First step is to grate 6 to 8 carrots and 50g of ginger. If you have a juicer, then make yourself a carrot juice and keep the pulp for this recipe! Put in a large bowl.
In your high speed blender or food processor, put the chestnuts and give it a little pulse until they are in small pieces. Add them to your large bowl.
In your high speed blender or food processor, put your soaked Medjool dates, cinnamon, salt and Coconut oil, with a little bit of water until you have a thick caramel. Add to your large bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients in the bowl: Coconut flour and Thompson raisins. Mix well. Put in a cake pan. You can put in the dehydrator to give it a little crust or in the refrigerator.
For the icing:
In your high speed blender, add all the ingredients: Cashews, Coconut oil, Nutritional yeast, and Maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
Spread on your cake and put in the refrigerator for solidification.
For the cooked Vegan option:
Add 75g of flour with 2 Tbsp of soaked Chia seeds to the cake and put in the oven at 180°C for 35 to 40 minutes.
Heat 2 cups of filtered water until medium cold and put in a large bowl with 200g of rolled oat. Set a side.
In your high speed blender, put 60g of rolled oats and blend until it turns to flour. Put a side in a content.
In you high speed blender, put dates, banana, salt, and a little bit of water until it’s blended smooth and thick.
With a cheesecloth, drain the water from the soaked rolled oats. Press it well and remove most of the remaining water. Put them in a large bowl.
Add all the rest of the ingredients: 100g of un-soaked rolled oats, oat flour, raisins, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and blended mixture. Mix well.
Create wafers shape cookies in a non-sticky dehydrator sheets. I like to make them about 1/2 an inch of thickness so that it’s still smooth inside.
(Optional) Sprinkle some chia seeds on one side of the wafers.
In a dehydrator at 110° for about 8 hours more or less, depending on how hard or tender you want them.
Soak you nuts over-night or for about 8 to 12 hours.
Wash your kale and remove the leaves from the large main stem. Cut your kale into small to medium bite-size. Put in a salad spinner to remove the water then in a large salad bowl.
In a high speed blender put all the ingredients. nuts, garlic, bell pepper nutritional yeast, lemon juice and the water. Blend until smooth but thick.
Add the mixture with the Kale and mix very well.
Make sure the leaves are well covered with the nut mixture.
Spread into dehydrator trays.
Put them in a dehydrator at 110° for 8 to 12 hours.
For conservation I suggest putting them in pot with a close lid, in the refrigerator. They stay crispy for a week.
*If you want them next level, add some Vegan fermented cheese to you mixture!
More and more people are searching for truth. We begin to understand that our governments, medias, banks, the 1% and people above are most likely to play with us. We’ve been lied to. Are they spraying us with chemicals? Is the earth and space is really what they say? What CERN is really doing with their collider…?
The biggest one, no one wants to take attention to it, even with incredible evidences, is Veganism. Why we told us as a children that we need meet, dairy and eggs to survive? There are Vegan athletes, bodybuilders, with perfect blood results, looking young happy and healthy. They live long with the lowest rate of cancer. Heart diseases are proven to be reverse with a plant based diet. They are looping those publicities on the “Tell-Lie-Vision” with how eggs, and milk are incredibly good for your health, meanwhile people are making more and more researches on those products proving totally the opposite.
We’ve been literally born having no choices anyway. It’s the way it always been. That’s why we don’t even ask ourselves the question. Everyone is doing it anyway. Those things like the evolution of human specie and alimentation “experts” or Doctor. We understand now that Pharma is a big business as much as animal products and go hand in hand. They have the power to manipulate (mis)informations. Just using logic you can come to conclusion that: If you come to kill an animal with your genetic defences, see the raw dead animal and salivate, and if you are able to eat it as is, THEN you may call yourself a carnivore. That’s how it works in nature isn’t it? Oh, or maybe you need to cook it, put a little bit of salt and seasonings? We need to use our own sense and logic, we have to question this topic.
See, we are what we eat. and the world as it is right now is a perfect representation of what’s happening. The way we treat animals with violence, slavery and death.
We are slaves of the system and we act violently and with selfishness toward each others and reach early dead and sickness. See the correlation?
Don’t think about happy animals or free-range, it’s just beautiful confusing words. They all end up at the same place for profit, slaughtered.
Those products makes you asleep and will limit your true potential and goals in life.
Then, why so many Vegans are coming back to eating animal products claiming they have digestive issues? Two major reasons: Food Combining and the growing amount of processed vegan foods. Again, just because you eat vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. You have to eat right. Vegan Youtubers quitting have their channel has a business. This trendy “Why I’m no longer Vegan” Videos go viral. Don’t get mislead, most of them never even got their blood check.
I’ve been a lot into conspiracy some years ago. Personally I’ve quit because I came to realize that it took too much of my mind, with negative vibes. I came to understand what is absolute. Trust. Trust in your own judgements and values and you’ll find your true perpice in life, your service, the things you love doing that bring something positive to the world. When you trust life and yourself, you get guided by this voice inside your heart which is what I like to call “the cosmic GPS”. And that, you earn it by eating clean, as close to nature as possible. Food is one key to success.
Being Vegan is the best and easiest way to manifest a better world and, the good news is that we all have the power to change this one, and it’s easier and easier in this day in age. Just quit your food addictions and learn about eating clean. Bloody industries will collapse or transforms due to different demand. Land will feed humans instead of feeding animals for humans, which can end famine in the world. The world will do a huge step forward towards truth and beauty in this world.
I highly recommend you watch Garry Yourofsky‘s videos. His speeches powerfully express in details all the issues with meat eating in a well articulated way that can literally question everything.
Making a nut milk
You can use any kind of nuts you like. Possibilities are endless and you can experiment with it. Soak your nuts overnight or for 8 to 12 hours. To make the milk use around 1 cup of nuts for 1 cups of water in a Vitamix or a high speed blender. Blend until smooth for about 3 minutes. If the texture is too thick add water until you see a vortex forming in top of your blender.
Do not filter the milk, put the mixture directly in a glass jar (preferably boiled for 5 minutes to sterilize).
Allow some space in the jar, the mixture will grow as it ferments.
There is a lot of methods to ferment your cheeses with healthy bacterias. You can simply buy probiotic capsules and put in your mixture. You can also make rejuvelac OR in my opinion the best and cheapest way to do it is with water Kefir! If you make your own Kefir, use a a little bit of your water Kefir from the first fermentation in your nut milk.
I use about 1/4 of a cup of Kefir for two cups of nuts. Add the water Kefir to your jar of nut milk and add about 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt or himalayan salt and half a lemon juice to stimulate the probiotic to grow.
Mix well and cover with a cloth. Let it ferment for 36 to 48h at room temperature. The mixture is supposed to grow and you should see the water deposit in the bottom.
After 36 to 48h, boil some cheese cloths, a mason jar and a plastic net for few minutes. Put two layers of cheesecloths in the sterilized net. ( I found that the best nets for this process are simple strawberry plastic net ).
Pour the net in a bowl and put your mixture in the cheesecloth.
Twist your cheesecloth, make a little pocket and try to remove most of the liquid by squeezing and hand-pressing it.
(I suggest you keep the liquid in a jar and use it for any kind of recipe that needs water).
Put it back in the net and fold the cheesecloth over the mixture. Fill the sterilized mason jar with water close it well and put it on top of the net containing the mixture. Then put the net inside a small bowl that fits so that it doesn’t touch the bottom. The excess water from the pressure will slowly fall in this bowl. Let it ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or until texture and taste is as you desire. The amount of water in your mixture will influence the texture. The more there is liquid the more soft it’ll be. I suggest you go check everyday and taste, you will see how it progresses. If you desire a harder cheese, you can either put more weight or hand-press it more. The more you let it ferment, the more it will have a pronounced taste.
A dark crust might also form the more you wait. Don’t worry, this is totally normal.
Now it’s time to be creative. I like to spice my cheeses with chives, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, if you like a smoky flavour you might add some liquid smoke. It’s up to you and there is no specific way to do it. Trust your taste buds and taste as you season your cheese. That’s the secret. Add your seasonings, mix your cheese and mold it with the shape you want. Put your molded cheese in a plate covered with a cheesecloth and store in the fridge. The cheese will continue to ferment (but slowly) in cold temperature and will also harden. I like to let it create a small crust for a few days in the fridge before consuming. You can also eat it right away. After more than a week in the fridge, you might want to cover completely with a cheese cloth, brown paper or plastic wrap. At this point cheeses are hardly perishable. It stays good for weeks even months the only differences are the hardness and a stronger taste, as long as there is no mold forming. That’s it!
Kefir likes two main things: Sugar and minerals. I Tried with different kind of Sugar and the best results in my experiences is brown sugar, or cane sugar. For the minerals it’s pink himalayan salt and Blackstrap molasses.
When you buy the grains they might be dehydrated at first. You need a few batches (2 to 3) so that they fully activate and “wake up”.
If you receive the grains in a dormant state (dehydrated) you need to put them in a glass Jar with 4 cups of room temperate water and 4 tbsp of sugar. Put a cloth on your jar and put the jar in a dark place for 72 hours. Strain in cool water and do a working recipe, check if the grains are working properly and the grains have converted most of the sugar. You should perceive the colour of the water changing, being more lighter the more it ferments as the Kefir consume the sugar. If they aren’t balanced yet, strain the grains and repeat.
Putting your grains to sleep:
You are travelling or want to hold your production of water Kefir? No problem, you can put them to sleep. Put your grains in a mason jar with about 4 Tbsp of sugar and a pinch of himalayan salt. Put the jar in the fridge. it can rest for more than 3 months this way. It’s also good to put them to sleep once in a while if you feel that they are becoming less effective.
*F1 = First Fermentation
(1Tbsp Kefir = 1 Cup of Water + 1 Tbsp of Sugar)
The ratio is pretty much the same and F1 will barely change. I like to add a date or fig and do a pocket with a cheesecloth so no pulp residue is getting in my grains.
*F2 = Second Fermentation
Usually it’s the step were you add your flavours and bottle hermetically at room temperature
*F3 = Third Fermentation
Optional in the case you want to add ole fruits
* The ideal is 1Tbsp of grains for 1cup of water, although, you can do larger batches with less grains, just ferment for longer in F1.
Lime Ginger Ale:
Medicinal Aloe Vera Pineapple:
If you don’t have a juicer or want to keep it simple, you can put the fruits directly in the bottle in F2 or use the third fermentation. I do this formula if I want to put ole fruits and don’t want them in my bottles. I prefer not putting them in F1 because there will be some residue of pulp with the grains and might lead to contamination overtime. Here is an example:
There is infinite possibilities of recipes. Try your own, do some experiments and share them in the comments if you find some great ones!
Make coconut yogurt fermented with your water Kefir!
My clean-up partners had to wake me up, I was very comfortable in my sleeping bag that morning. We were supposed to have some yoga after breakfast but the teacher couldn’t be there. I did some yoga anyway doing “sun salutation” with the group. There was a Coffee and trade happening all morning where you can buy local products like vegetables, honey and crafts. I bought some crafts, then I went at the river that Kimchi showed us 2 days before. I was looking for a peaceful moment. I went in a different direction this time. There was a beautiful fall with a an artwork of a little fairy hut, the area was incredible. I stayed there for at least an hour. Writing things i’m grateful for about this experience and meditating. I remember when I closed my eyes and stop thinking, the sound of water flowing in the river transformed into a rhythm of Jambe. I was convince that a group of people were playing not far from me. Is it what Kimchi talked about?
We then visited Steve. He welcomed us in his personal apartment at Earthaven and offered us his home made delicious iced tea. It was a very cozy place. Steve talked about Deep Ecumenism and Spiritual diversity at Earthaven. “Earthaven is where the human community in bonding with the Earth in a maner capable of healing the devastation of the past and inspiring a new grandeur for the future. At Earthaven, even for a brief while, we experience what it is to return to ourselves.” – Thomas Berry author of The Dream of the Earth. Steve explains that Earthaven has different people with different beliefs and religions. Despite the fact that they have different spiritual traditions they unite instead of divide humanity. Just like Matthew Fox explain on his landmark book:
One River, Many Wells. In this metaphor, the wells are the individual religions or wisdom traditions. The river is the Source into which the various religions dip. Different wells, same river. It was very interesting and really fits my beliefs.
We went for a walk with Kimchi in an area we’ve never been before. We walked in a little path which brought us to a sacred place. Multiple stones that do not originate from the area were found. They actually originate from far away and they been brought here by ancestors of the land way before Earthaven. The stones are placed in a circle with a labyrinth pattern, leading to the center. It’s a meditation and prayer altar. You have to slowly walk the labyrinth in a meditative state of mind visualizing your wishes until you get to the center, you then kneel and send your wishes and offerings and slowly make your way back. I quickly felt at peace making my way in the labyrinth and I really enjoyed this meditation. Plus, the history behind it’s origin and the reason is still mysterious, making it fascinating.
Dinner time, it was the most active dinner of all. It was a special day, the Summer Solstice. There was a lot of people this time with a big meal. It was delectable! There was a lot of positive energy out there it was great to see many people having fun.
Then later we walked together, people brought percussions and played a rhythm while we went for this 15 minutes walk to the campfire.We arrive at this nice set-up in wilderness with wood benches. People reassembled in a big circle around this unique fire. They do offerings like roses, spices and items that represents elements and sending gratitude. They keep the ashes and build with rocks and concrete above, until it becomes an incredible altar full of history after the years. I played some Jambe, of course, and seeing the animated scene while jamming was an incredible feeling. People danced and laugh we had a moment more intimate where everyone shared poems, signing, stories and mantras, until darkness arrives. Then we played music again. It was an incredible fiesta! Then after a while we went back to the camp. I enjoyed the rest of the night talking with friends.
It was my last day and I woke up with this feeling telling me that I will miss those incredible people. I was grateful though, and full of positive energies. So after the breakfast, we went at the Council Hall and did a circle check-in. We made activities, dancing around and “let go of our crazy”. Then NikiAnne shared with us methods to take action and apply what we learned during our experience at Earthaven, whether you are an activist or an artist. She explained it in 4 categories.
Everyone has their own ways to take actions. We also have tendencies to fight each others because we have different ways to do things, but everyone fight for the same and none of this categories is better than the other. Government likes it when we fight. They don’t want you to wake up and work together…
Then we had a random partner to whom we answered questions about how we would see our future if we had no money issues to do whatever we want. The partner with you writes while you say any ideas you have to answer a dozen questions. It was a hard exercise for most. We don’t really think about this, we realize we hold on a “poor mindset” and this is probably what hold you back from having what it needs. You need to know where you are going before you can receive what you need… If you know what I mean. Read The Prosperity Secret if you want to understand those principles.
We then reassemble in circle for our final words and our final check-out. It was touching moments. I shared my infinite gratitude read something I wrote by the river the other day. Then we all individually shared hugs and saying the Adios and we took a final picture all together.
Jerry was ready to drive me to the airport. Once I leaved this magic place and was on my way home I felt like “Wow… what an adventure, I can’t believe this”. Like I had an awakening. I was vibrating high even long after this adventure. It inspired me and develop this passion to discover and learn more. And that’s why I’ll keep traveling and hope to inspire others. I hope you appreciated this thread, thank you for tuning up! 🙂
The morning was planned to visit the Gateway Barn where Chris built his Micro Hut and gave us lessons about Biochar. Biochar is a charcoal-like material that is produced by pyrolysis of biomass and is often used in permaculture as a soil amendment because of
its unique characteristics such as it’s water-holding capacity and is an ideal environment for bacterias to thrive and creating a soil rich in nutrients for the plants. He was explaining all this while cooking a soup on a T-Lud, an eco-friendly stove used to transform wood scrap into charcoal while cooking. He’ll use that charcoal as a fertilizer. Genius! Now just imagine that at a larger scale, you can cook, heat, and make fertilizer for the cost of nothing! Companies now offer this approach, like: Rocket Stove and Champion Stove. There is more information about this on the internet. I recommend this- Youtube channel -to learn more about biochar, and organic gardening:
We then moved to the Council Hall for a little course 101 about renewable energy/electricity with Chris. It was about technics and methods used in solar panel and water turbine system. I can’t say it wasn’t interesting, but it was technics and theories.
After dinner was a presentation about sustainability offered by Lee Warren. She gave us informations about the economy and the economic situation of Earthaven. She explains that being off-grid might be a struggle to some, depending of their financial situation. You might be free of loan and electricity bills, but you still have taxes, some may have depts or need medical services, or need repairs and external needs or luxury. However, there is no large employers within 20 miles, and local service jobs are mostly 10-15 miles away over winding mountain roads. Jobs must be available onsite nearby. Many community members offer labor to other members and neighbors or the community itself. Several members work offsite. They also have their own local money as well.
She spoke about the decision making process. At Earthaven there is no “leader”. It’s community, everyone is equal. Female and male, black or white (they use the term “Y’all” not “You guys” as equity). They all have the same privilege. The vote has to be almost the unanimity. I don’t know the exact numbers though. If there is members that vote against a decision, there will be a revote and discussions to find an agreement.
Nature connection with Kimchi. We went for a walk in the Village Terraces. A family-friendly cohousing neighborhood. She offered us some meditation time with nature to reconnect. She brought us to a great kept river and offered that we separate and find a peaceful spot to rest and meditate with the sounds that surround us. “Down by the river you may often have auditory alucinations, some say it’s the ancestors” she said. So I found my spot, dive my feet on the cold water, closed my eyes and meditated. It took only a few seconds until I found my true inner peace. like never before. I felt free.
Dinner, then free time. I decided to take it cool, talk , write and go to bed soon. I played some guitar with Dylan, one of the student and we had great conversation in a gazebo-library. And soon I was to bed.
It was my turn with two others in the group to clean up for the next three days, so I had to wake-up earlier. It was nice to participate. Then what was planned for the morning until dinner was a Garlic Harvest at the Yellow Farm with Andy. We first did a little Check-in with NikiAnne, went to the farm where we met Andy, a super nice guy. He explained the process for harvesting. Pretty simple but physical.
Then NikiAnne went back at Earthaven wishing us good luck and said that we should interact with each others while working. “Sing, talk and interact with the person close to you. It’s great to work while having fun!” she said. And so we did! It was amazing experience and we had a BIG harvest. The ole field was done in a little more than two hours. It was a hot sunny day and it was hard work, but we made it pleasant, we had conversations, jokes and signing. Then we went at the farm to prepare the garlic to dry. So basically, we take a bunch and we tie them with a rope to hang them upside down. It was a lengthy process but we did it quite fast after we found our pace.
We were hungry, but first, we had to jump on water. We needed a river, it was so hot! We found a river not that far. It was ice cold, but whatever. I jumped without a doubt. It was soo good. It felt awesome after that. Then we went for dinner. Everyone looked exhaust. I was. I relaxed a bit, as soon as I was able after cleaning-up, I just lied on a bench for 15 minutes. The day was far from done.
For the next part of the day we walked with Kimchi to Hidden Valley in the direction of the Full Circle Farm. Once there we met Leon. Leon is incredible. He has a huge land with multiple buildings. One of them was a beautiful local for meditation. Working 7 days a week and his mind never stops. So when he needs a little brake, he takes some time to meditate. He also has bees, grow mushrooms, has free goats (he doesn’t kill them) and greenhouses everywhere. One acre was used for wild plants and flowers that grow freely for the bees. We learned so much with him, he shared his uniques technics with us. I found funny when he told us what was the best fertilizer. Bee poo. Yep, I know, that’s weird, but it’s real. He dig a hole to show us how rich was the soil made with his own biochar and compost.
He believes that growing food is what we are meant to do on earth. We are a unique specie with hands, a logical mind and abilities to do so. And we are greatly rewarded by doing so. He says he often has visitor that just came back from vacancies by the beach and the only thing he has in mind, and he yells: “NOOO, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GROWING FOOOOOD!” Haha, that was funny. This visit was awesome, it was one of my favourite activity considering the fact that it opened my eyes knowing what a simple family farm can achieve and the possibilities are endless. I learned so much you have no idea.
Dinner and independent time. We had great conversations with the group, all satisfied of the day. I was also offered some amazing local mead by NikiAnne. The bottle had spiritual design with the Flower Of Life and were identified: Prosperity; Love. I opened a bottle that night and shared with everyone. It was a full moon and some of us decided to take a walk and find a cozy spot to gaze the moon and stars and tell stories. Despite the huge day. I ended up going to sleep late that night, with gratitude for the past day.
I want to share with you books that I personally recommend concerning health, green life and personal growth.
One great Author, health genius, artist that I personally LOVE is Markus Rothkranz. I recommend each and every books he wrote. You should honestly read them all.
“My mission is to heal the world, one soul at a time. That means helping you find the partner of your dreams, and achieve financial freedom. Stuck in a rut? My speaking engagements and best-selling books will help you get out of it. My message is that of personal freedom and self-healing, two time-tested and universally-successful ways of thinking and living that not only get positive results, but have the power to change lives forever.
I’ve traveled the world, met with heads of government, and even had the honor of being a health consultant to the US Military. While those accomplishments are rewarding, it’s not nearly enough. I can’t, and won’t, rest until I share my message of true happiness and freedom with everyone. Why do this? Because I genuinely care about you, and that’s the key. When we genuinely care about more than ourselves, the universe showers us all with abundance. This isn’t some new age babble. This is the way we were meant to live.
Together we can rise, and do great things. I’d be honored if you’d let me show you the way.”
For Ecovillages information, I highly recommend Diana Leafe Christian work:
About plant-based diet/lifestyle and the healing effects of whole foods read “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
“For decades T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been at the forefront of nutrition education and research. Dr. Campbell’s expertise and scientific interests encompass relationships between diet and disease, particularly the causation of cancer. His legacy, the China Project, is one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted. The New York Times has recognized the study as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology”… “
This is where my passion for sustainable and meaningful life began. I was attracted to the idea that some people join together, create a community and live harmoniously with nature and care for each others. People work hand in hand, sharing services and goods. And indeed, every person I met in this community have so much passion and love to share, you can feel their vibrant joy for life. Of course, this can not be compared with the busy stressful life in cities. Most people are unable to find their meaning and taste for life. I think that working with nature instead of against it might be an answer for a happier and peaceful life filled with passions.
I was there only for a week, but this journey was so rich, it opened my eyes to a new perspective in life. I will describe to you my journey in detail below.
I admit that I was pretty dang nervous, but also very exited. It was my first experience traveling alone. My flight was early in the morning. So I planned to sleep the night before my flight at an hotel close to the Montreal airport. I woke up at 3 AM to catch my flight for 6 AM.I arrived to destination at 1:30 PM in Asheville, NC. The landscape was beautiful with mountains and trees everywhere. There I met Jerry, a gentle community member of Earthaven so that he can drive me to the village. He once lived in Canada and had good conversations with him. He offered me to go for a snack, so we went to a typical restaurant and then drove up to the Ecovillage.
Earthaven is off-grid up in the mountains about 45 minutes from Asheville. I really enjoyed the ride, climbing up, curve after curve in total wilderness. We arrived at 3 PM. There I met the group of participants for the program. They were sat on logs in circle at the camp site where our tents were set up for us to sleep at night. I was the last person to arrive and I was gracefully welcomed by everyone. I remember NikiAnne the amazing organizer of this trip, said «Jonathan, YOU MADE IT!» with happiness and a smile on her face. She is the Co-founder and director of SOIL (School of Integrated Living) whose mission is to inspire and empower people to live responsible and creative lives by providing experiential education in integrated living and regenerative systems. Every participants were beautiful souls, open minded people. There was a group of students from South Carolina, an ecological activist from New Jersey, An architect from Florida who wants to found his own ecovillage (he actually did co-found an ecovillage to this day in Florida). And a young couple with a new born baby travelling the world to find an ecovillage they fit in. We presented ourselves and talked about the objectives of the program and what we want to accomplish during the week. Then Kimchi, co-Firekeeper, and longtime member of Earthaven Ecovillage. An artist, deep ecologist, and permaculture activist, did us a little tour of the site, showing us where we meet for meals and the main facilities. We had a little brake, and met for dinner. Dinner reassemble community members and students of different programs and it’s a time where everyone share, laugh and eat delightful organic, local food offered by community and prepared by generous members and volunteers. We often have to participate for preparing meals, or dish-wash and clean-up. I enjoyed the vibe, it’s different from society, watching TV while eating mac n’cheese. After dinner we had some free time so I decided to relax and sleep early after this long day.
Mornings are slightly cold and pleasant. There is something magic about waking up in nature. Feeling the first burst of light, the smell of fresh air and the morning dew falling from trees. I felt exited for this new day. I brushed my teeth, saying good morning to those who were waking up and went for a coffee and breakfast.
After breakfast we had a «Circle Check In». It was a new concept to me. The objective of this is to prevent misunderstanding and motivate each others throughout the day by simple communication. The process takes no longer than 15 minutes and here’s how it works: The host will asks two or three simple questions like «What are you grateful for the last 24 hours?» «What do you want to accomplish today?» «How do you feel after this activity?» «If you were a fruit for today, wich one would you be?» and once it’s your turn to answer, you are also free to express any suggestions, discomfort or anything you want to share. This principle is commonly used in community so that everyone has their word to say. The same basis are applied in the decision making process were everyone participate to find agreement. In society, we rarely communicate with non-violent communication principles, and “check-in” with our partner, family and friends to understand how they feel or share their joy/fear/problems, right? This lack of communication often end up developing social anxiety for some people and we underestimate our ideas and fear judgment.
Then we had this event called «Build Our community» at the Council Hall. The Council Hall is the first building at Earthaven and is the center point of the ecovillage. This is where events and courses take place most of the time. The whole point of this reunion was to improve our relationship with the members of our group to develop confidence and ease with each others. We did exercises somehow… awkward, and uncomfortable, and that was the ole point after all. Once we feel awkwardness with someone, barriers are broke and you free yourself from fear of ridicule. I felt lighter and confident afterward.
Next was this story, philosophy course with Chris Farmer, called «The Big Story». Chris is a genius in every area of self-sustainability. From tiny-house to green energy and organic gardening. He built his own little paradise in Earthaven called «another way». I share a little article with you about him.
«When I was twenty-years-old I realized I had never eaten a single thing in my life that I knew where it came from. It was like the Sunday morning cartoon where the anvil falls out of the sky and flattens the cartoon character, that was MY anvil. It just destroyed me to realize that. I thought I was connected to nature because I was going outside and connecting with nature, then I realized that I wasn’t as connected as I thought.»
For Chris, living with the Earth in mind is far more than a hobby.
“Trying to live a sustainable lifestyle is my means of self-medication. I have dedicated my life to figuring out where my food, water, energy and wood I use come from, and that’s literally saving me from an incredible psychological bill.”
“Human beings have a spiritual responsibility 5 to take care of what takes care of them. If we had that level of relationship with everything that gave us life, imagine that. But we don’t. We have mountaintop removal. We have fracking. We have wars throughout the Middle East. We have clear-cut areas of trees bigger than we can even fathom. That’s what we have and we can do better. If we knew then what we know now, humanity would be even more successful and less addicted to fossil fuels. Our quality of life and our connection with each other would be better. It can be done. We just have to keep learning from one another.” – http://poweringanewsouth.com/chris/
Chris is such an empath. He narrates his heart touching stories with emotions often with a tear falling out of his cheek. Every words he says provokes deep thoughts. I can’t say how grateful I was for this. Later on, I will share with you one of his story. That morning he spoke about the Soil Food Web and shared his philosophy about the root of our own existence…
It’s dinner time and I was already overwhelmed by this incredible morning. But hold on, it’s just the beginning. Everyone in the group talked with excitement about our morning classes during the meal. My heart was opened like never before, living all this new things.
«Drumming up Mindfulness». As I read that in my schedule I felt SO happy! And it was such an empowering experience. I couldn’t believe it. Every step forward through the program was just like a huge step in personal evolution in tune with my core values. This event took place with Nick.
Nick is a professional drummer. He explained how drumming can be a useful tools of expression and communication. It’s like a language where everyone can express freely and understand each others. Like two people of different languages won’t be able to communicate with words, but they can play together.
Everyone had a Jambe, placed in circle. We all drum together with a basic rhythm at first. As it progress, rhythm can increase or decrease and everyone express their feelings by adding tones, notes or progressions. feeling the vibe. it’s impressive how fast every one adapt knowing this concept. The ole room was filled with energy has we played and progressed. It was energetic to me. I felt like I could do this all day long!
Next was a class filled with great informations offered by Diana Leafe. Diana is known around the world as a trainer. Diana’s mission is to help intentional communities get started successfully, function effectively, and achieve their goals. She has learned what works well from founders and long-time members of more than 170 communities worldwide — ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, housing co-ops, shared group households, income-sharing communes, and more. She is author of Creating a Life Together, (2006), and Finding Community (2007).
After dinner with had a campfire with a story shared by Chris Farmer «Clueless Honkey». Again, I was amazed by this story. Everyone shed a tear to his story. It’s now time to share one part of his story I found in his blog. And I encourage you to read further with the link below.
The Clueless Honky
“One day, I began calling my friends “honky”. And all of a sudden, I had a new habit. Admittedly I don’t even remember why I started. Maybe I was strangely jealous of African Americans who called each other “nigger”, or gay people who called themselves “queer”. Something was perhaps attractive about somehow reclaiming such horribly harsh words.
Maybe I was just trying to be stupid – always a favorite pastime of mine. But “why” was, and still is, not the point.
Then, when I was hanging out with my family once, my uncle overheard me call my brother “honky”, and he said “Oooh. You don’t want to be using that word.”
“Well, do you know where it comes from?”
So this is what he told me. I don’t know if it’s really true, and actually I don’t care, because it’s priceless.
He told me that back in the Old South, when a man was looking for love – the kind you have to pay for, but he was too poor to hire a white prostitute, he would drive down to a poor black neighborhood. He wouldn’t get out of his car, because he knew the brothers on the street would kick his ass. So he would pull up in front of the prostitute’s house, and stay in the driver’s seat, and honk and honk on his horn, until she came out and got in the car with him, and they drove away. That’s where the term “honky” comes from.
“Wow”, I said, “you’re right. That is horrible.”
But then, after a few days, I thought, “Hold on. That’s the Perfect word.”
That’s how so many of us obtain so many of the objects of our desires. We drive down into the poorest of the world’s neighborhoods. We’re afraid to get out of our cars, so we stay in the driver’s seat, and honk and honk on our horns until the object of our desire gets in, and we drive away.
Except that these days, for the most part, we’re not even aware that we’re doing it. It’s like we’re not only Honkies, we’re Clueless Honkies.
I began to realize that the Clueless Honky is like a club, but the strangest club of all time. It’s not a club that you have to get admittance into, but a club that you have to get admittance Out Of.
In that the first step to get out of the club, is to admit that one is in the club.
(Hand in the air). Hello, I am Chris Farmer. And I am a Clueless Honky. I eat food that I don’t know where it comes from. I am heavily addicted to the fractional distillation of petroleum. I wear clothes and shoes and use electronic gadgets that are made very, very, very far away.
How did I get myself into this mess where my life is dependent on things to which I just don’t know how to give thanks?
Well, that’s not an easy question to answer. But over time, this is what I’ve come up with:
I noticed how we humans are such creatures of story. And I began wondering if we got in this mess because we lack a coherent enough creation story. And by creation story, I mean one of those Big stories that for eons people told themselves, and that answered the really big questions in life – who are we as human beings, where are we, and why are we here – and that, in essence, explains how we are connected to the source of our lives.
Because it sure seems to me that to have unwittingly become a clueless honky, I must have lacked a clear sense of who I was, where I was, and why I was here. I must have lacked a clear sense of my connection to the source of my life.
To get another perspective on how this plays out – how lacking a coherent creation story – plays out, I want to go back a couple of hundred years and look at an intellectually and morally luminous person we’ve all heard of – Thomas Jefferson.
Now, Jefferson found himself in a similar predicament – that of his life being dependent on things to which he didn’t know how to give thanks.
As is well known, Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence which included these famous words: “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.“
As is less well known, Jefferson was also the author of Notes on Virginia, actually the only book he ever published. These, too, are his words: “The blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distant by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind.”
What allowed, and continues to allow, this kind of confusion, these kinds of ridiculous justifications for the unjustifiable, even from one such as Jefferson?
I wondered, if your creation story doesn’t help you make sense of the tricky stuff in life, well then, you just start filling in the blanks, so to speak, and you wind up creating ridiculous justifications for the unjustifiable, instead of dealing honestly and directly with the tricky stuff. And that’s what we’ve been doing for longer than anyone can remember.
And then, as time went by and as technology allowed, we hid – or exported – the unjustifiable way out beyond the horizon of our lived experience. Or, in other words, we made a slow transition – from slaveholders to Clueless Honkies.
And I also wonder whether or not the creation stories that we do have within our culture – I wonder if they are too infected with “guilt, sin, and blame” – what John Trudell calls the “Trinity of the Chain” – for them to ever do us any good. Because it’s almost unbearable to deal honestly and directly with anything we feel guilty about, or that we’re blaming others for, and so we therefore never truly learn from the big mistakes our species is prone to make.
So I propose that it’s time that we create a new creation story – a story that can help us “admit” ourselves out of the Club of the Clueless Honky.
I’d love to go ahead and recommend three design parameters for just such a story. Main design parameter – my dream is that it would be a main “frame” story that could hold an infinite number of stories within it. Kind of like the “1001 Arabian Nights”. Maybe not quite as explicit as where the main story is of a woman telling one unfinished story night after night. But, nonetheless, where the main story could fit an almost infinite number of individual’s open-sourced stories within its broad central theme.
Second, the main frame story would actually already exist and would already be at the least somewhat familiar to most folks, like it was some kind of sleeper story that just needed to be slightly tweaked and awakened to reveal its full potential. Doing this – revitalizing an old story – would avoid any kind of potential cult of personality surrounding the author of the new creation story.
Third, the frame story would answer not only who we are, where we are, and why we are here, but would also elucidate our connection to the source of our lives in such a way that it would answer, without resorting to any guilt, sin, and blame – how did we become such Clueless Honkies, and how do we get ourselves out of this stupid club?
Now, I have a suggestion for just such a story that would meet all of these design parameters.”
Sleep time. I didn’t slept a lot. There was so much to think about. I was still on a high. Pretty satisfied though.