LIFE AFTER KALU YALA





Physically



My feet loved the runs through the jungle, the splash of cold water in the heat of the day through the many river crossings.



My body loved learning how to surf. One of my favorite feelings in the world is catching a wave. There is something magical about standing up on a wave and letting it carry you forward. I find surfing to be a beautiful metaphor for many things in life.



My mind loved being present with my body as it stretches the sore muscles from a hard day of work. There was time to listen to silence and nature. My mind was able to be quiet and be in peace as I allowed it to fill with gratitude and love.





Photo by Carter Clark



My heart loved dancing for endless hours under the moonlight and starry sky.


My hands loved learning how to use power tools, how to cut wood, saw wood, drill wood, and build a stage and a “tiny home.”





Photo by Carter Clark



My stomach loved the fresh food from the farm. We really are what we eat. Our food can be our medicine or our poison. Here is a short eating meditation my dear friend, Sarah Diamond, put together from Thick Nhat Hanh and Hippocrates.

  • . This food is a gift of the entire universe: the Earth, the rain, and the sun.

  • . Give thanks to the people who made this food (and Who created it).

  • . Only take as much food as you need.

  • . Eat slowly and savor each bite. Each spoonful contains the universe.

  • . Use the energy the food gives you to practice being more loving and understanding.

  • . Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.

  • . Food is important. It puts in physical form many of the things we value in life. It tells us who we are, and what lives we dream of living.
  • . Have gratitude and give back so that one day, all people can experience this ideal.

Know where your food comes from. There’s a difference between eating meat that has been mass produced than eating meat that is raised in your own backyard. Once I found out that the livestock agriculture industry alone is responsible for 18% of our Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions (Bowling, Stanford Student Journal), that was the solidifier to eating no more meat. If the health facts are not compelling (watch What the Health!), the social, environmental and ethical issues are not striking a cord, then think about who are you supporting—the big corporations. We keep on making them bigger by giving them our money while they make us slaves to their products.





Photo by Carter Clark



My soul loved being free without walls and living with fewer things. There is no need to live in a big home. Why live in a big home when we won’t even use most of the space? Why live in a big home that will make us more lonely from the empty spaces? Why live in a big home when it will cost more time, money, and resources to build and upkeep? There is no upward relationship between bigger is better. We've been fooled to think so by the American Dream. Happiness does not start with what we have and what we own—happiness starts in our minds. Happiness is always present, we just have to choose to be present to it, regardless of what we have or don’t have.





By the way, I slept in the orange hammock.
Photo by Carter Clark.



Bottom line:

Live simply, surround yourself with nature, do exercise you love, and eat fresh food from the earth, what a miracle.





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