Indigenous Kogi on Global Webcast: Restore Balance or Perish

We have seen the metaphor played out in recent films like Avatar and more recently Interstellar but now it is time to recognize that it is actually happening in real life. Human beings with all of our promise and ingenuity are causing irreversible havoc upon the delicate natural systems that sustain all life. This is only a doomsday scenario if people choose to do nothing about it. This message is echoed through the teachings of all indigenous tribes who hold nature and our place within it to be sacred. The Kogi People of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta are probably best known through the BBC’s film A Message from the Heart of the World or the independent film Aluna. This pristine and original culture lives close to nature. Having retreated from the advance of civilization for hundreds of years keeping their ancient teachings alive,they have decided that it’s absolutely necessary to communicate to the rest of the world a basic message; Change the way you live, or the balance of Nature will be broken. It is not a new message but the concept of them speaking it live via webcast this weekend is absolutely unprecedented.

Often called ‘The Elder Brother’, the Kogi see modern cultures and technological civilization as ‘The Younger Brother’. That we allow the complete desecration of forests, oceans, animals, and fresh water merely for pieces of paper called money is actually quite telling of how childish our “modern” culture really is. Yet if we are to harness our technology and use it in a responsible way to restore and heal our planet while taking care of all life, then we will have something hopeful to work towards. Some call this powerful combination of ancient wisdom and respect for nature working together with modern technology the fulfillment of the Eagle and Condor Prophecy. Regardless if you believe in prophecy, the opportunity to hear elders from some of the most ancient villages on the planet speak live via global webcast is some sort of history in the making. Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of a shared global story an initiative for turning the tides and bringing the healing that is so desperately needed?

This is another step in a process that began years ago. This particular journey began as a response to the disaster at Fukushima. The message we are bringing is that we are living in a state of imbalance. It’s now time to take action, conscious action, to begin to restore balance to Mother Earth.’

The journey is actually the third part in a four part journey. The first leg took them to the ‘Four Corners’ region of the USA in late June/July of this year. There they met with the Native American keepers of that land and did ceremony and unified with them. Then, together with the representatives of the Diné people from the Four Corners, they went to Japan to raise awareness and do ceremony for the disaster at Fukushima. Most of the time in Japan was spent near the sacred center of Mount Fuji, where they met with local elders and representatives. The fourth, and final part of this journey will be to the volcano of Mount Etna in Italy.

‘Our guidance is telling us that we will reach Mount Etna by sometime around May of next year’. Nelson told us, ‘This whole journey is but a part of a much bigger process that is reaching out to raise awareness about the need for Earth restoration.’

‘Restore the Mother Earth’s rights to her Natural Constitution’

‘The essential message can be distilled down to the phrase ‘Restore the Mother Earth’s rights to her Natural Constitution’. We will speak more to this in the coming days. We will speak about this at UPLIFT. We will speak about what we mean exactly when we say “Natural Constitution”. The way that Modern Society is based on extraction of minerals and natural resources has to end. We have to think of the generations to come. We have to listen to the Original Peoples that have maintained a connection to nature and realise that we have become disconnected. It is time to reconnect with nature. -Translated by Nelson Caraballo

If this tickles your curiosity then you should consider tuning in to the global webcast this weekend through UPLIFT Festival, where you will also experience many other exciting and inspiring presentations that will give you hope for things to come. Sometimes the bad news can be overwhelming but it is each one of us who has the power and ability to become the good news. This can happen in the smallest of ways by showing kindness to those around you, honoring a sacred place in nature, spending time with your elders or playing with a child who looks up to you. Each of us was placed here at this time for a very special reason, there is much work to be done!

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Photo Courtesy of Brendan Shoebridge

For Inspiration: Mark Ruffalo at Uplift Fest

When the mainstream channels only lead to divisive conversations that leave a person feeling hopeless, we look to visionaries who offer solutions. The internet is full of these resources which showcase alternative ideas that inspire us to make a better world. TED Talks is certainly one of them that I enjoy. With the recent controversy over Rupert Sheldrakes banned TED Talk, The Science Delusion, people are also seeking places to explore ideas that may live outside the scope of traditional science. This includes voices from youth, indigenous wisdom, spirituality, social commentary and more. A great place for this kind of information is The Mind Unleashed where one of my favorite writers, Dr. Kelly Neff continues to invite her readers to think outside of the box. Another great platform for new ideas is coming up December 11-14 and it is called the UPLIFT Festival. Yet this is only the beginning of where to find inspiration…

Kelly’s recent article, What is in Your Water? Mark Ruffalo and UPLIFT Festival Hope to Find Out, we see another in a series of new-paradigm collaborations emerging. UPLIFT Festival has been dubbed the “Visionary TED” for bringing together diverse voices from different backgrounds, ages and cultures to dialogue together across disciplines about solutions. This is cultivating a community filled with possibilities, excitement, and action. We are witnessing a growing movement of collaboration and co-creation and UPLIFT Festival is taking lead at a time when creative problem-solving is needed most.

Ruffalo will present a video at UPLIFT with previously unreleased footage and introducing Water Defenses’ exciting new collaboration with The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, Unify, and Uplift Connect that is launching this spring in conjunction with the World Water Day Global Campaign. It is an educational, and interactive online platform that will serve as a diagnostic tool for local watersheds and allow individuals to get involved in protecting and respecting this precious resource while holding local industry accountable. Scott Smith and Colton Hoover Chase will be taking questions via Twitter during the live forum.

“The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation is committed to improving environmental health. We have been funding cutting-edge science for many years. During that time we have come to the realization that without public engagement, much of the science never leads to improved environmental health. This is due to a disconnect between the scientific community and the general public. We believe if the scientific data can be understood by the general public, and policy-makers, the environmental benefits would be staggering. To that point we have set out to create a partnership with Water Defense,, and top researchers in the field of water testing to create a technology platform that will bring together the large amount of scientific data in a easily understandable way. We envision that this tool will encourage learning and action in the sphere.” -Colton H. Chase, Vice Chairman, Herbert W. Hoover Foundation

Scott Smith is chief scientist at Water Defense and inventor and founder of  OPFLEX® technology, an Open-Celled foam technology used for both baseline water testing, and filtering and cleaning polluted water. OPFLEX, combined with Smith’s environmentally responsible vision, is setting new standards for low-carbon impact (LCI®) solutions to more effectively monitor and maintain the world’s waterways. He has been to every major oil spill site since 2010 – over 50 different domestic and international locations – earning him the nickname Toxic Avenger. Smith studied economics and chemistry at Baylor University, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School. Follow Smith on Twitter.

Nature is my favorite offline place to go for inspiration. While sitting by a flowing creek or waterfall and connecting with the beauty of the natural environment it is easy to see why so many people are passionate about protecting it. We are nothing without the diverse web of life that surrounds us.  Clearly, inspired people turn to other inspired people for inspiration. When they work together, their influence becomes contagious and this is a seed of hope for all of us.

We get caught up in our own worlds, our responsibilities, paying bills etc, but we thrive when we recognize that we are all in this together. Even the most conscious and well-meaning organizations often have blinders on and very little experience in collaborating beyond their own board room. We are facing global crises in so many areas and we are being called to collaborate in unprecedented ways. We see this in the sharing economy, we see it on the internet with people riffing on each others memes and re-shaping our sense of society. We see this on the websites and conferences as mentioned above, but it isn’t complete until each one of us adds our own piece to the unfolding story. Here is your chance to weigh in with your own thoughts, ideas, questions and more…

Imagine a technology platform which allows individuals everywhere to network and communicate to preserve and protect what is central to all of our lives, water. Consider an app like Yelp, or a Google Map that allows you to learn about your local watershed. Consider an online place where you can find the many people and organizations in your region who are making a difference to your local environment. Dream about how fun it would be to get involved directly in social networks that are founded on principles of environmental stewardship and appreciation for nature. All of these things are possible, and some already exist.

Tweet your ideas and questions to #lovewater. Scott Smith along with Colton H. Chase will be building on this inspiration as they announce the launch of something truly innovative, exciting, and hopeful for all of us at UPLIFT Festival.  Actor Mark Ruffalo started Water Defense to raise awareness about the impact energy extraction has on water and public health. He and Scott Smith join HuffPost Live (below, 26 min) to talk about defending and protecting America’s water resources.

It is impossible for anyone who is sensitive and aware to not be overwhelmed by the problems that humanity now faces. It is even natural to lose hope at times, and that is why it is so important to visit the places that inspire us. That is also why it is so important to be around the people who inspire us and also why you absolutely do not want to miss the UPLIFT Festival global webcast this coming Dec 11-14. You can register here and join the conversation about how to make a better future using Twitter with #uplifttheworld hashtag. This conversation is exactly what we need in order to be the change we want to see in the world.

Uplift Festival Inspires Global Solutions

Our planet and its citizens are quickly approaching a cross-roads where the need to confront emerging crises invites us to collaborate in ways that we have never done before. UPLIFT Festival has been dubbed the “Visionary TED” for bringing together diverse voices including indigenous wisdom, science, spirituality, art, and youth to dialogue together across disciplines. This is cultivating a community filled with possibilities, excitement, and solutions-oriented action. We are witnessing a growing movement of collaboration and co-creation and Uplift Festival is leading the way. If you are like me then you are probably thinking, “It’s about time!”

The event is being streamed on a global webcast December 11-14 and will include Dr. Bruce Lipton, Lissa Rankin, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Charles Eisenstein, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Satish Kumar, Patch Adams, Grandma Agnes, Scarlet Lewis, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Jamie Catto, Joshua Gorman and others.  If none of these names ring a bell for you, then let me introduce you to some of them here!

permaculture1Capitalism has brought great abundance, yet we are also seeing the shadow-side of greed and environmental destruction that unregulated capitalism is causing. Charles Eisenstein is a global thought leader in new economies that promote regeneration rather than resource depletion, generosity instead of greed while reminding us that authentic value can not be measured in dollars alone. His book, Sacred Economics, Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition holds a powerful vision of how we can embrace economics in our quest for a sustainable future.

There are few scientists who speak with such overt excitement about their work and the possibilities that these discoveries imply for all of us as Bruce Lipton. Lipton is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences. Finally there is science to prove how our beliefs about the world effect health and biology. Never before has there been such a powerful invitation to explore our internal beliefs, cultural stories and attitudes and revise them in a way that promotes personal and planetary health.

Ta’Kaiya Blaney is an indigenous youth activist, at 12 years old she is an accomplished speaker and singer songwriter. Uplift Festival is allowing room to showcase that people with passion and talent are not limited to just science, or art, or speaking but that brilliant minds often transcend many different expressive avenues to have their message heard. Ta’Kaiya is witty, intelligent well beyond her years, entertaining and will also make you laugh, she presents her beautiful gift with the humility and grace of her Indigenous Sliammon upbringing.

I advocate changing not only the human condition, but also in the condition of our planet. In my culture it’s a fact, and an understanding of life, that everything is connected, and we were put on this earth to be stewards and caretakers of the environment. In my culture, it’s a teaching to do more than connect the dots, to see the picture as a whole.

Patch Adams’ work is popularly known through the film named after him where Robin Williams played his character. His book Gesundheit, lays a foundation for re-imagining healthcare with an emphasis on human contact, humor, and compassion rather than pharmaceutical profits. The mission for his Gesundheit Institute states, “We are a model of holistic medical care based on the belief that the health of the individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, the community, the society and the world.”

As you can see, I have only showcased 4 of the many diverse and visionary voices that will be coming together to present and dialogue with each other at UPLIFT Festival. If you are interested in learning more or registering to watch the lifestream, you can click on this link. Our global paradigm is shifting from one of competition to one of cooperation and the stakes are high as we face many global crises. Your perspective, your voice your action is as important as anyone else’s and we hope that you will join us in this most magical transformation. I will leave you with a quote from Barbar Marx Hubbard who will also be presenting at Uplift Festival:
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