voluntary simplicity

MEND Season 2 - Episode 44

Season Finale & Wrap-Up with Amy & Anne

IMG-5266.PNG

 

It was a season begun with tea.

Sitting down to enjoy the art of conversation and contemplating what it might be like to move inside a world where we begin to value one another, this earth, beauty, thoughts, feelings, creative expression & simple self-determination - over the stingy value of a paycheck?

What would it look like to live inside a world that values it's people above it’s property?

That values it’s heart above it’s hierarchical standing in the larger world?

That values Nature above the supposed resources which it can provide us?

What would it look like to inhabit, move into, and begin to imagine a world like that?

Can we make it?

Can we find it?

Can we begin to converse & thereby imagine it into being?

These were some of the questions we set out to explore on this past season of MEND.

And so, we sat down - once more - teacups in hand - to reflect back on the conversations we’ve had.

To see what we’ve learned - how we’ve shifted - and how we can continue to move toward a future that is altogether different than the past - the present we now know.

What would it look like for two ordinary, inexpert people to begin to live differently - to uplift and inspire others to do so as well?

What if we believed these imperfect hearts and hands held some piece of the great MENDING that is needed in the world right now?

What if you belived it too?

What if we all jumped on board and rode that train to it’s completion?

Where would it lead?

Join us as we sit with these - and a few other questions - besides.

Here’s to the cups of tea we’ve shared inside this space.

And the conversations - visions - and movements - they’ve inspired - along the way

Cheers.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 43

Spiritual Capital

with Carolyn Baker

IMG-5175.PNG

Everyday we are faced with the evidence of global collapse…ecosystems around the world are dying or shifting rapidly, the number of people in the world far outnumbers what the earth can support, extreme weather is becoming a regular occurrence, ice caps are melting faster than previously feared, animal and plant species are dying off daily and we humans are becoming more insistent on our technologies, our machines, our tearing away at the flesh of the earth.  

Many of us feel the pain and anguish of this deeply and often ask ourselves,

How are we to cope?

Where do we pull our resources and our energy and take a stand?

What is our work in these times?

The grief so often can be overwhelming.

There is, however, a light in the dark night of our collective soul.

Carolyn Baker is a former psychotherapist and prolific author on the subjects of resiliency, spirituality, activism and how we as humans find our way in the murky and terrifying waters of global collapse.  Through the avenues of webinars, podcasts live workshops, books, articles, one-on-one life coaching and more, she assists people in “preparing for the dire consequences of the collapse of industrial civilization and abrupt climate change.” Her long list of books, along with links to articles, programs, speaking events, upcoming classes and information on the work that she does, can be found on her website carolynbaker.net

Carolyn observes that every person walking around today is traumatized and overwhelmed by the catastrophes, the destruction, the impending doom of our world.  But she urges us to allow that grief of this to be the power of our activism.  We may not be able to avert the affects of climate change or destruction by nuclear war, but we can do our shadow work, deepen our connections to each other and to the earth…we can, and should, be of service, build bridges of humanity, create and cultivate joy in our lives…and open up to the divine… this is what we are called to do.   

MEND Season 2 - Episode 36

THREAD: Picking it up (and Throwing It Down..)

Ideas to Reduce our Waste, & Live more Fully with Less

IMG-4792.PNG

This week, Anne & I got together to have yet another talk - inspired by last week's interview with Wasteland Rebel, Shia Su - to break down the different ways we can reduce our footprint, our waste & live lives more fully invested in Each Other.  In the actual Lived Experience of LIVING - rather than in the acquisition of Stuff.  

We throw out some books, some ideas and some practical suggestions on how we all can start transitioning into this simpler, yet richer way of being.  

As always, we try to keep these micro-episodes short & sweet - so that you can pick up what you need and get to work applying these ideas to your life.  Like, Now.  

We hope you enjoy.

 

MEND Season 2 - Episode 35

Material Capital with Shia Su  

“What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?” 
― Henry David ThoreauFamiliar Letters

IMG-4718.JPG

“Don’t start where it is difficult”.  These  words of wisdom come from Shia Su, a woman well-versed in the zero-waste movement – a name she admits can be a bit misleading.  Shia offers numerous tools and life hacks for cutting down on your waste and consumerism, actions that anyone with an inkling of willingness can start to implement into their life today, one step at a time.  These can be found on her website and blog at wastelandrebel.com. She also has a new book that just came out called “Zero Waste – Simple Lie Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash”.

This is what Shia urges – to start where it is easy, to take one piece of the puzzle and fit it into your daily life until it becomes a habit.  She emphasizes that it is not about the over zealous, tackle-it-all-at-once, total life altering changes – these are not sustainable and very rarely successful.  It is about the slow, intentional steps that you can nestle into your every day.

Shia now lives in Germany, but has traveled and lived in a variety of other places. She shares with us some interesting insights into how various cultures approach the issues of consumerism and waste, if at all.  In this episode she also talks about the importance of access, who you surround yourself with and the ways to be successful and forgiving of yourself while on the path to zero-waste.

What’s your first step going to be?  If you feel inspired please share it with us on Instagram or FB or send us an email, share it with a friend, with a stranger sitting next to you on the bus or in line at the grocery store…let’s share the ways we are reducing our waste and our consumerism…let’s join the zero waste movement together…one step at a time.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 32

IMG-4483.PNG

At the Table, with Anne & Amy

This week, we sat down at our virtual table once more, inside this micro-episode - to hash out some of the themes and ideas presented in our talk last week with Marcie Goldman.

We looked at some of the habits we've already begun to integrate into our own nourishment routines (one more good argument for choosing your friends and cohorts wisely - the right ones could literally add Vibrancy & Health into your world!).  

Plus offer up some ideas, rituals, books & organizations you can look into in order to steep yourself further in the language of Living Capital.  

Oh yes.  

And we sing to you, as well.  

So be sure to stick around.  

Proust.  

MEND Season 2 - Episode 29

A Simple cup of Tea with Guisepi Spadafora

"...There is no problem on Earth that can't be ameliorated by a hot bath and a cup of tea.” 
― Jasper Fforde

IMG-4339.PNG

Imagine walking down a crowded busy street, your eyes buried in your cell phone and the unsettling news of the day.  Scrolling through FB posts, belaboring one obstinate opinion over another.

Your thoughts percolating with lists of To-Dos.

People pass you, bumping shoulders without making eye contact.

When you hear the whistle of a tea kettle…

You look up to see the warm wooden interior of a white mini-bus and a sign that reads, FREE TEA

Inside is the thing you most need right now, something you haven’t had all day, or maybe even all week:  

Genuine human interaction, absent of monetary incentives.

A place to sit with others you’ve never met and make connections you never considered.  A man named Guisepi pouring tea for whomever enters, a man who knows RELATIONSHIPS to be of the highest value and speaks on the importance and necessity of a relationship-based economy.  Your feet, moved by a desire so innate you can’t name it, carry you to the threshold.

You enter.

Welcome to Edna Lu and the Free Tea Party.

MEND Season 2 - Episode 27

A Field of Possibility...

IMG-4265.PNG

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there."  ~Rumi

Hello again.

As you probably know, you are cozied up to the land of the storytellers.

We feel very comfortable here.

Here we can spin a tale, conjure up a poem at a moment’s notice, or weave together some divergent strands of thought in order to craft a slightly different lens through which to view.

BUT.

We cannot - on our own at least - do justice to the larger framework of this season’s theme.

As you know, we’ve borrowed from the world of permaculture this season, in order to frame up the stories and conversations we’ll be having in the coming weeks and months.

So, we wanted to pay homage - and gather up some resources - and set the larger stage -for what’s to come.

Toward that end, we sat down with two different members of the local ecological and permaculture tribes.  We had the great pleasure of sitting with Boyd Smith, who is the man behind EcoGardening. a company, practice, and philosophy of that  Considers the relationships of each organism in our ecology in relation to development, agriculture, products, programs, and society.

Boyd sat down with us to talk about his vision for long-term sustainability, education & coming into right relationship with the natural world.

The second part of this episode is devoted to our time with Levon Durr, who is part of the local Humboldt Permaculture Guild and is also the owner of Fungaia Farms. We talked about what it looks like for communities in transition to begin to implement some of these principles into the fabric of the everyday.

In a word, we asked these two well-read ecologists, steeped in the language and learning of earth sciences - to break it down for us.  The lay-folk. Those of us who may never pick up a heavy ecological tome or enroll inside a 9-month course to explore these concepts. But who want to get a feel for them.  And more - to see how these ideas can live their way into the way we think, interact, and move about this world.

For more info on either Boyd, Levon or the Humboldt Permaculture Guild - make sure to check the show notes for full links to each.

For now - we hope you enjoy.  

MEND Season 1 - Episode 24

Season 1 finale - with jentri anders, ph.d., 
Part 2.jpg

The Last Word (for now...)  SEASON 1 Finale

with Part 2 with Jentri Anders, Ph.D.

We live in a doomsday era.  So much of our existence is in question and we wake each morning to a new tragedy in the world.  Around us people are allowing hate to be their motivation and justification for atrocities many thought we had outgrown. What is there that should give us hope?

In our own corner of the world the changes are happening so rapidly most are unsure of what the future will bring.  Skeptics worry about encroaching outsiders from larger, less committed and cohesive communities.  Once again the battle is being waged on our environment, and once again the land needs people to step forward and defend Her.  Our livelihoods are at stake…but perhaps this is a good thing.   Perhaps now is the time to grab the reins so passionately and confidently held by the cultural refugees of the 70’s; those lovers of freedom, equality and sustainability, the revivers of voluntary simplicity and builders of our community.  Now is the time to take control of our future before the outsiders and big companies have their way.  I say this knowing that most of us were outsiders at some point, and that should bring us humility, but if we move forward with the same intentions and values of the back-to-the-landers then I believe we will be moving forward justly and in accordance with the general rules of good stewardship.

This episode is the second part to an interview we did back in the spring, with Jentri Anders…a back-to-the-lander who went on to finish her degree in Anthropology, and then wrote an enthnography about the very community and people she was a part of.  We played the first half of her interview in Episode 2, as part of the foundation of our stories.  In this episode we get to hear more of her story on the founding of Southern Humboldt culture as many know it today…but mostly we talk ethics, responsibility, offing the pig in you, and finding where our strength comes from.    

May these words of advice echo from our modern origins and guide us as we move forward with integrity and a deeper awareness of what is at stake.

To find out more about Jentri Anders and her work, visit:

https://shumjentri.wordpress.com