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Episode 025: Lessons From the Story of Pando

Feb 25, 2020

Lessons from the Story of Pando

Welcome back everyone for Episode 025! So remember how our online course is called the Pando Academy Online Course? We today we're talking about why it has such a unique name and the lessons we've drawn from this unique, ancient organism.

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The Metaphor for Pando

What exactly is Pando? It is an ancient aspen clone forest in Utah that is the oldest living organism on the earth known to man dating 80,000 years ago. In permaculture we like to look at nature and learn from its patterns and interactions to mirror in our own environments. We're going to do that same thing here in the blog post. Josh talked about Pando and it's strengths and threats in the podcast, but we're going to address Pando more as a metaphor here, and draw applicable lessons for our individual lives.

fall aspen pando utah.JPG

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Living Through the Ice Age

About 12,000 years ago, we came out of our last ice age. Pando has been around since way before that ice age, and therefore lived THROUGH the ice age. An organism has to be pretty resilient to live through an ice age, that's for sure. Resiliency to so important, and it all starts with our mindset, our roots if you will. If we don't have a resilient mindset, we won't be able to weather the storms of our lives. But if we foster strength and resiliency within our mindset, processing negative emotions, empowering ourselves, staying focused on forward progression and putting ourselves in a place of growth, the storms will never overtake us. What do you do when the storms of life are blowing? Are you solid and grounded? How resilient are you?

Autumn Scenery in the Beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado (Credit: Getty royalty free)

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Strength in Connection

One way to foster resiliency is through connection. Plants are only as strong as their roots, who are only as strong as their relationships with the mycorrhizae. Strength lies in their connection. Our strength lies in our connection, but not just with our communities and the world around us. Our connection with the world and the community around us will only be as strong as the strength of the connection with ourselves. What are you actively doing to connect with yourself on a deeper level?

A great place to start connecting with yourself is with your WHY statement. If you haven't crafted that yet we include a training on it in our FREE Dreamcatcher Mini Course

Aspen Grove with Yellow Leaves Reflecting in an Alpine Lake in Fall in Utah Mountains (Credit: Getty... [+] royalty free)

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Facing Adversity

In the podcast episode Josh mentioned four big things that are threatening the ecosystem of the Pando clone forest. Those were overgrazing (livestock on deer population), drought, fire suppression, and other human factors. When we face adversity, how do we stay strong, deeply rooted and resilient? We need go-to strategies for resiliency, having a clear plan of what we do when the world seems bent against us, when our reserves run low, when we feel alone and on the edge. What things can we put in our lives so that we will bend but never break?

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Our Problem is Our Solution

The problem and solution dichotomy is an interesting one.

If we have too many snails, we introduce ducks.

If we have to many mosquitoes we introduce frogs and bats.

If we feel alone and lack connection, we need to build up our connection with ourself.

If we feel weak, we need to exercise strength.

If we feel unstable, we need to deepen our roots.

There are many correlations you can draw here. I invite you to ponder on what this looks like in your life specifically.

The Trembling Giant

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Hope for Our Saplings

The Pando aspen clone forest reproduces through different mechanisms, but saplings are its primary method. This growth ensures health and strength of the forest, and increased resiliency for the organism. While we may not reproduce asexually, our kids are a great correlation for the saplings. If we want to create global change around the world we definitely need to be actively engaged it the movement towards and beyond sustainability, but if we spend all of our time focusing on what we can do with our single life and neglect the rising generations, mankind will just revert after we are gone. Education of our youth is so tremendously important when it comes to this type of movement. They are the future, they are the potential for continued and even escalated change in our world.


Does it all make sense now why we named our course after this amazing organism we can learn so much from? Our goal with this course is to give you the tools necessary for executing your dreams, and to help you create the resilient mindset you need to create the change you wish to see in the world.