Exactly What Or Who Is It That Needs Saving?


I know we are all well aware of lots and lots of concerns, and even potential dangers, when it comes to what it happening to the Earth. I also know there are many ideas about how to proceed from doing not much at all, to regenerative approaches, to very intrusive and aggressive “solutions,” in our attempts to save the planet.

Personally, I would say we need to rethink the whole idea of saving the planet.

This is something I’ve been feeling for a long time now and it got touched off recently when I read the research our government is doing around solar engineering technology. In a nutshell, through the use of various technologies, the sun’s “harmful” rays are reflected back into the stratosphere.

My blood ran cold reading this as I began to wonder about the chain of events this could set in motion. Does it not occur to those in charge that directing the energy of one of the most powerful forces in the Universe back against itself and the rest of the solar system, might create something cataclysmic?

And as for the so-called “harmful” rays of the sun, how is this idea even in play given the life-giving influence the sun has on our planet? Without whose rays, we we would not be able to be here. Digging down further, does it make any sense whatsoever to interfere with something that is actually not even the problem?

But maybe that’s the point. Maybe this is another set of actions, strategies, initiatives and monetary outlays that keeps us from having to tangle with the most essential question of all. Is the sun our problem, or is it how we are living?

You would think given our illustrious history of disrupting the planet through DDT, glyphosate, GMO’s, deforestation and more, we might have learned something along the way about the consequences of our interventions. That we might have humbly learned to be the tiniest bit more cautious when it comes to our ideas about what can and cannot be controlled here on planet Earth.

Deepest of all questions, Are we once again refusing to address the root cause of what is happening? Of how it is that we have gotten to where we currently find ourselves? I think we refuse this question, because if we didn’t, there is only one conclusion we could possibly come to; the problem is us. It is us that needs the intervention. The planet does not need saving. We do.

I think the reason we are so overwrought with saving the planet is because it allows us to live in denial of our own actions. So like the family overly-focused on the behaviors of the addict, each person’s need to change goes unrecognized, and therefore undone.

But if you step back from all the denial, the fears, the arguments, the blame and the legislations, one thing is for sure: The planet will be just fine without us. She will go on. The real question is whether or not we will.

“Save the planet by saving yourself” is my motto.

In my experience, those of us who have learned how to “save” ourselves are those of us who have found greater balance within. People who know how to value and care for their own life, know how to value and care for the Life all around them. From this way of being there is no interfering with or trying to control anything. There is only a deep appreciation for Life in all its forms which goes on to serve as the basis for all decisions and actions taken in the world.

But here’s the catch: It’s way harder to save yourself than to save the planet. Far more difficult to roll up your sleeves and do the life-saving work on your own life. Way more strenuous to root out all the self-loathing, the disconnections and the misunderstandings and misuses of your own power that result in our current collective circumstances.

Maybe that’s why we don’t do it.

Where Body & Mind Meet


I was out on a run this morning with my husband, and I was struggling physically. Something has been off in my right ankle and it leaves my gait a little uncomfortable and a little wonky. Interestingly enough, the physical experience pales in comparison to the disruptions I was encountering in my mind.

I watched as my thoughts initially went to worst case scenarios. How I wouldn’t be able to run in an upcoming road race, or how I wouldn’t be able to hike next weekend. When that settled, it landed on a tsunami of explanations and justifications, all the things I was going to say to my husband after the run, about why I was running so slow.

Believe it or not, this is one of the main reasons that I love to be physical: Because of the opportunities it gives me to see just what my mind is up to under duress. What it does when things are not easy, comfortable or working out the way I need them to. So while we all know the benefits of moving the body, I think one of the unsung heroes here is the chance to get to know yourself at a very deep level.

What it is that you fear. Where you limit yourself. How often you compare yourself and what is happening to you against the expectations of others. I could go on and on about all the discoveries I have made over the years, but suffice to say, to move your body is to know yourself; in ways you will never access if you don’t challenge yourself, if you don’t get out of your own comfort zone, if you don’t discover that edge where body and mind meet.

I think we do everyone a disservice when we make moving our bodies a “have-to” based on avoiding some terrible outcome of disease and illness. In fact, look around. This approach is not working. Despite all of the information, and all of the admonitions around exercising more, we have never been more out of shape. Perhaps that is because, like so many things when it comes to how we are living, we are starting in the wrong place.

Instead of tapping into the depths of who we are and what we actually need, we get offered bubble gum versions of our lives and what is possible when what we need is a deeply nourishing perspective that includes the totality of who we are. One that goes beyond someone trying to sell us something. Or legislate something. Or scare us into something. Such small-minded approaches diminish the magnificence of who we are and what we deserve.

To be in your own body, and therefore with your own experience, and to move it according to your own inner urges, is to lay claim to your own sovereignty. It is to create a life based on assuming responsibility for your thoughts, your actions, and what it takes to live all of that into existence. It is a committed self-determination that says, “I will know my own mind and what it is that makes me tick.”

Meaning & Purpose


I’m reading a book where the author has just finished describing a study where more than half of us feel the work we do has no meaning. No purpose. That many of us believe what we do has no real use. With this comes all kinds of things from depression to disease to a sense of despair and worthlessness. And with all of this comes greater levels of unhappiness, addiction and vulnerability to looking for meaning in all the wrong places. To being prey for ways of coming together with others that offer purpose through harm. Like the KKK and other hate groups, getting into dangerous social media challenges, or being part of social trends based on peer pressure and the narrative du jour.

Right down the road we have a neighbor who when we first moved out here knocked on our door and asked if it would be okay to pick up the apples on the side of the road by our home. He went on to tell us that the tree the apples came from, a Baldwin, was an heirloom and likely over 100 years old. He waxed poetic about this being the best tasting and cooking apple there was.

At the time, I had no appreciation for any of this. Not only was I in over my head due to the big move we had just made, it didn’t feel natural to me to consider eating food off the land I was living on. I indulged him in the moment, and forgot about it all pretty quickly after he left.

Cut to twenty years later when that same tree died, leaving me grief-stricken over the loss. Over the years, I had come to anticipate and cherish its bloom that only came every other year. It was the apple of my children’s childhood, and a precious offering we shared with others.

For many years my neighbor tried grafting so he could propagate offspring from this ancient tree. It never took. Then I didn’t hear from him for a handful of years until the day I got a letter in the mail. He wrote that he had found other Baldwins and had successfully grafted them onto root stock, and was wondering if my husband and I would be willing to plant some of these tress on our land.

Besides our answer being a resounding yes, when he came up to bring the trees, it almost felt like we were adopting a baby from him. Not only did he have very clear conditions and instructions for the trees, he was very concerned about where they would go to insure they had a chance to survive the modernization of our world. At one point in the conversation, he told my husband he believed this was his purpose in life: To protect and continue the survival of this great tree.

This man is an exemplar of what it means to live with meaning and purpose. His actions were never based on what he was going to get out of all his efforts. His only drive being to answer a deep call from within. He is a wonderful living demonstration of how unique the expression of meaning and purpose can be in a person’s life. And my relationship to him and what I gained points to the unknowable and uncontrivable ripple effects our actions have on others when we find what we truly care about and live it all the way through.

None of this looks like, or “measures up to,” the criteria of our modern world where we have come to believe that for your life to have meaning and purpose, it must be about you and what you get. That you must have a million followers, that your efforts must be splashy, and that you must be ridiculously paid for what you offer to the world.

(The book I referenced is called The Psychology of Totalitarianism by Mattias Desmet)

The Way Of The Visionary


I am getting close to finishing an Energy Medicine training with The Four Winds Society, and while there has been so much I have learned, there have been a couple of teachings that have really stood out for me. One of which I would like to share here with you. That being, the power behind cultivating an orientation to Life that understands that we dream our world into being with what we think about, the quality of our emotions, and what it is that we repeat over and over again in our lives through what we say and do.

From the perspective of this tradition, dreaming the world into being is the way of the Visionary: The one who understands that the world is always showing us, always a reflection of, the quality and integrity of our internal states. Always mirroring to us the condition of our love and of our deepest intentions. As you can see, this has got nothing to do with what is “out there,” and everything to do with what is “in here.”

This is the opposite of the prevailing cultural attitudes and mandates that would say we have to go out there to make the changes we believe are necessary. The current paradigm would say we have to manage and control the behavior of others for us to feel safe. That we have to interfere with the ways of the natural world and other sovereign nations to make them come in line with our needs and ideologies. We can see this in the technologies being created to block the sun to avert climate disaster, the ways that we now believe we have a right to know other people’s health and medical choices so that we feel safe, along with all the ways that we interfere with other countries under the auspices of humanitarian involvement masking our less than agenda-free interests.

And while we would say that we must go outside of ourselves to fix, correct and change what we do not want, are afraid of, are not in line with our politics or are challenged by, is this the wisest course of action? Is it actually true that if we don’t do something “out there” that it will all fall into disarray? Or is this a mere projection out onto the world keeping us from dealing with what really needs to be dealt with? In other words, us, and the state of our own being.

With our focus on what needs to change “out there,” do we even know whether or not our actions are good and necessary ones? How could we even know the answer to this question if we are out of touch with our own inner workings around why we want what we want, or are afraid of what we are afraid of?

To have vision when it comes to what the world needs and would benefit from, is to first and foremost know yourself. What it is that makes you tick. What it is that you fear and fall victim to, and then project out onto the world at large. Basically, why it is that you do what you do, and want what you want. Why it is that you must have the world be a certain way.

If this make sense to you, try this: The next time you find yourself demanding that others, or the world at large, be a certain way, ask yourself, “Why do I need this to be so?” Repeat this question to yourself three times, giving yourself lots of space between each asking to feel into the answer. Let this question work on you in a deep way and watch how your first answer may be very different then your last one.

The world is in great need of visionaries at this time. Those of us clear enough and brave enough to recognize that everything we want in the world begins with a close and committed intimacy with our own thoughts, emotions, actions and beliefs. A dedicated and devoted practice to changing the one thing in life you actually have dominion over. Yourself.