SuperForester Heather’s Tech Challenge [Can you resist checking your phone while you read this post?]

Helloooooooo SuperForesters Everywhere! Thanks for sticking around. I am grateful to Jackson for allowing our little slice of blog happiness to continue to exist, so that we can continue to communicate through the SuperForest channels of the world wide web when the mood strikes us.

I recently saw this video and it made me think. It made me think about my own habits, about SuperForest, about how we are living our lives day to day, and how so much of our time is spent staring at a screen. I am guilty of putting in a lot of screen time these days myself, and although I do a pretty good job of limiting my phone use while I’m socializing with friends and family, I can definitely relate to much of what is said in this awesome spoken word piece by Prince EA!

What about you, SuperForesters? Especially during this holiday season, are you ready to put your phone on silent for a while and reconnect to the amazing humans around you?

I have a challenge for you, and I am going to take this on myself — who’s with me?
Comment below if you’re joining :)

For the next 14 days (which brings us to New Year’s Eve) – can you do the following? Please share as you go in the comments – I will post an update too!

1) Leave your phone in your bag/purse/pocket when you are dining with friends, hanging with family, etc?
Basic idea: when there are live humans in front of you interacting with you, put phoney away :)

2) Unfriend 10 people on your Facebook page? This may not sound overly SuperForesty, and I am all for having as many amazing humans in my life as possible, but are those humans all positive influences in your life? Do they all have your back? If there are any toxic peeps on your feed, I challenge you to unfriend! If you’re fortunate enough to not have any toxic Facebook friends, why not unfriend 10 people who tend to only post complaints or rants on their feed – you know who they are, you read their complaints every day! Who wants to read all that negativity, right? Something to think about…

3) While commuting (train, subway, bus) — instead of pulling out your phone to entertain you on the ride, can you pull out a book? Can you people watch or look out the window and enjoy the scenery? If you drive a car, can you please not text and drive? I want you to stay alive :) For the drivers, your challenge is, when you’re waiting for someone somewhere, can you resist pulling out your phone and pull out a book instead or daydream about something lovely?

4) Next time someone starts a Gchat, FB chat or text marathon with you, can you stop them and say, “Hey – let’s meet in person and chat about this! Where do you want to meet?”

5) When you’re on your computer, can you work with only ONE tab open at a time? Uni-tasking, baby! It is WAY more productive and way less stressful. This challenge is mondo hard for me but I am going to do it!!

Consider accepting this challenge, friends! More real hugs, less emoticon hugs, AMIRIGHT??

LOVE to all of you! Stay tuned for more from me over the next few weeks!

Comment below – are you in?

Size is Relative.

Wherever you are, good day to you! It’s been exactly a year since I made my last post on this wonderful sphere of positivity and hope, and I do regret that. I don’t have to tell any of you that life moves fast, sometimes far, far too fast. My attempts to slow it down have been wildly unsuccessful, but there has been fun in that!

Even with all of us living busy lives, I have never felt like we were no longer a community or a family. I have been changed and touched by so many of you, and to this day I have a spirit as vast as the cosmos, thanks to you and many others.

So what am I here to write about today? Size.

I believe many people have looked at ants and thought of how mighty and tall they were compared to them, and perhaps later on came upon a skyscraper to think the inverse. Size is relative, you see, and at the end of the day a skin cell is a planet through the eyes of an atom.

Lately, there’s been some rough days for many people around the world. Entire cities and countries are going through some unimaginable stress right now, and on top of that, there are people who think it’s justified.

I used to believe that bad people were easy to spot from miles away, that they surely fit some stereotypical form of nasty: a scowl, wild black hair, 5 o’clock shadow, dark circles under the eyes, a trench coat. I thought evil had a specific style, but it doesn’t. There are many people who can bring us down in ways we couldn’t even conceive, and that’s rather scary, isn’t it?

I have a hard time coping with seeing so many tragedies happen seemingly one after the other, with little room for anything in between.

That is why I have learned to find comfort in size. I do this in two ways:

1) I dismiss the little things. Usually by comparing my own size to that of the universe. For some folks, this is depressing or may make life seem futile, but for me it’s different. I see myself as an extension of AND member of the universe, and whenever I experience things that are getting to me, I ask myself, “is this REALLY important?” For all I know the planets surrounding that star there could be in a space war, or perhaps there is a galaxy too far for my eyes to see that is having a full blown interstellar love festival. I don’t know, but either way things like that make my problems seem remarkably small. In this, I dismiss the little things.

2) I appreciate the little things. Sometimes when life gets you down, you feel like there’s nothing that will make it stop. Even if that’s true, there are still the slightest smiles to be found in the little things. Under my end-of-semester stress, I decided to visit my library and found that they had therapy dogs there today for students to pet and play with to relieve anxiety. Boy, did I need THAT. It may not have stopped all the evil in the world or fixed the core of some of my own problems, but I smiled. I laughed. I felt GOOD, and that MATTERS.

I suppose what I’m trying to ask is what’s big to you? What’s small to you? Why are each of those things big or small to you? Drink a glass of water. Is that a small thing? Is it small when you know that if you don’t do it regularly, you die?

And HEY. If I’m here today, you can be too, and I encourage anybody who’s checking up on our SuperForest to just make a post right now. It can be about anything!

Big or small.

Toodles, tiny universes.

Back to the Earth

Helloooo SuperForesters!

How is your garden growing? And I mean that literally and spiritually.

I know it’s been a while, but I wanted to share a little love for our friend Jason and his pals Raining Jane with their new album — Yes!

Check out this catchy little ditty from the new album:

YES! is a message we can all appreciate here at SuperForest :)

In the spirit of yes, I have two questions for you and I want to hear from you!!!

1) What are you saying YES to lately?

Please answer in the comments

2) What is growing in your garden?

Please take a picture and share on our Facebook page or Twitter feed!

SuperForest loves you,

~SuperForester Heather

Music We Love: Kris Orlowski (and his band!)

Heyo Superfriends! How the heck is everyone? I would love to hear from all of you shiny SuperForesters out there and how you are saving the environment starting with YOURSELF! As for me, I’ve been embracing 2014 and I look forward to sharing my new philosophies and lessons learned soon :) What have you been learning so far this year, SuperForesters?

One thing I’ve definitely learned is that there are some pretty kickass musicians out there in our amazing universe! Rather than list them all, I decided to share a song I can’t seem to get out of my head lately, and its equally rad video counterpart. I first discovered Seattle-based Kris Orlowski by listening to and following the beautiful and talented Dawn Mitschele on those handy dandy social media networks. Kris has a really unique voice and I love his lyrics, especially on this newest song, “Believer”. I think you will agree, SuperForest, that any song that says “…stand tall, I’m a believer…” describes all of us in this community in one way or another.

Please enjoy the musical stylings of the Kris Orlowski Band and their newest song, “Believer”, followed by a really rad little ditty called “Mountains” where Kris and the guys sing with some friends, one of whom is the madly talented and soulful Allen Stone.

I love you, SuperForest! Do share what you’ve been up to so far in 2014 and what music YOU are listening to?

Yours in love with music,

SuperForester Heather

 

-Deep Inhale-

-Exhilarating exhale-   Hello, SuperForest. Good to be here again, as I still am, thank Love. The first post I ever made on this site I made in 2010 before I was an adult. I’m twenty years old now. I have depression. I’m angry, and tired, and if you go through all of my posts you see that manifesting slowly and slowly before you’ll notice I just stopped writing here. Angrily. Being angry and hateful is not fun, to say the absolute least about it. Trying to outrun a mental illness is impossible as it is unforgiving. But I am. I am, after all, a superhero. I knew I used to be happy and I used to be someone who was full of light and full of love and gosh darn it that does NOT just disappear. But it was hidden for a while, and it’s still a mighty fight to try and find it again. But today I did, and it was with your help, everyone. The site’s help, the people’s help, and just a little help from The Flaming Lips. As I get older I find authors and artists and bands and being a left-brained ding-a-ling, I tend to let and encourage art to be a enormous part of my personal development. So I found The Flaming Lips, and they’re rad. And they made a song, I’ll let you look it up, but the song is called “What Is the Light?” The full title, actually, is “What Is the Light?” (“An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical [In Our Brains] by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the “Big Bang” That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)” Read that and know it, and when you know it, maybe it might just make sense. I don’t believe in God. I do believe in Love. As an energy. And in a way all believers or non believers know this thing of love, and that is the true essence of what it is they believe in and praise. Love, in the form of X Y or Z. Christ, Vishnu, Satan, Zeus, Trees, Joe Pesci, I don’t even care (I do.) The point is… All we ever do that we enjoy doing, we do out of love. Love is our drive. Love is that which keeps us going, LITERALLY. Love of food makes us eat. You say its the sensation of hunger? I say there is an untested hypothesis suggesting that the chemical in our brains by which we are able to experience the sensation of being in love is the same chemical which, in its absence, gives us the feeling of being hungry. So yeah. We eat because we’re hungry but people ignore the Love aspect of that. We get hungry…because we love to eat. If we, our bodies, didn’t love to eat, we wouldn’t ever be hungry. Love is craving and giving, love is drive. Forgive me, I’m very tired as I write this very complicated concept. What I want to convey to everyone, and to begin…No, CONTINUE doing from a point I left off on is to love everything. No, no. Seriously. Love everything. No, I’m SERIOUS. Love EVERYTHING. Everything in your life, love it, even a little teeny tiny bit because I can guarantee you there is indeed something to love about everything in life. Don’t go throwing examples at me because hey, I’m just crawling out of a loveless pit here, but I know it. We do what we do out of love. The more we love, the more we do. I’m not being light on the mayo here, I’m not just saying “find something positive” in everything in your life, no, I’m saying love it. People tell me if we were to do this, love would lose its value and oh my Love, just TYPING that made me nauseous because the very concept of love losing its value is almost absurd enough to make it funny enough to make me want to puke. Perhaps this is only a message to myself, reminding me that I need to Love more things more deeply than I do, but hey, just like that ceiling tile in my old high school, someone will find this. And start a path.

Jackson said…

“What is this site, you may ask? What purpose could these words and images serve?” —————————————————————————————————————————- My answer is – I don’t know. What I do know is that when I type “superforest.org” in my web browser, I smile before I press Enter. I smile because I know that I am going to read something (whether old or new) that is going to put me in a better mood. Period. It is going to help me keep a fresh perspective on things. It makes me remember the awesome, crazy, random phone calls and voice mails with Jackson. It is going to make me remember why I originally bought a “Zero One Oklahoma”. I love this site. It doesn’t matter if there is another post on it ever again – as long as the domain is active – I will visit it. Love you guys, Matt BTW – Natalie’s post from a few days ago was awesome.

Natalie’s Journal: Divineness, Society, & Me

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(Jon Marro)

Hello Dearest SuperForest. It has been awhile. The last time I wrote here I was beginning a rather large journey. It has been dominating my life since then. A full year and a half. I wish I could say there have been more ups than downs, but there haven’t been. While the up of sharing with the world a truer form of myself is wonderful, it sadly–in our present society–comes with large costs. And SuperForest itself has also seen some changes, one’s that have led to quieter halls. I feel like I can relate all too well. While my last year and half has been packed full of adventure, new people, new experiences, it has also led me to this present moment. In this moment I feel alone. As with all things in life, there were many reasons I stopped writing on SuperForest for the past year and a half. So many that I won’t be going into all of them, but what I will go into is why I am writing now. Like I was saying, the state of SuperForest and myself feel connected. This isn’t to say my life is wound intricately with that of SuperForest, but that I find, upon reflection, that we (SuperForest & I) are in similar states of being. If you are a reader of SuperForest, you very well may not recognise this author. I assure you I have been involved with SuperForest for quite awhile now. If you were to go through my previous posts you will find another name associated with them, and in that moment you may find a little light bulb going off (or perhaps a series of question marks). But to save you the trouble, a year and a half ago I came out as trans*. The way I choose to explain this is that I had a moment of courage, self-awareness, sadness, exhaustion, and lack of patiences. This cocktail led to me finally declaring that most of my being identifies as a woman (beings are quite complicated and as such gender, sexuality, and life in general are rather impossible to define in whole terms), always have, always will. Most people would identify me as a trans* person because at birth I was identified as male; however, I get quite exhausted with all the terminology and boxing (part of why I am writing now, I will get to more of that later). Don’t mistake this as a lack of pride, I am incredibly proud of who I am, and the choices I have made. Rather it is a declaration that I choose to define myself, not let society do it for me. I will also add that in my experience who I am has hardly changed. What has changed is other peoples’ perceptions of me. To me, I have always been me. The awakening and declaration of my “womanhood” felt natural and old. To those around me it was sudden, bizarre, alien, new, different, scary, gross, enlightening, among other things. I really can’t stress this enough (and it applies to all people in all relationships), hardly does an individual feel they change (or actually change), more often they express an aspect of themselves that they were afraid to share for a plethora of reasons (sometimes they weren’t aware they had the aspect in them; google Johari’s Window). The difficulties that arise from individuals choosing to express these aspects of their being is that the people who “know” them are taken aback and have to revaluate their own perceptions about that person, themselves, and perhaps society. Ok, now that I have said that, I will also say I didn’t come out as trans*. I came out 1) as myself 2) as a woman. Please keep in mind this is my experience, but it is one that I believe is important because often times I feel that terms and identities are thrust onto people. While I have experiences, and can relate, to many things that are considered “trans,” I never intended to. This is an important distinction between intention and reality, especially when it concerns the LGBT community, but also for many identities. SuperForester Jackson once shared the imagery of taking off many different hats, each with a different identity on them. He was caught off guard by how many he never chose to put on, but rather society did for him (for extra reading about society creating the individual, rather than the other way around, give “Discipline and Punish” by Foucault a read). This is how I often feel about the term trans*. For me (again my experience here), I never chose to take that term/identity on. I simply shared who I was and am (Natalie, the loving individual whose mind understood her body to have gotten lost somewhere is the cosmic flux of time and space this time around the journey life). I have had to learn (and continue to learn) to accept the term, and find a way to treat it with love and dignity (let’s face it, it isn’t exactly a term that we are taught to cherish, seek, or worship). I share all of this because I am seeing a phenomena that is scar(r)ing me. Since coming out I have been very active in the LGBTQIIA/social justice arena. What have I found? That people who are trying to allow themselves to breath free their identities are creating similar structures, rules, and classifications for what it means to be LGBTQIIA that greater society are creating for terms like “citizen,” “educated,” “white,” “American,” “civilised,” etc. That scares the crap out of me. And, honestly, has led to me dropping out of every organization I was involved with at my school and in my immediate region (L.A.). Not only have I experienced environments that tell people they need to be and/or act a certain way in order to be “gay,” “lesbian,” “trans,” “gender variant,” “bisexual,” and more, but I have also seen exclusion and divisiveness toward those who don’t identify as LGBT. What I mean by this is that all too often LGBT spaces that are created are hostile towards a straight and/or cis-gendered person being present. Ok, the reason for this maybe sound, namely it is for safety. Spaces need to exist that allow people to share themselves and feel safe and honoured in the process. I absolutely agree, but does this have to come at the cost of keeping out people who want to be there because they care? If the goal is to create, as I understand it to be, to create safe spaces for people to share their personal experiences and identities can’t we do that and accept all people into it? If the space is created and honoured through certain values (love, kindness, thoughtfulness, etc.) isn’t it more powerful to share that space with someone who isn’t LGBT than to exclude them? In my experience it is. I understand the value of certain identity spaces, but I find there to be a over reliance on them, and I find that it is creating a hostile atmosphere. That kind of atmosphere turns away people who may have never met a gay or trans* person before, it may even scare away someone who has yet to affirm their own identity. I can say that, well, because it has scared me away. And what I think scares me most, is how a lot of this would (and perhaps will) receive a lot of hostile reactions. I think this will be because people often see this type of criticism as being personal; however, I intend it as more of a greater social observation. LGBT spaces (the spaces that are suppose to be open and freeing) are making similar, if not the same, mistakes that our greater society has made, is making, and will make. I want to change that. How? No clue. To me, it all goes back to the basics. And that brings me back to SuperForest. The genius of SuperForest is that it is the basics. How to save the human race? Please and Thank You. How easy it is to forget those words. How easy it is to convince ourselves things are more complicated than that. But kindness, truly does rule, if we let it. That is a big if I find. If you read this and feel squeamish or scared about me being queer, about comprehending LGBT topics, about complete acceptance because you’re not sure you “can go quite accept that type of person,” welcome to the club. Denying those feelings is denying our deep social conditioning. And really that is a big, big, BIG first step. Realising the things in life that makes us go “meehhhh, that it just weird,” is a step towards healing. The next step is redefining. We love defining things, it makes our brains feel so much better. That .01% (if not less) of each homo sapiens sapiens that is different from the next is critical to us. And it should be, but not for the reasons most of us use. Society teaches us to use it as a divider. Me and you (forget about the physics that tells us that we are all actually constantly connected) are separate entities, and therefore I must discern how and what makes you different. Hello self-esteem. Hello ego. One of my goals is to turn that concept on its head. My and your uniqueness (that .01%) is celebratory. It is incomparable. My soul’s understanding of my mind and body is my own, and doesn’t compare to anyone else’s. I can try to compare it, but it just leads to exhaustion and sadness. And it is a lot harder than I just made it sound. But that is why we are here, together. Society, in its current form, is divisive. It thrives from sectioning. Our bodies, I believe, do not thrive from it. But there is little I can do about it. I can write these words, ramble a bit, and hope someone might just appreciate it. Maybe they will see that my experience in LGBT spaces applies to all spaces. That our exclusionary efforts are tearing our souls apart. That our visual discrimination (literally using our eyesight) is dissecting all of us, and it hurts. It is hurting me. By choosing to be who I am I have become one of lowest citizen’s in society. On the news I see other’s like me getting raped, beaten, and murdered, all while getting dragged through the mud by the media. I wake up everyday wondering if this will be the one where I get harassed, beaten, or worse. I want to say I am lucky to have yet experience anything physical, though I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been harassed, hurt, beaten, shamed, and abused verbally at some point. Ironically, most of that has been done by people who say they love me. Which isn’t to say they don’t love me, but more of how strong all the conditioning is (because I have done those things to myself as well, own worst enemy and all that). It is impossible for me to know whether people who look at me are looking through me, enjoying me, or completely disgusted by me. And it doesn’t really matter what they are thinking, it is the exercise of wondering every time that wears me down. And I am privileged not only in comparison to other LGBT, especially T, people, but also compared to most of the world. For all the crap I have to deal with I still get the benefits of being white, college educated, financially secure, having a family, having food, water, and a home. I even get to have kitten who loves me. Yet, it still isn’t right. And because of that I will fight. I will fight for all people to have the opportunity to be understood, for all people to have the choice of expressing their uniqueness, and for simple kindness. I won’t promise I will be writing again soon, but I will if and when I need to. As I attempt to actualise some of my ideas I may update you, I may not. But if you made it this far, good on ya! If you skipped to the end, well…you missed some good stuff, I think. Either way, you are a gift. Natalie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBpdcDQG6Tc

SuperForest Revampalicious!

464604_10201143215930401_604690944_o Gooooooood Morning SuperForest! Spam comments, writerly inactivity, and a general feeling of blah seem to have crept in and set up shop at this url. What is this site, you may ask? What purpose could these words and images serve? I myself have wondered that very thing multiple times a day since the site was created. At first, the site was a place for me to store inspiring tidbits. In its “Team SuperForest” incarnation, SF was a rallying point for a motivated group of netters who wanted to connect and share and were excited about the “I am the environment meme.” What it is now is anybody’s guess. So, let’s take it apart, examine the pieces, and put it all back together again! The problem with SuperForest in its current incarnation is simple: It has no leader and thus no coherent point of reference. At one point in time, I was the leader and spent many, many hours online, sitting in front of a glowing box, uploading and downloading words and pictures. I no longer spend much time online. Online means indoors, looking at a box. I much prefer outside, in the garden, in the sun, putting plants in the ground and dealing with my new and improved SuperForest Social Network (aka, the people and things I see and encounter every single day.) Gone are the days when I organized virtually. Now, I organize actually. Melissa and I spend the majority of our waking hours organizing

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the physical manifestation of the SuperForest, now called Stellar Gardens. Meant as both a tribute and a life raft for our daughter Stellar, Stellar Gardens is what you would get if you took the Humanifesto really, really, seriously, and actively made the environment an extension of yourself. That means we’ve bought a five acre piece of land and are using it to create, refine, and share the techniques used to do it yourself. That means sharing this land with a number of families. That means creating a big old chunk of crazy and watching as it self-assembles into a working prototype. The work is still very much in progress. Since I am no longer a digital ringleader and have transitioned to physical ringleader, the site has languished. Great word: LANGUISHED. Here’s what I’ma gonna do: Re-define things! SuperForest is now going to be a site were we aggregate and share the behaviors we develop at Stellar Gardens. In addition, a new Humanifesto will update the document I wrote in 2000-ish to include all that I’ve learned in the past several years. When I wrote the Humanifesto, the SuperForest was a mere concept. I’ve since seen that SuperForesting is real and has real results. The site will show people the results of the behaviors that accompany SuperForesting. The site will lead the curious and interested to Stellar Gardens, where, if one so desires, one can come to learn firsthand our techniques for bridging the gap between consumerism and regenerative living. The chasm is wide, but not insurmountable, and we can help. Team SuperForest will now mean anyone who has read the site and is in any way sympathetic to the cause. Participation will not be required. One can be a SuperForester and not even know it. To become an elite within the known echelon of SuperForesters will require taking part in the creation of an actual piece of the SuperForest. Whether that “taking part” happens at Stellar Gardens or at an as yet undetermined piece of land is up to each SuperForester. So: SuperForest becomes the note on the bulletin board telling you that school has been dismissed early. Stellar Gardens becomes the forest that we laugh and play in as we re-learn how to be human beings in the absence of meta-cultural/familial conditioned responses. There is a way out. Shoots, there are MANY ways out. If you want to exit, we can help. The other side is brighter and more fun than anything you can imagine. If it seems lonely at first, it’s probably because most SuperForesters are outside in their gardens, not clacking away online. Soon the edges of the gardens will begin to meet. Already we’re seeing certain trends and patterns emerge: aquaculture, hugelkultur, permaculture, air lifts, passive water heaters, rocket stoves, community creation, emotional responsibility, Universalism. All these patterns are there for those with the eyes to see them. This site should lead you physically to Stellar Gardens, and Stellar Gardens should lead you emotionally back to the SuperForest. Question: How do you cool down a rapidly heating planet, steaming in a aerial broth of CO2? Answer: Plant a shit ton of trees and plants. Question: How do you encourage people to stop consuming and start producing (aka planting trees and plants?) Answer: Point out how numbing, boring, destructive, and stupid-making consumerism is, while simultaneously highlighting the joys of SuperForesting. Game on. 965882_10201136938533470_372474547_o

Heather’s Journal: Be Brave, SuperForest.

Heyo SuperForesters Everywhere! How are things? I know…busy, crazy busy, insanely busy. We’re all just busy little bees these days. But, maybe “busy” is just the new “fine”. Just a quick go-to phrase to answer someone without really answering them, to look important ,or to say to that person, “I don’t really know what to say to you right now.” Sometimes I get the urge to really answer someone when they ask, “How are you?” Sometimes I want to scream and say, “I’M HAVING A BAD DAY, OKAY???” and sometimes I want to smile and say, “I just spent half an hour watching cat videos on YouTube, so I’m puuurfect! How are YOU?” Things have been busy with me but they’ve also been lazy, weird, procrastinate-y and awesome! I’ve been listening to my body and improving my health, writing a coffee table book (will share soon!), watching lots of movies and making travel plans. I’ve been hanging out with friends, eating oysters and drinking wine, and having my photo taken by friends. I’ve been writing more and exercising more and doing all kinds of rad things, but let’s be honest…like you I still have crappy days when the shadows win. These past couple of weeks I’ve been pretty shadowy but I’ve been trying to pay attention to the little reminders here and there to focus on the positive, smile and not worry. It makes me wonder how many of us get caught up in our own cobwebs and forget how awesomesauce we are! That the world is just waiting for what WE are going to DO, what WE are going to SAY. Apropos of this message, I shall share the beautiful words and music of Ms. Sara Bareilles, a woman who is quickly rising the charts as my fantasy BFF right after Drew Barrymore. Look out, Drew! All jokes aside, there are powerful words in this song that I know I’m better for having heard (and some pretty badass dancers). Watch this video and enjoy it, then listen to it once more to hear the words. And like I plan to do, I hope you cut yourself some slack, remind yourself that you have a unique voice and ability, and OWN your awesomeness. And don’t forget to be BRAVE. Yours saying what I wanna say, SuperForester Heather

Absolutely Definitely Positive

Howdy. Aloha. All is good and good is All. I haven’t been around, no surprise. I’ve been falling into at least 70 pits a day caused by either college or my boyfriend, or people. People. Funny how we group us all as one thing, People, and then divide us using that. Black people, white people, skinny people, fat people, transgendered people, normal people, freaky people, stupid people. I started paying attention to the most negative parts of the world, and oh, are there a lot of them. They’re boundless, they’re everywhere. Stories of the worst possible things a person can imagine, and then stories worst than that; and they’re TRUE. And that’s just what we hear about! Who knows the merciless things that happen BACKSTAGE in this whole life play thing. And for a while I consumed it, heavily, like it was bloody, fascist ice cream. I payed attention to nothing BUT that. And I found myself slowly getting depressed. And then angry. And then for a while, I actually felt like I hated the world. Hated it, yes, a strong word, but I meant it and I felt it. I was sick of everything and everyone, sick of the lies and the sheer lack of justice and mercy. It was unhealthy and it was getting me nowhere but deeply buried into the lifeless dirt that I surrounded myself with. I forgot what it was that made me happy. I tried to remember, tried so desperately. Was it this person? Was it that activity? Was it this song? Was it having a clean house, was it the way I used to eat? Should I change the way I look or talk? Why aren’t I happy!? I knew I was at some point, darn it, the SuperForest bookmark on my laptop reminds me that I very much was! Bingo. I visited this site again. And next to it I have Jason Mraz’s fabulous online blog, without which, I never would have climbed out of those claws of hatred and negativity. Because despite the muck in the world, despite my feelings of powerlessness and smallness against everything evil I see around me, I have one thing, one undeniable thing I can hold on to and use not as a weapon, but as a catalyst of growth and progress. Positivity. Being positive. Thinking positive and looking at it. I was browsing through Mraz’s journal and your posts and I heard the voice of the All speaking to me and it said “There’s beautiful things in the world. You forgot that. Remember them now, expose yourself to them. As much as you can.” In this world, it’s all I can do. I’m a tiny little girl, but in spirit, I am a bear. And I will demonstrate that. I will love my fellow man and I will connect with everything around me in a positive light. No more anger and anguish. Love and light. And thank you all for making it so easy to remember, no matter how lost I get.  

Ewa’s Journal: Be the future

Thoroughly beautiful lady Audrey Hepburn and her inspirational words … Be brave. Believe in your future. Give it

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a chance to make your time on earth an unforgettable experience:) love, e. au via  

Jackson’s Journal – The Delicate Diaphanous Dance

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Oh, this hilarious thing called life! This short rocket ship ride from end to end of the existence spectrum. Great, great fun. To build community is my heart’s desire. To see my child surrounded by other children and to watch this pack of dancing, happy, laughing children careen from adult to adult learning and growing and being children together. And why should this not succeed? It is not such a grand wish. A simple wish. To have a piece of land to call my home and to live there and be there and put my love and my energy into the soil. This is not such a very big wish. I should like this wish to come true. It would mean a great deal to me. I have been so incredibly lucky in this life! To be born into this nice, straight, upright body, capable and quick, and to have the upbringing I did and the advantages I have enjoyed has been wonderful. I have enjoyed it. It would bring me greater enjoyment to share it. I have been around the world, guest to many people in many countries. I’ve been so lucky. To see people in their homes, around their friends, laughing and being people,

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all over the world. We are all so very alike. I want to build a piece of art on the land. An explosion of color and sound. I want

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this art to be a performance art piece involving everything and everyone on the land. I want this piece to have no clear objective, no set ending, no real rules other than this one: Be very happy and choose love. What sort of world would happy, laughing, loving people create for themselves? What would they ask of their surroundings? How would they dance with the raw land? That is the question that excites me. What sort of world would happy loving people create for themselves? YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Jackson

The Sticky Human Conundrum – How Hot Water Worshippers Will Save the World

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.25.56 PM Good Morning SuperForest, In the three years that I’ve been playing the community creation/permaculture game, I’ve noticed one very important through line: water. Specifically, the shared access to clean, hot water. Hot water and how it is distributed is the number one factor in the success or failure of a community, and on a larger level a society as a whole. Here’s why… We humans are very good at leaking. We pee, we poo, we shed hair, we shed skin flakes. A great deal of the dust in our homes is made up of our dead skin particles. Our bodies are, let’s face it, smelly, sticky, often leaking things, and we must deal with that fact from the day we attain self-awareness to the day we die. But our cities and the machinery that surrounds us are not based on this basic fact. They are based on the needs and desires of a consumer driven society. A society where you travel from home to work to grocery store to place of recreation and entertainment. But imagine for a second that all four of those places were the same place. Your home was your work, your work was your grocery store, your very home was a place of vast unending entertainment. You could, if you liked, remain comfortably and happily within the borders of your home all the live long day and still get time outside and in the garden. Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.33.30 PM Obviously in this new paradigm we are using creative definitions of words like “home”, “work”, “grocery store”, etc. But let’s follow it through and see where it leads, and what it has to do with hot water. Imagine a society based around two ideas: 1. That fresh, clean, drinkable water was our most precious resource. 2. That every human had, by simple fact of birth, equal right to consume and access this water. OK, now let’s add to this freaky new society the data that we’ve gleaned on humans and their needs, namely that they need to drink clean water, irrigate with reasonably clean water, wash clothing and bedding, and use water for myriad industrial/manufacturing uses. We see that this new water worshipping society would have some interesting design challenges on their hands. How do you factor in the need of humans to essentially pollute the water they come into contact with with the idea that water is precious, holy, necessary and must be kept clean to be useful? The answer of course is creative design! The answer in this case is in the integration with the human system of the garden system. Combine the human needs with the garden’s needs and everybody wins! It could work like this: You wake up, you get out of bed and go into the shower. The shower runs a mixture of recycled filtered water and filtered rainwater. Both of these were collected, stored, and filtered by the building you live in. The shower rinses your body clean and the water mixed with your sweat, skin, hair, fluids, and biodegradable soap flows through a grey water system which uses passive gravity and plant based systems to simply and effectively clean this water. You see, plants absolutely love things like pee, sweat, and soap bubbles. All the things that humans produce are what plants crave, and happily all the things plants produce are what humans crave, namely: food! Our mutual need for water unites us in a loop of self-reinforcing mutualism. Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.31.39 PM The recycled water from your shower filtered through a grey water system that uses plants, microbes, and passive materials like sand and gravel to clean it. The water is then used in the laundry system, and then recycled once more into the garden. In permaculture we call this function stacking; in this case the function we are stacking is share and clever use and re-use of water. The simplicity of the system is delightful. From human to garden to human to garden, as long as the water passes from one to the next in the proper sequence, the theoretical yield of this wonderfully precious water is limitless. We could conceivably design our buildings (i.e. homes) to collect, store, filter, heat and distribute hot water. Our buildings could also house our gardens, baths, kitchens, and laundry systems. All systems that we humans share that require the use of water must be consolidated and streamlined with an eye towards creative re-use and shared access. Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.36.38 PM Indeed, in order to succeed as a society, we must now set about changing our consumer based living system to a clean water based living system. In order to do it, we need a critical mass of people to remove themselves from the consumer machine and create a viable life outside of it, a life based on the two ideas of the preciousness of water, and the inalienable right of every human being to access it. Will you be one of the ones that breaks away? Will you opt out? There are ways to live outside of the system that are amazing and thrilling. The old ways are ending and new ways are needed. The old ways got us here, thank them, praise them, now let’s move forward. We have wonderful bodies that have needs. Our needs as a species are not being met by our current system, and so we need a system that works. That system will be based on these two ideas. In a nutshell, that’s what three years of first hand study have taught me. You can reduce this incredibly complex issue down to that simple equation. Clean hot water; do you have it, and where did you get it? It is an entirely new world. I love you. Have fun. -Jackson Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.49.59 PM