Shatteringly Aware

The other day, a good friend of mine whom I have never met except on Facebook said something in a Facebook Live video that captivated me. She was talking about how, even though people are becoming more and more health conscious, they seem to be growing less and less aware of the precarious health of the environment. She believes that we have a limitless capacity for love and compassion for the planet, and her goal, through her Conscious Yoga classes, is to bring people to awareness of the marvels of the Earth and the ability each of us has to make all kinds of differences.

“Just because you weren’t aware of something yesterday,” Harriet Sams says in her video, “doesn’t mean you can’t be shatteringly aware of it today.”

Imagine being open to “shattering awareness”! What if you know that, somewhere in the course of every single day, there was at least one thing lying in wait to spring out at you and bring you a blast of shattering awareness?

The very notion inspires me to pay extra close attention to whatever I do and wherever I am, so I won’t miss it!

Thank you, Harriet.

What I’m Reading

Like most people I listened to the testimony last week of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Many commentators remarked on how composed Ford was, how eager she was to be cooperative or, as she herself put it at one point, “collegial” and how angry, indignant, and pugilistic toward his questioners Kavanaugh was. In Sunday’s New York Times, Rebecca Traister had an interesting take on this emotional phenomenon in an editorial called “Fury Is a Political Weapon. And Women Need to Wield It.” Women need to get angry—and they need to quit apologizing for their anger or trying to tone it down, Traister writes. “If you are angry today, or if you have been angry for a while, and you’re wondering whether you’re allowed to be as angry as you feel, let me say: Yes. Yes, you are allowed. You are, in fact, compelled.”


News & Links

My new book is out! You can order it here from the publisher or on Amazon, or you can buy it in your favorite bookstore. Next week, I leave for a book tour on the west coast that will include: Seattle, Corvallis, Ashland, Humboldt State University, Sebastopol, CIIS in San Francisco, and three events at the always energizing Bioneers Conference in San Rafael. Click for the schedule. And do please join me at one of these events. If you can’t make it, tell your friend to meet me there! I want to do more than just talk and read at these events; I want to find out what places in their communities and wild areas people are feeling worried about—and how they think and feel and love these places.

Grabbing the Great Now from the tiny now

I was in Shanghai last week, leading a module for the Advanced Diploma Course for the China office of Eugene Hughes’s London business, artgym. On the rainy first day I was there, my host for the event and I wanted to find the venue where the workshop would be held and get everything set up for the following morning. We had been told that it was close to my hotel, so he picked me up at 5:00 and we figured we could find it in 10 minutes or so. It took us one hour and 15 minutes, walking up and down the same street times—15 minutes in one direction, 20 minutes in the other direction, back again 20 minutes in the first direction. The light drizzle turned to a heavy downpour. Late afternoon turned to dusk, which turned to night. People with umbrellas were hurrying all around us as we gaped and paused and retraced our steps yet again. We stopped, we looked at the maps on our phones, we showed our phones to people who did not speak English and who nonetheless tried to help us, we peered into alleys, we took temporary refuge in a department store. My raincoat turned out to have lost its waterproofing.

Finally, we stopped at a tiny coffee shop, cheerfully lit up in the dark and drizzly night, and again showed our phones. The young woman working there looked, looked up the address, consulted in Chinese with her colleague, then promptly picked up her umbrella and motioned us to follow. Although we didn’t speak one another’s language, she led us right to the door (which we had already twice walked right past). We smiled our gratitude, and she went off. Kindness abounds in people! (We found out the next day that the address is easy to find in Chinese, but the English translation of it is very misleading.)

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