I have just settled in by the fire, on our coldest day on record in two decades in the USA, according to N.O.A.A. Weather Service online. With the wind chill, my relatives in Minnesota are experiencing 60 degrees below zero today! Lucky for us, it is only 5 degrees below zero in Pagosa Springs, but my feet are still cold here in our little cabin.
Our largest purpose at Growing Spaces, is to defend the health of the planet, and we do this by defending the health of our customer. We give our customers a choice, to actively engage in the lifestyle of growing their own food, and using sustainable energy solutions, in order to create a lifestyle or way of life that brings vitality. Our website begins: “A New World awaits: a world where sustenance abounds, and independence flourishes. Where sustainability is nurtured, wellness cultivated and serenity grows…where nourishment increases, and health renews….A place where potential blooms, while peace and connection expand. Growing Spaces, (a world) where life thrives.”
As we begin this year with a New Moon, symbol of a Fresh Beginning, I want to say that this is what I wish for all of you, on the personal and the planetary level. I am struck by the relief and the chance to “refresh” our vision at this time, on both personal and business levels. It is always amazing to see the end of year coverage of what just happened for us all and to think about what we hope for in the future.
Last month’s article for our blog about “Why we started a Sustainable Business” points to the legacy of our working in the 1980’s with John Denver and Thomas Crum’s organization called Windstar in Snowmass, Colorado. Part of our beginning included the frustration of having a garden outside at 8000 ft. and watching as the wildlife snatched our tomatoes and our ripe strawberries or the frosts came early or late, to diminish our 90 day growing season. Always mountain people, we were, and are, a part of an outdoor culture that strives to live healthy athletic lives and participate in the outdoor world as our reward.
As I look at what motivates us, I feel there are three levels to describe: the planet, the individual, and the world of business as a provider of solutions for our time. Our small company has a big purpose, which is to defend the earth and a return to Nature’s wisdom, because the health of the planet leads to the health of all of us. We were” reluctant business people” in the early days, with the same prejudices/assumptions about how “monetizing everything has ruined our world.” But we have grown up, and now we participate in a revolution of thought and action through creating conscious businesses. We feel fortunate to live in a region and state and country where the small business entrepreneur is celebrated for his/her much needed creative input. Creative/innovative people are an anomaly for many, so we are very glad to be supported by and be supporting economic development in this way.
Sometimes we have been perceived as a product and company “before its time”, because Udgar’s commitment to an off the grid, sustainable energy greenhouse didn’t seem to be needed. In the 1970’s, I was a business consultant for Aiki Works® teaching the practice of centering and conflict management to large businesses like Shell Oil, Procter and Gamble, and various school districts. That was a time that corporations were beginning to do big lay-offs. I presented in my first big conference for Blanchard Training and Development in San Diego as Clinton was being inaugurated. I was so nervous that I lost my voice. But even then, around 1987, we were aware that the world was in crisis….and that we needed solutions.
”Before its time” could refer to the geodesic dome structure but it could also reference the denial about climate reality and the urgent need to find solutions. We still struggle with regulators who are unfamiliar with the strength of our Growing Domes in wind and weather, and now the urgency is even greater for our planet and our customers, but we have found a new way to hold it. Our real practice is a clear and present willingness to focus on the present moment because that is where one finds power. Our power is found in our ability to be present right here and right now and to keep moving from insight and vision. We have had to train ourselves as much as our staff in this.
Our experience is like Bucky Fuller’s, saying that we had the technology in 1972 to mend the problems of feeding humanity and helping Spaceship Earth get back in balance, but he felt that it would take 50 years for this idea to be accepted. That 50 year mark is almost here and I have seen an article that says by 2022, our earth’s temperature will have risen 4 degrees! That is almost untenable.
Company Solutions, the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, says in its Winter Newsletter: “In 2014 it is clear that the climate situation is continuing to worsen. In May 2013, for the first time in over 3 MILLION YEARS, the Earth’s atmosphere reached 400 parts per million of CO2. In September 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change released its fifth assessment report (seven years after the fourth report in 2007). The report states that it is no longer possible to hold the temperature rise of the planet at 2 degrees Celsius. It seems clear that we must leave most of the remaining fossil fuels in the ground.”
“More than 32 million people fled their homes last year because of disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes – 98% of displacement related to climate change. Asia and west and central Africa bore the brunt. Some 1.3 million people were displaced in rich countries, with the US particularly affected. Floods in India and Nigeria accounted for 41% of displacement, according to the International Displacement Monitoring Centre and Norwegian Refugee Council. The extremes in Climate Reality, and the personal experience many are having now, in natural disasters, point to this urgency. The results are happening NOW.
Our company is founded on the realization that we must remain open to learning and change if we are to truly bring progress to our world. Perhaps one of the greatest needs is for emotional intelligence as well as academic intelligence, so we aim to provide a context for that kind of growth too as we offer support for our clients and staff. The world needs wisdom not just knowledge, if we are to thrive on every level.
We begin by choosing to “see the cup half empty rather than half full”. We must choose to be “the change we wish to see in the world”, according to Gandhi, and that includes facing facts, while remaining centered and able to celebrate small steps and big visions. That is easy when we practice gratitude in the here and now and remember where we are in each step.