Finding A Kindred Spirit
Meeting Kindred, a beautiful and happy horse, a few years ago on a farm was life changing. Kindred was grazing for hours on grass with not a care in the world. He didn’t have to worry about making a living. And he had the loving support of a trusted community.
Let me explain how I met the remarkable Kindred. While speaking at a conscious leadership gathering in Aspen, I was blown away by the source of the food that was shared. Before the seventy conscious leaders enjoyed the beautifully prepared lunch, Brook Levan gave us an overview of biodynamic farming. And his love of his life’s work became part of the day. It was simply true conscious leadership in action.
And a year later while visiting my dear friend Tara Sheahan, she took me to Sustainable Settings. Brook is a co-founder of the 244-acre historic Thompson Creek Ranch and Whole Systems Learning Center based in Colorado, which is now for sale. And this is where I was later greeted by Kindred.
A Purposeful Trek
Stumbling in at the end of a three-day workshop on biodynamic farming, I discovered a team of kindred souls learning and creating together. There were tasks to be done and people simply organically did them with the most amazing joy. It was also clear that there was a respect for everything and everyone.
While we were in the field, an incoming storm was welcomed with indigenous drumming and an appreciation of Nature. No one ran for cover as it began to rain heavily. Everyone continued to create, while supporting each other.
Curiosity and passion brought a group of 16 people together to learn with Nature. I have never seen a team form this quickly. The relationships were very deep and the communication flowed. Additionally, there was a natural flow of learning and growing together. People cared about where everything came from and what they took and put back into the Earth.
Harvesting nature’s intelligence is one of the core values of Sustainable Settings. And wouldn’t it be beneficial for more human intelligence these days to be applied in our world in alignment with Nature?
There is Nothing New Under the Sun
What if there is nothing new under the sun and we have everything we need? What if we tapped into ancient wisdom with curiosity?
In fact, Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Biodynamic agriculture, helps us recognize that farmers are critical to our life on Earth. “For centuries, the farmer…has been at the bottom of the social ladder in terms of recognition and material reward. Farm and garden constitute the life-sustaining base of all mankind. And yet, the consumer generally refuses to pay a price based on cost, including the human labor to produce it.
The [food] industry, on the other hand, will not sell a product unless a pre-determined profit and overhead are built into the price of an item. What would the price of food be if the farmer or gardener would charge an hourly wage equal to a plumber’s income? Is the labor of a farmer less needed?”
And are we not all farmers at heart? Rumi reminds us that “With every breath, I plant the seeds of devotion, I am a farmer of the heart.”
Do We Have to Accept the Status Quo?
It is absolutely critical for each of us to be aware of the source of the food we consume. Our health depends on it. But for some reason, we are constantly informed by different health organizations which food is healthy for us and which is not. There is even a pyramid.
But are we also asking ourselves, why is there what is called food that causes cancer and other diseases on supermarket shelves, grocery stores and restaurants? How have we come to a point when we are given a choice between organic and chemically infused food? Why do food labels now tell us there is no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in food?
Instead of being told what is in our foods, we are now informed whether it is toxic for our health, or not.
Isn’t it time for us to expect all our food choices to be healthy for our wellbeing? How can we ensure our food comes from healthy soil? And on this Labor Day in North America, and wherever we are in the world, let’s ask, how can we truly support our farmers?
Kindred would greatly love for each of us to be as healthy as he is on the farm enjoying life to the fullest. And he asks us again to be brave enough to ask ourselves, what’s next? How are we taking impeccable care of our physical land and body?