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Sustainability: Understanding Wholeness - Part 2

Posted 5/22/2008 10:31am by Leaf Myczack.

Say you can, say you can't, and either way you will be right! It appears from the comments people make, that very few of us realize the power of our thoughts in shaping our life and how it proceeds to unfold. Attitudes do matter, and negative attitudes never bring about positive results.  Think an endeavor is hopeless, and it will become a self-fulfilling waste of time.

This is not to say that one need not be grounded in natural sciences and realistic expectations. For instance, jumping off of a roof with the expectation of being able to fly denies the role of gravity. However, if a human has successfully done some task before, it can be done again, although it may be extremely difficult to duplicate and not everyone will be capable.

When Cielo and I began to build our 30 foot sailing ketch, the naysayers hovered around like birds at a feeder. Comments such as "I could never build a boat," were frequent and the speaker(s) had unwittingly undermined their own self-confidence and set the stage for self-failure. We had to ignore these  bystanders who every step of the way tried to created mental obstacles for themselves and us. Even when we successfully launched the boat on May 30, 1989, there were still folks who pictured it sinking, us drowning, and other mishaps they were certain awaited us.

Now we face uncertain times that have people frightened about their future. Storms, droughts, economic collapse, terrorism, pollution, and lack of health care are just a few of the challenges facing us in the first decade of the 21st century. We'll be the first to admit that we don't have all the answers, but we do know that if we live in the moment, face our challenges with courage and determination, and set realistic goals, we have a good chance of succeeding in the face of adversity.

When we left our role (after 16 years) as citizen RiverKeepers in 2004,  and returned to the land to create an organic teaching farm, we had to start from scratch. We began with a piece of land that was dried up, depleted of nutrients, mostly barren of trees, with decrepit and unusable buildings, and with a bank account that could generously be described as lean.  Some thought we were hopeless dreamers, undertaking a task that would yield only heartache and financial ruin. Once again we set about the task at hand with a clear intention of what we wanted to accomplish.

Visitors to our farm marvel at how intelligent our operation is organized and managed. Few can believe the before photographs, and the current reality we have manifested and constructed. In the face of the worst drought in over 100 years, a bare minimum of mechanized equipment, scant financial reserves, and a seemingly inhospitable landscape, we have worked a miracle of transformation. We used experience, knowledge, intention, and cultivated a cooperative relationship with our neighbors. Putting aside worry, insecurity, doubts, and the many other "mind" worms that eat away at ones mental well being, we have forged a model of sustainability that works very well for us and all the plants, birds, fish, frogs, snakes and mammals that call this farm "home."

 

-farmer leaf 

Next Blog coming soon -"Almost certain I hear the fat lady singing."