Connecting with Nature

Okay so we’re in August and yes sorry that summer will soon be over. But wait! There is a whole month left before summer unofficially ends on Labor Day September 2nd, and three weeks more until the official end of summer on the autumn equinox. So it’s not like it’s the last minute. There is still plenty of time to do all those summer things that we want or need to do! Here in the Northeast, we are still waiting for tomatoes to come up so we can prepare our very own Caprese salads, soups, and sauces. Oh the endless joys of gardening!

Speaking of joyous things to do, for all of you who have ever wanted to visit a spiritual community geared to adults, I would strongly suggest Omega in Rhinebeck, New York. I just did a weekend intensive program there with Dr. Eben Alexander and Dr. Raymond Moody, my fourth time with those remarkable man. And quite a weekend it was!

While Omega is primarily a camp for adults, they do have a “teen week” and things to do for younger children. The grounds are so very beautiful and peaceful. One of the best features is that you can free yourself of electronic gadgetry (but choose to engage if you’re in the lovely café). If the cabins are a bit too rustic for you, there are plenty of bed-and-breakfasts in the area which is famous for its great gardens and sustainable farms, something New York State is becoming noted for. Truly amazing and very inspiring is Omega’s day of “Healing the Earth” with participants doing their part, even if it’s just a little bit, to correct the carbon footprints we all leave. If your dance card is filled this summer, really think about visiting Omega next year. You will make your mark and leave very happy!

Someone who has made her mark worldwide is the truly inspiring Jane Goodall, the world’s most famous primatologist. I just read an article about her which noted that fifty years ago, Jane became the first person to prove that nonhuman animals make tools. More recently, Jane has been focusing on a life form less intelligent than the chimpanzees she studied in Tanzania. In fact, a species that has no brain at all: plants.

Jane’s newest book, Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants, co-written with Gayle Hudson, chronicles Jane’s lifelong love of all things leafy. In the book, Jane writes that “There would be no chimpanzees without plants – nor human beings either,” and confesses that she might never have started studying apes had she not, as a child, been obsessed with Africa’s forests. Now 79 years young, Jane runs the Jane Goodall Institute to protect chimpanzees’ habitat, and Roots and Shoots to encourage children to become conservationists. Jane has inspired me my whole life. She is a big part of why I became an avid gardener and lover of Nature which is the closest tangible thing to “God.”

I would suggest that if you are of mind to present yourself with just one gift during this rest of summer, make that gift being active in Nature. And while you are there, listen. You never know when a loved one is going to “call your name” from the Other Side.

Honoring Fathers and Lessons from Machu Picchu

Welcome June! The month when there is so much going on. From weddings, to graduations, to vacations, days on the beach, weekends in the country, to name a few. And let’s not forget those special dads and father figures who touched our hearts and made a difference in our lives. For June 16th is Fathers Day!

In my work, I am forever reminded of how many sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, love their dads so deeply regardless of whether their dad is the “blood father” or not. So many wonderful men pick up the for those who did not or could not step up to the plate. Kudos to all those second dads who remain present! I have said it before and will say it forever, the blood connection doesn’t make a man that special dad or granddad in a child’s life. It’s his love and how he shows his love that counts.

On CNN this week, I heard a commentator observe that no one ever says when they are about to die, “I’m sorry I didn’t work more.” That reminded me about all the men in the work place who want more time with their families but just can’t arrange it because keeping a job is so crucial.

For those who have dads on the Other Side, this Fathers Day, and always, I suggest that you send them your thoughts of love. They will hear you. And if you are tuned in, you will feel the connection.

As some of you know, I just got back from Peru, and had my first experience with the Incas. It was such a thrill to visit one of the new seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.

The Incas built Machu Picchu around 1450, but were driven out a century later when the Spanish arrived. The existence of Machu Picchu was not revealed to the world until much later, by an American, Hiram Bingham III, of Yale University and National Geographic.

As we know, the ancient indigenous cultures strongly believed in the Afterlife, and shamans were held in high regard. The Incas were no exception.

What was most amazing to me was learning about the Incas’ advanced form of agriculture. Of course being an avid gardener and of farmer stock, I know the hard work farming requires, which is why I have such great respect for farmers. The Inca farmers were geniuses with their agricultural systems which included an amazing way of balancing all foods for every climate, knowing exactly what should be planted where and when. Needless to say, there were no GMO (genetically modified organisms) in their foods. No Monsanto to worry about! And the kicker, they had over three thousands types of potatoes!

The Incas may not have lived in the best houses but everyone ate! There were no food shortages.

If you are up for an adventure, Machu Picchu is a must. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

Or if you are in a mood to stay closer to home this summer, join me at one my special events. I’ll again be at the Third Afterlife Awareness Conference in St. Louis, a wonderful, wonderful gathering. I’ll be returning as well to Montreal and Toronto, and Omega in upstate New York for a special weekend at the end of July. Check the calendar on my website for details.

As always, I look forward to reconnecting with many of you, and hope to meet some new folks along the way.