Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Other Side Of Awareness

So, if you have been following along on my MooseBoots journey, you know that I have been working on developing my middling awareness.  I try to be observant.  I try to puzzle things out.  But, I found today that there is a side of awareness that I hadn't really focused on, at least consciously.  The awareness of what I am putting out into the Universe.  What behaviours am I demonstrating?

We've all heard that things happen in threes.  Perhaps, this is a reference to the pagan Three-Fold Law.  The law states that what you do comes back to you three-fold.  If you do good things, you are rewarded three times.  If you are unkind, that will likewise be returned three times.  This winter, as an illustration of this point, we did not put up enough wood to heat our home for the whole winter.  We put up four cords.  Last year, we put up four cords, but we had two cords left from the previous year.  Coupled with the fact that last year was mild, we severely underestimated our need for this year.  There was no need to panic, however, as the neighbors were watching our dwindle wood pile and had, and offered, sufficient stores to keep both houses warm.

The neighbors started talking about burning wood for heat a couple of years ago.  They watched us work gathering wood, splitting wood, and stacking wood. They heard us talk about having heat when the power went out.  They bought several cords of wood when we bought our last two years ago.  The intended to buy their stove that same year, but....  This year, they got their stove.  They've been burning and heating, sometimes to uncomfortably high temperatures, if open doors and windows on mid-winter's days are any indication.

They have experienced first hand the joy of wood heat and the requisite amount of work to make it possible.  They are older, nearing retirement, and we help wen they need it (probably more often than they like).  But, they also see the benefit in a fiscal sense.  We have been told several times that in a normal winter they used 1000 gallons of heating oil.  This year, in contrast, they have used less than 300.  With oil prices where they are, this is a significant cost savings.  Of course, as more people switch, wood prices will go up for those buying.  Perhaps it will become more difficult for us to get free firewood.  Regardless, I think that we modeled what we consider appropriate behaviour and then, someone followed.  We did not try to convince them to do as we did, we just did what we do.

The second experience occurred today.  I brought a couple of books, Nature's Way and Wild Plants of Maine, to the dance school  for the wait.  I got busy helping out with a laptop and put the books on a table.  One of the other dancers asked her Mom about the cover of Wild Plants of Maine.  The gist of the question was something like wanting to look at the book.  I turned around and said that they could look at it, if they'd like.  The Mom picked it up and thumbed through it carefully.  After which point, she put it down and said to me, "I had no idea there were so many edible plants around."  I picked this book up after spying it in a bookstore while waiting for Wendy.  I probably did not need another wild edibles book.  I suggested to this woman that this book was the tip of the iceberg and recommended The Forager's Harvest and Nature's Garden, both by Sam Thayer.  This was clearly another example of modelling behaviour.  Whether she does anything with the knowledge, today or twenty years from now, is her choice.

Wendy's forthcoming Surviving The Apocalypse In The Suburbs is simply an extension of this.  We are simply trying to simplify our lives.  Most of the things in the book are things we have tried to cut our expenses and our footprint on the planet.  Someone else decided that is was worthy enough of note to publish.  But, it illustrates, as do the other examples, of changing the world simply by being true to yourself.

This is what we all know and strive to do with our children.  Soldiers know it - lead from the front, be a role model.  It is how we teach, by demonstration.  It is how animals learn in nature.  So, as I continue down my MooseBoots path, I will try to be mindful not only of the things happening around me, but of my actions and attitudes, my creative outgoing energy.  I am not always successful, but that is why it is a path and not a state of being.  I am grateful for all that the Universe has provided, opportunities, teachings, needs satisfied, wants fulfilled, joy and peace.

So, I ask you.  What are you modelling?  What are you "putting out there"?  Who is being reflected back as you look into the surface our you pond?   Are you "doing unto others" as you want done to you?  Are you paying attention?  We create our world and our experience, why not make it a joyful one?


  1. Over the last year or so, I have learned that is turns out to be more productive to lead by example and by quietly pursuing one's path than to try to rope everyone along to see your point of view. I find that doing this in turn makes me look more closely at myself (because I'm not busy telling other people what to do ;) When I make judgements (as I still occasionally do, I trying hard not to, but they still slip out!) I am aware of it almost instantly, and try to rectify it as quickly as possible.

    I heard a new mantra yesterday, that I even put to use yesterday: "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you" Four simple, but very powerful, statements. The quieter I become, the more I see and the more I hear, and the more I learn...which I can then pass along by example, hopefully.

    Life is full of challenges, hurdles, disappointments, roadblocks, but when approached with love, compassion, understanding and more love, it truly is joyful, no matter the circumstances.

  2. Julie, those are very wise words. Indeed, most of the "zombies" out there do not recognize this powerful truth. It is really sad that our culture puts so little value, pays lip service really, to these things. As for the pictures ... a little google searching is a good thing when you know what you want. So, I can't really take the credit for anything other than finding them and displaying them.


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