I was ocean kayaking this past weekend on one of those memorable days with still water, sunshine, and towering distant mountains. It was one of those magnificent days where I felt deeply connected to nature, to myself, to my partner – to life.
The bald eagles, blue herons, jellyfish, starfish, and assorted other sea creatures made my heart sing with joy. In many ways it’s a paradise on earth, but humanities detrimental impact on nature has a way of taking the wind out of my sails.
I live from a higher level of awareness that allows me to see the world from many angles – bad, good, ugly, beautiful, violent, peaceful, fearful, loving – and everything in between. I see it all. I feel it all. I often notice what others don’t. This is what motivates me to action.
I see “stuff” – everywhere. Stuff on the side of the road. Stuff in the forests. Stuff floating in the water. Stuff where stuff should never be found. Stuff that doesn’t look right when viewed from a distance. Stuff that compels me to paddle over and do something about it. A hunk of styrofoam, fishing line, beer bottles, plastic water bottles, packaging, beer cans. The list is endless. Bits of carelessly discarded human garbage interspersed among the sea creatures that call this ocean home. My awareness broadens to the stark reality that what I see is only a minute fraction of the bigger problem hidden from eyesight – well below the surface.
Hidden from eyesight but not from consciousness.
As I remove the various bits of garbage, a familiar medley of emotions rises into consciousness. A mix of outrage at the planetary disrespect that motivates this selfish behaviour, sadness for all beings affected by this selfish behaviour, fleeting feelings of hopelessness, and overwhelming feeling of violation. It’s a toxic recipe for unhappiness. Unhappiness that there are so many members of my own species infected with the widespread mental illness known as indifference.
I spiral further into the darkness wondering how we can be so biologically similar yet so vastly different in how we perceive the world. I wonder how I can care so passionately while so many others sleepwalk through life. I’m baffled. I’m heartbroken. I’m angry.
And then I remember. I’m paddling in a natural paradise. Ocean, blue sky, mountains, eagles, starfish, and my wonderful partner. I’m alive. I’m awake. And I care. I’m passionate in my caring and awake in my passion. I allow the truth of my experience to wash through me so that I can return to the moment. Alive, awake, and in love with this beautiful planet we call home. The return to present moment reality revives the changemaker within and I remember who I am at my core. Love. The energetic stamp that drives me to live more, give more, do more, be more, and do more.
And I remember you. And yes I’m talking to you reading this post right now. Because you too are a changemaker. You wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t care. It may be true that selfish outweighs selfless, but we must remember the wise words of Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.
We are creating the tipping point, the 100th monkey phenomenon – the butterfly effect. Whatever you choose to call it, we are the rapidly growing minority of changemakers who are designing a new paradigm. We are the creators who are rising above the crumbling ruins of a paradigm gone wrong and are courageously altering the course for a new way of being. We are the trailblazers for a new reality based on simplicity, love, community, and interconnection, or as Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh calls it – interbeing. We are the changemakers who embrace our essential nature, live with a deep sense of purpose, express ourselves authentically and lead the sleepwalkers into the light. We are the change that we wish to see in the world that others are desperate to model.
The beauty of change is that it has many practical applications. One of the most exciting practical applications with the potential to totally transform the world is known as permaculture. Permaculture has the tremendous potential to radically transform the world by eliminating the paradigm of separation and reconnecting us to our core nature of interbeing.
So what is permaculture? Well, I’m not going to delve into it with any great depth because this week’s Unplug podcast guest explains it far better than I ever could. I will say this, according to the Verge Permaculture website: “Permaculture is a framework that allows you to take all of the most cutting edge environmental and social solutions and weave them together into something that is guaranteed to work long term”.
What does this mean? It means change. Simple change that really makes a difference.
As Buckminster Fuller once said:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”
This is the essence of permaculture.
One of the movers and shakers in the Canadian permaculture community is Kym Chi – who happens to be this week’s Unplug podcast guest.
I met Kym a few months ago at a local permaculture workshop and was inspired by her passion, her inner light, and her hunger for creating positive change. We instantly clicked and I knew that I had to interview her.
The bio description on Kym’s website describes her as follows:
This visionary describes Permaculture as a brain remapping that helps to look at the world through new eyes. She believes that it can help us to connect with our creative self expression through the recognition of beneficial relationships with the earth and all of its beings. You can see this expressed through her designs, educational techniques, and art.
I’d like to add that you can also see it through her youthful passion. It’s people like Kym Chi who give me tremendous hope for the younger generation of today.
This week we discuss:
• How aligning with your values can alter the course of your life.
• What is permaculture?
• How we can create a conscious relationship with all other beings on the planet.
• Moving from activist to solutionary.
• How community feeds hope and keeps us inspired.
• How we are all teachers and the importance of sharing what we know to heal the world.
• The importance of feeling (yep, we’re talking about it yet again!).
• How to be shamelessly loving!
• How the things that we’re the most afraid of are the things we need to do the most.
• The power of observation to elevate consciousness.
• How supported we are when we share our unique gifts with others.
• The difference between advice and wisdom.
Kym also writes on her website:
We now live in a serious time, where positive action is necessary for our resiliency. Although we have alot of work to do, we can become empowered to better the world, our communities and ourselves one step at a time, while having fun!
Permaculture offers regenerative techniques that are simple, powerful, transferrable and are used to overcome challenges while creating beautiful, energy efficient, natural, holistic and ethical systems.
So with that, it’s time to speak with Kym Chi who explains the exciting potential of permaculture to completely shift this paradigm into the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. Enjoy!
Kym Chi: Verge Permaculture Grad Series
THIS WEEK’S INSPIRED QUESTIONS:
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