Category: Self

The Weekly Green: Juice for the Journey #22

photo of LEAFHouse team, 2007, by: Julie

Week 22

We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

How refreshing! The future is not something we passively live into, based on past patterns or trends. The future is something we create. If we aren’t happy with the current state of things, we can choose to examine our underlying assumptions and beliefs. Every single human system on earth is created out of nothing but the stories we tell ourselves about the meaning of life, our relationships with each other and the planet, and our capacities for good or evil. This week: can you identify a limiting belief that keeps you from designing a future that you are fully excited about?

Related quote: “The best way to predict the future is to create it” ~ Peter F. Drucker

More:The Awakening the Dreamer symposium provides excellent background and lays the foundation for this work.

Read the Weekly Green from Week 21 here.

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4 Years. Go.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_6iTCo5Ci8[/youtube]

FOUR YEARS. GO. is a campaign to catalyze and empower a fundamental shift in the direction of humanity, inspiring collaborative action, connecting individuals and organizations, and amplifying best practices and successes.

This campaign is inspiring an awareness of the urgency to shift humanity’s trajectory by 2014, before our destructive trends make that shift impossible. They are empowering individuals and organizations to set and reach goals that will cause a positive global tipping point by 2014, setting humanity on a new path toward a socially just, environmentally sustainable, and spiritually fulfilling future.

This may sound like pie-in-the-sky, but — IT’S NOT. It’s entirely possible — as long as we think in terms of possibilities, rather than probabilities. (To paraphrase Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Movement.)

Take a look at this site. Get connected. Join a campaign. Become an allied organization. We just did.

The Weekly Green: Juice for the Journey #21

photo by: Daniel Shea

Week 21

Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand. ~ Confucius

As a teacher, I find this humbling. Given my own education and experience, these three actions and results are listed in order of difficulty. Telling and showing come naturally, but are not very effective to catalyze lasting change. This week, what are some ways you can involve people or at least show them, rather than just tell them what you see?

More: “Switch” is a fantastic book about the power of experience to shape change.

Read the Weekly Green from Week 20 here.

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The Weekly Green: Juice for the Journey #20

watercolor by: Julie Gabrielli

Week 20

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. ~ Albert Einstein

I am more convinced than ever of the power of creative expression – images, story, movement, song – to catalyze creative problem-solving. Brain science confirms this: we have two hemispheres, right and left. By holding only to the rational, linear, and analytical, we treat the right brain as a poor step-child. We need to get over thinking of right-brain pursuits like art, poetry, music, and storytelling as mere “entertainment.” How can you open to new possibilities by honoring the gift of intuition this week?

More: View the fascinating and exciting TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor.

Read the Weekly Green from Week 19 here.

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The Weekly Green: Juice for the Journey #19

Brown Residence by: Julie Gabrielli

Week 19

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Beauty is love made manifest. Approaching a problem with such open-heartedness brings in all the inspiration, creativity, and quantum leaps that are available to us. We are all born geniuses, so when we admire genius in someone like Bucky Fuller, we acknowledge that potential within ourselves. This week, how will you choose to tap the fullness and flow of your natural genius?

More: Bucky Fuller was wonderfully quotable. Read more quotes here.

Read the Weekly Green from Week 18 here.

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“Why” is the juice behind going green

photo by: Chris Armstrong

When I work with clients, whether on a design project or a sustainability initiative, I notice that people tend to go straight to technologies, strategies, and solutions. These certainly have their place, but they are not enough to sustain the project or the change campaign over the long haul.

Why not? In any creative venture when multiple variables are considered, we hit walls. Roadblocks. Stumbling points. Especially in collaborations, which basically covers everything in the world of business. (Isn’t it odd how effective collaboration is not generally taught in school? More on that another time.)

The most efficient way out of those impasses is a clear sense of purpose – in other words, knowing your “why.” Organizations that have a clear sense of why leave people inspired and excited about solving tough problems. On the other hand, if you are overly invested in specific what’s and how’s, it is very difficult to see new possibilities when a problem inevitably arises.

The importance of knowing not only WHAT we are creating, changing, or doing, but WHY, is put very elegantly by Simon Sinek in his book, “Start With Why.” Full disclosure: I haven’t yet read the book, but his website has some great video and downloads that explain the very simple concepts.

Sinek’s “Golden Circle” is a great visualization: three concentric rings with “why” in the center, then “how,” and finally “what.” Why is, fittingly, at the core. In his words, “why” speaks directly to our emotions, which is the place in our brain where decisions are made. When we align intuition and emotion with abstraction and planning, it’s a powerful combination.

As an example, Sinek points out, Martin Luther King had strong beliefs about justice and human rights. That was his “why.” He happened to live at a time when a great movement was stirring; that was the “what.” In his many inspiring speeches, he spoke about what he believed, and that became contagious. When he stood up to make his famous speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C., he didn’t say, “I have a plan.” He said, “I have a dream.”

I recently asked a client – a commercial photographer – to tell me her “why.” Here it is: “I suppose my “why” has to do with living what I believe, despite the personal costs. When I die I want to know that I have lived a life without hypocrisy. My success will not be measured in dollars, but rather in promises I have kept.”

I know her to be someone who conscientiously walks her talk. In her photography work, she switched to digital before anyone else – motivated initially by the environmental benefits. When she hired me to help them renovate an old barn into a gorgeous photo studio, the priorities were energy efficiency, salvaged and non-toxic materials, and solar hot water heat. She just seems to have an innate sense of how to prioritize and live her values through all aspects of her business. As she says in a recent blog post, “I have come to a cross roads on my career path and want now more than ever to wade into good-for-the-world commerce.”

What’s the “green why” in your project, green campaign, or brand? How clear is it to your clients, customers, and employees – both present and prospective?

The Weekly Green: Juice for the Journey #18

photo by: Julie
Week 18

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Of the many great thoughts on failure, I love how jarring this one is. For me, being content with failure means wallowing in victim mode, rather than doing the hard work of self-inquiry. Our failures present such a rich opportunity to learn and grow – perhaps more rapidly than our successes. Alain de Botton puts it more gently: “We should not feel embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure to grow anything beautiful from them.” This week, what can you grow from your difficulties?

More: When’s the last time you read the Gettysburg Address? Out loud? Find the history and full text here.
For a chuckle, check out the Power Point version.

Read the Weekly Green from Week 17 here.

We always love to hear from you! How juicy is this quote for you?