"When you touch one thing with awareness, you touch everything." - Thich Nhat HanhSince moving to the coastside community of Half Moon Bay three years ago, I've become more and more inspired by farmers. Specifically, local organic farmers and the ecosystems they steward. I am not sure how this evolution happened, but somewhere along the way, in the age of industrial farming and processed foods, in the trance of busyness that convinced me to prioritize my "job" over taking the time to feed myself well, I woke up to the way farmers are actually key players in the health care ecosystem. For me, the past few weeks have included the following. On the first Saturday of May, my acoustic rock duo provided the live music for our local farmers' market. Our evolution from being loyal customers to becoming more active participants in the ecosystem providing this precious resource for our community has been a dream come true for the kind of musicians we desire to be. We play for tips, lettuce, strawberries, olive oil, bread, chocolate, a bit of cash, and a big dose of the love that comes from knowing we are feeding the community with our art and joy. Two weeks ago, I became a member of my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This means I signed up to get a box of locally grown, organic produce delivered to my door by a farm collective every two weeks. In each box is a note from Farmer Paul, with a poetic missive on his observations in the field, followed by some bullet points on "how to be a great and green member of the farm family". These two lines really hit home for me:
"Remember, you are not a customer; you are a shareholder in our farm. Paying your bill is not enough. Owning a share means doing your share."The "aha" for me was that I do have a responsibility. I was not just "buying" a box of food delivered to my door each week. I am now responsible for holding a piece of the thread. I am now a weaver of our local ecosystem. I am adding my voice to the chorus saying "Yes!" to locally grown organic produce, picked by hand, delivered by hand, and gifted to us all by the land. Do you feel that? We are gifted our food from the land. The land is not a factory. It is a generous donor and partner. And what we give to the land it gives back to us in multiples. Several days later, I attended a lecture by Daphne Miller, MD, a family physician and author of the book, Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing. Her curiosity about the relationship between her patients' health and the health of our soil led her on a global odyssey to visit small family-owned farms, as well as agricultural scientists and ecologists studying organic farming practices. The one-sentence summary of her talk was, "We are the soil." What we put into the earth, we put into ourselves. And what we put into ourselves, we also put back into the earth. All of this has gotten me thinking more about both how we feed our world, and how we are fed by our world. The thought seeds that take root in our consciousness create feelings which course through the cells of our body as chemical signals and are digested in each cell, creating our experience of life. Imagine the gut - our digestive system - as the place where our feelings about the world are taken in, broken down and digested into the elements that fuel our entire being system of Soul+Body+Mind, driving our decisions and actions in the world. Each of us is a mini ecosystem living within a sphere of progressively larger ecosystems - our bodies, our relationships, our homes, our families, our communities, our nations, our planet, and our cosmos. Mindfulness of food - what we put into our mouths - equals mindfulness of what we take in from our experience of life and what we perceive through our consciousness. When we touch the essence of "WE ARE THE SOIL", we see that what we feed our consciousness we also feed to our world. What are some things you can do now, in your world, to live more from this awareness?
- walk outside and breathe fresh air...imagine and feel the air feeding every cell of your body
- notice the products you choose that wash down the drain -- this eventually becomes part of our soil
- plant a garden
- walk barefoot in or touch actual soil or living earth
- vote with your dollars and support a local organic farmer in your area
- receive the sounds in your environment and notice how they are feeding you
- clean up your thinking...junk thoughts equals junk food
- love what you feel and trust your gut
Oceanside Retreat with Dr. Lisa Chu
A note from Lisa:
Walking the path of creativity - shining the light on how you can create the life you truly desire - is the work I am honored to do with my life coaching clients. I have found that there are many dimensions to this work, many layers to explore as we cultivate the courage to walk again and again through the doorway of Not Knowing and into the realm of joy.
While conversation is the centerpiece of the coaching relationship, I cannot help but notice that my work with clients feels incomplete without including the body, the soul, and the mind together in one place, as one unified expression of harmony. I have longed for a way to bring together and share the many elements and practices that have truly supported my journey of discovering that each of us is an artist - yes, that means you, too. Your art is your particular life, and you are here to weave together the many strands that keep arriving in your experience to create the life that only you can live.
This retreat is my offering to you, my clients and those who are curious about experiencing, in three-dimensional reality, this magical realm I call "Beyond Knowing".
I welcome you to my home, and there I will invite you to come home to yourself. To experience casual comfort, peace, freedom, intimate connection to yourself + nature + others, awe, and wonder. To discover a new kind of luxury - the luxury of being YOU.
The intentionYou will take home from this retreat:
- at least 5 new ideas for starting your day differently....to infuse qualities of inspiration and vision into each day, from the first moment you wake up
- a list of potent self-care practices you discover for yourself...how to spend "down-time" in a way that rejuvenates, nourishes, and allows your SoulBodyMind the space it requires for wholeness
- writing prompts and exercises to reconnect you rapidly with the truth of the present moment
- ARTifacts of your own creation that will remind you of your inner vision and true nature
- whole body experience and tools to begin practicing present moment awareness in your daily life
- powerful, simple self-coaching methods to release old stories fearlessly and stand compassionately in the gift of "now"
- engagement with the natural world as your teacher, and concrete ways to bring this into your daily life
WhenFriday, November 1, 2013 through Sunday, November 3, 2013 (Begin at 3pm Friday; end at noon on Sunday)
Half Moon Bay, California – our epicenter will be my home, just fifty steps from the beach.
We will be working both indoors and in various outdoor locations for our activities. All of the photos on this page are locations in Half Moon Bay, and many of them will serve as the powerful teachers and messengers for our work together. Details on our starting location will be provided when you register.
Creating a sacred circle of support Stillness and silence Movement and sound Reflection and self-expression (writing, speaking, art-making) Deep listening and sound healing Walking and sitting in natural outdoor spaces Mindful eating Individual and group engagement Rest and play
Sample Schedule (subject to change)Friday, November 1, 20133pm to 5pm Opening Session
Casting the sacred circle of support
Setting intentions for the weekend
Evening on your ownSaturday, November 2, 2013*optional 6:30am Beach meditation *optional 7:00am-7:45am Breath and energy work on the beach Breakfast on your own 9:00am to 12:00pm Morning Session
Inward reflection and grounding of the circle
Activities will include reflection, some form of expression, and sharing of experienceLunch provided (organic, locally sourced) 1:30pm to 4:30pm Afternoon Session
Playful exploration of nature, the body’s expressions, and enlivening the senses
Practices to engage with the doorway of Not KnowingFarm-to-Table Dinner provided Evening – New Moon Ceremony Sunday, November 3, 2013*optional 7:30am Meditation *optional 8:00am – 8:45am Breath and energy work at the beach 10:00am to 12:00pm Closing Session
Holding intentions and dreams from this weekend
Completing and closing of the circle
How to RegisterREGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. Full payment of $550 is due at the time of registration.
The price above includes the Retreat experience, and lunch and dinner on Saturday. Price does not include airfare, lodging, ground transportation, or other meals. Retreat is limited to six participants.