Posts Tagged ‘mindful metropolis’

Happy birthday, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi!

October 2, 2011

[Prefer to listen?  Click the player below.]

My personal email signature is this potent Gandhi quote:

“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”

He is a mentor, teacher and wayshower to many peacemakers, and I am a better being because of his legacy.

The excerpt below comes from a column I wrote for Mindful Metropolis.  I dedicate it to Gandhi’s mountain-moving memory:

We are not mass-produced like an IKEA lamp
or a pair of Lululemon yoga pants.
We are designed so uniquely as to be
like no other.  Yet so similarly as to all spring
from the same womb-lineage.

We are breathing paradoxes that way.
Full of complexity, contrast, contempt
and compassion.  Let all that do its thing,
like wine in a vat.  Aging, bubbling,
fermenting into something intoxicating.
Full of flavor.  Broken open because we
didn’t take our precious self so seriously.

Sure, we’re different.
Like a cloud is different from the Sun.
But do you see them quibbling,
judging, suspecting, attacking?
They just share the sky,
and get along rather nicely.
Birds, too.  And rainbows, and stars
and the Moon.  There’s quite a lot
of diversity overhead, now that I think about it.
Peacefully co-existing all this time.

Whoever you love, whoever you worship;
However you vote, however you get around;
Whatever you eat, whatever you earn, whatever you believe;
Wherever you came from, wherever you lay your head;
Whenever you found yourself, whenever you lost your way;
I esteem you as high as the peace-filled sky,
because in the Grandest Scheme,
there really is no difference.
And in the Lesser Scheme,
the distinction is Divine.

My iPhone brought me closer to the Sun.

September 15, 2011

(Click play to listen.)

I suspect many years of smartphone usage has had some affect on the way my brain receives and integrates information.  You know, that whole neuroplasticity thing.

Words and images.  Concepts and questions.  Thrills, tears, discoveries and other Gifts of Life, all whirling around in my bio-miraculous container.  Thanks to my iPhone, global connectivity is almost always in my palm or in my purse.  And in those rare, rural instances when a signal is not accessible, I still have functions available that are essential to a Techno-Nature-Mystic-Artist who values tools that help me behold beauty; digital tools like VoiceMemo and a camera to capture still and moving images.

On a recent backpacking trip with my dear friend Jacquelyn in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park, there would be no outlets or electricity with which to charge my phone.  And for the reasons stated above, I was motivated to find an alternative.  Sure enough, there was one:  Goal Zero’s Nomad 7, a foldable solar panel for charging handheld devices.

Three nights and four days in wilderness helped me pay attention to things normally so routine I pay them no mind.  Things like:

  1. How much garbage do I produce each day?
  2. How much waste do I produce each day?
  3. How much water do I drink and clean with each day?
  4. How much electricity do I rely upon each day?

That fourth question opened my eyes to my relationship with energy.  I live in a high-rise condominium with no solar panels.  My reliance upon modern conveniences is still very much plugged in to traditional grids and fossil-fueled sources.  But seeing my iPhone charged by the Sun did something to me.

The Sun, which democratically and freely shines on All, has more than enough energizing power to sustain our lives’ needs…  without provoking biospheric damage, inequity or resource-based war.  So why isn’t the world solar-paneled and retro-fitted tip to tail?  Is it not mass insanity, permitted by ignorance or apathy?  Co-signed by passivity?


  • Does solar activism make sense to you?  Get involved here.
  • “Old bottle + water + Sun = LIGHT.”  (Thanks, NextWorldTV!)  Wanna see some radical innovation?  Click here.
  • Ever wonder about backpacking and diversity?  I wrote some thoughts about it in this month’s Mindful Metropolis here.

…there’s an entity out there with so many layers of raging benefits.

April 23, 2011

There are some things that are so appropriate and nourishing, they really should be done at all times.  Things like:

  • Giving thanks.
  • Giving gifts.
  • Creating great resolutions.
  • Being sweet and romantic.
  • Celebrating liberty and civil rights.
  • Being nice to your Mom, Dad, Partner, Boss, Secretary, etc.

But something about our nature likes to designate a single day to stuff like that.  Create a focal point, I guess.  A bright neon sign that says, “In commemoration of the vital person/thing that you are to me, I observe you. With my whole day!”  Maybe it’s not so much our human nature, as our commercial nature… that likes to create hoopla around which we can sell trinkets and cards and tokens of our love.  Tokens.  Hmmm.

Yesterday was a day like that.  It was Earth Day.  And I was aware of my awareness that it was Earth Day… in the same artificially imposed way that all of the officially declared days make me feel, which is: “Wow, a whole day for something I’m already devoted to!”  Fumbling redundancy.  But I get the point.  Reminders are good.

So, anyway. Yesterday on Earth Day, I meant to post this request for your support. It’s still just as relevant today.  If you are able, please donate.  Climate Cycle’s model is so sane, grounded and effective it actually makes you feel relieved and revived… just to know there’s an entity out there with so many layers of raging benefits.  Its founder, Joey Feinstein, so passionately embodies his vision, I was quickly converted from researcher/writer to participant. In more ways than one.  Please contribute to their prospering, so they can keep on funding solar installations and environmental solutions in Chicago public schools.

Thanks and love… every day,

P.S.  Here’s the link to the article I wrote about Climate Cycle.  Big thanks to Tim Winkler (Connector Extraordinaire) for introducing me to this awesome organization!

Is there an empath in the house? Well, yes there is. (The hanging of a shingle.)

March 27, 2011

Like Star Trek’s ship counselor, Deanna Troi in the video above, I have been providing empathic care and presence for, literally, all my life.  Skillfully, the past ten years.

I have claimed and developed my clairsentience, connected my dots, and this is what they look like all put together:  I am here to cultivate deeper and more empathic connections among all of life. My long-time efforts, interests and investments have been devoted to this purpose, and are now creating:

  • An empathic consultation + communication service: (Please share with others!)
  • A mashup of all my research, client-work and deep-sensory insights.
  • A monthly column in Mindful Metropolis: “Diversity in Green.” (I am not the Queen of Green, but I am the Queen of Hearts.  And who can’t use more heart?)
  • A co-drafting of a petition for the United Nations to designate October 2nd “World Empathy and Compassion Day” (Thanks to Edwin Rutsch for the invitation to do so!)

So, this is where my wandering and wondering has led me thus far.  I like it.  And there’s so much more brewing… I mean big, tasty alchemical delights!  Stay tuned by “Liking” the Empathic Writer Facebook Page.  Add your voice and vision, and co-create a more empathic culture with us!

With heartfelt love,
Erika ♥

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