Parenting with an Open Heart – next Session on March 24, 2012 from 2 to 4pm

Are looking to refine and enhance what you’ve been doing as a parent because you just “know” that you can and that both you and your child(ren) would benefit all the more from it?

Or are you a frustrated parent floating aimlessly in a sea of authoritarian how-tos that simply don’t work for you or your child(ren)?

Maybe you have even discovered your own parents in your words and actions and wondered how the heck that happened?!

A new parenting seminar series entitled Parenting with an Open Heart is all about empowering the knowledge and wisdom that every human being comes with, passed down for millions of generations, but only recently doubted and suppressed.

Although these past 10,000 years have put many barriers between the civilized person’s intuitive knowledge and day-to-day life, thankfully our innate human heritage remains!

This seminar series is designed to help you reconnect with instinctive and heart-centred parenting…with its joy and success!  It will revolve around you and what you need and it’s designed for all parents, care-givers and parents-to-be, of any generation.  Sure, there’s lots of information to be gleaned, but we’ll work with your life and use our lives as examples so it will be as easy as possible to Parent with an Open Heart.

Our next sessions will focus on Authoritative Parenting and add a twist of trust.  It’s very different than Authoritarian Parenting and is one of many ways to break out of the Authoritarian/Permissive box that civilized parents often find ourselves in.

Alice Miller’s work will help us understand how we ended up in that little parenting box….

And all along the way, we’ll keep in mind what we and our children actually need.

In particular, we’ll create a toolbox of tips for compassionate parents to rely on when times get tough.

Other topics that invariably come up:

We’ll focus on the positives of all these, but we won’t ignore the problems of parenting with a closed heart.

Nonviolent communication is a technique that will be used during the course of this seminar; you need not know it or even want to learn it, but it will help you discover your feelings and needs and those of the rest of your family.  It is highly recommended!  And most importantly, it will help us keep the Parenting with an Open Heart seminar space a “No-fault Zone!”

Admission to each session is by donation, and I don’t want anyone to use cost as a reason not to come.  Snacks are provided (but bring your own specialty to share if you wish) and the suggested sliding scale is $0 to $50.  If it’s more enjoyable for you to trade or barter services or goods, then please let me know so we can arrange it.  My goal is simply to make life more wonderful for more people!    And yes, children are welcome!

Pre-registration for Parenting with an Open Heart is advised and recommended.  Simply email me at eec at resist dot ca (replacing the at with an “@” [no quotes] and the dot with a “.”; sorry for the extra edits but it keeps the spam down) or call me at 604.216.6700 with your name and contact info.  In the event of a last minute change, I’ll make sure you are kept up-to-date.

The next session date for Vancouver is Saturday, March 24th, 2012 in the naturally-lit common room of Paloma Housing Co-op (1580 East 3rd Avenue, 1 block west of Commercial Drive.  We’ll start at 2pm for 2 hours.  The space is child friendly and my daughter specifically requested a time when she could attend, so we’ll have arts and crafts available as well as snacks.  If it’s dry and warm enough for everyone, we’ll hold the sessions outside in the courtyard. Continue reading

Self-Propelled film at Fest Film tomorrow night!

Human Powered fans and doers rejoice!

The 30th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival includes a documentary called On The Line, a fully human powered journey from beginning to end of the proposed Enbridge Tar Sands pipeline to Kitimat and into 250 Supertankers per year.

Frank Wolf and Todd McGowan have made an insightful film that simply shows where and who will be affected by this insane plan to make a few rich people richer.

What impressed me is how they did this.  First riding bikes (that they then gave away!) for over a 1000km, then when pavement and gravel come to an end, they convert to hikers and traverse through pristine wilderness over the Rocky Mountains.  When riding becomes an option again, they somehow travel over seriously dangerous logging roads until rafting and kayaking are the only options to get to point where the bitumen would be loaded onto supertankers.

Not only do they show the incredible beauty of the land and all that depends on it along the path of the proposed pipeline, they bring countless stories of the humans who will be affected into the film.  One fact, that 37 jobs will be created by the pipeline while 56,000 people currently make their living from fishing in the area, was shocking to me.

Not surprising was the fact that the Environmental Review Panel evaluating this pipeline is set up to approve it at all costs.  That a Member of Parliament so plainly stated this fact on film was startling, to say the least.

I’m quite certain that anyone on the fence about this Northern Gateway Pipeline Project proposed by Enbridge (who declines their invitation to speak) will simply not be able to sit comfortably anymore after seeing this self-propelled film.

2 screenings remain for On The Line:

  • Tomorrow, Thursday, Oct 6th 7:00pm @ Empire Granville 7 Th 2
  • Tue, Oct 11th 1:45pm @ Empire Granville 7 Th 2

BC Ferries loses another $5.5 million; targets cyclists to recoup loses

A search for bicycle facilities at BC Ferries produced this.

A press release issued by BC Ferries on August 24, 2011 states that it lost another $5.5 million during April, May and June of this year.

It also confirms the devastating decisions they have recently made without public consultation: spending half a billion dollars on 3 giant new car ferries made in Germany while vehicle traffic reached an eleven year low.

In an effort to recoup these losses, BC Ferries recently sent 3 security people and a trained German Shepard after a cyclist to ban him for not paying $2 for his bicycle.  The only other ways to cross the Salish Sea are airplane or private boat.

After the cyclist explained that BC Ferries own Experience Card allows cyclists to travel without paying the $2 bicycle fare, the Terminal Manager lifted the ban.

However, the security personnel stressed that any cyclist who does not pay the $2 for their bicycle, even if BC Ferries staff sells them a ticket, are considered criminals and will be banned immediately.

BC Ferries press release did not comment on whether bicycle traffic increased or decreased in the last quarter, nor did it comment how customer service practices affected revenues.

David L. Hahn: "Sorry, my hands are tied."

President and CEO David L. Hahn did state that cutbacks will result from this loss, but the salaries and bonuses received by BC Ferries Executives will not be reduced.  The press release did not mention that David Hahn’s annual compensation, when added with the other members of the Executive’s, exceed the loss in the past quarter.

The press release stated that steep discounts for motorized vehicles and their drivers during peak travel periods in June did not increase revenues.

However, no mention was made of how a passenger only service would dramatically reduce costs (it currently costs $2,000 in fuel for one of the Giant new ferries to make a crossing of the Salish Sea) while simultaneously increasing service.

The press release also contains financial information that shows that BC Ferries has accumulated a $1.3 billion debt in the past 8 years; a previous press release stated that prior to the hiring of David Hahn as President and CEO, BC Ferries was debt free after the Provincial Government wrote off $1.1 billion in debt that was accumulated over more than 40 years.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.bcferries.com/bcferries/faces/attachments?id=528847
https://www.bcferries.com/bcferries/faces/attachments?id=477419
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Ferry_Scandal

New Date for the Cob B&B (Build-and-Bake) Workshop: Learn to Build a Cob Oven and Bake with it!

Cobbing doesn’t get any easier than at this 3 day Cob B&B (Build-and-Bake) Workshop, from August 21st to August 25th, 2011 on Lasqueti Island.

We’ll spend the first 2 days learning how to build a beehive oven out of cob, then we’ll learn how to use it and indulge in tasty treats as master baker Nadine Simpson shares her recipes and skill.

You’ll arrive on Sunday, August 21st, pitch your tent and settle in for a welcoming dinner.  The next 2 days we’ll hand sculpt an oven in the shape of a frog.  You’ll get a basic understanding of how to mix and use cob, an ancient building technique that is not only dirt cheap, it’s insect, rodent, earthquake and fire proof.  You’ll also learn how to mix and use natural plasters.

On our 3rd day, we’ll mozy on over to Nadine’s place to:

  • learn the basics of preparing the oven for baking,
  • discuss baking practices…mise en place, equipment, tools etc.
  • learn about breads, (yeasted and pre-ferments – sourdoughs, bigas, levain, etc.)
  • mix a sourdough bread (Rye)
  • learn to braid a challah and to make cinnamon buns
  • make and bake Pizzas/Calzones
  • bake sourdough and Peasant Breads
  • learn about using the oven for roasting vegetables, and other oven cooked meals.

Then, on Thursday, August 25th, we’ll share our farewell breakfast and depart.

The cost of $325 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 3 days, plus the welcoming dinner and the farewell breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous cob building workshop participants:

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your cob oven building facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 5 cob workshops and finished three smaller buildings; he feels very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Our baking chef, Nadine Simpson began baking professionally in 1979 at Rising Star Wholefoods Bakery in Victoria BC, first as a member of the worker’s collective (PSC) that operated the business and later, (1981) as owner.  Since 1994 she has been living and baking on Lasqueti Island and has led cob oven baking workshops locally and in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Sunday, August 21st (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic and vegetarian/vegan dinner that evening) and Thursday, August 25th (a farewell breakfast will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every cob oven building day (Monday and Tuesday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.

The pace is casual but determined; the more effort you give, the more learning you will take away.  Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the various scheduled sessions.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/2011-cob-building-workshops/

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: eec at resist dot ca.

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob oven baking soon!

Parenting with an Open Heart – a Seminar Series for All Parents and Parents-to-be

Are looking to refine and enhance what you’ve been doing as a parent because you just “know” that you can and that both you and your child(ren) would benefit all the more from it?

Or are you a frustrated parent floating aimlessly in a sea of authoritarian how-tos that simply don’t work for you or your child(ren)?

Maybe you have even discovered your own parents in your words and actions and wondered how the heck that happened?!

A new parenting seminar series entitled Parenting with an Open Heart is all about empowering the knowledge and wisdom that every human being comes with, passed down for millions of generations, but only recently doubted and suppressed.

Although these past 10,000 years have put many barriers between the civilized person’s intuitive knowledge and day-to-day life, thankfully our innate human heritage remains!

This seminar series is designed to help you reconnect with instinctive and heart-centred parenting…with its joy and success!  It will revolve around you and what you need and it’s designed for all parents, care-givers and parents-to-be, of any generation.  Sure, there’s lots of information to be gleaned, but we’ll work with your life and use our lives as examples so it will be as easy as possible to Parent with an Open Heart.

We’ll start by looking at how we got to where we are, by using Alice Miller’s work as a primary guide.

We’ll also look at the what current day parenting guides and books are really telling us; what works and doesn’t work and why.

Then, we’ll explore what we and our children actually need.

We’ll talk about:

  • home births (Ina May Gaskin makes this as easy as it could be),
  • attachment parenting (the kind described in The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff),
  • diaper-free or elimination communication,
  • sign language,
  • how to meet both our and our child(ren)’s needs simultaneously or nearly so,
  • home- or un-schooling aka natural learning,
  • how to enjoy getting around on foot and bike with an infant up to a young adult,
  • why what we put in our bodies (food, drugs/vaccines) is so important,
  • how to inspire the behaviours that you desire rather than creating a power struggle,
  • and much much more.

We’ll focus on the positives of all these, but we won’t ignore the problems of parenting with a closed heart.

Nonviolent communication is a technique that will be used during the course of this seminar; you need not know it or even want to learn it, but it will help you discover your feelings and needs and those of the rest of your family.  It is highly recommended!  And most importantly, it will help us keep the Parenting with an Open Heart seminar space a “No-fault Zone!”

Admission to each session is by donation, and I don’t want anyone to use cost as a reason not to come.  Snacks are provided (but bring your own specialty to share if you wish) and the suggested sliding scale is $0 to $50.  If it’s more enjoyable for you to trade or barter services or goods, then please let me know so we can arrange it.  My goal is simply to make life more wonderful for more people!    And yes, children are welcome!

Pre-registration for Parenting with an Open Heart is advised and recommended.  Simply email me at eec at resist dot ca (replacing the at with an “@” [no quotes] and the dot with a “.”; sorry for the extra edits but it keeps the spam away) or call me at 604.216.6700 with your name and contact info.  In the event of a last minute change, I’ll make sure you are kept up-to-date.

Session dates for Vancouver are Friday, May 20th, Friday, June 3rd, and Friday June 17th at the Lion’s Den, 770 Commercial Drive (corner of Adanac; enter from Commercial into the basement).  We’ll start gathering at 6pm and formally begin at 6:30pm for 2 hours.  My goal is to get you home by 9pm. Continue reading

2011 Cob Building Workshop!

From July 23rd to July 30th, I’ll be hosting another cob/natural building workshop on Lasqueti Island. The cost of $600 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 6 days, plus a welcoming dinner and a good-bye breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Women and families are especially encouraged to apply.  Barters or trades are always possible.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous workshop participants:

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

You have no idea how excited I am that I now pretty much know how to build a house out of dirt.” – Kate ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your workshop facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 5 cob workshops and finished three smaller buildings; he has been very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Our chef, Bethany Scott, first came to cob by way of the Mudgirls, hosting a work party and seducing them with her amazing culinary talents.  She has worked her magic at multiple cob workshops, both on and off Lasqueti Island, and hasn’t met a diet that she hasn’t nourished fully and deliciously yet!

Here’s some more feedback from previous participants, this time about the food:

Exceptional, really top drawer and beautifully prepared.” – Matt ’10

Delicious and superfluous.” – Kate ’10

The food was excellent!  Thank you Bethany. It was my first prolonged experience with Vegan food and I quite enjoyed it.” – Terry ’09

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • You’ll experience building walls the “old fashioned way” as well as a hybrid technique that uses reusable plastic “forms” to get our walls up twice as fast and “the brick” which gets them up even faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Saturday, July 23rd (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic and vegan dinner that evening) and Saturday, July 30th (a farewell breakfast on the 30th will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every workshop day (Sunday to Friday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.

The pace is casual but determined; the more effort you give, the more learning you will take away.  Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the various scheduled sessions.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/ https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: eec at resist dot ca or write a comment below with your contact info (don’t worry, I won’t publish the contact info).

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob soon!

Time to toot a horn long overdue

It seems that when it rains, it pours, especially with elections.

Not that any of them have improved anything for the average person for a long, long time; they have enabled the rich to get richer but I’ll save you that one for another time.

The Provincial NDP have a leadership race on right now.  If you’re a member, you can vote for their new leader.

I was astonished when one candidate, Dana Larsen, asked me for more info about Fare-Free Transit.  After our chat, he asked that we do a video together.  It’s short and concise and I’ve received very positive feedback from it.

You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3dI-kQgwDA&feature=youtu.be

What inspired me to write this though, is that Dana has created two platform pledges from this work: making the Skytrain Fare-Free and then converting all of the BC Transit systems to Fare-Free.

He really seems to understand the necessity of moving our transit systems to Fare-Free:

  • we need to help people out of their cars if we are to survive as a species
  • it costs more to collect fares than to not collect fares in every community in BC, save Vancouver and possibly Victoria.  Shockingly, we have no idea how much net revenue (if any) is actually generated by the farebox in either of those cities.

Don’t get me wrong: the political/electoral system that is in place will make these kinds of changes next to impossible, regardless of who is elected.

But if you believe in peaceful change from within, then here’s a rare opportunity for you.  Fare-Free Transit has happened in many other places in the civilized world, so it could happen here, too.

For more on Dana’s and the other candidate’s platforms, you can read them here:
http://conservationvoters.ca/leadership-race-2011/ndp-candidates/dana-larsen

If nothing else, spread the news that a potential Premier wants to make it easier for you to take transit!

PS.  In related news, the Ontario Legislature just voted to remove the right of transit workers in Toronto to strike, deeming the TTC an “essential service.”  This is on the eve of the Amalgamated Transit Union contract expiring at the end of this month and on the heels of Wisconsin, Michigan, and other US states’ legislatures removing the right for public workers to collectively bargain.

ATU Local 113 president Bob Kinnear stated in response to the legislation: “If we are so essential why hasn’t there been legislation to properly fund the transit system.”