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We Are All Connected

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this time of increasing divisiveness, it can seem downright silly to believe that humans are connected in any way, shape, form, or fashion. I’m willing to bet that some folks will disagree with Neil deGrasse Tyson that we are in fact made of “star stuff”, as Carl Sagan put it so long ago. Personally, I believe that we are ONE – One Consciousness, One Energy, One Life. You can call that Oneness whatever you like. Yet we are individualized versions of that Oneness.

In the same way that individual cells group to form Me, all of the individual manifestations of the One make up the Universe. Every atom in the Universe, be it Earth, Air, Fire, or Water; be it Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral, comes from the same “star stuff”. And it is all imbued with the same Consciousness, albeit at different levels. All “wiggling”, or vibrating, at different rates to create the stickiness that holds the molecules of a rock or a tree or a person together.

So I am a part of everything & everything is a part of me. I experience all this vibrating mass of atoms through my senses & my emotions. Some things I react to. I need to breathe. My heart must pump for My Body to survive. This part of Me happens on a subconscious level. I am aware of the need, but I don’t have to choose each breath. And I am VERY Thankful for that! Yet I have a conscious choice in how I experience many of the things I encounter. How I choose Creates MY LIFE.

When I say “How I choose”, I don’t necessarily mean the method of choice. It’s the Personal Mythology we use to make the decision that is important. The stories that run in the subconscious parts of our minds create the framework of our decisions. For years I lived with a very cynical worldview. As a result, I was constantly angry about My Life. It was always some external force that kept me from being whatever I was trying to be. I don’t deny that there were tough times. I made some bad choices, too. But I was so pissed off all the time I couldn’t see any of the Good things that were right in front of me. So I lost almost all of them.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve worked hard to replace all those negative stories in my Personal Mythology with a narrative of Unconditional Love, Creative Energy, and Real Abundance. I do my best to live with a Psychology of Plenty in a state of constant Thanksgiving. I live a much Happier Life as a result. But I don’t live My Life all alone.

Each of us Lives and moves and has our being on this planet we call Earth. The way we manifest that living and moving and being is put out into the world as some kind of energy – physical, emotional, spiritual. All of the energies of all of the people we encounter get all blended up together, and that’s what we call “reality”. How we experience that “reality” is a result of that aforementioned Personal Mythology. We can constantly react to what we experience, or we can consciously create something with it. Sometimes, I’ve done both of those things, one right after the other.

We all have this capability, whether we know it or not. We react and create all of our lives, most often unconsciously. We can create our lives consciously simply by waking up and paying attention to our lives. We can be attentive to how much Love we put out into the world, both in how we behave and who we help. We’re all in this together. Since we’re creating this world anyway, why not create a world we want to Live in? Yes, I know it ain’t perfect. But the only way it gets better is we get better at creating the world we live in. People won’t act right. Love ‘em anyway, if for no other reason than at times you might not act right, and you might need some Love. Bad things might happen. Put Love out into the world in whatever way you can.

So here’s the thing. We come from a common biological/chemical/atomic Oneness. But it’s our choices and actions that manifest that Oneness in our world.

REMEMBER – I AM manifesting the Oneness of the Universe through the choices I make and the actions I take.

Inspired by Tyson, King, Watts, and a lot of other thinkers and doers
And So It Is!

Peace, Grace, and Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 9/19-24/2016

I’ll be returning to the Charlotte, NC area, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations.

After a short visit to Patrick County, Virginia, I’m headed to Pittsboro, NC on Wednesday for consultations. I have a spot still open in the afternoon if you’re interested. Contact me here.

On Thursday evening, I’ll be teaching at Rowan-Cabbarus Community College, North Campus, Salisbury, NC. It’s an overview of The Agripreneurship course. It’s free! Class starts at 6PM. More information here.

Friday and Saturday are set up for consultations in the Charlotte area, and I have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!

Hope to see you some time this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Listen…

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen Covey’s quote from his 7 Habits book describes modern discourse to a T. I’d go further and say that they listen to win the argument. Too often public discourse is just an argument, all about being right, especially by proving others wrong. I don’t know if this is a new thing. Probably not. But it’s more like behavior on an elementary schoolyard than adult discourse. And before you start saying, “Yeah, those ____________ do act childish!” I’m talking about most everybody, me included.

The very nature of our public discourse has become steeped in conflict, written about in war-like terms. We use “the War on _______ “, or “the Battle of the _____” to describe almost everything. Media of all kinds is based in combative debate, not insightful dialogue. The more we shout, the more we insult each other, the more we “win”. I just have to call bullshit on that.

Because WE aren’t winning anything. WE being the people of the United States, or the people of the world in general. I’m drawing a distinction between the a average citizen of the US,(and thus the world) and the power structure of modern society. Truth be told, I don’t think anybody wins in this kind of “argument culture”. There may be short-term gains for one person or group, but over time, I just don’t see any benefits accruing from all the sound and fury. OK, so we know all this. What do we do about it? CAN we do anything about it? SHOULD we do anything about it?

The answer is simple, but doesn’t appear to be easy for us. LISTEN. Listen and HEAR what the other person is actually saying. It may not be pleasant. It may be something you disagree with completely. But listen. Listen to not only the words, but the meaning behind them. And to a certain extent, we should listen without judgement. Certainly there are some things that may be so abhorrent that you think you just can’t help but judge those other folks or that other person. But there’s disagreeing with someone and and then there’s seeing those others as less than you. And I think that seeing the “other” as just as valuable as me, no better or no worse, is the key to this.

I really didn’t expect to come to this, but the more I thought about and researched this, the more Dr. King’s words sounded in my ears. “…something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love; it’s what theologians would call the love of God working in the lives of men. And when you rise to love on this level, you begin to love men, not because they are likeable, but because God loves them. You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him. And he might be the worst person you’ve ever seen.” Dr. King says later, “I’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love somewhere, men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed.”

In trying to reach that level of Love, we will be transformed, too. I suspect that was the point all along. And if we put enough of our own transformed energy out into the world, maybe, possibly, we’ll be able to join our energy with somebody else’s likeminded energy. And then maybe, possibly, we’ll join some others. Next thing you know, our world has changed. Because WE CHANGED.

Listen to what others have to say. Be willing to learn to listen to them with “something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men”. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t have to like what they say. Listen to understand, not merely to reply. In doing so, your reply, or at least the tone of it, will be transformed. Eventually, you may be, too. And finally, maybe the world.

REMEMBER – I AM Listening. To others. To the world. And to my heart.
And So It Is!!!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

 

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Love & Kindness ll

There’s a concept in Buddhism referred to as metta, or Loving-kindness. It revolves around the way we treat others and how we treat ourselves. In essence, you create a more Loving attitude toward yourself and All of Creation. This allows you to treat others with Kindness, Compassion, and Empathy. This includes those folks that are not easy to Love. It includes us when we aren’t acting very Loving, too.

Remember, we are connected to all of Creation in many different ways – atomically, chemically, biologically, and energetically. While we see the Oneness in our world, it’s obvious that there are many individuals within that Unity. So being Kind to yourself is part of being Kind to others, and vice versa. It’s all wrapped up together. The Kinder you are to yourself, the easier it is to offer that Kindness to others. Likewise, when you can be truly Kind to others, it makes it much more difficult to be cruel to your self.

I suppose any of us could point to someone that is kind to others and treats themselves badly. And I can think of some folks that lavish good on themselves and treat others without any hint of Compassion or Empathy. I suspect that we’ve all behaved in both of those ways at some point in our Lives. Those are learned behaviors. We got rewarded in some way for behaving in those ways. Acting in such a conditional way isn’t true Kindness. Because being Kind is not a transaction. It’s unconditional. It has to be, or you aren’t truly being Kind. Everybody shares the benefits of Kindness.

But what is Kindness? Is it simply being a nice person? Quite possibly, but I would add it is seeing the Welfare and Happiness of others as equal to your own. It is living in a such a way that you are free from judgement of yourself & others. It is allowing people to be who they are, even when who they are isn’t their best self. Forgiving others (and yourself) goes a long way toward seeing ALL of Creation kindly. Because all beings need a touch of Kindness now and then.

Kindness is so easy to share. A smile to a friend or stranger, a helping hand freely offered. These are easy to do. But often it may include sacrifice of time, talent or money. When you wish the Highest & Best Good for everyone and everything, sometimes you have to “put your money where your mouth is”. If you’re helping out of Love, that won’t matter. Because being Kind is part of being Who You Really Are.

REMEMBER – I AM showing Loving-kindness to everyone I meet.
And So It Is!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

PS – This is an edited reposting of a piece from March.

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Jeff’s Schedule for 9/12-16/2016

This week, I’m in the Charlotte, NC area, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!

Hope to see you some time this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 9/5-10/16

This week, I’m in Patrick County, VA, working in The Living Garden trial gardens, where I fine tune the gardening skills and knowledge that I share in my Successful Gardener classes. I’ll also be at Reynolds Homestead in Critz, VA, working in the Successful Gardener demonstration garden. I’ll be at the Homestead on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

While I’ll be pretty busy this week, I can always make time to help YOU be a Successful Gardener! If you live in Patrick, Henry or Floyd County, VA and you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!

Hope to see you some time this week!
Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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