Dealing With Your Own Dry Spells

Red Rock CanyonLegacy Journal readers, like our clients, tend to be accomplished and successful, mid-career business owners and professionals looking beyond their current work to building “what’s next.” Not for retirement, that is mostly a foreign word and applies perhaps to finances but not to life and work in the world. While financial independence – minding your business – is definitely a part of what’s next, continuing to be productive – minding your profession – is as well. Some need to get businesses or professional practices set up in a way that frees them to focus on what’s next, and some have already done that or are in the process. Others feel stuck or lost, or just can’t see what’s next after being so immersed for so long in what has made them successful to begin with.

They can see milestones – like, my kids will all be in college or out on their own in the next few years, or my investments have reached a point where I can draw some of my income from interest, dividends, lease payments and the like, and not rely on earned income alone.  But they can’t see “what’s next.”  And considering stepping away from a business or professional identity they’ve long held can be a bit immobilizing – “who will I be then?”  

Does that resonate with you?  

I’ve been there; asked similar questions. And ultimately what I learned is that “who you will be then” is all you’ve ever been (you bring it all along with you) … plus. You get to use the best parts of it all in new endeavors about which you’re really passionate.  But getting there is a process, and sometimes that process starts with simply feeling lost.

So, here are some ways to address feeling lost, confused or like you’re dealing with a real creative or productive personal “dry spell” that you don’t seem to be able to see your way out of:

1.    Accept Your Current Situation. First, maybe foremost, is to accept that’s the way things are … for now.  Having the awareness of your situation, and then fully accepting it, are the only “ways through” to do something about it.  Denial or pretending things are fine don’t even get your started – the nagging feeling that you know the truth, that you’re ready for things to change – can start to eat away at you.

Doubt is part of the process. So, go ahead and just say so: “Whether things are just fine, or not, I’m ready for a change even if I don’t know what it is yet and I’m not sure if I’m capable.” There. How does that feel? Lightning didn’t strike. Like everything else, this too shall pass.

2.    Let go.  Start by dropping or at least temporarily letting go of the things you can’t control. Tune out the mainstream media, for sure, at least for awhile.  Let go of your current expectations – for yourself, others, or the direction the world is going (or not going).

There is an old saying that ‘expectations are pre-meditated resentments.’ Meditating on them, that is, holding them in your thoughts, takes energy. When that energy is of the negative form (a resentment) you are really turning your capacity away from what you could be doing something about – what you can control, like you and your life, and the consequences of your actions. 

Clean UpMaybe there are some things you need to clean up and get complete with. Maybe there are some things you want to do for you – like take the time to work out, read, write or learn something new. These are things you can do now, and finding the time is just about letting go of things that are not yours to do.  

This is not about abandoning responsibilities, though you may have to get yourself out of a few you’ve already agreed to and are ready to let go of.  It’s also not about being self-ish; it’s about being self-directed rather than other-directed.  Only from there, can you begin to engage in things that truly excite you. Remember, whatever they are they will benefit someone else in some way, too – so you can still be responsible to others.  But benefitting others without also benefitting yourself is choosing to play win/lose, and agreeing in advance to be the loser.

3.     Re-charge yourself. Recognize the ebb and flow of nature.  Like waves and tides, our creative and productive energies sometimes wax and wane. We can’t be at our peak all the time. To be our most effective, we may need to challenge ourselves with big meaningful goals. But that doesn’t mean we have to pursue them 24/7/365.  In fact, we can’t.  There needs to be a balance of self-care time for rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, fun, laughter, and enjoyment.  So when you don’t know what else to do, choose something that fits in one of those self-care categories and re-charge yourself.

4.    Focus on your spiritual nature.  When you’re ready to take some action, but are still not sure what’s next, focus on the spirit that moves you, whatever form that takes. Connect with what is meaningful for you. Visit environments you find soothing and inspiring, where you can breathe deeply and fully.  Engage in prayer and meditation. Spend some time simply engaged in the wonder of it all. (Here’s a poem by Mary Oliver to help you remember this). Ask for help from the powers greater than yourself you most resonate and connect with, by whatever name you call them. See what comes up for you when you do, and what shows up serendipitously in your world as a result of your requests. Keep track of this information in an idea journal.   

5.    Create rituals that comfort you.  Often when you are in that “space in between” – where you know you don’t want to stay where you are but have yet to devise a plan for where you are going next - it is most helpful to just relax, take one day at a time, and do things that you know are good for you and that you’ll feel good about. 

MusicDevelop and engage in pleasing routines you may not otherwise because it seems too indulgent. (Be a little indulgent!) Listen to soothing music and just relax and breathe and “just be” for a bit, without doing anything.  Fill the open space that appears in your mind with gratitude for all the good in your life. Create a new exercise routine, and stay with it. Walk in a beautiful park on a regular basis at a similar time each day and learn what nature has to teach. Visit a labyrinth and engage in a moving meditation – or participate with a group in a gentle yoga class. Now’s the time to be gentle with the current you, while the “new you” is forming and getting ready to emerge.

6.    Muster some courage. It may only take a tiny bit to begin considering what’s next. The English word courage derives from Old French, based on the Latin root “Cor” meaning heart.  So focus on your heart, and what you deeply need to feed you. Then consider what having courage really means.  It has three parts – one of which we’ve already addressed: doubt + commitment + action. That is, courage is to make a commitment to act even in the face of your doubt. The actions you choose can be small steps, and they will likely be at least a little uncomfortable – though they should be bearable. Getting out of your comfort zone is what making a change entails. Turn doubt into wonder or curiosity or exploration and just take one step.

7.    Interact with your communities. Get together with people you know care about you, who are nurturing, will listen and will help re-charge your batteries (not the ones who drain you!) These are supportive people who will lovingly tell you the truth, rather than just what they think you want to hear.  Engage with bigger groups who are doing something important in the world that you support.  Notice who you’re drawn to and what their qualities are.  What might you emulate? Where do you feel yourself wanting to be engaged?

When all else fails, just do something completely different. This doesn’t have to be a big change. Just engage in some things you’ve never done before – for an hour, an afternoon, a day, weekend or even longer. Go somewhere new. Stretch yourself. Immerse yourself in something you’ve wondered about. Take a friend so you can compare notes (and so you’ll actually do it).  
       
Or you could hire a coach (especially recommended!) who can help you explore your deepest desires and interests, shed what is no longer yours to focus on, design what’s next based on your gifts, talents and resources – and then begin actually doing something about them.  Finding that sense of authenticity and personal integrity, and then demonstrating it in the world feels great and can lead to amazing things you feel truly proud of. That will allow you to feel more like the “you” you are ready to become.  

The first part of the “7 Steps to Creating Your Legacy” program is built around these notions of defining, discovering and designing, and we utilize them in working with private clients one on one as well.  From there, we help you get into action on building what’s next when the gentle rains begin to fall and nurture the growth of both you and something that deeply interests you.  

I’d love to join you in that journey!
Cheers, Dolly

Protecting Our Future

The children are our future, the popular song tells us.  But as the fabulous Riane Eisler so accurately points out, why then do we pay our child care workers less than $10 per hour?  Where are our values really? Because that is where our money goes.  And isn’t it so often that our money goes out to pay for convenience? 

The pride of do it yourself, of crafting something by hand, and of eschewing waste with re-use, refurbishing or re-purposing has gone out the window with do more faster and even better, have someone else do it for you.  With just about everything.  When was the last time you grew your own food or churned your own butter – like so many did not too many generations ago?  When was the last time you bought your food from someone who still does these things, as opposed to from a more convenient factory farm to big box store arrangement …?  Heck, when was the last time you cooked your own meal — from scratch without opening any pre-mixed packages?

Two words come to my mind whenever I think about the future: clean and renewable.  Of course, I speak of energy production because it is the one thing behind our culture of convenience that seems the most at odds with my version of the future as an environmental activist – a truly healthy planet.  What if we all valued that a bit more and were a bit more concerned about how healthy the planet is that we WILL be leaving our children? 

How would what you do have to change?  Because it WILL take all of us.  This isn’t just about the utility companies or the government making decisions and changes to better our lives.  After all folks, we are the government and we are the utility companies as well as all the other businesses we patronize.  As Walt Kelly put it so well: “We have met the enemy … and he is us.”

How’s that you say?  Well, at least here in the U.S., we have the right and opportunity to vote the bozos in or vote the bozos out – or participate as one of them by being involved in government at any level.  That includes everything from writing to or calling your local, state and federal representatives all the way to, if you were born here, being the president (otherwise, the governor of some great state).  Isn’t that what we teach our children – that you, too, dear Johnny or Jayne, can grow up to be president of these United States? 

And you know that “market” they are always talking about?  Right again – that’s us, too.  We can vote with our dollars.  Instead of getting the lowest prices for the most amount of stuff, how about we cut back a little and maybe pay a little more for one or two items of higher quality: organic produce or fair trade clothing made from natural fibers not produced in some sweat shop overseas?  Can you say more with less?  And then how about using and reusing those items and making them go as far as we possibly can before they become disposable? Or even running our businesses in a more socially responsible way …?

(I’m thinking here of my dear husband, whose brimmed cotton canvas bucket hats become compass covers – he works on boats – when they no longer protect his lovely cranium … and then the shreds of what’s left of that natural cotton can be recycled.)

In my mind, we’ll have to gear up considerably to begin mastering alternative energy production methods that are, well … clean and renewable.  But I for one, think we are up to the task.  We, the voters and the market.  We will have to return to playing the role of citizens and conservationists, rather than consumers.  We have plenty of history and plenty of role models to teach us how … and we have technology to help.  At least until the oil runs out (if we don’t do something soon about that because we are really fouling this beautiful planet with what remains of the remains of dead dinosaurs).

If greenhouse gases – like auto exhaust and that from factory smoke stacks full of carbon dioxide and all the other chemicals we spew into the atmosphere – were a color rather than invisible, I think more people would notice and be appalled.  Hey, what if it looked like what’s spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and killing the marine life that will end up in our food chain?  (Oh, and not to leave out the children … their food chain too, since these toxics persist and are multiplied as big fish and big bird eat little fish …)

Well, if you’ve got the picture now … here’s the good news.

We can return quickly to being citizens and conservationists - proud contributors and preservationists – with just a little added consciousness (and conscientiousness).  Along with clean and renewable, I’d simply ask that you add these words to your daily vocabulary as you exercise greater awareness about every thought and every action you take, every moment of every day.  I full well know that while simple, this level of consciousness is not easy to master in practice.  So that’s why it becomes a practice. And that practice can become a movement.

While they may sound like small things, even seemingly insignificant (“who am I, I’m just one little guy”), these things all add up.  Shifting to this way of being and doing is actually a BIG job if you’ve ever tried it.  None of us will be perfect at it, but if you do it best as you can each step of the way with your life and work, and all the other people in government and industry do it best as they can each step of the way in their lives and work, or at least enough of us get it going so others can catch on and join in, then things can change significantly for the better.  And quickly … exponentially.

Then, if we use the intelligence and technology we have to focus on the production of clean and renewable energy sources, then we can be living in harmony with the planet thereby truly protecting our future.  (And no, nuclear is not among them until we can get beyond nuclear fission to nuclear fusion … and I think we can, eventually, if we’re consciously focused on that … but that’s much longer term, down the line.)

We’re at a point in a new era where this shift can happen.  It must happen.  As aptly noted recently by Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, at the EEPC India, Export Award Presentation Function, we did not leave the stone age because we ran out of stones …

Another great quote further illustrates:

“Memo to oil apologists: When VHS supplanted Betamax, nobody shed a tear.  When word processing software replaced typewriters, nobody shrieked about a socialist revolution in the steno pool.  And when the jet engine replaced the propeller, there were no protests on the Mall in Washington about a vast supersonic conspiracy. Face it: Technology changes.  And the petroleum-based economy is dead. It’s built on antiquated technology that’s killing us and our planet.  Oil has served its purpose.  It was great while it lasted, at it got us to a point where we have the industrial and technological wherewhithal to chart a new course.  But we’re no longer primitives who need animal fat to light our evening meditations, or chase away evil spirits.”  ~ Martin Luz in HuffingtonPost.com

Indeed, the universe has been beautifully set up for us humans by putting the biggest nuclear reactor we’ll ever need perfectly positioned at the center of our solar system, which in my humble opinion at about 93,000 million miles away, is about as close to nuclear technology as we humans need to be at this stage in our evolution.  But beautifully, that sun-reactor shines on this planet all day every day.  All we have to do is rotate around and collect it, store it and share it. And the rotating is already being done for us! (Think about how big that part of the job would be if we had to do it …)

With the brilliant minds of our leaders in technology and elsewhere, this is totally doable.  Just ask the children who draw pictures of this concept every day in grade schools around the world, and who are learning how to play nicely in the sandbox with others and to share their toys (then pass them down to the younger kids …).  That sunshine is in everything we know as life that is on the planet today.  It is begging us to be more consciously engaged with it.

And so is the earth.  Since we cannot see the dinofuels we’ve gassified and put into the atmosphere, it is now giving us a glimpse of what we’re doing by pumping millions of gallons of pure black crude into our oceans (and we have underwater cameras so we can watch it happen with full awareness).  I say oceans rather that Gulf of Mexico here because in their fluid state, the tar balls that have been put into circulation can now go everywhere on the planet to be cleaned up by everyone – after we focus on the massive efforts needed currently on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

What’s one thing you can do each day to make a positive difference and help return us to a world that’s clean and renewable?  Whatever you do will be your contribution to protecting our future.  And whatever it is, it is a valuable contribution.

Blessings for your efforts, Dolly

The Solar Race Is On – Now There’s a Developing Legacy to Get Behind!

Many of you know my personal legacy is devoted to environmental protection, conservation and support for the development of clean, renewable energy technologies. Now that folks seem to be getting the sense that global climate change is happening, addressing it is important and that it is economically and common sensically viable to do so (not only crucial to life as we know it on Earth), it seems the race to innovate and initiate new solutions is on.  Yea!!

From the Las Vegas Sun news online comes the story of the race between Nevada and Arizona to be the first to employ solar energy production and storage.

Imagine: what would the world be like if we all were racing to create better solutions, especially to environmental problems?  From my perspective, it would allow us to eventually get away from fossil fuel based energy production, which is important why?  Again, from where I live on the ocean it would stop us from killing the ocean and a crucial food chain all us Earthians depend on.  The ocean is not the vast resource we once thought, that we can treat as a giant dumping ground (and unfortunately have).  Between doing that and adding carbon to the atmosphere, which the ocean tries to help moderate by absorbing it and creating carbonic acid (H20 + CO2 = carbonic acid), not to mention unsustainable fishing practices, the ocean and its resources are dying. 

Here’s a picture of where we’re going if we don’t race to find solutions.  This is not just a scary story, we’re already actually on our way to this end:

Coral reefs and climate change, a message for Copenhagen from Earth Touch on Vimeo.

It was a video shown in Copenhagen as part of the effort to urge global solutions to climate change (of which the ocean acidification I mentioned is part).  Consider your children and grandchildren and the world they will inherit from the current generation if we don’t get behind efforts to change things for the better. 

Knowing this, what solution could you race toward as part of your consciously chosen life legacy?  Let us know how we can help you!

Women Business Owners Positioned To Make A Better World

Legacy development expert offers free tips in honor of Make A Difference Day

RENO, NVWomen professionals and business owners are putting their unique mark on the world by creating positive changes not only in business but also in their communities. There are more women who have created successful enterprises and built significant wealth than ever before. Many of these successful women are also making significant positive changes in their communities and the world at large by creating lasting legacies- in keeping with the purpose of Make A Difference Day on October 24.

“These incredible women leaders – who often don’t see themselves that way – have enjoyed rewarding careers, built their own businesses and experienced tremendous success, and are now looking for ways to give back to their communities in a long-term, sustainable way,” says Dolly Garlo, RN, JD, PCC who advises successful mid-career women who are considering just that, and what’s next beyond their careers. “I receive numerous calls and emails from women with amazing backgrounds, knowledge and skills who want to contribute in a more authentic and significant way, but aren’t sure where to start.”

The annual Make A Difference Day holiday is the largest national day of helping others in the United States.  Founded by USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with HandsOn Network 19 years ago, it is also supported by Newman’s Own, the late, great Paul Newman’s social enterprise – which is now run by his daughter, Nell Newman.  In honor of this year’s events, Garlo offers the following tips to help leaders interested in creating a bigger positive impact.

§  Demonstrate your values and interests by contributing your time and skills.  Women business owners have a huge depth of knowledge and professional skills that public benefit organizations need.  Serve on a board or advisory committee to learn more about how public benefit agencies work and help them implement effective, efficient and profitable strategies.  The benefit gained by these agencies and the individuals and community it serves are a part of your personal legacy.

§  Inventory your skills, assets and wealth today. There are three types of legacies: financial only, participation only or a mixture of the two.  Which will yours be?  Take stock today of what you want to accomplish and what you will need to build your legacy.

§  Think big, start small. Many great beneficial causes have started with little money and by very young people.  Start thinking today what steps you can take and what things you can put into place to create your legacy.  Make a plan. Talk to like minded people. Research what it will take to bring your legacy to life.  Such legacy projects are born out of passion and quickly take a life of their own.

§  Planning for the future starts today! Most people think of legacies as an end of life activity!  In fact, more and more individuals are creating lasting legacies while they are still young enough to see them grow and deliver their good work in the world.  It can be an authentic expression of genuine interests, skills you enjoy using, involving and benefitting others from a community you care about, and they are built from inception knowing you’ll step away and allow others to continue.

§  Be inclusive and involve many.  To make a very significant impact on your community, it takes a lot of cooperation and support.  Share your passion.  Invite others to support your vision and goals.  It is a great way to teach another generation about business, wealth and contribution while building your legacy and making a lasting difference in the world.

Garlo is founder of Thrive!! Inc. and a program called Creating Legacy (www.CreatingLegacy.com).  A former critical care nurse and health care attorney turned professionally trained coach, she assists small business owners and professionals with business and strategic marketing development, succession and exit-planning, and life design post-career including legacy development. Garlo brings more than 30 years of professional, writing, speaking and facilitation services – and her own legacy creating experience, establishing the Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve (http://www.senecacounty.com/parks/Garlo.htm) – to bear in helping clients make a difference now that lasts for generations. For more information also visit www.CreatingLegacyNetwork.com.

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contact:

Dolly M. Garlo, RN, JD, PCC
President, Thrive!! Inc.
Email
Mobile: 305-849-8495

Strange Bedfellows: Algae and Big Oil

Bravo on the Enlightened Leadership scale, for Senator Bill Nelson of Florida’s commitment to the environment.  He has introduced Senate Bill 1250 in Congress.  It is the Algae-based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act of 2009, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the definition of cellulosic biofuel to include algae-based biofuel for purposes of the cellulosic biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property.

In plain English, that means that producers of biofuels from algae would get a tax break for pursuing their work.  Finally, some sensible support comes to the clean energy industry along the lines of the subsidies Big Oil and Big Agriculture have enjoyed in building their businesses.  (Can you say “corn subsidies”, and “high fructose corn syrup”? – the latter of which seems to be in just about everything these days – both of which started in the 1970′s right around the time the obesity epidemic began … but that’s another story). 

Interestingly, Exxon and BP are beginning to invest in this arena according to the Business Exchange forum Clean Techies.  As the Clean Techies article notes, these oil production companies know from whence support for fossil fuel production comes, and hopefully reailze that to continue to command market share in the new clean energy space they’ll need to change from a focus on taking every last drop of oil out of the earth. 

We can only hope.

Creating Your Legacy Starts Today!

My new program, 7 Steps to Creating Your Legacy, debuts today! I can’t wait to see what the participants do with the materials – what they consciously choose to create in the world, how they decide what they want their impact to be and in what manner they’ll carry it out.

Watching all that unfold will be magical!

And the program itself is brand new, so it will be a creation unfolding as well – with the added energies of the group members.  Beginning any new process always carries with it excitment “with an edge …”  That’s how it is with the process of creation, and we’ll all be in that together adding the potential for the experience of some great synergy.  This pioneering group of leaders will be taking action that makes changes in the world – we will have our own “butterfly effect” (maybe many of them).  So exciting to see what that will be.

Right foot, left foot, one at a time begins the “journey of a thousand steps” that any significant project includes.  Will keep you posted on how it all unfolds.  If you want more information, please feel free to contact me!  Here we go …

Recommendations From A Rocket Scientist

My own legacy includes a focus on my value for the preservation of nature.  There is currently legislation in the United States attempting to deal with global climate change – which is, in fact, happening; and which, whether you believe is caused by human activities, will only be solved by human activities.  Or rather changed behavior.

If you value the natural world, part of your developing legacy might be to regularly involve yourself in legislative issues affecting it and participating more actively in representative government. You don’t have to run for office to do this.  One way to do it is to become more informed and then making your views - concerns and recommendations for action – known.

There is legislation currently pending before the U.S. Congress dealing with climate change, H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, known as ACES.  What each of us with this legacy interest can do is learn more about it, AND ask our representatives to create meaningful law that benefits people and not special interests, better yet demand it. 

A list of important items to include in that law was compiled by Jim Hansen, himself an actual rocket scientist – someone who I’m sure knows a lot more about all this than I (and most people, including our legislators) do.  His latest views, concerns and recommendations were recently published at the Huffington Post blog.  He also wrote a very clear summary of what needs to be done at the first of 2009, published at the online magazine Grist.  Another source of good information is at 350.org

You can read the views of Hansen and others, and then use that information to write something to your congressional representatives.  Here are links to find where to write representatives in the U.S. Senate and House.

Go for it!  Be the change you want to see!!

Refuge From War Becomes Refuge For All

I started my own Creating Legacy journey when, as a nurse and attorney practicing health care law, studying to become a professional coach, and developing my company Thrive!!, I began some of the hardest work I’d ever done. I worked with my sister, also a high achiever and busy physician and mother of three, to help our parents begin their departure from this earth.

The Garlo Girls: first generation daughters of Polish and Lithuanian immigrant physicians, we were no strangers to valuing hard work and to the ideas of accomplishment, escaping adversity to create a better life, and passing along something meaningful to future generations. How to truly honor what we were taught and the gifts we had received from them — and deal with the myriad of issues including aging, illness, treatment and end of life decisions, navigating the healthcare systems, understanding and implementing an estate plan , and on and on — was a bigger job that we anticipated. Especially while trying to navigate our own careers and participate in our own families and communities.

Coming from little to nothing, our parents escaped Communist and Nazi occupations and arrived in the U.S. in 1948 with a few suitcases and our brother, a four year old. They were unsure and fearful, though elated by the opportunity this move provided, and that their children would not have to go through the adversity they had experienced. Through work, study, saving and investment, the family was able to acquire some 300 acres of farmland over a 30 year period. As our father’s last illness took him away from being able to tend the land, his refuge from the possibility of another war, we were faced with the question of what to do with this property. More importantly, we wanted to figure out how to keep the meaning of that land alive.

As busy professionals ourselves and living far away from the family farm, figuring out what to do involved a maze of new issues, advisors, land use and tax matters and paperwork. I often thought how nice it would be to have one advisor or set of resources that could have helped us through the myriad of family, property, financial, health care, legal and personal life, not to mention emotional and other issues and decisions …

“The farm” had always been a refuge of sorts, where no hunting was permitted to allow all manner of land and water flora and fauna to prosper there. While we focused on how to keep that meaning and purposes alive, as serendipity would have it we discovered the possibility of donating the land to create the county’s first park. In keeping with the spirit of the place, we negotiated, thoughtfully crafted agreements and created the Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve. Portions were subsequently named and dedicated by the park commissioners to all the family members who had been involved. See www.senecacounty.com/parks/Garlo.htm.

I had no idea how important that decision would be or how valuable, not only to us as we struggled to determine just how to properly manage this large piece of property, but also to scores of people who came after us. Since its formation in 1999, the county park commissioners have done a superb job of honoring the family’s values for the property, and have built it into a natural resource that people in the surrounding area use and likewise honor. Scout troops learn camping skills, build accessible trails and plant trees. School groups learn about nature first-hand. Volunteer groups maintain the nature preserve. Horse-lovers ride the equestrian trails. Handicap-accessible boardwalks and strategically placed benches allow the elderly and others whom might not get there commune with the peace and quiet of nature in the wooded countryside. All enjoy their year-round outdoor experiences there. The most recent addition has been a Montessori nature day pre-school program conducted at the preserve.

All these results occurred because of the efforts of others to whom this valuable land resource has been passed on. What started as an idea, became a set of activities coupled with a carefully structured contribution and estate plan, and resulted in a sustainable operation. Without fully realizing what we were doing at the time, the farm has become a living legacy that we can enjoy and feel good about, knowing that others can also enjoy this resource for generations.

The “Garlo Girls” and next generation of family continue to visit the nature preserve and marvel at the developments there. We also continue to be deeply moved at the seemingly magical evolution of a dream in ways that honor our family’s love of nature and preservation and continues to pleasantly surprise.

Written by: Dolly M. Garlo, RN, JD, PCC

An Environmental Tipping Point

Are you a leader, at least in your own sphere of influence, who cares about the environment? One of my favorite places is where I live in in the Florida Keys. When traveling for work, it’s hard to leave and is always a great place to come home to. But I’ve made it a point, no matter where I’ve lived, to find the best of the natural environment to immerse myself in – my cathedrals and places for spiritual connection (and fun – I believe joy to be a crucial component of spirituality).

The Keys, surrounded by ocean as they are, are causing me more concern lately. The more I learn about the environment and ecosystems, the more I realize that the Keys – like other places in the equatorial / tropical / subtropical belt around the planet, and the polar caps for that matter – are currently our “coal mine;” and here, the canaries are our coral reefs. Corals are little living animals, and those canaries are gasping – with some species of corals having been reduced to 6% of their former cover.

If you consider yourself a leader, or would like to, who cares about the environment, I wonder if you’ve seen this video, Wake Up Freak Out, from many months ago?  More about the illustrator and film’s background can be found at http://wakeupfreakout.org.  Where is that environmental tipping point anyway? When considering our coral reefs, all I can say is, it must be around here somewhere …

In my work, I am coming into contact with more and more individuals from Generation X (which encompasses the 44 to 50 million Americans born between 1965 and 1980, largely in their 30′s and early 40′s and on the whole, more ethnically diverse and better educated than the Baby Boomers – over 60% of Generation X attended college) and particularly Generation Y (also known as the “Millenials,” born in the mid-1980′s and later, these folks are in their 20s with numbers estimated as high as 70 million and include the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce). Do you know them?

I’m going to guess that Leo Murray, the illustrator of this film, is a Millenial.  Here’s an interview with him.   And another.  He’s smart, informed, talented … and very concerned.  And yet still seems lighthearted.  He may well still distrust anyone over 30 – if that sounds familiar to you.  In that, he may remind you of folks you know who used to feel that way (and who may still).  I, for one, find myself totally alarmed on some days about what’s happening environmentally. I have to actively look for places to find hope for the future, which I have not abandoned – mainly because of this generation (of voters, I might add).

Hmmm. Ready to up the ante on that reduce-reuse-recycle-and-rot effort, carry your own cloth grocery bags (or take your groceries to the car in your cart and pack them there if you forget?), drive less, unplug an appliance or two when not in use or write a few more letters to your representatives?

No need to reply to me, but feel free to talk to a few more Millenials and other folks who run things (leaders) … or pass this along.  Your planet, and my spiritual sanctuaries, thank you (as do I).