August 17, 2014

Cherishing the Earth in 3 Easy Steps.

Nature Is Always Watching

Restoring Sanity for a Culture Racing Toward Oblivion.

How would we behave if we knew great nature was always watching? …Because she is.

I seek out allies and colleagues who share my concerns and choose to take action by disrupting the status quo. That is why I attended the 11th annual American Renewable Energy Day in Aspen (ARE DAY).

All the presenters and participants shared amazing insights and information.

The amount of data and the depth of sophisticated research on display was enough to put anyone into a state of overwhelm. Most of the information points toward disastrous outcomes for our future, if—and this is a big if—we don’t change our direction.

The question arises, what will it take to inspire behavioral change?

Here Michael Phillips, the Executive Director of The Turner Foundation Biodiversity and Endangered Species Divisions, speaks to the urgent need to master the political process to make our world more resilient, restorative and regenerative.

With more than 120 presenters, the participants were exposed to many of the most creative and disruptive initiatives designed to shake up business as usual in Aspen and beyond.

Mike Phillips

The theme of this year’s ARE DAY was Accelerating Solutions for The Great Transition. One of the best antidotes for the well informed futility syndrome is learning about innovative and visionary projects.

Do you ever wonder what it will take to awaken reverence for great nature? Do you wonder what role the human spirit can play in the challenge to change the trajectory of our society? Do you ponder what it might take to bring humans back into balance and harmony with our life support system? I mean really inspire a deep sense of caring for the natural world and everything non-human.

Too many of us are oblivious to the cascading catastrophes affecting our life support systems.

Consider how thin the veil of civilization truly is. In those moments when you shake your head in wonderment and slip into despair or resignation about the state of our planet and the human condition, what can you do with your life force energy to engage in solutions?

My own assessment is that knowledge and awareness must be the key to a hopeful future.

Rumi poetically articulates my recommended first step with these words:

Sit, be still, and listen

For you are drunk,

And we are at the edge of the roof. 

After listening to the challenges we face in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction, it is patently obvious we are on the edge of the proverbial roof, as a civilization. To remind our readers, the dinosaurs perished during the fifth extinction. This time, “we’re the asteroid.”

Step 1: Quiet Your Mind.

Moving from contraction and distraction to relaxation is accomplished by quieting the incessant chatter of our thoughts. This allows discernment and clarity to naturally arise.

For the second step, I’ll draw upon Rumi once again:

There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.

There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.

You feel it, don’t you?

Step 2: Open Your Heart.

There is an alchemy that arises when one is profoundly relaxed and present to the moment. When resting with a quiet mind the heart naturally opens.

And now for the final step, I will share an excerpt from Robert Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time.” Imagine if this could become a mantra for all of us.

My object in living is to unite

My avocation and my vocation

As my two eyes make one in sight.

Only where love and need are one,

And work is play for mortal stakes,

Is the deed ever really done

For Heaven and future’s sake

Step 3: Actualize Your Core Values.

The best way to arrive at this stage of engagement is to decide what you care about and then live your life in a manner that demonstrates it.

As is my custom, I’ll end with a short visual clip that I trust will inspire readers to activate all three steps with each and every choice you make.




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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Used with Permission

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