Tag Archives: environment

Connecting To Nature As We Evolve.

outback treeHaving lived in Australia all my life I have grown up with a keen sense of nature, of a big country that is always a breath away no matter how civilised we might think ourselves. I’ve done very little overseas traveling but in my own country I’ve been everywhere, as a child we went camping most school holidays, I remember long bushwalks and crashing surf. The baking heat of summer, it was always hot for my birthday in february, we would run around in bare feet and it felt like the holidays lasted forever! Tim Freedman from “The Whitlams”  has a lovely line in his song “Little Cloud” where he talks about the fence shimmering in the heat as if it wants to disappear, just that one image captures my childhood summers perfectly.

australian beach

Tim Winton describes Australia as “more landscape than culture” and explained, “I was calibrated differently to a European. Everything we do in our country is still overshadowed and underwritten by the seething tumult of nature.”

australian coast

Maybe you have to go traveling to really understand your own culture or at least get a different perspective, for me nature is woven into my everyday reality, especially as I am living in the bush at the moment. and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it is fascinating to try to imagine what it’s like for those who have grown up in very different environments, how difficult is it for someone who has grown up surrounded by people and buildings to actually connect to nature when they get the chance? And how important is it for human beings to feel that connection to their natural environment?

I would say that it is vital and one of the key elements of the evolution of humanity, in order to be good caretakers we need to get to know the amazing systems that have evolved on this wonderful planet called Earth. Have a look at this inspiring short film that shows just how connected we are to the planet we call home, enjoy!


The Future City.

It amazes me that one can still speak to people sometimes who don’t seem to comprehend what unsustainable actually means, there’s a kind of sheep mentality that thinks we can keep treating our environment and each other the way that we are, and get away with it. Luckily I live in a place where most of the people are aware, we don’t all necessarily think the same way about it, but we do all acknowledge that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Alex Steffen describes it as stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.

Roller Coaster 72 — Rendering, Nantes, 2011 © Périphériques Architects. Status: just completed. —> The building and its two sloping volume is organized around a central garden providing a relationship between inside and outside, private and public

Roller Coaster 72 — Rendering, Nantes, 2011 © Périphériques Architects.
Status: just completed.
—> The building and its two sloping volume is organized around a central garden providing a relationship
between inside and outside, private and public

He says that when we look to move to renewable energy we are actually tackling a problem that can’t be solved, with the growing urban population operating in the way it generally does now, we could never generate sufficient energy by any means. I’m not sure if I completely agree with this notion, but I do like what he is putting forward as an alternative, cities need to be re-designed so that space is shared more efficiently. Rather than owning certain pieces of equipment, such as a power drill, we would have access to the service when we need it.

Buildings also need to become more efficient, using the breeze for cooling, sunlight for heating and light, utilise systems where they collect rainwater that can then be used to create gardens and perhaps connect to the rivers.  Alex mentions pollination pathways so that butterflies and bees are invited back into the urban environment, to me it sounds like a much more life and people oriented philosophy than is currently operating in our cities.

The more dense a city the lower the emissions according to Alex, this is because people don’t actually own cars, they use public transport, they walk, and they ride bicycles. This too needs to be incorporated into the design of our future cities, having become a country girl I tend to think a bit negatively about cities, but like anything, it’s all in the perception. Cities can be opportunities to do things differently and to do them better than before, much of this is already happening around the world and if we are to survive as humans on this planet it needs to become our new way of being.

Futurist Alex Steffen is excited about the cities of the future. We live in a rapidly urbanizing world, and this is a good thing. The density brings many unforeseen blessings, shedding the car is just one of them.
We will no longer be talking about the dream house, but rather the dream neighborhood. Welcome to his vision!

Video (10:14)

Insanity Rules!

I talk quite a bit about vested interests in my writings, these are organisations and sometimes individuals, who actually seem to believe that money and power are more important than people being happy and living a sustainable life. I still haven’t worked out what their plan is when the planet can no longer sustain life, do they really have space ships hidden somewhere so they can run away when everything has been destroyed!

But there probably isn’t much use in trying to make sense of it, perhaps the role of the vested interests in the larger scale of things, is to help people to wake up. There certainly does seem to be a tendency in us humans to require big kicks up the bum to really get going on the process of becoming empowered. The people of Tecoma in the Dandenong are very much in that process, they are trying to keep MacDonald’s out of their town. They petitioned the council and won but MacDonald’s didn’t leave it there, they put in an appeal just before christmas and with their deep pockets for the best lawyers, they won.

But the community of Tecoma didn’t give up, they are continuing to protest and to blockade the planned building site, the latest news is that MacDonald’s were going to try to stop them through the high court. A man who had heard about it came looking for the person in charge of the blockade so he could give them $250 for legal expenses. Sounds like Tecoma has discovered its strength as a community.

Never  doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;  indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Margaret  Mead

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/margaret_mead.html#KksoqBK3w7WGFehy.99

In the Occupy movement there was a lot of talk about the 99% waking up, the truth of the matter is that there are a lot more of us.  If we can learn how to come together non-violently to make our wishes known, if the protest movement can be fluid and creative and use the amazing technological resources now available at the tap of a key. If we can learn how to be in our hearts as we do what needs to be done to save ourselves and our environment, if we can do all these things…………there is hope for us yet.

Blooming Buildings!

Once again I am on the move! House sitting certainly satisfies my need for variety, having to shift my stuff from place to place a small price to pay for the stimulation of new surroundings, new energies. The room I am sitting in as I write this is full of odd angles and curves, it’s so different from the usual right angles that you find in most houses and buildings generally. I can feel my spirit responding to this environment with pleasure and joy, it enriches my soul. The type of architecture that is common these days really exemplifies the sterile, rationalist approach that is so much less than we are capable of as creative beings.

The artist and architect Hundertwasser was a great exponent of buildings that are in harmony with nature, and thus also more friendly to human beings too! I love his paintings but his buildings are even more inspiring,


Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where we are surrounded by interesting shapes, colours and textures, buildings that are also gardens that are not only beautiful to behold but that also provide us with delicious and healthy food. This is not some utopian pipe dream, all around the world people are finding amazing  and creative ways to interact in harmony with our environment as well as meet our basic human needs.

Even in the heart of Paris you can find lush gardens where you would least expect, in an urban environment where there is no space to plant a tree, Patrick Blanc has created vertical gardens!

Welcome to Paris, where an entire building
pulses with lush green life and beauty.

Patrick Blanc is a groundbreaking
botanist and designer that creates
magical gardens out of building
exteriors in urban areas.

See the ingenious wall system that recycles
the water in a hydroponic loop.

Imagine bringing walls of green
life to our cities everywhere…

Video: (7:17)


Free Like Me.

I had a wonderful night of dancing and connecting with gorgeous friends, one was someone I hadn’t seen for a few months and she was amazed at the change in me. It’s so nice to get that kind of feedback, you know in yourself that everything has changed, but the fact it’s obvious to others makes it even better. I guess it’s the fact that you are being witnessed, that you are being seen as who you are.

As human beings we are relational, and much of our development comes through our interaction with other people. In fact if you extend that relating to the total environment we live in, then all our growth comes through the way we relate to the world around us. So it’s incredibly important to consider the shape and feel of your environment, I like to have order around me so I tend to clean up after myself. I also like to look around me and see beauty which is easy to organise when I have my own place, as a house sitter it can be challenging but I’ve been lucky so far. I do think I take a positive energy field with me wherever I go, but the spaces I have cared for have all had a good feel about them.

In the tarot the suit of Cups represents relationship, and often people see it automatically as romantic, but it’s really about your relationship with yourself. All your other relationships reflect that back to you, and in the larger context I’m discussing you can also look at the environments you inhabit to see how you’re doing. There’s so much information out there if only we can find the eyes to see, not just our physical sight but seeing with our heart and our intuition, feeling into things with our body sense.

Let go if you can of the usual ways that you perceive the world around you, if you have problems you are trying to solve, dance or sing the solution, write, draw and dream. There is so much more to the world than the current paradigm allows us, dare to be different, ride the edge, you will probably encounter challenges and resistance along the way, but at the end of the day you will be happier and free.

This is a clip of the band I was dancing to tonight, they are called Free Like Me, and this is the song of the same name. It’s all about what a beautiful world we live in, if you are free, just remember that sometimes the prisons we create are in our own minds, and only we have the power to break free!