they were always there, but which one wasn’t able to see.

Let's do It, World Cleanup Day 2018

Let’s do It World Cleanup Day 2018

One of the first distinctions I realized upon sitting in my first day seminar at the PlacetoB, was a palatable spiritual essence within the presentations. Here were people who gathered because of their longing to make positive changes in the world. Changemakers, innovators, creatives and media professionals here in Paris to explore solutions to sustainable living, with the intent to share stories and seed their own media in ways to help create change. People with ideals they believe in, and the incentive and intent act on their creative instincts in whatever ways they conceptualized. I would say that one common denominator is that all think outside of the box; going with their hearts to manifest what they believe in. It was no accident that my heart meditations brought me there. On my first day there attending a seminar at PlacetoB, the host of the Transformational Media Summit, Jeremy Wickremer’s message reverberated with me. He spoke of the importance of asking the right questions. More important than driving towards answers, is asking questions, as this already is less limiting, and opening oneself up to a field of creativity. Wickremer prompted zealously emphasizing that “The quality of our questions affects the quality of our lives. It affects where we focus our efforts and what we achieve.”

I am daily asking questions within my meditations of how best I can serve, doing what I love to do and what I feel passionately about. Trusting in this, with the steady stream of various messages that have helped to guide and nudge me into a secure space, despite having subsequently moved to this workaway Ferry boat gig in Brooklyn, New York days following my return from Paris and told that it wasn’t going to work. And then moving back to the place which was my temporary refuge while I sifted through my stuff, and was told that this as well was not going to work, I felt that each was a gift, to push me to move on towards what will be the better way for me to manifest my dreams and use my skills best.

Once again rather than panicking about having shelter, my first instinct was to follow through with a blog I was putting together, that suddenly erupted into yet another synchronistic series of connections; the fact that in my research I happened upon the same organization that I later discovered was what had also been sent to me by one of my PlacetoB comrades. I delved first into contacting an organization with an introduction to myself and defining what I would love to do with them, using a set of skills from illustration to writing, conceptualizing to marketing their service abroad with my language skills. I then prompted myself to put out another pair of blogs as a christening of the job application. My approaching deadline of potential homelessness now serendipitously called me to consider paring down to what I could carry on my back, as in Paris, just two backpacks. Now my Facebook groups emerged with concepts of hitchhiking South (having just shoveled two and a half feet of snow in PA days earlier). Now I was looking at posts in the hitchhiking group about ways to travel and sleep for free, several of which I had already been acquainted with. In this process of investigation into now the possibility of simply beginning to travel South, with the idea of contacting and interviewing successful agroforestry farmers in Central and South America, I learned of a Frenchman born in 1937 who basically hitchhiked and traveled more extensively than anyone, André Antoine Brugiroux, who between 1955 and 2005, visited every country and territory in the world.

Having not heard back from the Center for Ecoliteracy organization in Berkeley, California where I created my own position which I presented to them, and having little savings and an ever increasing credit card debt, I now was inspired to begin hitching, however then the Zika virus scare erupted into the news. I then aimed towards the idea of searching for workaways in Europe, where ultimately I would love to reside, to ever expand my language skills. From Sicily to France, the idea of learning ecological practices from the pros, those with their own farms to then communicate in writing, this was now my pursuit. I went as far as investigating universities in France to combine studying French as a foreign language with ecological studies, yet the timing was not quite right, the semester was just starting and I had yet to acquire a student VISA. A sister of mine then reminded me of the WWOOFing concept which I new of vaguely. Within days of joining and creating yet another online profile about what I can offer and lots of investigation, I received an answer. Within minutes I remembered autodriveaway as possibility of transporting myself as I had use previously when driving back to the East coast from California with the car packed with my own stuff. This time there were only two autos on their entire list – in February – that needed to be transported. I opted for the one from the East to the West coast. The person who had been lined up to transport this car backed out at the last minute and now it was urgent. I had just enough money with more cc debt to manage the deposit, and now my plan was coalescing. I coordinated what I’d need to be a Ranch hand (hiking boots, sturdy clothes to get mucked up and gloves, sunscreen) and hitched to the location to pick up the car. My first ride within minutes of standing by the road in central PA with a sign to the next highway, was a guy who was listening while he drove to ‘The Secret‘ on his laptop in his van, and decided that there was ‘a reason for picking me up’. He drove me most of the way, having no specific jobs of urgency that morning. As he pulled into a gas station for us to find out where we were in relation to Washington D.C., he had just gotten a text about a job that sprung up, and I saw a well dressed man in his hat walking to his car. Something told me to launch out, leaving my luggage to approach this man and ask if he was driving towards D.C. He was my ride to one of the outer metro stops that would bring me from the northern tip of the Washington District of Columbia metropolitan subway transit system to where I needed to go on the southern end in Alexandria, Virginia to pick up the car. The woman working for the transit system was my third hitch, she gave me a pass to show upon arrival at my station stop.

I drove a Honda Civic (same automobile that I was driving of my mother) across the country. Leaving behind as a gift, the magnets a friend handcrafted in Taos, New Mexico – signifying to me the spiritual essence of life’s path.

Magical Magnets handcrafted by Betsy Pierce

Magical Magnets handcrafted by Betsy Pierce

and was off

the last sunset shot in Pennsylvania

the last sunset shot in Pennsylvania

And having taken a photo of the last sunset I saw in central Pennsylvania, I met my new host after climbing into her truck to take a lovely sunset photo here in my new environment, the Arizona desert.

Arizona sunset at the pickup point off Interstate 10.

Arizona sunset at the pickup point off Interstate 10.

Besides the changing landscapes that evolved from the thick moist air of the Washington D.C. area to then the hills of Tennessee and then the obvious encroaching desert of Oklahoma, were the accompanying radio stations which were now broadcasting more Christian radio shows and Christian rock, the further south and west I drove. By the time I was in the Pan Handle of Texas, there was a preacher-like radio caster who denounced Planned Parenthood as something to be handcuffed, and that the applauded birth-rate drop while it was still in existence, was to him, nothing to boast about. I guess he doesn’t notice the global problems due to overpopulation…

I managed to pull a 17 hour day drive so that I could arrive in Albuquerque NM the following day at a reasonable hour to meet up with my friend since the days when I lived in Taos. The timing was perfect, non-calculated yet having driven with the incentive to have some spare time.

The down sleeping bag that the former captain of my Berlin Ultimate Frisbee team gifted to me.

Glad I had the down sleeping bag that my former captain of my Berlin Ultimate Frisbee team “Yeehaw” gifted to me, as the windshield upon waking was sketched with crystals of ice.

I stopped at the Ranch to drop off my two backpacks and to become introduced to what I was about to commit to. I wasn’t yet sure how I’d return to Arizona from Los Angeles once I delivered the car. However after investigating Greyhound, then put some ads in the LA craigslist rideshare, and even scouted out local public and private Los Angeles airports with the idea of hitching a plan, I sent out a message to a friend who lives there. We had lived in San Francisco at the same time, then met up randomly at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and then became housemates in Santa Fe, New Mexico and he tipped me to get a job working at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. We then were for a period both living in Berlin, Germany at the same time and now each back in the States. It turned out that though numerous people answered my craigslist ad looking for a ride, my friend Paul was just returning from a day’s ski trip and was leaving in another day and a half to drive to Tucson, Arizona to attend the Gem and Jam music festival which he had purchased tickets for in advance. It just so happened that he’d be driving on Interstate 10, which is the route I took to CA from AZ, and where I could be picked up by the Rancher. Yep, another rather scintillating example of synchronistic timing! Here are pics of the road trip

flickr pics of my East to West autodriveaway trip transporting a Honda Civic (I love these cars) and of some scenes in Los Angeles

flickr pics of my East to West autodriveaway trip transporting a Honda Civic (I love these cars) and of some scenes in Los Angeles

and also of some interesting Los Angeles scenes.

Now I’m working rather long hours and doing physically harder work than I’ve ever done in my life, yet with absolute love for the animals I’m helping to take care of for a rancher who is a tremendously hard worker. She is teaching me efficiency, as she juggles multiple tasks; a job, milking goats with a machine, raising chickens, turkeys, two pot-bellied pigs and making lotions and soap with the goat milk base. She is also part of a volunteer Search & Rescue team who must ride horses for their operation; the most efficacious way to search for a lost person in the desert is not with an automobile, but by horse. Her husband tends to the horses and cattle. They have 6 dogs, three of which are ‘working dogs’ yet completely lovable pets, and all of which are at least 80 pounds a piece. WWOOFing is excellent for the hosts, who as farmers and ranchers typically have endless chores and work to maintain their operations, and great for people like myself who can step into a completely new environment, and learn continuously about aspects of farming etc. that are new; offering one’s physical help in exchange for room and board. I specified in my search that I needed internet access. Voila! In this solitude, living in the middle of nowhere in the sonoran desert with no vehicle (except for my thumb), I opted to bring a folder of all of my Paris paraphernalia and my digital camera and laptop; to continue to spread all that I learned during the two weeks in Paris and to complete my book and start composing more music. It is a purposeful isolation, and really quite unique. As someone who has still not marketed myself nor find an artist residency, nor a publisher willing to gamble on an unpublished writer, nor any grants or funds from a foundation to assist, this seemed to be the best option – specifically since the whole theme of the Paris COP21 and PlacetoB is about transforming all of our habits towards ecologically healthy ones for humans and all inhabitants of the planet, for a better world.

For anyone who has read this far, I can say that this is giving me a taste of what it is like to be a prisoner. I am the only worker here, so all of the load is falling on me, and it is sort of endless and presently a bit overwhelming. I have no days off, must be up at 6am every day, and rarely are the hours contained to the typical WWOOF schedule of 5 hours/day, totaling 30 hours a week. I have felt at times like what it must be like to be an indentured servant; for example a Pakistani immigrant worker in Saudi Arabia, working for ‘masters’ who may not be very gracious or kind. I feel like I am consistently fighting to keep the hours per day to a reasonable workload so that I can have time to work on my own projects, and it has been a continued struggle. Now I am wondering what it is that I can do, where to go, as I am earning no money whatsoever. It sounded like a reasonable way to accomplish things and this place seemed ideal in my minds eye; to put myself into solitude where I would just work on my projects. Up front it was stated that no smoking, drinking or drugs would be tolerated. I typically have a glass of red wine with my dinner, a smoke once in a while and yet certainly I am demonstrating that I’m not addicted to any of these because I can carry on fine without. Yet I feel like I hardly have any time. I am now questioning why it is that I somehow can not manage to find work that employs my skills; illustrating, writing, conversational German, French and Spanish and administrative skills and plenty of creative and conceptual ideas. I’m also a very social person who presently is sort of marooned in an area so rural with no vehicle or bicycle, so that I can’t go out at all. In fact, I feel that I am not being treated with much dignity or respect, and wondering why I have come to this place? What was it in the stars that compelled me to idealize this one, and launch myself here? Perhaps the lesson is that I have not worked on completing my book or composing any new music. I am not sure what the ‘universe’ is telling me? Perhaps it is that the joke is on me for not having had the courage or belief in myself to really dive into crafting my own skills and putting this out there. Therefore, I am definitely on a transition, and I’m not sure to where? Hmmm, within an hour of writing this paragraph and perusing Facebook while eating my dinner, I came across this post which my sister shared. It seems to hold the key!

self-sabotage, limiting beliefs

Within an Hour of adding this previous paragraph, I discovered this post which my sister had shared on her Facebook Wall | Are you Blocking your own Success

In retrospect, though the message is essentially solid, once I checked out this woman’s video I got a little annoyed with the typical selling strategy: buy now or you’ll lose out, and with this offer, you’ll get such and such for free, only while it lasts!!!! I just don’t go for these gimmicks and sales techniques, they turn me off. Funny, when I first tuned in to get my free counseling video, suddenly my computer decided to ‘update my safari browser’ and then the whole ‘streaming’ was glitchy using another browser. I do appreciate the information; about the ways that a person can be self-sabotaging through subconscious thoughts and ‘limiting beliefs’ that were imprinted into the unconscious during childhood when a person is operating mostly on ‘Theta Brainwaves’. And her points about repetition of empowering and positive thoughts envisioned and surrounding oneself with positive and supportive people who take action and make creative changes in their lives….yet I think that one can tap into this through meditation, opening up a channel to the ‘intelligence of the universe’ or whatever you wish to call IT.

Here I am,

carol_keiter_blogger_wwoof_res_feb20

carol_keiter_blogger_wwoof_res_feb20

the blogger in my ‘moose lake lodge’ in the Sonoran desert where I’m participating in my first WWOOF experience on the Veteran’s Ranch, a means of avoiding homelessness while at the same time being very interested in learning about farming techniques from the pros – the people who run the farms and ranches – and I absolutely love and adore animals of every type.

 

When I’m not working with the animals or on my own projects, I’m taking pictures of the sunsets, which have been gorgeous lately.

the sunset from all angles on this Sonoran desert feb 19th evening

the sunset from all angles on this Sonoran desert feb 19th evening

As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously to please donate, if you are able. !-))

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The New Story | Sustainability | Capra & Luisi’s ‘Systemic View’ | Heart Dimension

Sustainability may not be widely discussed in the network news channels, as ‘action’ news stories often focus on human conflicts, disasters and economic problems of immediacy, rather than delving into long-term repercussions or solutions. Often one is not presented with situations from the standpoint of how you, the viewer, can potentially get involved and help to transform the situation.

In fact we have often received information, from the top-down, through a hierarchy of stations delivered by a few news networks, owned by a few individuals. However, even the new story, implies a new way of gleaning information; through social networks. This implies horizontal sharing of information which a person can actively investigate on their own, delving into sources of information that offer alternative views or by talking with one another, sharing ideas or even taking a walk in the woods to contemplate. So rather than being spoon-fed bits of information, it’s a process of actively investigating and sharing. In other words, thinking, for oneself.

You really Are What you Think.

Sustainable Man, A New Story of the People

Sustainable Man A New Story of the People

The “New Story of the People” is narrated breathfully by Charles Eisenstein; his story of ‘a more beautiful world’.

A New Story, being in service to something larger than yourself

A New Story being in service to something larger than yourself

With respect to the ‘Sustainable Human’, Eisenstein talks about how in the last hundred years science has been focused on dissecting and reducing things to their elemental parts in the quest to understand our universe and the matter which makes up our world. Yet during the scientific process, the influence of the subjective viewer has come to be understood as influencing the object of study. In the past, this would have been discounted as something that can not be empirically proven. As the Western World expands beyond its scientific rationalism and objectification of the world in the ‘Industrial Age’ into a new view of the web of connections through the discoveries during the ‘Information Age’, our definitions are changing. And these spill over from the scientific view of the universe, into parallel pursuits in other arenas, such as recognizing that there is really something to the wisdom traditions of Eastern spirituality and mysticism. A perspective that has been compatible to various indigenous people all over the planet for millennium.

Eisenstein metions that “A new paradigm has begun to evolve along with this scientific view that emerged out of physics; a paradigm which sees the universe not as discreet parts with everything distinctly separate, but as interconnected.”

paradigm shift of perception, from separateness to interconnectedness

We are in a paradigm shift of perception, that moves from separateness to interconnectedness

When I was younger, my interest in science as well as consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, drew me to read the book “The Tao of Physics ” written by the physicist Fritjof Capra.

Fritjof Capra, an Austrian-born American physicist, described in this book what the new sciences were disclosing, a completely new way of looking at the universe, particularly looking at the world from the scientist’s perspective of probing the smallest building blocks.

The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra

The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra

Capra went on to write together with biochemist Pier Luigi Luisi “The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision”. The authors mention that the book primarily deals with the question, “What is Life?”. Their years of research reveal that from bacteria, to cells, to organs, to living organisms from plants and insects to birds and mammals involve networks.

At the core of this paradigm shift, is a perception shift from ‘separateness’ to ‘interconnectedness’.

Rather than looking at isolated events or bodies within its skin or shell, the most obvious characteristic of life are the relationships among networks with other bacteria, cells and creatures as well as relationships between different species, organs and colonies of beings. Life of all kinds, is not a distinct entity which can merely be quantitatively measured and classified into a particular domain, but the very essence of life is a qualitative interconnection between others of its kind and the whole ecological system of relationships between different species.

The common thread of all life is that it is the network. the network is a pattern consistent through all of life, the network is a series of relationships. the science that describes this new perspective is called the ‘Systemic View’. Nature sustains itself in the sense that every organism, from a cell, to an organ, to a body, to the social nature of a species, to the planet itself is an autopoietic system that regenerates itself. This works because it is in a set of relationships within a network system.

Vita e Natura - Life and Nature - video intro of Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi's book - The Systems View of Life A Unifying Vision

Vita e Natura – Life and Nature – video intro of Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi’s book – The Systems View of Life A Unifying Vision

Here is an “essay excerpted from The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision”, presented on the (CEL) website Center for Ecoliteracy, which Capra co-founded.

Capra and Luisi argue “that many of the most important problems we face today – from financial instability to climate change and ecological degradation – reflect our collective inability to appreciate just how the world operates as a holistic, networked system in which every part depends on every other. This is something that can be approached and healed, from the systemic view. We need to live in a way that allows the planet itself to regenerate itself naturally. This leads us to consciousness of ecological sustainability and the intent to build and live in sustainable communities.

You are not distinct from Nature, You Are Nature

This New Story is all about sustainability: the capacity for human individuals and societies to live in a way that reduces the amount of the earth’s resources that they use, to a level that is compatible with the earth’s ability to regenerate itself and maintain a healthy balance.

This recognition of life as a network of relationships that are holistically healthy and regenerative only insofar as each of the interconnected parts are, as articulated in the Systemic View of life, is beginning to emerge in all different aspects of human relationships, as something to aspire to.

• in the individual – recognizing that we are as healthy and strong and happy only insofar as other members of the human community are also compatibly accessing education and opportunities as well as healthy environments
• in the cohesion of the human social community – in which cooperation rather than competition, diversity in participation and sharing between disciplines and groups is a healthy circulatory system
• in the realm of health – towards new ways of gardening and farming as well as the recognition of health sustaining nutrients inherent in foods and spices
• in emotional well-being – bringing the mind and the body into an interactive balance of movement and stillness; movement for healthy circulation, stillness to allow oneself to connect to that dimension which is beyond our immediate focus
• in spiritual continuity – recognizing that diversity is the spice of life; homogeneity breeds incestuous, narrow-mindedness and stagnation
• in economic behavior – towards openness & transparency, collaboration, horizontal sharing of ownership and the subsequent democratization of wealth
• in political systems – the more open and transparent the governing representatives, the more trust and mutual consensus for what is relevant and important in the fabric of existence; which includes humans, a healthy environment and relationship with all species

Diversity is healthy, whereas homogeneity breeds incestuous narrow-mindedness.

The New Story has evolved as our stories about ourselves, and the place of the human being in the world evolves.

You really Are what you Believe.

Ego vs Eco | Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation | The Nature of Business

Ego vs Eco | Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation | The Nature of Business

The premise of the organization “Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation” is that our perception of reality and our worldview has been outdated. “We are witnessing a change in business paradigm from one suited for the industrial era to one suited for the interconnected era.”

In 1995, the physicist Fritjof Capra together with the philanthropist Peter Buckley and think tank director Zenobia Barlow, founded the Center for Ecoliteracy with the intent of sharing the awareness of the systemic view with students, through a series of educational programs that support ecological principles and systems thinking to curricula and projects in habitat restoration, school gardens and cooking classes, partnerships between schools and farms and curricular innovation among K12 schools. Among other things, the center helps to develop projects in habitat restoration, school gardens and cooking classes and partnerships between schools and farms, with the awareness that health begins with a healthy diet.

You really Are what you Eat.

Ecoliteracy dot org Education for Sustainable Living

Ecoliteracy dot org Education for Sustainable Living

Frijof Capra says that he has studied agroecology or regenerative agriculture.
Agroecology or agroforestry combines; forestry, agriculture and livestock. It is beyond sustainable, it is actually regenerative.

Jeremy Wickremer’s mentions in his article for The Ecologist Connecting the Dots: the Big Permaculture Picture ”Just like you need a holistic vision for a healthy mind and body, the same applies for a healthy planet. One way of living that seeks to do this is permaculture. To put it simply, permaculture is agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. It is a design system that mimics nature, where everything in the design supports everything else.”

Syntropyc, Regenerative Agriculture, Ernst Götsch

Syntropyc Regenerative Agriculture, Ernst Götsch

In terms of sustainable and regenerative agriculture, Agroforestry is land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. It’s another example of replenishing the environment with nutrients and water, without needing chemicals or pesticides. This encourages growth in biodiversity and is healthier for farmers.

Besides the growth of food and the reflection of these sustainable practices on all of the other creatures with whom we share our planet, there are plenty of business solutions that are as well following this New Story, emulating what already clearly works in nature. One group is “Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation” also speak of the “out-dated worldview, a perception of reality inadequate for dealing with the volatile and globally interconnected business world.”

Having attended the “People and Planet First” conference in September of 2015 presented by the (IPS) Institute for Policies Studies in Baltimore, Maryland, the panelists also talked of a “New Story“. Among the speakers were Annie Leonard “The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard” and historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz who mentioned that though this new stream of activity towards cooperative business and horizontally-shared ownership is happening in discrete communities all over the United States, it isn’t being consciously driven, yet.

Eisenstein, in his Sustainable Man video about The New Story, talks of stepping out of this paradigm of control and allowing oneself to be of service to this larger body of which we all are a part. And that as we direct our questions and intent to ask what we can do to serve having a healthier body, mind, well-being, community and world, that indeed, the answers and direction will arise in response to the intention.

step from paradigm of control, ask how you can serve, and the opportunities will arise

When you feel that you are here in service, and bow to that, opportunities will arise to allow you to act on that intention.

Besides the rational means of digesting information, there is the whole realm of the invisible. I’ll call it the domain of the heart. Herein lies the capacity of a person to intuit something and feel whether the information is in alignment with the words. A person can sense whether they feel good around a person, or uneasy. A person can have an impression beyond the rational, about whether the words of another person seem to convey the same as their gestures, or whether something is not quite in synch. One can sense whether something they read or see feels accurate and sound, or whether there is something amiss. Many animals can sense with a heightened capacity – with sense organs much more highly tuned to frequencies beyond those of human beings – to see, hear, detect movements and subtle alternations in the environment.

I mention the heart literally and figuratively as a metaphor. The heart is the central organ in the body – lets just talk about human beings – that is consistently circulating oxygen, nutrients and carrying away wastes throughout the body. The heart pumping station, is also by its nature generating an electromagnetic field which is larger than that produced by the brain. The heart also has a complex system of neurons, cells that are consistently transmitting information to the rest of the body. When the heart is in synch in the individual with feelings of joy and love, this invisible field expands. When an individual is more channeled into negative emotions of fear and anger, this field constricts.

Every Small Gesture Has Significance

The perception of the heart has everything to do with the health of all of the other organs of our body, of individual health in general, of the health of societies, permeating into healthy relationships with other organisms and with the health of the earth, which is an organism just as we are.

The heart is also metaphorically an organ of connection with others. Besides wonder, exuberance, joy and gratitude that a person can feel within him or herself, the words love, compassion and empathy typically imply a connection with another.

no external universe, every action we do, we do  to ourselves

And as we begin to take tiny actions that follow the logic of the heart – which knows that each act is significant – the logic of the mind of the older world begins to be replaced. This power of repetition which can physically build muscles, is what occurs mentally, neurologically. Each time you think differently, you are rewiring your brain. This concept called Neuroplasticity has to do with the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This rewiring allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

My introduction into the wisdom of the heart probably began through readings of Deepak Chopra. A physician and author, meditation guide and founder of the Chopra Center; who introduced this awareness that has been understood for Millenia in various Eastern spiritual traditions, of the effectiveness of meditation and this connection to the vast unknown dimension of energy. Chopra has teamed more recently with Oprah Winfrey to bring this domain of the spirit, of tapping into the hidden world of energy through stillness and meditation.

I then was introduced to the practice of ‘Heart Rhythm meditation’ which purports a harmonious and healing relationship within oneself and the universe beyond, through simply aligning the rhythm of one’s breathing to the rhythm of one’s heart beat. It is a practice introduced to the West by a Sufi Hazrat inayat Khan who descended from Pashtuns, an ethnic group originally from Afghanistan and Pakistan. This meditation practice was brought to me by a certified AMA physician who understands the multidimensional healing that this practice provides – from reducing stress, to lowering blood pressure, creating a more harmonious heart rate and allowing oneself to access in this stillness, the domain of energy that stretches way beyond the physical heart and body.

It was in this meditative state that I posed questions regarding what I can do of service, which sent me through a leap of faith to Paris during the COP21 Climate talks to the Place to B, an integration of lectures, workshops, panel discussions and barrage of information sharing, attended by 600 people from 40 countries. This sharing of information about climate change and sustainable alternatives took place simultaneously with the COP21 Climate Talks. The Place to B: Place to Brief was conceived of and founded by the journalist and author Anne-Sophie Novel and the director of production Nicolas Bienvenue. They were surrounded by a team of people who coordinated the continuous flurry of learning events and entertainment, with a tremendous group of visiting presenters, entrepreneurs and activists who each delivered their scintillating information and testimonies of successes and inspirational savvy from all corners of the world. 600 people representing 40 countries arrived in Paris to participate in what the Place to B/Place to Brief offered; alternative media, a collective with presentations, speakers and workshops, panel discussions and music and yoga and meditation workshops all happening at one central location throughout the two week duration of the Climate Talks.

One of the workshops I attended was the Transformational Media Summit : Storytelling and Media for a Better World. The New Story summit was hosted by Jeremy Wickremer, co-founder of Transformational Media Initiative In his presentation, Jeremy Wickremer spoke of the fact that each of us are potentially change-agents, with the capacity to do actions that can have a big impact on the environment – our own lives, our communities and the larger environment. And that what is more potent than merely drawing up solutions from a logical methodology, is to start with the right questions, which prompts creativity in itself. Specifically, he mentioned that your intention – within the guise of a question – will often be answered. He more recently wrote in an article “Our Invisible World” about the fact that many things which steer human behavior, emotions, health, psychological and spiritual well-being have to do with the energy that lies beneath the actions. And that the common illnesses which affect modern man and the crisis of violence that threat human cultures, have to do with a disconnect. This disconnect is within our own selves, our patterns and habits of how we live our lives. There is a disconnect within ourselves, among one another and that humans have with other creatures and nature; which is presently resulting in the greatest magnitude of habitat destruction, dissemination of species and global ecological balances and health.

The biggest disharmony of all is perhaps our relationship with the natural world.

Daniel Goleman is the psychologist, science journalist and author of “Emotional Intelligence”. He posits that non-cognitive skills can matter as much as a person’s I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) for workplace success in “Working with Emotional Intelligence”. In 2007, Goleman wrote about “Social Intelligence” and in 2009, “Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything

So called ‘primitive people’, without having had the use of technological tools that more ‘advanced’ civilizations have had at their disposal and for their distraction, have had thousands of years of penetration into the invisible world that the modern Western world has only been starting to grasp is in the last 50 years. And with the spiritual and emotional well-being deficit that modern man has come to feel, this dis-ease of the human spirit, disconnect with oneself, growing obesity, growing psychological disorders and reliance on quick-fixes such as pharmaceuticals, and growing disharmony and feelings of isolation, have reached towards and cherished many ancient traditions that have evolved in the Eastern World to ease their dis-ease and treat their disharmony with something more than a quick fix of treating the symptoms instead of the disorder. They have reached towards practices of meditation, yoga, t’ai chi and walking into nature and silence, with a visceral understanding that these practices have short and long term benefits.

Listening to Intuition is the Wisdom of the Heart.

There is so much we can do, and we do have the ability to consciously act towards sustainability.

Many little voices make a tremendous noise, and many little gestures, create big changes.