Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

What’s Important?

March 9, 2008

Global Mindshift, through its website, www.conversationweek.org asked people to submit what we consider the ten most important questions of our time.  One of the facilitators in Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposiums had some of her questions selected (I’m also a facilitator:  www.awakeningthedreamer.org)
 I don’t think there’s much to say other than, ‘Here they are”
•         How can we best prepare our children for the future?
•         What does sustainability look like to you? How do we get there? 
•         How do humans need to adapt to survive the changes predicted for this century?
•         How do we shift from “Me” to “We” on both the local and global levels?
•         How can you, as Gandhi said, be the change that you want to see in the world?
•         What kind of economic structures can best support a shift to sustainable living?
•         How should we re-invent the political process so that people feel that they have a voice?
•         What kind of leadership does the world need now?
•          How can we balance our personal needs with the most pressing needs of our community and the larger world?
•          What can we do to reduce or eliminate violence in the world?
Responses came in from 39 countries – from Uganda to Mexico to Singapore to Serbia to India to the US – making Global Conversation Week 2008 truly global.
No.  There is something else to say:  What are your answers?  How can you get your friends to read and answer for themselves?

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Crossing the Line

January 23, 2008

In many ways my training has jaded me – well, all of us, though each in our own way.  By jaded, I mean we can’t understand how some things are not in the consciousness of someone else.

Can you imagine someone not knowing the times table?  Lots of people can’t imagine someone not knowing how to change a tire or boil an egg; we’re all guilty of being jaded, somewhere in our lives.

In my case coaching has made so many notions second nature to me that they are like the times table.  Though, come to think of it,even now I have to think twice about 7×9.  And I realize that being jaded is not inherent, that I’ve been trained and continue to be trained.  So from time to time I will cross the line here and write about coaching. 

The other night was the last session of my current free coaching teleseminar.  This is an extraordinary introduction to coaching.  All coaches (do or should) give you a free introductory session.  I give a free 6-session teleseminar, called Successful Relationships.  Next one starts February 18th [7:30 – 8:30 Eastern]; you can sign up or find out more by emailing Michael Lipp [michael@michaellipp.com]

So – the other night we were speaking about asking for what you want or need.  We went ‘over the lines,’ speaking about both negotiating and dealing with getting complete with people in your life.

These are really deep topics and I’ll come back to them in future blogs.  The main issues are why do we stop ourselves?  Do we ever look at the possible costs versus the possible benefits?  And most of us do not know that there’s a huge difference between being complete and being over.  ‘nuff said for now.

I tell you that these questions of completeness and negotiation are really consistent with my commitments for having us all have spiritual fulfillment, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Masterminding – A Short Session – More on Context

January 3, 2008

Three of us met yesterday – as the holiday travel winnowed our group.  I’ve written elsewhere on its impact and I see I’m not complete with the topic.

The coaching given to me was essentially this:  Please be clear on what you’re up to; I hear your requests for coaching, but I’m not sure how to listen to you.  What are you up to?

Very provocative – “I don’t know how to listen to you”  I don’t think we think of that very often – that how we speak conditions how we’re heard.  So how can I speak in a way that creates the way I want to be heard?  This is particularly pertinent because I think my main issue is mastering the three kinds of attention:  getting attention, keeping it, having people act on it.  And I see that what comes first is communicating so that you’ll hear the way I want you to hear.

So before I say that, I need to create the context for my words.  Okay, I’ve told you my context, the ‘why’ I speak, the ‘background conversation.’  Is that enough?  Yes, it is – but will you remember it tomorrow?  How about tomorrow’s new listeners?  Do I have to continue to create context?  Yes!!

So – one of my initial projects for 2008 is to reinvent my signature line.  Here’s how I want to be listened to:  What I’m about is having a world of spiritual fulfillment, social justice in a sustainable environment.  And what I do is support people to achieve these things in their own lives and the lives of their communities.  So I ask you – how would you invent a signature that speaks that?

Food is Not the Answer

December 20, 2007

This is the time of year when we fill the food kitchens- There is a keen awareness of  “the needy,”  but food is not the answer.

My purpose is not to see that people are fed.  My purpose is to feed fewer and fewer people.  Our government is not at work on that issue.  We spend the same obscene amount of money year after year to feed people (40++ Billion dollars) and we spend virtually no money on reducing the number of people who go to those food kitchens.  Incidentally, 40 Billion is only about $1,400 per person per year — clearly not even close to what’s needed and so the issue of feeding people is ongoing, painful and frustrating..

We rob people as we feed them.  We steal their independence, their dignity, their equality.  This is the seedbed of civil unrest, the contrast in living between those who feed and those who are fed. 
                         
When you realize that food is not the answer to ending hunger, you either throw up your hands in total futility or you start asking, “what is the solution?”
With a number of organizations, I have been studying this for many years.  These are some  conclusions.

• There is enough food.
• We must focus on ending the persistence of hunger
• Ending the persistence of hunger is a community issue.
• Hunger affects us all.  When one of us is hungry, we are all hungry.
• Ending the persistence of hunger is a matter of human empowerment.  It is an expression of love and joy.
• Ending hunger is possible – and, therefore, mandatory.

The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth, there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known.  Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world on the day of that great revolution.”

    Federico Garcia Lorca
 Spanish poet and dramatist, 1899-1936

I Confess

November 18, 2007

I confess.  I gave up on politics.  It’s been happening for years – I was ‘normal’ – I voted for who I wanted to win, not who I believed in.  Year by year my cynicism grew… and when I saw The Secret and started to explore The Law of Attraction, I decided I was better off by not being so disappointed, so against.

But today I spent time with The Future of Politics— Annie Loyd (www.annieloyd.com)… Google for transpartisnship – as opposed to bipartisanship.  Like me, you are for the possibility of America.  We used to be the hope of the world, the symbol of what we all want – a fair chance, the ability to strive for equality, for a decent shot at creating our own future, for “The American Dream.”  I know you want that; we all do. 

And over the years I, at least, have given up on it.  I work for a sustainable future.  I work for social justice.  I work for spiritual fulfillment.  But it’s against a background of political cynicism and resignation.  I’m sorry.  I have been disloyal to myself — And politics is very much fundamental to all of this.

Annie has changed that for me.  She strives for a political future that goes past: “we can only hope for that if we make the other side wrong, defeated, losers.”  Annie says, “not so.”  Both ‘sides’ want the same things… And there are answers to our problems.  (I note that this is consistent with the Law of Attraction.) 

She speaks of Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest–– that more and more people feel like me about electoral poplitics, that there are many, many disconnected movements to the future we want…  And that we can bring this to the political scene.  There really are independents.  We want solutions not enemies.

Find out.  You owe it to yourself.  You owe it to our future.  Annie Loyd for Congress; the new transpartisanship.

The Organic Farm

August 23, 2007

Honeybrook may be the most successful CSA – It’s a great organic farm.  This is a most bountiful year–Climate is going nuts all over, where a map of the US changes from searing heat to constant floods and we’ve just had the coldest days i9n August that NJ has ever had.  But there’s been wonderful weather for Honeybrook… Heritage tomatoes that I had never heard of before this..  I’m now spoiled – I know what tomatoes really taste like.

The “problem” with bounty is that we are hard pressed to consume it.  I now have in my refrigerator salsa, ratatouille, cole slaw, gazpacho and just made bruschetta.  Trouble is more’s coming on Saturday and I still have pounds of unused tomatoes and peppers and eggplant and onion and garlic and ….  My cooking is stellar, but whew!

And in addition to just our share, we can pick what they allow.  15 different kinds of basil, 10 different kinds of hot peppers… a quart of raspberries.  Nicest part in some ways is the fresh flowers… 

Food is beautiful as well as so tasty.  People who eat “American” don’t know how good food is (and healthier and actually, during these months, cheaper) And Sustainable.
It makes me realize how money – advertising – display – easiness – actually changes our thinking.

Food has a greater damaging effect on the environment than cars…  The average food we eat travels 1300 miles,  is wrapped in plasic and or paper bags (instead of canvas bags)….  And we don’t even know it.

I will at least come out with a cleaning product that is worthy of  great food.