Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Positive Impact Living - a recipe book for life

'Delicious recipes for life.'
'Optimising our adaptive capacity to personal and planetary disasters.'

I have gathered ingenious and simple answers from all over the world and put them together after over fifteen years of seeking solutions; what works, what really, really works!

I'm a qualified survival instructor. I know what it takes to live directly and sustainably with the earth. I know how much energy is needed per person and extremely accurately. But I didn't stop there; I wanted to know how nature could be designed to support our needs as we grow, as our awareness increases, as our technological abilities advance. Whether we live in a house or a hammock. I wanted to know how to help the most desperate, the ones that can't find a way out; learn how to avoid catastrophes both inner and outer and minimise their damage.

To do this I met ballistic missile engineers who became ecovillage pioneers, I learnt to run visioning workshops and solar installations, I listened to lectures on 'Living machines' and built them, I did sweat lodges and retreats with people who retained and resurrected the old ways, set up co-operatives to acquire land and hold it in trust. I met refugees, put asylum seekers up on my sofa. Listened to stories from the families of those fighting corporate injustice and/or ignorance, like Ken Saro Wiwa.

I took homeless folk out for a night on the town and a proper dinner and brought them home so they could sleep in a bed and get cleaned up. I encouraged them to seek out their families and try again.

I worked in minimum wage jobs where you end up with less than nothing for a month's work and barely manage to feed yourself. I had two jobs but nowhere to live and nothing to save for that better life. I bought train tickets for families with small children when the conductor was going to throw off in the middle of the night. I heard the tales of Africans forced to travel illegally; I worked with them, I heard their stories. If they had had a legal option - they would have taken it, but there was none. There was no box for those with nothing but their names.

All of these stories informed me. I wanted to know the truth, not guess at it, or make presumptions. I wanted to throw out my preconceptions and come home laden with truth.
It is difficult now. It is very very hard for many people. But I think I have found some ways to make it easier.

I had a vision of a human being so in touch with their surroundings, with nature that they no longer perceive a sense of separation. We actually produce the fuel for life with our bodies; plants NEED us, the soil needs us, the air needs us. Let me explain...

A garden is not simply somewhere plants grow; in a sense the entire planet is a garden. All of our biological processes happen here. Over the last two hundred years we have a developed rudimentary systems for the basic requirements of towns and cities. We discovered processes and chemicals that enabled mass production, mass waste treatment, mass provision of food and water. But unfortunately these weren't sustainable processes.

At some point many of us stepped away from the very natural knowledge we need to survive from one year to the next. But this doesn't mean that there aren't processes we can adopt that ARE sustainable - there are... and they can be applied at any scale they are needed. I have brought all of them together. They are the very essence of survival lore and ecological design adapted to an industrial standard - applicable to the individual, the village or the mega city. If you are stuck in your life. If your freedom seems to be diminshing rather than increasing. If you can't imagine what true freedom feels like - then this is the book for you. Its the kind of book you wish your grandmother had given you. It has recipes for life, for living, for vitality, for abundance.

It explains what to physically focus on to empower yourself and those around you. You will have a positive impact on your surroundings, on your colleagues, your friends and families and their future. It is called 'Positive Impact Living' because you cease to have a negative impact upon yourself with your thoughts, words and actions - you begin to generate life, that's what humans are for. We're creative geniuses, capable of manifesting our dreams; we haven't even begun to imagine our potential.

It is a How-to-Guide for the desperate, for those of us at our wit's ends, for those of us despairing of anyone doing something sensible. It's economic basis is rooted in balance and harmony. None of this profit-over- purpose-and-sustainability malarkey. If you build this it won't break down and you won't have to buy a new one. Its a garden. Its your garden. its one you can carry with you wherever you go.

Sounds ambitious. It is. Our souls are starving for meaning and sense; for encouragement, wisdom and balance. We don't know why it is we shrink away from things. From chemicals, hospitals, from congested roads and empty neighbourhoods. We're not empowered to take control of our lives; we need to take that power back and be in total control of our decisions and environments. Our ancestors had that freedom - together we can find it again - its not gone anywhere.

I had a great vision when I was young and I also had a long line of very practical grandmothers. They were left to bring up fifteen children, they were left without their husbands, they washed clothes and floors, rented dresses, started shops. And my grandfathers; they were carpenters, builders and policemen, they died in wars, gassed in the trenches, killed in the streets, eaten by cancers and lost, their names are on stone memorials and in the warmth of my heart. I asked my family for the stories.

Every generation has a different priority. For my generation, it is one of salvage; salvaging hope, of unearthing solutions, of changing rapidly. Change doesn't equal hardship though. We have been out of alignment; knocked there by such a fury of violence, but now we are stepping back into alignment and with those steps comes harmony. We are all taking those baby steps in our different ways, at different paces. We have to be gentle on ourselves and each other and we need to listen and hear because the answers are there. The prayers have already been answered all we have to do is become silent enough to hear them and be focused enough to be a conduit for those that matter. This is not just a theoretical book or a poetic book although it has some of those qualities, above all it is a practical book - follow the recipes and you can SEE the results. I can explain the why's the wherefores and the how to's but only you can make the magic.

We will feed the hungry, house the homeless, educate the poor and cure the sick. We will not only get through this year but we will heal and make next year better :) I saw it it's written on my soul.

NB It' coming out in October, but you can contact me if you would like to pre-order and I will add you to the first come first served list :)

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