Stand Tall Instead of Wilting

Stand Tall Instead of Wilting

As you’ve heard me talk about many times, whether you believe our world is healing or floundering toward disaster depends on which evidence you notice. Check out my Guide to Informed Optimism and podcast episodes featuring good news if you want help considering which markers of the state of the world are more true, or more worthy of our attention.

Relatedly, I want to bring your attention to our choice right now to either wilt or stand tall in the face of all that’s occurring in our world. I’ll describe the two options, then offer suggestions of how you can make the choice you feel is wisest and most helpful.

I’ll then tell you why I think it’s very important right now to be distinguishing between what I call 20th c. sustainability viewpoints that are now outmoded (and were only moderately or even minimally successful) and what I call 21st. c. regenerative viewpoints that are deeper, more inclusive, and have the potential to transform life on this planet into tremendous flourishing.

As we face a continual news stream of indicators of national and international political conflict, worrisome environmental and economic indicators, and stories of people’s cruelty to one another, some people are wilting: wilting into anxiety, pessimism, depression, blaming others, or making dire predictions. (Predictions, by the way, are odd things, because as history shows, human beings are not omniscient, variables often change, and many predictions turn out to be entirely wrong. So be watchful when you hear a prediction of disaster. Know it’s not necessarily going to turn out to be true.) People who wilt also may choose an angry, defensive posture as a response to fear and uncertainty. These are the people you hear blaming others for being wrong or being the enemy, whether in politics or in handling environmental or social issues. This blame and othering brings an energy of fight, war, or tug of war that is not ultimately productive. Polarizing and othering rarely leads to healthy, collaborative, inclusive solutions.

While some people are wilting and collapsing, others are standing tall. These are the people I feature in my good news episodes on this podcast. These are the endeavors I talk about in my Guide to Informed Optimism. These are the people who are collaborating to create recovery on the burnt coast of Maui in just ways that maintain space for native peoples and former residents, whatever their income level. Those who are standing tall are the ones creating regenerative agricultural solutions that can feed the world while healing our climate, soil, air, and sister-brother species. Those who are standing tall are the ones sharing food from their gardens, offering comfort to those who are anxious, switching their home electricity provider to a company that generates via wind and solar, or in any of thousands of ways, helping create renewal, regeneration, and healing.

Standing tall, of course, doesn’t mean you never wilt; not at all. Everyone wilts at times. What’s important about standing tall is that it’s a choice you can make, and it’s a stance you want to be in as much as possible: ideally, much of the time. We need more and more people to choose the Standing Tall stance right now.

It’s your free choice to discover what ‘standing tall’ means for you personally. Here are some ways to define it, and you may know of others. Standing tall can mean knowing what you believe to be true and what your own strengths are, and holding strong in those, but strong in a flexible way, with a focus on contribution, not on being defensive or right. Strength can appear as various energies: deep compassion, fiery leadership, incisive insight, potent kindness, visionary planning, nurturing life without getting depleted yourself; teaching others a kind of wisdom or skill they desire to learn; there are so many forms of strength. Strength can show up as patience that doesn’t shrink but holds steady. Sometimes strength shows up as the choice to rest or ask for support, to set a boundary, to be quiet, to listen to others. Strength has many forms, but it’s NOT depressive wilting and it’s not angry defensiveness. It’s NOT giving up, accepting defeat in our human-Earth project, or adding to polarization and conflict. It IS creative, heart-based, and courageous.

One thing I think we can all do better is to realize that our attitude, our posture toward life, the energetic stance we’re taking, is one we can choose. Yes, we can let it just happen to us, but we also have the ability to choose it. Here are 3 suggestions:

  1. NOTICE! Notice whether you are wilting or standing tall. Notice the energy, perspective, assumptions you are bringing to the world, and whether they incline you toward shrinking back or stepping forward in loving contribution.
  2. Once you’ve noticed whether you’re wilting or standing tall, ask yourself how that feels. If it feels good, aligned, harmonious, then you’re all set. But if it feels somehow uncomfortable or undesirable then
  3. Experiment with a different stance until you find one that feels wise and helpful for yourself and others. It’s your call whether, and how, you want to wilt or stand tall. If you’re already standing tall and you want to stand taller, you probably see how already. If you’re wilting and you want to try standing tall, you could:
  • Read Dr. David Hawkins’ classic book, Power vs. Force
  • Experiment with simply choosing to feel optimistic and trusting for even a few minutes to practice being in that state.
  • Choose some particular way you want to stand tall—maybe helping in your home area with a conservation endeavor, a project that helps animals or plants or people in need, or creating a service that contributes in way you feel the world needs. Take it as your endeavor to practice standing tall. If you see any success at all, keep going! And if this feels really hard, you’re welcome to contact me for a coaching session.

I now want to give you some further examples of what it means to either wilt or stand tall in these times.

This past spring I had the opportunity to hear some of North America’s foremost leaders on climate speak at an event. There’s no point in naming names because what I want to share is about wilting vs. standing strong and tall, but I’ll note that these are very prominent author-speakers who are often cited as experts on our climate situation.

What made me very sad as I listened to them was that many of them were sad and disheartened. From this stance of wilting, they were offering the ‘wilting’ posture to the audience rather than offering guidance on how to stand strong and be a creative, visionary, collaborative presence. One said, “I have a dim view of hope” and then explained that only people who are not really engaged with climate issues are hopeful—hopeful because they are ignorant and naïve. I wondered as I listened what point there is in talking authoritatively about all the reasons things look bad. What is the point of that? While I don’t favor war as a solution, I do know that when the Allied forces needed to defeat Hitler’s Third Reich, Allied leaders didn’t achieve victory by talking about defeats, casualties, destroyed cities and lives, or how strong the Axis armies were. They achieved victory over an evil government by focusing on strength, moral conviction, and whatever victories they could count as victories. I’m not sure you can find any examples of truly meaningful achievements that were based on sadness, defeat, and hopelessness. So isn’t it irresponsible for so-called climate leaders to try to ‘lead’ from that wilting stance?

As I listened to these supposedly expert speakers, I found myself wondering what is the contribution in showing off one’s knowledge about the many measurements of social injustice and environmental devastation if you cannot, at the same time, be a leader who points listeners toward creative, wise, collaborative, regenerative solutions. Those exist all around us: read Paul Hawken’s books or websites Drawdown and Regeneration if you want examples. So why are we listening to famous people giving talks about how desperate things appear when instead we could read Drawdown and Regeneration and find our own way to ‘stand tall’ in service to collective healing on this precious planet?

Other questions in my mind as I heard these talks were, how dare any of us have the hubris—the mistaken pride—to believe that human civilization doesn’t change, can’t change? The entire history of our species is one of continual change, development, evolution, upleveling. How dare any so-called expert or leader talk only about what’s severely discouraging and fail to help others see how we can choose a better pathway together? How dare anyone fail to believe in all that is GOOD in humanity? How dare anyone ignore the millions of people globally who are engaging in millions of actions that nourish other people, animals, plants, and ecosystems? When Paul Hawken tried about a decade ago to count the number of global non-profit endeavors seeking to improve conditions on Earth, he happily had to give up because these endeavors are so numerous all of the world that it’s impossible to count them all. How dare anyone disregard this global endeavor to serve and help by choosing a wilting posture of despair instead?

We can all notice the climate justice legal cases being brought forward by teenagers, college students, and senior citizens and wonder why mid-life adults seem to be wilting more than leading.

In a recent case in the US state of Montana a group of young people claimed the state’s fossil fuel policies are a danger to their health, and the judge agreed, setting a precedent analysts are saying could be ‘game-changing.’ I’m sure people of various ages were involved in the case. THIS is standing tall instead of wilting.

Another way I’d like to describe this is to distinguish between what I think of as 20th century vs. 21st century responses to sustainability. Note that in my view, many people around the world are still holding to 20th c. views.

20th c. responses to sustainability have focused on measurements of all that’s wrong in our environment, advocated tweaks that were inadequate, and described sustainability as difficult and involving sacrifice and struggle.

I see truly 21st century approaches as emphasizing regeneration and the ways it can benefit everyone by creating ways of living that are more joyful for people as well as nourishing for plants, animals, and ecosystems. These views help people see that caring for Earth IS caring for ourselves, and it’s not a sacrificial path but a delightful one.

20th century responses were or are hierarchical and dictated by so-called experts who were usually white men.

21st century approaches are being led by people of every race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and affiliation because people around the world are realizing that while the knowledge of intellectual experts can be valuable, only local people truly know their environments and cultures and what is needed, feasible, and appropriate in their community.

20th c. sustainability viewpoints assume that the developed, industrialized world is in charge, and technological change is what’s needed. 21st century regenerative viewpoints assume that regenerative sustainability needs to be chosen in each region of the world in ways that are appropriate to its geography and culture, that it’s profoundly collaborative, and that a change of hearts, attitudes, and understandings about the human role on Earth are primarily what is needed.

20th c. approaches often have been tweaks: fix how we produce energy and everything else can stay the same! 21st c. approaches think in terms of major systems change so that humans return to living in environmentally sustainable and regenerative ways while also creating social and economic systems that are life-nurturing and inclusive rather than hierarchical and exclusive, leaving many at the bottom or on the margins. They aim at systemic TRANSFORMATION for whole-planet healing.

20th c. approaches see ‘sustainability’ as something undesirable that we HAVE to do. 21st c. approaches see it as an invitation to enter into an era of flourishing that we co-create together.

20th century approaches assume that when you show people the numbers on climate (and either scare them enough or persuade their minds), they’ll do the right thing. 21st century approaches are founded in the belief that when you help people fall in love with humanity and the Earth, and their own wellness, they’ll absolutely do the right thing.

20th century approaches emphasize danger and threat; 21st century approaches emphasize our opportunity to revitalize all life on our planet—they are grounded in the inspiring possibility of creating extensive thriving.

20th century approaches emphasized solving our energy and climate problems. 21st century approaches to continually acknowledge that deeply and regeneratively solving our energy and climate problems also can address socio-economic inequality through the adoption of solutions such as regenerative agriculture, local energy economies, and job training in regenerative technologies such as wind, solar, and local food production.

20th century approaches have been disciplinary and harsh, sometimes shaming people and creating an us vs. them mentality regarding those who are doing the right thing and those who aren’t, those who ‘get it’ and those who don’t. 21st century approaches are an invitation into transformation and greater thriving: an inclusive invitation that welcomes anyone who wants to participate. Anyone and everyone with vision, skills, or interest is welcome.

20th c. approaches activate our limbic, fear-oriented brain and can leave us feeling scared and helpless. 21st c. approaches speak to our wiser forebrains and their ability to consider calmly, plan, be creative and innovative, and collaborate with others.


I hope I’ve helped you consider whether you’re wilting or standing tall right now, and how to stand taller and stronger. I hope it invites you to notice the difference between outmoded approaches to sustainability and exciting approaches to regeneration of all our systems, for the good of all species and our planet.


How your transformation impacts humanity & Earth

How your transformation impacts humanity & Earth


What does it mean to you to contribute to regeneration for people and planet?

Are you contributing in the ways you want to?

How can you translate what our podcast speakers say into your own life so that you and Earth both benefit?


In the new episode on the Humans & Earth podcast, I talk about the importance of letting go of the blocks that prevent us from making the contribution we desire to make in the world. I share some of what I’ve learned about how resolving trauma and claiming your authenticity affect your readiness to offer your talents or compassion to the world.


This matters because your individual transformations impact planetary healing.


Your transition beyond what’s blocking you can be a collaboration with global transformations occurring for humanity and the natural world.


Your healing or upleveling is part of humanity’s healing and upleveling.


Over the course of 2019, three healthcare practitioners I respected each independently told me that if I wanted to recover my health and uplevel my contributions to the world, I needed to address my past trauma. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was looking for a quicker fix and encouragement that of course I was ready to step up and bring my big ideas to the world. But it turned out that the doctor and psychologists were profoundly correct: my well-being and contributions were blocked by both trauma and fears of being my authentic self. The healing stage I embarked on in 2019 is the origin of my new podcast episode and a new Guide to Healing: Resources for Self-Empowerment that’s now available on the Courses tab of the website.


In the Humans & Earth podcast, I bring you inspiring speakers who offer insights into how Earth and humanity can heal and flourish together. Yet lately I’ve felt that I want to offer you more support with developing your own contributions. How can you translate what our podcast speakers say into your own life so that you benefit, and so does life on Earth?


Most of us who step into our desired contributions—whether in our homes or neighborhoods or on a larger scale—realize that authentic contribution usually requires inner transformation: emotional, spiritual, and physical. That is, if you’re yearning to make a healing change in your household, town, workplace, or your creative offerings to the world, you likely need to address whatever emotional, spiritual, or physical blocks hold you back from making your desire a reality.


We all feel blocked at times, and we all hold ourselves back. If you listen to people who are deemed ‘successful’ or are viewed as having made ‘significant’ contributions, they all have stories about inner blocks they had to overcome.


Maybe you want to introduce a new sustainability practice in your workplace but you’re afraid of being judged as a ‘tree hugger.’ Maybe you want to start a home garden but worry your family will say you’re creating too much work. Perhaps in your volunteering or healing business you want to talk about regeneration and ways we can collaborate with nature—and communicate with it– instead of causing harm…but you’re worried people will label you too ‘out there’ or ‘unrealistic.’ Maybe you yearn to help restore our planet but a part of you holds back because that part is afraid to be that hopeful. (We’ll be talking about this in our April gathering.) Or maybe you have a big idea but feel you don’t have the right qualifications to make it a reality. We could go on and on listing the fears and worries, and the types of low confidence and self-doubt, that prevent us from living our biggest, boldest, most joyful, soul-guided lives.


I’ve been on this transformative path for a long time and am ready to offer new types of support for your own transformations and upleveled contributions. (And yes, that includes you whether you are contributing to the world’s healing in quiet ways through your peaceful and wise presence, or through dynamic actions at any scale, small or larger.)


In our new monthly group we’ll be playing with the emotional and spiritual transformations that allow us to become whatever kind of healing presence we want to be. I’m also offering you something else new that addresses the physical and spiritual side of transformation, and soon I’ll bring forth a Guide to Flower Essences that addresses the emotional side.


This matters because individual transformation impacts planetary healing. Keep reading and I’ll explain.


To put it simply, if you’re well-being isn’t strong, it’s tough to contribute to the world in the ways you might want to. Whether you struggle with physical or emotional health challenges, they can hold you back.


I’ve experienced this myself and transformed beyond it, so I feel it’s time for me to start sharing what I’ve learned about how to improve your well-being so you can be the healing presence you want to be.


To take just two relevant topics today, I’m going to discuss the importance of recovering from trauma and living authentically. Both turn out to be highly relevant to your ability to serve, contribute, or lead. Both are getting a lot of attention in terms of wellness, but I want to also connect them specifically to your readiness to offer your talents, visionary insights, or compassion to the world.


I have a new offering through The School for Humans and Earth. It’s called A Guide to Healing: Resources for Self-Empowerment. It’s for you if you want to contribute more to regeneration for people and planet but feel held back by health challenges. The Guide is very inexpensive and accessible. I’ll be referring to it in today’s episode, but whether or not the Guide is right for you, I want to share with you today some of its core ideas.


One of those core ideas is that when we need to improve our wellness, we often experience 3 phases:

  • Phase One: Diagnosing the problems
  • Phase Two: Trying to treat symptoms
  • Phase Three: Healing by transforming your lifestyle and consciousness


I want you to notice that these three phases are as true for an individual person’s life as they are for what we’re experiencing on Earth right now. We’ve been diagnosing our environmental problems for a few decades. We’ve been trying to treat the symptoms of environmental decline by tweaking our systems, such as by reducing our fossil fuel usage and our emissions of carbon and toxins. But it’s become abundantly clear that to truly heal Earth and humanity, we need to transform our lifestyles and our consciousness, not just improve or tweak them.


This similarity between the individual and planetary healing journeys is one of the many reasons I’m giving attention to why improving your wellness is relevant to your contributions to the thriving of people and planet.


Health problems are a topic I haven’t discussed publicly very much, though they’ve been a major part of my life. (I share more about my story in the Guide itself.) But I’m realizing that it’s time for our newsletters, courses, and gatherings to support you more in becoming whatever kind of healing presence on Earth you want to be. And for quite a few of us, this involves transforming health challenges so that we can live in the creative ways we long for.


I’m someone who has dealt with a variety of health challenges since early in life. I’ve lived through the stages of seeking diagnoses, trying to treat symptoms, and eventually realizing that transforming my lifestyle and consciousness are the keys to healing.


I’m not ready to describe my health history on a podcast episode that might receive 100s or 1000s of downloads. But I’ve shared more in the Guide, which you can access if, like me, you’re on your own healing journey and want to learn more from mine.


What I’ll share here today is that if you’re trying to live a thriving life and contribute to the well-being of people and planet yet getting derailed by health problems, I want to encourage you to consider that your health problems aren’t just highly uncomfortable, but that they also may be your doorways to the life you really want to live. Your healing journey can be a collaboration with global transformations occurring for humanity and the natural world. We’re living in a time when both individuals and societies are transforming.


  • Maybe you’re one of the people who deals with health problems that are challenging to diagnose or resolve, yet you suspect they have some origin in stress or trauma.
  • Perhaps you sense that your body’s symptoms are connected to the way you’re living in separation from your true identity, values, goals, and dreams for yourself and life on Earth.
  • Maybe you feel stuck in the stage of coping with your health challenges but sense you’re ready for transformative growth.

Whatever kind of healing your soul-mind-body system needs is part of your overall self-development and self-empowerment. I know this for sure. Your healing is also part of humanity’s healing and upleveling. The goal is to curate your soul-mind-body self as an empowered, creative being. Then you’re more free to live however you desire to here on planet Earth

Even if you feel lost, desperate, or hopeless about your health, you can find your empowered, self-restorative responses. So many people have discovered this, including me, that I know it to be true.

My new Guide to Healing addresses how to heal trauma you may have experienced in your own life. However, I think it’s important to note that it’s possible that you’re also experiencing trauma based on your exposure to news media and your concerns about the state of the world. Although it’s good to be informed about what’s occurring in the world around us, those of who are very sensitive and/or feel deeply concerned about the future of life on Earth may be traumatized by news about climate change, natural disasters, or human or animal suffering. For more discussion on this topic and how to curate your news feed, you can read my Guide to Informed Optimism and listen to Humans & Earth Podcast episodes on Wise Focus and Informed Optimism.


Just about everyone has experienced at least some trauma, because life happens. But those of us with significant health issues very often have experienced more trauma than we realize. Trauma affects how the brain works, and the brain, of course, guides the function of the rest of the body. Persistent trauma patterning in the brain can shift our brain function, our biochemistry, and how our bodies’ systems function. Trauma can occur in dramatic forms, such as accidents or violence, or in ongoing forms, such as repeated emotional or physical stress over time. A simple definition of trauma from the work of the pioneering trauma researcher Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is that it consists of an event or experience that was overwhelming to a person’s nervous system and thus left a lasting imprint on their mind, brain, and body.


We can note that trauma recovery needs to occur for individuals and whole cultures. Resmaa Menakem is one person who has discussed how centuries of traumatizing conflicts in Europe created traumatized peoples who then explored the world from 1500 onward and transferred their trauma to other peoples via behaviors such as colonization and enslavement. Gabor Mate has also spoken about the trauma of whole societies of people.


The effects of trauma on the mind and body are too complex to describe fully in today’s episode, but to offer some brief useful information for now, I’ll note that neuroscientific evidence shows that trauma changes how our brains function, and a brain stuck in old or current habits of stress and distress (also known as the fight-flight-freeze neurological states—and we’ve also now added Fawn and Find) will very likely create emotional and/or physical symptoms. These can range widely from anxiety, depression, or a dissociated lack of emotion to pain, fatigue, immune system dysfunction, digestive system problems, blood pressure problems, neurological symptoms, and many more. Some of the foremost physicians and scientists writing books and giving talks on this topic include Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Gabor Maté, Dr. Steven Porges, Dr. Norman Doidge, Dr. Cathleen King, and others I mention in the Guide.


To link this to another podcast episode and an article I’ve written and shared recently in the newsletter, I’ll note that a simple way to understand trauma is that it puts you in a Red Brain state. However, if you want to be peaceful, healthy, and a creative, regenerative presence in the world, you need to spend most of your time in the Green Brain state, as defined by Dr. Rick Hanson.


In the Guide I talk about how to assess your own trauma history, and what to do to integrate the parts of yourself that are traumatized, especially via somatics and brain retraining, and I talk about books, resources, and programs that can help you heal so you can move forward with your life of contribution.


Experiencing trauma can be terrible, and healing it can be challenging, but the good news for people and planet is that many experts believe that as we continue to resolve trauma patterns in human populations, we will treat one another and the Earth with loving care rather than domination. It’s looking like helping individuals and groups of people heal from trauma is actually relevant to solving climate change and other environmental problems.


You can be part of a generational shift as someone who assesses and resolves your own trauma patterns and then becomes stronger—and wiser—and thus able to contribute in beautiful ways to what humans and Earth need in this era of regeneration.


It truly is a privilege to be able to access healing tools that your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and earlier generations could not access. Trauma recovery is a heroic journey, and one that can greatly enhance your ability to be a healing presence to others, be they people, plants, animals, or Earth.


When you bring your nervous system into the Green Brain state by resolving trauma, you become the kind of calm, insightful, optimistic, collaborative, hopeful, and creative person who can help humanity create an era of regeneration for people and planet.


As I hope you’re seeing, your own wellness is part of how we heal our planet.


Now I want to talk about the connection between whether you’re living authentically and how this relates to how much you can help Earth heal.


If you are experiencing health problems, it’s very possible you are not living in the authentic and self-empowered way that your soul-mind-body system desires.


This matters for more people—and plants and animals–than only you. We are in a time when important changes are occurring in human culture, and will keep occurring, as people express their uniqueness: their unique perspective, ideas, needs, concerns, vision, and talents. Everyone’s insights and creativity are needed to help build the regenerative ways of life that are already developing. If your perspective or vision are being held inside you, this may harm your health, and it prevents you from contributing whatever humanity needs that YOU are here to contribute.


How do you know if you are living authentically? Well, if you feel you can be ‘yourself’ only in a few areas of your life but not in others (or only when you are alone), you probably are often living inauthentically. If you cannot be your ‘real self’ in your workplace or your close relationships, you are almost certainly living inauthentically. This creates friction or tension between who you really want to be or what you really want to express, and in contrast, the ways you are restricting, censoring, or dividing yourself. Living inauthentically can be a form of intense stress that substantially impacts your mind-body functioning.


When you relate to yourself and others in inauthentic ways, you experience soul-mind-body stress. You also may be shutting down your heart and its yearnings in order to follow your mental judgements about ‘the way you have to live.’ Shutting down important parts of yourself in order to feel ‘safer’ around people who may not accept all of you is extremely taxing on your soul-mind-body system. It can be both a result of trauma, and can traumatize you in an ongoing way.


To consider some examples, if you love the arts or working with children but are working unhappily in accounting, or you’re a spiritual person working in an exclusively rational environment that is suspicious of spirituality, or if you live or work in any setting where you see possibilities for beautiful transformation but people around you shut down your ideas, you are experiencing inner conflict related to authenticity. If the person you want to be is rejected by people and institutions in your life, or if you frequently feel unsafe speaking your truth, setting healthy boundaries that protect your well-being, or being ‘different’ from others around you, you are experiencing the soul-mind-body crisis of needing to be inauthentic in order to be accepted in your family, friendships, workplace, or culture. This creates tremendous mental/emotional stress and strain that then can affect your mental and physical health.


Human cultures and systems tell us how to live: how to behave, what to believe, how to dress and eat and exercise, etc. We get to decide whether we agree. Currently many of our cultural assumptions and systems are harming us and the Earth and need regeneration. If you feel uncomfortable in the ‘boxes’ into which your culture tries place you, it’s possible that you’re here to help change those boxes. Although I have been committed to higher learning for most of my life and gaining a Ph.D. and teaching in my field has brought me much satisfaction and even joy, I’ve also struggled continuously with the unavoidable reality that I have not only ‘standard intellectual’ interests and abilities, but that I’m a highly spiritual person who also cherishes intuitive, holistic approaches to life and believes they need to be included in how we learn and live. It’s been an intense journey for me to give myself permission to believe that all of my knowledge, skills, and passions are valid and valuable, and that I can contribute to the world using all of them, not just those that are more culturally ‘acceptable.’ The benefit of this journey has been that I now feel more fully myself, more in integrity, and closer to actualizing the fullness of how I seek to contribute to, and enjoy, this world we live in. Becoming all of yourself is a worthwhile endeavor. Because it reduces your mind-body stress and can energize you with new experiences of peace and joy, it is highly health-supportive.


I know for sure that we are more powerful and capable than we realize. Also, we are privileged to live in a time when we have access to a larger array of healing tools and resources than most human populations have had available. So get excited, because if you’re dealing with health issues, addressing them may be the key to many kinds of transformation in your life, and a lot of support is available at this time.


People tell me that it doesn’t make sense for me to have lived through the variety of long-term health challenges I’ve experienced and not share what I’ve learned. And although it’s vulnerable for me to bring my new Guide to Healing to you, it’s been in my mind for a long time. It’s time to bring it forth.

You can access it on the Courses tab.


Your healing is part of humanity’s healing and upleveling. You can find your empowered, self-restorative paths to contributing to the world. I’ve studied many people’s stories of transforming their emotional and physical health. So many people have discovered transformation, including me, that I know it is real, and it’s accessible to you.


We are living in a time of rapid human upleveling, and ample assistance is available to those who choose to participate.


I wholeheartedly believe we can bring humanity overall to a healthier state and restore our planet. I know we’ve already begun. To keep going, we need more people who are physically and mentally well, and thus strong and able to co-create renewal for people and Earth. This doesn’t mean we’re searching for a ‘perfect’ standard of wellness. It doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the world if you’re unwell. But the more you’re thriving, the easier it is to be a healing presence in the world. You can be one of the many people who are advancing their own well-being and then contributing to the world in brighter ways. That’s been my path, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Check out the Guide to Healing if it’s a fit for you. Watch for more resources coming soon on turning to flower essences for emotional well-being. And you can look forward to two upcoming podcast interviews with an expert in the new plant studies that are bringing much higher levels of respect and insight to how we relate with plants, and an expert in using flowers and gardening for mental health and community transformation. And if you’re on our newsletter list, you’ll receive information about our new monthly online gatherings, where we’ll practice some of these things together.

For Humans & Earth,










Building A Collaborative Era for People and Planet

Building A Collaborative Era for People and Planet

We’re experiencing a revolution in our understandings about how life on planet Earth really works. It’s appearing that collaboration is actually how things are meant to function on Earth, and that’s good news for anyone who cares about healing our planet and human well-being. This is also significant for your sense of hope, your own thriving, and your experience of connection to the people, plants, and animals with whom you co-exist on this lovely planet we call Earth.

What’s exciting right now is that, despite the messiness occurring everywhere on planet Earth, there’s evidence everywhere that we’re outgrowing old mistaken stories of domination and hierarchy. This is a thrilling time to be alive as science and spirituality converge in conversations about how we can renew life on Earth by witnessing and encouraging the collaborations that are fundamental to how Earth’s many systems function. As science has progressed, and as we’ve re-explored our ethical and religious traditions, we’re re-discovering regenerative collaboration as a defining feature of how life on Earth works.

This isn’t the only story, of course…forms of domination and hierarchy continue to exist on Earth. What’s important is that they are rapidly losing support and becoming viewed as inferior ways for human society to function. Note, for example, how warfare still exists but is frowned on, how racism still exists but is constantly challenged, and how our abuse of Earth continues yet is being called-out as problematic across the globe.

We have increasing options now to choose and amplify the story of collaboration, and that’s what I’m offering you today.


I’ll start with how the collaborative story is appearing in current science:

Our 20th century stories told us that life on Earth is one big fierce competition. However, more recent  biological research is showing that the story of life on Earth actually may be more a story of collaboration than a story of competition. Apparently we misunderstand Darwin’s theories of evolution when we focus on competition, because Darwin himself was very interested in how organisms collaborate to support one another’s thriving.

We have mounting evidence for understanding life on Earth as a multi-species collaboration that functions in a continual process of regenerative self-renewal. We describe this using scientific terms such as mutualism, symbiosis, and ecosystem services. Mutualistic symbiosis is being discovered among more and more species. For example, we have discovered that bacteria function in communicative communities and also collaborate with other species, such as squid, for the survival of both the bacteria and the squid.

We’re also continuing to theorize that the original evolution of life on Earth may have occurred when bacteria collaborated with one another. We additionally know that plants produce the oxygen breathed by animals (including humans), while animals exhale the carbon dioxide plants need in a moment-by-moment planetary collaboration of respiration. We’re continually discovering how soil microbes’ collaborative relationships with plants enable plant growth, including the production of the food humans eat. Similarly, soil mycorrhizae allow communication and nutrient sharing among trees. Canadian scientist Suzanne Simard is one of the leading researchers in this area, and her and other scientists’ discoveries are astounding as they continue revealing how trees collaborate by sharing information and nutrients, even from one species of tree to a different species of tree. Forests are intricate collaborative systems, it appears, not the competitions we once thought.

Other examples of collaboration are all around us: Pollinating insects and flowering plants co-exist in a mutualistic relationship, and so do seed-producing plants and the animals who ingest and disperse the seeds to allow those plants to reproduce and survive.

We now know that the human digestive system functions only because of the presence of numerous microbes in the gut, and the same is true for herbivorous ruminant mammals and other animals. Without these ‘foreign’ microbes helping your digestion work, you wouldn’t be able to assimilate nutrients from food, so you wouldn’t be able to stay alive. Your very existence depends on the microbes in your digestive system! Collaboration keeps you alive on a second-to-second basis.

Scientists also point out that humans evolved and developed increasingly sophisticated ways of surviving due to mutualistic interactions with animals such as dogs, horses, cattle, chicken, and sheep, and with plants such as wheat, corn, and rice. Without these collaborations with animals and plants, we would still be hunter-gatherers living a much more primitive existence, with far fewer choices available to us. Similarly, the development of civilization involved humans taking on specialized roles, from farmer to wagon maker to public official, healer, or teacher, so that a collective of people could collaboratively accomplish more than only hunting and gathering or farming. The human world as we know it, in all its complexity and its multiplicity of choices, developed out of countless intricate collaborations.

One field where collaboration is being increasingly studied and nurtured is agroecology, which is the science of sustainable, organic, and regenerative agriculture. Research around the world repeatedly shows that agroecological approaches produce robust crop yields, little or no environmental damage, and significant levels of ecological regeneration when farmers collaborate with the natural functions of soil, water, native plants, native in-sects, and other aspects of the natural world, rather than trying to control them with chemical applications. I could give dozens of examples from the rich and exciting field of agroecology, but here are two: first, we’re finding that farmers who plant flowers and welcome pollinators onto their farms see less crop damage from pests because on a farm with a variety of insects, the insect populations control one another. Second, research is documenting how farmers who work WITH soil by keeping it covered with nourishing cover crops instead of plowing it excessively not only end up with larger crop yields, but also draw carbon out of the atmosphere and into the soil in a way that has the potential to reverse climate change. See the Rodale Institute’s white papers on their website for details.

To review, we are discovering mounting scientific evidence of collaboration’s role in the natural world. This is notable for anyone interested in the flourishing of life on Earth. If nature is a process of collaborations, then all we need to do is let them flourish. And if the way nature works is more collaborative than competitive, then maybe human culture—we’re animals after all—should aim to create collaboration more than competition.


Let’s consider aspects of how the story of collaboration presents in human cultures:

As an historian, I can point out that over the past two centuries, collaboration and equality have become highly valued all over the world. This is why many countries’ governments have shifted from monarchy or totalitarian rule to democracy, imperfect as it still is. This is why we’ve seen global efforts to grant rights to all people no matter their gender or level of ability, why we’ve been working to give animals protections from human abuse, and why we’ve endeavored to abolish slavery and discourage many forms of discrimination and harm. Although the human experience on Earth remains complex and challenging, it’s reasonable to point out that over the past 200-300 years, a growing majority of people agree that everyone should have rights, and that equality is better than hierarchical domination.

Human value systems in our whole known history have often promoted collaboration. Examples range from the Golden Rule (“treat others as you wish to be treated”), which appears in almost all world religions, implying that people can collaboratively ensure good treatment of one another, to world religions’ scriptures that emphasize care for Creation, which the Creator offers to humanity as a life-support system. Many profound examples of a collaborative ethos appear in the ways indigenous spirituality around the world, on every continent, always has advocated for harmonious collaboration between people and the natural world. Similarly, in the modern centuries we have defined democracy as a system of collaborative compromises with shared responsibilities and privileges. Documents of global relevance such as The Earth Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals contain a foundational assumption of collaboration: namely, that humans must work together, and cooperate with Earth’s needs and limits, in order to ensure the flourishing continuation of life on Earth. It makes sense to claim that from the perspective of both our scientific knowledge and human values systems over time, collaboration is a prominent feature of thriving on planet Earth.

During the 20th and 21st centuries, humanity has had to face the damage caused by our efforts to dominate the natural world. During these same centuries we also have faced the damage caused by our efforts to dominate one another. Our ongoing endeavors to re-pair the damage caused by gender discrimination, slavery, and unjust systems that create poverty demonstrate our advancing awareness that domination does not yield long-term success or peace.

I believe we are coming toward a global human consensus that domination, whether of the natural world or other people, has been a failed experiment. That’s not to say everyone agrees on this as of now, but I believe the history of the past three centuries suggests that this is where we are headed together. Countless cultural, political, and legal movements of the 20th and 21st centuries have been focused on how people collaboratively can promote and protect equality, rights, and the flourishing of all individuals and their communities. (When Paul Hawken tried to count these movements and organizations for his book Blessed Unrest, he reached the inspiring conclusion that they are literally uncountable, they’re so great in number.)

In the modern centuries since about 1600, we have been engaged in a continual extension of the human rights articulated by 17th-century Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke. These rights originally were intended primarily for white males but in only about 300 years have rather quickly been extended to include all humans, as well as animals, ecosystems, and plants, among those who possess natural rights. We see this world-wide in rights movements of many kinds, from the spreading of democracy to endeavors to end child labor, abuse of animals and ecosystems, and discrimination based on sex, race, age, or physical status. Currently many are working to designate ecocide as a crime and countries such as Bolivia and New Zealand are modeling how to encode formal legal rights for nature in legal systems. If you pay attention, signs of deep collaboration are everywhere.

If it’s true that the natural world functions more in collaboration than competition, and that the goal of nature’s collaborations is to nurture a continual cycle of regeneration on Earth—regeneration meaning renewal for continuous thriving—then maybe human cultures today also need to make regenerative collaboration their main goal, as it seems to have been in many past cultures.

We already see this occurring, in fact. I already mentioned agroecology. In another example, architects, designers, and builders are exploring how the human built environment—homes, offices, whole towns and cities—can become more a regenerative than a degenerative presence on the planet. This looks like buildings generating their own energy and harmlessly processing their own waste, and sometimes making the soil, water and air around them even cleaner and healthier. Watch for exciting further innovation in the Regenerative Development arena. Nature’s regenerative functions are becoming the model for the human built environment and ways of living.

It is no surprise that our age of industrial progress, which also has been an age of environmental domination and devastation (c. 1850–present), has also been an age of anxiety and depression. Many scholars and sages hypothesize that surely we are naturally attuned to care for our life support system rather than damage it, and we feel great distress when our environment is damaged. Regenerative action, therefore, is as important for renewing human well-being as it is for renewing the natural world.

Let’s remember that the “new stories” offered by environmental advocates as pathways out of our patterns of abuse of the planet include human–nature collaboration as one of their core assumptions. Advocates of adopting a new, collaborative story about humanity’s relationship with Earth include Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme (using the terms Great Work and Journey of the Universe); Wangari Maathai (who wrote about Replenishing the Earth); Joanna Macy, Chris Johnstone, and David Korten who speak of (The Great Turning); there is also the Transition Movement led by Rob Hopkins and activists around the world). Vandana Shiva writes of Earth Democracy and Marc Bekoff advocates for Rewilding our Hearts, while Gregory Cajete frames all of this as Native Science and Stephan Harding terms it Holistic Science.

It’s valid to claim that humanity is engaged in recognizing and reclaiming the story of collaboration as central to the flourishing of life on Earth, and seeing ourselves, as indigenous people always have, as participants rather than dominators.

In their superb book The Future We Choose, eminent climate negotiators Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac state regarding how to solve the climate crisis, “We are entering the next phase of human evolution…. [and] we need to prioritize collaboration….We can ignite regenerative human cultures that seek to ensure that humanity becomes a life-sustaining influence on all ecosystems and on the planet as a whole.”

To sum up:

Over the past 200 or 300 years, collaboration has come to be increasingly valued among humans. And in the past few decades we have been finding increasing scientific evidence of collaboration in nature.

Regenerative collaboration is applicable just as much to collaboration, justice, and healing within the human community as to collaboration and healing between humanity and the natural world.

The concept of regenerative collaboration arises from indigenous values combined with the scientific, ethical, and religious perspectives that have developed in post-indigenous cultures. This includes the values of indigenous people of color and also the indigenous values of all peoples, of every ethnic and racial origin, because every human being has an indigenous ancestry, however distant. Indigenous cultures worldwide appear to have viewed, and continue to view, the world as a regenerative collaboration. As the Lakota Luther Standing Bear wrote in 1933, “Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle…The concept of life and its relations…gave [the Lakota] reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance for all.” Potawatomi scholar Kyle Whyte speaks of something similar using the term “systems of responsibilities.”

What this means for you: well, a lot of things, and I’ll identify a few of them.

Know that Regenerative Collaboration is a choice…a field you can enter…a way you can live and contribute. Additionally:

  1. If you’re someone who prefers nurturing life and advocating for collaboration more than competition, you’re not weird, off-base, or a bleeding heart. Science and human history show how vital and often-valued collaboration is. It’s possible it’s going to become our #1 value on planet Earth. More and more people are talking about this and living it, and you can find your like-minded, like-hearted people.
  2. Test out viewing life on Earth as a multi-species collaboration, and see if this gives you a feeling of comfort, calm, security, and companionship. Know that supporting sustainable and regenerative agriculture helps your health and the planet’s; appreciate that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables helps your gut microbes and your own health; feel awe when you realize that trees and plants are collaborating together to thrive AND producing the oxygen and food you need to survive. Get excited about the fact that when you advocate or act for nature’s thriving, you’re literally supporting your own and future generations’ thriving, too. Let yourself feel how supported you are in this grand collaboration of life on Earth.
  3. If you need more hope or satisfaction in your life, you may want to engage in a collaborative regenerative endeavor: a home garden with a friend or family member, a community garden or tree-planting initiative, joining other people who are caring for animals or helping children or the elderly spend time in nature, or any partnership or group activity that helps restore Earth’s and/or human well-being. Social justice endeavors definitely count. Working in permaculture, the Transition Towns movement, or any pro-democracy efforts counts. Arguably we are made to not pursue only our own well-being, though that’s an important task for each of us, but to also support the thriving of the natural systems and other people around us. Doing so can make you feel whole, and help you feel encouraged as you see the meaningful restorative, regenerative endeavors happening all over the world.


Collaboration is amply visible on Earth, and that simple fact calls for our focused attention right now. It’s a key to turning life on Earth from foundering to flourishing.

When we accept that life on Earth requires collaboration and currently is in need of regeneration, then we can participate in the collaborative process deliberately and caringly, choosing our human activities within frameworks of regenerative collaboration.

It’s up to us which story we choose, and which story we live inside.

Using Plant Essences to Support Your Wellness & Contribution

Using Plant Essences to Support Your Wellness & Contribution

In the new episode on the Humans & Earth podcast, I tell four stories about my experiences with plant essences, how they are helpful, and how they often come into our lives serendipitously. I also offer suggestions about how you can benefit from plant essences and how to obtain them. Read below or listen on the podcast.

What are plant essences? They are liquid remedies that have been made to hold the energetic essence or frequency of a tree or flower. They are thus different from herbal remedies, which contain actual plant parts, and essential oils, which contain the fragrant oils of plants. Flower and tree essences are a form of energy medicine that can be ingested or used topically, and they are very safe, both for people and animals, as well as for plants, because they contain no actual plant parts. You can thus make essences from plants that are not edible for humans or animals, and often you can make them without even harvesting the plants and ending their lives. Unlike with essential oils (which I also use and love), plant essences can be produced with little to no plant material, leading some people to see them as a more ethical use of plants.

I’m going to focus here on spiritual and energetic experiences with plant essences, but I’ll note that if you want to delve into the science of energy medicine and frequency, Dr. Shamini Jain’s Consciousness and Healing Initiative publishes reports, and you also might look at the work of Dr. David Feinstein and Dr. Lissa Rankin. There are quite a few other researchers assembling discussions of energy medicine—what it is, why it works, and even the physics of it. But today I’m focusing on stories about some of my recent experiences to show you how you might want to receive support from plant essences.

I’ll offer you the shortest story first: recently I saw a body worker who is also a flower essence practitioner. She suggested for me a rather obvious essence I’ve never taken for an extended period of time, and I was so grateful for her insight. The essence, indeed, has soothed and upheld me as I’ve gone to another level this summer of moving beyond some past trauma. The essence is the Bach Rescue Remedy mixture, and while you can use it for acute stress, you also can take it over a longer time for nervous system support.

I had a more complex experience with a plant essence earlier this year. While I interviewed plant communication experts and Tree Whisperers Dr. Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander this past January, during a meditation they offered to the audience, a very large Sycamore tree in my neighborhood came visibly into my awareness. She later also appeared in Dr. Jim’s consciousness, asking him to confirm for me that I was really hearing from her and that she wanted to teach me. I spent parts of the winter, spring, and early summer sitting with her and listening to her, taking her essence, and recognizing that what she represents and is teaching me is perfectly matched for my current life stage. I’ve felt amazement that she reached out to me and offered me her teachings and energetic support. She is a grand being with whom I’m honored to be in relationship. I don’t feel ready to share much of what she has shown me, but part of it relates to the central channel of energy in the human body that has been discussed for millennia in the Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine traditions. She has been showing me a next step in cultivating the central channel and recognizing it as the stream of energy that connects our bodies, minds, and souls both to Earth and to the heavenly realms. When I take her essence, I’m connected to these teachings and the tremendous strength and wisdom she has held for at least one or two centuries.

In the summer I experienced the luxurious medicine of the Pink Mimosa tree. I felt guided to buy this essence from my teacher Ameya Cohen’s line this spring. It offers energies of abundance and joy. Serendipitously a local friend texted me a photo of the flowers and said she wondered what they are. I recognized them immediately and told my friend she was delighting in Pink Mimosa, and I shared with her that I’d been taking the essence and could make her a bottle if she brought me some flowers. She did, and I did…and the essence is riotously potent. Then I started seeing Pink Mimosa trees everywhere, and marveling at the fact that, tree-aware as I am, I had never really noticed them in prior years, though they grow quite abundantly in my area and produce a cloud of highly visible bright pink blossoms every June and July. (It’s true, they are considered invasive in North America. From a scientific ecological standpoint they may be problematic. From the standpoint of the energy they have to share, I have to wonder if it’s a good and purposeful thing that they are spreading in places where they aren’t native. I feel the invasive plants question needs to be examined both scientifically and energetically, and that there are aspects of invasive plants that we don’t yet understand.) Pink Mimosa offers a frequency many of us are especially ready to benefit from now.

A fourth notable experience with plant essences unfolded for me about a year ago. Within one week of starting to take the essences of sunflowers and Echinacea in August 2021, I finally felt clarity about changing my name in my business, going from using a pseudonym to my real name. The experience of power and certainty in my solar plexus as I took the essences was astonishing. I also took 1 drop of Maui Orchid essence twice over three days. It’s an essence, also from Ameya Cohen’s line, that helps us see the truth we already know. It was abundantly clear that the flower essences were impacting my sense of self and vocation, and I appreciated their assistance as I worked through something that had felt confusing and challenging to me.

What should you do if you want to use flower and tree essences? Your best options are probably to get a book on plant essences or see a practitioner. I like Delta Gardens’ founder David Dalton’s book, Stars of the Meadow, and the Flower Essence Society’s Flower Essence Repertory. Many other books exist, too, so see what calls to you. A book will help you identify the essence(s) you need and how to handle dosing, though that is simple as you basically take 2-5 drops 2-4 times per day.

If you want to purchase one or more essences to try, two lines of essences I like are Delta Gardens and the Flower Essence Society; I also am very fond of Green Hope Farm’s and Ameya Cohen’s line of essences, though I’m not sure if Ameya’s are going to continue to be available. The Bach essences are very nice and are the most famous flower essence line, but I have more of an affinity with the other lines I mentioned. I also make my own essences, which you can easily learn to do—just learn the proper procedure with flowers that are not edible.

We’re designed to live here in collaboration with plants, animals, and all of nature, so to me it makes perfect sense that plants are eager to help us by offering us the food, herbal remedies, essential oils, and energetic essences they uniquely produce. As long as you respect and thank the plants and make sure you’re doing something in your life to support plants’ well-being, I feel it’s fine to receive what they offer for your sustenance, growth, and contribution.

If you would like my support in allowing plant essences to uphold your contributions to flourishing for people and planet, you can find my services here on the Coaching page. Plant essence practitioners specialize in everything from women’s or children’s health to physical healing or supporting animals. I love to focus my sessions on offering clients essences that support their clarity about how they want to contribute to renewal for Earth and the human-Earth relationship. It will be my pleasure to guide you in benefiting from plant essences.

Thanks for reading. Now go find a plant to connect with through being present to it, engaging in conversation (for tips on this, listen to previous episodes of the podcast), providing it with physical care, or taking its essence!

Why Regulating Your Nervous System Lets You Transform Our World

Why Regulating Your Nervous System Lets You Transform Our World

Do you feel internally safe and calm enough to create the transformation you desire to contribute to the world?

A crucial but hidden aspect of whether we can create healing change for ourselves and Earth is whether we have the internal safety and stability to do so.

Thus, current conversations about trauma and nervous system regulation are vitally relevant to our ability to renew the natural world.

If you see yourself as a change-maker, if you have experienced trauma, if you wonder why conflict resolution in our world seems stuck, or if you feel stuck in your own process of desired self-development, please listen to my current interview on the podcast with Dr. Cathleen King.

This interview is very important to me personally because Dr. Cat has been a pivotal mentor in my process of recovery from trauma and chronic illness. Her own recovery story and her message are potently relevant for anyone who seeks to be a healing presence to themselves and our world. 

Dr. Cathleen King is an expert on trauma recovery, inner healing, and how consciousness shifts create personal and collective transformation. She has the rare combination of in-depth doctoral-level education and training, over 20 years coaching others in the health field, and having gone through her own heroine’s journey of spending two decades of her life navigating debilitating illness. She speaks to transformation based on deep personal experience. In her youth she lived with poverty, family addiction and illiteracy, homelessness, and violence. In young adulthood serious illnesses kept her bed-bound for years. Learn more about her on the podcast page.

In our conversation, Dr. Cat and I discuss how nervous system safety is starting to receive much more attention in the health and spirituality arenas, but is a grievously missing piece in our environmental and social justice endeavors. If we seek to create healing for people and planet, we as individuals need to learn to regulate our nervous systems so we can achieve true conflict resolution. It is from the serene space of nervous system safety that we design creative solutions that bring regeneration to people and planet.

Dr. Cat explains that if you experience difficulty stepping into your calling, desired work, or goals, you likely have a dysregulated nervous system. She shares ways to orient your nervous system toward stability and optimal functioning.

When you are practicing nervous system recovery and regulation, you can surpass the us vs. them dichotomies that often break human society apart, and you can raise yourself above victim consciousness. Then you are in the powerful space of creative transformation, whether you aim to transform yourself and your life, your local community, or human life on Earth.

For humans and Earth,


Chara Armon, Ph.D.





I’m making a liberating choice & sharing it with you

I’m making a liberating choice & sharing it with you

Most of you on this mailing list found my work in 2014 and 2015 when I created the Healing Earth, Healing Self Telesummit. From 2016 onward I dealt with a series of health and household challenges that required me to step away from this work; they were terrifying but transformational and eventually I will share about them. Last August when I re-opened my online offerings as The School for Humans and Earth, I told you that I had chosen to do so using the name Helen Claire Harmon to differentiate my work with the School for Humans and Earth from my job in higher education.

What I have noticed in the past year is that I haven’t come to feel fully like “Helen.” It is a family name, so very special to me. And my given name, Chara, carries the awkwardness of being very frequently mis-pronounced. But the bigger issue is that I see that this effort to hide my spiritually oriented work for Earth from my conventional life as a college professor ultimately isn’t feeling like the best choice. In fact my contributions in both areas are similar and aligned. As both “Helen” and “Chara” I have the same values, priorities, and commitments, and some of the same colleagues.

At risk of encountering awkwardness with colleagues and students in higher ed who are not open to the spiritual foundations of my work in The School for Humans and Earth, I have decided to side with authenticity and wholeness and do all of my work as Chara Armon, my legal, life-long name. In case you’re wondering, my first name is pronounced similarly to ‘Charlotte,’ with an ‘sh’ sound. (‘Chara’ is a star in the constellation Canes venaticii and is the Greek word for ‘joy,’ though it is pronounced differently in Greek than the pronunciation my parents chose.)

As I make this choice and shift my website and social media accounts over the next couple of weeks, I feel naked, vulnerable, scared, but also more free and empowered than I have ever felt. I’ve never before given myself this much permission to be who I really am. As a spiritually and holistically inclined person who has worked in the ‘conventional’ world, I have always felt divided, closeted, and frightened of being ‘found out.’ But we are in a time when everyone needs to live their truth. People’s inner authenticity is a precious key to repairing life on planet Earth. And many thought leaders with both ‘conventional’ and ‘alternative’ authority have paved the way, from Martha Beck and Marc Bekoff to Lissa Rankin, Robin Wall Kimmerer, David Nicol, and many of the speakers featured on the Humans and Earth podcast, including Stephan Harding, Anita Sanchez, Bill Plotkin, and Cara Gubbins. What is quite amazing now is that many ‘conventional’ approaches are validating ‘alternative’ approaches: for example, we have medical studies confirming the value of acupuncture and scholarly articles discussing humans’ ability to directly communicate with animals. We’re in a time of bringing the divided conversations back together.

So, I’m giving myself full permission to both have an Ivy League Ph.D. and be a published scholar and excellent college professor, AND communicate with plants and other beings, facilitate transformation with flower essences, and serve as a thought leader for the process of co-creating regeneration for all life on Earth.

What is coming from The School for Humans and Earth are more e-courses and podcast episodes, the possibilities of some interesting exposure in news media this fall and winter, and an exciting online conference in early 2022 on how to co-create the healed, regenerated world we want to live in.

If you are in alignment with these offerings, I hope you’ll stay, watch The School unfold, and participate where you feel called. Please consider sharing The School’s work with friends, family, and colleagues. If the School’s offerings are not in sync with your perspectives and needs, now is a good time to unsubscribe from our mailing list.

My commitment to you is to bring my whole self to advocating for beliefs and actions that can regenerate our world. My commitment to myself is to no longer closet any of my aspects, but instead to offer my work for Humans and Earth with full transparency, trust in my mission, and a knowing of the great validity of working at this time on behalf of regenerating people and planet for the well-being of all life on Earth.


For Humans and Earth,

Chara Armon

To celebrate my choice to live in authentic transparency, I am putting my mentoring services on sale for 33% off the regular price for anyone who schedules in the next two weeks. Simply use the code HUMANSANDEARTH12 when you schedule an appointment here: