ORIENTED TO LIFE
LIVE MORE LIFELY!
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A few days ago I happened to have a conversation with a friend of mine about printing out a pdf.
She was commenting about the use of graphic images and how she wished people who made ebooks would use fewer graphic images so it wouldn’t take so many pieces of paper to print them. I actually agree with that because some ebooks have so much much graphic design that is not relevant to the message that it does take more paper and ink to read the message.
She said that she didn’t want to be using more trees for these unnecessary displays of graphics.
About an hour later—while I was standing in my garden—I suddenly realized that the environmental movement has done a great deal of education about how we humans are depleting resources, so much so that we have the idea that resource on this planet are finite and we should be conserving them at every turn.
Hmmm. That’s not quite right.
I would say that I have more awareness of nature than the average person.
Over the weekend I had three experiences that surprised and delighted me as I began to be even more aware of nature in new ways.
It started on Friday evening. Larry and I had been watching national news on TV and I just didn’t want to watch it anymore.
I went outside and walked to the end of the lane.
Over the years, in my own life, I have learned there are many words that I think I understand, but really don’t. And some words have a lot of emotional energy attached to them, which affects what I think the meaning is, when it really is quite something else. “Acceptance” is one of those words.
Really understanding the concept of acceptance and gaining the ability to use it in my life has made a significant difference.
To accept, by definition, is to agree to something and thereafter be bound to act in accordance with it.
The most basic thing to know about Life is that it has a basic intent to survive. In language related to humans we call it will to live—the drive for self-preservation along with expectations for future improvement in one’s state in life. But this basic intent to survive is inherent
in every species and even every cell in our bodies.
When I learned this many years ago, I decided if I am part and parcel of nature, then I have within me an inherent intent to survive too. Not just as myself, but to have all of Life that supports my existence survive at the same time.
Even though we have this drive to survive as part of our nature, industrial humans have been demonstrating a tendency to destroy life when we live an industrial consumer lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There is more to survive that simply continuing to continue. There is a whole scale of surviving from barely to abundantly.
Here’s a scale of survival that Larry and I put together.
There is in certain men … a quality of resilience, a sturdy refusal to acknowledge defeat, which aids them as effectively in affairs of the heart as in encounters of a sterner and more practical kind.
— P. G. Wodehouse
Resilience is a word that comes up here, where I live, every year after fire season. I was actually born and raised in Northern California and have lived here all my life except for 15 years in Florida. I have never experienced fire season like we have now, until I returned here in 2017. And every year since we have had massive fires.
But after each fire, we all start cleaning up and rebuilding and putting our community life back together again.
The word that comes up when we do this is resilience.
No astronaut goes into space with his fingers crossed. That’s not how we deal with risk.
What I learned from twenty-one years as an astronaut is the more you know the less you fear.
Study every system on a space ship and then boil it down into what I call a 1-pager.
You’ve got to be able to solve your problems in one breath.
FMR. COLONEL & COMMANDER, NASA & CSA
When I first heard these words I thought, “Yes! This is how we should approach living on Earth.”
Back in March, I was invited to participate in the Healthy Home Summit. We loved this interview so much that we had it transcribed (see below). When you click on the video, if it asks you to subscribe, go ahead. You can always cancel if you want to after you watch it.
This video very much shows the transition from my former work as Debra Lynn Dadd to my new work as Debra Redalia. If you missed it during the summit, I would love for you to watch it now, and/or read the transcript (I’ve made the most important parts bold).
1. Forward or onward movement toward a destination
2. Development, advancement, or improvement toward a goal
For the past couple of weeks we have been experiencing a change of season, from winter to spring.
But it doesn’t happen abruptly. The temperature doesn’t shift all in one day.
Instead, we have what I call “intermittent weather” where one day it’s cold and the next day it’s warm and you never know when you wake up in the morning which one it’s going to be.
Today Larry and I were driving to an appointment and while we were driving, I was just looking around admiring Life as we were passing by. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been writing this blog, and especially since I went through my big shift I have been being more aware of life around me. Instead of having much of my attention on buildings and shops and cars as we drive down the street, I’m seeing trees and animals and clouds and other elements of life, both more life and more detail about the life-forms I am aware of.
And so, while we were driving around, I was noticing the vivid colors of the autumn leaves in contrast to the grey skies.
This week I’m working intensively on completing The Lifely Group website over the Thanksgiving holiday, so i can go live with it early next week.
Given this short deadline, I’m finding myself looking at what is most important to do this week, and what can be put off until later or eliminated entirely.
Yesterday morning Larry and I were sitting in the waiting room of his dentist’s office and there was a television screen playing.
Usually, I don’t pay attention to televisions in doctor’s offices because they often are just advertising drugs, so I picked up a magazine instead.
But within a few minutes, Larry said, “Look at the TV.”
Wow. After posting last week in The Chaos of Change—The Joy of Creating about how the basic structure of my life had fallen apart, this week has been quite the opposite!
It’s like for the past few weeks a tidal wave has been sweeping through the physical aspect of my life to make room for something new. And it arrived this week.
One of my favorite people in history is Luther Burbank, a horticulturist who invented developed more than 800 popular varieties of fruit and nut trees, flowers, and vegetables, many of which are still used today around the world.
I serendipitously happen to live within walking distance of the location of his Experimental Farm (a small piece of which is still maintained today) and the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens are in nearby Santa Rosa, California.
I have for some time been wanting to write a post comparing the work Luther Burbank did to create these new varieties in a natural way versus the industrial gene splicing used today and I thought I should go to the gift shop at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens because they might have just the information I was looking for.
As you may know, I’ve been working on this website for about three months—since 18 June so that’s exactly three months! During that time I’ve been undergoing a personal transition of moving from 40 years of work helping consumers find products without toxic chemicals to starting an entirely new business based on a new idea that is not yet widely known in the world. So this has been a time of tremendous change for me as well as ripples throughout the world.
I’ve learned from repeated experience that when you make a decision to move on a path toward a goal, disruption of the old order begins to happen in ways one does not necessarily expect. It seems that an obstacle you have to achieve your goal will come up to be handled. Sometimes there is such a flood of barriers that just appear so suddenly that I just stand there and scream at the universe, “Oh come on! Give me a break!”
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
— Tao Te Ching
As I am working on writing the “big picture” Larry and I are addressing with Lifely, I am reminded of the quotation “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Indeed that is important to remember when we wish to make a change as huge as moving from an industrial society to one based in Life—it’s all about each of us making those “single steps” day-in-and day out, learning new information, making different decisions, and it all adds up to a big change in the world.
I experienced this concept in a different context a few days ago when I was listening to Yo Yo Ma play Bach’s Six Cellos Suites all in one sitting on YouTube. This is a magnificent feat of virtuosity to play even one, but he played all six back-to-back with only one short break mid-way.
I wrote this in the summer of 2005, while living in Florida.
Great clouds of ocean
fall into my teacup
and run through my veins.
Rain cleanses my body
and flows back to the sea.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that
the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
Bloggers like me are advised to create a “content schedule” where you plan out far in advance what you will write about on specific dates in the future. I have always found that difficult to do, but after returning from my road trip to Portland a couple of weeks ago I wrote out a whole plan of subjects I wanted to write about inspired by that trip.
But then a quantum leap occurred over the weekend that blew that plan to pieces. I will get back to those subjects, I promise, but today I want to tell you what happened.
For me, Independence Day is about more than having a picnic and going to the the fireworks. It’s a time to bring my attention again to the concept of independence in my own life, and for the nation in which I live.
I love the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.