Do Good Shelter and “Long Ladder of Doom”

Hello and welcome to the Living Revolution 🙂

As many of you know, I am a veteran, having served with the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army.  My experiences in the military helped shaped who I am today, both in developing my character, and showing me a view of humanity that can’t be found anywhere else.

After I separated from the military, I was interested in maintaining a connection to the community of veterans and participated in a variety of endeavors including war protests and volunteer opportunities that served the veteran community here in Portland, OR.  These experiences brought to light the intense struggle some veterans face while trying to re-integrate with the civilian population. I was made aware of a slew of challenges veterans faces including addiction/substance abuse, homelessness, mental illness/PTSD, and unemployment. It baffles and saddens me that the government of the United States,(and the various organizations whose purpose it is to serve veterans), are doing such a poor job of taking care of the people who made great sacrifices to defend this country and “the American way of life”.

So, now I am going to do something about that. And YOU are going to do something about that. We are going to do something, and not because it is the holiday season, or because your donations will be tax-deductible. Rather, we are going to act because humanity gets a bit more diluted everyday,  and compassion and generosity and humility are fading from what it means to be human, and  we can do something to stop that from happening. We are gong to do something because I believe that making life better for a homeless veteran will be a positive step toward fighting against all the bullshit in the world.

Here’s the deal…

Crossfit Primal Energy is partnering with Do Good Veterans Shelter of Portland to host a fundraising event in January 2016. The event will be held at Crossfit Primal Energy (2820 SE 8th Ave. Portland, 97206), and will include participation in a very challenging WOD called “Long Ladder of Doom”. We will be collecting cash, dry food goods, and winter coats which will all be donated to Do Good, who will, in turn, pass on these resources to homeless veterans right here in Portland, OR.

What I need from all of you is PARTICIPATION!!

CLICK TO VIEW EVENT FLYER: longladderofdoom4

  1. Commit to join us on January 2nd 2016 for this awesome workout! Registration is $25 per person, and you can donate either/both 10lbs of dry food goods, or one(1) winter jacket to receive an awesome event t-shirt!
  2. Volunteer. If you are in Portland, contact Do Good Shelter and offer your services. They are a brand new organization and they need help in all sorts of ways. Use your unique skill set to help make the world a better place, and life a little bit more enjoyable for a homeless veteran.

See, it’s that simple! Thank you in advance for any assistance or contribution you can offer. This is a big deal to me, and I hope you will find some way to make it a big deal to you as well. Please email me with any questions at tobias.shea.livingrevolution@gmail.com, or click the links below to find more details.

Do Good Multnomah Volunteering 

Crossfit Primal Energy

As always, thank you for reading my words, and for participating in the Living Revolution!

Until next time… Peace.Tobias.

 

Learning Gratitude

Welcome to the Living Revolution 🙂

First, I want to say “Thank You”. Many of you have been reading my words and interacting with me for a few years now, and our on-again off-again relationship continues to give me reason to think hard about how I live my life. You hold me accountable, you provide a sounding board for my thoughts and rants, you give me feedback about how you live life, and through all that, we establish and maintain community. Many of you I see in real life, and we further strengthen our bonds with face-to-face interaction. For all of this, I am exceedingly grateful. So, again, “Thank You” :).

Which brings me to my point today. I don’t see enough gratitude in the world, and I am here to say we need more. I am here to say we need to think more grateful thoughts, we need to speak more grateful words,  we need to start living more grateful lives and acting out gratitude on a person-to-person level. This is not rocket science, and everyone reading these words has the ability to change the world in a positive way by fostering gratitude, and living more grateful lives. Here’s why I think this is important…

In a quick search on the interwebs for definitions of “gratitude”, I also found an extensive list of antonyms of gratitude. For those who may not remember from middle school English class, antonym means “opposite”. A brief list of antonyms of gratitude include the following words: boorishness, callousness, censure, condemnation, disloyalty, ingratitude, rudeness, thanklessness, thoughtlessness. Each of these words, in turn, has a list of synonyms (words with similar meaning), but I am sure you get the point. If  you don’t know what these words mean, I encourage you to look them up, read the definition, and then feel how you react to those definitions.

A common theme between all these words is the idea of separation or dis-integration. When you condemn someone you pass judgment on them, and place yourself above them in a hierarchy, separating yourself from them. When you are disloyal to someone, you betray their trust, you break the bond of faith, and separate yourself from them. When your behavior is callous, rude, or thankless you show people you are insensitive, unsympathetic, lack manners, and you separate yourself from them.

I know I have experienced something like these negative feelings in my life, and I assume, many of you have as well. I know that I treated people unpleasantly as a result of my own selfishness and narcissism. I know I missed opportunities for genuine connection with other people because, I made the choice to react callously or thoughtlessly. I know I experienced a less-fulfilling life in those moments when I am not paying attention to how truly blessed I am.

This is unacceptable.  In those moments, I haven’t set a good example for others to follow. In those moments, I’ve missed an opportunity to make another human being feel good. In those moments, I allowed my ego to cloud my thoughts, to disrupt my flow, to set me at odds against the rest of humanity. When I selfishly put myself in my little box that is all my own, when I choose to withhold gratitude, I separate myself from potential connection, from relationship, from community.  I FAIL.

Human beings are social creatures, by nature. Even the most introverted soul requires some measure of positive, real-life, face-to-face interaction with other human beings to live a healthy, happy, fulfilled life. When we consciously choose not to express gratitude, we suppress that urge for connection. When we choose to not be thankful, we numb ourselves against the vulnerability and openness that giving thanks requires. When we choose to be grateful for this thing over here, but not that thing over there, we allow those minuscule fissures of separation to take hold, and it only gets worse from there. So, let’s not do that, okay?

I need to be clear here, and be very specific about how we are all going to start practicing gratitude. I need to be specific because some people may take my words and put them in tiny, separate boxes, and may decide they only want to express gratitude “when it seems appropriate”, or “when it makes sense”. But, that simply won’t work. We need to start being grateful for EVERYTHING.

Start with the easy parts. Be grateful for your home, food, income, family and friends. If you don’t have these, or if you have reasons you aren’t grateful for these things, you may have a larger issue that needs to be addressed!! Next, extend your circle of gratitude beyond “survival-mode”. Be grateful for your smartphone, the internet, the beautiful sunrise, and your favorite pants. These things are all helpful and useful, and it doesn’t take too much effort to be grateful for them. From here on, things start to get difficult…

Extend your gratitude outward to the annoying acquaintance who won’t stop talking to you while you are in line at the coffee shop. Extend your gratitude toward the telemarketer who calls to sell you life insurance, just as you sit down to dinner. Be grateful to the cyclist who brazenly chooses to ride in the middle of the lane instead of merging to the side so you can pass. Now, you are on the right track, but there is more still…

 Choose two or three small challenges or problems in your life, and consciously express gratitude for lessons the Universe is teaching about yourself  as you navigate these challenges.This part may take some practice and a little time to get used to. You will need to be more mindful of how you interact with other people. You will need to practice holding your tongue, and filtering your thoughts, and formulating conscious response to situations and people, instead of simply reacting to situations and people. You know, THINK. Use the fore-brain that supposedly put us at the top of the evolutionary ladder, and take charge of how you perceive the world around you, and how you interact with the other agents of the Universe who exist here with you.

Finally, you need to bring your awareness to the people and situations that are actively bringing “negativity” to your life. I use quotation marks, because defining something as negative is simply a matter of perspective, and you can always change your perspective. Did someone you love just die? Be grateful. Did the ceiling of your bedroom fill with rainwater, then burst and disintegrate above you in the middle of the night? Be grateful. Did a fake African prince hack your bank account and steal thousands of your hard-earned dollars? Be grateful.

This will not be easy. This will expose nerves you never knew you had. But this work is necessary. This work is worth it.

However, most of us will never get to that last part. Because it’s hard. It requires effort. It requires practice. It is a pattern of thought that goes against the “me, me, me” selfishness and insecurity so common in modern society. I can’t say much to convince you of this truth. But I can say this: if you never make the decision to express gratitude to the negative stimuli in your life, you never open yourself up to potential gifts, graciousness and healing that result from coming out the other side of those challenges. Missing out on all that potential awesomeness is truly a tragedy.

Wow. Okay. That rant turned in to a novel. I hope you all get my point. I’d love to hear your tales of gratitude, and maybe even some lessons you learned from choosing to make yourself vulnerable, and choosing to invest the time and effort  to say “Thank You”.  As always, thank you for reading my words, and for actively choosing to participate in The Living Revolution. Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.

On Redefining Masculinity

Welcome to the Living Revolution 🙂

Well, friends, I survived October.  The last couple weeks have been an incredible trip, fraught with emotional perils like I’ve never encountered. Much of my internal universe has shifted significantly and continues to bend, flex, contract and expand as I process these new feelings and all the excellent information I received from the friends and family with whom I sought counsel. I am looking at the world through a very different lens as I write this now, and I want to share with you some of what is going on in my head :).

Two stories in the popular media grabbed my attention this month. First, a communal act of bravery and unselfishness demonstrated by a team of middle school football players. The second, a bullying scandal from another football team, the Miami Dolphins. The actors in this story are, by most conventional definitions, considered adults. The actors in the first story are boys, just delving into puberty, young men, at best. Both stories are emotionally charged, but they inspire feelings on opposite ends of the spectrum of human behavior. The Dolphins story pisses me off and makes we wonder how some human beings are infected with so much negative energy and darkness they forget how to treat the people around them with dignity and respect. The first story inspires me and reminds me there are good things happening all around us, and changing the world in a positive way still takes place on a person-to-person level. It makes me ecstatically happy to see compassion, camaraderie, courage, and love acted out by children who probably don’t yet understand the gravity and influence of their actions.

In light of challenges I’ve been working through recently in my personal life, I am looking at these stories and asking questions about what it means to be a “man” in both these situations. What impact does gender have on stories like these? What are the cultural implications for men when we recognize these kind of stories on a national level? What kind of precedent is the current generation setting for acceptable male behavior in modern society? What changes must be made now for men who wish to live healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives? What lessons must we teach our sons to ensure they won’t suffer or create suffering as a result of their emotional immaturity and ignorance?

Here is the link to the blog article that got me thinking about all this:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9939308/richie-incognito-jonathan-martin-miami-dolphins-bullying-scandal

Here is a link to the story about the middle school football team:

http://elitedaily.com/news/world/can-learn-lot-middle-school-football-team-video/

I believe we are all familiar with how our culture and American society views and expresses masculinity, and how this culture defines being a “Man”. Boys are taught to be tough, to go for the kill, to compete, engage and destroy. Men are reminded to never show weakness, to suppress emotion, to grow beards and build muscles,  to overcome, pillage and conquer. These notions and ideas are antiquated leftovers, the dregs of a mentality that has little practical applicability to modern culture. However, these ideals persist, and we find the negative consequences from this kind of thinking in aspects of culture ranging from professional sports to politics to business. Problems arise when our men and boys don’t see these attributes and behaviors as metaphors, but rather as tangible characteristics they should develop and express. Problems arise when we forget to teach our boys and men how to temper aggression with empathy, sympathy and compassion, and how to turn off the “killer instinct” when it is inappropriate.  In the sport-specific examples above, we forget these men and boys are playing a game, not fighting a war, and we forget the “ripple effect” these stories have as they reverberate through our collective consciousness.

For  my part, I will tell you where my focus has shifted. While I value my “masculinity’ and what it feels like to “be a man”,  I am also learning how to subvert this way of thinking and open myself up to expressing my manliness in ways that have nothing to do with aggression or violence. For example, I am learning new ways to express  humility toward my partner and my children through the domestic endeavors of daily housework. I am learning compassion and patience from my kids, as I attempt to understand life from their perspective, and frame our interactions knowing they are still figuring out how this crazy world works.  I am learning more about trust and love as I work to make myself emotionally vulnerable to my partner and my intimate friends. I am stretching my boundaries and learning about courage by pursuing my desires without attachment to an outcome, but rather enjoying the process and the journey of what my life is right now.

None of this is easy work, and I am confronted by challenges on a daily basis that make me sit down and think hard. But, I’ve recognized the value of this work, and I continue to see positive changes in my own behavior, and I continue to recognize how my positive energy impacts the people with whom I interact. So, I am writing this post for a few reasons. If you are male-gendered and reading this, I encourage you to check the links I posted and feel how you react to these stories. I want you to turn a critical eye inward to determine where you find yourself on the spectrum of human behavior. Do you embody and express empathy, compassion, and sympathy in your everyday life? Why or why not? What example are you setting for other men, OR if you are a father, what example are you setting for your children? If you are female-gendered and reading this, I want you to check the links, and think about how you interact with men in your life. Do you continue to accept and allow aggressive, offensive, hurtful behavior in your daily life? To what standard do you hold the men in your life? How can you take action to teach men this nastiness is unacceptable and it is time for a BIG CHANGE?

Ultimately, this isn’t a gender issue, but a HUMAN issue, and I understand that we all need to be working to prevent behaviors like bullying, racism, aggression and interpersonal violence. We all need to be working harder to proliferate behaviors of kindness, compassion, empathy and sympathy, because life is already hard enough, without any added interpersonal bullshit. This post is part of my commitment to change, both in my personal life, and in the world around me. Won’t you join me? Thanks so much for reading this, and for participating in the Living Revolution :). Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.

How Awesome Are You?

Sometimes I forget how awesome I am.

Repeat that to yourself and see how it changes your day. It has taken me thirty-one years to figure out that it is okay for me to remind myself how awesome I am.  See, every year, leading up to my birthday, I spend a week over-analyzing the last twelve months of my life and working to find some significance in my existence. I think I lead a pretty awesome life, so I always come up with some good stuff, but this year was especially poignant and revealing. I’d like to share my epiphany with you now :).

Now, before you label me a narcissistic, egotistical a##hole, please let me be clear. My “awesomeness”, (and your awesomeness as well), does not come from the cornucpoia of gifts we are blessed with, but rather from the plethora of faults, quirks, fu%$ ups, scars, misses and failures that constitute the majority of our lives. I believe these experiences are what teach us all the important lessons in life. I also believe it is an unrealistic expectation to tell oursevles to ignore our broken side, in favor of some impossible search for perfection. Which brough me to my lightbulb moment; I realized this year that it is okay to be who I am, with all the good, bad and ugly stuff that makes me “me”.  I realized that I wanted live the life I want to live. With this realization,  I made the choice to live authentically.

For some of you, my  realization might be a simple reminder for how you already live your life. To you, I say, “well done”.  Accepting yourself, with all the craziness and quirkiness that makes you “you”, is no easy task. The trial and error proccess of finding out who you really are, and then coming to terms with who you are, and then taking responsiblity and ownership of everything that makes you an individual, is not something easily acheived. You deserve all the confidence, self-respect, pride and happiness you’ve earned.

For others, this may be an entirely foreign concept. Like me, you probably grew up comparing yourself to some arbitrary standard, and attempting, with every fiber of your being, to be the person you imaginged other people thought you should be. You made concessions to other people’s opinions and advice, wanting so badly to be part of something bigger than yourself, but never really developing a personality or opinion of your own. As an adult, you continue this pattern by avoiding conflict, staying safe, coloring inside the lines. You are grateful for everything you have, but you have stopped dreaming and reaching for MORE. You are content with your life, but you have stopped pushing limits or taking risks, or tempting fate, because you worry you might ruin the “good thing” you have now. This mentality is killing our souls.

Growing another year older made me think back on the last twelve months of my life and evaluate what significance my life had. What impact did I have on world around me? What impact do I have on the people I spend time with? What challenges have I overcome? What lessons have I learned? What fears have I conquered? After thinking long and hard, I realized that I wasn’t living up to the standard I had set for myself. I was letting myself slip into comfort and safety. I was keeping up a facade in many aspects of my life, and working hard to convince myself that “settling” has it’s advantages. But that is not really who I want to be. That is not who I am.

Now, I am working to make every day an opportunity to life authentically and uapologetically as myself. It is okay for me to be good at what I do, and it is okay to be proud of my work. It is okay for me to be a less-than-perfect parent to my two beautiful children, and it is okay for me to be the best dad ever (when I can pull it off). It is okay for me love my amazing partner, and it is okay for me to show her how I feel in as many ways as I can possibly think of.  Sometimes it is okay for me to be an asshole and a hermit. Sometimes it is okay for me to be vulnerable and broken. Sometimes I will throw a fit, and sometimes I won’t have the right answer and sometimes I will push too hard. But I will do all that knowing I have responsibility for my gifts and my curses, for my faults and talents, and I am living my life as the person I want to be. I encourage you to all try to do the same :).

Until next time..

Peace.Tobias.

A Fool-Proof Method For Making Your Relationship Work

Hello Friends 🙂

Today, I am reposting something Alix found on Facebook a few days ago. I’m not sure who wrote it, but I respectfully give all credit where it is due. I’m sure some of you have already read this; that’s okay, read it again and memorize it and pass it on. There is some incredible info here, and it fits right in with the message of the Living Revolution. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop a comment, shoot me an email or message me on Facebook. Read the whole thing, I am sure you will find something valuable to use in your life. Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.

A Fool-Proof Method For Making Your Relationship Work

Love. Sex. Boys and Girls. The same problems and frustrations again and again. We’ve all been there a million times, and still might be wondering when we’ll find that ONE, that perfect person we want to stay with forever and ever. Even if we’re in a relationship, we reach that point where the person we’re with doesn’t feel as special as they used to. Maybe we start picking at their flaws or noticing other people, wondering if we’d be happier with them. And once again, the relationship begins its slow decline.

What if you could guarantee a spark that lasted – no matter who you were with – and a happier life to go along with it?

The ancient teachings of Buddhism suggest that we can do just that if we transform our relationships into Spiritual Partnerships. If we use our relationships to make us wiser, kinder and more compassionate, we can actually change how they function. We can have the relationships and lives we’ve always dreamed of.

So what exactly is a Spiritual Partner? He or she is an ally for personal growth. You both decide that you want to work together to become your best selves as quickly as possible. You commit to helping and loving each other – and, here’s the key – everyone around you. Because, it is only when you are living love and kindness that your relationship will truly flourish. Try it and see. When put into practice you can make all your dreams come true.

How do you do it?

Whether you’re in a relationship or seeking a new one, here are 10 methods for building a Spiritual Partnership.

1. Commit to something higher

The element that elevates a “Spiritual Partnership” beyond an ordinary relationship is the revolutionary idea that your role is to support each other on your path to reach ultimate evolution, to become your best self. Get clear that what you are looking for is not just physical security or emotional support but spiritual evolution. This means you are supporting each other in your mutual quest to become a more “enlightened” being. Whatever goals you set for your relationship will dictate how it functions day to day. If your goal is company, or financial security, don’t expect long-term satisfaction. If your goal is radical evolution of your body, mind and spirit, expect fulfillment beyond your dreams.

2. Be what you want them to be.

Make a list of the qualities you most want in a partner. Instead of looking for amazing features in someone else, develop them in yourself. For example: If you want a partner with financial stability, get stable yourself! You want someone fun? BE fun! The beauty of perception is that you will see all your own qualities, both good and bad, reflected back to you in your partner. Be complete in yourself, and you will see completion in your partner.

3. Cleanse past relationships

Think of your exes. What comes to mind? If it’s anything other than love, you have some work to do. The images and feelings that arise in your memory color how you experience your current relationships. Learn to forgive. No matter how bad your past relationship was, it taught you exactly what you needed to learn. There is no reason not to love, ever.

4. Recognize change and use it to grow

Part of healing past relationships is embracing change. In Buddhist philosophy, this understanding is the foundation of wisdom. There’s no start without a finish, no beginning without an end, no life without death. Your relationship will transform as you each evolve. As Spiritual Partners, your job is to love and support each other through this process. Use change for growth—don’t fight it.

5. Cultivate a meditation practice, every day

If you want to see a wise, loving, spiritual partner, you must be that yourself. Create a daily practice that includes meditation or deep contemplation. There are a multitude of studies that prove the mental and physical health benefits of meditation. Learning to get still and meditate well is just like anything else: it takes training. Find and practice a method that speaks to you and connects you to something higher. The time and attention you give your meditation practice determines the results you will get. And don’t let it scare you – you can start with just a few minutes a day.
For guidance, check out : The Tibetan Book of Meditation or

http://www.dhamma.org/

6. Get Physical, every day

An important aspect of the relationship dynamic is how our body feels when we’re together. Touch, intimacy and connection are essential ingredients of Spiritual Partnerships. In order to have a satisfying intimate relationship, you must have a body that you feel good in. Yogic teachings explore the subtle energetic connections we have with each other. In order to access these deeper dimensions, your physical form must be healthy. Commit to a healthy diet that works with your needs. Commit to an exercise regimen that enlivens you. Do something fun! Turn yourself on, and watch what happens in your intimate partnership…

7. Face your demons

We all have baggage, right? We all have shadows that we don’t want to see. Being in a Spiritual Partnership requires that we grow up into the person we were meant to be. An essential step is bringing what we most deny in ourselves into the open. Partnerships are challenging. Your relationship is going to bring all your darkness to the surface. This is usually when the relationship ends, or when the “blame game” starts. Resolve instead to help each other work through the psychological issues that arise. And don’t think they won’t arise! Find a good coach or therapist, as necessary. Do this work and watch your hearts flower and your minds expand. Otherwise your own shadows will inevitably undo your relationship.

8. Date with an Angel, twice a month (at least!)

How you treat your relationship will create the results you experience. Is this the most special person on the planet to you? If so, how should you treat them? If you relate to them as a sacred being, they will be. If you treat them as ordinary, they will be. Make a commitment that you will have a “ Date with an Angel” twice a month. Remember the blissful feelings when you first met, and recreate those times. Dress up, go out to the best restaurant, or make their favorite meal at home. Take time to make everything special. Think about what they would like: flowers, gifts, the works! Plant the seeds to experience a sacred partner, and watch those seeds ripen into enchanted experiences.

9. Align Your visions

A Spiritual Partnership is all about supporting each other’s deepest desires. In order to stay together, your two visions must align. Ask each other: What do you most wish for? What is calling you? Explore these questions with courage and honesty. Your visions do not need to agree, but they need to align. Find the common aspects of both of your visions for the future. Maybe one of you wants to live abroad, while the other wants to live near family. Instead of getting caught in dualism, look for “third ways.” We can move mom with us! Or live each place 6 months a year. Be creative, open and positive. When you work from a place of love, solutions can always be found.

10. Go for your dreams

We are all meant to be the heroes of our own lives. No one can do it for you, even your spiritual partner. The best thing you can do for your relationship is to become the being you dream of, the being you were born to be.

Take 10 quite minutes alone, and do the following contemplation:
Imagine the end of your life. You are happy, healthy 100 years old.
You have accomplished everything you most dream of. No regrets, nothing left undone.
The 3 people you are closest to get up to speak of everything you have done and what they admire about you.

Spend some time writing down what they said.

Now is the time to step into that dream. A Spiritual Partnership is a beautiful and powerful method to help you achieve a perfect relationship and anything else your heart desires. Because in the end, it all comes down to love.

It’s ancient wisdom for modern times.

The Right Questions

Hello Friends,

In an effort to spur some intelligent response, I think I am going to start asking more questions. Generally, yes, but also specifically here on this blog. I can type a whole bunch of words telling you what I think about the world, but until we engage in a meaningful conversation and exchange points of view, this is really just a whole bunch of mental masturbation. We need more than that.

To begin, I would like to share three important questions from Derrick Jensen. He has written a few great books and I had the opportunity to see him speak a few months back in Portland, Oregon. He has a great sense of humor, considering he writes books explicitly stating that human civilization is killing Earth, and that civilization should be dismantled and destroyed immediately. He actively encourages other people to fight for the destruction of civilization in whatever way they can, and to those who aren’t yet acting, he poses a few questions. I think if we all sit down and think real hard, answering these questions just might end up being the catalyst that sets us off.

The first question is, “which side are you on?”. We need to be able to identify our allies and our enemies. We need to be able to trust the people beside us on the picket lines and in the marches, (or at the gym, or the coffeeshop, or the library).  We need to know that we share a common vision and common purpose. We need to instill our community with a sense of loyalty and peoplehood that removes any doubt about where we stand. So, which side are you on?

Another question Jensen asks is, “why do we continue to lose?”.  Why do we keep getting beat? Is it our small numbers or our mediocre tactics? Is it because we don’t care enough, because we are unwilling to sacrifice enough to achieve success? Is it because our success would mean  we might be forced to live out our beliefs and we can’t really imagine what that would be like? Is it because our opposition is stronger, or more prepared, or better funded, or they cheat? Maybe we should begin moving away from the stockpile of excuses we have accumulated over the years and just starting winning. Maybe we could look hard at all those old excuses, analyze those scenarios, and then develop new, creative ways of avoiding previous mistakes. Maybe we could take a sincere interest in the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our communities and begin acting like we really wanted to see change in our lifetime. What is it that keep us from attaining our goals?

For those who have not yet found a way to positively contribute to saving the world, the most powerful questions is, “what is your threshold?”. What is it going to take for you to act? Put this in whatever context turns your stomach the most. How many more species of plants and animals must go extinct before you will act? How many more tons of plastic will clog our rivers and oceans before you will act? How many more indigenous people will be killed or displaced by corporations seeking to extract and exploit natural resources before you will do something? How many more children will die of obesity or be killed by toxins in their mothers breastmilk before you will make a decision to change your life? How sick will you allow yourself to get before you act against those who are destroying our planet and absolutely do not have your best interest in mind? What will it take to make you act?

Derrick Jensen asks other questions in his books and presentations. Many of his questions are poignant and insightful, and the answers to many of his questions are both disturbing and inspiring. He is asking the “right” questions. Let’s start asking ourselves questions that inspire and disturb. Let’s start asking each other questions that put us outside our comfort zone. Let’s start listening to each other, and then let’s start answering some of these questions, honestly and openly. I can’t wait to see what happens. Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.