Emotional Intelligence Sets us Apart From Technology

When fresh information is presented to us that contradicts previously held beliefs, it can be hard to accept. This is why people experience “closed-mindedness” that can stand in the way of our personal and collective evolution. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility and ultimately character. We may need to learn to laugh at ourselves a little and delve into our emotions to make room for possibilities beyond our our currently held beliefs. Here’s some research that will inspire you to embrace emotional intelligence for your own well-being, and success!

Research in multiple fields of study show that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. According to Multiple Intelligences Theory, what we know might not be as important as understanding the ways that we learn. Emotional Intelligence Theory reminds us that possessing lots of knowledge may not lead to success if an individual does not have good interpersonal and social skills. Knowing how to lighten up and not take ourselves too seriously is a prerequisite.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

A Lust for Learning

Emotions motivate or suppress our behaviors. The emotion of depression may make us stay in bed all day and not give a crap about anything, whereas curiosity may cause us to read ten books. By cultivating the needed emotional state for learning through exercise, good diet, meditation, or yoga you will increase your creative muscle. The ability to perceive, use, and manage emotions isn’t at the top of the academic list of priorities but these skills are crucial to working in groups towards problem-solving, collaboration, and other forms of success.

We are not Meant to Work Like Machines…
We are Meant to Live like Humans.

Our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us, but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Mechanized inventions can do manual work for us which gives us an unprecedented opportunity to do other kinds of internal “work” and discovery. Our ancestors had very little time to explore what being human meant beyond survival. This is the invisible hand that not only shapes our thoughts and our culture, it is what gives us character.

Let’s build character!

Tiffany Shlain and Let it Ripple have a series of films that articulate this ongoing inquiry for Character Day which is an international campaign to tackle the human component of intelligence. Let It Ripple uses interactive films, discussion materials, as well as live and virtual events to engage people in conversations around complicated subjects like this. Crowd-sourcing ideas to make films (cloud-filmmaking) on topics that we can all relate to is a beautiful expression of inclusivity and collaboration. The Global Q & A utilizes Google where you can go and watch any number of experts explore what skills are needed to flourish in the 21st century.

(above) The Adaptable Mind by the Moxie Institute

Emotional Self-Awareness

Having an honest relationship, even a friendship with your full emotional spectrum is very important. Though we have social norms that require us to not show certain forms of anger, sorrow, jealousy and other shadow-emotions, it is still very important for us to express these in constructive ways. The ability to tune in to what another person is feeling and reflect that back to them with compassion is a very powerful and deep way to create connection. This can help you at work, and at home with your family.

Our emotional realms are complex and beautiful if we are willing to explore them in a safe space. We have the ability to create that safe space for ourselves and others by listening from the heart, not judging, and allowing stories to be told. This expression can also come in the form of art, music, poetry, it is a way to bring unconscious wounds out into the open. The end result is empowerment, healing, clarity, as well as increased creativity, compassion, and productivity.

What we know is always in flux, as we are constantly being re-informed and evolving. Personal resilience along with humor, compassion and humility will prove to be invaluable moving forward. Dig deep into your own character, embrace the emotional rainbow that is unique to your human condition and loosen up a little! Having an adaptable brain may be more important than having one that is full of knowledge…

Happiness is Letting Go of Outcomes

All of us have had to reconcile when things didn’t go our way, and sometimes that is more important than getting what we originally wanted. Somewhere in our past as children we learned that crying or pouting might just get us that candy bar in the store from Mom. The memory is still there and the urge to try this strategy as adults almost never seems to go away, but it does become less effective as we grow older. Let’s face it… more things seem to not go the way we want them to than actually the other way around, so maybe we can make this aspect of Murphy’s Law work in our favor.

If anything can go wrong, it will… – Murphy’s Law

It’s okay to poke fun at ourselves about it, and maybe occasionally we all need to sneak off and have a private temper tantrum but one of the most respectable things is to see someone handle misfortune gracefully. Grace isn’t about suppressing heart-ache or failure so much as it is about being present and honest about these things while holding your dignity. That’s why we always love stories about the underdog becoming triumphant and how we can empathize when they are not.

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Choosing to Love Louder

Many years ago my dear friend, Al was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor told him to enroll hospice care because he only had 6 months to live. He decided to ask the woman he loved to marry him, and began planning the wedding instead. After the honeymoon he went in to see his doctor and the cancer was in full remission, he couldn’t believe it, he was actually hoping to get a wrong diagnosis compensation but this wasn’t the case. He told me the story about 10 years later when his cancer had returned to claim his life. He had refused chemotherapy because he didn’t want to have a war going on in his body, he was open to what the cancer had come back to teach him.

He stayed at home during his last months, surrounded by friends until his final breath. I sat up with him once as the whole community took turns doing the hospice work with him. His body withered but he kept his spirit high. One night I jokingly asked him if he could play the part of a dying man for just a minute and he said that was the best joke he heard all day. He said to me:

10 years ago when cancer threatened me, I chose to love louder and it scared the cancer away. If it is coming to take me this time I will have had the last laugh because look at this wonderful party and all my friends coming every day to be with me.

He passed later that month but he must still be smiling because his wisdom continues to inspire everyone who knew him and now maybe you too. He was such a great example of grace in hard times. We’ve heard, “It is the journey not the destination” or “it’s not about winning or losing it’s about how you played the game” and so many other sayings. They have become so cliche’ that we often forget to embody them.

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Changing the World by Choosing Love over Fear

Right now our global community is waking up to the reality that there are potentially catastrophic changes coming to all of us due to climate disruption. With a massive story of unfavorable outcomes on the horizon we are being called more than ever to embody the spiritual wisdom that invites us to remain present, to love fearlessly, and cultivate compassion. This collective evolution in consciousness may reveal a blessing in disguise.

…it is possible to be at peace if you pierce through our false reality, which is based on the idea of life and death, to touch the ultimate dimension in Buddhist thinking, in which energy cannot be created or destroyed. By recognising the inter-connectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth. – Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

Naomi Klein has been showing us that this crisis may be a great opportunity to take a look at things that are not working and change our course in history. Pioneers like Bruce Lipton have illuminated how important it is for our creativity and health to choose love instead of fear as a lens through which we see the world. In my previous post, Will Humanity Choose Love or Fear I write about the science behind this revelation that also includes a profound native prophecy.

To the work you own the right, but not to the results thereof. – First Tenant of Karma Yoga, Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 47

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Happiness is Letting Go of Outcomes

Stress is almost always the result of fear, or worrying about outcomes. Peace almost always arises when we can be fully present in the moment. If we make now the destination then we will find that we are already here and outcomes in the future will mean a whole lot less. Right action is its’ own reward, we don’t need to chase dangling carrots.

We might not have this world as we know it forever, but right now the sun is still rising every morning. We have so much that we overlook as we gaze into the future. The solutions we seek may just present themselves effortlessly if we can become fully present and receptive in the moment. If the world ends tomorrow what will it matter if we didn’t take the time to enjoy it today?

*This article originally appeared on Uplift*

Why Imagination Matters

Allowing time each day for your awareness to drift into dreams and imagination is essential. Many of the realities we take for granted, like flying in airplanes, messaging friends on the internet, or talking on a cell phone all started in the realm of imagination and dreams. Yet in our busy lives we rarely allow the time and space to be informed by this inherent and mysterious aspect of our awareness. This resource within our brain is not only for artists and mystics, it can serve as a powerful, visionary, and therapeutic tool for each of us if we know how to work with it.

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One of my favorite books over the years is The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. It is more than a book, it is a way of life. The book contains exercises to open the creative mind that are proven to be successful for decades among artists of all types. A key component of the program is Morning Pages. It is an exercise in writing from a place of flow… no stopping to think, edit, or use correct grammar. Just tap into flow consciousness and see what emerges. I highly recommend the book to anyone wanting to learn this precious skill for opening the mind.

Another great article about opening up to the power inherent within dreams is by Anthony Colombo of Dreamspace called Why Sleep When You Can Dream Awake. Colombo introduces the powerful concept of incubation as a core component of dreamwork to inform and transform your life. He has also developed a powerful step-by-step process for incubating and recalling dreams while bringing conscious intention to personal dreamwork.

“Conscious incubation involves being mindful of what you tell yourself internally and what you expose yourself to in the world. These internally and externally generated experiences help shape or incubate the reality you will create during subsequent dreaming and waking states.”
– Anthony Colombo, Dreamspace

Opening up to the emergent is a process that is important for creative projects and collaboration. It means that you have to allow for the unknown, that you aren’t working from a set script, and are allowing yourself to be open to whatever emerges. For obvious reasons, this can be a tough skill to learn since we are used to setting up expectations and having some degree of control over outcomes. The creative process, dreams, and the realm of imagination often work in non-linear ways so be prepared for unexpected surprises!

Jason Silva has rocked the internet with his video rants that explode with inspiration like fireworks full of color. Jazz musicians do it when they improvise, free-style rappers do it with spoken word, visionary artists do it when they live-paint, there is a flowing river of creativity within our consciousness that all of us have access to… all we have to do is open up to it and let it come through. This takes a little practice but it may hold the keys to unlocking a better future for humanity!

“Creativity comes through you but not from you and though it is with you it belongs not to you.”
– Jason Silva


Imagination is key, our dreams hold much wisdom for us if we know how to listen. The ability to adapt, to tune in to the creative impulses, to invite conscious flow into our lives can have a profoundly transformative effect. Take a moment to step back from your schedule, from your expectations and watch the clouds slowly dance across the sky. Allow some space for the unexpected, the unscripted, and then watch the ways that you learn to flow and adapt with what arises.

It is clear that we face many issues as a species on planet earth, but throughout time we have always found a way to innovate and overcome the hurdles that we face. It may very well be that time again when we can no longer look to what has worked in the past but dream something new that will work for our future. Possibilities are endless!

Article originally appeared on UPLIFT

The World Needs Aloha

Beautiful beaches, rainbows, tropical fruits and epic hiking make Hawaii one of the worlds most popular tourist destinations. Simultaneously this small island chain represents a microcosm of global issues and a cultural tradition rich with solutions that can benefit communities around the planet. The word aloha is commonly understood to represent “I love you”, “hello”, and “goodbye” but it is much more than that. Aloha is a way of living that embraces the larger interconnected web of relationships surrounding us in nature along with our responsibility to be respectful custodians within this web of life. Currently this way of life is being threatened on the islands and all over the world so Hawaiians have embraced creative ways to re-awaken us all to the beauty that is possible.

Using Hawaiian language grammatical rules, we will translate this (aloha) literally as “The joyful sharing of life energy in the present” or simply “Joyfully sharing life”. The Deeper meaning of Aloha

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The finite ecosystem of an island can teach us a whole lot as we begin to recognize the finite resources on our whole planet. Ancient Hawaiians were masters at regenerative agriculture, working with nature to increase abundance of food, fresh water, and fertile soil. The year-round growing season has made Hawaii a great place for experiments in permaculture. It has also attracted biotech industries like Monsanto and Syngenta.

A recent film Aina, That Which Feeds Us takes a deeper look at the ways that the biotech industry runs contrary to the cultural heritage of the islands. AINA means “that which feeds us” in the Hawaiian language. This 23 minute film highlights a way to address some of the most pressing environmental and health crises facing the island of Kauaʻi, and of island Earth. You can watch the full film for free on their website as well as get involved locally to promote more sustainable and regenerative farming practices through the films inspiring educational message.

Permaculture is the practice of producing food, energy, etc, using ways that do not deplete the earth’s natural resources. It is a system of perennial agriculture emphasizing the use of renewable natural resources and the enrichment of local ecosystems.

AINA trailer

Hawaii was also recently in the news as negotiators around the world converged in Maui to finalize talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). This corporate trade deal will effect many pacific rim nations and also runs counter to the basic aloha principle of sharing resources while respecting the land and the people. Since TPP paves the way for corporate exploitation, local protestors used a traditional way to bring attention to this secret deal. The event drew international exposure as hundreds of people surrounded the building where negotiations were being held and blew conch shells.

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Because the islands sit in the vast ocean with mountainous peaks, it is one of the best places for star-gazing. The Polynesian People have a great history of navigating the oceans by observing the night sky. Recently, a thirty meter telescope (TMT) was proposed to be placed at the top of the watershed on Mauna Kea. Despite a love for astronomy and science, this telescope threatened the finite water source on the island. The issue also put an international spotlight on the colonial roots of science, and put Hawaiian culture center-stage in a global discussion. Is it okay to reach for the stars if we can’t take care of our own eco-system? This concept was explored in a recent blog, De-Colonialize Astronomy.

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Hawaii is a gem on our beautiful planet. It is a great place to visit and explore, but it’s greatest gift may be in the culture itself. The land has informed this rich culture for centuries and today we have an opportunity to embrace this universal wisdom and consider it in the context of contemporary global issues. How do we protest unsustainable and unjust policies while bringing positive change using respectful and creative practices? Hawaii has the answer… The world needs more Aloha!

Turning Grief Into Compassion & Personal Power

If we have the tools to navigate it in a constructive way, grief can liberate us from fear and help us cultivate a deep sense of compassion. This notion was completely foreign to me for the first half of my life during which time I would unconsciously let my grief become anger and project it at the world around me. We see this same reactive pattern every day in the news though we rarely take the time to dissect and understand it. Unresolved grief is the source of violence and illness, so let’s look at a more healthy approach to this universal human emotion.

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Grateful for grief?

The idea sounds ridiculous, especially when we are engulfed with darkness. Grief is every bit as powerful as love in it’s ability to shape our lives. We tend to shove it away, put a smile on it and pretend it isn’t there. Though sometimes we need to be “strong” in social situations, developing a close personal presence and relationship with grief will transform it. Just the simple mental switch of considering grief as a teacher can be profound.

I was first introduced to this concept while seeing Tibetan Monk, Palden Gyatso speak at a local event. He had spent years in a Chinese torture camp yet he was filled with love and forgiveness for his experiences. It made me think of all the minor things I have moped and complained about in my life. As I compared my struggles with his I couldn’t help but admire his strength. I realized that it was time for me to learn some new coping skills.

During this time I was introduced to Tonglen Meditation. As I began to open up to my own grief with these new coping tools, the gates blew wide open. Realizing how much I had been ruled by my own fear of grief, I began to enjoy letting myself cry. The practice of Tonglen Meditation made me aware of how often my choices were based on how to avoid grief. Despite our best efforts, grief is unavoidable.

I am not a Tonglen teacher, but there are plenty of good ones out there including Pema Chodron who has a wonderful audio-talk called Good Medicine. The basic concept is simple though… You sit quietly and breathe in all the fear, grief and pain happening in your life. You breathe it right into your heart and feel it with all your senses. When your lungs are full of air, it is time to exhale and let it all go while focusing on a deep and eternal peace. At the end of the exhale you begin to inhale grief again. In this cycle you allow yourself to be like a pump breathing in grief, and breathing out peace.

The other component is that you cultivate the ability to become the observer of this internal process that is universal to all humans. An intimate relationship with grief also allows one to feel connected in a profound way with everyone who has ever lived. It is strange to consider, but grief might be more common than even love…

Mayan Wisdom about Grief

Grief is most often associated with the loss of someone or something that we love. Martin Prechtel speaks of the Mayan wisdom that  considers grief as the highest form of praise. In the Mayan tradition, crying is seen as a form of prayer and tears actually feed our ancestors. When we can be present with our own grief we are less likely to project it in anger or violence onto others, we become compassionate warriors.

We can not expect nations to act on this principle until enough individuals are able to embody it. We don’t want war so we need to cultivate peace within. Grief can be a teacher for the compassion that dissolves violence with love. Many people confuse control and power. Real strength and resilience comes from the personal power of being liberated from fear. I still grieve on occasion, but my fear and anger towards this world has quickly dissipated through these practices.


What if this perspective was part of the global story?

Palden Gyatso changed my world in a very short moment by challenging me to change the way I look at the tough parts in life. I had the pleasure of bringing him to the Hopi Mesas to meet elders and discuss ancient history the day after his talk. He laughed at me a lot as I continued to ask him about prophecy and earth changes.

He assured me over and over that if we are in the right place within our heart nothing can harm us. Coming from an individual who endured torture to speak of compassion and forgiveness, I knew I better listen to what he had to say. So if you are going through grief remember that it will pass. Welcome grief as a teacher and you will become a stronger, more resilient person when it does pass. Like everything, it will pass.

**Post originally appeared at UPLIFT**

Violence is a Preventable Brain Disorder

‘Think of a world without war, a world of social justice,
a world of ecological sustainability.’

This is how Robin Grille starts his talk at TEDX Pittwater. Robin is a psychologist, author, educator and advocate for children who is not alone in his dream for a better world. For those interested, you will find that what he has to share is one of the most crucial keys to creating the future we aspire towards.

How do we unlock the peace code in the human brain and help it to find its’ full expression?

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 3.23.32 PMI had the pleasure of collaborating with Robin many years ago in promoting The Children’s Well-Being Manifesto, and his work continues to inspire great hope. For those in the UPLIFT community, the notion of creating a new story of healing is deeply entrenched and also backed by science as seen in the research of Bruce Lipton, PhD. We literally have the ability to change the world we live in by addressing our core belief systems. This logic can be applied to our deeply held beliefs that human-beings are wired for violence, which the science of epigenetics refutes completely. Human behavior is much more a product of our environment and conditioning than it is dictated by genes. This points directly to child-rearing practices, and the ways that it affects the developing brain.

Harsh, punitive, and cold environments along with chronic stress cause the brain to release a neurotoxin known as cortisol. Cortisol literally destroys brain cells in the area of the brain connected to emotional regulation and impulse control causing the prefrontal lobes to atrophy. Whereas, loving supportive connection in a safe environment causes the brain to secrete oxytocin which develops these centers and cultivates the capacity for empathy, which is the neurological foundation for peace. The conclusion is that Violence is a Preventable Brain Disorder.

In his talk (below) Robin Grille also explores the fascinating historical and cultural roots of our story of violence along with a 7-step plan to re-write the code and create a peaceful planet where we are less violent to each other and towards our environment. In a recent uplift blog post titled, How to Stop the 6th Mass Extinction Bruce Lipton states:

…the realization that we can change the whole story right now. We don’t need to try to fight the old story. We simply need to walk outside the old story and build a new story. People will leave the old story when they see a new story working.  Every individual who changes their own story, is changing the vibrational environment within which we live.  We can have the spontaneous remission of the planet’s ills and we can change the environment by just changing who we are.

Clearly we are living in a potent time where science and spirituality give us the tools to change our ways of creating and interacting with the world around us. Please make some time in your day to watch this enlightening talk and share the inspiration with your networks. More importantly, make the effort to help that single-parent in your community and open your heart to embrace the children in your life with love, connection, support, and safety!

***Post Originally Appeared at Uplift Connect***

Global Meditation Celebrates World Spirit Day on December 21

It’s as if humanity has fallen into a great amnesia, forgetting our connection to the land, to each other, to the future and to the past. Organizers of The Unify Global Meditation at 3:03 pm PST on December 21 invite everyone to remember. Filmmaker, Frank Darier Baziere, has created a powerful short video (below) that inspires a beautiful vision of something that is often overlooked and hard to describe, spirit.

The Global Coherence Initiative along with The Heartmath Institute, and The Global Consciousness Project at Princeton have been studying the effects of synchronized meditation and social harmony for many years. Is it possible that A Moment Shared Around the World can actually cause lasting changes in our society? Many people seem to believe so.

Even though we have abused and harmed our environment, nature has kept this essence alive in order for us to one day remember. Join the spirit of the wind, the spirit of the water, the spirit of the earth, the spirit of the infinite energy of the universe. Today you can take action in your life and become the living example of spirit. Remember who you are. Remember where you came from. On December 21, 2014, remember  WE are SPIRIT.

The solstice reminds us of our connection to the dance of the planets and seasons it is a time for family and gathering to to celebrate and give thanks. Across the planet people are waking from this Forgotten Chapter to create a reality that honors our shared connection with all of life. Learn more about World Spirit Day and this growing global community by visiting Unify online.

 

Water Defense Activates Collaborative Power

#lovewater

In conjunction with UPLIFT Festival this weekend in Byron, Australia, Water Defense has released a video and an invitation for your input. Collaboration often takes a back-seat in world focused on competition but it is the best solution to problems that face us all. When organizations and individuals shift from competing with one another to assisting each other towards a common goal, miracles can happen. Our waters are threatened all over the world, we have a common enemy and it is ignorance. We don’t know what is in our water. Due to decades of contamination from both agricultural pesticides and industrial waste, our watersheds are not as healthy as they once were. Since water is one thing that we all share in common, together we can address this problem and learn how to collaborate along the way. Contemporary technology, social networks, and inspiration are the tools we need to ignite this collaborative power. Water Defense is ready to deliver!

The real power of protecting our water is knowing what’s in it, and that’s exactly what we are going to do.” -Mark Ruffalo

This collaboration involves The Herbert W Hoover Foundation, Unify, and Uplift Connect along with Water Defense and many other organizations/individuals who are concerned about the health of our waters. If you have any ideas, questions, or suggestions, please tweet them with the hashtag #lovewater and be part of the ongoing conversation. You can learn more about the project here and here.

Boycott Starbucks? Here’s Why…

Musical legend Neil Young and informed Americans are standing in solidarity with Vermont voters to boycott Starbucks in what promises to be one of the most exciting showdowns of our time. In a landmark vote on Act 120 the people of Vermont have passed an initiative requiring genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) to be labeled. 93% of Americans support the notion of knowing the truth about what is in their food but The Grocery Manufacturers Association, of which Starbucks is a member, are suing the State of Vermont to overturn the peoples vote. This case is not just about Vermont, as the results will have ripples in every state across the country.

It is being called a “David and Goliath” battle with big business pitted against local farmers and citizens who have a right to know what is in their food. The lawsuit against Vermont will hurt individual tax-payers and the state financially, as well as create political retribution for elected candidates who support labeling in Vermont and elsewhere. It isn’t easy to boycott Grocery Manufacturers Association for this assault on the will of American voters so consumers have found another way to get their attention:
Target an influential member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Starbucks, with a boycott. Neil Young and SumofUs.org are only a few of the folks who are fighting back and standing in support of Vermont and GMO labeling.

Those who claim that Starbucks isn’t aligned with the lawsuit against Vermont are missing the brilliant strategy of this campaign. If Grocery Manufacturers Association is going after American voters right to know, then consumers are going after the supporters of Grocery Manufacturers Association. Other companies may be added to the boycott list over time.

Those who claim that GMO’s are safe have done little to address the growing list of dangers and concerns that are being raised across the board. Their claim that “scientific tests prove that GMO’s are safe” is based on a few selective tests of GMO food that do not take the larger picture into account.

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Public health and farming do not happen in a vacuum, there’s more involved with genetically engineered and large-scale commercial agriculture than solely testing the final harvest. This includes (just to name a few) the health of our eco-system including increased pesticides in our water, the bees, the soil, GMO pollen contaminating organic crops, and beyond. A Greenpeace article sums it up as, “These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non-“GE” environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.” For a comprehensive and well-cited article on the topic please read, 10 Reasons to Say No to Genetically Engineered Crops and Food.

The call to have GMO foods labeled is not only about our right to know what we are eating for personal health reasons, it is about having a choice regarding large-scale commercial farming practices that are unsustainable and threatening to public health and the environment at large.

Opponents of labeling say that it will increase food costs to consumers. Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s stated on Democracy Now, “Consumers Union, which puts out consumers reports, did a study for this last election in Oregon and discovered that adding labeling would cost about $3 a year to consumers’ bills.” He mentioned that labels are already part of the cost of doing business so that changing a label essentially costs nothing, “It’s simply about being honest and telling consumers what’s in your food.”

$3 per year is less than the cost of one latte at Starbucks.

Would you buy a car from a used car salesman who wouldn’t let you lift the hood and look at what’s inside? I sure wouldn’t. So why is The Grocery Manufacturers Association so bent on keeping Americans uninformed? Why do they insist GMO’s are safe but refuse to address the growing list of environmental, and public health concerns as mentioned above? I don’t know, perhaps you’d like to send them a message or call and ask for yourself…

This isn’t merely about Vermont as the repercussions reach far and wide. Currently trade agreements like Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would continue to pave the way for multinationals to sue American states and their voters. Under the guise of corporate “freedom to do business” these lawsuits will punish anyone who challenges business practices that are harmful to public health and the environment.

Currently under this same model Monsanto is suing Maui because they didn’t like the outcome of a recent vote against GMO’s. This is a blatant disregard for voters and democracy which is very costly to tax-payers and must be stopped with a massive public outcry.

As Washington DC has been sold to corporate interests, the battle for honest food labeling (and other progressive issues) is being successfully won with state-level ballot initiatives. A victory for corporations against Vermont and American voters in this case would be disastrous. The stakes are high and a statement from Starbucks in favor of public health, the environment, and the American voter will go a long way and win them favor with their customer base.

In the meantime you can sign the petition asking Starbucks to withdraw support from Grocery Manufacturers Association and join the growing boycott. There are plenty of small, local, independently owned coffee shops who could use the extra business. It is quite risky for Starbucks and the other companies who are part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association to take the stance that they do not support the will of American voters. Let’s hope that they hear us and do the right thing!

Farmshare Model Can End World Hunger

If you took everything that the farmers are now throwing away because of market conditions or cosmetic imperfections and you took that food… kept it from the landfills, kept it from being plowed under and put it into the pipeline to the poor, we would solve world hunger. -Patricia Robbins, Chairman at Farmshare

It is estimated that 30-40% of the food grown in farms never makes it to the supermarket shelf. Farmshare in southern Florida has a local model that, if applied globally, could solve hunger problems by partnering farmers with local communities. Especially in urban areas where the availability of affordable and nutritious food is scarce. This concept combined with local and organic farming would be even more powerful!

No farmer enjoys throwing away half the fruits of his or her labor. However, day in and day out we end up feeding our landfills instead of our hungry. Thankfully, there is a solution to this dilemma. Instead of dumping, farmers donate this food to Farm Share to help feed the hungry and receive a 200% tax credit for the foods market value. (It’s a win, win situation) -Taken from the Farmshare Website

Check out this inspiring and educational video to learn how you can help share these important solutions in your community!