Chief Seattle: Beyond a Name

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it.Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
Chief Seattle

Chief Seattle Pictures, Images and Photos

As I sit in the sun, delighting in the flutter of  wings and reveling at the sight of birds as they feast; cautious, fearful, yet determined to feed, no matter how close I come. As long as I remain still they succumb to bravery and peck away at the bird feeder.  There are hundreds waiting their turn at the feeder. Fluttering and chirping surrounds me. If I move too quickly, they flicker away. What is this invisible line of connection? Drawing them near, then frighten them away with my movement. I’m a giant in their world. Their language and pecking order a mystery. Yet, they too are an intricate thread within the web of life.

“Is there something wrong? I’m somewhat concerned. One of the village men came and said there were stirrings of trouble in the forest. What kind of trouble? The village man said, “creatures are being killed and dying in the forest. Insects, animals and birds are struggling for life.”

– Clive Cussler, Blue Gold, a novel from the NUMA files.

Fiction? We all recognize the ‘trouble’: It’s all around us; fear is nipping at everyones’ heals.The novel brings a glimpse of one mans movement that caused the death of a pod of whales and more. He places an enormous blister on humanities face and bringing imbalance to life and the planet.

How do we begin changing lifestyles and habits?  Until each of us acknowledges what Chief Seattle so eloquently said; ‘all things connect’, the imbalance we’ve created is killing us.  Is it our lack of education? Is it greed that provokes humanity to take such stupid steps? Our rampant and irresponsible development and consumption reveals our societal immaturity on an enormous scale!

Think ‘non-consumption’. Opps, that won’t work…the basis of our economy would go bust! Oh, our economy is already a bust. For me, a good start would be to shift from ‘want’ to ‘need’ as a basic foundation for curing much of what is wrong in our world. We need to tilt the scales back to when we were a ‘need based’ society. We are a society  Starving for purpose, but we need to give up ‘gluttony’! Standing in line at the grocery, I heard a woman say, “I want an SUV! I’m having a mid-life crisis!”. We chase after ‘things’ to fulfill ourselves; never giving a thought about how these kinds of actions affect the world around us. Even when we are aware, we seldom go beyond the name of a thing; at the depth beneath a name and how it connects to everything.

Just as you, I yearn to have a voice, to be heard.  To be understood and respected. I too have a dream:

Stewardship is practiced by everyone. Each of us is a good and loving person. Each of us can take the time to ‘go beyond a name’ and become familiar with the ‘essence of life’ and how we are all connected.  We understand Biology; living organisms and vital processes. We see a beautiful living thing and know how it is connected to ourselves and its environment. We no longer lose all that we hold dear. There is a natural balance and every community thrives.

Happy non-gluttonous trails!

We Didn’t Have the Green Thing Back Then

Rocky Mountain Trail

The following story was sent to me in an email. I am so pleased to present it here. I asked about who the author was and could not get an answer. So, if anyone knows who wrote this, I hope you will let them know that I have published their words; which are addressed to any and all those who believe the ‘boomer generation’  didn’t do enough to help the environment.

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.” The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not a Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need computerized gadget to receive a signal from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Conservation isn’t just a ‘state of mind’…it’s taking a close look at where we want to go and how we want to get there.

Tightening our belts with regard to the economy also means changing many of the way we do things. If each of the 310,950,000 people in the United Stated changed one little thing with regard to conservation…what a huge difference we could make.

Happy Conservation Trails!

Basking in the Shadow: Humanity Last of the Fossil Creatures

The title for this post was inspired by Caroline Myss, and the post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about my six year old friend and his niece; which led me to call another friend in Michigan; which got us on the subject of Caroline Myss and her book/YouTube video ‘Defying Gravity’.

After I got off the phone with Lynn, I went to YouTube and began watching Defying Gravity London 2009. I feel such a kinship with Caroline Myss. She confirms everything I knew from my very beginning; we are born with everything we need; but let our minds overrule our ‘grace’.

So, when I go to pick up my friend’s six year old daughter from Montessori school and ask, ‘what did you learn today?’ She says, “Nothing, I already know everything”. As strange as it may seem, I understand her answer. I remember knowing everything as well; astroplaning for example; I did it on a daily basis as a child. There were other things I knew; however, school ignored those things. Our society did not cultivate or acknowledge what we are born with; we fall way short on our development of the powers we are born with and the powerful beings we are meant to be.

As our Fossil Wars march on; and species after species become extinct; and the crumbling and burning earth becomes less and less inhabitable; and with every last molecule facing extinction; can we finally admit that our minds can not perform the healing we so desperately want?

“Either we all make it through ‘the eye of the needle’ or none of us do”.  “Humanity has to turn to ‘resources that our minds can not access’ in order to transform.” – Caroline Myss, Defying Gravity, London 2009

The ‘precision with which we have become dis functional’ is horrific! And that we are conscious and addicted to this dis functionality is even more horrific! Caroline Myss poses the questions:

“What will we use to maneuver or manipulate everybody if we are not dysfunctional? What will I use if I’m whole? The idea of becoming functional is the most frightening thing you’ve ever come across! I just don’t know about this functional stuff; what will I use if I’m whole?  Oops, there goes my weakness; I want be able to maneuver or manipulate; there goes my temper; there goes everything; I might have to go to work. Holy Christ! What will I do?”

Personally, I feel somewhat enlightened. What does that mean? Well, it’s kind of like having one foot asleep and a hip out of whack. Almost whole, but not all together yet. I want to be ‘whole’. I really, really want it. But the work to get there seems so daunting. Darn it. I have to pay attention to what I’m doing every minute of every day. Who wants to do that? I’m just like everyone else at times, I want a break; and all I want to do is have fun! I have to learn to listen to those who can lead me out of the shadow. Admit that I’ve lost much of what I knew and have to learn it all over…and that healing myself as well as the planet is a ‘daunting’ task! That I really, really, really have to want it!

“To challenge the shadow that hangs over us, you have to have a soul that can defy gravity; because your mind can’t do it!'” – Caroline Myss, Defying Gravity, London 2009

How do I get one of those? A soul that can defy gravity.

“Relying on your mind as an asset to help you heal, when in fact your mind is what needs healing; is preposterous; when the mind itself is part of the toxic waste dump; and then to turn to your mind as the instrument through which you intend to heal, when in itself is damaged goods. No, no, no, no no. Cause your mind will work to preserve it’s own woundedness. You have to go in through another door. And that other door is the door of Grace. You have to go in through a much deeper door. You need a quality of help and assistance, you need to really want to get out of your addiction to the shadow. You need to really want to become empowered in a way that is truly transformational! You need to want to transform.”

Okay, I’m psyched! I don’t have to go an organize and do a lot of research; Caroline’s got it all on tape; video, book, cassette. There is no excuse. I really, really want ‘a soul that can defy gravity’ and I’m determined to get out of my head and into the door of ‘grace’. I will get there. I know that Caroline Myss is not the only one out there saying these things…however, I very much like her delivery. No nonsense and straight to the point.

This is really exciting. If enough people had a ‘soul that can defy gravity’; if enough people got this all at once; and opened the door of grace; then ‘this world could transform in the blink of an eye!

I’m just on tape five; there are 27. Gotta go now. Stay tuned, and

Happy Graceful Trails