You’re not going to believe this.

New E-book cover raw 1600X2400I wrote a book and now you can read it. I’m really excited for a lot of reasons. This is my first go at a full-length humor novel and it’s better than I could have ever expected. Though it was written pre-2016 election meltdown and the subsequent political nuclear fall-out, the themes in this book are as timely and hard-hitting as ever – it’s controversial and challenges the status quo of American culture; it’s a book about freedom. This book is for anyone who A) enjoys hilarious fiction B) is baffled by our current political and cultural paradigm, C) loves a good romp in the fields of satire, and D) seeks to combat our crazy world with humor, refreshing perspectives, and ween themselves away from the fear-based worldview that no longer serves our existence on planet Earth.
#newrelease #satire #writing #politics #iauthor #humor #comedy #read #write #learn http://ow.ly/i/sR9fI

We took a bus out to playa Belandra just

We took a bus out to playa Belandra just beyond La Paz. Overtaken by beauty, we missed the last bus home. Waiting on the side of the road we got picked up by two Mexicans from the mainland, a young and friendly couple destined for adventures north in Oakland where they would finish their training to become trapeze artists. #freshperspectives #baja #mexico #travel #belandra #sealife http://ow.ly/i/sDvNb

Wilderness Therapy: the healing power of nature

 

snow-camping

A year ago today I was camping in some pretty dire conditions. I was one of three staff members in charge of keeping a group of 8 emotionally unstable teenage boys alive during one of the biggest storms Oregon has seen in years. One experience comes to mind:

I’m awoken at 3:00 A.M. by one of the boys. “Staff! Staff! I can’t breath.”

I roll over and groan. (Totally the way to handle a potentially life-threatening emergency.) This particular individual had just had a panic attack around 11:30 that night and so my response was, “OK, just take some deep breaths, bud. Everything’s fine.”

Ten seconds pass. “Hey, I’m still having a tough time breathing.”

Another voice: “Me too! I’m having a hard time breathing, too!”

And another: “I can’t breathe either. What’s going on??”

Oh! I’ll bet that the four feet of fresh snow on everyone’s tent might have something to do with it. Holy crap! These kids really can’t breathe. Time to shovel them out.

This was one experience out of dozens. Anyone who has been exposed to Wilderness Therapy (either client of guide) knows that it’s the real deal. These kids are out in the elements anywhere from 1-3 months at a time – rain, wind, snow, or shine. The idea is simple: unplug from the “default world” and get back to basics. Surviving in the wilderness builds confidence; nature helps people develop a sense of place and belonging in a world gone mad.

20151225_152914.jpg

 

I’ve been a wilderness guide for a long time now. I consider myself extremely blessed to be able to guide people for days on end through remote wilderness. When you take people out of their comfort zones you get to see what people are really like when they don’t get their fix, be it the internet, alcohol, or the sound of traffic (seriously some people can not go to sleep if they only hear crickets).

 

The transition away from the default world can be a rocky one, but after those first two nights of sleeping on the ground, something happens. It’s like we’ve realigned with an ancient memory encoded in our blood and we realize this is the real world. Afterwards, it’s the coming back to civilization that takes some adjustment.

G0842914.JPG

 

This post is just a teaser. I want to dive much deeper into the philosophy of using nature to heal the human psyche in the weeks to come. I believe the earth has much to teach us. All we have to do is listen.

 

 

 

Man’s conscious communication with the natural world – and the incredible response.

Our relationship with the earth is much more dynamic than we currently understand. 

Humans have known for thousands of years that the natural world is conscious and alive.

Our relationship with the natural kingdom has transformed in the modern age – we have become separated from our origins. Living in buildings, disconnected from the elements, even something as simple as wearing shoes outside limits our ability to tap into the conscious power of the world around us.

For a lot of people, going back to the “old ways” is a little too much. Trust me, I get it, and in many regards, I’m one of them. I’m not a big fan of getting trapped in a rainstorm without a jacket, suffering through barrages of mosquitos and insects without bug spray, or sleeping on the dirt without a sleeping bag in the cold. Fortunately, we don’t necessarily have to go to these extremes. If we want to access the wisdom that this planet is willing to share the first step it learning to understand two simple concepts:

Everything is connected, and everything is alive.

This isn’t a new concept by any means. Animists have spoken for centuries about the consciousness of mountains and boulders.  Indigenous natives still speak about their relationship with the world around them – as if the very elements were their friends. (I am reminded of the many stories of Native Americans calling in the water after a rain dance.) Here’s an excerpt from a well-titled study: Being Nature’s Mind: Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Planetary Consciousness. Here one man is discussing his relationship with air:

“Each of those kinds of air becomes familiar, experienced and known. They bring messages. They “speak.” When you know things because you have felt them, you know them as alive, as having their own life, their own spirit. It is not that cute (or dangerous) little spirits live in them like cartoon characters; it is that they have spirit and, fundamentally, are spirits.”

Respect can be a powerful thing. The moment we see the plants, and the animals, and the elements as our equal, the moment we step into a shared vibration – we allow ourselves to understand more.

It’s not just animals that are conscious. For years, scientists have known about the intelligence of plants. A favorite read of mine is The Secret Life of Plants. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. During his study, Cleve Backster stumbled upon a remarkable discovery after he placed electrodes attached to a polygraph onto the leaves of a plant. At the moment he thought of setting one of the leaves on fire, the polygraph went wild. The scientific community was of course skeptical. But Backster quipped,

“Such high resistance to new ideas does not concern me,” he once said. “I have a truly wonderful ally: Mother Nature.”

For an enlightening video regarding our communication with plants, check this out:

Indeed there is much to learn on planet earth, and the more we learn to listen, the more our true potential and the understanding of our role on this planet will we begin to take form. If any of this resonates with you, I invite you to check out my novel, The Dreamer’s Lotus. It is a book about guidance, an inner-guidance that corresponds to the consciousness of earth. What would it be like to communicate with animals, or to gain wisdom from the plants and the elements? It is not only possible, but rather a reality waiting to be rediscovered.

DreamersLotus_BookLayout_Full_Brighter

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the above post. I would love to hear how you communicate with nature and how nature has returned that communication.

Protested protesters – Establishing a voice for change when the odds are stacked against you.

“Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”- Thoreau

6294527_f520

I recently read an article about a bill passed in Tasmania’s Lower House in June called The Workplace (protection from protesters) Bill

The PDF of the bill reads:

An Act to ensure that protesters do not damage business premises or business related objects, or prevent, impede or obstruct the carrying out of business activities on business premises, and for related purposes.
That sounds reasonable. No business, corporation, or person for that matter, wants their property destroyed by a protesters (i.e. activists). That should be a given in any civilized society.
However, from the same article,
There are already existing laws that cover the scope of this legislation. It’s illegal to trespass or harass, for example. So why make some actions more illegal if done by protesters?
… Because this is part of a broader campaign by Abbott’s Liberal Party to roll back environmental protections and cut “green tape” for corporations.

 

amazon_deforestation

 

People are becoming aware (and if they aren’t, well holy shit!) that multinational corporate practices are destroying our planet. People know that large groups can solve large problems, and governments and corporations know that anyone with a contrary opinion can disrupt the bottom line – $.  This hasn’t stopped protesters in the past, though legislation has been working on that for years.

This bill in Tasmania is but a reminder for many people of a bill (H.R. 347) signed into law in 2012 here in The United States.

From RT:

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

While corporations and government accrue more and more power, individuals are becoming more and more privy to their game. It has become essential for people to educate themselves and others as much as possible. Not everything is as it seems – authentic information – truth – can be hard to discern.

  • Research the facts
  • Share what you’ve learned
  • Be open to different opinions
  • Collaborate
  • Start a movement or join one with similar values
  • Don’t fight against – FIGHT FOR!

In a world on the brink of transformation, it is imperative that we question the world around us and stand up for what we believe in. No one can “give” us our rights – they are inherent, because we are here on this planet.

v2web-france-epa

Let us make the best of it.

 

 

 

Dreaming our world into Reality – Writing for Publishing

symbols2

 

“We can only begin to dream once we have truly awakened from our sleep.” – The Dreamer’s Lotus

 

My first novel is awakening – In less than two months, The Dreamer’s Lotus will be in physical form.

To say it’s an exciting feeling would be a huge understatement. 

Writers are often asked, how did you come up with your idea? Everyone has their own inspiration, be it travel, nature, society – but for me, the concept for this book came through a dream. Five years ago I woke up with a single phrase lingering on my mind like a smoky blue electricity – “At the top of the hill stood a tall tree where the boy with grandfather eyes would go and overlook the village.” I scrambled for paper, and in the dim darkness I scratched out the words, that gratefully, I was able to understand the next morning.

There is so much I want to talk about and share – but for now, I’ll focus on dreams, for after all, they are a key theme in The Dreamer’s Lotus. Mainly, I want to discuss:

 

How can we use dreams to improve our writing and what we are hoping to manifest.

Remembering our dreams is obviously the must crucial component. Our conscious mind is a powerful ally, and when united with the unconscious, amazing things can happen. My most effective way of remembering my dreams (and yeah, it’s gonna seem ridiculously simple) is saying to myself, moments before I feel myself falling asleep, “I am going to remember my dreams.” I repeat that half a dozen times, and more often than not, I wake up with a fairly good recall of my nighttime adventures. The more I repeat this exercise, the more trained my brain becomes for remembering my dreams. There are of course a multitude of tricks that people use, which I encourage people to share below. For me, the simpler it is, the better it seems to work.

We usually have three sets of dreams which correspond to our REM sleep. Sometimes we wake up immediately after a dream and then fall back asleep, which leads into part two.

The second component for most people is the hardest part – a dream journal. We dream every night, but by morning, and within the first fifteen minutes of being awake, we’ve forgotten 90% of our dreams. The dream journal helps mitigate that loss. I’ll admit, the last thing I usually want to do at 3:00 A.M. is start writing. But the easier I make it for myself, the more often it gets accomplished, and the more dreams I remember. I keep my journal and pen within arms reach, and have the pen placed between two fresh sheets of paper. Most of the time I don’t even open my eyes – I just write down as many words as I can to spark my memory in the morning – the more descriptive the better.

And finally, and I think this may be the most important part, is paying attention to our waking world in the present moment. The more conscious we are of our day-to-day surroundings, the more conscious we become of the dream. When we sit down to write, identify the corresponding details that our focus has landed upon in the two worlds. This can help to pull out the ideas and themes that have been trying to percolate through our awareness.

Not all of our dreams are going to become best selling books, but the process of writing them down, of alchemizing the ethereal into the tangible, we become more adept at our craft, and ultimately, more in tune with our own creations.

 

Fukushima and my health

Day 14.

I’ve been undergoing a cleanse for the last 12 days. Sugars, starches, gluten, dairy, alcohol – GONE. Let’s just say, it’s been, um, interesting.

Since day one I decided I would do an anti-candida diet. Why? Good question. Maybe because my wife did one a few years ago and I thought I could piggy-back off her experience. All I knew was that the awareness around my diet and nutrition was dissipating into the cupboards of chocolate and booze. Truth be told, I’m not that unhealthy. I exercise regularly, drink about 1-2 beers a night, have 2-4 slices of bread a day, and usually top out my evening with some good old SUGAR, sweet beautiful sugar.

So what does this have to do with Fukushima? Well surprisingly, I’ve noticed quite a few parallels since I began my cleanse. Here are just a few:

1) Fukushima happened years ago, yet is still affecting the health of the planet in ways we do not yet understand.

2) Everyone’s got an opinion.

3) It is nearly impossible to get reliable information.

For those of you with the time, interest, and enthusiasm, here are some links to either open your world a bit wider or lock you in the vault of despair. Some of these you may know right away. The more rational ones, I’ve noticed, seem to slip to the bottom of the pile.

http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/01/36-signs-media-lying-fukushima-radiation-affecting-west-coast/

http://deepseanews.com/2013/11/true-facts-about-ocean-radiation-and-the-fukushima-disaster/

http://fukushima-diary.com/

http://enenews.com/

http://www.theinertia.com/environment/fukushima-maybe-it-isnt-the-end-of-the-world/

Back to the candida cleanse – OK. So if I’m going to do this thing I just as well start informing myself. I’ve found books written by medical professionals, spent hours online studying countless websites, and spoken with numerous friends and acquaintances. The result? I still have no idea what I can and cannot eat.

Carrot juice is acceptable first thing in the morning – the fact that carrot juice tastes good should be warning enough.

Mushrooms are medicinal – mushrooms will kill you and your friends in your sleep.

Caffeine is ok – caffeine is a crutch, you are weak, WEAK!

A piece of fruit a day is perfectly fine – fruit is the red-headed step child of candida.

(For those of you with great advice about my diet, no matter how altruistic your intentions are, please respect that I…DON’T…CARE!)

The point of all this is, most of what we learn and rely on comes from sources outside of ourselves. If I am going to figure out what my body needs, I better start listening to it and stop relying on the internet to make my decisions for me.

Fukushima is a bit trickier. No doubt about it, this is a global catastrophe. Every news station, every mayor, every president in every country should be working on solving this problem. So why in the hell can’t the general public get accurate information? For now, that’s a rabbit hole I’m not prepared to go down today. Regardless, no matter how bad the situation is, there are still a few things we can do:

1) Gather as much information as we can from as many different sources as possible.

2) Analyze the information objectively.

3) Stay out of fear.

4) Make rational decisions based on the information we have gathered.

How many people do you know who are ready to move to South America or seal off the cracks in their homes with duct tape? Or better yet, how many people out there are clueless that this is even going on??

Though most of us do not have the time or the means to dedicate our lives to find out the answers, the least we can do is exercise the powers we do have. We have the power to:

1) Use the internet as a tool to spread awareness (without fear) for the purpose of bringing more people into alignment with possible solutions.

2) We can contact our local and state representatives and demand a transparent investigation. How is this situation affecting my local food and water sources?

3) Buy a Geiger counter and create your own outlet of information

4) It’s also not a bad idea to take preventative measures for your own health – seaweed/iodine, buckwheat, bentonite clay, zeolite supplements. Also, a break in Pacific seafood might be wise, though that is debatable.

I hope this perspective is helpful for people. I’m learning that our outer world is a reflection of what’s going on inside. If we want to see change we can agree with, we have to be willing to sacrifice the things that no longer serve us. We always have the potential to create heaven right here at home. But one thing is for certain – no one is going to do it for us.