Thursday, March 26, 2020

From What Is to What If

Buckminster Fuller - A visionary genius.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller 
Hello friends - The world is changing rapidly these days and I know most folks are already finding the resources they need for addressing the virus' effects at a local level so I won't bother to add anything like that here. Today's installation includes a prayer for hand-washing, an amazing - and short video - about orangutans, in the wild, actually washing their hands and teaching their off-spring to do so as well. And a wonderful excerpt from a book called: From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want by Rob Hopkins.

First, a 2-minute video about some wild orangutans washing their hands with soap they found at an abandoned human outpost. Good technique, I'd say (definitely more than 20 seconds, but I don't recommend holding the soap in your mouth for transportation!).

Wash Your Hands 

by Dori Midnight

We are humans relearning to wash our hands.
Washing our hands is an act of love
Washing our hands is an act of care
Washing our hands is an act that puts the hypervigilant body at ease
Washing our hands helps us return to ourselves by washing away what does not serve.

Wash your hands
like you are washing the only teacup left that your great grandmother carried across the ocean, like you are washing the hair of a beloved who is dying, like you are washing the feet of Grace Lee Boggs, Beyonce, Jesus, your auntie, Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver- you get the picture.
Like this water is poured from a jug your best friend just carried for three miles from the spring they had to climb a mountain to reach.
Like water is a precious resource
made from time and miracle

Wash your hands and cough into your elbow, they say.
Rest more, stay home, drink water, have some soup, they say.
To which I would add: burn some plants your ancestors burned when there was fear in the air,
Boil some aromatic leaves in a pot on your stove until your windows steam up.
Open your windows
Eat a piece of garlic every day. Tie a clove around your neck.

When fear arises,
and it will,
let it wash over your whole body instead of staying curled up tight in your shoulders.
If your heart tightens,
and expand.
science says: compassion strengthens the immune system
We already know that, but capitalism gives us amnesia
and tricks us into thinking it’s the thing that protects us
but it’s the way we hold the thing.
The way we do the thing.

it is time
to care for one another
to pray over water
to wash away fear
every time we wash our hands

(This was just an excerpt. To read the full poem, go to: LINK

I found the following excerpt from Rob Hopkins, on his experiences about transforming a small town into a small community very uplifting. Enjoy!
"Given the state of the world, the message of despair is pretty convincing. Things look grim. But something about that doesn’t sit quite right with me. In fact, there’s evidence that things can change, and that cultures can change, rapidly and unexpectedly. And that’s not just naΓ―ve, pie-in-the-sky thinking.
 In How Did We Do That? The Possibility of Rapid Transition, Andrew Simms and Peter Newell tell the story of Iceland’s 2010 EyjafjallajΓΆkull eruption, which sent fine dust into the sky that spread for thousands of miles and grounded most of the world’s planes. Then what happened? People adapted. Quickly..."
To read his full excerpt about how his town in Todmorden England became a "Transition Town", click here: From What IS to What IF...

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Butterfly Metaphor - Imaginal Cells and the Transformation of Society

Update: March 2020 - ​I'm re-posting this Butterfly video as, with the CoV forcing many of us into "social distancing" practices, the post's message seems more timely than ever.

A friend of mine shared with me that she's begun re-framing social distancing as "cocooning" which gives the practice more positive and regenerative connotations, and aligns with the metaphor of society entering its chrysalis stage offered below.

Ever wonder how we'll ever get out of this crazy mess we're in: rampant consumerism devouring the planet, with no end in sight; ever-widening the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots"?

Enjoy this 4-minute video by Bruce Lipton that describes the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly and how it provides a hopeful metaphor for the current stage of our society. Happy cocooning!

And for several other inspiring videos about butterflies, CLICK HERE

Monday, March 16, 2020

Silver Linings

Dear ones: As we enter this unprecedented situation brought on by the novel corona virus, I am struck by the many silver linings hidden within. Global pollution: down. Global consumption of unnecessary items: down. Frivolous, self-indulgent travel/vacations: down. From an environmental standpoint, this great global "pause" gives us all a chance to review and redefine all our purchases and activities And as we move forward, after the acute phase of this crisis passes, perhaps we can make decisions collectively that favor the health of all our global family - including the plants and animals with which we share this web of life.

You are invited to join the CV19 Peace & Love Brigade.  The Brigade’s intention is to move the needle away from the red zone of fear and panic which are now palpable energy fields in the human environment.  The only membership requirement is that you carry and spread peace and love to others.  It can be through thoughts, meditation, words, cards, posts, interactions and/or any other option(s). Go forth and spread it until it’s contagious!  The Peace and Love Brigade will SPREAD LOVE NOT FEAR. 

Lockdown (A powerful poem by a Capuchin priest about dealing with fear)

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.

To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

~Fr. Richard Hendrick

Friday, March 6, 2020

Abundance, humour and absolute sweetness...

Dogwood in Bloom!
Hello dear friends - This post is a triple whammy! A poem about nature's bounty, a TED-talk on humor as a metaphor for life and the sweetest little snippet of a snoring dormouse, guaranteed to make you smile. Enjoy!  Llyn

Excerpt of a poem by Tony Hoagland:

Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;

overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,

dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,

so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
making beauty,
and throwing it away,
and making more.

From - Tony Hoagland, "What Narcissism Means to Me" 

This video from comedian Michael Jr. really inspired me in its simple message of shifting our giving from "what can I get to, what can I give that will help/uplift the receiver". Very inspiring.

This last video is not to be missed; 30 seconds of absolute sweetness. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

How to Truly Listen - Evelyn Glennie

Image credit:
If this deaf percussion player doesn't capture your heart's interest in the first minute of watching her then you can just turn it off and go about your day! Evelyn Glennie speaks with presence and clarity on topics such as deep listening and discrimination in the arts (and art schools) against people with disabilities. Stick around for her solo performance at the end of the video; it's no wonder that the TedTalk organizers extended their usual maximum presenter time of 20 minutes for an additional 15 minutes!

In these first few days since having watched (and listened!) to this video, as I've been out in the gardens pruning our fruit trees, or standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes by hand, Glennie's invitation to "listen with my whole body" has been a way to keep the door open to the kind of bright, all-encompassing presence to, and appreciation for life that I usually only feel after a session of deep, sitting meditation. Enjoy!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Welcome to Flight 2020

Image credit: Subhash Purohit

Welcome to flight # 2020! πŸ’₯🌈
We are preparing for take-off πŸš€ into the New Year ⭐️
Please make sure your Attitude of Gratitude is secured and locked in the 'on' and upright position.
All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. πŸš« 
All negativity, resentment, blame, guilt, jealousy, hurt, and discouragement should be put away. πŸ˜ͺ
Should we lose our attitude under pressure during the flight, reach for a friend and pull down a Prayer. πŸ™ 
Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith. πŸ’• 
Once your Faith is activated you can assist other passengers. πŸ™†‍♀️
There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight. 
If you are found to have brought baggage on this flight, you will be loved until you release it. πŸ’œ 
Then the flight attendants will recycle your baggage. ✈
The Captain has communicated with the universe and cleared us for takeoff. πŸ’«
Our destination is into the Mystery. 
Bring kindness, understanding, forgiveness, caring, respect and love. πŸ’–
It's sweet to be on the same flight together! πŸ˜‹ 
Happy New Year & may you have an amazingly beautiful flight #2020 πŸ‘πŸ™πŸ’–

Sent to us by our friends The Yuba Gals who founded and maintain the Peak Moment TV series: Locally Reliant Living for Challenging Times. LINK

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