“Are you speaking?” asked most people, upon contact, at my first conference event. It was a dinner party at the home of John Roulac, CEO of RE Botanicals. Situated on the tip of Point Richmond, the house was crafted of wood by boat-makers. Sweeping views of San Francisco, and every bridge. Tiered decks, twinkling lights, the seductive scent of Indian food. Wind-blown attendees chatting, perky and passionate.
It took me awhile to figure out how to answer this question sincerely. I sensed a great love for this motley crew of visionaries and farmers, and I wanted the first word out of my mouth to reflect the Yes reverberating in my body. My first few attempts failed successfully. Soon, I had my answer.
I don’t run a large organization. My published works are not in the field of permaculture, or even food. I am a mother of three, bravely and boldly navigating toward Regenerative Living, which in Buddhist terms could be defined as the Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration, and right mindfulness.
Thus I consider myself a peer, and signed up to volunteer at the conference in order to learn more about who is doing what, where, and how, and to see about being of service. In addition to clarity and connection, I came away with a mixture of dread, determination, and pure excitement—like a bird might feel, flying in formation through a storm.
Soil Not Oil was a melting pot of molten energy; we might still be processing information from the left to the right sides of our brains. With an eye to decolonizing conference culture, I’ve consolidated some of my notes into bite-sized pieces.
It truly seems that the way forward is together, merging knowledge across movements, traditions, sciences, and technologies, while utilizing every craft at our disposal. Regenerative activism looks at what we share in common, and embodies the paradigm shift from “Me” to “We.”
We are the microcosm of the macrocosm. Let’s tap our roots.
The High Five:
Finally, here are five of my personal “spark” notes, received while sitting alone on the floor in the middle of the empty Masonic Hall, under the enormous light-bulb star on the ceiling.
I dream of a Regenerative Revolution.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “An individual has not started living until s/he can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
As an individual, I can’t rise above the narrow confines of my personal concerns—I won’t break out of my box—until I’ve developed the core strength to embrace my whole being. Otherwise, that which I am not ready to accept in myself will prevent me from connecting with others. If I am numb to my own emotions, stuck in runaway trains of thought, held hostage by self-doubt, or too exhausted by the fumes of a toxic environment to challenge my own perception, how can I address what lies beyond my borders? How will I access my evolutionary path to an expanded sense of awareness?
The awkward, resistant, and/or destructive habits of thought and behavior that exist within each human being lie at the foundation of the fossil-fueled system we seek to change. But when it comes to addressing these concerns, the American public has a habit of neglect. Maybe we settle with ourselves for less because we figure that one person cannot save the world. However, each individual is responsible for the world s/he creates.
Regenerative community requires individual Response-ability. This Response-ability (or Invironmental Awareness) allows an individual to be of collective service. If we hope to help humanity, we must start where we are: addicted, anxious, afraid, attached. We can’t move forward if we’re holding back.
Taking Response-ability means empowering change.
I dream of our great awakening.
And it’s happening NOW,
one day at a time.
We need the shit.
It’s the fertilizer.
Bring it up for air so it can compost properly and fuel our growth.
It’s an asset, and totally transformative.
So when shit hits the fan,
please don’t take it personally.
It’s just par for the course on the Orgone trail.
The plot thickens when we’ve been taught to bury our shit,
or hold it in, or play with it, or sit in it, or pretend it isn’t ours.
But in fact it charges us. It’s what we tend to go on.
Alleviate the constipation of a nation.
The grass is greener on the other side of the divide between heart and mind,
where the soul smiles in satisfaction
because it’s gaining circulation, clearing space, developing capacity,
and clarifying intention.
Simply reminding us that this too shall pass.
Going green from the inside out
…that’s what this shit is all about.
A shift, a movement, a letting grow.
Soular Power: let it show!
Because we have the privilege of being this light;
bringing light; seeing light; weaving light;
and believing—believing that life is good
and it deserves to be protected.
We CAN heal-grow-live-love-laugh-sing-build-play-and restore.
If we think our shit is wrong then we’ll never get it right.
It’s when we keep sight of the fact that it’s all one tract,
it’s all one system--
And if we simply relax around the contraction,
align with the divine timing of action,
we’ll get out of this shit-hole alive
and thrive like Mother Nature intended.
I am a body of water and my tears fall like rain
as I witness the pain of generations.
My arteries, like rivers, clotting, clogging, throbbing
in the aftermath of so much bad blood,
so much blood shed,
so many lives led to ruin for the sake of a buck.
It’s hard to feel stuck. And it hurts to bleed so much.
But I am a body of water and gradually, over time,
I will erode the barriers that block my path.
I will soften rough edges and find new openings,
whittle new ways of being,
for I am regenerative.
I am life and abundance and dancing.
I'm not here to be damned.
I don't want to be bottled and sold.
I want to run with the land.
Through seasons of flood and seasons of drought,
going within and going without,
expanding and contracting with the moon,
carrying the tune of countless voices.
The choice is before us and every drop counts.
Please understand me.
My bipolarity is not a disorder.
Duality is part of divine order.
It's what holds us together in this vast pooling of consciousness,
the infinite deep,
where mysteries seep through the pores of my skin.
I am devotion and community and hope.
I am up to my eyeballs with growth.
One day my body will evaporate,
but for now I flow forward,
letting my strength, my passion, my love lead the way.
The future is waiting, but for now it’s today;
a current affair in which all parties know that trust and transparency facilitate flow.
I am a body of water with a rising tide.
I want to lift as many ships as I can.
I want to stand and swirl and run and fall,
to wash over and through and between it all
I am a body of water, pooling at your feet.
It is very nice to meet you.
Soular Power is the essence of who you are. It is the molten lava at the creative core of your being, and the ultimate renewable resource. The Soular Powered life is filled with natural joy, energy, inspiration, passion, and amusement.
Many people suffer from Soular Power deficiency. Immersed in a fossil-fueled culture, we are loaded with fears, doubts, judgments and illusions, convinced of their service.
It is a tremendous drain on the system. Exhausted by the fumes of our own minds, we reach for non-renewable sources of energy. These include, but are not limited to: a dependency on outside approval, material accumulation, codependent relationships, or instant gratification in the form of sugar, sex, or alcohol. Unfortunately, our culture reinforces these patterns, building industry around them. As a result, we often fail to see our way around the smog in the Invironment. Or, even seeing our way forward, we often do not make our way forward. Forging fresh footsteps may seem awkward, inconvenient, or downright terrifying—but it’s worth every step.
Three reasons to GO SOULAR:
1. Because you’re here…making your metaphorical bed.
2. Because who/what/when/where/why/how you are impacts your parents, children, friends, colleagues, neighbors, teachers, students, clients, employers, and all other members of creation.
3. Because you ought to live until you die.
The time has come for a shift in paradigm.
Move from external dependency to self-sustainability!
YOU are a little working model of the universe, a microcosm of the macrocosm. This means that YOU, being yourself, generate Soular Power. YOU, doing what you do from the heart, represent our most vital energy resource. And YOU, unfiltered, raw, with no artificial ingredients and no harmful emissions, can achieve your full potential in whatever endeavor you dream of.
WE, coming together, amplify Soular Power exponentially. WE need to leverage this collective wattage, now. We have infinite tools at our disposal; they are in our hands or at our fingertips. We can recognize, appreciate, collaborate, communicate, create, serve, and restore.
Together, we can do it ourselves.
Step up to the front line, going Soular in your own time, realizing that you have all the support in the universe. Set the intention to plug in with your bare hands; transforming consumption to production—one choice, one thought, one word at a time.
After all, we are all one of a kind.