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Episode 036: Small and Slow Solutions Can Change the World with Jenna Beatrice

May 12, 2020

This week's podcast episode is a real treat. We've got the fantastic Jenna Beatrice with us, an herbalist permie with a great message to share. There were so many profound things mentioned in the episode, here we'll be taking a closer look at a few of the ideas brought up. But before we get started, if you'd like to get in touch with or learn more about Jenna, here are some resources for you!

Her website... 

And she's very active on her LinkedIn Profile.

Revisiting the Three Ethics

One of the brilliant ways this conversation starts out is Jenna leading the discussion over to revisit the three ethics. We have Earth Care, one of the more common areas we find permies, rehabilitating the land and healing the soil. Next comes People Care, which is deeper than is seems. Not only does People Care include caring for those around us, but it also includes caring for ourselves, which would make sense considering the fact that we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Last comes Fair Share/Future Care, which Jenna relates to being aware of our consumption, and making sure that those who share this beautiful planet with us are able to consume what they need themselves. 

Recently for one of our "date night documentaries" we watched a Michael Moore documentary (prepared to take some things with a grain of salt, of course) called Planet of the Humans. During this terribly depressing documentary the host went around uncovering the costs we are really paying in order to have "green" or "alternative" energy that really aren't any better than traditional fossil fuels. He went around constantly debunking these green technology theories, showing how ineffective they were, and the tolls those energies are really taking on the environment. While I appreciated this look at these technologies, and agreed with his angle, he left you utterly abandoned at the end of the movie, with no alternative, no hopeful theory, no consolation after the doom-saying he unloaded on you for the past two hours. But here's the thing...

He never once addressed the fact that, truly, it is a matter of over-consumption. Of course if humanity continues to consume like they are, and farm like they are, there really isn't very long before things start hitting the fan. However, if we scale back our consumption, break away from traditional agriculture, and develop a more sustainable and dare I say REGENERATIVE way of life, we can drastically change the course humanity is taking. 

Near the beginning of our permaculture journey, we read a book called Surviving Off Off-Grid.  It showed a spectacular look at a man that had detached himself enough to not rely on electricity, and to be very self-sufficient. Now we're not saying that everyone needs to revert to cave man times, but the point is we should ALL be looking at how to consume less, and live more in harmony with our earth. 

Everything is Connected

In our home, we homeschool. During our last term, I was teaching our children different (basic) permaculture concepts - things like what's really in the soil, the carbon cycle, and the soil food web. Our oldest son is FASCINATED with zoology and nature, and he loves to see how everything is truly connected. He had no idea that soil is alive, and there is a whole orchestra playing beautifully in healthy soil. 

Towards the end of our term the kids watched Symphony of the Soil, and the narrator compared the relationship between the roots of plants and the soil ecosystem to baking cookies. The roots are giving off sugars and carbohydrates and such, like cookies, and the things living in the soil are eating them. Our kids loved this analogy, but what I love was that they started to see relationships in nature like they never had before.

Just like everything in nature is connected, so are we. Remember the big breakthroughs a couple decades ago about quantum physics? Everything in the universe is connected through quantum entanglement. You have no idea how the actions you are taking right now will affect the future, or who they will affect in the future. That may seem daunting, but take courage, you are never alone, and you ARE making a difference. 

Change From the Inside

Our family has been watching a lot of documentaries since this whole COVID-19 craziness, so I'm going to share another fantastic one that we watched called The Need to Grow. This is a great documentary about people trying to do their small, and yet large part in changing the traditional food and energy system. One of the people the narrator follows around is a little girl at the age of 6 at the start of filming, who is a food activist. She's a little girl scout in California, passionate about her beloved organization not selling GMO cookies. Over the 5 years of the documentary she creates petitions, gets thousands of signatures, makes YouTube videos, and even goes to the corporate office to speak to the CEO (who doesn't even let her in the elevator) in hopes of making the cookies she's supposed to be selling a little better for those she's selling them to. A few months after this documentary was finished, Girl Scouts of America finally released its first box of GMO-free cookies. 

But this little girl didn't REALLY just go out and change the world, just like Gandhi, she first had to change her self. She had to become the type of person who would courageously stand up for what she believed in, and seek her goal at any cost. Gandhi spent years developing his own mind and body before he ever organized a peace rally. All great change starts from the inside. All great change you want to create also has to start from the inside.

The Magic of Gratitude

So change must come from the inside.... but the inside, our mind, isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Josh shares in the podcast episode that just the other day, things were hard for him, like they are for all of us from time to time. Sometimes you don't feel like journaling, or going for a walk, or putting some big effort forth when you feel low. So what's something small?

Jenna brings up that gratitude is a fantastic SMALL and SIMPLE solution to when you've got the blues. Even just putting yourself in a place to LOOK for what you're grateful for starts to change your brain chemistry, and allows you to start climbing back up into the sunshine. If journaling is your thing, great. Go start a gratitude journal. If you're not a journaler but like to meditate, take that search for gratitude into your meditations. There is always a way for you to find gratitude.

Slow and small solutions are just one of the many regenerative principles we can utilize in designing our enterprise to be more regenerative. One small and simple solution (that's also free) that can help you come together with other impact entrepreneurs to implement regenerative principles together is our free monthly Think Tank events every first Wednesday of the month.


What a great episode this was, so go get out there, start creating your small changes, and keep growing your impact!


Previous Podcast: Fair Share/Future Care World Report