Hello and welcome to Growing Edge, a blog dedicated to transforming human structures and systems for a better world. We write about social and spiritual leadership, permaculture, storytelling and living the New Story. If you want to bring about community and cultural change, you have come to the right place.
If the phrase "being in creative flow" was in the dictionary, it would be fitting to find next to it a photograph of Clovice Lewis--brilliant composer, cellist and serial tech entrepreneur.
On December 10th, Katie Curtin and I interview Clovice about creativity, flow, composition, music,
the launch of Advanced Housing Technology... and what it means to be
creative and happy, even in difficult times. You can Join us in the Creativity Cafe.
I'm pretty sure you will find him as fascinating and inspiring as I do.
Free Download Days...you can grab a free copy of my new book on Amazon Kindle (November 13-14, 2014) http://www.entrepreneursandthenewstory.com In the book, Entreprepreneurs and the New Story: Essential Earth Wisdom for True Prosperity, I interview seven successful innovators who
challenge us to go beyond current thought-patterns and come up with new and beautiful solutions for commerce. These men and women share how they overcame obstacles against all odds to make a difference in the world with their everyday work.
I often feel like the little fish Nemo in the Pixar movie “Finding Nemo.” Nemo’s job was to get all the fish to pull in the same direction—to do what was theirs to do in the moment of peril. So too, we must put all our efforts into pulling in the direction of what is ours to do.
The biggest question: What is mine to do? I cannot answer it for you--only you can do that. I can strive to answer it for myself.
To you, I will post the question:
What is yours to do at this moment in time?
Our best next step might be large or small. It might be easy or difficult, evolutionary or revolutionary. It might be to rest or to act.
I cannot know what it is for you, nor you for me.
What I do know is this: something deep inside of you knows. Once you discover that part of yourself, align with it, and commit to the next step, anything can happen. You will enter into the creative edge and participate in unfolding story—your part of The Great Work.
More than once, as a teenager, I was mistaken for a boy.
At the time, it was embarrassing … in fact it still is. Perhaps it was
because when I was growing up, I never learned how to put on make-up or
even how to dress like a girl. Truthfully, I chose not to learn. My
mother said I was a “tom-boy” (big surprise), and the whole idea of
"style" made me extremely uncomfortable-- "terrified" might be a better
word--so I avoided it altogether, preferring instead to dress in
comfortable often loose clothes. Somehow I got it in my head that style
and comfort were mutually exclusive.
I didn’t realize it at the time, and the decades that followed, that I
was choosing to hide. Clothes were not about celebrating,
they were a way of hiding the feminine part of myself… a part I saw as
weak and vulnerable.
That way of viewing the feminine changed. I've spent the decades since
understanding that Earth needs the feminine to reemerge--and going
My friend and colleague @RyanEliason often describes an experience that took place when he was nineteen years old and encountered a clear cut in a forest that he had enjoyed as a youngster. At first the nineteen-year-old Ryan was just shocked, as he surveyed the land now scraped down to its clay soil. As he observed the damage and stopped to let the reality of the situation sink in, the enormity of the loss hit him. The sacred place he loved was gone forever. He began to sob.
For Ryan this was a moment of deep truth, of profound awakening—and the experience changed him forever. Even today, as he tells this story, his authenticity shines through and transforms those around him.
In my own life, especially as a sensitive, young person, I braced myself against such a moment for years. To me, these losses seemed so painful that I pushed the experience away,
even as I felt a pervasive sadness over the state of the world and
worked to “save it”. This was more of a depression that…
If "squirrels" invade your inbox, they also invade your life. This is how I manage my email to save at least 1-2 hours each and every day, and avoid squirrel-chasing:
(1) Prevent extra emails from invading in the first place.
Do you really need to be on every single email list for the emails that enter your inbox? If you take 10 minutes a week to unsubscribe from unproductive or marginally productive lists, you will get hours of time back. Really, you won't miss anything important--you info-junkie.
(2) Use "rules" in your email program to sort into "buckets" for later reading
I use Mac Mail and set up "rules" It is easy to go to the preferences page and set up any rule you want. One that has saved me hours is to automatically filter mass emails into my "read second" folder--which I then, well.... read second. I set time aside every few days to read these mass emails--…
My latest book, Entrepreneurs and the New Story: Essential Earth Wisdom for True Prosperity, is available via preorder on Amazon
kindle now. December 31 at 10am pacific, I will be interviewed by Katie Curtin in the virtual Creativity Cafe.
Aligning with a “Big Why” - the dream that comes from your
heart - is cited by many entrepreneurs as the biggest single factor in
creating focus and taking quantum leaps forward. This was confirmed in my interview with successful entrepreneur and business coach Ryan Eliason in The Big Why Telesummit earlier this year, I asked him to what he attributed his success. His answer: committing fully to his biggest vision-- his “Big Why.” Doing so clarifies what we want and need, helps us identify what needs to happen next, and it helps us more easily say “no” to distractions so that we can say “yes” to the most difficult next step. I am still uncovering my purpose. I do not always know what it is, but I definitely know when I’m not aligned with it.“I did not know. Turns out, it is something I discovered gradually”.
“When the energy is right sometimes it’s like a magnet you just cannot resist.”
“There have been many long years when I personally had no idea what my “big why” was but I was…
In the natural world, at the place where grasslands merge into forests or where the shore melds into the oceans or other places where two ecosystems meet, diversity and abundance seem to flourish. This is known as edge effect
An online dictionary defines edge effect this way: The influence that two ecological communities have on each other along the boundary that separates them. Because such an area contains habitats common to both communities as well as others unique to the transition zone itself, the edge effect is typically characterized by greater species diversity and population density than occur in either of the individual communities. In living systems, profound creativity takes place on the edges—where ocean meets shore, in estuaries, where grasslands meet forest edge, in wetlands and tidal pools, along streambanks and in the top few inches of soil.
Why is this? What can we learn from the edges?
Edges are a place where different elements meet. In human systems, these might b…
Once upon a time, nearly 13.7 Billion years ago, we flared forth as light. We underwent a series of
irreversible transformations until we arrived where we are here and now—writing a story about our journey.
It took awhile, but that’s how far we’ve come. We essentially burst forth as light and after changing a bit, we arrived as a living system together with our fellow travellers on a small blue planet in a dark sea of space. As a result of these transformations, we can now contemplate that flaring forth 13.7 billion years later. We are energy transformed… contemplating the first energy that flared forth.
Let’s pause for a moment and let that sink in.
Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme, in The Universe Story, call our understanding of this epic a “new cosmology” or "the New Story."
Stories are about meaning and connection…They help us understand things,
they help us connect to one another, they help us connect to Earth when
we realize that we are a part of the planetary sto…
Sun, my sail and moon, my rudder, As I ply the starry sea, Leaning over the edge in wonder, Casting questions into the deep. Drifting here with my ship's companions, All we kindred pilgrim souls, Making our way by the lights of the heavens, In our beautiful blue boat home.
--Peter Mayer, Blue Boat Home
A few years ago, our local Lake County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation in support of the International Charter for Compassion in order to draw attention to the fact that we are all one community. How we treat each other matters to the quality of our life together. As our community concludes another season of political campaigning, cultivating compassion is as important as ever.
As I see it, we need to ask ourselves in our deeds and in our language: What are we teaching our children about what it means to be human? Compassion is not weakness—it is, in fact, a decision to connect and relate with our fellow sojourners, both human and non-human, and in the process e…
What if you could immediately reduce overwhelm and easily and firmly say no to distractions?
if you could make a single shift to your thinking that would enable you
to not only recognize the difference between a distraction and
necessary action but turn "squirrel" energy into a real opportunity?
What if virtually everyone who is successful in this dynamic environment has consciously or unconsciously adopted this approach?
I discovered turned my business around. This one concept changed
everything and set up the conditions so that I could thrive and grow.
And an improvement in my sense of well-being was almost immediate—with
better business results following within the first couple of weeks!
are that you have not yet discovered this shift you need to thrive in
this living system of commerce because no one is talking about it. And
why would they? Most marketing today creates a fear-based squirrel
As a culture, we are in a state of extreme “Attention Deficit”. Many who are trying to market their businesses are suffering from overwhelm: thoroughly distracted, befuddled and off purpose. I see this situation as tragic, not only because of the toll it takes on the entrepreneur, but also the effect on those around them and how it undermines their true mission in the world. Distractions and diversions waste time and energy. If allowed to continue, the results are truly tragic: a life unlived, mission thwarted and a planet that is less served. As individuals, we can correct this condition with a change in perspective and a few simple practices.
Many training programs teach us how to manage distractions, or even how to select the right projects but very few address the root cause of overwhelm and distraction. Summed up simply: the problem of overwhelm is more often than not that we are working on the wrong things! In other words, tactics without STRATEGY is a fast path to disa…
Entrepreneurs have a significant role to play in the great journey that’s taking place on the earth at this moment. This is true in part because we follow our hearts. As Entrepreneurs, we are our own boss, we do what we do because we want to do it. We create what we’re inspired to create and so with that freedom we have the opportunity to make a profound positive impact in the world and to play a unique role. I love that my work is dedicated to empowering conscious entrepreneurs to make a good living doing what they were meant to be doing.
Why does making a good living matter? Sadly, if you are not making a good living doing your work, you are in an unsustainable situation. You might be forced to take a job doing something you don’t like, and that kills a bit of your soul. Perhaps your work is not fully aligned with your purpose and may even negatively impact the planet. Many of us compromise our deeper purpose and values to make a living. We sacrifice what we really want to …
Two years ago, I attended a business retreat with George Kao and it
was a life-changer--by far the most transformational business event I
have ever attended, bar none. I was so excited about it that I decided
to convince George, renowned social media marketer-"Spiritpreneur",
along with shadow-master Katie Curtin, to activate that powerful magic
at least once more.
So next month, George, Katie and I are co-hosting "Spiritpreneurs," an intimate mastermind retreat that
will take place in Northern California from September 12-14, 2014. The
event is for conscious entrepreneurs and innovators who are seeking an
authentic business model and inspired, true-to-the-soul, marketing. If
you are willing to roll up your sleeves, go deep into your heart and
work on your true livelihood, then this event is for you. http://www.spiritbusinessmastermind.com
realize that you probably have a lot going on, but if you want a truly
life-changing intensive I urge you to…
So... the Hero's Journey Summer Book Adventure begins and I enter into the unknown world ...
As a first step, I need to recommit to my rhythmic structure. it helps me stay focused, productive, and allows my creativity to emerge as the psyche/muse does its magic.
So I started this morning. As it turns out, I wasted 20 minutes looking for that nearly-blank journal for my morning pages and ended up cleaning off my desk instead of getting started. (just noticing, and trying not to judge) So my first morning page entry is doing double duty as this blog entry... with my musings about the importance of rhythmic structure.
Rhythmic structure is important.
For me, I need to start with elements that calm my mind chatter... with 30 minutes of meditation and at least two binder-size pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, though I realize Julia Cameron of The Artist's Way suggest 3 pages. (It's my structure, I can do what I need to. )
Time just flies when I'm trying to get something done.... in this case--my next book. I don't know about you, but I need a structure to make it happen.
I'm developing a new project with life design coach Katie Curtin this summer. Katie (founder of the Creativity Cafe) and I discovered that we are each writing and self-publishing our next books in the coming weeks. So we got to thinking...why not share HOW we do this while we do it. So we decided to work together, get our own books done and invite a select small group to join us and do the same.
Together, we will get our books written, finished, published and ranked in their categories on Amazon Kindle. In the process, we will take a select group of people each by the hand and walk them through getting their own book done -- step by step, with built-in accountability.
We will cover the entire process: from breaking through writer's block, procrastination and visibility issues to FINALLY getting the book fi…
Have you ever tired to solve a problem - a suduko puzzle? a relationship challenge? a choice between two good opportunities? Have you expended lots of time and energy to find an answer that eludes you? Only to step away from the trying so hard - to distract yourself with a totally different activity - and lo! the answer comes. This has happened to me so often.
The series of Soulwork Adventures that I will be posting here weekly are meant to be simple, grounded, enjoyable experiences that give us a way to step out of our "solution mind" into an "allowing mind". So acknowledge that you are trying to solve a problem, if possible let it go for now, and take time to engage in a Soulwork Adventure:
Sometimes our inner “season” can seem out of sync with the outer season. Snow can be falling and freezing winds can be whipping around us, yet our hearts are warm with anticipation and blossoming with hope. Create a symbol of your inner season this week. Find a small box – a bro…