You are here:

  • Home
  • /
  • Welcome to Empowered Thinking
Welcome to 

Personal Skills

Empowered Thinking for deep change

Introduction

Where Practical Skills have to do with hands on things like growing food, nutrition, and healthcare, the Personal Skills essays on A Real Green Life are about caring for our inner selves. 

In these posts, I explore our assumptions about our selves and our purpose in the world, ideas for reclaiming our sovereignty as individuals, and building our capacity to care more effectively for whatever needs our care.

 I get into how our ways of thinking, being, and relating shape our lives and our world. 

I also get into how we can develop our ability to live a self-directed life (as opposed to a life directed by things outside our selves, including but not limited to the consumer culture that surrounds us). 

I'm particularly talking to you if you are someone who finds yourself experiencing feelings like depression, overwhelm, impotence, grief, rage, or guilt.

Why? Because feelings like these are a healthy response to the overwhelming nature of the ecological and social crises we are collectively facing. They're also a healthy response to the individual circumstances many of us have grown up in, or find ourselves in now. If the world is feeling hugely "wrong" to you, its not because there's anything wrong with YOU!

I don't have solutions to the dilemmas we humans face, but I do have hope. I don't have answers, but I do have questions -- and I passionately believe that the questions we ask shape the answers we receive.

There are no quick fixes here. Instead, my aim is to acknowledge the frustration, grief, and despair that sometimes must precede hope and possibility...

... and also to share stories, perspectives, prompts, insights, and resources that I find  helpful and hopeful.

May these offerings bring help and hope to you, too.

Use the Table of Contents or scroll down to explore the Post Collections. Some posts appear in more than one Collection.

RECENT and FEATURED Posts

Post Collection: BUILDING PERSONAL SOVEREIGNTY

Parenting yourself to keep "growing up" is not easy; in fact it's the hardest work you'll ever do. It's also far and away the most important and useful work you'll ever do, both for your own personal benefit and for everything you care about in the World.

This category of posts explores ways to keep growing emotionally and spiritually, to become more aware, empowered, present, and engaged. As you do, you'll become better able to hold space for reconciliation, healing, repair, and possibility - within yourself and also in the world around you.

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.

Post Collection: RECONNECTING

This collection of posts explores how we can reconnect with each other, with ourselves, and with nature, including our own inner guidance and the natural cycles of life.

"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 idea that we live in something called 'the environment' is utterly preposterous... The world that environs us, that is around us, is also within us. We are made of it; we eat, drink, and breathe it; it is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh."  ~ Wendell Berry 

We all have an inner life — an inner “garden.” When we neglect it, the useful, beautiful things in it whither and diminish, and the weeds take over. This post shares ways to help your inner garden thrive by tending it in alignment with Nature’s seasons.

New Beginnings in the Garden of You

Spring​ is the time to look at the “seeds” or intentions we’ve been gestating over winter, to choose those with the best chances of surviving and thriving, and to let go of the rest of them. As in the garden, so in our inner lives. ​Otherwise, ​your coming “growing season” ​may be filled with too ​much stuff, or with stuff that isn’t serving you. And if it isn’t serving you then it also won’t be serving your world, which is an extension of you.

First Day of Spring (Southern Hemisphere)

The lunar cycle offers us a template for reconnecting to Nature and living in more balanced, regenerative ways. In this post: lunar cycle and full moon concepts I’ve been learning about, along with the journal prompts I use at the time of the Full Moon.

What will the Full Moon Reveal for You?

Welcome to Personal SkillsEmpowered Thinking for deep change Page Contents IntroductionRECENT and FEATURED PostsPost Collection: BUILDING PERSONAL SOVEREIGNTYPost Collection: RECONNECTINGPost Collection: EMPOWERED THINKINGSeries of 4 Posts: OUT-GROWING CONSUMERISMSeries of 10 Posts: WHEN NOTHING YOU CAN DO MAKES A DIFFERENCE IntroductionWhere Practical Skills have to do with hands on things like growing food, nutrition, and healthcare, the

Welcome to Empowered Thinking

Post Collection: EMPOWERED THINKING

The Inner Critic is here to stay. But it doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety and overwhelm. Here are 4 steps for making it your ally.

Anxiety and Overwhelm: is This What’s Triggering Them?

Science is when someone asks nature a specific question and receives a specific answer. Science is ALSO when a bunch of fallible human beings all interact with each other in complicated ways to finally agree on what scientific theories they will then present to the rest of the world.

What if the Science Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story?

Choices are like coins – they always have two sides, and both sides stack up in terms of the direction we’re going.

Where Are Our Choices Taking Us?

The Inner Critic is here to stay. But it doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety and overwhelm. Here are 4 steps for making it your ally.

Anxiety and Overwhelm: is This What’s Triggering Them?

Science is when someone asks nature a specific question and receives a specific answer. Science is ALSO when a bunch of fallible human beings all interact with each other in complicated ways to finally agree on what scientific theories they will then present to the rest of the world.

What if the Science Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story?

Series of 4 Posts: OUT-GROWING CONSUMERISM

The consumer culture has a straight and narrow path with "parental figures" to keep us on it: globalized corporations (manipulating us into states of endless desire for "more"), and well-meaning government institutions (holding our hands and relieving us of all personal responsibility). 

This path leads us into a form of juvenile dependency that may last our whole lives. 

On this dependency treadmill, consumers spend their life pursuing the dopamine hits that come with each new thing, each bigger, shinier, faster widget that will surely, at last, bring peace of mind and happiness.

Who in their right mind would live a life like this on purpose?

There is another path.

It leads to increasing self-actualization and self-determination, and decreasing reliance on experts, institutions, and the short-term quick fixes that drive the consumer economy.  

You can read the posts in this Series one at a time by scrolling down, or...  

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

Out-Growing Consumerism 1: What Should Never Have Been For Sale

Better questions lead to more informed choices, enabling you to live a life designed by you rather than one that’s handed to you as a member of the consumer culture.

Out-Growing Consumerism 2: An Act of Subversion

If you choose to keep growing as an adult, you’ll become increasingly self-actualized and self-reliant, and less dependent on corporate providers. This is very BAD NEWS for the growth economy, which is why no profit-focused corporation will ever fund government policies to encourage the public to behave like this.

Out-Growing Consumerism 3: A Self-determined Life

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

Out-Growing Consumerism 1: What Should Never Have Been For Sale

Better questions lead to more informed choices, enabling you to live a life designed by you rather than one that’s handed to you as a member of the consumer culture.

Out-Growing Consumerism 2: An Act of Subversion

You can read the posts in this Series one by one, or download the entire Series as a free PDF. 

Series of 10 Posts: WHEN NOTHING YOU CAN DO MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Have you ever felt that you're existing in an uneasy state that switches back and forth between mild concern, alarm, and/or a feeling of numbness or avoidance? “I’ll do what I can, and when I don't know what to do I’ll try not to think about it.”

  • What can we do to make a difference—in our own personal lives and for the many issues we care about?
  • Where should we focus our efforts, assuming we have any spare time and energy to focus with?
  • What can we do to help ourselves if we have no spare time and energy?
  • Is it selfish or wrong to want to live a meaningful, satisfying life personally, when so much is going on in the world around us?
  • Is it enough to be working to raise a family, to get off the consumption treadmill, and to make some small difference in our own little sphere of influence, enough?

This 10-part Series of articles came out of my search for answers to questions like these, and for the strategies I needed to make my answers stick. Here's what I found:

  • hope and perspective,
  • distinctions and strategies for making more of a difference in your own personal life,
  • and why I think that taking care of your own “small” stuff, is a viable way of also doing your part to take care of our Earth.

I haven't found all the answers far from it. And the strategies I've found don't always work (actually they do, but I forget to use them). I'm definitely the one who most needs to apply the lessons I write about in this Series. 

But this stuff does work better than what I was doing before. With each rinse and repeat it gets easier, the possibilities expand, and each time I'm ready to stumble forward the next step reveals itself.

I hope that reading this Series will be as helpful for you as writing it has been for me...

You can read the posts in this Series one at a time by scrolling down, or...  

(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?

There is Only One Place to Begin

(2nd in a Series) Here is a way of looking at even the really big challenges that breaks them down to a manageable size.

One Moment at a Time

(3rd in a Series) How to focus your energy where you can be most effective, rather than wasting it on things that you cannot make any difference to.

Are You Acting on Life or Is Life Acting on You?

(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?

There is Only One Place to Begin

(2nd in a Series) Here is a way of looking at even the really big challenges that breaks them down to a manageable size.

One Moment at a Time

You can read the posts in this Series one by one, or download the entire Series as a free PDF. 

>