Thursday, December 13, 2018

Catch the Light

Here is a poem and picture from my friend Judy Todd. It speaks so well to the challenges of staying engaged and present for the pain and darkness; keeping our hearts open and not becoming brittle or blocked to the pain of the world, while letting the beauty of this amazing planet continue to feed and nurture us. Thank you.

Photo: Judy Todd
There is something about looking at things quietly and close up. I was out in early fall admiring birds, mostly geese, as they whirled and gathered like magical currents of feathers, landing and filling the pond. But the early morning gleam on this feather was what really stopped me. The way the light caught the tiny drops on the curves and the down as it perched along the dark stone with the big black crack running through. The feather hadn't fallen in, but rested there. And there it remained, unlike the geese, who moved about noisily all morning.

I'm doing what the feather showed me, not the geese. Staying near the dark cleft, holding there. Studying that dark perhaps, yet not falling in. Knowing it's there, and it doesn't care if I am in or out. But I want to catch the light, and I want to catch the drops of precious water on the edge of that darkness all around us, darkness that is so big, so near, so easy to fall into. I intend to be like the feather and practice a new kind of being -- gleaming like the feather -- for all my kin, whether or not they notice.
                                                                                                                        Judy Todd
Judy's organization, Nature Connect:
...offers opportunities to reconnect and foster kinship with Nature in many ways and places through the seasons. We wander each landscape waiting expectantly for its teachings. We learn from other-than-human beings – stones, cedars, and antelope. We study watersheds and spider webs. We offer gratitude to ancestors and oceans. We are building a village in harmony with the web of life. We do it for us now, and for future generations. We invite you to join us.
Bird sheltering from the rain. Credit: Sue Peabody

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Gift Culture - 'Simon on the Sofa'

Sign at the Sharing Gardens
Hello dear friends - I was poking around on YouTube last night and discovered a wonderful soul who calls himself  'Simon on the Sofa'-LINK. He has done a series of interviews with people he has met through 'couch-surfing' around the world for seven years. These are just regular folks who are doing their best to unplug from the Matrix and live sustainable, authentic lives based on love and service. Some of them are activists and are directly challenging the system to pave the way for a more equitable and healthy future. Others are pro-actively attempting to actually live as if this sustainable future is already here. Both roles seem necessary in order to birth something new. Chris and I prefer the latter but are grateful to those of you actively working to change laws and stand up to corruption where you see it.

There are countless documentaries out there that outline the many problems of the world today but quite a bit fewer that offer clear guidelines for creating the world we want to see. We see this especially when it comes to the topic of money and the economy. How can we begin to untangle our dependency on money? How can we move from a level of just 'surviving' to an open vista of 'thriving'.

Sit back and enjoy this upbeat, inspiring video which offers concrete ways for moving further into the gift culture. Thank you for all the ways you are already helping to make the world a better place. If you have any comments, we appreciate it if you'd leave them below so all can share in your insights and reflections.

Namaste' (the Divine in me honors the Divine in you). Llyn

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Coming Anastrophe

I came across this inspiring and thought-provoking video yesterday: The Coming Anastrophe by James Corbett.

Image: Sundara Fawn - 2007
Some people think that we can't really move forward, to heal society and all its ills, until there's a 'collapse' or 'catastrophe' of some kind; otherwise (the story goes) we'll just keep putting patches on a system that's so broken that anything built on top of it will inherently be flawed.  Corbett offers an alternative story: that an 'anastrophe' would be a sudden and rapid awakening of humanity that would lift us unified out of the many troubles facing the world.
He says that the change must begin at the community/neighborhood level. I admit that his views can seem a bit utopian but I appreciate him for shining a spotlight in a new direction -- away from the fascination many people feel in waiting for 'the BIG one'; the catastrophe that will hopefully, finally catalyze us out of the many messes the world is in.

I think he touched on what many intentional communities, and people living in the alternative culture are feeling these days. There's a feeling of waiting; that it's not quite time to act; that we need a 'sign' from outside ourselves.

I know that, here at the Sharing Gardens we sometimes find ourselves waiting for a big external stimulus to move us to the next level. We built up something to a certain crescendo-point but then it peaked and now it seems we're waiting to receive our next instructions...Is this just a cop-out? I'm not sure... I know that, until I/we have clear guidance before acting, that our efforts are often wasted. It's important to be clear before moving forward but I also sometimes feel this can be an excuse not to act at all. There's some famous quote that says - " All that's needed for evil to take over the world is for good people to do nothing".
Feel free to comment below, if so inspired. Blessings.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Peter Owen Jones: Beyond Nations, Ownership and Competition

Web of Life - image credit
Imagine a world in which the care of the earth, sky and seas becomes a higher priority than profits, creature-comforts and our personal 'portfolio'. We can kid ourselves that a life in service to our personal family's well-being is a life well-lived. But it's time we moved beyond this narrow definition of "family"; move beyond our identification with a school, an employer or a nation as our 'tribe' and see that, until we live as though the web of life is our family, the natural world is our tribe, we will continue to degrade our planet and the legacy we had hoped to leave for our children will be bankrupt and dead.

Please watch this short, rousing Ted-talk by Peter Owen Jones in which he addresses these topics and more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The "Season of Giving" - continued...

If you're feeling a little "let down" after the winter holidays, take inspiration from Nicole Martin and see how a little kindness and "paying it forward" led to a lifting of her own spirits and all those around her. If you try this experiment at your local cafe', feel free to share about your experience in the comment section below or, if you're on Twitter or Facebook, connect directly with Nicole at #thenicolechallenge. Happy generosity!

FABULOUS LAB experiment of KINDNESS and Activating CONNECTION! by Nicole Martin

So this morning I tried a little social experiment....instead of going through the Starbucks drive through, I went inside.

As I walked in, I surveyed the scene. Almost every person was enveloped in their phone/computer and probably had no clue anyone new had walked through the door. I looked over my shoulder to see a line of about 10 people deep accumulating behind me. I got up to the cash register, ordered my drink, then asked for a $25 gift card. I quietly asked the barista to use the gift card for as many drinks as it would cover for the people behind me. I told her you can tell them I'm still here, but don't tell them who did it. She smiled...giggled...and said ok.

I got my drink...and took a seat in the corner to watch this unfold.

The first gentleman to receive a free drink demanded he pay, but the baritsa insisted it was he dropped his $5 he was going to use to pay for his drink into the barista's tip jar. Success. She turned to me and winked.

The second and third patrons in line were 2 old buddies having their weekly coffee date. They had to be pushing 80 and they were so confused at not having to pay that they just left their money on the counter and asked her to use it for the people behind them. It was a younger guy who then after receiving his free drink went over to the gentleman and shook their hands. Success.

I proceeded to watch 14 different people enjoy a "free" drink. Some people paid for the people behind them in line, and some people just took their free drink and scanned the room looking for the free drink fairy, smiling at everyone they encountered. Success.

But the best part about it: I also got to watch people step out of their normal robot-like morning routine and be human. They put their phones down. They picked their heads up and made eye contact with people in the room. They exchanged smiles and head nods, wondering if that was the person that paid for their drinks. I watched people be kind, courteous, and engaging. I watched people who normally would avoid eye contact, spark a conversation all because of a kind gesture. Success.

My favorite part was a little old man named Hank. I guess Hank comes in every day for his tall drip coffee with room for a splash of cream and sunshine (and that's exactly how he ordered his drink). I knew his name was Hank because everyone who worked there stopped what they were doing to say good morning to Hank. After receiving his free drink (the last drink the gift card covered), Hank took it upon himself to ask every single person in that starbucks if they were the one who got his coffee because he needed to say thank you. As I was sitting in the corner, I watched him go around the room, and knew he would eventually make it to me. As he got to me, I smiled. He just stopped and said "It was you huh? Stand up young lady." So I stood up, and as Hank balanced himself with his cane under one arm, he gave me the biggest, tightest hug he could with the other arm and said "You were that little ray of sunshine I seek every day. Today I am vertical, you woke up too, so be blessed not stressed." He tipped his hat, and hobbled away.

I packed up my stuff, and headed off to work.

Next time you can, pay it forward.

Thank you to Janaia Donaldson of Peak Moment TV for forwarding this story to me. Llyn

Saturday, May 14, 2016

An Act of Purest Magic...

OSU students preparing garden beds - Sharing Gardens -2016
Most of us would agree that humanity is facing some of its greatest difficulties of all time. The enormity of the challenges can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stifle our ability to act. Recently, we stumbled across this short video by Gregg Braden who succinctly outlines a simple shift in focus that points the way out of the mess we're in.

Gregg Braden is a New York Times best-selling author and  internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science, spirituality and the real world! A former earth scientist and aerospace computer systems designer,  Braden is now considered a leading authority on the spiritual philosophy of ancient and indigenous traditions throughout the world. He’s shared his presentations and trainings with The United Nations, Fortune 500 companies, the U. S. military and is now featured in media specials airing on major networks throughout North and South America, Mexico and Europe.

"Marrying who I am with what I do -- earning a life, not just a living -- has been an act of the purest magic, aligning me with some raw power in the universe, giving me strength to stay up late, get up early, do what I'd never do just for the money." Sy Safransky - Sun magazine April 1984

Monday, January 11, 2016

Becoming Like An Apple Tree

I always appreciate finding teachers who remind me of the inherent generosity of Nature. In this four-minute video, Kyle Cease helps us re-connect with the abundant-flow that is available to us if we step out of habitual ways of 'giving to get' and live generously.