Thinking Differently

There is only ever one starting point

The only part of the equation you can control is your own response to it.

To really make a difference to anything, and for that difference to stick, you need to start with the only thing you have any real power over – yourself

It may seem counter-intuitive, but by prioritizing your self and your own habits of thought and action, you hone the most important tool you have for working on whatever matters to you. 

Your identity, ideology and worldview determine the thoughts you think, which determine how you experience the world and how you are able to influence it.

We won't succeed in solving the challenges we face by continuing with the same kinds of thinking that caused them."

Albert Einstein

Thinking Differently on ARealGreenLife

"What-to-do" and "how-to-do-it" are more useful if you also know "who-I-am" and "why-I'm-doing-it."

On other green living blogs you'll find lots of "what-to-do" and "how-to-do-it." These are very helpful, and I join the chorus in my Sustainable Living topic archive.  

But how-to's, I believe, are secondary. 

In my opinion, "what-to-do" and "how-to-do-it" become much more useful tools for real change if we couple them with "who-I-really-am" and "why-I'm-doing-it."

The better you know yourself and understand your habits of thought and behavior, the more effective you'll be at augmenting the useful habits and letting go of the rest.

If you're aware of the influences on your thinking, you can choose to either "keep listening," or "switch channels" to something that's more supportive of who you want to be and how you want to live.

This topicThinking Differentlyis where I explore the ideology that gives rise to the kind of world we live in, who we think we are and how much power we think we have in the world. 


Thinking Differently Collections

Use the links to jump to a post collection. Some links will take you to other pages; others will take you to a post collection below. Articles often appear in more than one collection.

When Nothing You Can Do Makes a Difference

Out-Growing Consumerism


Growing Up - For Adults

(Back to post collections)

Parenting yourself is the most important work you'll ever do. 

You can't wait till you're perfect before you show up and take action, but you can be gentle with yourself, commit to your own growth and learningbe mindful of what influences your thinking, and consciously choose how you will respond to the world around you.

This collection includes:

The fabric of wholeness that once gave us a sense of purpose and belonging—connecting us into a web of responsibility, relationships and health among family, community and nature—has come undone.

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You don’t have to live a life and think thoughts that are just handed to you. You can continue growing indefinitely, crafting your own worldview and life-experiences, in an ongoing process of consciously “parenting yourself.”

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“Independent” individuals and nuclear families are artificially sustained by a fossil fuel dependent, growth-at-all-costs system that cannot last. The only viable alternative is to return to living in direct relationship with each other and with the web of life that can sustain us indefinitely, if we care for it as the extension of ourselves that it really is.

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You don’t have to be a passive recipient of the programming that surrounds you. You can BE the programmer.

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The story of our time says this is normal: to be chained to debt and schedules, to have no control over where our food originates, to be walled off from nature, and to be more connected to each other via screens than in person.

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Having monetized everything else, in order to keep growing the consumer economy now needs to monetize the space inside your head.

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Reconnecting...

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"It was in [a setting of belonging and connection] that we emerged as a species. Our profound feelings of lacking something are not a reflection of personal failure, but the reflection of a society that has failed to offer us what we were designed to expect."  
Francis Weller

The logical mind wants to muscle its way to the results we want; when muscle is inadequate to the task, we think we’ve failed and we’re out of options.
The heart, on the other hand, is not afraid to invoke the results we want by the quality of our attention and the power of our desire to give what we don’t physically have to give.

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How women, and older women in particular, can contribute to peace and well-being for families, communities, and the wider web of life.

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Logical, rational thinking understandably sees things as separate. ‘I am me; everything else is something “other” than me.’ There is another way to see things. Through a lens of interbeing, I am still me, but now I recognize that I’m closely related to everything that the mindset of separation calls “other.”

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In our culture, control and separation are given more importance than compassion and relationship.
To illustrate what I mean, here’s a comparison between the dominant approach to healthcare and the marginalized, “alternative” approaches.

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“Normal” is what we see around us all the time. “Natural” remembers the connection and belonging within which we emerged as a species. An absence of the connections that were natural for us leaves us uneasy, disorientated, and prone to suspicion and hostility.

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(1st in a Series) Everything we need to create a more just, alive, abundant and beautiful world exists today. Why aren’t we using it?

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Consumerism 

(Back to post collections)

A collection of rants about living in a culture that's consumed by consumerism.

"Consumerism is a dependency treadmill, on which we spend our lives pursuing the next new thing that will surely, at last, bring peace of mind and happiness."
~ Out Growing Consumerism


The fabric of wholeness that once gave us a sense of purpose and belonging—connecting us into a web of responsibility, relationships and health among family, community and nature—has come undone.

More...

You don’t have to live a life and think thoughts that are just handed to you. You can continue growing indefinitely, crafting your own worldview and life-experiences, in an ongoing process of consciously “parenting yourself.”

More...

“Independent” individuals and nuclear families are artificially sustained by a fossil fuel dependent, growth-at-all-costs system that cannot last. The only viable alternative is to return to living in direct relationship with each other and with the web of life that can sustain us indefinitely, if we care for it as the extension of ourselves that it really is.

More...

You don’t have to be a passive recipient of the programming that surrounds you. You can BE the programmer.

More...

The complex web of connections and consequences attached to our supermarket choices.

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The story of our time says this is normal: to be chained to debt and schedules, to have no control over where our food originates, to be walled off from nature, and to be more connected to each other via screens than in person.

More...

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Our Journey

(Back to post collections)

A series of articles about our family's journey from "normal" towards "real and green."

This collection shares where Alain and I came from, the experiences that shaped us, and the realizations that prompted us to jump ship from a globetrotting lifestyle in the Natural Horsemanship industry to become homeschooling parents and home grown food advocates. 

Our beginnings in rural Australia and a small town in Switzerland, our meeting in Colorado, USA, and our switch from Natural Horsemanship to a journey towards real and green.

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The fabric of wholeness that once gave us a sense of purpose and belonging—connecting us into a web of responsibility, relationships and health among family, community and nature—has come undone.

More...

The story of our time says this is normal: to be chained to debt and schedules, to have no control over where our food originates, to be walled off from nature, and to be more connected to each other via screens than in person.

More...

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