Diet for World Peace

The world we inherit will reflect the people who dwell upon it.

Potential

 

I have always been a relatively optimistic person. When a challenge presents itself, I am able to see the hurdle for what it is and create appropriate solutions. In today’s world, however, there seem to be more hurdles than I can come to terms with. It is an incredible gift to be alive and living on this planet at this point in history. Never before have we seen the complexities of Gaia like we do now; the internet has shattered all excuses of ignorance – we are all in this shit together.

 

I am often overwhelmed by the problems we face. At times it seems like people don’t care. Facebook reveals that more individuals are concerned with Duck Dynasty than Fukushima. There is no doubt that a well orchestrated agenda is underway to keep us distracted from what is really important. But who is to blame? Governments and corporations are easy scapegoats. Yes, money rules, and those with the most of it make decisions that impact us all. If we are to truly awaken into awareness, then we cannot deny our role in this collective drama.

 

A couple years ago, my partner and I went to Africa to film a documentary called The Sustainability of Self. What is sustainability? Is it aid? Solar panels? Permaculture? All those things are great, but ultimately, it comes back to individual responsibility. How can I berate a system that plunders our planet’s resources when I still drive a car every day? How can I help indigenous tribes in the Amazon if I don’t even know my neighbor’s name? Sustainability is not about water harvesting or car pooling. It is a mindset. It is a philosophy that we live our lives by. The only way we can escape being a victim of this all consuming machine is to take back our own individual power.

 

For the next two months, I will be working on improving the only person I can…a physical cleanse is underway. The concept of addiction is fascinating to me. Who is really in control – us or our habits? If I am to be fully in my power then I cannot be ruled over by that which does not serve me. That means no sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods, along with a whole host of fun things now denied…let’s just say I’ve been putting this cleanse off for over a year. My body, like this planet, is a sacred thing, and I do not deserve what I do not honor. Real change comes from within and if I am going to see the planet I wish to live on, I better start acting like it.

Collective Creation

The power of collective creation never ceases to amaze me.

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My wife and I moved to Ashland, Oregon a few months ago after traveling through Colombia for three months. My wife’s sister and her partner joined us from Seattle after quitting their job and starting a new life themselves. It seems everyone is in major stages of transition these days.

We stayed for a bit over a month in a sublet 20 miles outside of our eventual desired destination. We weren’t worried about finding a place to live because we always seem to have luck manifesting what it is we want. The four of us knew that we had to be specific with what we wanted…good location, spacious house, place for a dog, low rent, big yard, and a garden. Rallying our ideas together we set our intention.

But as the day of our move-out approached, luck seemed to be on vacation. To make matters worse, the owners of the sublet wrote to inform us that they would be coming home a week early. We queried every ad on craigslist. We submitted applications to half a dozen property management businesses. We even resorted to driving up and down the streets looking for houses for rent. But nothing was available and we were beginning to panic. We began to think that we weren’t supposed to live in Ashland after all.

With a week left to go, we realized we would need some help and so we sounded out the alarm. All of us told everyone we knew about our desire to find a place to live. Family, friends, even strangers. We even told them the specifics. We didn’t ask them to do anything in particular. We simply asked them that they hold an energetic intention for us.

What happened next was astounding. My wife and her sister went to their regular yoga class when they overheard a woman talking to a new friend of theirs about her problem: she couldn’t find anyone to rent her place – she would have to resort to handing it over to a property management – something we wanted to avoid if at all possible. Everyone was in the right place at the right time, and just believe me when I say that the synchronicities surrounding the event were uncanny.

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Let’s just say we got what we asked for, only a bit to the extreme. Within ONE day, we were the new renters of a four bedroom house, with a large yard, garden, no pet deposit, FURNISHED!, half a block from the co-op, and neighbors with not one but TWO old friends from high school. Really??

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This experience has taught me a lot. Yes the power of intention is essential to manifesting what it is you want. And yes, it is important to be specific with your desires. But never underestimate the collective power of energetic support. In a world that is so bogged-down with so many large problems, we must remind ourselves that these are problems we are facing together. We must learn to rely on each other and trust that whatever we put out, we get back. The more we support others, the more we ultimately support ourselves.

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We really do have the potential to create heaven on earth. We face a great many challenges but through those challenges we experience the rewards of our own evolution – let no one convince you otherwise. The frequency that the media is broadcasting is not the REAL reality. The real reality is something we can’t even comprehend. We are powerful beings each capable of co-creating a planet that reflects back to us our own potential. Let us end the fear game. Trust that the people around you also want the same thing…to be happy! Let us create this happiness together.

The Sustainability of Self

What defines true sustainability? How can we begin to create sustainability in a world that has such vastly differing views on the subject? If we perceive our external world as “unsustainable” what does this suggest about our own internal landscape? The Sustainability of Self is a documentary that follows two travelers for two years across the world to Ethiopia, and back, seeking insight into a world on the verge of transformation.

A community of change

How we do this is how we do everything.

Our life is made up of individual acts and decisions that have created our current present reality. In order to create positive change on this planet we must first evaluate our own motivations and why we do the things we do.

Many people right now are undergoing a major awakening. Suddenly, everything is moving so fast. What has been hidden for so long is finally becoming revealed. We are realizing (not only that, we are understanding) that certain financial establishments, powerful corporations, and both political and religious institutions have been both destroying the planet and profiting from our own ignorance.

The old paradigm reaction is one of anger and blame. “How dare they do this to us!” Yet the new paradigm is asking for a higher level of awareness. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into victimhood. It is a program that only feeds our current problems. We are living during a magnificent time, an epoch where we have the capacity to become fully empowered and take responsibility for our own actions. Self-responsibility has tremendous payoff when we are willing to accept our own role as co-creator.


Truly, we are on the verge of ecocide. Our planet is being over-fished, over-logged, our top soil is being depleted, this list goes on and on. Yes, some people are more responsible for this devastation than others. But ultimately, when the final tree is cut down, who cares who’s fault it was?  We need to start asking ourselves, “What kind of world do I want to live in?” and “What am I doing to create this?” Our individual creations have a tremendous impact. Our thoughts and our ideas ripple out into a broader community where they transform and evolve. No question about it, we are in this together.

Currently in Southern Oregon, where I’m living, communities are popping up all over the place. People from all over the country are pouring out of larger cities in the pursuit of a more simple and sustainable lifestyle.

Community has become a buzz word. People tend to think that if they live “off-grid” with twenty other people away from the matrix, life will be easier. Far from it. Living on the land is hard enough. But living with each other, now that’s a challenge. I’ve been living in community for over a year now and the social dynamics of living together in close proximity has been my greatest lesson.

If my external world is a representation of my inner terrain then I have no one else to blame but myself when something bothers me. We are all existing as divine mirrors for one another. We tend to externalize our own behaviors and project our issues onto other people.

Life in community is a microcosm of this global community we are living in. If day after day the plants aren’t getting watered because someone hasn’t been doing their job,  it is the responsibility of the individual and the community to address the problem from a place of compassion. Creating an argument or blaming only reflects our own issues of not fulfilling our duties to our community. Before we can change these immense problems that we face in this world, we have to learn to truly work together, and the quickest way to work well with other people, is if we know how to work well with ourselves, and taking responsibility for our own behaviors.

As a community of co-creators, we are each taking on the role of being leaders and teachers for our fellow community members. Our daily decisions have the power to influence hundreds of people, all the more reason to be conscious of each moment in our day. I understand that this is easier said than done. Today’s world is engulfed in tantalizing distractions. It is easy to get swept up into someone else’s drama or find ourselves lost in the electronic void of the 21st century. But ultimately, it comes down to this: how are you directing your consciousness? Our bodies are consciousness generators. Our thoughts create universes unto themselves.

So what are you thinking about?

It’s time we start focusing on the solution. And we can exemplify this process through our day-to-day actions. We must return to our hearts. We must align ourselves with motivations of the highest caliber, because without question, that’s exactly what this planet needs right now. The beautiful thing about aligning with our highest purpose is that endless possibilities begin to unfold. By following our passions through the most mundane of tasks we create new ways of being and new avenues of perception take place. Envision yourself living in a global community full of innovative, caring, and responsible people. Trust that you too have something to offer.

The mindset of sustainability – an emerging education for the collective

My outlook will be different now, there’s no turning back.

I’ve been doing work trade on a permaculture farm for almost a week … and I’m hooked. Perhaps it’s the delicious food I pull right out of the earth, or the abundance of wildlife outside my doorstep, or the fact that the matrix is currently nowhere near my reality. Where I’m at, has something very important to teach me.

Aprovecho, a sustainable learning center, sits on a modest 40 acres in the hills of west central Oregon, outside Cottage Grove. Here, people from all backgrounds come to learn a variety of sustainable practices such as aquaculture, proper water harvesting, practical building design, and even pedal powered technology – ever grind your own wheat with a bicycle?

Before I came, I had only once before experienced permaculture while traveling in Ethiopia. I was staying at a small hostel which had transformed dead earth into a thriving oasis by mimicking nature through sustainable land use design. I watched as the owners took awe-struck villagers through the property, showing them innovative yet simple practices that obviously worked.  It was an incredible experience to witness the children process this new information like thirsty sponges. The term sustainable education sprang to mind.

On the other side of the planet, outside Cottage Grove, OR, Aprovecho has been working as a permaculture education center for over ten years. Ironically, many people who read this article have probably never even heard of permaculture before. But soon, they will. The concept and philosophies of permaculture are catching on fast, and the movement, is becoming a revolution.

The foundation of permaculture relies on the observation of patterns and systems and an understanding that nothing is independent.


This is useful wisdom for an expanding planet. More and more people are beginning to understand that their everyday actions are having great impact on other people halfway across the planet. For those seeking true sustainability, daily micro-management becomes essential. The processes that make up our day must be done consciously if we are to create a healthy future for the individual and the collective, which these days are one and the same.

Sustainable is a tricky word to define, especially in today’s green-market driven economy. Linguistically appealing terms such as all natural or self-sufficient have all but stigmatized historically traditional methods of conservation and practical science. The push for low-impact practices like car-pooling and water conservation have been obvious for years, but today have become synonymous with emotionally charged advertisements for hybrid cars and the monopolization of utility companies. A new earth conscious mind-set from society has been needed for decades, but only recently has our government seen the economic opportunity  to implement/sell these eco-friendly technologies to the public.

Hippies on the other hand have been screaming sustainable practices and “community mentality” since the 1960’s yet have been demonized as out-of-touch, impractical, and idealistic misfits in a consumer driven society. This same consumer driven society has brought us to where we are today, completely out of touch with our natural environment. The majority of us no longer grown our own food or even understand how it gets to our dinner table. The complexity of natural systems and cycles evades the general public. This results in a poor understanding of the earth we were once a part of.

In Oregon, over 90% of old growth forest has been clear cut. This has resulted in a huge explosion of blackberry bushes which grow best in areas with disturbed soil – another reason they are seen so frequently in ditches and vacant lots in towns and cities in the Pacific Northwest. One of my main duties as a work trader at Aprovecho is blackberry maintenance. Long tedious days of clipping, pruning, and de-rooting yield piles upon piles of blackberry vines.

Today, blackberries are considered an invasive species, much like scotch broom, a large yellow-flowered bush that grows throughout the country next to roads and highways. Both plants are soil rejuvenators, providing much needed nitrogen into the damaged soil for re-growth. Yet because of their invasive nature, toxic chemicals are being used to eradicate them, furthering damage to the soil.

Blackberries are but one example of the many problems we face and the impractical solutions we have created for solving them.

Sustainability is a mind-set, an evolving practice that encompasses all aspects of one’s lifestyle. External observation is paramount to understanding what actions we must take and why we must take them.  It’s not simply buying locally, it’s understanding a neighbor’s needs and lending support when possible. Going green isn’t just recycling, it’s rethinking.

Solutions are rarely arrived at before the problem becomes too big. Suddenly, the problem is much too big.

A ballooning global population is no longer upon us, it is us. We now find ourselves looking squarely in the face of some pretty disturbing realities: diminishing food chains, the end of oil as we know it, global drought, and an ever-broadening of the social classes.  As  time and globalization march ever forward, no longer  can we elude responsibility. There are no islands to escape to, save mars.

Aprovecho is the first stop of many. For the next 6 months, my partner and I will be visiting multiple alternative education centers and sustainability  programs in the United States – the end product, a documentary about sustainable education.

As a former educator, I believe that holistic education, above all else, is the foundation for a sustainable society and planet. As we collectively move into a new understanding of humanity’s role on Gaia, we must be certain that our youth are not only understanding this change, but are also spearheading it. New insights in education are being made every day. Teachers are coming forward with innovative new ideas and for a healthy planet to grow, these ideas must be shared. Students must be encouraged to think outside the conventional, because our future will be anything but.