Regeneration is Possible

Regeneration is Possible

How can you be a builder of regenerative solutions for people and planet?

 

Regenerative rancher Doniga Markegard is showing the way. A mother, naturalist, tracker, and permaculturist, and author of her eloquent memoirs Dawn Again and Wolf Girl, Doniga dedicates her life to restoring grasslands in California’s Bay Area while sequestering carbon and providing nutrient-dense food for people, and habitat to countless native species.

 

In this week’s episode of Humans and Earth, Doniga and I talk about building healing solutions. She explains how relationship with nature, and respectful mimicry of nature, are at the heart of her family’s regenerative ranching practices.

 

Although we have become accustomed to agriculture causing damage to our planet and our health, a different way is available. Agriculture, in fact, can reverse climate change and help to heal our soil, air, water, human health, and native species.

 

As you listen to Doniga’s insights, can you consider how your own field of work or contribution may cause damage for people and planet, but instead could create regeneration?

 

Doniga models how to make the transition from despair and helplessness to identifying the area where you feel passionate about contributing. Her focus on the healing potential of regenerative agriculture allows her to steward thousands of acres of land and contribute to the regenerative endeavors of global corporations and nonprofits.

 

Agriculture is one of our biggest global sources of carbon emissions and damage to soil, air, water, and health. If agriculture can become regenerative, what else is possible?

 

I believe regenerative practices are possible in every area of our life and work, and they gathering momentum. Where do you feel called to contribute?

 

 

Transforming Your Life & Work for Humans & Earth

Transforming Your Life & Work for Humans & Earth

What if your most joyous life is also the life that offers most benefit to humanity and Earth?

 

My guest this week on the Humans & Earth Podcast, Dr. Ray Anthony James, has experienced this. He transformed his own life from stress and misalignment to building a holistic business that offers life-enhancing Moringa products. Through the scientifically established nutritional and healing benefits of Moringa, and his regenerative Moringa farm in Jamaica, Ray creates well-being for himself, his family, his customers, and the people, plants, and ecosystem on the Moringa farm.

 

My sense is that more and more of us are feeling called to craft life shifts that nourish our well-being and the well-being of people, plants, animals, and our planet. Ray shares how this process occurred for him, and you’ll find his story fascinating whether you’re seeking similar shifts for yourself, or whether you’re interested in regenerative farming or the amazing Moringa Tree. The Moringa is a beautiful example of how one being can bring tremendous healing to people and planet.

I encourage you to ponder how your own life is feeling to you. If we feel out of alignment with our inner truth and Earth, we can shift. We are more creative and powerful than we sometimes realize. We can encourage one another to live ever more fully in alignment with what we believe is true, good, and regenerative. This is the path to creating regeneration for ourselves and all life on Earth.

 

How Do You Co-Create New Earth?

How Do You Co-Create New Earth?

The most exciting thing occurring in our world right now is that we are learning how to change from being harmful to harmless beings. We are choosing to repair the world’s ills by creating new structures of reality. Today I’m talking about the concept of ‘New Earth’ and how you can contribute to ‘New Earth’ becoming reality.

 

I wholeheartedly believe that we are all here on Earth for a reason, and that our joint mission in the next century or so is to change our human ways of living on Earth from damaging to regenerative. We now understand that what we do to the air, soil, water, animals, and plants, we do to our own bodies and minds. We now understand, very clearly, that all humans, and all species, deserve equality, justice, peace, and the means to survive and thrive. People all over the planet, millions of us, and probably billions, are endeavoring to create healing and regeneration.

Whether you assess all of this from the perspectives of science and history and other scholarly disciplines, as I do, or from the perspective of spiritual teachings, which I also do, it’s evident that we now have clear sight of what needs to change on this planet. We have the knowledge, the skills, the technology, and the heart-based desire and self-understanding, to make these changes.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh has said, “When we know how to protect all beings, we will be protecting ourselves. A spiritual revolution is needed if we’re going to confront the environmental challenges that face us.”

 

And it’s happening. Never have we had billions of people all at once who recognize that we must stop harming each other and the Earth and choose our harmless, regenerative, just options instead. You might say that humanity’s heart has been opening for a while, and now we’re stepping further and further into heart-based action.

What is New Earth?  ‘New Earth’ is the higher vibrational reality we are bringing into being on our planet. It doesn’t mean leaving Earth. It means creating so much renewal, regeneration, healing, thriving, and flourishing for everyone, every species and being and system, that life on Earth will be almost unrecognizably different.

Many people believe New Earth already exists as of the past few years, and we simply choose to experience it based on our perspective, vibration, and ways of living. Michael Bernard Beckwith said recently:

 

“There is a world that’s already here: a world of love, harmony, peace, compassion.  No manner of stagnation can stop it.  No nefarious forces can prevent it.  It’s here, and you are being anointed, appointed, and deputized to do the work to see it.”

 

And I add, we are here not only to see this world, but to bring it into physical being for everyone. There’s nothing exclusive here: New Earth and its goodness are for everyone.

We actually have so much evidence that we’re moving in this regenerative direction that we can call “New Earth.”

In the new episode of the Humans and Earth podcast, I discuss numerous examples of the regenerative endeavors world-wide that are bringing ‘New Earth’ into being.

The possibilities for collaboratively co-creating New Earth are endless. They create harmless, restorative, healing, balanced, just, fair, and joyous ways for all living beings to co-exist on planet Earth. Where do you feel called to contribute?

Note that this is meant to be a joyful contribution, not a burdensome one—I’ll be talking about that a lot in the e-course I’m launching in early June, so watch for that. Part of the e-course focuses on helping you make your contribution in a way that is regenerative for you, not exhausting.

 

To stay with the basics for today:

 

If you want to be a New Earth Co-Creator, you need to do 3 things:

  1. Believe this is happening and that you’re meant to be part of it
  2. Vision it: you need a vision of which aspect of New Earth is most exciting to you and where you desire to contribute
  3. Find your way of actively contributing

 

What’s beautiful is that your way of contributing is unique and it doesn’t have to fit into anyone else’s box. You may maintain your current career and volunteer for a cause that excites you, or shift your home life in ways that contribute significantly to the greater good. (If you are advocating for justice and environmental sustainability at work and living at home in ways that are less burdensome on the planet and more connected to your community, you definitely are contributing.) You may feel called to make large or even radical changes in your work or lifestyle because you feel a strong mission within you that needs to be served.

My closing suggestion for you today is, dare to believe that New Earth is forming and that you are here to help co-create it and DELIGHT in it. We are creative beings who are here to make life on planet Earth more joyful, inclusive, just, and flourishing for everyone—all people, all species. You get to participate, and that is literally the privilege of many lifetimes

Having the Courage to Respond

Having the Courage to Respond

Are the children fed, the old people comfortable, and the women unafraid?

 

This week’s guest on Humans and Earth, Kalani Souza, offers these as essential questions to assess community well-being and resilience, as well as preparedness for climate change.

They’re questions that bring clear focus in a time of complex demands for humanity and Earth.

What I’ve been thinking about as I’ve published my conversation with Kalani is, how can we have the courage to respond creatively to the complexity we’re facing, to the needs and problems of the world?

 

Kalani’s life and work have focused on community resilience, cross-cultural understanding, and protection of Earth’s resources. He exemplifies having the courage to respond creatively to problems. He also exemplifies the courage to defend what you love.

 

I invite you this week to ask yourself, “How can I have the courage to respond creatively to a problem I’m concerned about on this gorgeous planet we call Earth? How can I have the courage to defend or advocate for what I love?”

 

In coming weeks I’ll be offering you two resources to help you channel your creativity and love into practical actions that benefit life on Earth.

Watch for my free webinar on June 6:

Collaboration with Earth: How to Nurture Regeneration for the Planet and Yourself. The sign-up page will be available soon. The webinar will help you discern how to move forward if you believe things can be better here on Earth and you’re ready to contribute at your next level. If you’re yearning to contribute to regeneration of the natural world and human health, and you wonder if your own life can improve as you step into your authentic, soulful contribution, you’ll benefit from the webinar.

 

My new course, Collaboration with Earth: How to Nurture Regeneration for the Planet and Yourself, opens on June 14. The 7-week live course will help you transform your heart-centered vision into sustainable and regenerative actions that nourish you, other people, and all forms of life on our planet. Through exploring the 7 Steps of Collaboration with Earth, you will attain confirmation that your compassionate vision is valid and actionable, and you’ll learn how to translate Wise Focus and Reverent Relationship into a Regenerative Vision. You’ll also gain confidence in implementing your contribution to regenerating people + planet with Soulful Sovereignty and Support, not the burnout that can occur with an activist approach. The course will give you support in exploring Sacred Collaboration with people, plants, animals, other-dimensional beings, and Earth herself in order to create Reverent Regenerative Outcomes. The course will be offered this June-July at the introductory price of $89.

 

If you are looking at the world right now and wondering whether we’re headed into regeneration or decline, make sure you’ve read A Guide to Informed Optimism: Things to Know and Explore to Feel Hopeful about the Human Future with Earth. It will help you keep your focus on all the goodness that is developing in the human-Earth relationship, and give you ideas for finding your next way of contributing.

For Humans and Earth,

Chara Armon

Why Your Collaborations with Animals Assist Their Well-being and Your Own

Why Your Collaborations with Animals Assist Their Well-being and Your Own

Do you talk with animals? I mean, really talk with them, not just to them? Or do you want to learn how?

This week’s Humans and Earth podcast guest, Kate Solisti, is a professional animal communicator with decades of experience with domestic and wild animals around the world.

Her cat taught her to communicate with animals when Kate was a preschooler, yet his death and her family’s denial of her ability caused her to shut it down for two decades. In our conversation, Kate talks about:

  • Her relationship with her cat, Dusty, and her experience of her family telling her that her abilities were not real.
  • How she re-integrated her intuitive abilities in young adulthood. As she began to make her intuition feel safe again, she started to hear plants’ and animals’ messages. “It felt like I was becoming whole again.”

 

Kate explains that we can all learn to communicate with animals: “it’s not magic, it’s just practice…. The ability to connect with other species is a birthright….[it is] about learning to trust yourself.”

If you are interested in animals in any way, even the birds and squirrels in your yard, you will be intrigued by Kate’s guidance.

 

I have been able to explore the depth of the animal-human relationship through my years with my beagle, Tristan, and my French Water Dog, Stella. Currently I’m learning how empathic humans and animals function in the same way. Both Stella and I can absorb others’ emotions in ways that can be a service to people around us but can cause harm to us. In partnership with this beloved friend, I am learning about the balance of being sensitive and empathic without serving others to my own detriment. It’s moving to me how Stella, Tristan, and I have been exploring this together.

Enjoy this conversation with Kate Solisti for help in deepening your own awareness of the animal-human relationship and what it might mean in your life.

 

If you are looking at the world right now and wondering whether we’re headed into regeneration or decline, make sure you’ve read A Guide to Informed Optimism: Things to Know and Explore to Feel Hopeful about the Human Future with Earth. It will help you keep your focus on all the goodness that is developing in the human-Earth relationship, and give you ideas for finding your next way of contributing.

For Humans and Earth,

Chara Armon

Wise Focus Allows Us to Repair Life on Earth; Despair Doesn’t

Wise Focus Allows Us to Repair Life on Earth; Despair Doesn’t

I want to talk with you today about why your thoughts about regenerating our planet matter more than your actions. You can read below, or listen on the podcast.

How you act matters a lot. There’s a big difference between living a lifestyle that cares for Earth as best you can, and one that contributes unnecessarily to her abuse.

But give me a chance to explain why I believe your thoughts and feelings about Earth matter most of all.

I’ll start by making it clear that I’m very aware of our environmental problems. And I’m very aware of how these problems affect women, children, people in poverty, and people of color disproportionately. There’s no doubt that Earth’s health and human health are very challenged right now.

However, I’ve come to believe that we can’t solve these problems by focusing directly on them. Both history and neuroscience show that we create what we think about and focus on. And nothing good has ever been created from despair, as far as I know.

Nothing good is created when we stay in overwhelm or discouragement, either. I hear people saying, “it would be great if we could reduce air pollution or end toxic emissions into water or help the people who live near toxic industrial sites…but it would be too hard. Not enough people would cooperate.” Overwhelm and discouragement keep us stuck.

If we want to repair and regenerate the natural world, we need to begin with how we are thinking and what we are focusing on. I call this Wise Focus.

Modern neuroscience shows that our feelings and actions reflect what our brains are focusing on. Neuroscientist Jeffrey Schwartz has called this “self-directed neuroplasticity,” meaning that each of us gets to choose what our brain is focusing on and how that focus makes us feel and act. You can read about this in books by Schwartz, Norman Doidge, Rick Hanson, and other physicians and neuroscientists.

These authors also talk about our innate ‘negativity bias,’ a protective tendency that evolved over millennia in the human brain to protect us from danger. Now we’re learning to counter-act our tendency to see the negative with what I call Wise Focus: choosing to see the parts of reality that inspire goodness and hope more than we focus on the parts that promote discouragement.

In his book Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson speaks of this as ‘taking in the good to fill the hole in your heart’ that can develop from the painful experiences of life. Hanson points out that we want our brains to be responding in ways we choose, not reacting and creating negative emotions.

For the purpose of encouraging anyone and everyone to participate in regenerating our planet, her life systems, and our relationship to her, I call this work of directing our attention Wise Focus.

We can also find these ideas expressed by people who are teachers of wisdom and mindset. Here are five examples of versions of Wise Focus:

  • Medieval mystic Julian of Norwich comforted her peers in 14th century England with her assertion that “All shall be well,” and her visions indicating that Divine Love is always present when we choose to be aware of it.
  • Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh explains: “Every one of us…can experience a feeling of admiration and love when we see the beauty of the Earth and the beauty of the cosmos. This feeling of love and admiration has the power to unite the citizens of the Earth and remove all separation and discrimination. Caring about the environment is not an obligation, but a matter of personal and collective happiness and survival.”
  • Thomas Troward pointed out in the 1800s: “The law of floatation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things, but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally, and then intelligently asking why they did so.”
  • Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith states: “We are not merely anticipating a new world, we are participating in the new world by the vibration we are carrying. So before it can even be seen, we are the thing, we are the frequency. Be the frequency now!”
  • Mindset teacher Lana Shlafer explains in our interview in episode 9: “All of the most impactful people have been unrealistic because they dared to look at what is happening and then inspire themselves and everyone around them to move toward what they want to be happening. It’s ‘be the change you want to see,’ not ‘sit here and complain about the fact that things are the way they are.’ “

I could go on with further examples, but I think it is enough for today to say that in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, spirituality, and mindset, we can find many assertions indicating that where we place our focus is crucially important, especially if we desire to create something impactful, beautiful, healing, or regenerative. I call this Wise Focus.

 

So what does this mean in practice? I’ll share some big picture thoughts and then some ideas you can act on in your own life.

 

We create what we choose to think about, see, and focus on. Wise Focus leads, always, to regenerative, healing, inter-dependent, collaborative action.

 

You can choose Wise Focus or its opposite.

 

Right now you can see animals going extinct or people around the world striving to support animals’ survival. Just a few weeks ago, in the midst of record storms and power outages, volunteers in Texas saved thousands of sea turtles from freezing to death in the Gulf of Mexico. You can see carbon emissions being too high or someone developing a new alternative energy device. All are true. You can see women in poverty going hungry, or the microloans enabling them to start small businesses and move into financial stability.

 

Where you place your attention will decide your feelings, thoughts, and actions. That’s why what you think about Earth matters more than how you act. You’ll choose discouragement or despair and most likely take no helpful action, or you’ll choose active hope, Informed Optimism, and Wise Focus and find your way into helpful action. (For help with choosing Informed Optimism, see my ebook at www.humansandearth.com/courses)

 

When you look at the world right now,

 

  • You’ll see the processed, sickening foods that are being offered to us, or the natural healing foods that also are available. You can see the dangerous jobs for workers in agriculture, or the safe jobs on organic farms that are growing in number.
  • You’ll see people committing violence against ecosystems or one another, or you’ll see all kinds of people saying, ‘this ends now. We are creating a better way.’
  • You’ll see decline or renewal, death or rebirth, endings or beginnings, destruction or creativity, perishing or flourishing.

 

You’ll experience the effects of your focus in your own emotions and body.

In the years when I worried obsessively about air pollution, I developed asthma, and I don’t think that was a coincidence.

Once I realized that worldwide, millions of people are endeavoring to reduce and even end toxic emissions into Earth’s atmosphere, I began to feel empowered to make my own contributions to solutions.

 

Humans create what we believe we can. We do what we think is possible. We act based on our thoughts and beliefs. This is why Wise Focus is crucial if you want to help Earth and humanity heal: because what you think about Earth determines HOW you act.

 

What do you choose to think, feel, believe, hope for, and create?

 

What if you are here to co-create a healed world? What did discouragement, overwhelm, or despair ever accomplish in this world? I advise, act on the side of hope. Act on the side of regeneration.

When you choose Wise Focus, you can FEEL the energy of restoration, regeneration, and cooperative interdependence growing, and you’ll recognize signs of healing everywhere: maybe your neighbors bought a low-emissions vehicle or improved their composting system; maybe there is a new environmental initiative in your workplace; maybe a Transition Towns group has started in your town. Maybe your town or city are moving toward better waste management or open-space protections. When you look at the world through the eyes of Wise Focus, you’ll see many reasons to feel hopeful.

 

So many of us are feeling the call to transition from a lifestyle that damages ourselves and the Earth to a lifestyle that nurtures both.

 

I believe you, and each of us, are called to be on a regenerative mission with Earth and all of the natural world. I believe we’re here to heal our relationships with one another and the planet in integrated endeavors that honor all life forms and their needs.

 

If you feel ‘things can be better here—even a lot better’—and you also feel, ‘I have more to contribute than my current life allows,’ here are 4 steps you can take:

 

  1. Practice switching to Wise Focus. When you catch yourself feeling judgmental, sad, despairing, or angry about an environmental or human problem, acknowledge your feelings, which are valid. Then make the choice to explore the Wise Focus perspective that is conducive to regenerative action. Your Wise Focus perspective will probably involve thinking and feeling how the *solution* to this problem will look, how wonderful it will feel, and what steps might enact it.
  2. Keep in mind that Earth and her many sacred life forms probably would much prefer that we maintain Wise Focus rather than bemoaning tragedies. There is a role for grief and remorse, for sure, but I believe that if you connect to Earth, a tree, an animal, or a nature spirit, they are likely to appreciate how Wise Focus can lead you toward making regenerative contributions rather than sinking into the inertia of depression.
  3. Make a list of the regenerative solutions that come to mind as you practice Wise Focus. To see the examples others are gathering, subscribe to the free newsletters Optimist Daily Solutions and Good News Network.
  4. Notice how Wise Focus generates Regenerative Vision: as you practice Wise Focus, you’ll start developing ideas of how you want to contribute to caring for people & planet. This may be on a significant scale in your current work or volunteerism, it may be a new type of contribution you’re going to develop, or it may be on a personal scale in your homelife, something like starting a garden, getting rid of all yard chemicals, composting, changing to less-polluting methods of transportation, planting native plants that feed pollinators, participating in a neighborhood clean-up—the options are endless!

 

If you would like further support, in May I’ll be opening enrollment to an online course called Collaboration with Earth: Support & Strategies for Your Reverent, Regenerative Service

The course will guide you to discover your next steps in Wise Focus so that you can build Reverent Relationships with the natural world, develop your Regenerative Vision of the contribution you want to make, curate your Soulful Sovereignty and Support so you feel nourished and strong instead of burned-out, engage in Sacred Collaboration, and create Regenerative Outcomes.

If you want to be on the wait list for the course, feel free to contact me.  I’m keeping the price of the course very low this year: it will be a 7-week, support-rich course for $89. Make sure you’re on our mailing list if you want to be notified when the course opens.

I believe with all my heart and mind that we are here on Earth at this time to heal her and humanity’s lack of well-being and transform the natural world and human circumstances into beautiful, regenerative realities that honor and include all life and give all life the opportunity to fulfill its sacred purpose in freedom, ease, and joy. If you believe that, too, or you want to believe it, please practice Wise Focus. It will carry us forward into the era of regeneration we are craving.

We need to focus on the aspects of the world we want to live in in order to create the world we want to live in.