Paul Hawken: A Regenerative World

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September 25, 2018

Paul Hawken: A Regenerative World

Paul Hawken September 25, 2018

Paul Hawken is an author, entrepreneur, and environmentalist whose books include Natural Capitalism, The Ecology of Commerce, and the New York Times bestselling Drawdown. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Paul about the spiritual origins of his lifelong devotion to the natural environment. They talk about Project Drawdown—Paul’s far-reaching plan to reverse global warming—and the fact that climate change is an alarm bell telling humanity it needs to transform itself. Paul explains that dealing successfully with climate change won’t just involve phasing out fossil fuels, but also reorganizing the systems of labor, culture, and economics that led us to this point. Finally, Paul and Tami discuss why life regenerates life and how we as a species can rise to the challenge of our present crises. (73 minutes)

Tami’s Takeaway
Most of the time, when I hear people talk about climate change, I feel some combination of fear, helplessness, and resignation. Listening to Paul Hawken, I felt activated and turned on. As he says, it’s not about “game over” for the human race, but “game on” . . . and how this is a time when we are called to step forward into our greatest human capacities and possibilities. Paul Hawken transmits the beauty, flow, and regenerative power of the natural world in a way that is contagious. When the interview was over, I felt like everything around me was in a shimmering fluid state, in unstoppable regenerative flow.

Paul Hawken is a world-renowned environmentalist, activist, and author. His works include Blessed Unrest, Drawdown, and Sustainable Revolution.

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Meet Your Host: Tami Simon

Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

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Paul Hawken is a world-renowned environmentalist, activist, and author. His works include Blessed Unrest, Drawdown, and Sustainable Revolution. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Paul about the call to action in his newest book, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation. Paul and Tami discuss the accelerating effects of climate change and how global society might respond. Paul comments on the lack of public engagement with the situation, emphasizing that old and entrenched human behavioral patterns won’t solve the problem. Tami and Paul talk about the nature of social change, resources for everyday climate action, and the fascinating climate-shifting possibilities of the Azolla fern. Finally, they speak on the importance of staying active and joyous even when the scale of the crisis feels overwhelming.

Paul Hawken: A Regenerative World

Paul Hawken is an author, entrepreneur, and environmentalist whose books include Natural Capitalism, The Ecology of Commerce, and the New York Times bestselling Drawdown. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Paul about the spiritual origins of his lifelong devotion to the natural environment. They talk about Project Drawdown—Paul’s far-reaching plan to reverse global warming—and the fact that climate change is an alarm bell telling humanity it needs to transform itself. Paul explains that dealing successfully with climate change won’t just involve phasing out fossil fuels, but also reorganizing the systems of labor, culture, and economics that led us to this point. Finally, Paul and Tami discuss why life regenerates life and how we as a species can rise to the challenge of our present crises. (73 minutes)

Tami’s Takeaway
Most of the time, when I hear people talk about climate change, I feel some combination of fear, helplessness, and resignation. Listening to Paul Hawken, I felt activated and turned on. As he says, it’s not about “game over” for the human race, but “game on” . . . and how this is a time when we are called to step forward into our greatest human capacities and possibilities. Paul Hawken transmits the beauty, flow, and regenerative power of the natural world in a way that is contagious. When the interview was over, I felt like everything around me was in a shimmering fluid state, in unstoppable regenerative flow.

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Forest Bath Right Down This Path

Dear Readers, I’m excited that my new picture book  Forest Bath Right Down this Path is part of the Sounds True Kids collection. It’s a book of my heart as it portrays a fog forest—Barred Island Preserve—that my family and I hike every year on our summer vacation in Maine. I’m thrilled that you can enjoy this forest through the window of Khoa Le’s gorgeous illustrations.

As we wander the forest’s moss-lined paths, we smell pines and firs, touch bark and berries, and listen to birds and chipmunks. The hike ends at a rocky beach where we swim and explore tidepools. When we leave, we feel peaceful and calm. The name for this kind of soothing experience is forest bathing.

There’s evidence that smelling chemicals from trees called phytoncides and microbes from soil called mycobacterium vaccae may reduce stress and boost immune function.

I work as a child psychiatrist to help children, teens, and adults, and I’m always looking for ways to help people manage stress and anxiety. Some of the recommendations I make for doing this include exercise, taking time away from screens, meditating, and connecting with family and friends. I try to do these things myself, too! Every morning I take a half hour walk through the woods near my home.

I’m also a parent of two children (now young adults), and I’ve been concerned about the ways phones and screens are interfering with paying attention to the natural world as well as one another. It’s known that spending a lot of time on social media is contributing to the worsening of teens’ mental health. Adults need to take time away from their phones, too. That’s why the main character of my book, Kayla, encourages her father to put away his phone and fully engage in their walk through their forest. Children want their parents’ undivided attention; often they’re the ones encouraging adults to turn off their phones and be present.

I hope this book inspires you to spend time with your loved ones outdoors and soak in all its beauty and mental health benefits. Happy forest bathing!

Wishing you fresh air and sunshine,

Lisa Robinson

P.S. I invite you to download the free story time kit with five activities for children to learn more about forest bathing—from heading out on a sensory expedition to exploring their senses to making art in nature.


Lisa Robinson is a therapist, picture book writer, and nature enthusiast. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts. Every summer her family travels to coastal Maine for two weeks. The highlight of the trip is a walk through Barred Island Preserve on Deer Isle. The animals and plants mentioned in her new children’s book, Forest Bath Right Down This Path, are all found there. Learn more about Lisa and her work at author-lisa-robinson.com.

Give Yourself Permission to Take Up Space

Dearest Friend,

We live in a world full of deadlines. Alarms. Screaming kids. Nagging bosses. More on our to-do lists than we could accomplish in three lifetimes. It’s easy for your needs to get buried underneath the rubble of daily life, and figuring out how to reconnect with your authentic self can feel touch and go… at best.

I wrote Needy: How to Advocate for Your Needs and Claim Your Sovereignty to lovingly provide the space for you to better understand your needs, experiment with new habits that help you meet those needs each day, and build a resilient connection with yourself that you can rely upon for good.

You have needs—your needs matter. And yet, you’ve been taught that pushing your needs to the back burner is the only way to get things done, that your needs are an overwhelming burden, or that self-care is a luxury you can’t afford. But the presence of your needs is a fact and not a flaw. You can reclaim your energy and give yourself permission to take up space in the center of your own life.

In Needy, I share my unique approach to identifying, honoring, and advocating for the most tender and true parts of yourself that yearn to be acknowledged. It is an invitation to embody self-acceptance, which leads to meaningful growth in self-responsibility, self-care, self-trust, and self-love.

This book will be a delicious companion for your journey, but you actually can begin caring for yourself with greater tenderness and open communication right now.

I invite you to take the next three minutes to check in with yourself.

Put down your phone, close your computer, and put your hand on your heart.

Breath deeply into your belly and ask yourself:

How do I feel?

What do I need?

What does my body need from me?

What is ONE, doable need that I am ready, able, and willing to meet?

Real self-care is responsive, not prescriptive. The care you are aching for right now will be found in asking yourself those four questions. Give yourself permission to start with one, tangible action.

And repeat as necessary.

Need more? I will see you between the pages of Needy. I am so grateful to be able to share this book with you, and I hope you will share it with the humans in your life who struggle to take up space in this way.

xx Mara

Mara Glatzel, MSW, (she/her) is an intuitive coach, writer, and podcast host. She is a needy human who helps other needy humans stop abandoning themselves and start reclaiming their humanity through embracing their needs and honoring their natural energy cycles. Her superpower is saying what you need to hear when you need to hear it, and she is here to help you believe in yourself as much as she believes in you. Find out more at maraglatzel.com.

Elissa Epel: The Stress Prescription

How can we live without the sense that our value is measured by achievements and productivity? What kind of attitude and skills are needed today to deal with the stress so many are feeling? In a nutshell, what does it mean to be human right now? 

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with bestselling author and stress expert Dr. Elissa Epel about the inextricable connection between the mind and the body and how we each have the capacity to protect our health and well-being even in times of volatile uncertainty. 

Take a break, relax, and breathe, as you listen to this hopeful conversation on breaking free from toxic cultural imperatives; changing our minds, bodies, and environment; aging and the telomere effect; understanding the types of stress, such as acute, chronic, and restorative; cryotherapy and the benefits of cold exposure; deep rest, and how to get more of it; shifting the messages to our cells from “stay vigilant” to “I’m safe”; developing awareness and choosing your response; nervous system regulation; planting safety cues and secluded breaks into your day; befriending the body; “turning from gazelle to lion” in the midst of stress; seeing the beauty in each day; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

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