Reflections – April/May 2015

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Is April the “cruelest” month? Maybe it’s that early spring brings unsettling change. When the winter cold meets the coming warmth of summer, chaos rules—at least until steady May arrives. Meanwhile, the Earth is waking up and so are we! In nature, plants have sent their roots deep into the earth to anchor the glorious flowers, fruits, and vegetables that flourish through autumn. In April we set down our own symbolic roots for 2015, creating new human structures—such as positive habits, caring people, or fresh initiatives—to support the year’s coming purpose.

maypoleThe energy of April is strong and direct: Aries the Ram says, “I AM” and you’d better get out of the way when he charges ahead. In May, by contrast, Taurus the Bull says, “I have,” refocusing those energies into more practical, material pursuits.

On May 1st, the Celtic feast of Beltane, the gods of winter surrender their power to the Beauty of Divine Feminine. Trees and plants explode with plump, promising buds. Our spiritual work now is to enhance and strengthen the positive new practices, relationships and projects we created in April and to ground our powerful “I AM” instincts into the earthy constancy of May’s “I have” energy.

Spring is a time for renewal. An opportunity to examine your inner life and to ask which core dimension yearns for renewal now. As I reviewed my own deepest desires, I saw that my longing for “Well Being” was clearly the strongest. Last autumn, I’d made a different choice—one for Creativity. It continues to be a deeply fulfilling one, but I now want and need to balance it with greater Well Being.

What about you? What longs to be renewed and reborn in you? Which “tank” within your being yearns to be refilled with the fresh, clean waters of spring?

Conscious Money, Conscious Capitalism, and Organic Farmland

What do Conscious Capitalism, LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), and TV stock evangelist Jim Cramer have in common? You might surprised to know that the exuberant (okay, loud-mouthed) Cramer is an early advocate of all things organic, recommending hot stocks like Hain Celestial (HAIN) and WhiteWave (WWAV). Cramer’s take, like that of yours truly and Conscious Capitalism, is especially keen on acknowledging companies that are both organic and profitable.

A story  on Cramer’s TheStreet.com website acquainted me with angel investor Ali Partovi, an early Facebook admirer and Dropbox advisor, now a top investor in organics. Partovi’s message is that organics belong in everyone’s kitchen— and that organic food can be a lot less costly for consumers and profitable for business, too. He states it brilliantly in this Ted Talk.

thOrganic food is actually not inherently expensive, he argues. It’s more a matter of supply and demand. Really? Yes. First, organic demand is hugely underestimated, he says. Conventional wisdom holds that only about five percent of us really want organics. In fact (as I’ve always argued), it is 25 percent of Americans, the same percentage as the LOHAS sector—and many more in Europe. But get this: Partovi cites a study in which Wal-Mart discovered that 91 percent of its customers wanted to buy organic! So there’s a huge demand.

But here’s the supply side of Partovi’s equation: only one percent of US farmland is certified organic. In fact, 80 percent of organics are imported from developing countries. That’s one hell of a lot of petro-miles, which only drives the cost of organics even higher. So what’s organic activist Partovi going to do about it?

For one thing, he’s publicizing the simple truth about the astronomical cost of industrial agriculture (Surprise, surprise: fossil fuel, chemicals, and antibiotics don’t come cheap). For another, Partovi puts his money where his organic-loving mouth is by backing Farmland LP, which buys ordinary US farmland and boosts its profitability by converting it to certified organic land.

Great to know that at least one capitalist is supporting this all-important work–and good news to get in the springtime of the year.

Love,

Patricia

 

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