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Convergence

As part of my training I hiked up a fast moving stream up in the high Craggy Mountains near Asheville to sit in the fast moving water. While submerged I suddenly understood how it all links together, the one word which can encompass the myriad parts that make up a holistic life, that have created the being I am today. The Sacred and Magical. the Dry and Pragmatic. The Arts and Creativity. the Business and Service. The Health and Nutrition. The Physical Mastery and Body Intelligence. the Emotional and Mental Maturity. The Child-like Wonder and Reaction Time. The Music. The Adventure. The deep dark Shadow work. The Courage. The Vulnerability.

The list goes on and on. It as been a long goal of mine to discover how to effectively share the importance of all of these things and how they all work together, change each other to make a beautiful, holistic life. And in that moment, submerged a word came that tied them all together.

Convergence.

It has ran through my head like a mantra since, suddenly streamlining the process through which I can share all of these.

The book is one and it is almost ready.

Videos and Podcasts are another.

And of course, retreats and workshop events with the occasional seminar.

Branding forthcoming, if only to give cohesion to that which is converging.

I hope you will join me on this journey.

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The Global Shift in Power That Gives Me Hope

Today, while seeing some American responses to Muslims, my heart ached. It ached, not for the injustice of such a stance, but for the force which feeds it. Seeds of fear are planted intentionally by media and governments every day. Little seeds, here and there, mentions of this terror group, that murder, of violence. Seeds of honor and glamor, of courage and bravery are attributed to the legal bastions of violence, our military. These seeds are planted deep in the psyche of those who stare at the flashing lights of the television screen, with no idea how deeply it shapes their very experience of the world, of each other. These seeds become the gut wrenching fear and anger I hear welling from the masses. It is this very fear that makes people easy to control. It convinces people to give up their rights; to submit to less for the promise of safety. That promise is never given for free, never given from compassion. It is offered with the heaviest price tag of them all. It costs millions of lives, the world’s precious resources and is its greatest polluter. The military industrial complex grows larger and yet people are feeling less and less secure every day. A few men, the most lost of them all, grow fat and rich from the sown seeds of fear. It is through this fear that they derive the power to drive the fate of nations like cattle for the slaughter.

The pain in my heart is for these unwitting supplicants of fear and anger. They have been slowly, consistently molded to entrench themselves in these emotions, justifying them through the words that have been drilled into their heads through media. They feel  validated in their support of militaristic legal violence through the equally powerful myth of patriotism. My heart aches for these people and the inhuman experiment that has been wrought upon them.

However I have seen the seeds of hope sown directly into the barren soil of this desecrated cultural milieu. I have seen them take root and grow. They are powerful and vigorous and produce fruit that tastes of safety, understanding, compassion and interconnection. It is with this heart ache of both empathy for the lost and hope for the ever increasing number of those who are found that I wrote this yesterday, a mantra or prayer that feels more important now than ever;

“May power derived from seeding and manipulating fear dissolve from our world, and power born of compassion and understanding flourish.”

Even those poor, loveless souls who prey upon the fear and hate that they seed, stuffing their pockets with military contracts and oily trade deals. Sociopathic, beyond the bounds of any reasonable reflection of humanity. These people derive power from seeding and manipulating the fear, pain and hatred of others. The power they derive can determine the fate of nations and send millions zealously to their deaths in order to build this power. What they do not understand is that the power they wield is not as strong as they might think.

This kind of power is weak. It is founded on unnatural principles. Weak principles that do not stand the test of species survival. That do not stand the test of spirit, of connection to something greater. of feeling, viscerally the interconnectedness of every living thing on this planet and how we function as a single organism. This is our natural power, derived from our intimate experience of connection to each other and to all things. Humans killing other humans is an unfathomable monstrosity from the perspective of our true power. The power that requires such horror in the world is weak. It is built upon a foundation that cannot and will not sustain this species as a part of this planet.

With practice and experience in the wild world we begin to unlock our natural, latent abilities. We unlock our latent understanding, wisdom and natural efficaciousness. The painful struggle of modern life falls away. From outside of its grip it appears as an incomprehensible nightmare, a hamster wheel of self destruction that robs us of our vital, essential truth. This truth is that we are stewards of the Earth, the creative and curious, the exploratory expression of life. We are meant to collaborate with the natural world to create a reality far more powerful and advanced then the modern world. Our technology, our culture, are bare, arid reflections of the prestige, power and possibility that we inherently contain.

If only you comprehended for a minute how powerful you truly are. The capabilities and possibilities built in to your incredible human body. The creative force that is your mind and spirit. With even a fraction of this awareness such power as that which today moves nations and machines of war would fall away like dust, forgotten before it had even blown away.

And so I beseech you. Search within and find the truth of who you are, of what you are. Do not dismiss these words. We have reached a crux moment as a species. Either we heed the call of our essential humanity or we continue to allow a weakness disguised as power to control how we behave and think. A weakness we can dispel through a choice. A choice to become a part of the holistic organism that is Earth, to revel in the wondrous complexity of our interconnectedness, and to unleash the irresistible force of our true power that grows from this foundation.

Every day, more and more people are waking up to their true power. Every day the weakness disguised as power loses more of its grip on humanity. This seed of hope has a foundation of millions of individuals waking up to their power. Already people are accessing abilities that defy standard science and breach the threshold of the miraculous. We are out there, we are growing exponentially. It is not simply a seed of hope, it is a rapidly growing community that is awakening to its purpose and vitality.

The only question remains; will you plant this seed of hope in your life or wither fear, anger and violence? The choice is yours and the time is now.

oldest living people

9 Lessons We Learn from the Oldest Living People

There are people all over the world living to ages well beyond 100 years. The oldest are pressing further and further beyond this age.

What is interesting to note are those places that contain the highest concentration of these individuals.

What is it about those people, their environment and lifestyle that help them to achieve a longer life.

That is exactly the research that has been done by Dan Buettner and National geographic, yielding our knowledge of the world’s ‘Blue Zones’ where the most long-lived people dwell.

The world’s Blue Zones are as follows:

Ikaria, Greece

Okinawa, Japan

the Ogliastra region of Sardinia

Loma Linda, California;

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

So what accounts for the high percentage of centurions in these places? They are scattered across the globe and encompass many different cultures and socio-economic situations. What Buettner and his team discovered was that there were indeed lifestyle choices shared by members of each community. Some were surprising.

1. Move Naturally

Office chairs, driving, stiff=soled shoes and a general state of sedentary lethargy has left western human bodies twisted and out of balance. Those who live in the Blue Zones tend to move as nature intended and often. The combination of regular exercise and correct posture and body alignment leads to healthy and longer lives.

2. Know your Purpose

Having a clear directive when you awaken in the morning is said to add seven years to your life when compared to those who do not. This does not mean waking up resigned to work that makes you miserable. Cultivate your talents and passions and share them with the world in a powerful and intentional way.

3. Down Shift

Stress and diet yields chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation yields a treasure trove of illness, disease and pain. One of the greatest ways to prevent chronic inflammation, besides diet, is to get plenty of sleep, take naps and lots of space to meditate, pray, or otherwise quiet your mind.

4. 80% Rule

I like to eat. I learned in my family that the slow eater doesn’t get seconds. This, however leads to overfilling the stomach and overloading our digestive system. This results in poor assimilation of nutrients and poor elimination of wastes. When we eat slow we give our body time to register fullness. However across the blue zones there is another piece. While eating slowly and chewing food completely we eat, on average, 20% less food. We gain more nutrition with less waste to process. Long lived people tend to eat a large breakfast and a small dinner, maximizing their sleep without the extra need for heavy digestion.

5. Plant Slant

Sustainably speaking we can only afford to eat about 2oz of meat a week, per person. Luckily that is just the amount that is eaten (or less) by the longest lived people on the planet. A diet of fruit, nuts and leafy greens makes up most of their food intake..

6. Wine at 5

Drinkers live longer than non-drinkers? Research would tend to agree that this is true. This does not mean getting wasted every day, or ever, really. The benefit is present only in small quantities.Two glasses of wine, preferably eaten during a meal of veggies, will serve you best. I recommend local metheglin (herbal) mead as a powerful alternative that delivers medicine and nutrition to boot.

7. Family First

Family is our greatest teacher and, according to this research, a powerful component of our longevity. Cultivating close ties with relatives, healthy relationships with kids and spouse is a sure way to live a longer, healthier life.

8. Belong

A personal spiritual practice is a wonderful thing and will certainly lead to a happier healthier life. The blue zone people also belong to a spiritual community. Whether a Buddhist center, Christian, Jewish, Islam, or any other community dedicated to celebrating the mysteries and the magic, having a spiritual community is a crucial part of the blue zone alchemy.

9. Right Tribe

I once heard an old saying that you could look at the ten people closest to you and see a clearer reflection of yourself than your own personal idea of who you are. This adage has stuck with me and helped me to cultivate a life where I am surrounded by people who inspire me. Loyalty to people who bring you down only hinders your ability to be effectual and happy. Create space from those who spread dis-ease and find the tribe of people who inspire you most. These people will keep you active, healthy and inspired.

In Conclusion

The Blue Zone research gives us an interesting perspective into the lives of those who live the longest on this planet. Studying the places where the highest concentrations of these people live has yielded a simple strategy similar to the one I have outlined in my book ‘Unleash Your Creative Genius’. In the book, however I do not focus on longevity in terms of how many years you live. To me it seems like more years is a natural consequence of opening to creativity and physical vitality. What stands out about these practices is that they increase the quality of the moments you have, right now. They create more unique and memorable experiences which translate to a greater number of unique memories in any given moment. Relative to memory you literally experience more time in one day than someone who is caught in a behavior loop that repeats every day and blends together.

So while Blue Zone research confirms many of the practices I outline in my book, I am still going to search for the longevity of this moment right now through the unique experiences I can create. Extra years will be a welcome bonus, not the goal.

Rob panther Beach Rock

Where Did the Magic Go?

It has never left.

It has been trammeled, beaten, clear cut, dammed and slaughtered.

And yet it still lives. In certain oasis’s it thrives.

Where water runs free and ancient trees still live.

And yet, even in the most destitute and compromised corners of this planet it lives.

Magic is resilient. Magic is not some auxiliary force, it is a way of describing life itself.

It is the state of things when we silent our neurotic minds and place our bare feet on the earth.

When we begin to hear the whispering of the breeze and the lament of the trees.

When we feel the water rushing over our bodies and feel the interruptions of that flow hundreds of miles downstream.

When we know that each being is vitally important, and a part of ourselves.

Greed and exploitation are sad realities. They do not anger me.

For anyone who can trade the biodiversity of this beautiful world for something as shallow as money is sick, lost.

I weep for these tortured souls. Every bit of life they take in the name of greed is further killing their wild spirit.

Their power and vitality becomes buried deeper and deeper by the psychopathic warden of their minds.

And they exploit more. Feverishly they strive for power. And they find a form of it. However it is power corrupted and incapable of satisfying even their most basic needs. And so look at those who exploit, the ‘rich and powerful’. Their skin sags upon their frames. The light in their eyes is buried so deep as to appear nonexistent. Their faces do not naturally conform to smiles, to the physical expressions of light and joy. I do not feel anger towards these beings. I feel a grief, an immense sadness.

My friends, I make a request of you. From the depth of my heart and for the love of this planet, sitting on the knife edge of life and death, I urge you to take a radical and courageous step out your day to day lives.

Go into the wild. Take off your shoes. Drop low to the Earth, move silently. Open your ears, open your eyes and most important of all, open your imagination. It is the key to our true sanity. It is the key to unlocking the sickness of unchecked pragmatism, a cage to the wild spirit. Invoke your hunter/stalker. Millions of years of hunting/stalking has not been lost on you.

Drop low, open your eyes and silent your mind. Listen and feel, let the sensations speak to your body. Ignore the mind at first, it will strive to put each experience into that cage, it will strive to keep you there. Let your imagination run wild. You need do nothing else. Bring warm things, place yourself in the wild woods alone for a night. Feel the vulnerability. Within it lies a strength you may have never known you had. This strength is your true power. It is the power that can truly cancel out the madness that has prevailed for so many generations. This, my friends, is the gateway to magic. To worlds within worlds that remain untapped by most people today.

If you feel the call to take such a step and need support ask me. I am here to help guide those who are ready into a deeper expression of their true power. I also recommend Bill Plotkin’s Animas Valley Institute for those who want a different avenue to this experience. I also recommend his books.

One final question, for those who resonate with this message.

If not now, when? There will always be more work to be done, more responsibilities to keep us distracted. Until we connect to our true power, our spiritual adulthood and our true potential, all that work we are doing is only a fraction of the potency it can be. For true leverage as a force of something inspiring and powerful on this planet we must drop what we are doing long enough to give ourselves the gift of ourselves, fully present and empowered.

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The Most Important Choice to Save the World

 

It  is clear now, more than ever that we are at an environmental threshold the likes we have never seen.

Prominent scientists have come out saying that we are now, unquestionably, in an epochal Mass Extinction. One of the species least likely to survive it? Humanity.

Current measures for sustainable energy are inspiring but just aren’t cutting it. By current projections it will cost many trillions of dollars and take two decades to switch off fossil fuels.

And fossil fuel use isn’t even the worst cause of environmental degradation right now.

Many people try to be ‘environmentally conscious’ through short showers, composting, recycling and carpooling. While helpful these practices a just a drop in the bucket of our culture’s real daily consumption problem.

Fortunately, with a growing population approaching 8 billion, we have achieved a moment of a perfect necessary opportunity.

In order to be a true environmentalist, without hypocrisy under the population and environmental pressures we are presented with right now there is only one choice:

The single most important decision we can make in regards to saving the world is to stop or at least significantly reduce eating animal products.

Scroll down further for facts on why this is true.

Seriously, every political battle, social justice reform and sustainable cause pales in comparison to this one massive necessity.

It isn’t a moral issue. It is the pure scientific fact of maintaining life on this planet.

There is no greater way a person can reduce their personal impact than stopping eating meat. Unlike the sustainable energy reforms which will cost trillions of dollars and take decades to implement this costs nothing and can be implemented today.

I live one of the healthiest lifestyles possible. I have incredible amounts of energy and wake up invigorated and revitalized every day. I climb mountains, perform acrobatics, slackline and adventure race. I also eat next to no animal products ever. They are completely unnecessary for the greatest health imaginable.

So a diet that makes people healthier and happier is also the single most important choice we can make to save the world?

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Here are the facts:

  1. 18% of all Greenhouse gases come from Animal Agriculture. All transportation combined equals 13%.
  2. Live stock and byproducts of livestock account for 51% of CO2 emissions on the planet
  3. Methane and NO2 are hundreds of times more destructive than CO2 and livestock produce the highest sources of these as well
  4. While fracking uses 70-140 Billion gallons of water a year, livestock agriculture uses a staggering 34-76 Trillion gallons annually!
  5. An average Californian is responsible for the consumption of 1500 gallons of water a day.
  6. One pound of beef consumes 2500 gallons of water in its production.
  7. A person who does not eat animal products produces 50% less CO2, uses 1/11 of the oil. 1/13 of the water and 1/18 of the land of a consumer of animal products
  8. The list goes on. (see links below for more info!)

So taking short showers, fixing that leaky faucet and similar measures are trivial in comparison to stoping eating meat.

Regardless of what else you do in the world, with a population of 7.3 billion and rising there is no sustainable way for everyone to eat meat except on very rare occasions.

Like I said, it is no longer a moral issue. It is not about ethics. It is pure, unadulterated science. The number one cause of rainforest destruction, global warming, species loss, and everything that is killing this planet right now is animal agriculture.

In some ways this is good news. All you have to do, in order to make the greatest impact, is to stop eating meat and dairy. It costs nothing, it will save you money, and make you healthier to boot.

Good thing there is a plethora of information out there about the incredible and complete vegan diet. If you do not believe you can THRIVE on this diet than you are not doing your research. Here are some of my favorite examples of people who push the threshold every day without the use of animal products.

Peter Ragnar is older than most of our great grandparents and yet, somehow younger than us at the same time! He is a true inspiration.

Peter Ragnar http://www.longevitysage.com/

David Wolfe is out there discovering the healthiest foods and picking them apart to figure out what makes them tick.

David Wolfe davidwolfe.com

No Meat Athlete: This is a great resource to find info on people who perform superhuman feats without meat.

Here is a link to an article with advice from fruitarian Ultrarunner Michael Arnstein on nomeatathlete.com

Do the research. I used to respect people’s meat eating habits. Just because I know I do not need meat does not mean everyone needs to change their diets too… except, actually they do. Literally, time is running out.

 

Infographic from the Great documentary on this subject: Cowspiracy. *All numbered facts above compiled from peer reviewed articles by Cowspiracy as well*

Cowspiracy-Infographic