April 27, 2010

Changing the Dream

Healthy Soul-utions is all about being healthy in all areas. This month there was a great focus on planet earth with Earth Day celebrations drawing to a close.

Everything is interconnected. Our environment is really an extension of us. What we do the planet, we do to ourselves. This week we are going to look at some ideas out of a program I do called Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream.

I’m also very excited to include a picture of Van Jones and myself at the Green Living Show in Toronto just after Earth Day. Van Jones is an American environmental advocate, civil rights activist and attorney. Jones is a co-founder of three non-profit organizations and a contributor to Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream.

Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream is a program of The Pachamama Alliance that serves as a galvanizing space for individuals to deeply explore the extraordinary possibilities inherent in a communion of technology with spirit. Through participation in this program, people are offered a new place to stand in looking at their world and their lives, and are empowered to formulate their own personal daily practices that contribute to the creation of a new dream for themselves as well as for our world.

The Pachamama Alliance is committed to finding ways to support a growing effort to help us awaken from the seductive trance of unlimited progress, unrestrained private interest and material accumulation. We are clear that there is now an unprecedented opportunity to live from a new vision, one made possible by the merging of two ways of seeing the world that until now have seemed to be totally distinct— a marriage of the technological skill of the modern world, with the earth-honoring wisdom of indigenous cultures.

Each of us has the opportunity to make new choices in our daily lives, to create new practices that we take on each and every day. Our invitation is for you to design practices for yourself that have you be ‘in action’ consistent with creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet as the guiding principle of our time. The name of the game is: engage. Small steps are good. Big steps are good. Have it be a practice that delights, satisfies and inspires you. You might like to include some of the aspects listed below:

My Relationship with Earth/Environmental Sustainability

  • Identify habits in the way I live that are unsustainable for me or the earth, that I intend to do something about
  • Eat less  _______ and more _______
  • Carpool, bicycle, take public transportation or walk ___ times each week in lieu of driving my own internal combustion vehicle
  • Begin to investigate “one-earth” methods of transportation, heating, and refrigeration at home & work
  • Purchase only items whose packaging, ingredients and methods of production are sustainable and support life. (Note: Check my recent Earth Day blogs for ideas)
  • Spend some aware moments outdoors, in nature every single day
  • Plant a tree, a garden
  • Clean up a beach, trail, field, path, roadway
  • Pay attention to and track the natural cycles of the moon, sun(light), stars, plants and animals
  • Make Your Money Make a Difference – there has never been a more powerful time to divert our financial energy from institutions and corporations that perpetuate the old dream, check out earthsave.ca, or kiva.org

My Relationship with Others/Community/Social Justice

  • Regularly initiate conversations about a sustainable and socially just human presence on the planet with friends and family
  • Go online and investigate 10 “civil society” groups and/or initiatives that intrigue me, and join at least one
  • Investigate the current topics in my local community with regard to politics and environmental/social issues
  • Write/email letters to your representatives
  • Buy only what I need for a specific time period; invite others to participate
  • Notice the times when society/the culture relates to me primarily as a consumer
  • Make a micro loan to a third world entrepreneur and establish an e-mail relationship with him/her on kiva.org
  • Set aside a percentage of my monthly income to support organizations working for social justice
  • Open myself; educate myself about privilege/oppression
  • Stand Up Speak Out – there are organizations which mobilize citizens’ voices helping us to let legislators and businesses know what we think.  Examples places citizens can mobilize and speak out on the web are avaaz.org, and Care2.com .

My Relationship with Self/Spiritual Fulfillment

  • Designate a regular daily spiritual practice Meditation/ Yoga/ Prayer/ other.
  • Investigate and watch for examples of interconnectedness everywhere
  • Consider and pay attention to dreams, daydreams & visions. Seek the wisdom in them.
  • Manage my conversation (internal and external) to be one of possibility and inspiration to myself and others
  • Be compassionate and forgiving with myself, even when I don’t do everything I think I should
  • As a radical act: want less, buy less, use less
  • Consciously read, listen to, watch, and engage with things and individuals that empower and uplift
  • Read one page of something that inspires me each morning or evening
  • Explore what is “enough” for me
  • Be of Service – there are lots of ways to give our time and skills to help, we can find opportunities our own doorsteps or on the other side of the world, check out  volunteermatch.org  to find the organizations through which you can serve.

These are just a few examples, to get you thinking. Keep in mind these practices are meant to create an opening in our habitual way of going through life. When you notice you have gone to sleep, let go of the self-judgment, awaken, and renew your practice. Find partner(s) to support you in your practice. Have a great time with this!

I offer Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposiums on a regular basis in the Toronto area. Please feel free to contact me to find out the date of the next one.

Next week I will cover some ideas for women’s health as we approach Mother’s Day.

Stay tuned.


About the author 


I’m a Canadian, gluten-free, tai chi loving, great-grandmother. I live in Ontario and love helping people get healthy again.   I use all the experience I have gained in the almost 5 decades to help you live a life full of vitality with great clarity and focus.

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